Re: virus: God and Level-3

Martz (
Wed, 26 Mar 1997 00:03:54 +0000

On Tue, 25 Mar 1997, Robin Faichney <> wrote:

>>When believing it helps you to accomplish your ends. Six impossible
>>things before breakfast - just for the exercise.
>Did that meme not originate in a criticism of Christianity?

Most probably. I should stress that when I say 'belief' in this sense
it's not really a deep down belief. It's purely temporary and there's a
part of me which knows I'm fooling myself (thankfully). I'll give you an
example. I ride motorcycles and with the best will in the world I don't
believe it's something you can do without suffering the occasional
scare, whether it's my fault or someone elses. In a panic situation like
that your instincts force you to do two things;

1. Focus intently on the thing you're afraid of.
2. Slam on the brakes as hard as you can.

These are precisely the *wrong* reactions. When riding a bike there is a
subconscious tendency to steer in the direction you're looking - not a
good thing if you're looking at the car that's just pulled out in front
of you or the grass verge that you're drifting towards because you've
taken the corner too fast. Slamming on the brakes will at best reduce
the amount of control you have over the bike, forcing it onto a
straight-line trajectory and at worst may lock your wheels. In the
example of the too-fast corner the reactions which maximise your
survival chances are to look as far around the bend as you can see
(which may be anything up to 90 degrees away from your current direction
of travel) and to *speed up* (I can explain the physics of why that is
if anyone wants me to). The solution here is twofold. Lots of practice
at good technique in non-threatening situations to increase your ability
(which you should try very hard to work within) will mean that it takes
a more extreme circumstance to produce that fear. But when it *does*
happen that fear must be quickly quelled and I've managed to succeed at
that (to an extent) by temporarily believing something that I don't
*really* believe; that I'm invulnerable. I've disciplined myself by
subjecting myself to minor scares and as that 'ohshitohshitohshit'
reaction kicks in I immediately say to myself 'don't be silly, you'll be
fine. what could possibly happen to you'. This lets me apply my mental
faculties to the problem at hand and to do what I can to save the
situation. Once I'm safely through I slow down or stop (against my
natural urge which is to get away from what just happened as quickly as
possible) and then run through the situation again, criticising whatever
I'd done wrong to get myself into the situation but also praising myself
for whatever I did right to get myself out of it, allowing each of those
thoughts to produce the relevant feelings in me (fear, satisfaction
etc.). Since applying this strategy I rarely lose my ability to think
and react correctly in these situations, although I still have a way to
go wrt not getting into them in the first place. I just love to race. 8)


For my public key, <> with 'Send public key' as subject an automated reply will follow.

No more random quotes.