Why Do We Follow Systems Even When it Doesn’t Make Sense?

June 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Why do we always follow systems even when it doesn’t make sense?

We don’t even realize we are trained, like dogs – to respond, to act. To exist.

I just went through airport security.

I spent the night at the airport.

But after having gone through security earlier in the day I was asked to go through again. I wanted coffee. But I’d have to wait until after security because that’s liquid and we all know since 9-11 no more liquids gels aerosols etc. And my coffee won’t go into a ziplock bag without spilling.

The system says -
I can’t track her individually (yet, until we are ‘voluntarily’ chipped), so it’s the same policy as though I just arrived here and in case I’m a terrorist. Fair enough.

I went through the scan and the woman shouted ‘WOMAN RANDOM’ and asked me to step aside. I thought maybe she thought I looked at her funny until the guy said “Might as well buy a lotto ticket today, the computer picked you.”


It reminded me of the movie Idiocracy where the individual has dumbed down, losing the ability to think for hisself / herself, and letting the machine take over.

Why is it that we trust the machine over intellect?  Why do we not question the processes put in place?

Should I really have been pegged for a terrorist when I slept here all night?  I was waiting all morning just to get combustible coffee that I could sneak through and blow up the plane.  Dangit!  Random computer scan and I’m busted.

Flying through Wisconsin I bought butter and cheese, of course, because it’s Wisconsin. Did you know that my cheese was confiscated because it might have been very dangerous cheese?!  That, or it was all part of the system.

Once a system is put in place and we blindly follow, then place rules on top with a punishment attached – i.e. don’t cross the road (even if no traffic for miles!) until the little red guy turns to white on the traffic light or you’ll get fined – we are purposely giving up our ability to think rationally.   Running Man Mr Roboto

I am not arguing systems aren’t good. They can be eerily effective.  I just think it’s good to be aware that as we use more and more technology (as I write this from my smartphone-turned-dumbphone as “user friendly” means don’t make me have to think too hard) we should be using our brains more, not less.


December 22, 2009 at 9:18 am

Mosquitos are very common here, so common that people walk in the streets with cans of OFF in their purses or bags.  Signs all over warn of Dengue – a disease spread through mosquitos.  Fever, body aches, muscle pain – 40 million cases and 100’s of thousands each year.  Deaths are in the teens and children and elderly are most affected.

My legs are covered in bites.  Yikes!  Think I’ll be investing in that can of OFF.  The mosquitos are unavoidable and at the concert on Saturday I’d sworn they marked that human feast on their calendar for months!  I love BA but one thing I could do without are the mosquitos!


December 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Stay tuned….  The crazy tomato is coming (as soon as I find the video)

Just what is a tomate loco?


May 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that things morph.  Just getting out there and doing it is the most important thing.

Sitting and waiting for the perfect time… it will never come.

I love this Chinese proverb:

When is the best time to plant a tree?  20 years ago.  What’s the second best time?  Now.

Losing fear, making a commitment, putting a plan together.  Set the dates, stay committed.

Everything else falls into place.

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.”

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



Libby’s diet tip

May 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm

I just stepped on the scale today and noticed I had lost weight.

Want a diet tip?
1. Go to Central America
2. Drink the water

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otxWg9zVv9k A video with some pics from Central America. Not quite wh

April 30, 2009 at 8:37 pm

A video with some pics from Central America. Not quite what I wanted and so much more to show. I’ll keep adding pictures to Picasa, some new ones added today so go look! Enjoy. :)

Oh, and I just re-added the ‘monkeying around’ video so check it out!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NShdwp7tCc0 A video with some pics from Central America. Made updates

April 30, 2009 at 10:04 am

A video with some pics from Central America. Made updates to libbystravels.com.

Pepto dismal

April 30, 2009 at 1:46 am

How could I forget to write about my 8+ days of bowel agony!

The cause? The fish in El Salvador, I thought. It began the day after. But it wouldn’t go away. Dehydration? I drank lots of water. Then I switched to the bread, banana, and dairy diet (Yes! Ice cream!). Still a growling painful stomach ache with frequent trips to the toilet. Being that the walls were paper thin, I’m sure everyone else was also counting the days until I got better.

Now onto country 3, back in Costa Rica, and still on a banana / bread diet. I did get some pills from the pharmacy but those didn’t seem to do the trick either. So, I picked up some pepto bismo. I tripled my dose and STILL! ;You’ve got to be kidding me,’ I thought. What was I doing wrong? I didn’t have the Swine flu, did I?

A Spanish friend reminded me to be careful with the water. ‘But I stopped drinking the water a while ago,’ I said, ‘before I switched to my daily banana batidos (shakes)’ …. then it hit me. I had been drinking bananas with water and/or ice on a daily basis. Immediately I stopped, tripled my pepto bismo dosage, ate nothing but bread and bottled water and within hours I started feeling better.

Whew! No more frequent trips to the bathroom for me. I was filling up too many waste baskets (read below)! ;)

Random babbles and trip summary part I

April 30, 2009 at 12:40 am

I’m sitting here in Seattle, just after 8:30 pm and the sun is finally setting. I’m used to the sun setting at 5:30 pm like clockwork, and taking about 10-15 minutes to fall beneath the horizon, the weather finally cooling down from the strong heat of the day.

The sun appears again around 5:30 am. The big dipper seems to appear to the left and upside down, the stars are clear and seem so close. The sun sets in different places depending on the time of the year. It’s hot during the day and at night I rarely slept with a sheet. I wanted to, of course, as I knew that lots of funny creature – especially cucarachas – were crawling about. But, the heat made it impossible.

From Finca las Nubes, Chris, the owner, generously gave me some ‘souvenirs’ and I came back with two bags of organic coffee, along with a jar of honey from their bees, and a bag full of moringa leaves, or ‘the miracle tree’ (future home where you’ll be able to find some www.moringapowdersource.com).

Some thoughts –

I realize that we are very fortunate in the States. I also realized that there’s a particular snobbiness about the US, where I didn’t feel as welcome in my own country as I did in other countries. We are so spoiled in so many ways. We don’t realize the effect we have on our environment. We don’t give back in ways that we could/should. People starve in the world not because resources are scarce, but because greed has led to poor access to information and because of the lack of ability to purchase.

Every little bit helps. I’d like to go back and volunteer some time to teaching English, while also starting a business there to employ more people. The unemployment rate in Nicaragua is around 50%. There are so many ways we can volunteer our time or skills to help.

A friend of mine was managing a Subway (before the owner stole money and fled and the store was closed down). An honest guy, hard worker, he made $75 dollars a month to run the
store. I took Gaspar out for Mediterranean food the night before I left. He played baseball outside of the restaurant for years, only entering the restaurant to get his ball back when it went over the barbed wire fence, but never to eat. He couldn’t afford it. Our bill was only $22 dollars – very inexpensive for me, and nearly 1/3 of a month’s wage for him.

Animals are not treated well and it makes me incredibly sad. There’s no such thing as a doggy daycare or spa. If an animal is sick, they suffer through it, or they’ll just be shot. Part of it is cultural but I feel like there’s a lot we can do to influence, first starting by example.

I also noticed that children are loving, respectful to their parents, and well behaved in countries like Costa Rica and Nicaragua. In El Salvador and in the States I noticed just the opposite. Not sure why, but my guess was that it might be related to the overflow of information, flashy things, junk food, sugary foods. Just an observation. But there’s a lot to be said for the simple things in life.

Saint Augustine

April 30, 2009 at 12:11 am

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.