Reflection Cube

Three-dimensional thoughts

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argument from authority fallacy - logical fallacies series - illustration - incompetent math teacher

Fallacies – Argument From Authority (Appeal to Authority or Argumentum Ad Verecundiam)

A claimed authority’s support is used as evidence for an argument’s conclusion.

Example: Most psychologists assert that mental illness cannot be improved or cured with vitamins or nutritional treatment/supplementation. Therefore, there must be no “natural” cure for mental health issues.

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. – Galileo Galilei

Just because someone in a position of “intellectual” authority claims that something is true doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

No one is entirely liberated of personal motives or biases.

It’s important to remember that people with scientific (or other academic) authority aren’t necessarily also entirely ethical (or informed). Often, power, influence, and academic “authority” end up in the hands of the wrong people.

We shouldn’t automatically trust people in prestigious positions within the scientific, medical, political, educational, or psychological/social fields.

Everything merits examination.

dangers of using argument from authority - illustration

An authority on a subject may very well be speaking only truth and facts. However, accepting or discrediting an argument on the basis of someone’s title and education – or lack thereof – is a logically fallacious approach to understanding or advocating a matter.

The strength and logic of the case – not the eminence of the title – should support the argument.

Please see Disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Why Jesus Hates Religion: Part 1 – Are You Religious?

First piece in the series “Why Jesus Hates Religion” from my blog,

a great mistake - doing nothing when you can only do a little - edmund burke quote - quotes

A Great Mistake

Edmund Burke quote

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. – Edmund Burke

stream - poem about leaves on a stream - cognitive defusion exercise - thoughts, negativity, identity, observation


I hate these thoughts I'm having
They're just not me.
Gonna place them on some leaves
And let them flow down the stream.

I'm not the author of all of my thoughts
I'm more like an observer as they float by me.
I'm not responsible for everything that pops
Into my head, only if those things become my identity.

I'm not these thoughts
And they're not me.
I'm just watching patiently
As they travel down the stream
Inside my mind - that ever moving current
That brings me joy and pain.

Inspired by a meditation technique shared with me by a friend:

“Leaves on a Stream” – Cognitive Defusion Exercise

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

picture of rain, raindrops - thoughts, reverie


In reverie I dance, enraptured by a world of thoughts
And I wish that I could catch them all, but they fall much like raindrops.

I scurry about with my bucket, hoping to all the raindrops taste.
Then I realize that I'd capture more if I'd stand in just one place.

I cry over the drops uncaught, that teased me but moved on.
I raced to seal in every thought, but half of them are gone.

They're buried now within the dirt - land of subconsciousness.
But like the water soaking earth, they cannot be expressed.

Once they've mingled with the ground, their purity is gone.
My most transcendent thoughts, once found, swift to the earth withdraw.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

seeking and acknowledging the truth - red pill blue pill blindfold #blindness #truth #ignorance #bliss #reality #courage


Truth is Like a Sharp, Solid, Steady Rock

It does not move.

It is not swayed by internal impulses.

It sometimes scathes and sharpens those who rub against it.

It stands its ground, seemingly without concern of being an obstacle or inconveniencing others.

Others’ perceptions of the rock mean nothing to it.

It is a shield from the changing, unpredictable waves – a tower that rises above them.
picture of bird on rock - dry place to rest, a shield from waves

Pixabay photo (CC0 License)

It is a perch – a vantage point – from which we can see life and the world clearly.
bird on perch - truth is a vantage point that offers clear vision

Pixabay photo (CC0 License)

Those who value truth are also like rocks.

They are the pillars which keep the community intact. They are the foundation on which freedom of expression is sustained and supported.

They are the people who are willing to be “disagreeable” if they must, in order to stick by their principles and beliefs.

Those who value truth – and live by it – will speak and do what is right even if it is offensive to or inconvenient for themselves or others. (It is the choice of the offended to be so. We are not responsible for others’ feelings and reactions to the truth.)

Upholders of truth are people who will not lie, even if the brutal truth makes them unpopular or costs them their jobs.

They are people who care about being honest on both “micro” and macro levels. They are the same substance – the same compound – throughout. They cannot compromise on their values even in seemingly “inconsequential” areas.

Seeking and living by truth doesn’t come without a price. It may cost us our:

  • Status
  • Popularity
  • Friendships
  • Business relationships
  • Subsistence
  • Lives

This cost exists because the truth is generally unpopular, uncomfortable, and/or inconvenient.

Some of us don’t want to know the truth. Others don’t want everyone else to know it.

In the U.S. we often take for granted our freedom of speech, religion, and self-expression. Sometimes, we almost act like we don’t want it. We aim to be tactful rather than truthful. We forget that we are still free to express ourselves, and instead we require ourselves to conform to constraints that don’t even exist and restrictive laws which haven’t been passed. In the process, we conceal valuable information, and encourage others to be equally timid and cautious.

We withhold springs of life from others for fear of stepping on their toes.

The truth can sometimes be shared tactfully and winsomely. And yet, it will still taste like bitter medicine to those who don’t wish to hear it.

And sometimes, there is no way to sugar-coat or soften the blow of truth. Yet truth – however brutal and bitter – will still taste sweet to those who seek and desire to find it.

If truth is worth defending to the death, then what is truth?

What do you think truth is? And how much would you be willing to sacrifice to defend it?

After you’ve given it some thought, feel free to poke around this blog and The Bleeding Blogger (my other blog), for my thoughts on truth.

Thanks for reading. 🙂



© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

girl letting go - heart-shaped balloon flying away - what are you afraid of losing?

What Are You Most Afraid of Losing?

One of the things I would most “fear” losing is my ability to reason, learn, remember, process information, articulate my thoughts, and comprehend the world around me. Essentially, my mind and sanity.

In my mind, the magnitude of this loss would far outweigh that of losing my limbs or hearing or eyesight – which is saying a lot!

If I were to lose my mind, how would I communicate meaningfully with my family and friends?

How would I know what is real or isn’t?

How would I appreciate the beauty around me?

I suppose the one advantage to losing my mind is that I probably wouldn’t realize what was happening, so I wouldn’t really be present to experience the misery. 😛

What is the one thing you most don’t want to lose?

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

more than meets the eye - lens, filter, distortion, objectivity, bias, clarity, perception

More Than Meets the Eye

There’s more to each of us than others see.

More layers. More systems and subsystems. More untold stories.

Often, we are quick to assume that we understand why a person is acting the way that they are. I am guilty of this.

Although at times our perceptions and inferences may hit the bullseye – accurately nailing the reasons for a person’s behavior – at other times, we err in our assumptions, perhaps because our brains are so eager to assign some explanation to a confusing phenomenon.

Our brains hate to not know or not understand. So they will continually try to make reason out of (seeming) insanity, or label as insane that which seems, on the surface, to be without reason.

Scenario #1

You’re a cashier at a retail store. One customer comes through with “tons” (like, hundreds of pieces) of makeup – cheap and expensive brands, and practically every possible color of every possible product – lipstick, eyeliner, foundation, etc.

You carefully scan and bag every piece of makeup.

And then….

“I’m sorry…actually, I’ll have to cancel everything except these twenty-five items.”

You feel your heart sink into your stomach. You’re not sure what hurts more: seeing someone attempt to spend so much money on makeup, or seeing them practically cancel the transaction after you’ve both wasted a lot of time at the checkout.

Thankfully, your customer hasn’t paid yet. Your best option, at this point, is to simply void the entire transaction, put all the unwanted makeup in a bin to be returned to the floor by some poor sales floor employee (assuming your customer doesn’t want to hold the cart and come back to purchase everything later), and again ring up the twenty-five items.

But why? Seriously, how could a person not think ahead? And why are they wasting so much money on makeup?

Here are some possible answers or explanations – things which wouldn’t necessarily be readily apparent from your vantage point:

  • Your customer is starting a business as a makeup artist, but forgot that she wanted to set-up a separate business bank account first. The twenty-five items are personal or for gifts.
  • Your customer lives with a chronic illness which causes severe brain fog, and therefore struggles to think ahead very well or remember things.
  • Your customer wanted to give away all the makeup to a charity, so that women in underserved communities could still have access to products that would help them feel “put-together”. Sadly, her heart is bigger than her pocketbook.
  • Your customer is accustomed to buying anything and everything with credit cards and has been racking up debt, but is trying to establish a different spending pattern, and only at the checkout – while witnessing the snowballing total – mustered the resolve to say “no”. Although the whole scene may seem pitiful to onlookers, this is, in fact, quite a red-letter day for her.

Scenario #2

Your friend hardly speaks when with you. But you’ve seen him talk to other people. Ouch.

It’s possible that:

  • He finds you smart, cool, and attractive in many ways. He wants to impress you, and feels nervous in your presence.
  • He’s got a crush on you, and his brain chemistry changes when you’re around, so he loses many of his mental faculties. He gets fluttery inside and his brain goes out the window.
  • You’re both just not sure of the best questions to ask each other yet. You’re still building that foundation of familiarity with each other. It usually takes your friend a while to warm up, especially with those he particularly admires or respects, and your relationship just needs time to spread its wings. Maybe you see him talking with other people, but that doesn’t mean that their conversations are as deep as you’re desiring yours to be. Perhaps you have imagined that they are enjoying the type of conversation you want to enjoy with your friend, but you don’t actually know the degree of intimacy and depth of their communication. And if you walk over and listen to find out, your friend, of course, gets quiet, because of the aforementioned or other reasons. 😉

Scenario #3

Your coworker just said something that totally shocked you. You never expected those words to come out of his mouth, and you take it personally. You feel completely disrespected and crushed.

Perhaps your coworker:

  • Isn’t naturally very agreeable (diplomacy and politeness simply don’t come to him very naturally, or he doesn’t see the value in them). But he has no intentions or awareness of being disagreeable.
  • Has a brain wiring that is less conducive to understanding the nuances and subtleties of communication and social graces, but totally didn’t mean to offend, or intend the statement to sound the way it did.
  • Grew up in a rather cloistered community and is now working extra hard to hone some fundamental social skills.
  • Just lost a loved one or got diagnosed with a fatal illness, but hasn’t told anyone and isn’t ready to talk about it.
  • Just got chewed out by your mutual boss.

Scenario #4

You reach out to hug your niece, and you can feel her body stiffen. You conclude that she must either hate touch or strongly dislike you – or both. Could be, but some other possibilities are:

  • You happen to be hugging her right by the door where there’s a draft.
  • Your niece generally feels pretty cold anyway.
  • In the community in which your niece grew up, most or all forms of touch have been demonized, and it’s sometimes a challenge for your niece to switch gears now and convince her brain that it’s okay to embrace someone.
  • She grew up in a familial environment where touch and physical affection were scarce, and so she doesn’t quite know how to handle it, even if she likes it.
  • She associates hugs with punishment (it was something that only came after discipline). Or her primary memory of touch as a child is of being corporally punished, and she rarely, if ever, received physical affection.
  • You remind your niece (perhaps not even in character or appearance, but simply by your gender) of someone else who once violated her (or currently does).
  • Your niece craves touch but doesn’t believe she deserves it. And/or, she expects anything good – such as touch – to be taken away suddenly and forever – and that fear is manifesting in her body. She doesn’t allow herself to fully enjoy anything, due to this fear.
  • She’s trying to keep her head from getting smushed into your shirt, because she has makeup on, so she stiffens in a caring attempt to prevent you from smushing her face into your shoulder to the detriment of your clothing.

The issue may not be at all that she doesn’t like or love you, even though it totally looks that way.

If you grew up in a family where physical affection was on par with verbal communication in terms of importance or prevalence – sort of like drinking water or breathing air – this reaction by your niece is, no doubt, very puzzling to you. It feels as though you’re trying to speak to a person with aphasia. Perhaps they sort of comprehend or want to understand your language, but they struggle to “speak” it back to you.

Or she may totally understand your language and want to reciprocate by speaking it in-kind, but environmental factors (makeup, temperature) are getting in the way.

Our Filters

We don’t always know why people act the way they do. I have certainly made my share of assumptions about people’s motives or stories. And I also frequently get misread by others. 🙂 I think misreading others and being misconstrued happens between all of us a lot more than we realize.

If we could somehow remove the distortions, biases, and personal filters through which we interpret others’ lives, might we gain more compassion, understanding, and respect for them? If we saw all that they’d endured, and how that plays out in their current behavior, would we have more patience? Would we make friends with someone we’d previously shunned, after hearing their story?

If our conclusions about others’ actions and the reasons for them were derived from observation through crystal clear lenses – completely separated from the tainting influence of our personal experiences and feelings – what would we discover? If we were able to take ourselvesour egos and personal experiences – out of the equation, what would be left in our perceptions of others?

Unfortunately, I’m not sure that a complete separation between our thoughts and our personal filters is possible.

We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are. – Anonymous*

Yet if it were possible to make this separation – even partially – would the “insane” and “idiotic” and “unintelligent” and “heartless” and “cold” and “thoughtless” and “brash” and “shy” and “fearful” suddenly seem more “reasonable” or “normal”? Would we find they’re just like us, but with different backgrounds and in different bodies? Would we see in them the person that we ourselves could have been, in different circumstances?

If we were in the practice of asking ourselves – upon observation of a “strange” behavior or person – the question, “I wonder how they got there?”, how might that change our view and treatment of others whose behavior we don’t understand? And might we gain new friendships? Business connections? Hire different employees? Establish other long-lasting relationships?

All that is gold does not glitter – J.R.R. Tolkien

We are all more than meets the eye.

* There is uncertainty as to where this quote originated.

Please see Disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved

Self-reflection: illusions

Illusions of Self

“Surrounded as we are by such people – so confused, so ignorant of what they’re saying and of whatever faults they may or may not have, where those faults came from and how to get rid of them – I think we too should make a habit of asking ourselves, ‘Could it be that I’m one of them too? What illusion about myself do I entertain? How do I regard myself – as another wise man, as someone with perfect self-control? Do I, too, ever make that boast about being prepared for whatever may happen? If I don’t know something, am I properly aware that I don’t know it?

– Epictetus

What illusions about myself do I entertain?

The illusion that I am wiser than I am?



More objective?

What views of myself do I accept as true merely because they are comfortable or convenient?

And how do I go about recognizing those perspectives for the sugar-loaded candy poison that they are, and removing them from my formula for self-evaluation?

How do I know if I’m truly wise? Can the possession of wisdom be recognized by the one who holds it? Or does greatness in wisdom necessarily coincide with ignorance of the fact that it graces one’s head?

Likewise, does adherence to folly escape the observation and awareness of its employers?

How do I know if I am smart? Even if people tell me I am, or I get good grades? How do I know that their definition of “smart” is accurate? What does it mean to be “smart” in the first place?

How do I know if and when I’m truly being objective?

Well, if I happen to advocate or believe something that I’d rather not advocate or believe, that might be at least a partially good indicator of objectivity. It suggests that I’ve done some research, or at the very least, that something deep within me makes me aware of something that I wish weren’t the case. Yet I cannot simply ignore what I see, once I’ve seen it. Just as one cannot ignore an incoming massive tidal wave. They may not like the reality of that tidal wave or find it comfortable, but they accept it, because ignoring its presence could prove fatal.

However, if my beliefs rest within my comfort zone, I think a higher level of examination is called for regarding the reason behind such beliefs.

Do you think it’s possible to know our blind spots? Is it possible to know what artifacts or agents are blinding us, while they are in the process of doing so?

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved



With the exception of one trip to Denver last week for a family member’s appointment – I haven’t been out of the house since 12/18 last year.

This season, I’ve managed to catch 2-3 bugs/illnesses in immediate succession. (A common cold, followed by the flu, followed by a stomach bug or food poisoning, I think). Apparently I’m attractive to infectious bugs. <3 🙄 Awwww.

Being “out of commission” for three weeks reminds me of what was my constant reality for much of last year.

I struggled to think, move, or function much at all. Sometimes it was difficult to even put together a meal to eat (and my system could hardly tolerate any foods anyway).

After a lot of research, trial and error with foods/supplements, and three visits with a chiropractor (who actually hasn’t adjusted me yet, but his expertise extends way beyond chiropractic skills/knowledge), I began noticing some significant improvements in my health around early December.

And then WHAM. The Attack of the Bugs commenced.

And my system defended valiantly with sinus congestion, headaches, muscle pain, and gastrointestinal cramping and disgorgement of contents therein.

But even in my temporary sickness, I’ve still sometimes had more energy and fewer symptoms than I had for most of 2017.

Even now, I generally feel less cold, less dizzy, less depressed/anxious, and more awake cognitively than I have in a long time.

It seems that the answers I’ve found for treating my chronic illness – which involved changing my diet/lifestyle – have also improved my resilience to infection.

Which…seems like a no-brainer, I guess.

But it makes me wonder how many of us would experience a curtailment in quantity, duration, or magnitude of flu/cold symptoms if we each ate the right diet for our individual, unique bodies (and avoided foods that make us sick).

Perhaps some of the foods in our diet (even seemingly “innocent” ones – let’s pick on the tomato) are weakening us and causing us to be impacted more severely by the common cold. (If you’re thinking “Hey, what’s so bad about sweet little Tomato?”, please feel free to ask for more info in the comments and also check out Legit Excuses for Picky Eaters. In short, some potential problems with the tomato [at least for some of us] involve solanine, calcitriol, lectins, and glutamate.)

Some things I’ve been taking to recover from infection:

  • Silver (to destroy infectious microbes).
  • Turkey bone broth (to heal the gut, especially after stomach bug).
  • Magnesium (which I try to take anyway, but replenishing the body’s electrolyte reserves is especially important after sickness.)
  • Salt (strengthens the adrenal glands, which can be weakened by sickness).
  • Water with lime juice, baking soda, and monk fruit (for stomach).
  • Hot ginger water with honey (for stomach).
  • Clementines (rich in vitamin C).

Hope this post finds you well. <3 As always, if you have any questions, feel free email me or drop your query in the comments section below. (However, please do not treat any information [in my posts, the comments, or from other correspondence with me] as fact or medical advice [see brief and full disclaimers below]. These are just some remedies I’ve personally found helpful.)

Stay warm + well. <3



See full disclaimer.

© 2018 Kate Richardson All Rights Reserved


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