Cognitive dissonance

I have been uploading the massive 170 CD box of everything Mozart – thanks again, Record Surplus – to my mp3 collection one careful disc at a time over a period of weeks. Why do I believe 170 discs won't overwhelm the collection if I upload them s..l..o..w..l..y instead of all at once? I'm still planning to upload the whole box. It's so well thought out, and so not rational.

I'm not sure what this has to do with writing, except as an example that otherwise intelligent people can believe silly things, even when they know the things are silly. Scientists can be superstitious. Insurance agents can play Internet poker. Doctors frequently smoke. It's also an example of what Michael Shurtleff (yes, him again) calls "opposites" – the thorny way most of us fight desperately for the things we need, while also clinging to the things that make the things we need impossible. I love my balanced music collection; yet I can't resist the acquisitive urge to grab all that Mozart, even if that means my shuffle play now includes way too much harpsichord.

I probably don't need a balanced music playlist or 170 CDs of Mozart; I just like the word better. Which reminds me of my cousin's two year old. She recently discovered the word "need" and decided it is always preferable to her previous favorite word, "want." Shurtleff would agree. Need is always a stronger choice. Go for it, kiddo!

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