Imaginary Authors: Stories II


Here comes installment two! In my previous post about Imaginary Authors, I decided that for these fragrances I would do something different and write some short stories based on what comes up when I smell them. These stories are based on a vigilante concept that Mr. Chokkattu and I discuss whenever someone who’s a waste of space shows up on the news, and the style hopefully smacks of Brandon Sanderson as well as a tiny hint of Haruki Murakami perhaps. Hope you enjoy!

Cape Heartache: pine, oak, embers, strawberries, vanilla Read More

Imaginary Authors: Stories


Bit of a different format for the reviews today. Since Imaginary Authors is all about stories and evocation, I decided to write a very short story in response to some of their products. I haven’t written nearly any very creative things since I started business school because the place kind of drains me of mental energy, so I’m really glad I was able to get this much out. These stories are based on a vigilante concept that Mr. Chokkattu and I discuss whenever someone who’s a waste of space shows up on the news, and the style is a tiny bit inspired Brandon Sanderson novels (though he does it much, much better.) Hope you enjoy!

Memoires: vanilla, sandalwood, chocolate, myrrh, warmth, woods, spring trees Read More

Creativity and Rationalizing Ethical Discrepancies

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Aha! See, this makes so much more sense to me than the more accepted trope of the analytical, scheming genius, if only because it only covers one personality. But the ability to rationalize what you’re doing, even if it’s wrong? That’s rampant in basically everyone.

Take procrastination for example. How many times have you thought or heard someone say “Oh, I procrastinate because I work better under pressure” or something similar? With that phrase, you’ve taken something that negatively impacts your productivity and told yourself that it’s a positive thing regardless of whether or not it’s true. That’s what being able to rationalize entails. People convince themselves with stories everyday that the guy in front of them meant specifically to cut them off, that the person at the register really does enjoy talking to you about your cats, that your significant other being quiet means they’re upset and haven’t voiced it yet. People good at these stories simply don’t recognize their evil as evil, because it’s so banal (Banality of Evil, people.)

It’s very easy to think that dishonesty is only a function of the individual, but the reality is that the environment plays a big role. You cheat when the rules are flexible or not very clear and when you have a conflict of interest or a reason to have a biased perception of reality.

We see this in many psychological studies, including the infamous Stanford Prison Experiment where flexibility or a specific point of view changes a person’s take on ethical and moral behavior. And the people studied don’t come in with a plan of action to cause harm to others; they’re just adept and creative enough to convince themselves that harm isn’t what they’re doing.

What to do with too many toys

What to do with too many toys

When I was younger, I was offered a lot of different toys. I was given Barbies I utterly destroyed, stuffed animals that I hoarded, puzzles, play cars, Kinex-type things, Legos, the works. You know what though? I barely remember playing with any of it. My dad was annoyed that I didn’t really want to build things with the map and pieces already laid out for me, and likely took it as a sign that I was a silly, unintelligent kid. I never liked following the directions because it felt like tedium instead of play. Anything that came with an end goal excitedly insert in or on the box bored the heck out of me.

Instead, I remember a scarf I used to tie under my arms and the pillows that would end up all over the floor and the warrior princess I would pretend to be fighting indescribable monsters and losing indescribable friends along the way. I remember going around with my friends and collecting random weeds and rocks and creating potions and casting spells all over the neighborhood. Always wanting to go “hiking” (walking around the few hundred yards of hill and tree around our houses) with the boys in my neighborhood.

Or else I would read.

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