Friday, August 4, 2017

The lies we all believe

Image result for truth trump cartoon
Judging anything has turned into a debate based on current ideology and past experiences.  This may sound like a respectable way to discern but booth ideology and experience may sway the reality of what should be seen and obvious by imposing already established biases and preconceived ideas on the current process of judgement.

Like history, many have a tendency to view historical events through a prism clouded by current political and socio economic perspectives without taking into account the specifics of that history and how those who lived through those events perceived and lived.  

Henry Ford it seems did not sell the first car.  He was not even the first to standardize the assembly line but for most those are indisputable facts and a part of their history.  Vikings never  wore horned helmets, that was purely a fictional attribute of the German Opera to increase attendance.   General George Custer fought and lost to under equipped and primitive indians.  The truth is that custer was outgunned and outmaneuvered by a superior and better equipped force.  Most of Custer’s troops were still using bolt action rifles while many of the Indians were using repeating rifles stolen, traded or given to the indians for a profit.  The indians new the value of being prepared, at least in that battle.

History is filled with instances of facts gone wrong, even today we tend to believe in what we want to believe rather than the obvious or logical.  WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq, were actually used by Saddam Hussain.  He gassed his own people using WMDs but when it came time to find those weapons, nobody knew what happened to them.  The fact that they could not be found does not alter the reality or the need to remove those threats that were plainly in evidence.

It also seems obvious that when Syria was fighting against its rebels Bashar al-Assad used WMDs in his fight against those rebels.  Was the castigation of former President Bush warranted and are we using the same obscured lenses to view the current President Trump? Does our perspective born of our ideology and insufficient understanding really serve us in making overall judgements, even on issues we think we know everything there is to know?

Regardless of the reasons for misinformation they are present and pervasive.  Just because something  is frequently repeated, and routinely recalled does not make a supposed truth truthful, in fact it can have the opposite effect.  Why do you think that popular commercials are popular?  Why do we listen to the same songs over and over again?  Why do we repeat news we think we like?  Mostly because we simply like what we hear and then believe what we hear and say, simply because we like it.  We become influenced by the sizzle and not the stake, expecting that familiar sound that just so happens to be deep in our mind's eye, that ever present reminder of what we like as opposed to what is right or truthful.  The more we partake of that forbidden fruit the easier and more believable it becomes.  

Frequency plays a major role in how are brains transfer information from short term memory to long term and in the process alters the information to the more permanent status of trustworthy, aka truth, but not really.

As can be evidenced throughout history and in all facets of learning, Man (and women) are wrong about most things, most of the time.  Just like believing that Edison invented the lightbulb.  He did not invent the lightbulb but he perfected the process and made it work for a longer duration, making it marketable to the general public.  It should also be mentioned that Edison’s failures with the lightbulb far out performed his successes, but his perseverance overcame those failures and success and truth was the result, thank goodness he kept trying.

It seems sad to admit that most of us, including me, really don’t have a clue and we take that cluelessness to vaulted heights of superiority when politics is concerned.  The opinions of the day, those oft repeated opinions stream through the ether and somehow become accepted as truth just by virtue of their repetition.  Say something enough and it affects your brain’s ability to judge between what is right and what is comfortable.

Your comfort levels are really nothing more than your brain telling you that this is a safe way to think simply because it’s a way you’ve previously been thinking.  Repetition is a great way to learn but it’s also a great way to fall into the trap of misinformation and false assumptions.

You may want to trick your brain into doing what’s best rather than what you think is right.  “Of the 10 million bits of information that each of our brains process each second, only about 50 bits are devoted to deliberate thought–in other words, 0.0005%. We’re wired notto be ever-vigilant. We’re built to avoid continuous decision-making.”

When your wiring is ineffective then it’s time to rewire the connections of your brain and start to rethink the rote process of predictions vs reality.  Are we really making decisions or have we simply allowed our subconscious to make them for us?  We are wired not to make every decision but there are advantages to moving away from the .0005% of deliberate thought and one of those would be a bit more control over what we think we know into what we actually know.  

It really is time to start thinking purposefully without the autonomous brain ruling what we think, what we believe and how we act.  There is no inner person wanting to come out.  If you actions are mean and selfish, you're a mean and selfish person.  All we have to do is act according to what we want to be and voila the magic of reality takes center stage.  We really are what we do.

If most of what we currently believe is suspect than perhaps our views of our current President are also suspect, to some degree.  Trump is obviously not a “normal” politician and in fact has shown tendencies toward his business acumen, leaving no doubt about his intentions and his motivations.  We cannot judge him based on our preconceived ideas but need to alter our deliberate thoughts and adjust them in relation to what he is and what he is trying to do.

Like him or not is he trying to improve America?  Is he attempting to strengthen this country and in so doing is trying to make this country more safe, less volatile and more prosperous?  Perhaps if we look with a more deliberate and less subconscious manner we will be able to see what he sees and then, and only then can we truly pass judgement.

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