Author Topic: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.  (Read 1057 times)

The Good Reverend Roger

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Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« on: December 13, 2010, 04:42:10 pm »
Humans have a divide between their perceptions and reality.  We are, in fact, the only species that has this, because we are the only species that we know of that has an imagination and a proper ego.  Our senses tell us things, but our wants and needs color our perception until what we're thinking of hasn't got much to do with how things actually are.

Call it one-person disinformation theory.

Few people recognize that this divide exists, and even fewer know what to do with it.  Most people try to fill the divide with partisan politics, religion, and other weird beliefs.  Hell, a lot of people just try to fill it full of booze or pot or whatever their substance of choice is.

Obviously, while all these things may feel like they're accomplishing something, they really just make matters worse...Conspiracy theory, for example, starts out with the theorist examining what he thinks is accurate data for once (It's usually just information that has gone through the faulty filters of other theorists), and by the time he's done, he's hating on the Jews, because by now he's stretched his divide a mile wide and they seem like a likely target.

And as we've learned from Julian Assange's experiences, if you try to narrow the gap with accurate information, just about everyone will want to kill you.

There are five basic things you have to do, if you're interested in actually closing the divide, rather than delude yourself into feeling better about things:

1.  Obtain information that is as accurate as possible, discarding suspect data.  In other news, Fox, MSNBC, etc, are all basically useless...And blogs, etc, are usually even worse.  Foreign media, direct news feeds, etc, aren't flawless either, but anything they agree with the local media on is probably fairly accurate.  Cain can give better advice than I on mostly unbiased/reliable sources.  Lastly, always read primary sources if possible, rather than summaries or recaps.

2.  Examine the data with as few preconceptions as possible, even if - especially if - the data disagrees with what you "know" to be true.  The most accurate information is useless if you won't read it, or if you hammer it until it fits the patterns you desire.

3.  Give the "other side" a fair hearing.  If you're a liberal, read conservative publications occasionally.  If you're a skeptic, at least hear the believers out.  Tuning out all disagreeing opinion is a guaranteed way to open that divide back up, as you are rejecting data that doesn't fit the way you want to see the world.  You may decide that the data gained from the opposition is garbage, but at least you looked at all sides of a question.

4.  If data seems correct, but doesn't make sense, you don't have all the facts.  Dig deeper.

5.  This is the hardest one.  If data is correct, but doesn't fit your world-view, change your worldview.  This isn't as obvious as it seems...People have an amazing ability to simply forget inconvenient data, or to change the subject/deflect from the subject when the facts don't come up the way they want.  For example, prove to a Teabagger that Obama isn't a Kenyan, and they'll say, yeah, but he's a closet Muslim.  Prove that he's a Christian, and they'll say, okay, but he's a socialist.  Point out that he's basically just Bush's third term, and they'll start demanding his birth certificate again.  Don't laugh too hard, though, because you do the same thing on other subjects.

Most people think they're already doing these things.  Most people are wrong.  Stop being wrong.  Opinion is nothing, only The Truth matters, because bad data will eventually get you killed.

Or Kill Me.
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
- Frank Zappa

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 04:56:09 pm »
But my world-view can't possibly be wrong. Can it? CAN IT?

Good one Rog.

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 05:05:14 pm »
Quote
Don't laugh too hard, though, because you do the same thing on other subjects.


This is an incredibly important thing to remember. 


Nice piece, Roger.
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The Good Reverend Roger

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 05:17:40 pm »
Quote
Don't laugh too hard, though, because you do the same thing on other subjects.


This is an incredibly important thing to remember. 


Nice piece, Roger.

Thanks.  We all do these things, to one degree or another, and nobody can ever completely close the divide.  The trick is to close it as much as possible, to operate on data that is as close to accurate as is obtainable.
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."
- Frank Zappa

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 05:29:29 pm »
 :mittens:

Brilliant as always, Roger.  :)

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2010, 09:17:05 pm »
I really like this. Don't have much to add other than that, and that it's making me look at my divide.
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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2010, 09:19:42 pm »
Nice work, TGRR.
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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2010, 09:28:54 pm »
I really like this piece.  Should be a flyer for anyone 15 and up!!

:mittens:

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2010, 10:09:23 pm »
Quote
Don't laugh too hard, though, because you do the same thing on other subjects.


This is an incredibly important thing to remember. 


Nice piece, Roger.

This is actually one of the most important reasons I read [pop psychology] books about manipulation/influence/social engineering/etc. Apart from the quick rush and glee of potential trickery power and shenanigans, what mindfucks me most is when I read the experiment description I think "nah I would never fall for that", then continue to the statistics and results, realize it was performed on people that are pretty much just like me, and have to admit, face the facts, as per Roger's point 5, that if 80-90 percent of people fall for such things, even if I were to be a statistical outlier, I may even be able to foil some of such tricks by simply knowing about them, it has to be so that I fall for at least a couple of the ones that I was certain I wouldn't fall for.

And only when that realization dawned on me, the full gravity of the whole situation became apparent :horrormirth:


(PS sorry for the convoluted run-on sentence, TV is on talking English nonsense at the room and it's fucking unbraining my language thingery)
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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 01:08:55 am »
I have a friend who I argue with a lot, and the root of it is the point of Roger's post.  Overvalued opinionating vs. seeking the truth regardless of what one wishes to be the truth.

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Re: Slow Time in Fat City™ #10: The Great Divide.
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 06:40:33 am »
I like this. At 1:35 AM it still all made perfectly clear sense to me, which I think is a sign of an effectively communicated idea.

5.  This is the hardest one.  If data is correct, but doesn't fit your world-view, change your worldview.  This isn't as obvious as it seems...People have an amazing ability to simply forget inconvenient data, or to change the subject/deflect from the subject when the facts don't come up the way they want.  For example, prove to a Teabagger that Obama isn't a Kenyan, and they'll say, yeah, but he's a closet Muslim.  Prove that he's a Christian, and they'll say, okay, but he's a socialist.  Point out that he's basically just Bush's third term, and they'll start demanding his birth certificate again.  Don't laugh too hard, though, because you do the same thing on other subjects.

And boy howdy, do they get mad when you point this out to them. :lol:


I'll try to keep this one in mind for a while. The most important point to remember may also be the hardest one: 'We all do this, even you. Yes you, the one who likes to point it out in other people for cheap yuks.'

I haven't done a great deal of introspective restructuring in quite a while. Might be time to see what needs fixing.