Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Reading you 1 by 1, Roger that" by AHB

Humans can understand and in some cases even accept many things as truth after being shown evidence, this is due to our brains being complex and sophisticated enough to process abstract reasoning. One of the things Jackie has spoke of before in his blog is the unwillingness of individuals to challenge their own belief systems with new evidence, because the risk you run is your internal beliefs not being in sync with this new evidence. It's as though you invalidate your time spent under a delusion, and no one wants to think that perhaps, they were fucked up.

Turn on the TV, and you would swear the muslim world is actively seeking the destruction of the united states and it's allies, if that was your only source of information. You would swear that there are scores of people being mowed down in a hail of bullets in all manner of public places coast to coast. You would swear that Glen Beck, Shawn Hanity, CNN, the women of "The View", Oprah or whatever talking head barking at you had all the answers to all the questions you ever need bother asking.

A fundamentally rational person, one whom is mostly free from a preconceived model of the world that must match their own, quite literally drives themselves crazy wading through the static and the hypocrisy.

Put simply, it is like the matrix. How humans define their reality is through what we can touch, see, hear, feel, and manipulate... however it is only when we internalize and parse this information do we come to a conclusion.

If you hear a really loud noise come from outside your bedroom window in the middle of the night, there are perhaps thousands of possible explanations for this, however only one is the cause that led to the compression of air and the formation of soundwaves that penetrated that window and reached your ear. You look outside and you see a car smashed up against a telephone pole, it is reasonable to assume with a cursory glance the noise was caused by the collision of the car hitting the pole.

I submit to you, when the barking heads on TV attempt to tell you that it was infact swamp gas refracting off the glow of jupiter which created a meteor which in turn hit a distant telephone pole in a perfect arc and smashed into the ground perfectly inline atop another telephone pole and that the resulting air pressure created a vacuum that sucked the car into the newly installed perfectly aligned meteorically displaced telephone pole, that you be skeptical and do not take their bullshit on face value.

If you allow another human being to reliably form your conclusions for you without some evidence, you are using the intellect of a child. I implore you to search out the obscure and often more accurate and objective sources of news, different competing theories of what you believe, straight up contradictions of what you believe, and all the varying flavors in between. Just as you cannot adequately sustain your body on bacon and milkshakes everyday, your mind and it's ability to think for itself cannot be sustained by the same tired information everyday. A common business motivational motto is "What one great thing would you dare to dream if you knew you could not fail?"

 My answer to this has always been to dare to dream of never failing. I think a better and more thought provoking question is "What would you fail to achieve if you could not dare?" Non-cryptically I am asking; what would you accomplish if you did not try? Be careful, this one can actually backfire on you.

For instance, if you did not try to stop a fight between two people at a bar, and one of these combatants gets stabbed in the neck and dies. You may say you accomplished nothing, that indecision on your part was neutral and didn't affect the outcome, or you may say that you could have saved that guy who got stabbed in the neck, or you may also say that you could have gotten stabbed in the neck yourself, or you might have accomplished the greatest thing in the history of the species by not trying to stop the fight, because the guy who got killed jumped back up to his feet and woke up as The One.

This is a good example of the infinite rationalizations and explanations humans can conjure up. You can figure and fudge your way out of absolutely anything if you rationalize it long enough. How did life originate on earth? Can't fully explain it with science. Oh I know, must be the Creator, that wily ol bird. Why did you kill the milkman? "Cause he was looking at my wife with those horny eyes."

I am not claiming I have all the answers, far from it. At least I am still actively seeking them.

2 comments:

Silverfiddle said...

This was an interesting post, and I agree with it, but couldn't think of anything to say. Looks like no one else could either.

I think maybe you've given anyone of any point of view something to hang their hat on, so there's nothing to argue over.

In the end, we must all use the light of reason to evaluate the information presented to us. There are very few metaphysical certainties.

Anonymous said...

Oh just a rant I suppose. I really don't argue with people as much as I lead on.

However when I do argue, it gets old very quick when people either on the internet or face to face will straight up ignore a fact or logically congruent set of events.

For instance, people think the U.S. debt is 16.5 trillion or whatever... that's just the balance on the credit card bill. The true debt is really more like 88 trillion. The 7 trillion negative balance of social security falls into the "off the books" pending charges type debt.

So you can see how I get easily pissed off whenever people tell me we need to raise taxes... raise taxes to what end? Real cuts, real impacts right now, or the ship sinks.

Wiser men than I and more economically driven have estimated 2014-2015 the point of absolutely no return at current spending levels. So I guess we will see what we will see.