Enlightened Conflict

come to an entirely erroneous conclusion my dear Watson

June 9th, 2017

conclusion header facts truth

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“I had,” he said, “come to an entirely erroneous conclusion, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.”

 

Sherlock Holmes

<The Adventure of the Speckled Band>

 

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“When we get better understanding or the facts or evidence don’t agree with the theory we must change the theory and change course.””

 

Sherlock Holmes

 

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“… when you hear hoof beats behind you don’t expect a zebra.”

 

proverb

 

===================

 

So.

 

“I believe” may be two of the most dreaded word you can hear in today’s world.

i believe hand writingThose two words may be this century’s version of throwing down a gauntlet or challenging someone to a duel.

 

“I believe” has been bastardized in today’s world to actually mean “I know” <but people have convinced themselves if they soften it with ‘I believe’ people will think they are more open to listening and true discussion>.

 

Facts matter. And they matter a shitload not only with truth but in the battle between I know and I believe.

 

The problem is that while facts are facts … two facts can coexist in the pursuit of “I know.”

 

Shit.

The truth is that … well … truth , the unequivocal kind, is most likely borne of let’s say 8 facts <I made that number up> coexisting … which when arranged into a pattern make up an unequivocal truth.

 

This means unequivocal truth … or let’s call it good solid “I know” is made up of a puzzle of facts … not just one fact or even two.facts conclusion truth think

 

The practice of Truth is actually a profession of facts.

 

Using legalese for binding of contracts … by means of facts, truths are created and beliefs come into existence. Yet, in spite of all good intentions, the meanings of individual facts are not always clear and unequivocal. They may be capable of being understood in more ways than one, they may be doubtful or uncertain, and they may lend themselves to various interpretations by different individuals.

 

Following that thought … this means, when differences in understanding are not resolvable, divides in “beliefs” occur and dysfunction, in terms of lack of progress, occurs.

 

Once again, in legal terms, this is called “ambiguity.”

 

void delicious ambiguityParadoxically enough, the word ambiguity itself has more than one interpretation.

 

The general meaning has to do with how things are said, the words that are used, by someone and how those words are understood.

 

Ambiguity occurs where the two are not in alignment. The lack of alignment actually springs back upon the facts themselves in a vicious way — the fact itself comes into doubt.

 

Sigh.

 

But facts are facts. The problem isn’t about the fact but rather most truths are more complex than one fact. Unequivocal truth is grounded in … well … 8 facts <once again, I picked 8 out of the air but you get the point>.

 

This problem gets compounded by how people elect to actually use facts.

 

Using my 8 let me tell you what I mean. The expert, the most knowledgeable, array of facts truth findingwill stack up the 8 facts from top to bottom in order of priority … but all relevant to making and truth unequivocal.

 

 

 

Then we, the non-experts, get in the game.

 

Some of us use the highest priority fact … and that is all.

 

Some grab the facts we want in the order we want and create the truth we want.

 

Some may actually use the 8 but decided to prioritize them in a different order.

 

All are using facts. Most are using them improperly or in an incomplete way. And, inevitably, 90%+ end up with an “I believe” and not an “I know” stand.

 

I know. I know. We all wish truth could be easier and, in fact, many people flippantly suggest truth is simple <or simpler than we make it out to be>.

 

Here is what I know about that. Using the thought I used upfront in this piece “… when you hear hoof beats behind you don’t expect a zebra.”

Well.

An expert, maybe a horse trainer, could hear the hoof beats and tell you with 95% confidence the breed, the weight and the type of horse coming up behind you. The dreamer will suggest it could be a unicorn. The pragmatic will narrow it down to a horse, zebra, antelope or some 4 hoofed animal.

truth facts numbers understand question

Truth is less than simple and more in need of facts than we like to admit.

 

Yes.

 

The trouble with unequivocal truth is that it usually takes ‘one more step than you think’ to get there. Unfortunately, the truth about this is most of us don’t make it there.

 

We stop short.

And I tend to believe most of us know we are stopping short. We like the facts that we have but we, at the same time, know there are most likely some more out there that could be useful. We have 3 or 4 and decide the remaining 4 or 5 are just not that necessary. I guess we bank on the fact if we stop short we have at least grabbed the top 3 or 4 most important facts in an unequivocal truth.

 

Yikes.

 

Dangerous thought.normalizing behavior light matches flame fire danger

 

It’s dangerous in believing we have the most important ones of the ones we decided is enough but possibly even more dangerous is that we confuse an unequivocal truth for a simple “I believe” thought.

 

It is dangerous because “I believes” tend to reside in the negative space. Huh? If you only snag 4 of the 8 necessary facts the debate can never be resolved as the back & forth ends up in the blank spaces around the discussion. Truth is constructed more often by what was not found than what was found <look at what I didn’t point out versus what I did point out> – that is negative space truth.

Uhm.

That is not unequivocal truth.

 

In fact … it poisons the unequivocal truths in a misdirection of specious comparisons.

 

I would suggest that more of us should pay attention to negative space.

Why?

Negative space is usually indicative that a fact is missing. 99% of negative space can be filled with a fact <if only we looked hard enough for it>.

 

All that said.

 

Truth is the axis munid … the dead center of the earth.

 

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“the person who pretends to not see the truth is committing something much worse than a mortal sin, which can only ruin one’s soul – but instead committing us all to lifetimes of pain. The truth is not just something we bring to light to amuse ourselves; the truth is the axis munid, the dead center of the earth.

facts results truth conclude

When it’s out of place nothing is right; everyone is in the wrong place; no light can penetrate.

 

Happiness evades us and we spread pain and misery wherever we go.

Each person, above all others, has an obligation to recognize the truth and stand by it.”

 

—–

Jacque Silette

 

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I believe, no, I know the world would be a better place if more of us took that thought seriously. Because if we did than maybe we wouldn’t stop short of the unequivocal truth destination. Maybe we wouldn’t settle for an “I believe” thought and confuse it with a real “I know” thought. And maybe if we did there would be less discussion of alternative facts and more discussion about unequivocal truths on which we could center ourselves on.

 

“I had,” he said, “come to an entirely erroneous conclusion, my dear Watson, how dangerous it always is to reason from insufficient data.”

 

Geez.

 

If Sherlock Holmes says that sure as shit more of us should be saying it <and I conclusion tired of thinking ideadon’t think we are>.

 

 

Unequivocal truth exists.

 

They exist as surely as Santa Claus <yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus >.

 

We just have to want to get there and not be satisfied by stopping short and feeling good about the facts we gathered … short of the ones we need to reach unequivocal.  I don’t know that 8 facts create an unequivocal truth is the right formula but I sure as shit believe it is on the right path to getting there.

 

 

unpleasant way of saying the truth

July 30th, 2016

 cynicism unpleasant way of speaking truth

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“Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.”

 

—–

 

Lillian Hellman

 

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    “Truth itself is an emergent distinction.

It’s not a noun; it’s more of a verb.”

 

————

Peter Joseph

 

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“… tell them there’s a cost … every decision we make in life, there’s always a cost.”

 

Brad Meltzer

 

 

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truth nobody is right wrong life societyNobody’s right.

 

Nobody’s wrong.

 

Conversely … I imagine that means someone is always right … or is always wrong.

 

What a fucked up world that would be.

 

Uhm.

 

It sometimes seems like we are close to that world today. And if we are … well … there is always a cost.

 

The cost?

 

Right or wrong … any statement made … even when sensible and accurate from both a moral and leadership perspective … pays a price in the current societal climate. Statements get parsed word by word scrutinized & tortured to a point where someone will say anything to stop the pain.

 

I have stated before that it is a tough time for truth tellers.

 

The climate, to me, is becoming one of steadfast unequivocal semi-truths where someone refuses to admit truth is rarely simple and complexity is rarely viewed as something to be embraced … not to be discarded as ‘silly political correctness.’ The current information climate sometimes embraces a contrary opinion as a viable reason to not accept a majority expert analysis as an accepted truth.

 

I imagine what I am suggesting is that even truth is being challenged by a divisive society.

 

“Nobody is right and nobody is wrong. Only one thing is right, and that is the Truth, but nobody knows what it is. It is a thing that changes all the time, and then comes back to the same thing.”

Lin Yutang

 

Divisiveness not only makes truth an unpleasant discussion but makes communicating truth excruciatingly unpleasant.

 

Now.

 

This divisiveness can very easily, and actually DOES, lead to true ‘truth abuse.’gg cyber house divided

 

And just as with anything that gets abused or when someone decided to play by different rules … it can become quite tempting to start adopting others habits, attitudes & behaviors under the guise of ‘leveling the playing field.’

 

 

Some people’s abuse of truth is no excuse for all people to abandon the use of truth – overall or for one truth.

 

Here is a Life truth.

 

Truth does not reside on an uneven playing field. It resides on one field which is level and lined with uneraseable boundaries.

Sure.

There may be exceptions in which truth may reside close to the margins … exceptions where being righteous toward some meaningful ends permits truth to be placed right on the out of bounds line itself. But you will find the ‘truth abusers’ almost always argues that their particular truth fits within the margins.

 

Let’s be clear.

 

Everyone who disagrees with something you say or believe … is not stupid.

 

In fact … suggesting so, or even suggesting that agreement of opposing views <with a bigger vision in mind> is wrong shows lack of intellectual depth.

 

 

James A. Garfield:

“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”

 

 

But maybe the issue isn’t truth but the inability to be able to tell the difference between truth and fiction.

 

I can honestly say I am not sure if I am a cynic, a realist or simply a cynical optimist <hope undergirds just about anything I believe and do>.

divide offen right opinion speech

Now.

 

I clearly understand that there is often a fine line between that realism and cynicism just as I understand there is sometimes a fine line between contrarianism and … well … crackpotism.

 

But here is the deal <the truth as it were>.

 

I read somewhere ‘going thru life avoiding the truth is no way to live.’

Maybe no truer words said.

But what may be even worse? “going thru Life with no truth is no way to live.”

 

I struggle to think of a more unpleasant world than one in which we have no accepted truths.

 

Or a world in which we have no accepted truth tellers.

And by that last thought I mean the real truth tellers … the ones who do not appeal to one group or another … but rather the truth teller who can speak, speak even the unpleasant truths, and all audiences accept it.

 

All of that said leads me back to the opening quote in which cynicism and truth are inextricably linked.

 

Personally I believe a thread of cynicism is healthy. It grounds you enough to insure you don’t become infatuated by the lure of some fantastical untruth which may seem appealing … as well as it insure you put real truths to the grindstone of rigorous logic.

 

But if you accept this thought. This thought that we should all carry around a little cynicism. Well. that creates some challenges to a truth teller. It suggests that telling the truth will almost always have some aspect of unpleasantness.

 

I could argue that the unpleasantness is grounded in the necessary work it should take to rationalize & energize real truth … but … to someone telling the truth <a real truth> in their heart of hearts it kind of feels like it shouldn’t take that much work.

 

Look.

 

truth victim of tolerance unpleasant

 

We should not tell the truth only when truth is needed. We should tell the truths all the time. That is how truth wins over semi truths and made up truths and actual no truths.

 

And while truth tellers must try to get the truth across in a respectful way … they must also accept that truth, in general, almost always has a slightly unpleasant taste when fed to someone.

 

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“The choice to give up bitterness is not easy, but it is simple: peace or poison.

And don’t wait until you feel like making it. You never will.”

 

Brent Weeks

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Truth has never been an easy concept.

 

Some could even argue that people, in general, are quite happy with a robust portion of Truth being fairly malleable.

 

Regardless.

 

Despite the fact we often bemoan the fact that people are too accepting of what they hear and don’t utilize the internet to research their own beliefs … we can’t expect every individual to always fact-check, question and investigate every single statement or bit of information ever encountered.

 

People will always take some shortcuts and it is silly to think people will not.

 

In the good ole days the shortcuts were leaders, the authority and a range of experts. Nowadays that shortcut is … well … the wisdom of the crowd.’ If a sufficient number of information outlets, or people, confirm something … well … then many of us began to believe it was acceptable to believe it.

 

The downside of ‘wisdom of the crowd’ is that it comes at the expense of ‘the wisdom of the leader/expert.’

 

The ‘crowd wisdom’ seems to suggest that a sufficiently large crowd <of non-experts> can be at least as accurate as a small number of expert authorities. This all gets exacerbated by the fact social media has a natural ability to aggregate a subjectively “sufficient large crowd” to solidify a belief.

 

Obviously this faulty logic <crowds do not invariably gain wisdom but rather simply coalesce around a belief – whether that belief is truth or not>.

 

But crowds of likeminded people are like gravity. It feels like a natural law even if it is difficult to prove. And the outcome of this ‘natural law feeling’ is that it contributes to an unjustified, exaggerated distrust in experts who reside somewhere outside this particular crowd.

 

But here is where truth tellers really end up in a really unpleasant space.

 

In the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ no one contradicts me in good faith … any opponent to what I believe must be lying … anyone must have been corrupted by someone or something <therefore are corrupt in some way>… and they must be ‘a lesser version of me & my crowd’ <if not actually some version of a degenerate>.

 

Rereading all of that … well … truth is an unpleasant business.

 

And that is where cynicism comes back into the conversation. While a truth teller sees truth as good and positive they need to recognize that truth is more often going to be viewed as … well … bad news.

 

I say that because bad news is always unpleasant … and therefore a bearer of bad news always has to think about the unpleasant way of saying the truth.

 

Good truth tellers, the ones with a strong moral compass, recognize the presence of the inner cynic in everyone and the fact it is difficult to keep its influence from … well … influencing how one thinks & acts.

 

Good truth tellers, the ones with unequivocal integrity, recognize the crowd’s more hardened inner cynicism and the fact that whatever good news they bear will be bad news to the cynical.

truth people hate

Good truth tellers recognize it is not easy to tell the truth, in fact, it may even be unpleasant … and they take the extraordinary efforts necessary to address the inner cynicism from day one.

 

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“People are stupid.

They think the truth is so easy to know or tell.

All you can do is your best in the circumstances. “

—–

Comment in The Guardian

————

 

People are not stupid. I am fairly positive that all people really desire is truth.

And that is a fair desire.

 

But because truth is rarely simple … in addition … the world offers only fairly complex circumstances in which to tell the truth.

 

All this means is that for the foreseeable future … truth telling is going to be unpleasant.

 

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“Don’t trust the beginnings, truth is told in the last moments.”

 

===

Ahlam Mosteghanemi

 

—————

 

gullible and the death of subtlety

July 27th, 2016

 subtle obvious

 

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“Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.”

 

Malcolm X

 

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“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

 

 

Terry Pratchett

 

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Your mind is programmable – if you’re not programming your mind, someone else will program it for you.”

 

Jeremy Hammond

 

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“Some conversations are not about what they’re about.”

Anne Carson

 

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gullible charlotte's webWell.

 

I admit.

 

I get a little grumpy when people start bitching about how … well … people <but never them of course> are more gullible today than ever in the past.

 

Let me be absolutely clear on this.

 

I don’t think we are any more gullible than we were yesterday or the day<s> before.

 

Nor do I believe we are any stupider or more ignorant. In fact … I tend to believe most of us are owners of more information and knowledge than ever before <albeit it may be parts & pieces of information>.

 

Now.

 

I do believe we face a couple of things which maybe make people think we are more gullible.

 

  • A desire for more black and white

 

  • The loss of subtlety or nuance as a basic communication tool

 

First.

people black white color

The black and white thing.

 

People, in general, love the concept of things being black & white.

We want it, try and believe the important things are and tend to distrust things that cannot easily fall into a black or white box.

 

Well.

 

While we may want black & white truth and things to be black and white in Life … most things are best captured in subtlety and nuance.

 

Metaphorically … black & white are easily missed but colors capture the eye.

 

 

Second.

 

Subtlety and nuance.

 

Well.

 

Seeing that I just used a metaphor to end point one … well … the engine that drives effective subtlety and nuance is the ability to use metaphors effectively.

 

As a corollary … the ability to understand an effectively communicated metaphor … well … this ‘listener access point’ is a necessary ability to insure subtlety and nuance can thrive.

 

In other words.

 

Subtlety and nuance needs both an effective deliverer and an effective receiver.

Someone needs to be able to paint in colors and someone needs to not be color blind.

 

Along those lines … literalness is black & white.

 

grays black and whiteAnd it seems like nuance and creativity in communicating is being destroyed by literalness <note: not political correctness>.

We just seem to bludgeon each other with sentences stripped of adjectives and any glimmer of color.

 

And in that literalness we end up being a warped version of gullible.

 

I say all that because far too often ‘gullible’ is associated with ‘not intelligent.’

 

That is not so. In today’s world gullible is being driven by the death of subtlety, nuance and metaphorical speak.

 

And the savvy communicators in the world recognize this and therefore revert to simple bludgeoning words & thoughts.

 

Worse?

 

They simply bludgeon us with simplicity. Or, well, at least what they construe as simplicity but as it comes to life in its hideously insipid quasi-truthful simplistic form it does more damage in its effect than if you had said nothing at all.

 

This all suggests that it may appear like being gullible is running rampant amongst us all … and, yet, we may simply being managed by those who know how to effectively articulate what they want to say <which may not be truth>?

 

The most effective tactic a literal communicator uses is by discussing ‘knowledge’ by fitting an explanation after an event … uhm … which is actually kind of easy.

In addition it makes it easy to literally bludgeon others to such a point it appears … well … simple.

 

All the while is the ignored nuance of knowledge … is the past really a predictor of the future?

 <answer: no>

 

In addition the simplicity can often be doubled down on with impassioned rhetoric. And that impassioned rhetoric doesn’t cut through truth like a sharp knife … it smothers it.

 

I do worry about the simplicity rhetoric out there.

 

And I worry because I know nothing about … well … a lot of shit <to put it bluntly> and I suspect most things are quite complicated … not simple.

 

I worry that literalness ignores the nuances which dictate the truth.

 

I worry because literalness is certainly easier to grasp by people. And I worry if they grasp a literal untruth and believe it … well … it becomes a perverted moral drift society truthtruth.

 

================

 

“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you, and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying, and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you, and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting, and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”

 

——

 

Bill Bernbach

====================

 

 

Look.

 

Savvy communicators have always been … well … savvy … savvy at manipulating not only our thoughts but also how we feel. They tap into our pea like brains like surgeons. And they do so using tools of both literalness and nuance/subtlety. In fact .. the best wield one in each hand.

 

Now.

 

There are a certainly a variety of tried & true ways we get manipulated/managed by speakers <this list represents a Great Courses course on persuasive speaking>:

 

Show the obstacle and overcome it

 

Empathetic authenticity <I see myself in them>

 

Create and tell a Story

 

the Power of the ‘three‘ <we LOVE lists … and short doable & rememberable lists>

 

the Logical Case

 

Paint a Pictures <with words>

 

Share a vision

 

appeal to the head, heart & wallet

 

Inspire with a Call for positive action

 

 

nuance litte thingsSuffice it to say that managing the narrative matters and how you state the narrative matters. And more often than not how we communicate, when being effective in doing so, sends subtle signals.

 

Yes. Nuances matter.

 

All literalness does is permit we <the listener> to add our nuanced beliefs on top of the starkness and that translates into a stronger self-biased attitude.

 

I am not suggesting literalness be replaced by bullshit buzzwords and cool sounding strategies but rather that facts are supported by subtle and nuanced aspects to reflect the most important truth – facts are complex.

 

I could argue that subtlety and nuance represents the difference between true effective sustainable functioning structures and inefficient unsustainable nonfunctioning structures.

 

But I will not.

 

I will not because the real answer is that … well … we don’t know for sure.

 

But what we do know is that effective communication is the lifeblood of any healthy work & personal environment.

 

We also know that communication takes place on multiple levels in order to be truly effective – literally what we say as well as how we say those things.

 

We also know that emotion is the energy behind any true action. Without emotion action is … well … robotic at its core. In other words … it creates a task doing and checklist completion attitude.

 

Uh oh.

 

Task doing and completion attitude unfortunately feeds into a ‘gullible’ perspective , i.e., just doing what I was told.

Now.

That may not be true … but it certainly creates that perspective.

 

Look.

 

I absolutely do not believe we are anymore gullible today than we were yesterday.

 

I do believe one of the most unfortunate consequences of information accessibility <in its overwhelming way> is that literalness has taken on a significant importance in our heads <and, therefore, it affects our behavior>.

 

I also like to remind people that we suck at knowing what we want.

 

In an information accessible world we say we want black & white … but we really don’t. We crave subtlety & nuance and colors. We just desire it in a way that doesn’t make us work too hard.

 

And, frankly, that is no different today than it was yesterday and nor will it be any different in the future.

 

Give us something we can understand and enjoy … give us the literal truth in a story line in which we can embrace … give the black & white some nuanced rich & royal hues … and well … you have trapped my mind emotionally and logically.worth a try show for it life

 

That, my friends, does not reflect gullible in any way. That reflects a well-informed, engaged semi-enlightened population.

 

Subtlety is surely not dead. And we should be seeking to use it more often … or at least try.

 

Literalness may be currently standing in the spotlight but subtlety & nuance is standing nearby awaiting literalness to wilt under the harsh light of … well … what is truth.

 

===========

 

“Once you create a self-justifying storyline, your emotional entrapment within it quadruples.”

 

Pema Chödrön

easiest lies

October 5th, 2015

lies we tell lots

==

“The easiest lies to tell are the ones you want to be true.”

Holly Black

==

“People would far rather be handed an easy lie than search for a difficult truth, especially if it suits their own purposes.”

Joe Abercrombie

==

 

 

Well.

 

 

believe nothing chalkboardI honestly don’t think most of us purposefully lie.

 

I tend to believe we just tell what we want to be true purposefully.

 

 

 

Ok.

 

Maybe try this.

 

 

We tell what we know as the truth.
 

In other words … <the formula>: what we know = truth.

 

 

I assume everyone reading this immediately recognizes the issue, i.e., what we know is simply a question of point in time in that I can know more, or less if someone disproves something we thought we knew, tomorrow.

 

 

Making it even more difficult is the fact that everyone likes to think that they are fairly honest and candid.

 

Basically … people often misperceive their own deceptive behavior <it is truth in their heads so they are simply being candid with what they know>.

 

 

Let me compound the issue even more by pointing out that where I began <my belief most people don’t lie purposefully> by saying that a lot of research reflects that lying comes very easy for many people.

 

 

Even worse?

 

Not only is lying fairly common but most people are so good at it we can’t tell they are lying.

 

Yup.

 

 

Despite all those fancy books at the bookstore telling you how you can tell when someone is being evasive or lying … well … for the most part you cannot.

 

 

This means that lying is easy … because there is no accurate way of telling when people are being honest or not.

 

 

Research has actually shown that people do not consistently give off the same nonverbal cues when lying.

 

Sorry.

 

There is no fool proof way to tell when someone is lying.

 

<in one study scientists found that there was no pattern of eye movement that predicted lying and in another study people were actually specifically asked to look for signs of lying among interviewees – and half were actually coached on possible cues – and the trained & the untrained fared exactly the same at lie detection>

 

 

For sure … research suggests that it is not possible to detect lies based on eye movement and, in general, it is hit or miss whether you can assess lying based on any cues.

 

 

This means that most of the lies people tell people never get discovered. In fact, it is estimated that people get away with well over 95% all of the lies they tell.

 

 

Why are people so good at lying?

 

 

Evidence suggests that lying is a natural skill which people learn to do very early in life. Starting at about age 3 it is pretty normal for kids to lie to get out of trouble. And the same studies show that by the time kids reach age 5 lying to avoid punishment almost becomes the norm <or at least … extremely common>.

 

 

And here is the scary part … studies show that parents cannot accurately tell when their youngest children are lying.

 

 

Yikes.

 

While we adults think we are good at spotting lies and liars … the reality is … well … it is more difficult to do than we think. Suffice it to say … our shitty ‘lie spotting skills’ carry over into adulthood and everyone else we meet.

 

 

But purposeful lying isn’t really my point today.

 

 

The point is we tell lies about thing we want to be true. Maybe we have only assimilated some information and are comfortable it was enough to create some ‘truth’ in our heads. Maybe we just took an idea or thought that matched up with what we already kinda thought … or maybe we just assumed it as truth under the guise of ‘seems like common sense.’

 

 

And the reason I included all the crap about how good we are at lying is because I tend to believe that the majority of us are smart enough to know what we speak as ‘truth’ we have only done some cursory due diligence in creating this ‘truth’ in our heads … and yet we speak it as if it were an unequivocal non debatable truth.

 
In other words … it is easy for us to speak the part we truly believe to be true and easy for us to speak the ‘fluff’ aspect as truth.

 

 

Here is what I really know.

 

Truth is often really difficult to find let alone discern.

 

Lies don’t have to be truly evil … they can simply be communication of people want liesunenlightened thought <shit we just store up and assume is truth without questioning too much>.

 

And lies are significantly more palatable to a listener if they suit a general purpose.

 

 

Suffice it to say … lies are really easy to tell <consciously or unconsciously>. And it is really hard to NOT accept what we know <at the moment> as anything other than truth.

 

 

Whew.

 

Truth seeking is a full time job.

faith and truth

November 25th, 2014

smashing rear view mirror

——-

“All Faith is false, all Faith is true.

Truth is the shattered mirror strewn in myriad bits; while each believes his little bit the whole to own.”

=

Sir Richard Burton

=

=

“Beware of the man of one book.”

 

St. Thomas Aquinas

——-

 

 

So.

 

 

When you have so much faith in something … inevitably … you will find truth among some scattered shards of a mirror somewhere on the floor. You will pick up one piece … see yourself as whole in that piece … and declare truth has been found.

 

To be clear … most of us do not gather the shards and put together ‘truth’ … we simply look into one shard and believe this little bit is the whole truth.

 

That said … you would tend to believe that of someone could come along and actually gather facts and build a mirror for us to look in we could actually get closer to real truth.

 

That is actually where I believe scientists and academia tend to shine. They are experts at evaluating shards and putting them together into some form of a cohesive mirror.

 

Unfortunately … I also believe that facts wrapped in academic writing can change nothing.

Absolutely nothing.

facts faulkner

Their facts may be real … but rarely can trigger a revolution in thinking nor create a real change.

 

Why?

Shards.

Shards my friends.

 

We people are really good at smashing mirrors.

It could be the smartest, most insightful, well thought out ornately bordered mirror you have ever seen … and we will do our best to break it.

 

It is the almost unfortunate side effect of the World Wide Web. Information can be effortlessly accessed, read and understood. Uhm. Let me rather say … shards can be effortlessly accessed.

 

And the byproduct of all that access is we can very easily conclude that pure facts are elusive.

 

In fact … ‘facts’ are now effectively by a sometimes elaborate and pointed propaganda machine and sometimes simply by the loud and the few.

 

And then we end up simply talking about inflated, exaggerated and twisted ‘facts’ when all we are doing is staring at ourselves in some random shard we picked up from the floor.

 

These are the twisted facts which are repeated thousands of times, over and over again, until ultimately they become some absurd globally accepted truth.

 

And they are just one small fucking shard of the mirror.

 

Look.

 

I admit. Truth is not easy. In fact. It is much much easier to doubt than to believe.truth struggle for process

——-

“The Truth may be puzzling.

It may take some work to grapple with.

It may be counterintuitive.

It may contradict deeply held prejudices.

It may not be consonant with what we desperately want to be true.

 

But our preferences do not determine what’s true.”

 

=

 

Carl Sagan

 

I believe it is easier to doubt because … well … we like a mirror which reflects our own opinions and preferences. And we like to have a shard in hand that expresses some factoid truth in which we see a little bit of ourselves. It makes us feel better.

 

That is a … well .. uncomfortable truth.

 

Because if truth is puzzling and counterintuitive … it should, and does, make a piece of us uncomfortable.

And we fight it.

 

And we fight it by simply going out and finding some shard that reflects something that … well … makes us feel more comfortable about ourselves. All the while discarding shards that don’t show us what we want to see.

 

Wow.

 

That is a paradox.

Truth often makes us feel uncomfortable. And, yet, people seek comfort.

 

How the fuck can truth ever win?

 

truth exists lies inventedWe seem far to ready to accept re-invented and re-conditioned ‘facts.’

And we do this even though we also tend to understand that whoever is spreading them has a clear interest in perverting the truth through maybe a corporate vision or some higher order selfish perspective.

 

Let’s face it.

Truth seeking takes courage, faith & character

“A man of courage is also full of faith.”

=

Marcus Tullius Cicero

 

Uhm.

Yeah.

I included faith.

 

But “Faith” in this case has nothing to do with religion.

Faith in this case is all about “self.”

 

Faith in oneself.

A belief in oneself.

Self actualization.  Self esteem.

 

Strength of Character.

 

 

Simply strength, or faith, in self.

 

I say this because it takes courage and faith to put the shard down and seek the full mirror.

 

It takes courage to looking in that mirror and … well … not see yourself … but instead simply see truth.

 

It takes some courage to  recognize that more often than not … the shard, most often presented by some self-interested apparatus, range from being inflated semi-truths  to being absolute lies.

 

 

 

“…when two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them.

It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.”

 

=

Richard Dawkins

 

Truth is not easy.

 

And the whole thing about shards is it is … well … easier for us.try again hurt

Most of us don’t really want to be mirror makers.

 

But it would help if most of us would sit back and understand that … and accept that.

Because if I admit that I am not a mirror maker than I should be putting the fucking shard down that I have in my hand and start looking for the best mirror maker in town <or the global village>.

 

Scientists are typically excellent mirror makers.

Academicians are mostly excellent mirror makers.

 

And there are other truly smart people out there in the universe who are also good mirror makers.

 

You just got to find them.

 

It is not easy.

And it is much more difficult because these are the ones, the good people,  who disdain shards. They embrace the whole. And they get somewhat frustrated when people want to hold up a shard and say ‘look here.’

< McTague about truth seekers: http://brucemctague.com/truth-becomes-a-revolutionary-act >

 

 

To me.

Truth people … the really good ones … hold up complex mirrors without simple answers. Because truth is rarely simple and most often never found in a shard.

 

 

We are swimming in an ocean of shards of truth. All of us. Everyone can swim and we all have an ocean in our front porch. That is called the ‘world wide intergalactic web.’

“What a culture we live in.

We are swimming in an ocean of information, and drowning in ignorance.”

 

=

Richard Paul Evans

And while I hesitate to say we remain ignorant I would say we remain far too content coming out of the ocean proudly holding our one shard. That one shard which, to the one, hold as a whole.

 

Anyway.

In the end.

seek_truth

Seek mirrors, not shards.

Seek mirror makers, not those who hold one piece and say look in this mirror.

 

Understand that truth is not easy. It doesn’t typically come in one easy recognizable piece.

Truth is the shattered mirror strewn in myriad bits.

 

Regardless.

Seek truth.

====

++++

Me?

I want to be a Truth Seeker. I hope one day to attain that status: http://brucemctague.com/seekers-of-truth  >

Enlightened Conflict