Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Friday, June 22, 2007

In a recent /. article...

...there was a reference to an article and the reference was called:

Subpoenas Issued Over NSA Warrantless Wiretapping


and so I respond:

It's this simple... despite the idea often held by some cultures that corruption proceeds from the top down, it is rather the other way around. The people themselves are inherently corrupt and weak. They don't want to take responsibility for themselves, they don't want to take the blame for anything that goes wrong in their lives, don't want to acknowledge their fallibility. Yet deep down, they would have to be positively not human to not know and accept all of the above, but it terrifies them. So they bide their time keeping busy until something comes along to absolve them of all that and make them feel better.

While in past times these were some other ethnic group, some other nation, the devil, etc. we have today the modern political system. Someone else has wronged you, someone else got what should have been yours, you and yours have been held back by they and theirs. All these things are open to interpretation convenient to the subject audience to which the political/avaricious/power-hungry/self-deluded are preaching. They dress up with fun-house mirror magnifications of real issues mixed with non-sequitr reasoning and provide them to the people with the dual benefits to the seller of giving the audience the needed scapegoat du jour to avoid dealing with their fallibility and culpability, as well as providing an ultimately open-ended and thus never reachable hopeful land of opportunity to permanently right all of these probably non-existent wrongs against them.

We the people let this kind of thing happen because we the people buy into this kind of thing. They aren't selling us anything we didn't buy from them. If we didn't buy it, they'd have sold us something else, probably equally odious in the end whether or not it was as obvious as this or not.

While our collective modern intellectual and psychological exhaustion with trying to make sense of our truly warped world and the people who made it and the horrors of what that says about us may not always work well and probably will not, we can at least thankfully point to that and say it is thanks to this we have the modern sense of cynicism that gives us a chance to grab the reigns solidly, and pull back from disaster. Our collective history shows we won't, but perhaps a self-derived deceptive and deluded false hope is better than one sold to us by someone else. At least when it all falls apart, we can blame it on a conspiracy of one, headed by the person staring back at us in the mirror.

We have met the enemy, and probably wondered if we needed a shave when we looked at them.

Astronomy Picture of the Day