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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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Hamas official condemning Holocaust denial?

Hamas minister condemns Shoah denial | Jerusalem Post

I am going to be optimistic here and say that this is a good sign from G-d. A Hamas official of all people. Granted, it's not the same as the Iranian president's head suddenly clearing, but it is a very positive thing. I am not saying Hamas is suddenly developing a conscience much less common sense, but it is a startling thing nevertheless.

Important quote near the end:

He further stated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was not a "religious" one between Muslims and Jews in Palestine or anywhere else, but rather that it was "of a purely political nature - it is between a people who have come under occupation and an oppressive occupying power.

This is one of the things that a lot of people fail to see. It needs to be repeated. The Palestinians do not see themselves as Johnny-come-latelies but as having every bit the right to live there as anyone else no matter what Jewish religious dogma says. For them it isn't about being Muslim, but being people whose parents and grandparents and so forth lived there.

This is exactly the reason people insist on rebuilding in flood plains or in New Orleans despite rational knowledge of what can happen if nature up and gets ornery.

The tendency of humans to call a given place home is a very very strong one. If we all had to move to another planet because this one was dying, and our descendants came back a hundred generations later and were told of what that dead rock had once been, they'd feel about like Zionists do when considering aliyah. They'd want to go back and make it home again.

I think that if Muslims can have Saudi Arabia, Jews should get Israel. There's a Vatican City for Catholics and let's face it, Salt Lake City is very nearly a Mormon owned enclave. Religious states exist and there is no getting around it.

Maybe if each side can become slowly infected with a little sympathy for the other, just a little at a time, and the infection of conscience spread, we can avoid disaster and nip the problem people like Iran's prez before they get out of hand.

Remember, Hitler was nothing without his inner circle. His inner circle was nothing without their goons. Their goons were nothing without the street punks. The street punks were nothing without the masses. If the leaders can't get peace achieved, then we the people at large need to at least keep those leaders from dragging us into war. We need to stop and say no, I'm not gonna hate today.

This shows that some basic recognition of wrong and right is definitely in Hamas. There's a possibility of exploiting this and making something positive here. But we need to understand what he said in that quote. The anger over that perception, and the anger over the world's ignorance of their position, is what leaves them open to extremist manipulation by Syria and Iran and their puppets.

I think one of the puppets' strings just broke.