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, July 14, 2009

European Parliament Elects Former Polish Prime Minister as President – Insert Polish Jokes Here

Milestone for Eastern Europe: European Parliament Elects Former Polish Prime Minister as President - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News – International

Predictably, he’s all politician and says this gem:

“The biggest crisis1 that we must overcome2 is the crisis3 of the lack of trust4 from our citizens5,” he said. “Our citizens often do not understand us6 -- we must do everything to change this7.”


  1. Right off the bat we start off with the instinctive appeal point of all politicians, the appeal to fear. Everything is a crisis, so act now!
  2. “we” who? Who has to overcome? What are we overcoming? He has yet to state it yet, but he is setting us up for it…
  3. Yes, we’re being told twice that this is a crisis, once through inference and once directly. We must be stupid or he must be a politician.
  4. We the people not trusting you the politician is a crisis? To you politicians maybe.
  5. At least he got the word right and he even used the collective ownership implication through the word “our”. The force is strong with this one.
  6. And so we veer right off the road into the nether regions of stupid. We are being told through implication that the alleged crisis, this lack of trust in politicians by the citizenry, is a matter of us not understanding them. On the contrary, we don’t trust you because we understand you perfectly well.
  7. “We” who? You politicians? Us citizens?

Truly the EU has chosen a solid politician for this largely ceremonial and mostly irrelevant position at the head of the largely ceremonial and mostly irrelevant European Union. Unfortunately, that might be all he is.

Well to you. He’s the spitting image of my grandfather. So this is just sad for me.