Why are smart people fooled

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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby CitronBleu on July 29th, 2016, 9:10 am

Hi Seneca,

I am not sure I understand your argument ; this is you arguing your case to a sceptic ?

Could you please reformulate your statement ?

From my experience, the most effective argument to raise eyebrows is the legal channel : point out the prevailing hypocrisy in regard to judicial proceedings as they relate to terrorist crimes.

Emphasise these events are not solely acts (deeds, or something that has occurred), as portrayed by information media, but criminal acts and admonish your interlocutor to ask himself or herself if he or she considers terror acts crimes.

Your interlocutor will likely agree.

Now that your interlocutor has recognised the true nature of terrorist crimes, turn his or her attention to the topic and role of eyewitnesses in criminal cases, and enquire your interlocutor to offer his or her opinion on whether he or she believes in the necessity of establishing testimonial evidence in criminal cases.

Your interlocutor has now experienced a thought.

et voilà.
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby Seneca on July 29th, 2016, 10:19 am

CitronBleu » 29 Jul 2016, 10:10 wrote:Hi Seneca,

I am not sure I understand your argument ; this is you arguing your case to a sceptic ?

Could you please reformulate your statement ?

Thanks CitronBleu, I have reformulated it. It is an argument I consider using in arguing my case to smart people that are being fooled by the media. It acknowledges the outrage they feel toward the people they consider terrorists. I hope this would make it less likely that they would focus their outrage on you.


"OK, I admit that because of my critical attitude regarding the media, there is a chance that when a real terrorist attack happens I wouldn't believe it. But that would still not be a bad thing. The victims of terrorism and their families are not helped by our belief in them. Disbelieving the terrorist attack wouldn't be a bad thing because by disbelieving the terrorist's actions you take away their power, and you thwart their objectives in a direct way. By trying to convince others it is real you are actually helping the terrorists. "

Maybe other people can improve on this.
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby TheRideNeverEnds on July 29th, 2016, 9:56 pm

I don't think even the most perfect argument would prevent people from getting unreasonably angry with you at first. This is a matter of emotions getting in the way of someone's capacity to think rationally, not a matter of having insufficient evidence or presenting a weak argument. But these emotional outbursts don't last forever. If your skin is thick enough, you might get a chance to reason with them after they've calmed down. I was able to convince both my friends and my parents to watch September Clues this way. It didn't change their worldview much as far as I'm aware, but it was still convincing enough for them that they took back their words and apologized for calling me crazy. I'm glad I had these discussions with them in the end, but they were stressful as fuck and it took all my strength to stay calm.

My advice would be to not get into discussions like these with anyone you don't care a great deal about.
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby thisisunreal on April 29th, 2018, 9:41 am

I’m going to have a stab at this one.

Smart people are enmeshed more than the average man with wild expectations foisted upon them from the cradle. To what financial or social benefit would be calling out lies and deceit serve? Adults already know in their deep subconscious that they are ruled by forces they cannot name or even point to. What parent would encourage their child to pursue truth over financial security, independence and acceptance?

Societally, it takes twenty five years to start to see the deceit, by which time you are already launching yourself into the world. If it takes you longer, then nobody listens to the disillusioned old fool anyway. Only the wildly ‘successful’ are hoisted up and positioned for the delectation of the masses as beautiful, empty headed distractions. The chief revealers and concealers of Hollywood, the Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon types.

We live under an encompassing propaganda dome from birth, much like Truman Burbank. We cannot see the edges for the lying landscape is so wide. The sleights of hand are spun into great works of historical fact. The mechanism whose role by design it is to make palatable the deleterious self serving choices of our owners. It would be madness to question the official facts. Hundreds of historical books all in agreement, written by the best ivory towered Ox-bridge scholars in receipt of the same military ‘intelligence’, all plagiarizing each other until their conclusions come full circle. Stepping out from the official narrative is like the antelope stepping out form the herd on the Serengeti. Devoured or destroyed like the Finkelstein's or Bacques of this world who serve as a warning.

Being a member of society keeps people busy, tired and having kids whose needs and wants are infinite, fuelled by greedy opportunistic advertisers who own the news and TV on which we are weaned. Credit is offered to those ‘respectable’ types to guarantee mental and financial acquiescence. If ‘lucky’, you become eligible for that lifetime manacle, a mortgage.

People's natural common decency, hope and optimism ensnares us. We want to believe the improbable to the impossible, from Lance Armstrong's cancer come back to Bill Clinton on Monica Lewinsky. The propaganda and deceit comes at us like a juggernaut. Images enhanced by captions, soundbites and narration that are all broken down into infantile concepts of good and bad. It’s easy to align ourselves in the West as brave Cowboys battling savage Indians (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, drug lords, Mujaheddin, Al Qaeda, Taliban fighters, freedom haters, communists, axis of evil countries, foreign enemies, those who harbour terrorists, those who oppose us, etc etc). Launch a drone strike and hit a wedding. No problem. Probably the families of terrorists anyway.

Propaganda is so well made because we view it through the TV which is the ultimate feedback loop, infinitely researched and analysed to ensure the shows are as ‘sticky’ as possible. Then there’s rolling news with jazzy spinning hypnotic introductions. Enjoy your favourite exorbitantly paid newsreader who long ago became a trusted member of the family joining you for dinner via your TV set. They wouldn’t lie. £150,000 a year to deliver a series of facts that could be read for free like the speaking clock.

Propaganda is not discussed in modern times for the simple reason that it ended with the end of WW2. This is the modern informed belief. ‘What propaganda’? ‘What lies’?

Sometimes a truth discovered is too painful to confront and so we bury it back at the bottom of the mental garbage can, along with all the other putrid horrifying painful stuff and dissonance. Bury it and focus on self preservation. We are humans and we must keep moving forward.

It is painful for people to rethink and re-assess what they know. Knowledge and beliefs are held closely, personally, like a religious belief. These beliefs become hardened with age, like sclerosis. Prideful older males are pained to admit error. Imagine the mental anguish of a scholar who has to revise their lifetime work after seeing they were fooled. Perhaps easier not to acknowledge it.

Western propaganda makes us feel good. We paint ourselves as exceptional, which allows us to see our past and current conflicts as righteous and noble. We are allowed us to lash out with great vengeance and fury or shock and awe against anybody. Perhaps we are the terror? Perhaps its easier not to acknowledge it.

Propaganda is smart. It has release valves and knows when to open the box gently to let out a grotesque lie from the past, albeit now irrelevant. So we receive truth from the past in the present, but we never connect the dots to see we are all propagandized and terrorized mentally equally in every generation. We never spot the current lies because they are simply too enormous and to well woven into the fabric.

Despite one man having enough cash clout to push the pound out of the ERM. Despite the 4k, 32MP, HD generation of cameras, breaking news is still presented in 240p quality. Despite the War on Terror and Drugs rumbling on for decades without achieving a single aim. Despite the USA ‘earning’ twenty five percent of global GDP. Despite all of the evidence and questions, you never hear even a mutter about the possibility that this is all theater.

Some do make a foray into truth and they find incredible things, such as the solid basis in academia of propaganda, lies and deceit (Manufacturing Consent). The manual written by arguably one of the most important thinkers alive today, Noam Chomsky. How mind crushing of spirit then to later discover the writer who delivered this great truth exhibits the behaviour from time to time of ‘controlled opposition’.

You simply throw in the towel and come back into the fold. The mechanism has worked. You are now more lost than before as you stand confused straddling the two camps.

Smart people don’t stand a chance.
Last edited by thisisunreal on April 29th, 2018, 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby simonshack on April 29th, 2018, 5:42 pm

thisisunreal wrote:It is painful for people to rethink and re-assess what they know. Knowledge and beliefs are held closely, personally, like a religious belief. These beliefs become hardened with age, like sclerosis. Prideful older males are pained to admit error. Imagine the mental anguish of a scholar who has to revise their lifetime work after seeing they were fooled. Perhaps easier not to acknowledge it.

So true, dear thisisunreal, so true. I guess it's part of 'human nature' - but I could be wrong: nature has probably nothing to do with it. -_-
Am enjoying your thoughtful and pungent essays of late, keep them coming.
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby PianoRacer on April 30th, 2018, 12:33 am

Stepping out from the official narrative is like the antelope stepping out form the herd on the Serengeti. Devoured or destroyed like the Finkelstein's or Bacques of this world who serve as a warning.


Your analogy is apt, but to say that either Finkelstein or Bacques were "devoured or destroyed" like the antelope on the Serengeti you refer to is inappropriate. A better reference would be Socrates, who was allegedly forced to commit suicide via consuming hemlock for "corrupting the youth", or Bruno, who was allegedly burned at the stake for proposing a "heretical" alternative cosmology. We should all be grateful that Simon need not fear such retribution for his "heretical" ideas!

It's worth noting that these two somewhat similar events are separated by approximately two millennia, according to (somewhat dubious) official historical consensus. Plenty of time for "survival of the fittest" to exercise its inexorable influence.

The referenced antelope consistently maintain their herd formation because historically, the antelope who strayed for whatever reason, were indeed literally "devoured or destroyed" before they were able to pass their herd-departing genes on to future generations. This is an important point to understand why humans, like antelope, are very hesitant to "step out from the herd".

Subconscious genetic programming will almost always trump empirical, logical reasoning. This fact must not be ignored when one is attempting to understand "Why smart people are fooled", the subject of this thread.

More pontificating on this important topic here: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=1988
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby thisisunreal on May 6th, 2018, 8:15 pm

Pianoracer,

Your analogy is apt, but to say that either Finkelstein or Bacques were "devoured or destroyed" like the antelope on the Serengeti you refer to is inappropriate.


Thanks for your feedback. I followed your train of thought and references and a very enjoyable read indeed. Perhaps as you say the reference to 'destruction' was a bit strong. For sure there is no destruction in the classical sense. My use of destruction was more a modern one. An individuals lifeblood could be said to be economic. What I mean is... if you take away the income of a person......if you take away the tools of a man to feed his family.... it is not long before they start to struggle. For Professor Norman Finkelstein this is what has happened along with a total degradation of his reputation to the point he is unable to find gainful employ anywhere thanks to very powerful lobbying interests acting against his academic position. To his credit, it seems he is more worried about his reputation than income. To support this, let me quote a part of an email I received from him last year.

"It's not been an easy life.
I've been unemployed for fully ten years.
Often I pity my fate.
But in my more sober moments, I know for sure that, if given the chance, I wouldn't do anything differently.
The bottom line is, I'm not for sale.
Die Gedanken sind frei.
Best, Norm Finkelstein"




SimonShack wrote:So true, dear thisisunreal, so true. I guess it's part of 'human nature' - but I could be wrong: nature has probably nothing to do with it. -_-
Am enjoying your thoughtful and pungent essays of late, keep them coming.


Thanks Simon for the feedback. It is appreciated indeed. Your comment on nature of humans made me think back to the book, American Holocaust (David E. Stannard), which tells a more accurate tale than the romantic notion of daring do and heroic epic sailing. The behaviour of the Islanders and the Europeans is a poignant juxtaposition of how differently the same humans can behave! Why is there such a difference?

Allow me to quote a little of Columbus's edenic imagery,

"The people of the island and all of the other islands which I have found and seen, or have not seen, all go naked, men and women, as their mothers bore them, except that some women cover one place only with the leaf of a plant or with a net of cotton which they make for that purpose. They have no iron or steel or weapons, nor are they capable of using them, although they are well built people of handsome stature, because they are wondrous timid.

....[T]hey are so artless and free with all they possess, that no one would believe it without having seen it. Of anything they have, if you ask them for it, they would never say no; rather they invite the person to share it, and show as much love as if they were giving with their hearts; and whether the thing be of value value or of small price, at once they are content with whatever little thing, of whatever kind maybe given to them".
(pp. 63)

So.....how was this generosity and spirit met?

"Where ever the marauding, diseased and heavily armed Spanish forces went out on patrol, accompanied by ferocious armored dogs, that had been trained to kill, disembowel, they preyed on local communities, already plague-enfeebled-forcing them to supply food and women and slaves, and whatever else the soldiers might desire. At virtually every previous landing on this trip, Columbus's troops had gone ashore and killed indiscriminately, as though for sport, whatever animals and birds and natives they encountered". (pp. 69)

How does Stannard summarise this conveniently forgotten aspect of history...?

"The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world"

I find it fascinating that even at that early stage, humans could be so entirely different in spirit and behaviour. Stannard alludes earlier in his book to why this might be so, though I would imagine you can guess. Why were they there in the first place? What were they looking for?

From a personal standpoint, from my own experiences having travelled around the world, I can almost see a correlation between the happiness and satisfaction of those who have and those who haven't. That correlation is counter-intuitive and I don't know why those with less (on a societal or country level) seem to be on average, on balance, happier!
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby Flabbergasted on May 7th, 2018, 12:28 pm

thisisunreal wrote:From a personal standpoint, from my own experiences having travelled around the world, I can almost see a correlation between the happiness and satisfaction of those who have and those who haven't. That correlation is counter-intuitive and I don't know why those with less (on a societal or country level) seem to be on average, on balance, happier!

Very interesting observations. I would have several comments, but for now I will make just one:

I shake my head every time the outcome of UN´s regular happiness or "quality of life" survey gets published. Countries like Norway, Canada and Switzerland often rank among the first five, but when you congratulate Norwegians and Canadians on their enviable position many break out in laughter.

In fact, there is another survey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index) in which most of the ten top countries are located in the Caribbean Basin, despite higher levels of poverty, and some of the "G7" countries get ranked around 40 or 50.

Measuring happiness is a silly proposition, of course, but it stirs something in us, like a challenge. What is the best proxy for something so qualitative and subjective, but somehow expressed collectively?

A crazy idea which occurred to me: Set up cameras on busy streets in hundreds of towns and marketplaces around the world and let them take a picture every five minutes. Using smile recognition software, count the number of smiling faces in each picture and calculate the percentage. Where are people most prone to smile, in Germany or in Thailand?

Image

I think unhappy, lonely and depressed people are very unlikely to smile spontaneously or laugh for any light reason. Is that why humor needs to be "black" to be effective in places like England and Scandinavia? The proposed experiment would cost very little to implement, would be hampered by few confounders, and would circumvent a lot of time/money-wasting UN technocracy! :)
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby thisisunreal on May 7th, 2018, 3:34 pm

Pianoracer

Your analogy is apt, but to say that either Finkelstein or Bacques were "devoured or destroyed" like the antelope on the Serengeti you refer to is inappropriate.


I just tuned into the BBC for my daily look at what is not happening in the world. I refer to the BBC article,

'Paedophile-hunting policeman wins payout 46 years on'
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-44026803

I refer to it just as a corollary to what I was trying to convey yesterday, that... 'modern destruction can be financial or reputation.

The article is a sorry affair, detailing the plight of an octogenarian who is to receive compensation for his being moved on from the police. Why? Doing his job! He exposed abuse.........wait for it....... in the church!

To quote from the article,

"Former Australian detective Denis Ryan was driven out of the police force in 1972 when he tried to bring a paedophile priest to justice.
Now almost 50 years after he was ordered by superiors to drop the case - and deprived of a police pension Mr Ryan will receive compensation. The 86-year-old man was recently awarded an undisclosed sum by the state government of Victoria".


"The former detective said it had set off "the destruction" of his life, leaving him traumatised and contributing to the breakdown of his marriage".

For the BBC, the article is actually interesting and to the point. Again quoting from the head of the snake,

"Mr Miller said there had been "misconduct by senior Victoria Police officers, including dereliction of duty, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and inciting other members of the police force to join the conspiracy against Denis Ryan in order to conceal the crimes committed by Day."

What use is compensation to an 86 year old? What's he going to do with it? All he cares about now is a warm jumper and socks. His wife is long gone. His dreams are gone. Silent reflection now as his joy slowly ebbs away to other less positive emotions and he realises (if not already) that the police protect organisations that tacitly abuse the 'faith' placed in them.

I did notice that while it is supposed to be uplifting in that the balance was redressed..... it fails to mention that everybody else involved rode off into the sunset, scott-free and died with unblemished reputations and doubtless, full pension! This kind of narrative subconsciously plants the idea that this is a historical problem and that abuse is a thing of the past. Not so. Look at the BBC's history of abuse or the honourable David McGowan's work, 'Programmed to Kill'.

Bravo to the BBC for mentioning the word 'conspiracy' without a mocking undertone. That is something at least.
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Re: Why are smart people fooled

Postby thisisunreal on May 7th, 2018, 4:00 pm

Flabbergasted many thanks for the feedback and interesting discussion points,

Measuring happiness is a silly proposition, of course, but it stirs something in us, like a challenge. What is the best proxy for something so qualitative and subjective, but somehow expressed collectively?


That quote struck a chord. Happiness is indeed a collective emotion in terms of society. And yes, it seems childish to discuss a concept that is a little 'will o the wisp', particularly on a forum dedicated to media fakery. However, I'll try and stretch the relevance. Humbly, I would submit that our own joy hinges in degrees upon the news we surround ourselves with. And what do we surround ourselves with? Wall to wall horror. No wonder parents shield their children from the reality and in turn unintentionally shield themselves from it. The media would have us believe every other man on the planet wants to cut our throat for our wallet. How can such fear promote happiness?

Forgive the lack of concision or science, but happiness is something you can feel, particularly if you compare extremes. Drop yourself into square mile in London, the heart of the parasite economy. Compare that stony faced, stepping over a tramp, heart attack waiting to happen culture with a country like Pakistan. Go to the villages and see the locals play cricket after work, in the dirt. There is no stadium, no real equipment or balls or jerseys. No league, no sponsors and no fans. They enjoy it nonetheless and you can see and feel it. They are happy with modesty.

A crazy idea which occurred to me: Set up cameras on busy streets in hundreds of towns and marketplaces around the world and let them take a picture every five minutes. Using smile recognition software, count the number of smiling faces in each picture and calculate the percentage. Where are people most prone to smile, in Germany or in Thailand?


What a great idea. Simple and effective, I would imagine. May I add to that the suggestion of analysis of mental health complaints? The West is at epidemic levels with statistics constantly revised upwards as more and more struggle to get out of bed to go to work to the same office to achieve nothing. I would wager that if studied, you'd notice a chasm between the West and the rest. I'd be really interested to see ranking according to GDP also to see if there was any correlation between income and happiness on a societal or country level.

Mental health is caused by unhappiness (often). Unhappiness is caused by stress (often). Stress is caused by work (often). So....what is it about work that causes this knock on effect? And why is it so rife in the West? Why are there a scarcity of inner joy? The answer (if I may) lies partly in the media set up, which promotes red tooth in claw competition. You see your colleague next to you? Yeah? Step on him before he steps on you first. This is the lesson of 'zero sum' 21st century economics. Constant growth, competition and idolising the rich and having actor Presidents who talk about, 'winning' all the time. We have created a very stressful architecture for ourselves.

The proposed experiment would cost very little to implement, would be hampered by few confounders, and would circumvent a lot of time/money-wasting UN technocracy!


What a fascinating write up that would be! I can imagine reading the study. More smiles in Thailand or Germany? Easy answer.
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