Oct 17, 2008

Say it ain't so, Joe. An example of a deceptive society and it's repercussions.

How much does deception rule and mis-organize society? And by deception, I mean all forms of lying, from the little white lies that we tell to avoid the hurt feelings of a boy/girlfriend to the misconceptions we present on job applications, to just huge deceptive and manipulative whoppers such as the story of Stephan Glass, former reporter for the New Republic that was fired for fabricating stories. Who can forget the lies told leading up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003?

One of my own personal and shocking awakenings that arose from realizing how much BS rules society occurred a few years back. I had my own Stephan Glass in my life 5 or 6 years ago, and it was a very difficult and painful thing to unravel the many layers of deceit and deception that came from someone so close to me. I looked around me at the time in a house of collapsed cards and saw an honest truth - humanity is always lying, and so was I.

Deception in all forms is simply a quite common strategy we use in communication to avoid unpleasantness or curry favor from rivals or superiors. We do it so often, I would wager a year's salary that we are completely unconscious of it the majority of the time.

Consider, however, that we tend to be very very trusting regardless. We actually accept the truth values of polls, politicians, job applicants, and pillow talk and often accept it at face value. What this may actually suggest is alarming, for our entire paradigms and world views may be comprised of information that is bullshit.

Consider the most recent case of Joe the Plumber. Whoppers all. His real name isn't Joe, he isn't a licensed plumber, he isn't an everyman, he is a Republican whose own father in law is the son of Charles Keating. Yet in one interview that he gave with Barack Obama, the entire country immediately accepted his story and implemented it into the heart of it's world view. Joe the Plumber became proof that the economic policies of each candidate were favorable, yet Joe might as well have been an actor playing a part in a movie. His 'truth' values were then recommunicated at the national level to millions when both Barack Obama and John McCain repeated his 'story' during the debate. These two candidates were then also lying by default.

Our individual and collective worldviews, our paradigms, might overwhelmingly be comprised of complete and utter bullshit. Is it a wonder that society cannot properly organize itself effeciently? How can we understand what the hell is going on when all of us, at a very small level, are constantly telling ourselves and others that false information, or mysterious information, is actually true?

I predict that this may go pretty far down the rabbit hole, much further than we are aware of and if we saw the actuality of it, it would shock us. Consider that each of us is a point of view, and society is a collection of points of view that contains a few over-arching paradigms that is simply the collection of the most agreeable 'truths' being communicated amongst each point. If each point is sharing a certain degree of false information believed to be true, then logic tells us that the paradigm itself will reflect this.

Humanity may be living in a bubble comprised of our own delusion, and we seem shocked that reality isn't turning out how we had hoped. Consider, in 2004- 2006, as the non evidence of WMD in Iraq became painfully clear, and as the current collapse of Wall Street becomes evident, everyone is shocked that as a whole, nobody was predicting that such things would occur or happen.

Gee, I wonder why?

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