Misjudgement and misinterpretation are the fabric of human “reality”

Besides misjudging other people’s intentions (People suck at judging others), we also misinterpret our presents and pasts.

  • For example, for many decades few people in the West understood how severe mass murder was under communist regimes. Indeed, the first mass murderers of modern Europe were communists. That many of them were also Jewish is usually also scrubbed from the story. Here is a meme illustrating that simple point.
  • An article published just yesterday—Why Readers Shouldn’t Trust Staff Reporters—does an excellent job describing how and why US MSM is so bad. The writer focuses on newsprint, but TV is the same.
  • Interpersonally, we make mistakes about each other constantly. FIML is the answer to this problem for small groups of adults, but how many will make the effort?

I think that what is described above is a big piece of the modern version of what the Buddha meant by delusion. In Buddhism, delusion is the core reason for human suffering. End delusion and you end suffering.

Many people have the idea that Buddhist practice is all about being minimalist, feeling good, and letting stuff go. This ignores the fact that the Buddha was mainly described as an “analyst” and that diligence and perseverance are central to the analytical path of Buddhism.

It is through analysis that we free ourselves from suffering. If your sincere analysis shows you that MSM is lying to you, that the history you learned in school is distorted, and that most if not all of your interpersonal relationships are fraught with misunderstandings or alienating simplifications, you are probably seeing a big part of what the Buddha meant by delusion.

Delusion makes us suffer because it is wrong and because it leads us to make more and worse mistakes. We extract ourselves from deluded “reality” by using “truth,” insofar as we are able, and the Dharma as tools. Once a bit of delusion is seen for what it is, it is usually fairly easy to eliminate it from the mind. If you have never identified with it, this will be very easy.

If you have identified with it, this could be very hard to do. Why is that? The reason is identifying psychologically with something is a form of what the Buddha called “clinging” or “attachment.” Suffering is the First Noble Truth. Clinging (to the delusions that cause suffering) is the Second.

People suck at judging others

A new study indicates that “it is incredibly easy to be mistaken” about another human being’s intentions.

Dr Warren Mansell, lead author of the study, said:

We think we know what someone is doing just by observing them… But our study shows that it is incredibly easy to be mistaken… In psychological research, for example, this study suggests that some behaviour studied may be no more than a side effect of participants’ true intentions. (Source)

Dr Mansell says that if you want to know people’s true intentions, you need to ask them. His study is designed to help psychologists and others be better at changing people’s unwanted behaviors, but it really applies to all of us because none of us is good at inferring the true intentions of others without asking them.

The study is here: Control blindness: Why people can make incorrect inferences about the intentions of others.

The abstract:

There is limited evidence regarding the accuracy of inferences about intention. The research described in this article shows how perceptual control theory (PCT) can provide a “ground truth” for these judgments. In a series of 3 studies, participants were asked to identify a person’s intention in a tracking task where the person’s true intention was to control the position of a knot connecting a pair of rubber bands. Most participants failed to correctly infer the person’s intention, instead inferring complex but nonexistent goals (such as “tracing out two kangaroos boxing”) based on the actions taken to keep the knot under control. Therefore, most of our participants experienced what we call “control blindness.” The effect persisted with many participants even when their awareness was successfully directed at the knot whose position was under control. Beyond exploring the control blindness phenomenon in the context of our studies, we discuss its implications for psychological research and public policy.

I would maintain that all people very often “fail to correctly infer” the intentions of people interacting with them and that this effect snowballs, thus causing either confusion or retreat to easily shared social norms (which may themselves also be misunderstood).

FIML practice is designed to overcome this problem for all forms of communication that occur between FIML partners.

Pizzagate makes mainstream news

CBS Ben Swann presents a surprisingly well-balanced report on Pizzagate.

Edit 2/8/17: All of Ben Swann’s social media accounts are now deleted after being the only reporter to air a truthful segment on PizzaGate.

One aspect of this story that he has left out is it resembles many other stories with similar themes—politicians and power-brokers, abused children, little or no investigation. The Franklin coverup and Rotherham are good examples of this kind of story. (Google either one to find many links.)

Another aspect of the story that Swann has left out is there are many people (like me) who have seen this kind of thing up close and know without doubt that it does happen.

That said, Swann does a very good job with his report. Add together his report with the two factors I mention above and you will understand why Pizzagate has generated so much interest.

The struggle against entropy

Life is “anti-entropic” signal organization.

FIML practice is “anti-entropic” (signal) information (re)organization between two people.

If two people converse and never do FIML, their conversation will be entropic (become less organized). Psychologically, this means there will be less understanding.

If two people do FIML, their conversation will (re)organize information shared between them. In this sense it is “anti-entropic.” Psychologically, this means there will be more understanding.

The above applies to those aspects of the conversation that can be accessed by FIML practice. Other aspects of the conversation will require other “anti-entropic” strategies, which generally relate more to non-psychological information.

For example, two people talking about a place they have both visited might share information about the place that has little or no psychological import on one level but may have considerable import on others.

Over time, FIML partners will engage in many conversations. If FIML practice is done regularly, psychological entropy (confusion, alienation, hurt feelings, etc.) will be greatly reduced.

(See this for more on the subject of information and entropy.)

Consciousness as signal interpretation

Consciousness can be defined as “that which interprets signals” or “that which can discriminate and choose between signals.”

A single cell that can distinguish light and darkness and choose one or the other is conscious in this respect.

(I wonder if the choice needs to be “better” in some way, evolutionarily or even subjectively even if wrong. Seems that if most choices are bad, the chooser will not survive for long, yet in the interim could still be conscious.)

A dog that smells food has a more complex interpretation of many more signals than the single cell above. Additionally, the dog can choose between these signals, though not without confusion sometimes, just like us.

As humans we experience our consciousness in many ways. Few of us doubt its importance.

This makes sense based on the definition of consciousness as “that which interprets signals” or “that which can discriminate and choose between signals.”

It is emotional to be conscious in the sense that we must care about our decisions, our choices.

Surely that is much of the reason we have emotions. They are the chemistry that accompanies choices. Chemicals in the body are most definitely signals, very strong ones.

For more on this topic: Life is self-organizing signals.

Zionist Extremism as Outcome of the Internal Dynamics of Judaism, Part 1 of 5

Kevin MacDonald

…The overall argument here is that Zionism is an example of the trajectory of Jewish radicalism. The radical movement begins among the more committed segments of the Jewish community, then spreads and eventually becomes mainstream within the Jewish community; then the most extreme continue to push the envelope (e.g., the settlement movement on the West Bank), and other Jews eventually follow because the more extreme positions come to define the essence of Jewish identity. An important part of the dynamic is that Jewish radicalism tends to result in conflicts with non-Jews, with the result that Jews feel threatened, become more group-oriented, and close ranks against the enemy—an enemy seen as irrationally and incomprehensibly anti-Jewish. Jews who fail to go along with what is now a mainstream position are pushed out of the community, labeled “self-hating Jews” or worse, and relegated to impotence. (Source)

Christmas Surprise

Israel Shamir

I promised you Christmas wouldn’t be dull! In a surprising move, for the first time in 40 years, the US voted in the UN Security Council against official Tel Aviv’s wishes. The miracle friends of Palestine and progressive Israelis prayed for – occurred, after all. This is one of the first benefits of Donald Trump’s victory – the long stretch of American subservience to Jews has been broken. Yes, it was done by Obama administration – but this wouldn’t have happened if Ms Clinton were the President-Elect.

Link to original

Life is self-organizing signals

Life signals can be biological and unconscious or biological and conscious.*

If conscious, signals can be variously interpreted by the sender, the receiver, or both.

If unconscious, signals are interpreted in only one way or in a limited number of ways.

Consciously organized signals make up such things as psychology and sociology, both of which have many variations.

Human beings generate, learn, send, receive, and interpret signals.

All signals have valence. If conscious, valences (like signals themselves) can be variously interpreted.

It is very beneficial when thinking about any complex matter to pay attention to the valences of its individual signals and signal networks.

For example, if you want to buy or rent a home the various factors that you may consider can all be thought of as signals with valences.

A “small place” is a signal that may have positive valences because it is cozy and easy to keep clean. And it may have negative valences because it is cramped and has no room to store stuff.

With some degree of rationality, we can asses these valences and decide which ones are important to us. If you are going to share the place with another person, you can both do assessments and compare.

Your conclusions won’t be perfectly rational but they will be clearer to you than if you did not do assessments like that.

Besides the size of the place, you will also want to analyze in a similar fashion its location, floor plan, cost, what’s nearby and so on.

The same is true for how to asses your own psychology or the sociology of your group, company, or nation.

If you do this often enough, you may decide to replace the idea of having a personality or identity with the idea of having an operating system that generates, learns, sends, receives, and interprets signals.

Notice that interpreting yourself (the signal of self) as an operating system that employs these few rules is a kind of self-organization. As such, it is concise (Occam’s razor), accounts for all data, has clearly identified parts, has explanatory power (you can use it as we did above), can be applied to all life including human psychology.

This is not the only explanation or description of life, but it is a good one with many uses.

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A few notes:

*Surely there are other bases for consciousness than biology as we know it.

Life self-organization is “anti-entropic.”

Politics runs on simple signals because they are readily grasped by large numbers of people. Importing simple political signals into your operating system and keeping their strong public valences is not a good idea.

Politics teeters between left and right and there is no good middle. The middle is no good because the true middle needs to be a middle of complexity against two extremes.

Reason and rational thought are in many respects organizing principles, maybe that’s all they are. Same can be said for logic.

Personality and identity are also organizing principles, here applied to self and others.  Seeing yourself as “an operating system that generates, learns, sends, receives, and interprets signals” is also an organizing principle, but the data is clearer and more useful than that which goes into identity and personality.