I love those, ‘well, fu**ing hell!’ moments when your preconceptions are challenged. We live in a world where everything is disputed, people that don’t share the same world-view are morons, ‘so called’ experts are torn-apart, and those that have no knowledge whatsoever are considered trusted advisers! And if you think that’s not you, picture this. You find a lump on your person. You know it’s not muscle cos you’ve been sitting on your ass during COVID like everyone else. Are your first thoughts concerned with getting to a doctor, a person dedicating their life to medicine and the study of the human body? Nope, we search the internet. We google. We then may see a doctor if the situation persists, but if we don’t like the outcome, we get a second opinion. We live in an age where facts are only relevant if you agree with them. Well try this out, Trump is far from a know-nothing imbecile. He is a manipulative, master persuader.
After finishing the utterly dire Wuthering Heights during the week, where I constantly hoped the next sentence was ‘ . . . and after tea, when Catherine could barely countenance another scornful remark by the awful villain Heathcliffe, everyone died a slow and painful death’, I’ve picked up Understanding Jung (a little bit of psycho-analysis, because that’s what you need when living alone in month four-thousand of lockdown), and the other-worldly Scott Adams’ Win Bigly. The latter is unputdownable, even though it's on audio, so in fact is exactly that. What’s wonderful about the book is that Adams, a self-described ultra-liberal, hypnotist and a man of academic persuasiveness, uses the latter in the book on you. He even tells you so. He’s persuading you of Trump’s persuading capabilities.
The Dilbert cartoonist predicted Trump’s win in 2016, and goes on to elaborate on the baboon himself. Am barely halfway through, and I can see the patterns. This week Trump decried whether he will accept the outcome of the election, a complete masterstroke. He has cemented ‘he will continue’ into people’s minds, that he ‘has the power’. It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t got that power, but that’s what people are focusing on, Trump continuing. They’re talking less about the wall, his failures in business, his marriage and numerous scandals, his pu$$y-grabbing, racism, incestual thoughts about his daughter, about the disastrous COVID, about ignoring the wishes of a dying judge. Everyone is focused where he wants them: the election, and Trump staying put. Additionally, he has pre-empted any loss calling it ‘a fix’, so his supporters will be outraged should anything less than a win be granted. It’s a wonderful pantomime. He’s poked holes in democracy, disputed ‘facts’ to the point his followers will believe anything he says. It’s a dogma. As Adams points out, he could literally run with Bernie’s policies and still win. There is nothing like a US election.
The biggest mistake people consistently make are dismissing those who oppose your world-view as know-nothings, believing that presenting facts will sway them. All ‘they’ need is a bit of education, right? Well they think the same. It’s fascinating. Adams’ spends considerable time in the book on cognitive dissonance, cognitive bias and the perceptions of reality i.e. your reality being different to the reality of others. Adams also states that although we claim to base our opinion on logic and reason, we actually form our opinion and then hunt for facts to suit. It’s like I’m reading two Jung books, whilst eating a Jung steak with a Jung basting, with a side of Jung, washed down with a fresh-Jung smoothie, sitting in a Jung tracksuit. I may not escape COVID with my sanity yet.
Spent a little time outside with my macro lens this weekend, lovely to be out in the sunshine!
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