Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

3.02.2011

Yet More Proof Fox Is in the Propaganda Business

Humans, on the other hand, behave irrationally in spite of our big brains, perhaps because of our big brains. We cling to beliefs that should be destroyed by facts. We leap before we look. We think ourselves into bad decisions. Such loopy behavior seems to be a specialty of only the brightest species.

The most chagrining studies I've read on this subject address the indelible nature of political beliefs. As we saw in chapter 7, the brain regions that conduct critical analysis go dark when we hear something unpleasant about a new mate. Well, the brain behaves similarly with our beloved politicians. In one experiment, researchers popped Democrat and Republican subjects into an MRI machine to monitor their brains. Then they presented negative facts about presidential candidates from both parties and watched those brains writhe. While humans were quick to believe the worst about the opposing candidate, they would not accept bad news about their own man. Brains regions involved in error detection did light up, as though the brain knew it should revise its beliefs. But so did areas dedicated to avoiding the emotional agony of admitting we're wrong. And in many cases, the brains patched together alternate interpretations of the bad news, which then caused regions involved in relief and reward to sparkle. Humans do not like to change our beliefs.


The Well-Dressed Ape by Hannah Holmes

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This is already old news, but I just came across it and wanted to share anyway. Passionate viewers will ignore any retraction and go with the "evidence" they heard to support their gut feelings, so the damage is done regardless of any apologies issued. And since they do this kind of thing in more subtle ways countless times every day . . .

A Gallup Poll:



The way Fox reported it:



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This isn't about what is . . . it's about what people think is. It's all imaginary anyway. That's why it's important. People only fight over imaginary things.

American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

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If they think it's the truth, then they believe it, and if they believe it long enough, then it becomes the truth.

The Facttracker, by Jason Carter Eaton

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And more on the power of belief in shaping reality here.

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