All posts by Cognitive Dissonance

Perhaps It’s Time to Believe the Impossible

Perhaps It’s Time to Believe the Impossible

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Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

"Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Alice in Wonderland.

 

It is often said, usually by those who wish to “educate”, control and manipulate us, that we are defined by what we believe. I submit it’s the other way around. We are defined, or more accurately confined, by what we disbelieve and think impossible, or at a minimum, improbable.

Once we consign something to the impossible, unbelievable, farfetched, unlikely, preposterous and unreal cognitive file, rarely, if ever, do we fish it back out of the garbage bin for reassessment and reconsideration. And why would we do so since it clearly belonged there to begin with, otherwise we never would have discarded it in the first place.

That right there is a perfect example of circular logic and emotionally comforting thinking. Continue reading Perhaps It’s Time to Believe the Impossible

The Essence of Control Is Its Concealment

The Essence of Control Is Its Concealment

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

For thousands of years “control” of humans, both at the micro individual and macro collective level, was obvious and institutionalized. It was the way the world worked, with pharaohs, chiefs, kings and queens, along with their sycophant and supporting courts, wielding power and control at the top. Arrayed along the bottom were the slaves, serfs and peons of various rank and stature, while scattered about the thin middle were the skilled tradesmen, shopkeepers and professionals such as they were.

It was the most effective social order of all millennium; a control system based upon claimed mutual benefit through the collective sharing of resources and defense, though never fairly or just. With disease, pestilence,hunger and death always lurking around the corner, it just made good sense to gather in groups and subsist as best we could. The pecking order quickly sorted out, with sociopaths and ruthless killers quickly rising to the top.

Of course, things are very different these days…right? Continue reading The Essence of Control Is Its Concealment

There Will Be Blood…and Many More Lies

There Will Be Blood…and Many More Lies

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Cognitive Dissonance

 

I suppose if we randomly stopped people in the street and asked if they were an honest person, the vast majority of answers would be in the affirmative. And if we applied a generous and flexible definition to the word “honest”, I suspect people might actually be considered honest about their self declared honesty. But in truth, in all the animal kingdom we humans are the most dishonest and deceitful, particularly with ourselves.

Therefore it stands to reason we would lie about our dishonesty, to each other and especially to ourselves. One simply cannot maintain lies when they stand in the face of contrary and irrefutable truth unless an individual and cooperative self deception is employed. In effect we are all liars, of this there is little doubt. The only real question is to what degree. This assessment may be harsh, but it is not fundamentally wrong. Continue reading There Will Be Blood…and Many More Lies

A Few Screws Loose

A Few Screws Loose

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Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Twice a year, usually in the spring and fall, I haul out one of my extension ladders, fill my back pockets with various wrenches and screwdrivers, and venture up onto our log cabin roof. My purpose is always the same; tighten any loose nuts and bolts on our solar array and conduct a visual inspection of the roof itself.

In the old days they called this type of activity “preventive maintenance” and I always find something that needs tightening or adjusting on the solar array. Nothing major, mind you, just a screw loose here and there which might cause a problem sometime down the road. A quarter or half turn with a 5/8” box end wrench or 5/16” hex key and all’s right in Cog’s solar universe.

Loose screws and fittings are known structural vulnerabilities when generating power from sunlight. The constant heating and cooling of the aluminum frame, combined with high winds out here on the edge of the mountain, present minor challenges easily overcome if one is proactive and not afraid of heights.

Well, not too afraid of heights. I admit to being a little queasy until I get my sea legs properly adjusted. Mrs. Cog, on the other hand, does not like me on the roof and lets me know her displeasure every fifteen minutes or so when she appears outside looking for blood and guts spilled from a fallen Cog. In truth I don’t blame her for her concern. I’m not as young as I once was and balance is no longer my strong suit. Continue reading A Few Screws Loose

The Honor Box

The Honor Box

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

It is commonly said the fish rots from the head down, meaning leadership is the root cause of the failure and demise of any organization, regardless of whether we are speaking of a country, culture or company. I’m not so sure this is true, at least not in all cases.

For this common belief to be correct, those further down the food chain must (essentially) be subservient to those at the top, unable to control or even influence leadership to shape up or ship out. The saying implies we are little more than passive passengers, our fate sealed by those piloting the plane up front.

If this is the case, then the form of government practiced in the US, a representative republic (and NOT a democracy) where those at the top, our elected leaders, are elevated into leadership roles with our consent and support, and can be deposed/removed the same way, does not in actual practice exist.

Either we are victims or we are not. Either we have free choice or we have not. Either they make us do it or they do not. Either we rule “our” leadership or we do not. Continue reading The Honor Box