Category Archives: Cogs ZH Posts

Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse – Chapter One

 

Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse

Chapter One

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

“...we can endure neither our vices nor the remedies needed to cure them.”
Livy, The History of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History of Rome

 

Why even question the obvious?

When contemplating a complex subject, especially one in which I hold a strong emotional investment, I find it extremely valuable to seriously and consistently challenge my own thinking, to play devil’s advocate with my oftentimes emotional mind. A ‘truth’ untested, particularly one I’m emotionally bound to, is little more than a belief, a comforting factoid that confirms my biases rather than enlightening and informing my mind. If I am to progress in my personal development I must test the mettle of my beliefs up to, and if need be well past, their destruction. For only then can I truly be free to exercise, and honor, my personal sovereignty on an everyday basis.

So it is that I’ve been considering the concept of ‘collapse’ with regard to society and its socioeconomic system(s), both on a personal and collective emotional and psychological basis. While it is always dangerous to paint detailed pictures with broad brushes, to some degree or another we are all emotional human beings. So while the cognitive details may vary (greatly) from person to person, our tendencies and triggers are very similar (partly because of a shared and distorted worldview) and relatively easy to discern if we have the courage to first look deeply within and then apply what we have found to the world around us. A word of warning here because this article is not a technical or fundamental economic analysis, at least not based upon the traditional financial definition of those terms. Continue reading Perhaps a Crumble Rather Than a Collapse – Chapter One

The Flim-Flam Men

The Flim-Flam Men

by

Cognitive Dissonance

 

I suspect if average Joe or Jane were asked to identify modern examples of ‘Flim-Flam Men’, many would point to Bernie Madoff or Allen Stanford. (Remember them from the last "Great Financial Crisis" of 2008?) Or even to a long list of Too Big To Fail bank CEO’s past and present, plus various corporate, government and Federal Reserve officials who've graced our lives over the last twenty or more years.

And you know what? I couldn’t argue with them for a second because they’d be correct. But do those examples really illustrate the deeper, more mundane meaning of the common street hustle or financial confidence game? And are we in denial of our own critical role in 'The Big Con'?

Continue reading The Flim-Flam Men

Lies, Damn Lies and Coronavirus Statistics

Lies, Damn Lies and Coronavirus Statistics

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

“Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.” – Otto von Bismarck

'When it becomes serious, you have to lie.' - Jean-Claude Juncker, former President of the European Commission from 2014 to 2019

 

We all lie. Of this there is no doubt. And anyone who tells us otherwise is lying. While there are a billion and one reasons to lie, there is only one purpose…to gain advantage, leverage or to maintain, consolidate or increase power over our children or spouses, other family members, friends or unrelated individuals, groups large and small and even entire nations.

At its most innocuous, a lie may be considered small, kind, even considerate. Often, we tell little ‘white’ lies designed to sooth or placate a loved one or close friend. At its worst, a lie is designed to kill or injure physically, financially, socially or emotionally.

Ultimately, no matter how harmless or devastating it is, a lie is at its root a power play, information warfare employed to disarm, confuse, convince, steal, disable or destroy. We tend to treat lies, especially lies told to others that have an effect far removed from ourselves and our interests, with benign disinterest or even mild amusement. It’s only when the proximity is close or we feel we are targeted do we become righteously indignant and demand justice and restitution. Continue reading Lies, Damn Lies and Coronavirus Statistics

The Decline and Fall of Civil Society – Chapter One

The Decline and Fall of Civil Society

Chapter One

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

From my perspective at least, it’s a chicken or egg question. Was civil discourse among a diverse human population desired, or even required, in order for civilization to form and flourish? Or did civilization initially coalesce, with civility to follow shortly after as a means to increase socioeconomic efficiency and to encourage people from killing or maiming each other by setting minimum standards for public conduct?

Or could it possibly be more symbiotic, with both components required in varying degrees and amounts for either component to survive and thrive in the combined form of ‘civilization’?

I am a child of the 1950’s and 1960’s, a time so far removed from today’s brave new world that, even to me, feels like ancient history. This is not to say it was all pomp and circumstance back then, but in many respects so-called civilization was much more civil in my youth than it is now. And this applies to just about all modern social interaction, regardless of the underlying medium, method or mix. Continue reading The Decline and Fall of Civil Society – Chapter One

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

The other night, Mrs. Cog and I streamed a movie about an obviously intelligent man (some might say brilliant) who constantly got himself into, and out of, tight spots and life threatening situations. The show was well written and entirely plausible, believable even. In fact, it reminded me of some people I know…and maybe even a little bit of me.

At one point near the end, Mrs. Cog turned to me and quipped, “For such a smart person, he’s really quite stupid”. I quickly rose to the characters defense, claiming it wasn’t stupidity that compelled him to do stupid things, but his huge outsized ego that drove him into and out of trouble at every turn.

But my answer didn’t sit well with me, similar to a late night meal that sits in the belly rather than digesting. You just know there’s going to be trouble if you don’t promptly address it.

Of course Mrs. Cog was correct; this smart man was consistently doing stupid things. And as Forrest Gump famously said in the movie by the same name…”stupid is as stupid does”. Ultimately we are measured by our actions and not our intent, desire or intelligence. Regardless of our reason, if we’re doing stupid things we can rightfully be classified as stupid. Continue reading Stupid Is As Stupid Does