Henny Penny?

How can all I’ve been posting be real? Isn’t most of it fake news? Isn’t my bias and crying Henny Penny all a bit over the top? Well, I’ve reported many times that I’ve voted equally red and blue over my life time and am still willing to swing either way within reason and the right sensibilities in the leaders and candidates given a particular times and context. But in my 53rd year, I’ve lived long enough and have studied many ideas, traveled to many places speaking to many folks, have made many mistakes and realized my own deep imperfections all to help me just begin to understand human nature. The human nature here at play is more biological than political or cultural. It has deep roots that I cannot express in a tweet or a FB post. Most of our problems in dealing with complexity today are biological in nature as odd as that sounds. Essentially we are simply higher forms of apes working with other apes and we have not yet fully evolved to handle the cognitive load being placed upon us and we are reaching our biological threshold of abilities to cope. And our biology tells us in such situations to simplify, trust in our gut, and survive no matter what it takes. But this sometimes isn’t good enough. When our inability to process everything coming at us, we reach what is called a cognitive threshold where we resort to our beliefs rather than evidence because we simply can’t gather enough information to build such evidence. In these time we must listen but also challenge our gut with both confirming and disconfirming data until a clearer and more consistent patterns emerges that tells a more accurate picture of reality. So what does this have to do with Trump? Trump and his folks along with the rest of us are simply dumbing everything down to deal with this complexity overload and its going to make us make bad decisions. However, this coping strategy is as natural as the oceans and forests and no matter how brilliant we tell ourselves we are, the natural world will have the last say in the end. There is a way out and it’s called history. Not to repeat it or even to use it necessarily to design the future but to reflect upon its warnings about our rather limited nature to understand the world fully. Nearly every society before us has reached its own cognitive threshold for various reasons – some accumulating over decades, some over centuries while their belief systems and their inherent distortions of reality marched in different directions until their demise was sealed. We are on the cusp of outstripping our biological abilities again. Our prefrontal cortexes responsible for all executive functions such as logic processing can only process about 120 bits per second – a minuscule amount of information – about the amount of bits in two people talking at once. THAT’s it folks! And this is what we are using, all of us, even the smartest among us, to make sense consciously of our daily complexity. Is it any wonder that we are facing such confusion and fear – me too. In great part, our bodies and minds are defaulting to our basest levels of survival and for good reason. But we can overcome this. I have many thoughts about this and have studied it to some considerable degree. We need acknowledgement and humbleness in the face of complexity. We need to acknowledge or propensity for defaulting to beliefs in lieu of facts. Please at least be curious about what I’m saying. Ask me questions. I’m happy to entertain conversations and point anyone towards additional literature…This is happening folks. We mustn’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap that other past civilizations have. We can do better.

Author: boilingfrogmedia

My early roots are still embedded in a red state landscape but my branches now reach out into blue state skies.

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