Thursday’s Edition of TauBits for the Taking

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Spring

May 2021

Is it simply ignorance and superstition fighting against intelligence as Ulysses S. Grant once said after the Civil War? 

Miles Taylor, Former Chief of Staff of Homeland Security Department and “Anonymous” author believes we are witnessing a newer civil war with constitutional implications and threatening our democratic way of life at stake.

Here’s what I’ve been ruminating about on this Thursday’s, 5/13/21, Edition of TauBits for the Taking.  

Has the way our brain evolved aided and abetted the gulf between patriotism and domestic terrorism?  Between ignorance and intelligence?

A third author joining Miles Taylor and Kurt Andersen may provide more insight, even as I become slightly distracted from my work on the “Conclusion” section of my “1-Year Natural Experiment Report.” 

You know the one which simply started with me stealing your horoscope when you weren’t looking.  

And, then wrestling with my guilt by asking “why?”

And now, this.

In Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” he reveals two selves residing in all of us. 

One remains active and always on 24/7 generating impressions, thoughts, intuitions and is the default basis for how we navigate our lives.  We have no conscious clue about how all those feelings and beliefs entered our mind.

Kahneman tells us that back in the 1970s he and his colleagues all assumed humans lived their lives as generally rational, reasonable creatures.

Our beliefs, they assumed, were by and large reality-based and arrived at by deliberation, weighing facts, opinions, and running calculations. 

If you observed the rationals out in the wild you’d see  people who exuded less warmth than others, while they doggedly pursued internally consistent  choices, judgements, conclusions and strategies.

The only time we opted out of that state of mind, their theory went, was when our emotions like fear, affection and hatred abruptly pulled us away. 

Now we know the reverse is true.  

We live our lives as the “remembering self” who ignores time. It creates a bias in us for short periods of intense joy instead of longer periods of happiness.

Our remembering self is not always accurate, but it keeps our “individual story” alive. 

That’s the good news. 

The sometimes devastating news is we can fall victim to our pre-programmed errors of judgment and choice when more is at stake.

Most often we just aren’t aware of the errors or how we fell susceptible to them.

Out in the wild you’d recognize the remembering self by seeing behaviors like impulsivity, excessive emotionality, or stubborn resistance to reasonable arguments.

So what?

So if all of that is true and we add the fact that the rational mind is lazy — most of the time rubber-stamping what the remembering self serves up — then that’s why we jump to conclusions with only the sketchiest of information. 

And, why we spot patterns when none exist in the reality-based world and accept conspiracy theories when they fill in the blanks.

And why we assess the degree of truthiness by how easy we can find something like it from recent memory, or by how widespread  the media covers it, especially if celebrities are involved.

And it would explain why authoritarian regimes pressure and discredit independent media from fact checking and investigative reporting. 

Oh, and another of our Achilles heels — familiarity  — trumps our efforts to search for facts on our own (too hard of an effort) in favor of the easy and familiar.

So, the reliable way to make people believe in falsehoods is frequent repetition.

Authoritarians and marketers take advantage of our evolutionary wiring.

They’ll do anything to reduce cognitive strain, by making their message simple and memorable.  

Almost anything they communicate in verse repeated over and over will be swallowed as the truth and we won’t even know why we believe it. 

If it can rhyme it’ll work every time.

So, Zahnny do you agree this is a start?

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Everyone has their own private worries. You’re braver about this than most. You realize that hiding can be more energy than it’s worth. You also know that your story cannot inspire other people if you don’t tell it.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

So if your Holiday Tau is true, Steve, then trolling through the works Miles Taylor, Kurt Andersen, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Alvin Toffler, Marshall McLuhan or listening to Sam Harris’ podcasts will make my creative net work?

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): Your creative endeavors are like a net you cast into the world. They will bring you some of the things you chase, as well as what just happened to be drifting by, caught in the middle of that pursuit.  Aries

The KnewsLetter

The Tau of Steves

    • “5”  Steve Aoki, 41: “It took awhile for you to make a decision, and now that you’ve made it, you have no intention of changing your mind. Your commitment is admirable. Note that it is possible to stay at once committed and open.” Sagittarius 
    • “5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Everyone has their own private worries. You’re braver about this than most. You realize that hiding can be more energy than it’s worth. You also know that your story cannot inspire other people if you don’t tell it.” Scorpio

What’s Next from the Labs

Headlines and Highlights 

Long-Form

    • Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler, a classic I feel which still holds up. As the pace of change quickens we experience self-doubt, anxiety and fear.  We become tense and tire easily, until we are overwhelmed, face-to-face with a crisis situation. Without a clear grasp of relevant reality or beginning with clearly defined values and priorities, we feel a deepening sense of confusion and uncertainty. Our intellectual bewilderment leads to disorientation at the level of personal values. Decision stress results from acceleration, novelty and diversity conflicts. Acceleration pressures us to make quick decisions. Novelty increases the difficulty and length of time while diversity intensifies the anxiety with an increase in the number of options and the amount of information needed to process.  The result is a slower reaction time.
    • Daniel Kahneman’s, “Thinking Fast and Slow”describes two different ways the brain forms thoughts: “System 1” which is meant as a fictional shorthand — not as a brain system or structure: Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious. “System 2”: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious. I’m learning a lot about my energy levels first described from within an introversion frame now, from within differences between System 1 and the harder working, energy depletion System 2.  Self-control, for instance is hard and takes a lot of energy to accomplish.  When I write the concentration requires effort until I can find the “flow.” Implications for True Belief — it’s easy to stay in System 1 vs. critical thinking — System 2.  Set some marketing and working on the business goals — System 2 and then ignore them by following the lateral thinking and associative thinking  which Leo da V invites me to do — System 1.

Progress and Procrastination

    • Progress — Composing a draft of the Conclusions Section of the Report

Speaking Volumes

    • I’m studying the structure the “Volume Three Manuscript” story like in “True Believers,” the novel by Kurt Andersen? He describes the writing of a memoir and the horrible secret as the heart of his story, but in a fictional story.  

Working on the Business

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines jumps from 8090 to 8203 organically grown followers

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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