Understanding the power and effect of perception is the lynch pin to good decision making. Developing a mature and analytical “handling” process for perception will arm you with an exceptional ability to analyze complex challenges rapidly and accurately. That skill will give you and essential edge against your competition. Well-practiced it will save you from harm and suffering. It may save your life. Quick thinking, rapid, accurate, and thoughtful responses are game changers in a survival situation and life in general.
Some of the brightest minds in the world have debated the concept of “Will’s Proverb #8”. My proverb, “Perception is reality. Reality is perception” is scientifically validated. I will not slip off into scientific minutia, but if you wish to go there read how what we see is totally based upon perception that is a result of the upside-down image of light reflectivity, corneal, retinal, and brain functions. Those things vary from human to human. The brain is so powerful that it processes “what it gets”, fills the blanks, and calculates the scene for your survival.
The perceived world posits that you see something, therefore it is. We certainly know that is nowhere near the case. A table is a table or is it. In the video below the tables are different, or are they.
When you see something for the first time, you must assess it, test it, feel it, and develop a concept explaining what you have seen. Those “facts” the child of vision, analysis, and valuation are subjective perceptions. Lighting, angle, obstructed view, and more directly skew the outcome of your final assessment of the object in question. Most people do not even know what about the Ames Illusion. The challenge is to develop skills that allow you to error check your sensory data.
The Ames Illusion demonstrates the point. Please view the short video below:
I believe that when assessing life and what it presents to us every day, we must learn to develop a worthwhile skill set to enable us to make objective, clear, logical, and accurate assessments of people and the world around us. As I said, if you embrace the idea that perception is reality and reality is perception you will be ahead of the game.
People used to park their cars with their windows down, doors unlocked, with the keys in them. Most of the time, nothing negative happened. Over time, new stories occurred telling troubling tales of theft, damage, and sometimes injuries as a result of their perception of safety and security is diminished. Suddenly, they are locking their car. Depending upon the imagery, threat, and tolerance to that risk people will suddenly hide everything in the car, install a car alarm, and purchase aftermarket security devices for the car. The process slowly strips that person willingly of their calm, trusting demeanor. It alters the way they look at strangers walking by them near their car. The point is not to say that in some instances those perceptions and behaviors are not totally valid and necessary. Simply, the question is, did you actually speak to police officers and locals who are in that area all of the time? Did you find data that supported the threat and countermeasures?
Your response is to:
- Watch countless hours of redundant, often baseless conjecture, and pontification on cable TV.
- As the story persists, fed by new and more graphic details, get more and more fearful, angry, and concerned.
- You demand that the government and law enforcement “DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”
The cable TV networks make millions of dollars on advertising revenue. You develop a biased, generally inaccurate perception of the facts, the threats, and the NEED FOR A SOLUTION.
Sadly, this brain based response can be exploited for way more than being tricked into ceding our most valued assets, our freedoms and even our liberty. Daily, the same methods are employed to excite us to buy antiaging creams, hair regrowth formulas, and other items that will “save us”.
As with anything, this provoked, highly predictable response can be employed for benign or nefarious purposes.
Carefully sculpted messages are embedded in every form of media today. They focus on the idea that everyone is a victim. Everyone, except for people of European roots, they are the creators of all evil. The clear message is that masses are victims. Victims do not exist without an aggressor. They want you to beg to be saved, surrender what you have, especially that which threatens them and their power over you, in return for “safety and security.” From advertisements to news “reports”, movies to television shows, they all inundate you with images where they flip nature and reality on its head, put strong people in weak positions, weak people as super heroes, and much more. We all are inundated with advertisements for food, beverages, and a plethora of other things they tell you, that you need. These messages are also in political speeches and news “reports.” They can change public support for policies, wars, programs, laws, and more.
At the end of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam (1968) the North Vietnamese had suffered such devastating losses that the lead general formed a surrender party. They watched Walter Cronkite on the evening news say that we had lost the war. We had sustained thousands of casualties, but they were totally devastated. Several decades later we learned that Walter Cronkite; “the most trusted voice in the news” was a socialist. In his retirement he gave a speech to the World Federalist Association in which he “favor[ed a] world government financed by global taxes”. He called for the U.S. to renounce “some of its sovereignty” and pass a series of United Nations treaties-many of which were later pushed in the Senate by President Barack Obama. Cronkite’s reports shifted the previously strong majority support for the Vietnam Conflict to oppose it. That is the power of the message.
I will use two really powerful examples that illuminate the issue. First the reporting on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The underlying bias of the mainstream media which is likely a combination of two competing factors. The first is the fact that most of the media leaders and talking heads were either leftist anti-Vietnam war protesters or were taught by them in college.
We love and respect our US Military. They are serving our nation at the will of our government to protect us and our interest. One military death is too much. But the numbers must be understood in order to give them due respect.
- Afghanistan and Iraq Wars 2001-2017
- Hostile Death 5750
- Non-Hostile Death 1186
- 757 in accidents
- 261 suicide or other self-inflicted causes
- Total Records 6936
- 6,900 Contractors also died in the conflict
- 43,000 uniformed Afghans, Iraqis, and other Allies died
Over 21% of all deaths in theater were caused by non-hostile incidents. According to several sources there are as many as another 25% who died while in combat but not because of enemy actions but in rollovers, crashes, and other motor vehicle accidents. Over half of the combat casualties were not caused by arms fire but at an average of 1.7 deaths to one IED. The casualty rate from IEDs is over double. Why does that matter? The media knows that death and carnage equal viewers. The politicians know that high casualty rates yield public outcry and power shifts. For our military it means that instead of the obvious outcry for our soldiers to be provided with explosion proof vehicles, we left them there for the first six years with HUMVEES that would tear in half with a few pipe bombs. Our brave soldiers were denied support for ratings and political gain!
There is more, in the Vietnam conflict the numbers stack up like this:
- Vietnam Conflict 1956 - 2008
- Hostile Death 47,434
- Non-Hostile Death 10,786
- Total Records 58,220
That is roughly 16% of our military in Vietnam died from non-enemy actions.
There are tricks employed in order to galvanize the public’s perceptions and reactions. Although it seems counter intuitive that a known is perceived as more threatening than an unknown, we find that personified threats/risks (named threats; Taliban, Son of Sam, etc.) are perceived as a higher threat than a risk from a faceless threat. Therefore, the media and the government move quickly to name the risk. Twenty-four-hour news channels even make fancy graphics and stressful music for the segments. Once they have done that, they repeat the things that they wish for you to accept as the threat to you. This invokes fear, discomfort, and a “need” for “a solution”. Welcome the Hegelian Dialectic (see the article.) The next act is the “public demands” action. Therein lies the danger to our way of life, our freedoms, and our liberty.
We must constantly be vigilant to the well-planned manipulation that is foisted upon us every day. We are the primary guardians of our liberty and freedoms. Never rest in task of guarding these precious gifts.