There remains a general consensus surrounding the status quo. It is a pretentiously collective judgment of “..well, we understand the world." The emotional response is a contradictory intolerance to any deviance to this supposed understanding. Within a group, straying from a fixed perception yields consequences that are swift, and yes, sometimes dire. However, the real question remains: What is this “we” mentality? And why should anyone really care? To answer those questions, let us delve a little deeper into the current state of affairs to dissect the multi-headed hydra of bullshit, known as the status quo.
Who is “We?”
Many groups of people believe they are correct about everything they think of. Despite the fact that objective evidence to the contrary exists, these groups are identified by their lack of reasoning. Willingness to accept anything that fails to directly parallel their ideals is a “cardinal sin.” In fact, it can be said that almost all groups conform to some sort of collective consensus, and those within who happen to challenge the theme of the group risk punishment because they don't know "the truth." This is a subscription to assumed logic, and a prescription for those who truly lack it. Behold the mental phenomenon known as subjective cognitive bias.
Despite what may conventionally define cognitive bias, it is not an error in thinking. Objectively speaking, it is a blatantly natural form of the human condition. This is not to say that because it is natural, it is also useful. On the contrary, since filtering reality through a personal lens can prove to be a misguided way of presuming logic. Just as an eye cannot directly see itself, objective input is sometimes necessary to gain self-awareness. Many groups operate on the principles of the status quo, ostracizing and otherwise excommunicating (or worse) those who fail to reinforce their confirmation bias.
The echo-chambers of politics, sports, religion, even personal circles of friendship, all function on the algorithm of falsehood. This taints their judgment of reality and others who differ from their “norm.” The “we” mentality filters truths through a subjective lens in order to satisfy the narrative and purpose of the group. Regardless of evidential basis in objective reality, this partial refinement is antithetical to cultivating true reason. Logic is distilled by considering all aspects, questioning all supposed truths, and choosing that which is most objectively viable.
Why “We” Care
Dissect the status quo, and one may come to realize how targeted opposition exists solely to further a group agenda. Scapegoats are conveniently utilized to bolster the reasoning behind what is considered the “current state of affairs.” An oversimplified “us vs them” mentality is what drives a popular group towards the privileged status of being either victimized or victorious, the former being highly lauded by society. If the group is collectively offended or somehow oppressed, it becomes an elite club of “social diversity” with an "us vs them" theme. If a sports team has a losing track record and happens to win a game, it’s because “they’re the best, and always were.” In popular religion, “…well my god has a much bigger dick than your god.” This duality of perception is a shortcut to thinking and must be exploited for what it truly is: steamed identity politics garnished with 5-star woe-be-gone bullshit on a (tarnished) silver platter.
It is assumed that if one is perceived to be wrong, then that automatically makes the other person or group “right.” Simply not belonging to a group immediately places the outsider in the former category. We commonly observe this phenomenon in the hive-minded tribes of today. The perception of duality undercuts their ability to discern what is objectively truthful, and so some folks run around thinking they know what's going on in the world without considering all aspects. People also sacrifice their individuality for the sake of their group, while unwittingly thinking of themselves as being unique. Within those factions, faith is often mistaken for fact, while actual facts are often viewed as blatant lies. Mark Twain said it best when quoted, “No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot.”
The reason people choose herd conformity over individuality is often due to fear. “Rejection, ostracism, excommunication, oh my!” Man is a social creature, and no punishment is worse than being banished by those he considers his friends & family. In today’s social climate, the questioning mind fears offending over-sensitive comrades. The dance of duality is a contrasting tango of “right vs wrong.” There is however, an unseen partner amidst the two. A third wheel of alternatives who is made to sit on the sidelines. Her name is Objectivity, and she is often the last one asked for a dance.
Notice How Even the Title of This Video is an Introspective Form of Cognitive Bias
How to Free Yourself
When people talk about climate change, they usually refer to our planet in distress. Let it be known that Earth would continue well without us, though we cannot continue on Earth without changing our social-climate first. One cannot know kindness for others without first being kind to himself. The dangers of our own social climate threaten our existence much quicker. True reason can only be cultivated with empathy, by considering all opposing views. Absolutes bear the watermark of possible fallacy, since there is always more to discover and think about. If one cannot be true to others, he can at least be true to himself. Be suspicious of popular labels that claim lies and supposed truths, especially if they originate from within your own group.
In duality there is always a third exit, an unseen alternative that is the most objectively logical. Cognitive bias is not something to be defeated, as much as it is something to simply acknowledge & accept as natural while striving to becoming self-aware of it. Do not use this as a crutch to resume a subjective perspective about reality, however. Realize there is nothing inherently divine about the status quo, as all sacred cows are worthy of sacrifice & ridicule. Identity groups are mere substitutions for individuality, pretentiously replacing their personalities with self-righteous politics. If one cannot risk martyrdom within their group, he must at the very least tell himself the truth in private, without furthering the popular agenda. He must remain a ghost in the background, fading away from memory to pursue his own endeavors.
There are a plethora of social groups that engage in civil discussions with an objective element. The status quo rejects these rational bodies, however. People often seek a crowd for their identity rating instead of its substance. The “in” club offers a popular cookie-cutout image of every member within the group, some opting for colored sprinkles. Being a victim is in vogue nowadays, though no one is permitted to outshine another too much, especially the chairman of the party. Therefore, it is with utmost importance to your individuality that you withdraw from any crowd that imposes a group-think mentality. Remember, the bigger your vibe, the smaller your tribe.
Subjective sensibilities have their place in our hearts, though often misplaced and interpreted as truths in our heads. Ideologies come in different flavors, and not everybody favors a buttered pecan. The distinction lies in the details. If we feel a certain way towards something or someone, we must remember that everybody is different, and it's okay to disagree! Logically engaging in a discussion without emotion prejudicing our thought-process, we can objectively choose what makes the most sense without being assholes about it. The back of a watch has gears that do not fit into each other. However, they work in unison to orchestrate the mechanism of the watch. Society can learn how to adapt with harmony from this simple analogy.
If we are to function as a civilization, we must remember that emotions are like windows: easily breakable and should therefore always remain open to allow fresh air. Logic is like a closed door: we should politely knock on each other’s dwelling as civil people to inquire about the truth. There’s no need to burn down each other’s houses just because they don’t all look alike. Hopefully, you now have a clearer understanding of how "the current state of affairs" corrupts individual perception. Return now to a time when homogenization was just a process reserved for milk products, instead of humanity . . .
© 2020 Tony Hellvon