Tag Archives: ideology

Which side are you on? Lessons from Brexit

Losing Brain Function

I have learned a lesson from all the controversy surrounding the British Brexit referendum to leave the European Union. When people have made up their mind on a highly emotionally-charged issue, there is nothing in the world that you can do to convince them to think otherwise.

When strong feelings such as national identity and perceived lack of sovereignty override any logical argument that economists, bureaucrats, mathematicians, historians or political scientists put forward, the emotional argument always wins hands down.

Every so often I fall into the same trap of participating in some social media debate, realising afterwards that it was a complete waste of my time. I will not convince someone else to change his or her opinion. Its like trying to persuade someone to give up a religious faith.

We are constantly being manipulated by  emotion. You will hardly sell a soft drink by revealing how much sugar and other toxic ingredients it contains. You call it an “energy drink” and nurture an image advertising it in the hands of handsome and beautiful sport or movie stars.   Its the image and emotion that do the trick. The cigarette industry was a master of such manipulation and so are the political demagogues.

The human mind works like this: Once a thought or an idea becomes an “emotionally charged” belief it will find examples from past experience,  the Internet, chat rooms or from whatever source available to confirm that belief. You will choose friends and associates confirming your viewpoint. That belief becomes unshakeable.  Any other information that contradicts your opinion will be censored by the mind, ignored, attacked or denied because it is perceived as a threat to self-identity.

Amazingly you will find  that many people believe the twin towers collapsed  because of explosive devices and not because of the planes that crashed into them. A significant portion believe the moon landing was a hoax. And so it goes on.  Simply dismissing these folk as a lunatic fringe is too simple. It just tells us that we all are victim to emotional reactions and responses in different forms and patterns and that we are susceptible to falling into the “belief trap” even if all the evidence tells us otherwise.

There is obviously a deep alienation between a large section of the population and what is deemed as the “establishment” – those up there making all the decisions. Or those scientists or mass media knowing all the answers. You will find few dissenters in groups and communities holding the same view because of course you want to “belong” to your tribe or group.

What makes the current situation so dangerous is that in a world of information overload – and often an overload of unsourced and misleading information – more and more people are  following “false prophets” offering simple solutions to complex problems. We seem to have forgotten how all the  “belief systems” “isms” and thin ideologies have so tragically misled humanity in the past.

ITS TIME TO WAKE UP and lift the veil behind all the delusion.

Reino Gevers – coach, author, trainer

http://www.reinogevers.com

 

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Trends that could change our world

Big changes often come in many small almost unnoticeable steps. When looking back two or three decades none of us would ever have predicted the break-up of the Soviet Union and the end of apartheid in South Africa.

 We could never have imagined using technology like skype or facebook to communicate with family and friends living in distant corners of the world with a pocket-sized smart-phone from virtually any location.

 On the political side we have seen the bankruptcy of ideologies such as communism and apartheid that tried to impose fixed systems that simply could not work in a fast-changing world. I would even dare to say that what we are now seeing in the Ukraine, Russia, the Middle East, North Korea and China are the last kicks of the dying horse of political and religious dogma. And we know from the past that when major changes are coming it is initially accompanied by a lot of turmoil.

 Russian President Putin’s power-posturing in the Crimea comes out of a position of weakness and the loss of the eastern Ukraine to a people’s revolution seeking freedom. There is more to come, even in Russia itself.

 The telecommunication/communication revolution on the economic side has given hundreds of millions of people the opportunity to access information they would otherwise never have had, cutting a swathe through the censorship attempts of dictatorial governments. The Internet is far more efficient at spreading information from the grassroots than the print media ever was, much to the chagrin of many a journalist from the old school.

 After the Internet revolution of the 1990s we are now moving into an era of networking, cooperative partnerships and sustainable economies. The signs are all out there. A lot of start-ups and many very creative individuals out there are getting together to form business partnerships, sharing their talents and knowledge. Many of them are so fed-up with the banking system that they are going into Bitcoin and other alternative forms of financing such as crowd-funding, getting a lot of new technology out there that would otherwise never be available.

 The Internet makes it all possible. Many of us are already working from home and offering our talents and skills to many different employers at the same time or joining groups of other people (living in many different parts of the world) for specific projects. I am seeing a lot of the younger folk simply refusing to join the system in big companies that have a reputation of treating their employees like machines. The most innovative, creative companies are those with small, highly motivated and talented teams. These are people with a similar mind-set getting together to start something really new and enjoying what they are doing.

 We are after all social animals that love to interact with our fellow human beings. So sooner then we might think we will be beaming 3D images of ourselves across the world with the famous catch phrase from the science fiction series Star Trek “Beam me up, Scotty.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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