Monday, December 31, 2007

The inability to recognize the real

An interesting essay by Geoff Olsen at Common Ground uses UFOs as an example of how hard it is for many people to think outside of the box (to use a spent marketing term).

I don't fully agree with everything there, and I get so tired of the use of quantum mechanics to wave anything into possibility, but the core truth is that when faced with an even slightly deniable experience that fits outside of the expected, so many people will dive for the exits of convoluted but familiar explanations.

For me, I feel this effect in people the most with politics. Not just party politics but the bigger picture. You can present people with basic facts, and if they mean the world they know is slipping away or untenable, they won't flip out, they simply ignore it. It helps of course if there are billion-dollar companies that aid and abet in making it easy to ignore the world.

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