Saturday, January 9, 2010

When the masses have the interest to self delude

It is a human ability to self delude in order to feel better about oneself. It has been found that the depressed are generallly more realistic about their lives than the happy ones. No doubt we should be idiots to want "realism" and get depressed. (unless one is religiously "truth seeking" which is yet another mental illness).

So for some issues most people have a very strong interest to beleoive in what they think is reality.

Two great examples are marriage and kids.

Whether these are good or not is a complex question. (partly because nobody feels comfortable to think lucidly about these, Or it is human nature to get confused here). [The available sceintific data holds that marriage is variable good for some and bad for other in the long term, while most enjoy it in the beginning. Kids are not adding to our happiness usually as far as we can measure happiness and life satisfaction]

Yet those who are married have a strong self interest in beleiving that marriage is crucial for life and happiness. I witnessed it yesterday when visiting an acquitant who is laboring madly with her kids and job. I suspect she was more alive nad happy when single. SOmehow I heard her opinion that the single persons are highly unhappy. I was unable to avoid the thought that she has a vested interst in this beleif.

Same for kids. The majority of people who do have kids (many out of carelessness in sex), love their kids (usually) and cannot change history. Their best psychological tactic is to beleive in a hardcore way that kids are a great thing. (When some one says that the only thing in his life are his kids, cannot avoid the suspicion that he simply does not have anything else in his life. I have heard these words only form people wghose life seems to have ended long ago. But who am I to make fun of the last consolation of the depressed)

Actually, the only problem with these delusions are when it comes to decisions. And when the masses delude themselves it also creates a public opinion that is highly deluded.


Anonymous said...

When I see the first comment or chinese comment I believe people ideas will remain random forever. Why we want to understand people? Will people remain a mistery forever? Will the problem be because we want a ordered world?

Anonymous said...

Hello zilber, I have been reading your blog and it is interesting, but I have a question, Do we need to be in FLOW in order to learn something or do we have to act according our desires? An example is this, I want to learn English grammar but when I get in complexity I back down to keeping learning and my desires are toward other things like playing chess or chatting here or there. In a few words flow can disappear and that is worrying me. Then if I want to learn against my will I don't know if it's going to turn out right. What would you do?

Yechezkel Zilber said...

Tough question.

First and foremost I beleive we are here to have fun. Doing things that are not fun is something I do not beleive in.

SOmetimes, you can enjoy life more by investing so called starting energy. When readng it is sometimes effortful when starting and then it gets to become fun.

SOmetimes the trick is to do things in an easygoing way. When the issue is "I have to" learn a laguage it takes out the fun. Bu8t sometimes we want to know things and this want somehow creates the urge to check out words.
Also, one can learn a language without looking up words by reading and guessing words meaning.
Electronic means are also very useful. Like automatic translator in the computer (babylon) where you click on a word and get its meaning. Or electronic hand held translator.

Success and fun, enjoy life

Anonymous said...

Thanks zilber, I'll keep reading your thoughts, they are amazing. A fan From Mexico.