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Tag Archives: persuasion

back to back they faced each other
spitting in each other’s eye
the enemy just would not go blind
as both their mouths ran dry

but still they spat in abject disgust
at the blindness of the others view
they each could see what the other couldn’t
of course, their own vision was true

so they shouted louder and spat some more
and soon it all was clear
“we are right” both parties screamed together
“let’s go and have some beer”

and so the foolish partied on
enchanted by their own reverie
they all simply could not see
quite as well as you or me

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iris

there’s a virus in my iris

a joke so sadly true

when you try to change the way I think

the truth just laughs at you

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There was an account I heard some time ago of a step-father who was convicted of sexually molesting two out of three of his step daughters.
After the guilty verdict had been passed the convicted man was asked why it was that he never assaulted the youngest of the three daughters of his now estranged wife. It was apparent to most that being the youngest she would have been more vulnerable physically and emotionally so it appeared strange that it was the older girls who were the victims of his perverted violations.

The simple answer given by the convicted step-father just before he was cuffed and led out to be locked up was, “She said “NO!”

it’s all smoke and mirrors…
we see nothing,
but we see it from every angle
we rush on
reviewing our every move
in 3-D slow-motion replays

the analysis of paralysis

yet we tell ourselves we’re happy
and strangely,
the majority of us seem to be

or at least,
… so we tell ourselves

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – a song written by Marvin Gaye…

No, it’s not…

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966.
It was made famous by Marvin Gaye in a single released in October 1968 on Motown’s Tamla label.

It also helped to make Marvin Gaye famous.

Ooh, I bet you’re wondering how I knew?
well, I took the time to look it up and verify it for myself…

In pop culture (like religion and science), we hear things and they sound good to us for some reason.
If it is something said by someone popular or a statement by some popular or trendy publication we are quick to believe it…

We want to believe it… perhaps because it confirms some convenient reassurance in our minds?
Or maybe because others seem to believe it, and we don’t want to “feel out”?

Influential people influence others.
These people are usually very charismatic and persuasive.
We give them credit in some way or another and a truth is born.
Maybe it’s as simple as that?

Religion is like that.
It sounds good to us, it makes sense, it seems to help us, encourage us… so we believe it and of course, we then go about trying to convince others of our new found revelation.

How many of us really test it out for ourselves diligently, personally, repeatedly?
Hardly any I’d say.
This is a real problem for religion. It seems to be based almost exclusively on “hearsay.”

Its a problem for science as well. … all knowledge and understanding in fact.

Maybe we could even say that science is the new religion?

It sounds good to us, it makes sense, it seems to help us, encourage us… so we believe it and of course, we then go about trying to convince others of our new found revelation.

How many of us really test it out for ourselves diligently, personally, repeatedly?
Hardly any I’d say.
This is a real problem for science these days. It seems to be based almost exclusively on “hearsay.”

If it is something said by someone popular or a statement by some popular or trendy publication we are quick to believe it…

We want to believe it… perhaps because it confirms some convenient reassurance in our minds?
Or maybe because others seem to believe it, and we don’t want to “feel out”?

Influential people influence others.
Leading scientific voices can be very charismatic and persuasive.
We give them credit in some way or another and a truth is born.
Maybe it’s as simple as that?

Back to the song again…

People say, “believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.”
I can’t help being confused, if it’s true please tell me dear?

the view is always internal

and upside down to boot

the external, merely an illusion

all conclusions remain moot

 

but yet we stand on soapbox top

uttering impassioned cries

to try to turn the minds of men

when all we trade is lies

 

we only see what we can see

and very few agree

the cost of seeing otherwise

will be the death of me

 

Reason –  the basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reason)

 

There’s this much cherished passage in the ancient texts that has God recorded as saying to a deviant and fallen mankind, “come, let us reason together…”

 

What was God asking here?

Can we reason?

And if so is the reason we apply really objective at all?… and if it is, can we really make a rational decision one way or another?

 

Whatever we do, whether good or bad will have a basis or motive for that action.  To my mind this is not in question.  However, whether the basis or motive we apply in any given situation is conscious or subconscious, intentional or ‘instinctual’ is for me a most interesting challenge.

Can we reasonably believe that we are in control of our thoughts and actions cognitively?  Or does basic reason suggest that we are driven by other things … even things we are not even aware of? …perhaps deep things from many diverse, possibly even unfathomable sources?

 

There is a basis and a motive every time when we act as well as when we react … but what is it?  Perhaps we would go mad if we even tried to understand what these are?

 

Clearly we spend a lot of time trying to persuade others of our point of view

 

Maybe all we are doing is trying to persuade ourselves?

 

Many can quite easily agree that when God met with Moses in the desert it was a huge occasion.  A pivotal point had been reached and in hind sight one can see that the plan required a very strategic turn at a very strategic time and a very strategic person was needed and engaged to run with it.

The ensuing events as recorded revealed a very detailed process and procedure which was handed down and followed for generations.

I can’t help thinking that if I were to hand down such a strategic communication to a very educated person (like Moses was) and ensure that the whole thing not be placed at risk of being misunderstood I would have been very much more specific and detailed right from the very beginning.

Yet God grabs Moses’ attention by burning a fire in a desert bush?

Why all the vague symbolism?

Why run the risk of using such a sensual attention grabbing device?

After this Moses spends great amounts of time alone up a mountain gathering data and eventually comes down and delivers a plan of exacting detail and inflexible adherence.

Quite a significant shift from the original symbolic encounter he first had when he saw the burning bush in the desert and heard the call of God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Was that the plan all along?

Or maybe Moses just got a bit carried away and all the detail we inherited was something from his fertile imagination and his own psycho-pathology?

Who was the God of the burning bush?

In South Africa a secrecy bill (the “Protection of Information Bill”) has been shoved through in what clearly appears to be a sneaky, underhand and sinister fashion.  If it gets past any constitutional court appeals and hearings it stands to give the government unimaginable power to control who says and does what … and exclusively at their (the ruling party’s) own discretion and for their own personal benefit and ultimately, protection (from exposure and prosecution for corruption and any other deviance or malpractice).

A thought from another planet perhaps: – the bill, what it stands for and the way it was forced through as well as the alleged reasons for this action is to my mind somewhat extremely unethical to say the least. The fact that it comes through the ANC is nothing less than shocking.

However, in terms of the direct implications of the bill on the “free press” what to my mind does perhaps need to be thought through is the extent to which the press really is “free” and objectively “journalistic.”
Let’s face it, sensationalism sells and revenues from advertising in publications that generate sensationalistic response is what makes the world go round for the press industry.
The press feel like their freedom to inform is being taken away, as well as their freedom to bring an ‘objective’, factual perspective (and before I am branded as a neo-Nazi, totalitarian despot sympathizer, I do believe that strong debate and passionate opposition is essential and very healthy for any community).

But for many decades now I personally battle to read the newspapers, or watch TV, TV news, or read current news editorials as they are to my mind so overwhelmingly manipulatively inflammatory and one sided in terms of the sensationalistic negative spin they seem to take (take the whole recent Rupert Murdoch debacle for example).
Could it be argued that the cries of the “free” press are the same as the cries of the record industry against piracy (who even mobilise the artistes themselves to campaign against piracy) when they themselves, to my mind at least, are the biggest pirates, raping and pillaging creativity, the arts, culture, artistes and the coffers of the artistes themselves for their own gain and dictating to the masses what, when, and who to listen to in order to extract exorbitant profits for themselves?

(and as a personal footnote jab, the Gospel Worship/”Contemporary Music” industry as well as the Christian/Gospel Book Publishing Industries do exactly the same thing – selling manipulatively marketed, sensually “popular” merchandise for exorbitant profits and in so doing dictating to a thoughtless and naive church what the “prophetic” voice and message and culture of God is…  – which in the present Christian scene is merely a very weak, attempted copy of what is perceived to be popular and trendy in the ‘secular’ marketplace. –  A bit extremely blasphemous to my mind … …  .. .   don’t you think?)

A good friend’s status on one of his social networking systems is “It’s always ever only about…”

And yes, we are suitably provoked to insert “me” as the only logical conclusion to that subtle but screaming declaration.

This has tickled and disturbed me all at the same time over the last weeks.

Clearly it’s something I know very well from experience but equally clear to me is that I seem to forget it all too often.  It’s not because the statement is untrue or defective – this is obvious to me,  perhaps it’s because I am.  Maybe I wish to forget it?  … a subconscious act of convenience?  Maybe my daily habit of rearranging my own personal fig leaves over all the less presentable area’s of my life distracts me from the reality of what I am actually doing?

“Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott)

A song by the great Paul Simon paints these pictures,

“He makes me think about
All of these extra moves I make
And all of this herky-jerky motion
And the bag of tricks it takes
To get me through my working day
One-trick pony”

What is it about us that so energetically wants to persuade others about what we are trying so energetically to persuade ourselves about ourselves?

We seem to have become the monsters of the marketing bog…  flaying around with this herky-jerky motion and the complicated bag of tricks it takes to get us through our working days… perhaps the frantic rustle of dried out fig leaves as we cover ourselves from ourselves, just in case we are seen for what we really are…?

And the skeptic raises his voice from the swirling beneath the surface of the deep and asks,

“what about our consuming motivation, even obsession with persuading others about our personal beliefs?”

Who are we trying to persuade?

Who really needs to be ‘saved’?

Is it about all about ‘them’?

… or is it actually always ever only about us?