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Dglgmut

Exposure

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Because of the political climate this is the subject that has been on my mind the most lately, so I'm taking another stab at it. Michael Kelly has told me how important storytelling is, and I've seen posts of his in the past talking about this. This is a widely explored topic and I have no doubt it is true that people respond more to a story than isolated pieces of information. However that doesn't fully explain to me why there has been such a rise in socialist ideology. Is it that the left has better stories, or is it that they focus more on getting their stories out there?

 

The ultimate story for anyone is the story of their own life. Why is this story most important? Is it the best story? Probably not. But it's the story that all other stories are judged by. I was listening to an interview with the FBI negotiator from the Waco stand-off, and one thing he said about talking to people with different political or religious views is to stay away from that ~30% of their identity. It made me think, how can you persuade someone to change their political stance if you shouldn't talk politics? What if they said something about being a socialist, and when pressed you admitted you are a capitalist? And if they tried to talk about it (get into an argument) you just avoided the issue? Now they have this person in their life (character in their story) who is a capitalist. Now what if they like you as a person?

 

This made me wonder, what if someone was surrounded by proclaimed capitalists that they liked? Would they entertain the idea that capitalism was evil? I don't think so. But is it because they were convinced of the justification for capitalism, moral and/or utilitarian? No... it would be because they were exposed to enough contradictory information.

 

I saw one of those compilations of different "News" outlets/stations having very similar copy... something that some people caught on to years and years ago, but it's still being done. You'd think something so blatant would cause mass distrust in the media, but that's apparently not how trust works. Trust is closely related to comfort. This is very important. Just like people's lives have become more physically comfortable, they have become more intellectually comfortable. What is intellectually comfortable? Familiarity. This is why exposure is the key.

 

Our own stories are more important than anything because that's what we're exposed to. Why don't we care, relatively speaking, about disasters on the other side of the world? Exposure. So the question becomes for me, what are people not being exposed to that is vitally needed right now? It's not about ideas, the ideas come later. It's some form of truth/reality...

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My other theory is about a chink in the armor... The question with this approach becomes, what about the left bothers leftists?

 

Let's say it all comes down to collectivism vs individualism. I will occasionally get the sense that this issue will resolve itself because of the inherent contradictions within leftist ideology that will create internal conflict ("the left is eating itself"). I feel like when these contradictions negatively affect leftists it shakes up their entire worldview... not just their idea of what's going on in the world, but also how they fit in the bigger picture. When it comes down to it, these people are acting out of, let's call it an irrational self-interest. It's a selfishness that doesn't involve real introspection or real empathy.

 

Like when people defend rioters until it comes to their neighborhood. Exposure connects to this, but only as much as the more you are exposed to something the more it affects you. It still makes sense that what is comfortable is what a lot of people will default to... So how do you make an abhorrent ideology less comfortable?

 

I'm starting to think this  whole political divide is like  convincing people that eating healthy and exercise is IMPORTANT.

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10 minutes ago, Dglgmut said:

One more thing connected to this: What side do you want to be on, the comfortable or the uncomfortable?

mut wrote. . . what about that left bothers leftists?

They want to be the individuals who rule. Their individualism only extends to them and a few others.  

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The modern left are complete collectivists. How does one be an individualist when you've renounced the concept of "self' and self-volition? Their last remnant of 'individualism' plays out in narcissism.

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54 minutes ago, anthony said:

narcissism.

Most people don't understand what narcissism really is, but it is a very identifying characteristic of leftists... It has nothing to do with delusions of grandeur. It's essentially an unhealthy obsession with one's identity. The Last Psychiatrist is a website with articles all relating to the culture of narcissism... maybe I need to go back and read some of that, because I am moving further and further away from "reason" being the answer to dealing with these people.

 

Persuasion is something that has never interested me, and something I've never really liked. But now I feel like it's a skill I need to have if perhaps I ever have to convince someone NOT to do something...

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This goes back to something else I thought about which was the "sell yourself" thing (another thread I made about how we are attracted to people before ideas). It relates to one of the videos Michael posted to introduce me to the whole importance of story telling thing. The speaker brought up a scenario where someone sees a James Bond film, then goes out and buys a watch (to be more like Bond). To me this didn't say much about story telling, but it said a lot about narcissism.

 

I would say that there are evolutionary reasons for narcissism to be a trait, whether prominent or subtle, that exists in all of us, in that "who" we are is important to our survival as we must fill some sort of role in the group. We cannot be disposable to the group, and therefore even if we are not productive, we might need to be unique, or simply desirable in some way. And perhaps it's an underlying fear of dispensability that makes people so desperate to be something... some label: Gay, Black, Trans, Ally, Communist, Certified, Qualified... It's like an emptiness that grabs for a shell to hide itself, and give itself shape. The irony is their enemy is the exact reflection of their own mental illness: white mass-shooters. They've said, "There is no identity for you," and so the kid or man creates an identity that they won't forget.

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On 6/26/2020 at 10:54 AM, Dglgmut said:

Michael Kelly has told me how important storytelling is, and I've seen posts of his in the past talking about this. This is a widely explored topic and I have no doubt it is true that people respond more to a story than isolated pieces of information. However that doesn't fully explain to me why there has been such a rise in socialist ideology. Is it that the left has better stories, or is it that they focus more on getting their stories out there?

D,

Socialists tell their stories to a captive audience during their formative years. Over and over and over.

Rand wrote "The Comprachicos" and focused the entire essay on the conceptual mind. But notice that she did start with a story...

🙂 

She also quoted an old saying about Jesuits:

Quote

"Give me a child for the first seven years," says a famous maxim attributed to the Jesuits, "and you may do what you like with him afterwards." This is true of most children, with rare, heroically independent exceptions.

I say this applies to storytelling even more than concepts (although I don't dismiss or degrade conceptual development--it's very important). What's more, it carries with the same deadly effect all through education.

After a decade and a half or so of growing up listening to the same stories saying who the good guys are and who the bad guys are--with peer pressure and all kinds of other covert nudges to get you to accept those stories as real life, it becomes a horrific challenge to think independently based on one's own observations.

You will never reason a person out of that with reason. You have to tell a better stories--ones they resonate with. And you have to tell these kinds of stories over and over and over until they break down the inner resistance of the audience to looking at the world based on independent observation.

Only a story can beat a story in the human mind. And a core story is why (for the most part) a person will engage his or her reason in the first place.

Michael

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13 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

You will never reason a person out of that with reason. You have to tell a better stories--ones they resonate with. And you have to tell these kinds of stories over and over and over until they break down the inner resistance of the audience to looking at the world based on independent observation.

Only a story can beat a story in the human mind. And a core story is why (for the most part) a person will engage his or her reason in the first place.

I agree reason is not the answer... that is, if a person is clearly unreasonable. Now telling stories over and over is what I was originally talking about: exposure. That is to say that comfort is an important factor in changing a belief. Is the new belief comfortable?

 

What does comfort mean in this context? How much change is necessary to adjust to this belief. And the adjustment is not just other connected beliefs, that is the least of your worries, it's more along the lines of how will this new belief change the way I interact with people? The discomfort in the idea that the prevalent climate change theory is false is not due to someone already spending money on eco friendly light bulbs, it's because they would be intellectually wandering from the pack.

 

So I don't think the quality of the story is the issue, nor how often it's told. The fact remains that you are asking the person to do something unpopular and they are not up to the challenge. They don't need a new story, they need to see evidence that it's okay to think for yourself. They need exposure to people who they can respect, and see those people do what they're afraid to do and maintain that respectability.

 

You don't buy a watch to be like James Bond because the story was good, you buy the watch because you like and respect the character (the person). You just happened to meet this person through the vehicle of a story, but if you had met them in real life you would still buy the watch. I think, ultimately, it all comes down to what sort of person you are and how people see you, rather than your stories/arguments/theories.

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1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

So I don't think the quality of the story is the issue, nor how often it's told.

D,

Really?

1 hour ago, Dglgmut said:

The fact remains that you are asking the person to do something unpopular and they are not up to the challenge.

You just wrote one of the oldest plot-lines in existence as support for your opinion that story is not the issue.

:evil: 

So how do you convince a person who is like the one in your story? You first get him to tell a different story about his own life to himself. After all, we guide our lives by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Only after you seduce or excite him with a better story of his own life for him to tell himself do you talk--in depth--about specific issues where he can use his reason. Since reality is one in terms of laws of nature (most of the time 🙂 ), when two people use reason and respect reality as a foundation, they generally come to the same conclusions. No persuasion is really needed after that point except looking at facts and so on.

In marketing, the persuasion process goes from getting someone's attention and bonding, then convincing the person that something exists and is plausible, then convincing them that it benefits people, and then comes the hard part. Even though the person may agree that something is plausible and good for others, and even a good thing in itself, he still doesn't believe he can get it because of yada yada yada... (mostly stories of self-limiting beliefs). So you have to get him to tell himself a story that he is worthy and capable of getting it.

Ayn Rand never used this kind of frame, but this is Objectivism 101 in practice. 

Wait until this idea about story sinks in and grows a deeper root here and here in your brain and we get to themes... 🙂 

I see something starting to grow. After all, you started this thread. A thin little thingie of a root popped out.

🙂

Michael

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3 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

D,

Really?

You just wrote one of the oldest plot-lines in existence as support for your opinion that story is not the issue.

:evil: 

So how do you convince a person who is like the one in your story? You first get him to tell a different story about his own life to himself. After all, we guide our lives by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Only after you seduce or excite him with a better story of his own life for him to tell himself do you talk--in depth--about specific issues where he can use his reason. Since reality is one in terms of laws of nature (most of the time 🙂 ), when two people use reason and respect reality as a foundation, they generally come to the same conclusions. No persuasion is really needed after that point except looking at facts and so on.

In marketing, the persuasion process goes from getting someone's attention and bonding, then convincing the person that something exists and is plausible, then convincing them that it benefits people, and then comes the hard part. Even though the person may agree that something is plausible and good for others, and even a good thing in itself, he still doesn't believe he can get it because of yada yada yada... (mostly stories of self-limiting beliefs). So you have to get him to tell himself a story that he is worthy and capable of getting it.

Ayn Rand never used this kind of frame, but this is Objectivism 101 in practice. 

Wait until this idea about story sinks in and grows a deeper root here and here in your brain and we get to themes... 🙂 

I see something starting to grow. After all, you started this thread. A thin little thingie of a root popped out.

🙂

Michael

My thing is this: aren't you, fundamentally, a character in their story? This is where I'm saying how you come off, self-awareness, is crucial, because this is a point where the person you're talking to can consciously choose to detach.

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14 hours ago, Dglgmut said:

My thing is this: aren't you, fundamentally, a character in their story? This is where I'm saying how you come off, self-awareness, is crucial, because this is a point where the person you're talking to can consciously choose to detach.

D,

Just a small root sprouted. Curiosity is there but you haven't seen it yet.

You are still looking for an on-off button and organic things like living beings don't work that way.

Imagine a farmer wanting to grow corn by skipping over clearing the land, planting the seed, caring for the growth period (fertilizing and keeping pests away), and harvesting. He just wants an on-off button to get from the seed to the cornbread.

There is such an on-off button--other people doing the work and him going to a market with money.

The stories that hold our system together, the system that produces brainwashed progressives that look more like babies having tantrums than adults, have been put there by people willing to do the work.

And it starts with asking the right story-question: how do I make my intellectual crop grow from beginning to end? Not how do I say a magic word or chant a magic spell or tell a tale that will instantly change someone's mind?

The first is reality and it sits in our mind by story. The second is an imaginary story that has no relation to reality.

Let me disabuse you of something, though.

You have part of the reality right when you say you are a character in the stories of other people. They are characters in your stories, too. But the only story goal you set is to change their minds about something specific (say, climate change). Then you get the time sequence wrong. You say they can "consciously choose to detach." Yes they can, but that's not how it works. They have already detached. They think you are full of shit the moment you open your mouth. In the stories they tell themselves, people who think like you are the bad guys or the fools.

Michael

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19 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

You are still looking for an on-off button and organic things like living beings don't work that way.

No, I'm not. The opposite. I agree with what you said at the end "They think you are full of shit the moment you open your mouth. In the stories they tell themselves, people who think like you are the bad guys or the fools." I don't think an argument is helpful at all, including smuggling it in with a story. Because the story in their head takes precedence, and the line of yours I just quoted is keeping them from even entertaining the implications of your story. Either they don't understand your point, or they understand and can now judge you.

 

Because I think character comes first. I suggested above that you state your stance, but no more. You don't defend it, you just say that's how you think/feel. Depending on how much exposure they have to you, the less true it becomes that people who think X are the bad guys. That's what's keeping them from exploring the idea in the first place... because they know where it ends... becoming "the bad guy."

 

Think about Darth Vader; I don't really care about Star Wars, but he's a good example of someone the common person would not trust to hear "reason" from... even if he smuggled it in in the form of a story. Again, I'm not saying stories are not effective tools, but there are definitely things more important to the brain than stories. Things they pick up in the immediate moment, for example... How many white women who have posted black squares on their social media would cross the street if a couple young, black men were walking towards them? They might believe with all their heart that black men are the victims of malicious stereotypes, but in the immediate moment their instincts tell them something different.

 

Exposure is one of the most effective strategies in psychology. It can be used to reduce fear. As far as persuading someone, reducing their fear is part of it... their is also an element of leadership, I believe. They choose to follow your lead, and this comes back to character. This ties into basic psychology as well, because like I said in another thread relating to this same problem, people learn primarily through imitation/mimicry. In the role of leadership you do not pay attention to their bad ideas. You don't contest them, you just ignore them. You focus instead on the good. This fits with what some people I listen to say, which is something along the lines of "have fun." What they mean is for your own sake, and for the sake of representing whatever philosophy you've embraced, be a person people would want to be around first. One of the biggest slurs you can call someone is a Republican, not because the ideology is evil (even though people do think that), but because they're boring and people have seen them mocked and humiliated for their whole lives.

 

I do not think discussing something like climate change is going to be effective at all unless you have established trust. That trust does not have to be established by you alone, and you don't even have to be the messenger. You just help open the door to the possibility that they will ever be brave enough to listen. This isn't selling someone a vacuum, a car, or a house. You're selling them an identity. James Bond didn't sit someone down and explain, even through a story, why he is a cool guy. He just was that way (that's not to say telling stories can't be cool, just that the point of the story can't be "think like me").

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