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The Dirty Little Secret

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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03 July 2018 00:48
 

This country has a growing number of citizens who keep a dark and terrible secret. Revealing it would bring humiliation and a loss of face with everyone. There is a constant inner dread and terror of exposure, which will be avoided at any price. There is only one balm that treats this dread and that is the confident feeling that everyone else shares the same terrible secret and lives with the same dread.

These folks share a secret sub-economy of mutual cover, fixing and face-saving. They help each other cover-up the consequences of their secret. They choose to live with their secret or live in fear of it. Their aspiration is to live in a society where this is the correct choice that society accommodates and rewards. Everyone has a place in this society where they expect loyalty from those below them and submit with total obedience to those above them. If one stays in place, their secret will not be challenged or exposed. That is all one has to know. It is a way to make peace with oneself. One lives in a continuous state of resolve… a bliss of always being fully answered. We can all forget about the secret together.

The enemies of this society are those who do not share the secret or those for whom it is not a secret at all. When these enemies get together, they attack by exposing the consequences of the secret, which causes widespread terror and dread. Those who threaten to expose the secret, and its many consequences, are thus properly labeled as terrorists.

So far, this dystopian sketch could be fleshed out in many forms and told in books or films. It could serve as the basic formula that needs only to have the secret revealed or explained in some way. For example, what if folks secretly had alien bugs in their brains? Or were swapped with vegetable clones or immutably programmed robots? What about Landrue? These choices make it easy to portray the heroic terrorists as simply those without bugs in their brains etc, etc. It can be a letdown because the writer is saying, “I have no idea what the secret is but I know there is one so let’s make merry with it symbolically.”


Sometimes the secret is portrayed as a simple fear of guns, torture and pain in general felt by people living under constant surveillance. That can be a letdown, because only a further secret could explain the way all the guns and cameras are pointing.

The continuous stream of dystopian entertainment as either comedy or drama shows us one thing we can be sure of. The secret is still a secret. Truth-loving terrorartists will continue to beat around the bush albeit inventively, provocatively and really stunning to watch in HD. None of it will be useful for getting out of our current mess. Fans can enjoy this terrortainment and even shed a tear together, but it will never matter to the folks they want it to matter to. And that’s because of the secret and that’s why we are really screwed.

We could explain the problem of the secret to those who hold the secret but there’s a problem. None of them can sustain a continuous chain of thought for more than twelve seconds. Complex explanations have to built and expressed in steps and layers. The recipient of the explanation, once convinced, then forms a much more compact conclusion or summary but that’s the point. It is the recipient’s own conclusion based on the full explanation and not a blind belief or loyalty to a rank of authority. But not if your brain craps out in just one or two steps. That will never cover the full explanation of the problem.

To holders of the secret, this lackluster brain capacity must be unexposed. There are many easy techniques like bluster, distraction, bathroom breaks, excuses and apologies but the most popular responses are annoyance and temper. Most secret-holders can be very intelligent… for twelve seconds or less. Too many thirteen second challenges can sap a secret-holder’s confidence in their own smartness. Usually, there is one field, maybe two, where extensive training has made un-sapped thinking possible within the relevant context. There, solace can be found and confidence restored. This can lead to over-confidence that the secret holder is still thinking things through in other matters when, to everyone else, their brains are crapping out like usual.

Don’t worry, other secret holders will cover for them in an economy of loyalty. Or, expose them for an advancement in the social strata. These friendly, well-meaning folk want to live in a society where theirs brains are good enough. They feel terrorized by social movements that demand complex explanations or social models that cater to less limited thinkers like those who handle thirty or forty seconds of a continuous train of thought several times a day.

This is the problem that makes the secret the problem and that’s the dirty little secret.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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03 July 2018 16:40
 

So are you saying most people are lazy thinkers or maybe simple-minded?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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04 July 2018 01:20
 

Lazy would suggest someone is not doing the best they can. Prior to so-called Modern Societies, twelve seconds was normal. We were hairless apes with a fledgling shepherding perception that was allowing us to escape the endless rhythmic flow of our basic animal perceptions. Twelve seconds was enough to dominate the earth and each other.

A society populated by self-governed citizens who are guided by science and reason is not everyone’s ambition. Science and reason does not stop at twelve seconds and if that is one’s limit of narrative ability, then real science and reason is simply beyond the horizon of perception. A faith-based explanation can nail it home well within reach. Or intimidation can handle the whole philosophy-thing in a quick instant. It’s not so bad if the thing you fear most is having too much asked of you.

This limitation does not exist as a problem until an evolving society reaches social-democratic-type stuff. Modern systems, whose survival depends on an informed public, are catering to citizens who can perceive the information and excluding those who cannot.

Those can-do citizens can perceive and be informed enough to take on the responsibilities of a democracy because their education trained them to self- shepherd information (think critically) and thus strengthened the brain muscle that does the shepherding part. Many forms of education still exist here that do not do much to encourage self-shepherding and some older forms actually dis-train it and take advantage of the resulting weakness.

There is a spectrum to our political divide. It can be scaled from zero to forty seconds of ‘thinking time’. In the lower third, there are folks who will never believe that anyone is good enough to live in a system of personal autonomy and responsibility. They will resist with cries of liberty and freedom from federal over-reach but that’s a cover for the secret desire for the easier-to-perceive faith-based over-reach.

In the middle third of capability, about half will believe that most people are morons and always will be. The smart thing is to play the game that takes you to the top of the heap or as close as you can get. Aka Conservatives. The other half of the middle will believe that, while they cannot quite grasp all the details, a modern society is something that they and others could work towards as a worthy ambition for everybody. Aka Star Trek fans.

The top third will find that modern society is no big sweat and revel deservedly in its benefits. They will presume that anyone can handle it just fine if only they wanted to. They will believe that they are simply ‘better informed’ and take every opportunity to stuff more info into everyone’s face in a blind hope that it will seep in somehow.

These are the beliefs that divide us.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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04 July 2018 06:00
 

What is the benefit of exposing, admitting or trying to rid oneself of the secret?  What’s wrong with finding your place and riding the wave until it crashes on the beach?  What do you really hope to accomplish?

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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04 July 2018 06:59
 

Competent narrative training for everyone.

The choice is trump’s world (the old Type A) or Gene Roddenberry’s (with longer skirts).

 
 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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04 July 2018 08:14
 
Nhoj Morley - 04 July 2018 06:59 AM

Competent narrative training for everyone.

The choice is trump’s world (the old Type A) or Gene Roddenberry’s (with longer skirts).

I’ll take the world with shorter skirts.

 
 
burt
 
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burt
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04 July 2018 08:40
 

My dear mind, you don’t exist.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
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04 July 2018 09:07
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 04 July 2018 08:14 AM
Nhoj Morley - 04 July 2018 06:59 AM

Competent narrative training for everyone.

The choice is trump’s world (the old Type A) or Gene Roddenberry’s (with longer skirts).

I’ll take the world with shorter skirts.

I’d take the alternate universe where Gene Roddenberry is the POTUS.

 
 
EN
 
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EN
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04 July 2018 09:52
 
Nhoj Morley - 04 July 2018 06:59 AM

Competent narrative training for everyone.

The choice is trump’s world (the old Type A) or Gene Roddenberry’s (with longer skirts).

Are those the only choices?  I realize we are in Trioonland now, but the modern world is a smorgasbord of fusion narratives. Mix and match, pick and choose.  Just go to the store and try to choose a toothpaste.  It’s not just Crest or Colgate.  But I suppose it’s a useful mental exercise to at least be able to pick out the influences trying to inhabit and take over your story.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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04 July 2018 15:10
 

Let’s face it: the Type A, sub-twelve-seconders can easily be identified as those people who disagree with you, or who voted for the candidate you didn’t. And anyone who agrees with you is clearly a deep thinker. That’s the dirty little secret.

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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04 July 2018 16:15
 

I do agree that the top tier of people understand how to play the game, and many in the bottom tier do not.  But also a lot in the bottom have the mental capacity to play, but will never accumulate enough chips to ante in.  Or never even be allowed to get close to the table.

Just as we might mistakenly assume that people with particular competencies are competent all around, we also assume that people with particular incompetencies have no strengths.

The real secrets that we need to air are the ones about abuse of power.  Not only do we need to understand the rules of the game, but also how people cheat.

 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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04 July 2018 22:19
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 04 July 2018 03:10 PM

Let’s face it: the Type A, sub-twelve-seconders can easily be identified as those people who disagree with you, or who voted for the candidate you didn’t. And anyone who agrees with you is clearly a deep thinker. That’s the dirty little secret.

You disagree and you are not a type A twelve-seconder. Plenty of deep thinkers like yourself disagree. Depth and correctness are not synonymous. Many shorts voted as I did.

You make me wonder… since thoughtful forum posters tend to come from the top half of the scale, and many run in well-educated circles, perhaps the actual type A short I refer to is a rarity. Or shrugged off as a moron or tuned out like someone with a handicap.

If I’m conjuring a picture of a drooling village idiot, that is wrong. Shorts are as effectively smart as anyone else until pushed into a circumstance or conversation that demands more than a little shepherded or serialized thinking to follow or work out. Then they run out of juice and fiercely double-down on where they landed or had to stop. It doesn’t make them stupid. Especially if the demand for overtime never arises. It means that there are methods and manners of communicating information that they cannot perceive. Including the sort necessary to sustain a democracy.

We focus a lot on what Trump says to his followers and overlook the equally significant manner in which he says it. When President Obama said, “Look… “, we knew we were in for a half-minute slow-ride thought train at least. Some think that only the white boss-man should get to ride the longest thought train. All other thoughts must be shorter. That uppity minority-joker threatened to best their brains and build a country that they don’t want the painful godless effort of trying to live in.

Deep or shallow, short or long, trioon simply hasn’t occurred as a possibility and naturally so (we’re not supposed to see it) but it is the inevitable conclusion the champions of deep thinking are creeping toward. So maybe I got here first-ish. I had an advantage. What a blessing it has been to my social life.

That was a short and shallow dismissal. Next time, please put your back into it.

[ Edited: 04 July 2018 22:53 by Nhoj Morley]
 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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Nhoj Morley
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04 July 2018 22:52
 
hannahtoo - 04 July 2018 04:15 PM

I do agree that the top tier of people understand how to play the game, and many in the bottom tier do not.  But also a lot in the bottom have the mental capacity to play, but will never accumulate enough chips to ante in.  Or never even be allowed to get close to the table.

The scale I proposed describes a hitherto unidentified parameter. No correspondence with economic status is implied. Nor was education level or access to opportunity implied. Set all that aside. As many have pointed out, none of those actually define trump followers (or the conservative brand in general). The proposed scale gets much closer to the aggregate difference.

Likewise, the top tier is not an economic or social status level. Nor does top-tier thinking always get you ahead in life. Life is easier with top-tier teammates and frustrating without any.

 
 
Nhoj Morley
 
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04 July 2018 23:20
 
EN - 04 July 2018 09:52 AM


Are those the only choices?  I realize we are in Trioonland now, but the modern world is a smorgasbord of fusion narratives. Mix and match, pick and choose.  Just go to the store and try to choose a toothpaste.  It’s not just Crest or Colgate.  But I suppose it’s a useful mental exercise to at least be able to pick out the influences trying to inhabit and take over your story.

Options A and B are the current fork in the road like always. If there is a further choice, few have ever seen it.

Your use of pasty metaphors is a tangent well outside of trioon’s jurisdiction this time, Counselor. We’ve spoken. You narrate easily and can likely follow anything you need to as far as necessary. Get smashed and try to follow something complicated. Then imagine you were like that when stone sober about anything other than legal work. Then imagine there is nothing you can do about it except fake your way through everything else. Would you tell anyone?

 
 
hannahtoo
 
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hannahtoo
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05 July 2018 08:41
 
Nhoj Morley - 04 July 2018 10:52 PM
hannahtoo - 04 July 2018 04:15 PM

I do agree that the top tier of people understand how to play the game, and many in the bottom tier do not.  But also a lot in the bottom have the mental capacity to play, but will never accumulate enough chips to ante in.  Or never even be allowed to get close to the table.

The scale I proposed describes a hitherto unidentified parameter. No correspondence with economic status is implied. Nor was education level or access to opportunity implied. Set all that aside. As many have pointed out, none of those actually define trump followers (or the conservative brand in general). The proposed scale gets much closer to the aggregate difference.

Likewise, the top tier is not an economic or social status level. Nor does top-tier thinking always get you ahead in life. Life is easier with top-tier teammates and frustrating without any.

OK, I see what you’re saying about both sides. 

Critical thinking skills is a recognized parameter, though your explanation for the underlying process is unique.

 
nonverbal
 
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nonverbal
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05 July 2018 09:27
 

Stupidity is a taboo subject to a point where use of the word itself sets the speaker apart as being perhaps questionable. I remember being a member of a jury in which it quickly became obvious that 2 fellow members were intellectually impaired, and openly admitted to me that they’d vote the way I’d vote simply because they’d been unable to understand what was going on. I’ll bet others were present who also had no idea what was going on, but were able to somewhat successfully pretend to be sufficiently competent. After a couple of hours of back-and-forth arguing, a jury member who’d previously identified himself as a Today Show producer suddenly announced with strength of conviction in his voice, “Of course they’re guilty—it’s obvious—why are we even talking about it?!”, paraphrasing him now, 30 years later. After hearing his confident opinion, the game was over. Our next vote convicted both men of pickpocketing.

Almost no one is nearly as intellectually capable—or moderately sane either, for that matter—as we assume ourselves to be, in my opinion.

 
 
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