Sunday, August 22, 2010

How the first trick is messing with you

The first trick is not that mysterious. It's not even magical. It's something that happens to you everyday. Are you immune to it or are you just another loyal slave not really knowing why you do the stuff you do?

Find out in our riddle test. If you can't solve it, you've been had by the first trick. And chances are you're being had 20 times a day every day. Can you live with that?

If you can, don't take our test, but just leave this blog and go about the business that you think is your business (but really its someone else's business and you don't really realize it).

If you are at all interested in being in control of your life, take our test.

Here it is, the solution


Take a look at the riddle before you read about the solution. Trust me, you'll appreciate the effort.

Don't look unless you've tried to solve the riddle.

Did you?


I will show you the solution and then I'll describe how I messed with you mind and made sure you couldn't solve it thanks to the first trick.

The solution:
When you look at it, doesn't it strike you as EASY? I mean, all you had to do was to get outside the boundaries of the imaginary square. There is no square and the most likely reason you didn't solve it, was that my First Trick caught you. Most people when they see the nine dots arranged in a neat little square, will never think outside the box. They can use hours trying to do the same thing again and again, even though they KNOW that there is no solution within the square.

But that's the first trick for you. When I told you the riddle I made sure that you were focused on the square. And if I succed in that, you will never find the solution.

You've been had. Don't you think that this trick is used elsewhere, by someone else and that, somehow, you're missing out on the big picture, just because you're trapped in the first trick?

Get out of it, train you self to not take things for granted. Train you self to be critical of your self. Cause left to it self, your mind WILL accept anything. You need to add a healthy dose of self-observing criticism.

The solution

You gave up on the riddle? Couldn't solve it? I will show you the solution. But only if you really want to know the solution. Only if you really give up.

Do you? Give up? Really?

Come on: Try again.

Ok then, if you really tried, the solution and the reason you couldn't solve it is here.

The first trick, an example

To show you what the first trick is, I will share a riddle with you. If you've seen it before, just try to remember why you couldn't solve it the first time you tried. If you did solve it the first time you saw it, your my hero and you should be able to use that same immunity to the first trick in the riddle to the rest of your life.

Here goes.

It's a simple task. Use 4 straight lines, one after the other, to connect these nine dots

connect the nine dots using four straight 
  Let me be precise: What you need to do is to put the pencil to the paper once, and then drag four straight lines and connect to all the dots.

Now, let me show you and example of a failed solution, just to make sure that you get the rules.

In the following picture you see four straight lines, one after the other. It connects 8 dots, but fails to connect to the last dot in the middle of the left side. These four lines probably started at the top left corner, went right to the right upper corner, then down to the lower right corner, then left to the lower left corner, and then diagonal to the upper right corner. But it misses the dot on the middle on the right.

And, again, to make sure you know the rules, another picture. This picture shows an illegal solution. The four lines HAVE to connect to each other and you have to draw them one after the other. Basically you need to put the pen down, and not lift it until you have drawn four straight lines.

In this picture all dots are connected, but the lines aren't. So, once again:

Your job, should you choose to take it, is to put the pencil down, draw four straight lines one after the other, and connect ALL the nine dots.

Go to work now, see if you can solve it.

and when you give up, take a look at the solution.

The first trick revisited

I find the idea of "the first trick" beautiful and easy to comprehend. But I also find it to be an extremely difficult thing to explain.

The first trick is simple: It's the first frame that someone or something erects in your mind. It's the first 10 pages of a book, the first 10 minutes of a movie, the first minute of a conversation.

Ideally the first trick is not really a trick. It's an open negotiation. We agree on a topic or maybe just we just agree on the boundaries of our social interaction. The first trick is a bit more sinister, cause the first trick is what someone really savvy uses to manipulate you without you ever knowing about it.

Here's how it works. Lets say I want to rule the world. First thing I do is to make a newspaper or a tv-station that brings news. The big secret is: there are almost never any news.  There are things happening, and while they are interesting, they are most often not relevant to your life. At all !
So, as soon as I get you to accept the lie that news are relevant to your life, I own you. Now I can find the craziest most scary stories from all over the world, and having good journalists working for me, they will write about the news and MAKE them relevant to you. For example: There's a bomb that went off in a totally different part of the world. Someone will hint that it's the goddamn terrorist. And another source will volunteer to say that terrorists are coming to your hometown soon. and he will do so, because that will guarantee funding for the think-tank he's working for.
But in reality, terrorists are just a few idiots with little or no organization blowing things up once in a while.

Let me tell you: Terrorists don't scare me. Then can't even manage to kill more than a few thousand people every 5 years. That's just no contest to the hundred of thousands dying from our western bullets. And the beauty of it all is that I can make you believe that it's fair for me, as your leader, to send hundred of thousands of men to the other side of the world and kill all those mf's who wont do as I say.

That's the first trick: making you believe something and as soon as you do. I OWN U !

Where to go when you wonder about the world

Do you ever feel that nagging feeling that someone outhere, somewhere, might have the whole picture? That some scientist, some philosopher or some lonely weirdo might have put it all togehter?

I do, often. To be honest, I've thought I put the whole thing together a few times, only to realize a few months later that I didn't anyway.

I go to wikipedia when I wonder about anything. The great thing about Wikipedia is that you can find a lot of text about most issues in the world, even the smallest. The bad thing is that it's really hard to gauge if what you read is what most educated people believe, or if it's just some very narrow weird idea by someone who for some reason had an impact somewhere.

Is there a gospel of reality outthere? I don't think so. In science the closest I've seen was the book Road to Reality by the brilliant Roger Penrose. But in this book there's absolutely no ideas about being human, about existence. It's all about the cold and cool mathematical theories of physics.

On Wired I find extremely interesting articles about everything from tech to modern geek-culture (and lets face it: Todays geek culture is tomorrows popculture. Geeks OWNS!!!). But I don't find existential blogs or articles about existence and the very personal experience of living in this world.

To find those kind of informed opinions is, in fact, extremely hard. It's like there's this huge subject is just ignored. Well, except for crackpot new-age people who all think they've seen the light and know all.

I once tried writing a book that, very not humbly, would tell it all. I wanted to start with everyday experience, describe science, navigate existenialism and finally divide reality into neat pieces that fit together and gave a complete map of what we know, what we guess and what we don't know about reality.
Needless to say the book was never finished. When I was about to write the final chapter, i found my self disagreeing with what I've written in the last 400 pages. Now that's a hard sell if there ever was one. And I couldn't even sell the idea to my self.

But the question remains: Why is there no map of reality anywhere? Why isn't there some rational gospel of all that we know, all that we guess is true and all the stuff that we don't know anything about?

Where do you go for comfort when you wonder about life, the universe and everything? And if you don't ever wonder about those things; what the heck are you doing here ;) ?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How culture is destroying archetypes

In The Matrix platos old thought experiment the Cave is visualized with beautiul stunts, CGI and an entertaining plot. It transforms the stuffy and old thought experiment to an easy understandable movie. It makes a filosophical point available to everyone.

Now Inception is doing the same thing. It takes us into a world where you can kill and where you can loose your love, and still it doesn't change anything. It shows us how the subconscious could work and it makes perfect good entertainment.

In the Sixth sense, the afterlife is turned up side down and we experience how it could be to be on the other side. The same goes for the perfect movie with Nicole Kidman The Others.

In comics they take the metaverse to a whole new level. The metaverse is the scientific idea that everytime you take a choice, the universe splits into two universes, one for each of your choices. Marvel takes this as litteral an automatically teaches readers about what the metaverse would mean, even if it uses superheroes to do it.

In computer games there are several god-games where the player is god for an entire little world.

Culture is exploring the deepest existential problems, the highest philosofical questions and the most important scientific discoveries. And they're are not only available from universities or dusty old books or on the internet; they are available in popular culture that billions of people watch, play and read.

We're at the point Nietzsche foresaw. The point where everyone will realize that the concept of God is dead in the human mind. Where millions and millions of people will realize that even the deepest thinkers has nothing more to offer than cheap thrills and fancy gadgets.

We are at the point where the comman man will realize that compared to the personal existential issues, science and philosophy is nothing more than an emperor without clothes.

The archetypes, no matter what kind of archetypes you subscribe to, are the big bad ideas that scare us. Look at greek mythology and there's a plethora of forbidden behaviour all anchored to different archetypes.

Now the archetypes are loosing their power. Pop-culture is driving us all to that point where the only way forward is to deal with existence for real. Thank god we're entertained all the way.

Who is studying humans who cant be fooled?

Scientists exploring the mind and how it works or trying to work out how language is processed and how language can be used to influence others and one self, even NLP practioners are all working with the same stuff that buddhists are working with.

They are working in the same field: The field of the human mind, what it is and how it works.

But there's a few very notable differences.

Scientists is always looking for a model of how the mind works and how it interrelates with language. Buddhists are always looking for a way out of the mind and the language it interrelates with.

It's a crucial difference, but it is NOT a difference of subject. It's a difference of goal and a difference of method.

Could we merge these two? They are already merging. Zen koan's is much like scientific research into logic. Paradoxes are studied by logicians who wants to find a system that will explain paradoxes. Buddhist studies paradoxes to realize that what ever they think, it will contain a paradox.

Buddhist's are looking for a way out. Scientists are looking for a way to stay in the bubble.

What no one apparantly is researching is what it's like to be in there, in the mind. There a many, many statements about this, but they are all lacking. Stream-of-consciousness is an often used term. But it only means that we all experience consciousness as a flow of experiences.

But, the big question is not how it works, but what you can do about it. Can you change your perception of what it is to be you? Yes you can. But nowhere can you find a description of how this is done, except what others can do to change your perception.

Hidden camera's television is oten extremely funny, but what we don't see are the many participants who weren't fooled and who didn't make an ass of them self.

Psychologists search for the faults in man, they explore the misfits, the psychotic and the strangeness or even normality.

Why isn't anyone studying these unique individuals who can't be fooled and who don't react to psychological experiments.

What is it with these people? No one seems to be interested.

How come?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rise of the global Subconsciousnes

It's debatable if we even have subconsciousness, at least in the way that Freud thought about it. But, on a global level we can actually talk about both consciousness and the subconscious.

The media and history is all about the conscious world. They tell the stores that all of us know about. About the BP oil-disaster, about global summits, sporting events, natural disasters, hunger, war and all those other things that all of us know about.

Your private history and the history of your family is subconscious to the world. You know about it, your family knows about it. But the WORLD doesn't know.
For most of us own unique insights probably doesn't register on a global level. We live, think, love and die with out the world really noticing. 

That's about to change.

And the internet is to blame. Internet technology has made it possible for still more people to communicate everything to everyone. Not that everyone is listening, like we do in cases of global disasters. But there is someone outthere, with almost the same outlook on life as you. And you might connect. And when you connect, you make it easier for people who live, think and love in similar ways to find you. And connect. And make it easer for other people who live, think and love in similar ways to find you. And connect.

The internet is many thing, but in my mind it's first and foremost an amplifier. The voices of people like you and me rarely made it into the history books in the past. But now, thanks to the internet and it's seemingly endless memory, our voices will live forever, maybe as data-junk or in vast research databases about our times.

The stories of ordinary people are now being preserved. Your pet-projects will be read and stored by robots from big corporations like google. And although your data will be deleted from a lot of places, every year makes it more likely that your pages, your words and your take on reality will survive as data into the far future.

We are the subconscious of earth. And someone is finally paying attention.