Friday, February 14, 2020

827: How we make the truth the truth.....

It is the summer of 1999. Coca-Cola withdrew 30 million cans and bottles from sale in Belgium last month 
when nearly 100 people reported suffering stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and palpitations after drinking Coca-Cola products. 
However, a preliminary inquiry has suggested that the Coca-Cola alert may have been due to nothing more toxic than an outbreak of mass hysteria. (From The Guardian Juli 6, 1999)
The outbreak suggested Mass Sociogenic Illness. MSI is described as a constellation of symptoms of an organic illness, 
but without identifiable cause, which occurs among two or more persons who share beliefs related to those symptoms.
The central question here is: What is the truth. There are things that are true, whether you believe it or not.
Water boils at 100 degree Celsius, and freezes below zero. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, November 22, 1963. And so on....
But other things BECOME true, at least if we are willing to believe in it. We call it a self fulfilling prophecy.
Bank XYZ will go bankrupt, the message is. People begin transferring their money and accounts to other banks, which has the inevitable effect, that Bank XYZ collapses indeed.
We all know the placebo-effect. It has been tested in many ways, even by performing fake operations on patients. They really cured patients,
Read the package leaflet of pills you got prescribed by your doctor. It informs you about all kinds of side-effects, headaches, feeling nausea, feeling tired...a long list.
There is a chance that you really will experience these side-effects indeed. It is called the "nocebo-effect"
After 7 years feeling perfect, my doctor sent me to the cardiologist, based on the ECG results. I had to wait two weeks before I could see the cardiologist......
Result: even if I said to myself using all my rationality, there is nothing wrong, during these two weeks I have felt all kinds of chest pains... ^_^
Eventually it showed that I was in perfect condition.
It is like the Coca-cola incident. What we believe is what will happen. What we seek, is what we find...think of Tunnel vision.
When we believe man is bad, we'll make it a truth.....
I won't claim that man is intrinsically good. We are no angels. But what I dare to claim is, that as a child, in situations of war and danger, 
when the dikes break, we have a strong inclination to do good and be altruistic.
It may remind you of the ideas of Frans de Waal, the biologist, who claims that we are a combination of the aggressive chimp and gentle bonobo. What will prevail in us?
A grandfather once said to his grandson: "A fight is taking place in me, a fight between two wolves.
One is bad, angry, greedy, jealous, arrogant, and cowardly. The other is good - he is calm, loving, modest, generous, honest and trustworthy. 
These wolves also fight in you and in every other person. 
The boy thought for a moment, then said, "Which wolf will win?" 
The old man smiled. "The wolf that you feed."
There is a cute little philosophical riddle in this metaphor. Who is the "you" that feeds the wolf and how does he choose which one to feed?
Thank you for your attention.....

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rutger Bregman, "De meeste mensen deugen",, 2019

The Discussion

[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is true
[13:21] herman Bergson: What is true, Gemma? :-)
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes heard this one before in some version
[13:21] Genji Shikibu (genjii): that last comment... who is the "you"...... interesting
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): the whole idea
[13:21] CB Axel: Yes. That's why I'm listening to the news less than I was a couple of weeks ago. It just feeds the angry, frustrated wolf inside me.
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true cb
[13:22] herman Bergson: Yes it is an old one. You also find it in Plato's work
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but I always get drawn back
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:22] Genji Shikibu (genjii): the person  who is being abused, the person voting for a new president... the person waiting for the birth of a child.... a person who.......etc
[13:23] herman Bergson: Yes fact the news distorts to some extend our real view on reality
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mostly depriving stuff because as said before , it SELLS!
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but also there are lot of awful stuff going on indeed and I try ditance away from it too to remain happy
[13:24] herman Bergson: True Bejiita....same happened with the Coca Cola incident.....
[13:25] theo Velde is online.
[13:25] herman Bergson: In no time the media had turned it into a story of toxic cola....and THAT wasn't the case at all
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): speaking of placebo, the audio world have the most extreme ways to use placebo to shill people from their money
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): these speaker cables cost as mush as my car when I bought it (140000SEK)
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): much
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): insane
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure look cool but
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wow
[13:26] herman Bergson: it is true when you believe it is true :-)
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and reading reviews of these is always fun
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is always true too
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is why faith is so hard
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): to understand
[13:27] herman Bergson: The point of today is that there are irrefutable facts....they are true whatever you believ
[13:28] herman Bergson: then there is the placebo and nocebo effect....
[13:28] herman Bergson: Even with rational arguments you can't fight its effects sometimes
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ys
[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): tell a person that he looks pale...
[13:29] herman Bergson: There still are people who believe the earth is flat
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa that too
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (sighs)
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there sure are!!!!!
[13:29] herman Bergson: and he feels ill already Beertje :-))))
[13:29] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and shoot them selves up toward a certain death in home made rockets to check if it is the case
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): uuuughghhhh
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): conspiracy is alive
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and well
[13:30] herman Bergson: ANd our theme is, that we have learnt to believe for centuries that man is basically bad and his good part is just a thin veneer
[13:31] herman Bergson: And this project aims to debunk that belief :-)
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and hopefully will
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): in school we already weret old to pray for the sinners..
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): told
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh yes
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we were told that we were bad
[13:32] herman Bergson: oh yes Beertje....:-)
[13:33] herman Bergson: Just look at our government and its is primarily based on the belief that the citizen will fraud whenever he can
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): oh yes
[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's the first thought of these guys
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tax time here too
[13:34] herman Bergson: This attitide has created a huge scandal in the Netherlands recently...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): think i read something about that
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): scandal
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): some families lost even their home by these thoughts
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): marriages were broken
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what was it
[13:35] herman Bergson: Hundreds of families were financially almost ruined by our IRS - taxation authorities
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hmmm
[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed Beertje....
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes, and the people didn't do anything wrong
[13:35] Genji Shikibu (genjii): and then, there is trump
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm
[13:35] CB Axel: He is bad! There is nothing good about him.
[13:35] herman Bergson: and all based on the belief that man is bad....prone to cheat and evade taxes
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes
[13:36] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he went the wrong way
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed EVERYONE is laundering money in washing machines big as houses right?
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sure
[13:36] herman Bergson: That may apply to multinationals and egocentric narcissists....but not to common citizens
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but thats indeed what they eem to believe
[13:36] CB Axel: I sometimes think that the authorities think that because they are corrupt and dishonest therefore they think everyone is.
[13:37] herman Bergson: That is an explanation which was given indeed by someone CB
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): zo de waard is is vertrouwt hij zijn gasten :) sorry for my Dutch
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well it has always been when one does something wrong in a group  they do to confront that person but call a huge meeting and make everyone think it is themselves
[13:38] herman Bergson: Rebecca Solnit concluded that in het book "A Paradise built in Hell", 2009
[13:40] herman Bergson: Well...I think we all see the light at the end of the tunnel  now, into which this project took you ^_^
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope so
[13:40] herman Bergson: A way to go, Gemma, but most people are OK
[13:41] herman Bergson: Only sad thing is that one that is not OK is holding a most powerful position in society
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:41] Genji Shikibu (genjii): !!!
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed
[13:41] herman Bergson: But when most people are OK, then they can stop such an individual
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Trump, Putin, Erdogan
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's the one we remember most
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fingers crossed
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): those have to go
[13:42] herman Bergson: We'll see, whether I am right in November :-))
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) whispers: we need good rulers not power hungry tyrants with capacity starting a global nuklear war when  something snaps in their pea sized brains!
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but so far we are good
[13:42] Genji Shikibu (genjii): right
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and will hopefully still be in general
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): after all most people are good!
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:43] herman Bergson: I agree Bejiita :-)
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ill hope for the best
[13:43] herman Bergson: Today we really saved our world at least....^_^
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)
[13:43] CB Axel: Well, we need to elect statesmen and women and not politicians.
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as good we could for sure at least
[13:44] herman Bergson: So....thank you all again for your participation :-))
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:44] herman Bergson: Class dismissed .....
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): great
[13:44] CB Axel: People who are interested in the public good and not in themselves alone.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu soon again
[13:44] CB Axel: OK. Thank you, Herman.
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): see you soon
[13:44] herman Bergson: Yes CB....those we need!
[13:44] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you Herman and Class"!
[13:44] CB Axel: See you next week!
[13:44] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma :-)
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman:)
[13:44] CB Axel waves goodbye
[13:44] herman Bergson whispers: Bye CB :-)

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): houdoe

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