On Cognitive Dissonance

This was a Fun article which I wrote in a slightly more innocent age and which I felt might be worth resurrecting...:

Yes, Excuse me? Hello? Yes, you there!…  … Whew, that’s better, allow me to catch my breath…

Now, are you by any remote chance suffering from Cognitive Dissonance?

Not sure?

Best play it safe old chaps and read my Notes, first entry

“Warning…contentious issues…provocative comments…alien sex… Attention*

To those new fresh-faced visitors, who peruse these dark and turgid and potentially madness inducing pages beware…

Those of a more delicate frame of mind, in whom incense and absinthe may cause a tendency to lose control, those of a sweeter Disneyland disposition, who would wrap themselves in fairy-floss, who tremble and pale at the touch of a hand, at a passionate debate, at the sight of humanity revealed in all it’s nakedness and beauty…

To these I say heed this warning carefully gentle reader.

Stray no further unless you are prepared to be offended, confronted, challenged, suprised, delighted, subconsciously seduced and bewitched, in equal parts bored and stimulated, occasionally intrigued, oft mildly amused, sometimes reluctantly in agreement with but oft secretly despise, and entertained.

This is your ONLY warning.”

For the late-comer I should explain that this refers to an innocent post, a professional photo of 6 naked Fat ladies holding hands and dancing merrily in a circle…someone had cleverly photoshopped the Mcdonalds logo in the centre of the circle with the caption:  “I’m loving it”…two women in particular who shall remain nameless said the photo was shameful exploitation and that they were offended stating that I should remove it. I refused, politely…so they reported it as spam or offensive and had Facebook remove the pic.

These were the words I had attached to the pic, which no doubt offended them further :

“War on Drugs?…absurd. War on Terror?…a contradiction in terms.

A War on Capitalism which nurtures Obesity, the single largest killer of these women in the U.S today?

Now that sounds like a sensible idea…”

To use the term Cognitive Dissonance is merely to describe the bewildering interplay of synapses firing at odds with each other i.e the uncomfortable state of being ambivalent or maintaining two differing views simultaneously on something.

Unfortunately for us, we are being increasingly placed into these positions and to our disadvantage by our technology.

Yes, we are adaptable creatures but consider instinct and the para-sympathetic nervous system.

Feeling threatened and wanting to flee an elevator whilst simultaneously hurtling towards the 105th Floor for instance.

This illustrates the increasing dichotomy between new technological frontiers and our thin veneer of civility, of persona which masks the ancient ‘beast’ beneath.

Our definition of civility comes from the latin ‘civilitas’ or civil and the latin word ‘civis’ meaning citizen.

It also pertains to the words civilian and civilization.

A barbarian was someone who did not live in Cities, but rather lived outside the gates and to behave in a civil manner meant to not act like a ‘barbarian’.

Civilization is commonly considered to have begun at the time of the first Cities and City-States which was in the Mesopotamian Valley in the time of the City of UR.

Inhabited from about 5500 BCE, Ur was finally abandoned around 400 BCE because of difficulties with its water supply.

In between, Ur was a politically and economically powerful center on the Euphrates, particularly during the 3rd millennium BCE, with easy access to the Persian Gulf and long-distance sea trade.

A street of private houses recently excavated in the city of “Ur”

This is not a long timeframe of evolution for our ‘reptilian’ brain.

Our technology has long ago outstripped our social model, with our anachronistic rituals and voodoo-magic traditions.

It has outstripped our educational system, and our hallowed institutions.

Our Religions desperately cling to technology in a kind of sick embrace, and a classic example of cognitive dissonance attempting to stave off the inevitable erosion of Faith in an age of Scientific rationalism.

The problem, is that it is impossible to catch up because as we make strides in awareness and understanding, we make changes so painstakingly slowly and as our Technology marches ever on this causes a further gap in our behaviour and the realities of scientific advancements hence we are forever catching up.

It has left us looking like kindergarten children playing amongst the toys of Technology with little understanding of their ramifications for prosperous sustainable change, because we are too caught in a prison of our own design to be able to see clearly…

“For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” ~ from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
by the immortal William Blake.

So I humbly believe that in this over-stimulated white-noise laden world in which we live it would be prudent to develop an open mind at all times, lest one fall victim to constant cognitive dissonance through the wondrous assault on our minds by our ubiquitous mass media network and it’s babel of eclectic voices and imagery.

Or worse suffer vertigo and travel sickness from the pace of technological change. Inflexibility promotes conflict ergo cognitive dissonance.

The great eastern Sage Lao Tzu famously wrote :

“One should be flexible as a blade of grass, what profits a reed to remain rigid, when the winds come will it not break? whereas the supple blade of grass will return to it’s original position”

Or words to that effect…*Paraphrased*.

The simple answer is to re-examine our past behavioral patterns, ethical standards and values through the simple lens of ‘Survivability’.

If it does not promote harmony or prosper mankind or exhibit rational intelligence then why continue in this manner?

Sigh…Alas it is true…(there I’ve said it) Reality is becoming increasingly vexatious and increasingly a depressing place to live…we need endorphins.

Aesop's Fables or the Aesopica is a collection of fables credited to Aesop, a slave and story-teller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 560 BCE.
Humour as was noted in the Ancient wisdom of Aesop’s fables in approximately 600BC was considered the best ‘medicine’ or another word for endorphins.

This is precisely why Humour is a necessary ingredient in the cyber-warrior’s arsenal i.e: Provocative notions are easier to swallow when mixed with honey.

Seriously if anyone is offended by any of my Facebook posts or articles, I refer you to the first entry in my Notes ~ I don’t want to know about how something offended you…obviously if i liked it, it doesn’t offend me, and as this is a personal magazine-type diary with contributing friends, i don’t need to hear the words : SHAME or Offended…

Seems to me we have more serious issues to be offended about than a word or a photograph.
I am presuming we are all broad-minded adults here obviously.

Those adults who celebrate and maintain our ‘old ways’, old modalities of thought and behaviour are no longer entirely relevant in this paradigm (forgive that word, lazy habit yet quite seductive).

We can no longer afford to behave in a certain way due to ancient rituals or tradition.

Those who would cling to conservatism such as the considerable minions of the Republican Tea-Party, are literally trying to stem the inexorable tides of evolution from happening.

They are rigidly dogmatic in mind-set and therefore are an enemy to the change we so desperately seek.

This is not the World of our Ancestors, and there are far too many Ghosts in the vast corridors of our Machine-God Moloch.

There are far too many ‘Shadows’ amongst the frenetic dance of our daily lives in buildings and skyscrapers, in subterranean transit tunnels and vast darkly reflective canyons made of granite for us to be worrying about a sabre-toothed Tiger in a clearing.
Oh yes and if you’re offended? ummm…know that lil menu thingy top right? It has settings…

Offense, friends, like beauty and ugliness, is in the eye of the Beholder.

It is a completely subjective experience.

In fact our entire Multi-verse is in the eye of the beholder…

It is the interface between your Consciousness becoming one with Matter, with the physical universe (don’t quite know how else to put it).

We are just a part of the Eternal weave of Creation and Destruction occurring inside every minuscule instant of Time and yet we appear to ‘create’ the Universe as we hurtle through Space with these miraculous forces at the very core of our beings, at the Quantum level.

Our consciousness may be in some as yet indescribable way inter-connected with our ever expanding Universe.
And this connection may yet enable us to bend the odds in our favour, to bend the Universe inexplicably to our Will.

An unobserved Universe is unpredictable by the laws of logic and by the bizarre laws of quantum mechanics.

So if your World is predictable it’s because you created it!

And if your World is ugly it’s because…because…because

And if you deem it offensive it’s because…because…because.


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