Excerpt From: John Brockman. “This Will Make You Smarter.”
“Bias Is the Nose for the Story
Practicing neurologist, New York City; playwright, off-off-Broadway: Charter Members, The Gold Ring
"The exponential explosion of information and its accessibility make our ability to gauge its truthfulness not only more important but also more difficult. Information has importance in proportion to its relevance and meaning. Its ultimate value is how we use it to make decisions and put it in a framework of knowledge.
Our perceptions are crucial in appreciating truth. However, we do not apprehend objective reality. Perception is based on recognition and interpretation of sensory stimuli derived from patterns of electrical impulses. From this data, the brain creates analogs and models that simulate tangible, concrete objects in the real world. Experience, though, colors and influences all of our perceptions by anticipating and predicting everything we encounter. It is the reason Goethe advised that “one must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste.” This preferential set of intuitions, feelings, and ideas—less poetically characterized by the term “bias”—poses a challenge to our ability to weigh evidence accurately to arrive at truth. Bias is the thumb that experience puts on the scale.
Our brains evolved[…]”“has long been aware of the inherent bias that occurs in collecting and analyzing clinical data. The double-blind, randomized, controlled study, the gold standard of clinical design, was developed in an attempt to nullify its influence.
We live in the world, however, not in a laboratory, and bias cannot be eliminated. Bias, critically utilized, sharpens the collection of data by knowing when to look, where to look, and how to look. It is fundamental to both inductive and deductive reasoning. Darwin didn’t collect his data randomly or disinterestedly to formulate the theory of evolution by natural selection. Bias is the nose for the story.
Truth needs continually to be validated against all evidence that challenges it fairly and honestly. Science, with its formal methodology of experimentation and the reproducibility of its findings, is available to anyone who plays by its rules. No ideology, religion, culture, or civilization is awarded special privileges or rights. The truth that survives this ordeal has another burden to bear. Like the words in a multidimensional crossword puzzle, it has to fit together with all the other pieces already in place. The better and more elaborate the fit, the more certain the truth.”
Quick write Entry: July 14th 2014
Life gives what we are ready to receive.
Stop the Hurt
“At any age we are nothing more than the accumulated experiences that have gotten us to where we are now. And the experiences of our youth are the formative years that create our adulthood. Too many people are having difficulty with adult life because of childhood experiences that control their thinking. We must learn to educate our young better and eliminate child abuse. More than 50% of the children in America today are abused, either mentally or physically, by parents who don’t love them or understand them. We are creating a nation of unhappy people who are not capable of offering anything to anyone else because of
the hurt they carry around inside of themselves.”
"The lion and the cow take from their environment only what they need for substance, but man does not. Nature dictates this behavior in animals, but not in man. There is not a single quality in man that he uses to achieve peace. The notion of peace means the following: I take only what I need to survive; the rest does not belong to me."
In a world of excess why create more excess. Every individual has so much more than necessary. Clutter is appalling. Not only physical clutter but mental. Letting go and realizing what is not meant for you releases an inner peace. Certain thoughts can feel so heavy because they are meant to be let go. I feel as though I am in a constant state of abundance because I only take what I need and give the rest back for others. Sundays have always been a day of revelation and clarity. Self control and discretion are more attainable when the load we carry is lightened. Let it go, let it go.
A ghost, though invisible, still is like a place your sight can knock on, echoing; but here within this thick black pelt, your strongest gaze will be absorbed and utterly disappear: just as a raving madman, when nothing else can ease him, charges into his dark night howling, pounds on the padded wall, and feels the rage being taken in and pacified. She seems to hide all looks that have ever fallen into her, so that, like an audience, she can look them over, menacing and sullen, and curl to sleep with them. But all at once as if awakened, she turns her face to yours; and with a shock, you see yourself, tiny, inside the golden amber of her eyeballs suspended, like a prehistoric fly.
Life as of Now
Sitting alone in the grass cool air passes over my arms. All of my senses are heighten. I can feel it all. I no longer absorb all yet I still feel. Paying attention to all in this moment. Each new moment continues to consume me. I can only focus on my immediate actions. Each passing and occurring thought is a beautiful dance inside my mind. I watch as if clouds of thought make shapes and I watch without identifying their form. Serenity and I are acquainted and closer than ever before. We know one another as if we had met in past lives and have never skipped a beat. How I missed what I thought I knew. How I missed your ways and I never knew we were this close. Each breath I take we become closer. This is peace, this is how it is suppose to be. This serenity is what it is, and I cannot question what is, because it is just that.
"What I want is to be needed. What I need is to be indispensable to somebody. Who I need is somebody that will eat up all my free time, my ego, my attention. Somebody addicted to me. A mutual addiction."
Chuck Palahniuk, Choke