A rewrite of ‘Denial’ by Pencilsword

This has been taken and re-written from,”The Pencilsword: Denial” by Toby Morris. You should read the original first before reading this.  Actually, read all of his stuff. It’s great.

I am unsure if this breaches copyright in New Zealand. I have send the Wireless an email. Their decision.

I remember when we used to laugh at the guys with the tinfoil hats so this is for them 🙂 It works both ways, you know?

A denial

Hey, you wanna hear something crazy? The government is spying on us.

It isn’t.

Every year the government spends tens of millions of dollars on the GCSB in the name of protecting us from terrorism. Do you realise we haven’t had a terrorism incident in NZ for 30 years. They’re using that money to listen to us and sending the information to foreign intelligence operators.

Correlation is not causation. Cherry picking statistics is just one way we trick ourselves into all kinds of ideas. Our brains are weird.

I’ve got a friend. A peace activist, and he gets harassed by the Police where ever he goes. They stand at protests and take photos of him and then lock him up. And you know what. The judge says it is illegal but then does nothing about it.

Humans value anecdotal evidence over scientific research. We react to stories more than facts and figures.

Just look at what they did to Kim Dot Com and those other 80 people. It makes me sick to think about it.

Our brains give more weight to the times things go wrong than when they go right.It’s called negative bias. We don’t give much thought to the millions of times our cars worked, or planes didn’t crash, or vaccines worked fine, but we obsess over the times they don’t.

And all those experts in suits try to tell us what to think. It’s for the terrorists, they say. We aren’t watching you. It requires a warrant. Can’t they see sit makes no sense when there isn’t any terrorism in New Zealand? Do they think I am dumb?

The Dunner-Kruger Effect is where the limits of our own intelligence mean we mistakenly overestimate our own brain power. In short, most of us aren’t smart enough to judge how smart others are. Scientists spend their lives researching climate change or vaccines and we still think we know better.

I just had this feeling so I started studying and listening to other people. Once you get past the constant social pressure to conform and start looking at what they get out of it. It’s real. It blows my mind.

Confirmation bias is where our brains preference information that supports our existing views. Whatever you are worried or frustrated about you’ll likely find a community of people worried about the same things reinforcing their beliefs together online.

And you wanna know the truth? The government spies on us to stay in power, to control us. Same as always.

Occams razor is a philosophical principle that basically states the least complicated explanation is usually the right one. We get drawn into the drama of convoluted conspiracies, but the truth is usually mundane. Vaccines work. Cliamte change is real. The Earth is not flat. Tupac is dead. Sorry.

And after I found out, man I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t just remain a sheep and let them control everyone. But no one would join me.

Were wired to believe that doing something and it turning out to be the wrong choice is worse than not doing anything and having an identically bad result. It’s called omission bias and it’s why people often choose inaction when they are under pressure.

So I’m out. I’m a hard core encryption advocate now. I’ll decide who I want to be and when I want to be happy. When they come for me they won’t have any leverage because they won’t know anything about me.

Humans are terrible at risk perception. We over inflate perceived dangers, and ignore less visible ones, even if they are much more dangerous. We massively underestimate how bad polio or measles or rising sea levels are because we have never lived through them.

And to be honest, there is part of me that’s like…f*&^ you man. You don’t control me.

Sometimes denial is convenient. Identity protective cognition is how our brains are wired to selectively accept or dismiss information in order to preserve socio-economic structures that are of benefit to us. That’s why wealthy conservatives deny climate change, men won’t see the pay gap and racism is so hard to discuss.

But speaking of racism, why in this age of supposed cultural tolerance are deniers so demonised. And isn’t it healthy to question authority and social conventions? To varying degrees these biases and logical traps affect us all right?

I think you have to ask yourself if your denial puts others lives at risk. Rejecting vaccines threatens the lives of kids who can’t immunise and ignoring climate change threatens us all.

Look, in the end I just have to do what’s right for me, you know?

Sigh……..Night then little brother.

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