sentient sim - COGNITIVE DISSONANCE - learned helplessness
What do you call it when you hold two
opposing concepts in your mind that mutually exclude
each other? COGNITIVE DISSONANCE!
a) The West is generally good, tries to help poor
countries, foreign aid, disaster-emergency help, but
at the same time we (our taxes for arm spending) killed
millions of brown people in the last 20 years.
We see us as informed and civilised, but we are responsible
for unspeakable cruelty by our military and finance lords.
b) the is ample proof that 9/11 was an inside job, there
are many examples where western spooiks have murdered
innocent civilians by bombing under a false flag. Yet
at the same time, we cannot believe this to be true,
it just makes no sense to us, because "someone would
have blown the whistle on it by now". Again, we commit
horrible crimes, but we are the saviours.
F. Scott Fitzgerald:
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to
hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time. . .
(The Crack-Up (1936))
This quotation is often quoted, but mostly "under-quoted."
I suppose it is fairly easy for most people to consider
the notion of holding two opposing thoughts. Deeper and
richer perspective comes when you include the 26 words
that follow . . .
The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to
hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and
still retain the ability to function. One should, for
example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be
determined to make them otherwise.
F. Scott Fitzgerald -- The Crack-Up (1936)
Robert Quinn, author of Building the Bridge as You Walk
On It, applies this notion of opposites to what he calls
the Fundamental State of Leadership. This is where we
1*Other-Focused: My ego takes a back seat to
authenticity and building trust.
2*Internally-Directed: I am building higher levels of
confidence by closing gaps between values and behavior.
3*Externally Open: I am moving outside of my comfort
zone to seek real feedback and reach higher levels of
awareness and competence.
4*Purpose-Centered: I am clarifying what result I want
to create and holding an unwavering standard as I pursue
a meaningful task.
The idea is to strive to be in all four states at the
same time. Quinn believes that virtually no one
operates there all of the time. But I think it
especially counts when an important conversation,
decision or strategic move is about to take place. With
some clarity and honesty, we can figure out "where we
are at" any moment in time. For example:
If we are Internally-Directed but not Externally Closed,
we may be over-confident and miss signals. We may not
adapt fast enough.
If we are Purpose-Centered but Self-Focused, we may be
so focused on our goals that we limit our connections
and conversation with others, while we risk destroying
trust and authenticity.
June 8, 2009, 12:22PM
My daughter has autism. We are treating it with a new
system of cognitive behavior therapy and remediation
It is, believe it or not, working, and I stop short of
calling it a cure. But it's reality- and science-based
to a great degree. No diets, no pressure on the torso,
no forced eye contact.
One of the problems with people on the autism spectrum
is this: They cannot put themselves in someone else's
point of view. Stop and try to understand what a strange
and complex concept this is: To be able to imagine
yourself in someone else's mind, understanding their
conclusions based on their very different experiences
and thoughts from your own.
When I first heard of this concept, I thought, "Man, an
awful lot of people must suffer from some sort of
autism, and most of them are conservatives."
Anyway, there are two opposing camps in the subject of
American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'm in the
smaller one. I think we need to pull out of both
countries immediately. Most people don't think we
should, and especially the President, who's just sent 7
thousand fresh troops there.
Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused
by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously. The
"ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include
attitudes and beliefs, the awareness of one's behavior,
and facts. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes
that people have a motivational drive to reduce
dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and
behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their
attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Cognitive
dissonance theory is one of the most influential and
extensively studied theories in social psychology.
Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a
logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions. This
happens when one idea implies the opposite of another.
For example, a belief in animal rights could be
interpreted as inconsistent with eating meat or wearing
fur. Noticing the contradiction would lead to
dissonance, which could be experienced as anxiety,
guilt, shame, anger, embarrassment, stress, and other
negative emotional states. When people's ideas are
consistent with each other, they are in a state of
harmony, or consonance. If cognitions are unrelated,
they are categorized as irrelevant to each other and do
not lead to dissonance.
A powerful cause of dissonance is an idea in conflict
with a fundamental element of the self-concept, such as
"I am a good person" or "I made the right decision." The
anxiety that comes with the possibility of having made a
bad decision can lead to rationalization, the tendency
to create additional reasons or justifications to
support one's choices. A person who just spent too much
money on a new car might decide that the new vehicle is
much less likely to break down than his or her old car.
This belief may or may not be true, but it would likely
reduce dissonance and make the person feel better.
Dissonance can also lead to confirmation bias, the
denial of disconfirming evidence, and other ego defense
The Ben Franklin Effect
Benjamin Franklin won over a Political opponent by
asking him a favor. An excerpt from one of his books:
I did not ... aim at gaining his favour by paying any
servile respect to him but, after some time, took this
other method. Having heard that he had in his library a
certain very scarce and curious book I wrote a note to
him expressing my desire of perusing that book and
requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me
for a few days. He sent it immediately and I returned it
in about a week with another note expressing strongly my
sense of the favour. When we next met in the House he
spoke to me (which he had never done before), and with
great civility; and he ever after manifested a readiness
to serve me on all occasions, so that we became great
friends and our frendship continued to his death. This
is another instance of the truth of an old maxim I had
learned, which says, "He that has once done you a
kindness will be more ready to do you another than he
whom you yourself has obliged."
After lending Franklin the book, the opponent had to
resolve the dissonance of his attitude towards Franklin,
whom he also has just done a favor. He justified doing
the favor by telling himself that he actually liked
Franklin, and, as a result, he treated him with respect
instead of rudeness from then on. This well-known
technique has been used by many people to win over their
Boring task experiment
In Festinger and Carlsmith's classic 1959 experiment,
students were asked to spend an hour on boring and
tedious tasks (e.g. turning pegs a quarter turn, over
and over again). The tasks were designed to generate a
strong, negative attitude. Once the subjects had done
this, the experimenters asked some of them to do a
simple favour. They were asked to talk to another
subject (actually an actor) and persuade them that the
tasks were interesting and engaging. Some participants
were paid $20 (inflation adjusted to 2009, this equates
to $148.40) for this favor, another group was paid $1
(or $7.42 in '2009 dollars'), and a control group was
not asked to perform the favour.
When asked to rate the boring tasks at the conclusion of
the study (not in the presence of the other "subject"),
those in the $1 group rated them more positively than
those in the $20 and control groups. This was explained
by Festinger and Carlsmith as evidence for cognitive
dissonance. The researchers theorized that people
experienced dissonance between the conflicting
cognitions, "I told someone that the task was
interesting", and "I actually found it boring." When
paid only $1, students were forced to internalize the
attitude they were induced to express, because they had
no other justification. Those in the $20 condition,
however, had an obvious external justification for their
behaviour, and thus experienced less dissonance.
In subsequent experiments, an alternative method of
"inducing dissonance" has become common. In this
research, experimenters use counter-attitudinal
essay-writing, in which people are paid varying amounts
of money (e.g. one or ten dollars) for writing essays
expressing opinions contrary to their own. People paid
only a small amount of money have less justification for
their inconsistency and tend to experience more
The Pentagon is running a neural network with
massive computer-power, the SENTIENT WORLD SIMULATION.
The spooks have built a virtual world where they try
out the latest psycho tricks on us, in order to stop
us from rebelling against their horrendous crimes
All mayor news stories is controlled by the CIA
in what used to be called "THE GIANT WURLITZER"
The programme uses AI routines based upon the
psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others.
(Seligman introduced the theory of "learned
helplessness" in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until
they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)
Sentient World Simulation (SWS), is a "synthetic mirror
of the real world with automated continuous calibration
with respect to current real-world information" ...
."SWS provides an environment for testing Psychological
Operations (PSYOP)," so that military leaders can
"develop and test multiple courses of action to
anticipate and shape behaviors of adversaries, neutrals,
In the finest detail the simulation features an avatar
for each person in the real world, based upon data
collected about us from government records and the
The truth, as germans learned VERY SLOWLY, is that the
manipulation of minds is easy. Just repetition.
REPETITION.. is all it takes. Keep watching corporate
TV. You think someone else's thoughts thinking they are
A totalitarian "deep-state" under a democratic facade is
what we are talking about here.
In the mid-1950’s, a doomsday cult of true believers in
Chicago gathered at the home of Mrs. Marion Keech who
was receiving mysterious messages in the form of
"automatic writing" from alien beings on the planet
Clarion. The most recent messages revealed that the
world would end soon by a great flood. The cult members
convinced themselves that by believing strongly enough
in the prophecy, they would be spared, rescued by an
alien spacecraft. They demonstrated their commitment by
leaving jobs and spouses and colleges and giving away
money and possessions.
Meanwhile, a psychology professor, Leon Festinger and
his colleagues, had been working out a theory of
cognitive dissonance that accounted for the tension that
comes from holding two opposing thoughts at the same
time. They predicted that the individual experiencing
the tension of the dissonance would attempt to overcome
it by rationalizing one thought in favor of the other.
The word "dissonance" comes from sonare, meaning
"sound," and dis, meaning "to be apart from." It is a
metaphor from music describing unpleasant combinations
Festinger saw this cult’s belief in the prophecy as an
opportunity to study how the cult members would
rationalize the inevitable failure of the prophecy. He
and his colleagues infiltrated the cult and reported
their findings in a book published in 1956 entitled,
When Prophecy Fails.
The great flood was to occur before dawn on December 21.
On the evening of December 20 the members gathered at
Mrs. Keech’s house, expecting a guide to come and direct
them to the waiting spacecraft. In his book, Festinger
reported the following sequence of events:
12:10 am. Still no visitor. The group sits in stunned
silence. The cataclysm itself is no more than a few
4:00 am. The group has been sitting in silence. A few
attempts at finding explanations have failed. Mrs. Keech
begins to cry.
4:45 am. Another message by automatic writing is sent to
Mrs. Keech. It states, in effect, that the God of Earth
has decided to spare the planet from destruction. The
cataclysm has been called off: "The little group,
sitting all night long, had spread so much light that
God had saved the world from destruction."
Afternoon, December 21. Newspapers are called,
interviews are sought. In a reversal of its previous
distaste for publicity, the group begins an urgent
campaign to spread its message to as broad an audience
Two conflicting thoughts: the world will end, the world
did not end. When it appeared that the prophecy would
fail, great dissonance occurred, but it was overcome by
the new belief that their dedication had saved the world
because they spread so much light. And now they would
reinforce this new belief by proselytizing their
Festinger was inspired to investigate the theory of
cognitive dissonance as it presents itself moment by
moment in our daily lives, accounting for much of the
activity of our "monkey minds." Dissonance occurs in
situations where an individual must choose between two
incompatible thoughts, or cognitions. The greatest
dissonance is created when the two alternatives are
equally compelling. For example, a habitual smoker is
bombarded by information that smoking is extremely bad
for your health. He finds himself saying, I must stop; I
really want to smoke. These conflicting thoughts occur
all through the day, producing almost unbearable
tension. The rationalizing mind appears to offer some
respite. He can rationalize not smoking with these
My health will improve.
I will no longer experience shortness of breath.
My lungs will begin to clean out, and in time, will be normal.
I will save money.
I won’t have to put up with nonsmokers’ disdainful looks.
I will be free of being chained to a habit.
If these thoughts are acted upon, they produce a
consonance, overcoming the dissonance. The word
"consonance" also comes from sonare, and con, meaning
"sounding together," producing harmonies that are
pleasing to the ear. But this harmony is only temporary
if he is truly unable to stop smoking. And this could be
justified in this manner:
Smoking is not really affecting my health.
I can still work effectively, in fact, quite well because I am more relaxed.
Smoking keeps me from gaining weight, and I can eat whatever I want.
I love the moment of lighting up.
I like hanging out with my buddies who smoke.
I’ve been smoking so long, I can’t imagine what it would be like not to.
Whatever side he takes, it appears that consonance trumps dissonance.