Where the Smart are Dumb and the Brilliant are Blind

an insight:  It seems that some smart people who know that they are smart don’t know the limits of their ability to always be smart.   They are, in fact, not smart enough to realize that they are not smart enough to recognize when they are being the opposite of smart, -as in when their innate truth-meter is rendered silent by their avoidance of allowing or forcing it to focus and render judgement on issues that they have already subjectively decided.

They love perceiving and flaunting truths that satisfy them and / or debunk the views of their opponents, but they have a built-in defense mechanism when it comes to rooting out the truffles of truth that taste bitter to them, and which attack the nervous system of their embraced bias.

Like the swine with the powerful sense of smell that can detect delicious truffles many inches below the ground, they can sense when there’s a truffle that is bitter and that causes them to reflexively turn away without thinking or digging because they know, at least subconsciously, that what they’d find is something they wouldn’t like, -and in fact would hate.

No one wants to have to force one’s self to eat something bitter, and so to avoid having to confront the requirement of intellectual honesty to “eat your vegetables!” we pretend they don’t exist by ignoring them, turning away from facing them under the excuse that they are not real food anyway, -just as unpleasant facts are not real truths anyway.

Self-confident automatic dismissal is the bias-driven response of the self-confident mind what relies on that confidence as the legitimate basis for rejecting (without unbiased consideration) that which turns some part of one’s world upside-down.

Self-confidence preempts even having to think about the motive behind their dismissal since they simply assume that their view is right, and therefore consideration of an opposite view would simply be consideration of that which is patently wrong.  Thus they are not dismissing any truth, but are simply dismissing “error” or falsehood, which makes absolutely perfect sense.  But without being smart enough to recognize the sub-conscious motive behind their conscious motive, they fail to allow themselves to consider an issue on a purely objective logical basis.

The consequence is that any truth that is contrary to their bias is dismissed without consideration, like a judge that renders a verdict & sentence before hearing the case.  Like a miscarriage of justice, they are guilty of a miscarriage of logical analysis which they can justify on the basis that judgement isn’t required for matters that are already determined (like guilt) so proceeding straight to judgement without analysis is perfectly justified.  But what about when the accused is actually innocent as sometimes happens?

That is not a concern for them because they already “know” that he is guilty, -like Major Hasan.  What reasonable person in a sane world would insist that justice could not be had without indulging the legal profession’s self-serving standard-operating-procedure of putting on an extensive and expensive trial in order to arrive at a determination of Hasan’s guilt?  General George Washington would have tried him the same day, rendered a verdict the same day, and shot him the same day.  But I digress.

The problem with over-confidence in one’s judgement is that it doesn’t work when one has a built-in bias.  Under that circumstance judgement is not arrived at because of the facts but without the facts even being considered since one already “knows” that they are either irrelevant, distorted, red herrings, straw-men, perverse logic, erroneous, or outright lies, so why bother considering such “evidence” when dismissal is so much more “reasonable” and convenient for the preservation of one’s embraced bias?
The low road is much preferable to the high road.  The high road leads to the wrong destination, (the unwanted truth) and is too steep and too disturbing.  It’s only natural to not take it.

   Intelligence cannot serve as a reliable gauge for assessing someone’s openness to truth.  Even the most brilliant mind can have a very common self-defensive heart which steers the mind subconsciously away from the reefs of the truth.  Anything that spells danger to the heart and its embraced views and beliefs will provoke a self-protection response that is instantaneous, -too fast to be noticed or avoided unless one was born with an innate affinity for the truth whatever it may be; -whether blessing or curse to one’s happiness.

   Scientist all through-out history, as well as today, display, it has been discovered, more bias and bias blindness that the average person.  They are so certain of their beliefs that they are the most closed of all to new truth, as we’ve all learned has been the response of the establishment toward anything new in science or medicine.  Einstein was among the crowd guilty of rejecting that which countered his bias, -even though it was supported by his own calculations.

    He believed, and wanted to believe, that the universe was in a steady-state, non-evolving, non-expanding, eternal, unchanging while those with more open minds dug deeper into his physics and came to the opposite conclusion, -discovering that they implied the universe was growing ever larger.  But Einstein refused to accept their discoveries until after Hubble made some calculations about the shift in the red spectum of distant stars and then realized that they must be moving as speeds so great that they could not be stars in the Milky Way Universe but must be other universes far, far away, meaning the Milky Way was not the sum and total of the Universe but is just one island universe among billions.

Brilliant minds don’t like their universe expanded from under their feet, so to speak, and so they do what Einstein did, -they reject that which disagrees with their embraced bias.  What possible truth are you currently rejecting without objective analysis?  You know, the more something is unacceptable, the more likely it is that it is not being judged objectively if it is something regarding truth or error.  So how does one come to know a truth that one cannot consider or accept, including a truth that may cause a part of their world to crumble?  Few know the answer to that question.

By Adrien Nash  September 2013

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About arnash
“When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain - Politicians and diapers - change 'em often, for the same reason. "Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other." Ronald Reagan "Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley, Jr. “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.” - Bertrand Russell The people are the masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it. Abraham Lincoln “Good people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” - George Orwell “Satan will use a lake of truth to hide a pint of poison”.

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