True Believers

I recently had two online exchanges with “True Believers.” In my case, both were Christian “literalists” whose “true belief” was in Biblical inerrancy, believing that the Christian Bible is literally the “Word of God” and therefore contains no errors. The belief in inerrancy is more complex than the phrase implies, as there are so many different versions of the ancient texts. My concern is with inerrancy in general rather than which particular form it takes.

Christians aren’t the only ones who have an inerrancy faction. Muslims have one, too. Sunnis and Shia are currently in the news for their . . . → Read More: True Believers

New Directions

Those of you who have been regular readers of this blog know that we’ve recently been through a winter of discontent and spent some time south of the border. Now that spring has arrived in Michigan I thought it was time to give my blog a facelift with new header images, a new title, and new overarching theme: Embracing Reality. The theme is a result of my having been influenced by a saying from Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is, in which she says that When you argue with reality, you lose—but only 100 percent of the time. If you’ve . . . → Read More: New Directions

Yes, No, or It Depends?

In some ways this blog entry ties back to my previous posts on Choice Points: “Forks in the Road” and Evidence Procedures. One of the things I have been noticing about recent political debates is how often people, and perhaps especially politicians, seem to be absolutely sure of so many things.

Bell Curve

In statistical terms, when we measure most populations on most scales (such as height, weight, IQ, education, age at death, etc.) the result is the familiar bell shape of Pareto’s Law.

It make sense: Some people are really tall, some are really short, and most . . . → Read More: Yes, No, or It Depends?

Evidence Procedures

In NLP, one of the central Metamodel questions is, “How do you know?” An honest answer to the question provides information about a person’s “model of the world,” which is essentially a “reality strategy”—the way people decide what’s real. In most cases, what we think of as “real” is more accurately a “belief,” in some cases with very little in the way of supporting evidence. Most beliefs begin, of course, with some evidence in the external environment. Through the natural processes of deletion, distortion, and generalization, beliefs that have a logical beginning can become increasingly distorted over time. One of . . . → Read More: Evidence Procedures

Selling Fear in the New Year

One of the things I’ve been paying increasing attention to (perhaps because of the ongoing political debate in the U.S.) is fear marketing. I find it amazing at how pervasive “fear appeals” are and the various ways they are used to sell “stuff,” including politicians and political “talking points.” The basic concept is that we really need to be afraid of X, and, if we want to be safe, we need to stock up on (or vote for) the anti-X.

The world has a lot of risky stuff in it, of course, and we are undoubtedly safer when we . . . → Read More: Selling Fear in the New Year

Arguing with Reality

Previously—”I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy),” 4 June 4 2011—I lamented the need for greater understanding and appreciation of the essential premises of Alfred Krozybski’s Science and Sanity, which evolved into the metamodel of NLP. Those premises are basically a cry to pay closer attention to reality, known in both Korzybski’s work and NLP as “territory,” which is distinct from “maps,” which are human beliefs. The problem is that beliefs too often argue with—disagree with—reality, and, as Byron Katie (Loving What Is) has said, “When you argue with reality, you lose. But only every time.”

If you want . . . → Read More: Arguing with Reality

I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy)

With apologies to the Beatles and “A Day in the Life”:

One of my daily habits is reading through the major online news sources to get a sense of what is happening here in the U.S. and in the world. I often find it fascinating to see what subjects are drawing the most media attention—and the kind of attention they are attracting. Here’s a brief round-up of recent “stuff”:

Placebos are in the news (again): One of the things I find most interesting about placebos is that articles about them written by medical doctors studiously avoid the word . . . → Read More: I Read the News Today (Oh, Boy)

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