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November 07, 2005


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Any chance you can attach the mp3s to their respective RSS feed item in the future, so that feed readers automatically see and download them? Otherwise, users of the RSS feed have to go to the particular web page, find the download link, and click it, effectively nullifying the utility of the feed.

Thanks for all your help and making these mp3s available!

Kimball Corson

Let me address here what I believe to be a real limitation upon the wisdom of groups, if truth is the goal, and do so in a manner that reposts some less well put ideas I have offered on another thread of this website.

It has to do with our capacity for self-delusion. Many individuals have deluded themselves into believing, for example, that they are great figures of history. Some, but by no means all such people suffer from mental illness. The rest are simply self delusional. That is because we have evolved in each of us the capacity for self-delusion. Each of us can be self-delusional and not even know it. In groups, the self delusional process is or can be very much reinforced or exacerbated, thereby compromising group wisdom. I explain.

With the evolution of our consciousness, we long ago learned how to convey false or misleading meaning by speech, and so misrepresentation came to be used to mislead and to hide what we more truthfully understood or seriously suspected. Where truth is less clear, the self-delusional process is made that much easier. However, learning to mislead was only the beginning. Speech also then became a tool for manipulating others and inducing self-delusion especially in groups. Indeed, the very word “mislead” implies the process in regard to groups. But there was a problem in doing that.

The conscious ruse of misleading is often betrayed by the expressions of the face and the anxiety of it causes changes in heartbeats, sweating and altered electrical conductivity of the skin. This is why those who mislead or deceive well have learned to act normally and to keep a neutral face and why lie detector tests have been used to measure heartbeats and skin conductivity. To appear credible, one has been required to keep a straight face, look others in the eye and appear honest while misleading. But deliberate misleading is very hard on us over time, if we consciously or unconsciously know the truth, and there is -- or would be -- the rub.

However, evolution came up with a solution to this problem. Deep down we each have learned to convince ourselves that we are not misleading or erring from the truth and in doing so we indulge in self-delusion. We can do this individually, but it is much easier done in groups where reinforcement and reaffirmation can be developed. Self-delusion is why we observe hypocrisy. Studies with MRI brain scans can detect self-delusional misrepresentation where the speaker no longer can and genuinely believes that what he or she says is true and where lie detectors fail.
Self-delusion permits us to believe as true what in fact we basically know is not, often by repeating the delusions frequently in normal contexts and/or by having them reinforced by others who are likewise so deluded. Johnstown is the classic case. The story of the emperor who had no clothes on is too. Likewise, the “bandwagon effect” speaks to the same issue.

If what I write here is true, is not there a very serious limitation then on the wisdom of groups. I believe that to be the case and the reason many who seek real truth avoid memberships in groups and even group affiliations. Subconsciously or consciously, they know better.

Chenyun Zhu

There is surely a delicate association between belief and self-delusion. Under the condition as mentioned by the last sentence, harsh situation causes Credulity and Blind. New generation seldom get access to basic elements since they enjoy enormous existing theories from every resource, away from which quickness and Elite on public-esteem is impossible. Then, here is the problem: education and democratic life could not aid us to think thoroughly.
University VS Multiversity !

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