Thursday, January 9, 2020

Will you at least think about it?

Some of my friends are taken with the idea that if a lie is repeated enough, it often becomes accepted as truth.

These days, the word "lie" is thrown about often.  In some cases, you may feel that anything I say, especially on one of the topics you disagree with me about, is a lie.  I like to use the word "lie" when it appears I am putting forth a statement that I myself don't believe, Maybe that is a deliberate lie.

I may trust my old friend Sam who knows, or seems to know, quite a bit about the oil supply.  So, when I repeat that we have run out of oil, I am trusting Sam. I may omit the notation that I got my information from Sam or any other citation of the source of my knowledge or information.  You may want me to omit sources if I am always quoting a source. Too much source quoting can be a real drag on everyday conversation.  

The book "Stumbling on Happiness" by Dan Gilbert is about making choices that later result in being happy.  Gilbert emphasizes that when we contemplate a vacation in Hawaii, we picture being in Hawaii and see if the picture is the sort of thing we like (or have liked in the past).  Between what is yet to come and what others tell us, a big part of our lives relates to what we don't have direct immediate experience with. The scientific approach is attractive so I have considered living my life, maybe a good number of times through, and then selecting the most favorable course and living that one.  There are several obstacles to such an experimental approach, including the boredom and burden of living over and over. To get a reasonable sample size could take many repetitions, not including the fact that I am mortal and limited.  

If I consider a vacation in Hawaii, long enough and fully enough, enough times, I will probably become accustomed to picturing myself there so when a volcano erupts and spoiling my picture of bliss, I am all in a dither.  What now? Who ordered that? What, Toronto instead?

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