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Discussion Starter #1
I was talking to someone about this, how there is a prevailing attitude in this country (US) that is not supportive and proud in the way it use to be. Of course the reasons for this are often legitimate, but they were blaming a lot of issues with the way the country is operating on this prevailing attitude. They argued that although the (US) was more dellusional in the recent past, they were aware of this dellusion and were comfortable with being dellusional because there were ultimately things they knew were difficult to face and felt more secure in not knowing it. Because of this false sense of security and unabated trust, they were able to operate in their lives better and the country actually functioned better.

Of course I fundamentally disagree with ever having to default to dellusional awareness, but it makes me wonder just how useful such a perspective can be in people's lives. Perhaps there is a greater deference to this depending on mbti, but I'm just wondering what everyone's take was on this in general. The whole idea sits very uncomfortably with me.
 

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Well as outsiders looking in (Canada) many of us were completely baffled how Americans could be so delusional but their preference for it was obvious because despite having a multitude of news sources to chose from, they were choosing ones that made them feel good about themselves. It was doomed to backfire eventually on them.

However for several years now we've been going through the same thing moving backwards. As it happens, more and more freedoms are slowly eroding away. Today I had a convo with some of my co-workers about the Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. One of my co-workers, who is a very bright guy, said he'd rather just not pay attention to that kind of stuff. He knows its going on but chose instead just to focus on his own life and family because there is nothing he can really do about it anyway.

In his case, and in many others, this actually the truth. A lot of companies have policies that forbid you do anything, including participate in any kind of protests, where your actions may be affiliated back to them regardless if you are doing it on your own time or not. For awhile with the Occupy and Idle No More movements, people were doing it anyway but were wearing masks/handkerchiefs but I believe that was banned (or was/is going to be banned) so that put the kibosh on that. New policies have included the use of social media so anyone who thinks they are aware because they heard this thing or that on the internet are likely listening to hoaxes, misinformation, or unproven theory.

So the sectors with the most information about what is going on have essentially been gagged in our society.

I almost envy those who instead of realizing they are living in an illusion can just remove themselves to this delusional state.
 

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People choose to not think about/not belief things all the time. And not just the unpleasant stuff they do it with stuff they don't feel like they can change either. It goes from ignoring the hobo on the street or the fact that we all know someone is starving to death in Africa while we're binging on McDonald's to a wife ignoring the way her husband abuses the children because she doesn't want to deal with it to the way people purposefully turn towards religion to ward off existential angst. We ignore stuff by default as a kind of defense mechanism. Factually we know that in a lot of cases we can do more like we can just drop our lives and go join the Red Cross right now but we don't because well... reasons. The justifications are endless. But yeah. This kind of bubble of selective awareness works really well for every day functioning and keeping society well-oiled so there's that.
 

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People choose to not think about/not belief things all the time. And not just the unpleasant stuff they do it with stuff they don't feel like they can change either. It goes from ignoring the hobo on the street or the fact that we all know someone is starving to death in Africa while we're binging on McDonald's to a wife ignoring the way her husband abuses the children because she doesn't want to deal with it to the way people purposefully turn towards religion to ward off existential angst. We ignore stuff by default as a kind of defense mechanism. Factually we know that in a lot of cases we can do more like we can just drop our lives and go join the Red Cross right now but we don't because well... reasons. The justifications are endless. But yeah. This kind of bubble of selective awareness works really well for every day functioning and keeping society well-oiled so there's that.
There is actually a name for the kind of society we live in and doh! the name is escaping me now but Dolphins live in the same kind of society. Within every big group are smaller groups and within them, smaller groups. Your level of loyalty is essentially dictated by your loyalty to the smaller groups. You will only extend yourself so far before coming back to that smaller group. Through natural forces, our society is designed this way so there must be some kind of survival benefit to it regardless if we are aware of what it is or no.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
But it leads me to thinking of other things like, could someone be a better baseball player if they instead convinced themselves they are actually playing football? And when it comes to our awareness as human beings through evolution, what if we are actually perceiving things in a dellusional form, the kind of form that allows us to survive, but quite far from how things actually are... theory is always described as the best predictive model of empirical behavior, but what if a dellusional understanding leads to better predicticions... especially if we prefer to only predict certain things... the implications seem to be pretty profound.
 

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There is actually a name for the kind of society we live in and doh! the name is escaping me now but Dolphins live in the same kind of society. Within every big group are smaller groups and within them, smaller groups. Your level of loyalty is essentially dictated by your loyalty to the smaller groups. You will only extend yourself so far before coming back to that smaller group. Through natural forces, our society is designed this way so there must be some kind of survival benefit to it regardless if we are aware of what it is or no.
Well yeah. But its not like we're slaves to our genetic programming, or to some evolutionary imperative any more. The mere fact that we can cogitate on this topic means we can change it, we just don't want to. Life and living is just easier to live in our little bubble of selective awareness.

But it leads me to thinking of other things like, could someone be a better baseball player if they instead convinced themselves they are actually playing football?
No. Weeeellllll yes. Kinda. I assume this person would be a really excellent soccer player and only a average or subpar baseball player and so the idea would be to artificially inflate their self-confidence by making them believe they're doing something they're really good at even though they're not i.e. a false belief leading to real, tangible gain. This kind of thing has been done quite often in studies, you can even argue that every single study that uses a placebo does this. Belief can and does increase your efficiency. Of course the belief that you are actually doing something you're good at to kind of vicariously increase your aptitude in another totally unrelated field is COMPLETELY different from simply withholding or ignoring information that might diminish your ability to perform. The latter doesn't really add anything it just stops you from doing worse. There was this one study where people were asked to come up with as many uses as they could for this one substance thing, they knew nothing of it previously and on average they could come up with like 20-something uses and they felt quite chuffed with themselves until they were told afterwards that there was hundreds or thousands of uses for it. Now I don't know whether they ever tried telling the people before how many uses there actually were and then asking them to come up as many uses as possible but I imagine the result would have been lower than twenty-something simply by virtue of the hopeless/demoralizing aspect of knowing you will never, ever match up. Also where was I going with this again?

Anyway. Our view of the world is warped, if not delusional exactly, it's adaptive it allows us to focus and feel good about the stuff we need to keeping our scope somewhat myopic and insular is smart from a purely evolutionary perspective. But it's not delusional. Beliefs whether they're true or false can help improve performance, certainly but not beyond the parameters the person already had, they just weren't capable of accessing that yah know? This is in the case of positive (as in added) beliefs and not the negative (as in withheld or not entertained) beliefs because, again, apples and oranges.
 

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what if we are actually perceiving things in a dellusional form, the kind of form that allows us to survive, but quite far from how things actually are... theory is always described as the best predictive model of empirical behavior, but what if a dellusional understanding leads to better predicticions... especially if we prefer to only predict certain things... the implications seem to be pretty profound.
What makes you think you don't live in that delusion now? If so many are contently delusional it's likely at least some thing are working for them by being so. A lot of that likely has to do with at least some limited amount of speculation in order to make choices.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
What makes you think you don't live in that delusion now? If so many are contently delusional it's likely at least some thing are working for them by being so. A lot of that likely has to do with at least some limited amount of speculation in order to make choices.

What makes you think I didn't think I live in that delusion now? lol. I was confronting the validity of awareness based on whether something does or doesn't work. I agree, speculation gets in the way of making choices.

@Fredward
Anyway. Our view of the world is warped, if not delusional exactly, it's adaptive it allows us to focus and feel good about the stuff we need to keeping our scope somewhat myopic and insular is smart from a purely evolutionary perspective. But it's not delusional. Beliefs whether they're true or false can help improve performance, certainly but not beyond the parameters the person already had, they just weren't capable of accessing that yah know? This is in the case of positive (as in added) beliefs and not the negative (as in withheld or not entertained) beliefs because, again, apples and oranges.
Placebo, yes that's a good point. I wonder if it's possible to quantify relative states of dellusion in general, although I think Placebo almost does that. Does statistics do this?
Maybe I'm just still mulling over that sleeping beauty problem in some unrecognizable way or something.
 
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