Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Truth About Truth

At this point in my life, I've come to the following counter-intuitive conclusions:
  • Speaking Truth can be a selfish act
  • Truth is not the ultimate answer to everything
  • Truth is a means to an end, and that end is validation of identity
I am reminded that most of us are trained to become masters of data, knowledge, and correctness... into knowing things and being able to analyze things, but after all is said and done, we exist in fragile human frames that respond to emotions more so than any truth.

It is this little quirk about us that allows us to smoke harmful cigarettes when we know that it may bring a horrible painful death upon us... because the truth of danger is drowned out by the emotion of want.

And it is this quirk that can make us walk away from a relationship at the slightest sign of strife... because the truth of safety can be drowned out by the emotion of fear.

Inversely, one might stay in a harmful relationship because the truth of harm is drowned out by an emotion that is considered to be "love" by the beholder.

The compass always points to identity. Most people accept only the truths that support their self image... what they already know or wish to be true about who they are. The reality you choose to accept is based on who you think you are.

Every word, every silence, every action and inaction serves an explicit EMOTION more so then truth. Every meaningful interaction has an emotional intent from the source, and an emotional effect on the receiver. Ideally, the emotion between source and receiver would coincide, but this is not always the case because truth is personal while emotions are universal.

You always have a choice... to either be correct or compassionate.

The human brain is infinitely capable of rationalizing any truth as being the absolute truth. This "absolute truth" is personal. Our brain can convince itself into believing or denying anything if it does not fit an existing model of what we already "know" about the world and ourselves. If somebody wants to believe that something is true, they will find a way to rationalize it.

You always have a choice... to either challenge one's identity with unsolicited correctness or choose to coexist with different truths that lead to common emotions.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On the subject of Twitter/Facebook disdain

So here's the deal,

You don't have to use Twitter, nor do you have to get on Facebook. You don't have to do anything in this world that you don't want to do. When you do transmit signals into the internet, you expect to get something out of it.... whether it be Twitter, Facebook, or this Journal... there is an intention behind everything. Some useful things that people get out of Facebook/Twitter include the following:
  • Entertainment
  • Information
  • Interaction opportunities that lead to changes in social configurations
  • Verb opportunities
  • Solicited advice
  • Opportunities for expression (yes, this is a valid human need)
Most people suck, and you probably don't want to know them. It is perfectly okay to say that you are happy with your current circle of friends and see no need to expand and maintain links with a group of people who may be acquaintances at best.

The purpose of Twitter and Facebook is to provide opportunities to participate in a network of other people who seek the same. It is a tool, not an obligation.

So if the concept of Facebook and Twitter offend you for some reason, then ask yourself what it is, exactly, that makes you so angry at what other people are doing with their own time. Seriously... try to put this into a sentence made up of vocabulary words. After you've thought about it, consider saving yourself the trouble of dealing with any of it by deleting your account. That would be easy enough to do.

People who actively participate on Facebook and Twitter must get something out of it, and that is why they continue to use it despite the hassles with interface and inundation of unsolicited reading material. It doesn't matter if you don't relate to the motivations of the typical active Facebook'er/Twitter'er... It is very likely that they have different needs for social engagement than you.

In Maslow's hierarchy, social needs are a very real requirement for human beings, humans will degrade if their need for social involvement is not sufficiently met. We live in an age where members of society are generally impatient and will actively seek out the things they want instead of waiting for opportunities to randomly fall into their lap. Most friendships and romantic involvements do not happen the way they do in Hollywood movies, they happen because people put out request signals and somebody else answers them.

So what is your intention for getting on a site like Facebook or Twitter? To know about things? To maximize opportunities? To broadcast information?
  • If you have no intention, then get off those sites! Other users will only take from you, and you will get nothing out of it.
  • If you have an intention, then embrace it. Don't be shy about it. The site exists to serve your intentions, and you have a pool of cohorts that have agreed to be in on this social exchange
Whatever the case, participation has always been voluntary and optional. Getting mad at people who use Facebook or Twitter does not really accomplish anything unless it is your goal to revel in being mad about something. Getting mad at frivolous things that really don't affect you is one way of making yourself feel important... but that is a topic for another day.