Overcoming the Amygdala Part 102


As we have been examining, data is the information flow from our surroundings and our own minds which bombards us every moment of every day. Some of it is bland and inconsequential; some of it is charged and of vital importance. Which is which is determined by our own projection of ideals.

This flow of data can (and should) be used to assess departures from ideals in our lives and to help us handle those so that things improve. Most people, though, simply react to the flow and end up with amygdalas going crazy.

Most intelligence systems use various methods of using this data stream, but they do so incorrectly, leading to different forms of insanity. Governments, companies, groups and individuals almost uniformly use reports. Reports from ‘authorities’, ‘trusted observers’, ‘reliable documents’ and so forth are used as substitutes for observation.

You can see catastrophic results throughout history, from the beginnings of wars to the sinking of the Titanic, from international economic and political relationships to disastrous marriages — reports, no matter how ‘trusted’ they may seem, can always be false or misleading. From Chamberlain’s ‘I have in my hand a piece of paper that means peace in our time’ to the latest glowing report from an international accounting firm about the state of a multi-national corporation’s finances, reports are often not worth the ink used to create them.

What’s needed to correctly assess situations is actually much easier to find: it’s just data. Any reasonable flow of data, if observed, will reveal what is going on in any zone or activity on the planet. In fact, the absence of expected reports from an area can often tell us more about what’s going on that any report could.

One has to be very capable at spotting departures; one has to be very skilled in not reacting, but instead observing.

What you’re looking for in any data stream is departures: what is missing here, what doesn’t quite add up, what appears false, what doesn’t take into account time or relative importances. A clever observer becomes a Sherlock Holmes, empowered to see connections which to others appear supernatural.

Statistics lead you to the right areas to observe; departures give you the trail to follow to the Big Departure which explains all the others.

Reports can actually get in the way and make a situation worse. It was trusting the reports that the Titanic was ‘unsinkable’ that led to there not being enough lifeboats provided to save everyone’s life when the ship struck the iceberg.

Practice will give you the skill to look over any scene and rapidly spot where things are going wrong.

You simply follow the trail of things that don’t quite add up and you end up with the explanation as to why they don’t add up. But you have to step back from reacting to the departures in the data, otherwise you’ll never get anywhere.

People who do not understand correct thinking can get the idea that Life is based on fate, or that ‘things just happen randomly’.

To an expert it is easy — follow the trail of what one doesn’t grasp, and one will end up at the source of the insanity.

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