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Perception And Platitudes

January 16, 2013

Memory is a tricky thing. There is such potential for corruption. It begins at the moment of recording. Total recall requires total concentration. We filter our perceptions through our own experiences with the unintended consequence of imperfectly recording events in our mind. So, from the point of storage, the file, the memory has already been corrupted, stripped of what could be important detail by the triage center in your brain, a black-ops synapse that eliminates unnecessary storage in your brain without your being aware. You are left with visions of the past that have been simplified to aid your comprehension. So, having filled your memory with simplified files, rudimentary versions of reality gone by, your access to the complete picture is severely limited.

Humans are slaves to their perceptions. They place more trust in their own senses than they do in spouses, parents, children, family and friends. This unshakable faith in their own perceptions makes them easily susceptible to deceit and manipulation. One needs only to dazzle the senses to gain influence, plant the seed in fecund fields. The simpler the message, the easier it is for the brain to store it, spared from having to expend the energy of dispatching the black-ops team of Simplifiers. Once the file has been stored away in the brain, it begins to alter perception. This process is unpredictable. This new file joins the others and it is impossible to know what is already stored in the brain of a human. Humans themselves often have no idea or desire to know. These files come together to project a perception, a gelatinous and complex pool that at times seems completely unnavigable. If conditions are right, and the field is not fallow, the message will grow of its own accord in the brain, coloring the pool of perception. Be attentive to your message. Repeat it. Craft it to be unassailable. The more rudimentary, the harder it will be to deconstruct. A mountain is more difficult to scale than a castle, despite the intricate brickwork and the ingenious defensive design. Large files are difficult to store; simple ones are stored without effort.

This is not a secret. It is a truth about the human condition that has been known and exploited for millennia. A dazzling slogan or sound bite has more chance of gaining ground and influence than the most heartfelt and impassioned speech. Not only are we as a species aware of this susceptibility, but it is not uncommon for us to pay for the privilege of being manipulated and exploited through targeted advertising and information gathering, through the Internet and television, through video games and movies. Dazzle the senses and deliver your message. The thrill of temporarily altered perception is a global pursuit. Human beings have an unquenchable thirst for change but abhorrence for changing.

It is the trust in our senses that I find the most baffling. Every human being that has ever lived, from Adam and Eve to Kim and Kanye, has found themselves being deceived at some point in their lives. It could be hearing a step behind you and looking only to find no one there. It could be being bilked out of your life savings by a confidence man who promised spiritual enlightenment. It could be seeing an ex across the midway at the county fair only to find on drawing nearer that it’s not your ex-boyfriend but a surly looking woman in a plaid shirt. It could be smelling cookies when you walk into your mom’s house only to find that it is only the smell of a candle burning. It is gagging on the taste of orange juice after brushing your teeth. Our senses regularly deceive us, misinterpreting, simplifying, indulging. Yet, we base our perceptions of reality on these fragile and often ineffective agents, rarely pausing to consider the ramifications of relying on such an incomplete picture. It is like trying to get around using a map that only shows the major highways.

There is only one solution to this imbalance. It is allowing the perceptions of others the same validity as your own and accepting that your senses may not always be right and your perception may be flawed. “Is everybody right all the time then?” I hear you ask. Certainly not. We are all of us right sometimes; we are all of us wrong sometimes. It is only with the exchange of knowledge can we become better. We need each other to uncover more of the picture. We need to share; we need to exchange ideas; we need to explore without weapons; we need to learn that working together is easier and more beneficial than working against each other.

Bad Attitudes About Platitudes

More platitudes from an online blogger were revealed today, inviting more outrage. Investigators say that the blog, “magnified whisper”, has committed what appears to be several platitudes over the past twelve months. The latest atrocity was posted as recently as today, in a post called “Perception and Platitudes”. When reached for comment the blog’s author, Salomé Anulisch, made it clear that these were not platitudes but statements of her core beliefs.

“I sit at my computer,” Ms. Anulisch told us, “and I try to convey what I’ve been thinking about. I also try to find a lesson to take away. Sometimes what is looked on as a platitude is just good old fashioned horse sense.”

Investigators looking into the case were not quite so blasé. Speaking at a press conference, the lead investigator said that these were very serious allegations and could lead to censure by the blogging community. “This kind of thing may be acceptable on cable TV,” he said, “or AM radio, but it has no place on the unsullied servers of the Internet. Miss Anulisch has been warned and further violations by her or anyone else at ‘magnified whisper’ could lead to suspension or complete expulsion from the Internet.”

Ms. Anulisch, in the meantime, has showed no signs of stopping. She posted this earlier this evening:

“The Platitude Police have unfairly targeted me and threatened me with expulsion and censure. I have no intention of giving up. I will never give up. I will never surrender. Who’s with me? Who will stand and fight with me in the struggle against literary oppression? Together we stand, divided we fall!”

Insiders in the Platitude Police Department say this latest salvo of platitudes is just the icing prosecutors needed for their cake of justice, and that Ms. Anulisch will be facing charges soon.

“We will not allow Miss Anulisch to continue to degrade the Internet. Justice will be swift.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2013 7:21 pm

    You are funny!
    “Burn the books I say… Burn the Books!”

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