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Worzels World - Decisions and how to make ‘em


I was not born deaf and dumb so I have, like most others, heard and occasionally spoken a fair amount of rubbish. And what is worse, I have occasionally believed some of it.

The average madman accepts certain things for which there is absolutely no evidence. It is easy to adopt popular notions with little or no critical analysis. Ideas like the world is round are more or less accepted by everyone, yet no one of my acquaintance can explain the complex mathematical and astronomical proofs that this is so. There are a great number of such workaday precepts of what is and what is not. What is the actual history and state of human affairs?

Whatever it is, of one thing we can be certain: It differs substantially from what we have been told it is. ‘If the blind lead the blind then both will fall into the pit’ said Jesus. ‘There’s none so blind as those who will not see’ said somebody else. And one of my favourites, ‘there is no one so hungry as he who only dreams of food’, which I think is of Chinese origin. The author and details no longer certain in my memory, it may have been Confucius or it may only have been only to confuse us? In one way or another all of us have thought something right that was later proved wrong. And some people and some ideas are more wrong than others.

But the slightly deceived and the consistently gullible alike should be ready to discard previously adopted false paradigms as soon they have been proven fake. Decisions made based on faulty data cannot hope to be good ones. There may be some doubt and debate as to what variety of bad they will be, but any action based on false information will inevitably be misguided and result in failure. The process of receiving information, assessing that information, then acting on that information is corrupted at the first stage.

When we act upon information received we should, at least, make certain that it is based on the testimony of an honest person. No matter how clever we think we are we should admit that we are probably wrong in many areas and incorrect in quite a few others. After waking from the sleep of apathy and willful ignorance and beginning to ask a few questions we will find that much of what we previously held to be reliable and true is not. We must be prepared to give these concepts up. We may not be able to identify the absolute truth but avoiding the demonstrably untrue is a step in the right direction. Education is learning to assess what information is available, understanding it, then using it wisely and turning it into action. This is seldom taught in school. There are many widely accepted concepts for which there is no proof. By way of example here are a few I have heard promoted.

You be the judge of their truth: ‘100% Pure, New Zealand is a clean green country’; ‘Rich people get there by being clever and working hard’; ‘Climate change is the cause of too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere’; ‘The technology of tomorrow will solve the problems of today’; and one which I just invented and think needs greater consideration, ‘as a consequence of natural selection and ongoing evolutionary processes pigs will fly’. It is not always easy to give up long-held and often cherished falsehoods, but when ideas that have been proven wrong are abandoned we enter into a process commonly known as learning.

That ‘some people never learn’ is one precept for which, like the world being round, there is a substantial body of supporting evidence. I know a fellow who was a serial mistake maker. He insisted that he learnt from his mistakes. He did, and managed to replicate them until the time of his death – by misadventure. The trouble is he never learnt success. But for those of us prepared to pay the price of a real education, learning is continuous. The more learning and the greater our understanding of objective reality, then the better our decision making will be and the better the outcome.

In this fake-it-till-yamake-it world of mass marketing, of fake news, false history and phony narratives, it would be well to remind ourselves that popular acceptance is seldom, if ever, a measure of the value, the validity or indeed the veracity of any idea.

The popular path does not lead to good or wise decision-making. That most or many believe that something is true does not make it so. The majority is seldom right and the concept of ‘going with the flow’ was sold as a rationalised excuse for apathy and stupidity. It is, rather, the domain of dead salmon. The better fish swim upstream. Many survive and thrive by resisting the current while those that go with the flow get washed out into a big ocean to be swallowed by whales and eaten by sharks.

„ Feedback? Email prof_ worzel@hotmail.com

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