Seeing is Believing

Trump’s Ad

 

HillaryTestifying
Hillary Testifying

Donald Trump continues to delude himself and con the country into thinking he is actually running for president. To help his con, he released a lying ad lying about Hillary Clinton lying to the families of those lost in the Benghazi attacks because lies work in American politics. The ad ends with frightening maniacal Hillary laughter juxtaposed with I don’t see anything funnyAs if lying murderous Hillary is laughing all the way to the bank about her murdering her good friend Ambassador Stevens and getting away with it like the evil genius she is.  Ha ha, good one Drumpf!

For those of us who have been trapped in a mining accident for the past four years, the Benghazi attacks occurred in Benghazi after Hillary inflamed and armed a bunch of terrorists and planned an attack for them, so she could murder her good friend Ambassador Stevens and three others in the American Consulate in Benghazi. It has been investigated 20 times and every which way to Sunday. Nothing corroborating the accusations have been found, so we just keep on investigating. And, really, you should get out more.

The point, of course, of the investigations isn’t to prove any accusation or conspiracy theory because the investigators already know they can’t. The point is to (a) get the human penis, Trey Gowdy, on the TV is often as possible so we can all remark about how much he resembles a penis, (b) keep the lies against Hillary Clinton flowing, and (c) make those lies hard to forget.

People are particularly susceptible to this type of deception. What is more, people like Donald Trump and Karl Rove and Lee Atwater know how to exploit this tendency all too well. And, this, boys and girls, is how they do it.

The Brain

NosePicking.jpgWe start with the brain! The three pound lump of sodden flesh residing in all of our craniums, the most advanced organ, machine, instrument, or thing in the known universe, the crown of creation and evolution, a living breathing bloody miracle. Think about that next time you’re picking your nose.

The human brain is always operating, always on, and, contrary to popular opinion, we use 100% of it 100% of the time. It controls your every thought, action, emotion, reaction, idea… everything. Nothing you do, think, feel, or say occurs without an equivalent neural event.

Fun science facts about the brain!

So, if the brain is so smart and all, why are people so dumb?

The Senses & Sight

sensorycorticesWhile we have six senses (yes six, and one of them isn’t ESP, it is proprioception, or the ability to know your position in space), only one of them has an entire lobe — one of four lobes — of the cerebral cortex devoted to it. The visual cortex takes up a full 30% of the cortex’s neurons. That’s 30% of 100 billion. Contrast that with 8% for touch and 2% for hearing. It takes a lot of brain power to make a visual representation of the world.

Suffice it to say, human beings are visual creatures. We rely on our vision more than any other sense (as an aside the learning styles craze is a bunch of bunk!). We rely on vision so much so, that the people and proto-people who survived hunting and gathering were the ones who saw better. It’s evolution baby!

Our vision evolved to be so good that it was worth devoting the enormous amount of energy needed to support it. Consequently, we tend to believe what we see even if we know it is untrue. For example, look at the lines illustrated below. We know that they are the same length, but our perception tells us that the line below is longer.

Muller-LyerIllusion
Muller-Lyer Illusion

Seeing is believing; knowing is deceiving! Just like we cannot help but see the lower line as longer than the upper, we cannot help but believe something that we’ve seen. Think of  JarJarCGI scenes in movies. The ones that are unsuccessful defy the laws of our physical world and, therefore, seem unreal. So, what happens when a clever editor cuts and pastes a variety of disconnected events and sounds together to lie to us about Hillary Clinton and Benghazi. A certain part of us wants to believe it, even, like the lines, we know it isn’t true. Scary, right?

If we didn’t believe our senses, especially our sight, we would not have survived as a species. It is that simple. And, some how Star Wars survived Jar Jar Binks and George Lucas.

Thinking iz Hard!

The next piece of the puzzle is thinking is hard! It is. It really really is. Science fact and everything. Our brain is an energy hog: 2% of our weight uses 20% of our energy! Just by existing, our brain is hogging up all that sweet sweet sugar. So, if we make it work harder than just doing the automatic stuff that occurs outside of our awareness, like think (the stuff we are aware of), then we better have a damn good reason for it!

ThinkingChimpWe evolved to take shortcuts with our thinking. Remember kids, those shortcuts saved our bacon on the savannahs, but maybe cooking our bacon in modern times. One of these shortcuts is to believe what we see. Essentially, it works like this: we receive some information through our senses. We organize it into a coherent whole and assign meaning to it. If that meaning does not trigger a warning of some kind — like a badly done CGI scene — the siren song of acceptance seduces us into accepting the emotionally satisfying and seemingly safe first impression. If we think too much, we may rob ourselves of energy that would be better spent evading a predator even though our daily life is virtually devoid of predators, except for assholes like Donald Trump and this guy and this guy and well there is too many to list, but ain’t a one of them a trans woman predating in bathrooms in NC.

Awareness of this tendency can help us guard against it. We can question the things that we see. Unfortunately, nowadays, we suffer from the curse of the InterWebs! We can look up virtually anything, anytime, any where using our smart phones and other devices. So, even if we were questioning Clinton’s comments about Benghazi, and we googled it, we would come up with a mixed bag of Clinton didn’t murder all the Benghazis to Clinton did murder all the Benghazis.

Your Drunk Uncle

RedSkelton2
Your drunk uncle, Red Skelton

With a wash of opinion, we tend to turn to those people or sources we trust AND rely on our preconceived notions, impressions, and assumptions. In short, if you like Hillary Clinton, you are less likely to be swayed by Trump’s lying ad. If you don’t like Hillary Clinton, you are. And, if you are neutral, you are likely to rely on something called the availability heuristic.

The availability heuristic states that when confronted with a problem, you will think of the first available memory concerning that problem to help guide your decision. Should you fly or drive the 200 miles to grandma’s house? If you think of a plane accident, then you are likely to drive, which is the more risky option. Same thing with trying to decide about whether Hillary Clinton lied about leading the Benghazi attacks and dancing on the grave of her friend Ambassador Stevens because she is evil. EVIL. EVIL, I tell you. If you remember many many many people who say, Hillary Clinton is a big fat dishonest liar, then you are likely to accept the ad. If not, then you are not.

That’s why your drunk uncle is so sure he is right. His whiskey addled brain latches on to the last coherent thought it can find still floating on top of that whiskey, and, to him, that is the truth. And, he sure ain’t in no shape to be thinking about nothing, but he sure do love to argue, don’t he?

And, now you know why why Trump has been so disciplined with his message: Lil’ Marco, Low Energy Jeb! Lyin’ Ted, and Crooked Hillary. All he need do is say it often enough that your drunk uncle remembers when he thinks of them. It’s like magic.

 

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