If It Isn't Stupidity or Arrogance, What Is It?

Friday

This is a scene from the experiment.
I JUST FINISHED a book called The Invisible Gorilla. The authors do research into the different ways people can (and do) misperceive and misinterpret the world around them. The title of the book refers to one of the authors' experiments, which you can see on YouTube (one minute and twenty-two seconds long). The invisible gorilla is the most famous experiment in psychology.

The final paragraph of their book is a message all of us in the counterjihad movement should take to heart. When we can't get through to people, the easiest and most natural thing to decide is that our listener is stupid or blind or a self-righteous moron. But even when you think this, don't you sometimes have the feeling that your conclusion isn't quite right?

And it seems to me that if you had a better way to interpret your failure to get through, it might change your attitude and your approach to these interactions, and that would make a difference in how successful you are next time you share with someone what you're learning about orthodox Islam. These were the closing words of  The Invisible Gorilla:

“When you think about the world with an awareness of everyday illusions, you won't be as sure of yourself as you used to be, but you will have new insights into how your mind works, and new ways of understanding why people act the way they do. Often, it's not because of stupidity, arrogance, ignorance, or lack of focus. It's because of the everyday illusions that affect us all. Our final hope is that you will always consider this possibility before you jump to a harsher conclusion.”

1 comments:

Citizen Warrior 1:15 PM  

Someone just wrote to me and said that the invisible gorilla experiment only shows that if you focus on one thing, you will sometimes miss others, and that is not a very profound insight.

Here is my response, just to help clarify the point of the article above:

"The point they make in the book goes far beyond their most famous experiment. They show, using many different kinds of experiments that there are MANY ways we make mistakes in our perception and in the formation of our beliefs. And an understanding of how bad we are at coming to good conclusions should give us all a little less self-righteousness. This is a lesson people in the counterjihad movement (and everyone else) should learn."

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