In an individualized world everyone has to justify themselves with rational logic so that it might be subject to analysis of others. The term “confirmation bias” is a new psychic tool to dismantle another persons current beliefs in what may be an otherwise fluid personhood. To consider the world as anything less than absurd and somehow justify as sensical, human ego or self-identity with its attached subjective meaning/s pressures others so as to crystallize a shared reality. The absurdity of this is that the only real reality (from a physical and provable perspective) is that we are bodies roaming around on a spinning rock that have grown largely in population due in part to happenstance ecological stability coupled with scientific and technological “progress” applied widely to those not in any way involved in that progress and out of a highly obscure collective sense of morality. While I believe it to be true that metaphysical components played a great part in it, metaphysics has no real basis in scientific thought!!!
Let me posit an idea of speculation that I believe, or wonder, perhaps, whether it has a shred of truth regarding our world. I hate talking about economics. I hate talking about money. Unfortunately, those things are the single biggest driver of modern humanity. Thus, my speculation is a sort of complex one but I will try to explain as simply as possible.
In linear logic, human socio-economic order has transpired through the processes of industrialization (as Smith’s Wealth of Nations intended to some degree). That is to say, there has been macro-level economic interconnectedness of all humanity through the division of labor and the sharing of currency. While ultimately leading to prosperity and gain, it has also (according to Marx) led to alienation—alienation not just from a community, but from our own nature as human beings. While human nature, whether it be the nature of self according to self or humankind generally, is infinitely vast thanks to subjective imagination, the idea is basically that our lives are meaningless other than our value to a machine created by others for the benefit of those others.
We saw this in ancient Egypt where the pharaohs, attempting to reach the afterlife, enslaved masses for the mere purpose of living well and dying even better. It was based on lies. Pharaohs convinced the masses that they were somehow gods…and while we can be sure that not everyone felt that way, we do know that they complied nonetheless. There has to be something sociologically Scientific about class stratification. That doesn’t mean that we can ever fully understand it in away to alter it with perfection, but it is likely that we can do something useful with the knowledge of stratification processes.
A typical American Reader might wonder how in the hell capitalism and Marx belong together in the same critique of modern life. Well, it’s about keeping an open mind to various intellectual ideas while also experiencing reality so that we can be more well-rounded and versatile. For example, one interesting thing about most modern pro-capitalists and basically any American with anti-Communist views is their lack of understanding about the concept of alienation. Measuring pure prosperity in material terms, capitalism has historically been the preferred economic structure. However, the particularities are vague and typically serve those most closely involved in its manifestation. In other words, the people who made the rules up as they went along were the ones benefiting from the particular rules they created.
With regards to alienation, it’s a simple concept that looks at the human being, at meaning—at what life is all about, what society is and what it supposed to be, and how humans are supposed to treat each other and structure their world . . . it’s about understanding Utopia. Replete with vagueness and being the subject of wild imagination (widely differing views), utopia from an objective perspective is certainly not something capitalism considers in its calculations or claims about being the greatest system for the masses to subject themselves to willingly. In fact, utilizing a system created over 200 years ago with the rate of change of the modern world is akin to using televisions as ice-skates.
Now I know that metaphor made no sense. It would seem that a metaphor of using something outdated to resolve a modern dilemma would make more sense. The non-sequitur nature of that metaphor IS the point. It’s not merely that our systems have evolved to the point of outdatedness, but rather to the point of madness. In a brief pondering of how the forefathers of democracy might view modern life in America, the nation they started, they would probably be dumbfounded at our interpretation of their government on a similar level to Napoleon in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure…or worse since its been several insane decades since.
Which leads to the purpose of this article…explaining a personal experience of seeking confirmation bias and giving light to those sources.
My original development about money beliefs started like most people, through experiences with family, school, and real world interactions. It changed when I started viewing money as a thing to be valued, controlled, saved, and vital to the meaning of life. Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich was one of the first texts I read about money and the “men who built America” (women cooked the meals, which helped a little). Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller, etc. were all described as having been examined by Mr. Hill’s research and found to have particular commonalities that contributed to their immense success (amassing of financial fortunes). The book was mostly pretty good, but part of it got a little mystical with regards to the transmutation of sexual energy…I mean, was this some sort of Wiccan rite text where masterbating to imagery of desire will manifest it into personal reality? Quite a twist considering it started with some prefacing about how thousands of people had become millionaires after reading the book, and how these businesses started as people began devoting their lives to their work.
As I got older and learned more about the world, I realized that all those industrialist millionaires, and even modern billionaires, all exist within a social context that enables and permits it. All humans are un-willingly submitting themselves to the money-system which is very abstract and essentially designed, maintained, and ruled by people involved in the government, federal reserve, and business entities (legal distance from liability) that are closely tied to how those initial loans (new money) enters the stream of commerce. Basically, ya gotta be close to the “inside” to get in-on-the-action. More importantly, it taught me that society and money operate in such a way that often gives far more credit than due to individuals who would be nothing without the world in which they existed. It is a sad reality when humans consider themselves so worthy so as to warrant praise or wealth without acknowledging those involved in its manifestation nor sharing in the prosperity.
Having studied sociology, one of the courses was specifically focused on macro-level economic theory. Naturally, there was an exploration of the various aspects of Smith’s capitalism, as well as Marx, and even Immanual Kant’s Theory of Moral Sentiment. Which leads me to the modern texts, articles, other written works, and even films and music that have confirmed my initial biases related to the nature of the monetary system and western economies generally.
Of course films like Wall Street, The Fiddler on the Roof, and even the more recent Big Short, DiCaprio’s Gatsby, have influence my views on money. Interpersonal relations don’t seem to mean much…most people don’t seem to have much money, and nobody ever talks about it. Nobody shares it…we are never really close enough for that! Who is?
Then there’s Alan Watts, philosopher from the 1970’s whose since had many lectures published on youtube, describes the nature of money from an individual perspective and iterates that doing something for love or joy of merely engaging in the activity is the secret to financial success, on the theory that if you love it and do well with it, other people will love it too and money will naturally follow. While I believe the idea inspirational, I know that it is false. There is no guarantee that doing something I love is going to result in people being interested in it or that, even if there are large numbers of people who are, that I will ever prosper financially with it. In fact, in the modern world, money is heavily regulated and flows through streams of commerce that are incredibly rigid and tightly wound so as to not let a penny escape that money doesn’t function as freely as it did even a decade ago, nevermind the 70’s and 80’s.
The government uses bill-tracking to find dope dealers and gain insight into many various ways as to how the currency moves throughout the world. It is by no means a fluid thing that people being joyous will naturally result in financial wealth…though it might have been quite like that some decades ago.
Which brings me to more realistic modern economic writings. Mervyn King wrote “The End of Alchemy” after retiring as the head of the Bank of England. The personal lives of people responsible for maintaining stable interest rates in a nation with significant trade deficits is folly. In the text, he mentions how banking itself has expanded beyond comprehension in prior generations. J.P. Morgan has single-handedly managed more assets in their balance sheets (measured against total national GDP) than the top 10 banks combined 50 years ago!
While the text describes specific policy-making (including blunders and recklessness that led to the 2008 foreclosure crisis) tactics with regards to modern banking…specifically that of using new leverage strategies to take positive equity toward employee and lender payouts, all the while using taxpayer bailouts as a guarantee…as fucked up as that continues to be…my antennas are radiating with signals not for new strategy…
Nary. My focus is on how in the hell the human psyche and social condition came to be completely preoccupied with numbers in accounts and pieces of paper with the face of old people who lived in the 18th and 19th centuries on them. I mean, his face isn’t on any of the money we use, but George Santayana let us know that if we don’t learn from history, we are condemned to repeat it. Most high school students know that the same is true for most other subjects as well.
Contemplating the evolving nature of human societies and civilizations over many millennia, it appears to be a global indoctrination of Luciferian proportions that money and its accumulation is a trademark of the individual life course, without question.
Interestingly, being a social institution, it hardly resembles something social at all. Instead, it seems divisive, and elusive of rational explanation. The number of claims about how to achieve financial success are endless, using anything from “real” strategies (usually ponzi schemes / sleazy marketing) to subliminal messaging during sleep.
Alan Watts, as mentioned earlier, also mentions how the confusion between money and success is like Pavlov’s dogs salivating for the bell and missing the actual food portion of the experiment. To me, it appears that money itself has become the object, and the meaning of life and human economies and their purposes have been sort of obscured, if not lost or ill-discussed. It is basically presumed that people will get what they want from a free economy…but the economy has largely become the fulfillment of the bottom one or two layers on Maslow’s heirarchy since it currently is dominated by those who have struggled to manage financial life.
This could be due to the disparity between the “inner” folks of finance and the “laypersons” who are basically real world people who are expected to use money wisely and rationally according to the expectations of the lenders and under the paystructures of the companies they work for, toward life’s basic necessities. Forgetting that humans have many happenings, most of which they throw money at to resolve, the harmonious balance that monetary systems presume are thrown out of whack.
WHAT I’M TRYING TO ILLUSTRIOUSLY SAY IS THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE FAR MORE RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR INTELLIGENCE THAN YOU WHO ARE LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR SOURCING MY IDEAS THAT YOU LOVE TO DENIGRATE YOU BUFFOON.
That is not to say, however, that it is not “confirmation bias” when I find certain mega-realities in the web of human life and systems…they are likely obviously apparent to me as I perceive them based on my inherent understanding of reality as it currently is…and it stands to reason that it can be certain to be true since most significant ontological social institutions don’t change much, or not very rapidly, even though the world continues to grow and morph rapidly itself, the ways and habits of people tend to engage in certain quite rigid systems, and many behaviors and occurrences are quite obvious portrayals of some preconceived notion despite that being an apparition under some moronic “confirmation bias” special tool.