Do you know when you are lying to yourself?

Laura

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Another study from David McRaney's book "You are not so smart":


Confabulation

THE MISCONCEPTION: You know when you are lying to yourself.
THE TRUTH: You are often ignorant of your motivations and create fictional narratives to explain your decisions, emotions, and history without realizing it.

When a movie begins with the words “Based on a True Story,” what crosses your mind? Do you assume every line of dialogue, every bit of clothing and song in the background is the same as it was in the true event on which the film was based? Of course you don’t. You know movies like Pearl Harbor or Erin Brockovich take artistic license with facts, shaping them so a coherent story will unfold with a beginning, middle, and end. Even biopics about the lives of musicians or politicians who are still alive are rarely the absolute truth. Some things are left out, or some people are fused into single characters. The details, you think when watching, are less important than the big picture, the general idea.

If only you were so savvy when it came to looking back on the biopic in your head, but you are not so smart. You see, the movie up there is just as dramatized, and scientists have known this for quite a while.

It all starts with your brain’s desire to fill in the gaps. Take your thumbs and place them side by side in front of you. Close your left eye and slowly move your right thumb away in a horizontal line to your right. Notice anything? Probably not. Somewhere along the line is your blind spot, the point where your optic nerve breaks into the retina. You have one per eye, and in this area of your vision you can’t see anything. It is larger than you think too—roughly 2 percent of your eyesight. If you want to see for yourself, take a blank sheet of paper and draw on it a dot about the size of a dime. Now, about two inches to the right, draw another. Close your left eye and focus on the left-hand dot. Move the paper closer to you until the right-hand dot disappears. There it is, one of your blind spots.

Now look around the room with your eye closed. Try the same trick above with some words on this page. Notice anything? Is there a giant gap in your vision? Nope. Your brain fills it in with a bit of mental Photoshopping. Whatever surrounds the blind spot is copied and pasted into the hole in an automatic imaginary bit of visual hocus-pocus. Your brain lies to you, and you go about your business none the wiser.

Just as the brain fills in your blind spot every moment of the day without your consciously noticing, so do you fill in the blind spots in your memory and your reasoning.

Have you ever been telling a story about something you and someone else did long ago, and then they stop you to say, “No, no, no. That’s not how it happened,” just as you get on a roll? You say it was at a Christmas party when you acted out the final episode of Lost with stockings on your hands; they say it was Easter. You remember opening presents and drinking eggnog, but they promise it was eggs and it wasn’t even you. It was your cousin, and they used a chocolate bunny to represent the smoke monster.

Consider how often this seems to happen, especially if you are in a relationship with someone who can call you out in this way all the time. Is it possible if you had a recording of everything you’ve ever done it would rarely match up with how you remember it? Think of all the photographs that have blown your mind when you saw yourself in a place you had completely deleted from memory. Think of all the things your parents bring back up about your childhood that you have zero recollection of, or which you remember differently. But you still have a sense of a continuous memory and experience. The details are missing, but the big picture of your own life persists. But the big picture is a lie, nurtured by your constant and unconscious confabulation, adding up to a story of who you are, what you have done, and why.

You do this so much and so often that you can’t be sure how much of what you consider to be the honest truth about your past is accurate. You can’t be sure how you came to be reading these words at this moment instead of languishing on a street corner or sailing around the world. Why didn’t you go in for the kiss? Why did you say those horrible things to your mother? Why did you buy that laptop? Why are you really angry with that guy? What is the truth about who you are and why you are here?

To understand confabulation, we have to head into surgery. Every once in a while, in extreme cases where nothing else will work, doctors resort to splitting a patient’s brain right down the middle. And what they discover is fascinating.

To get a rough idea of how large and how halved your brain is, hold your hands out in front of you and form two fists. Now bring them together so that if you were wearing rings they would be facing upward. Each fist represents a hemisphere. Your two hemispheres communicate with each other via a dense series of nerve fibers called the corpus callosum. Imagine when you made those fists you grabbed two handfuls of yarn —the yarn is your corpus callosum. In a corpus callosotomy (which is sometimes performed when a case of epilepsy becomes so severe and unmanageable that no drug will bring relief and normalcy) that yarn is cut. The two halves of the brain are disconnected in a careful way that allows the patients to live out their lives with as much normalcy as possible.

Split-brain patients seem fine from the outside. They are able to hold down jobs and carry their weight in conversation. But researchers who have looked deeper have discovered the strengths and weaknesses of the separate hemispheres with the help of split-brain patients. Since the 1950s, studies with those who have undergone this procedure have revealed a great deal about how the brain works, but the insight most germane to the topic at hand is how quickly and unflinchingly these patients are capable of creating complete lies which they then hold to as reality. This is called split-brain confabulation, but you don’t have to have a split brain to confabulate.

You feel like a single person with a single brain, but in many ways, you really have two. Thoughts, memories, and emotions cascade throughout the whole, but some tasks are handled better by one side than the other. Language, for example, is usually a task handled by the left side of the brain, but then bounced back and forth between the two. Strange things happen when a person’s brain hemispheres are disconnected, making this transfer impossible.

Psychologist Michael Gazzaniga at the University of California at Santa Monica was one of the first researchers, along with Roger Sperry, to enlist the help of split-brain patients in his work. In one experiment subjects looked at a cross in the center of a computer screen, and then a word like “truck” was flashed on only the left side. They were then asked what they saw. Those with connected brains would, of course, say “truck.” Those with split brains would say they didn’t know, but then, amazingly, if they were asked to draw with their left hand what they had seen, they easily doodled a truck.

Oddly enough, your right hand is controlled by your left brain and your left hand by the right. What the left eye sees travels diagonally through the cranium into the right hemisphere and vice versa, and these nerves are not severed when the brains are split.

Normally this isn’t a problem, because what one side of the brain perceives and thinks gets transmitted to the other, but a split-brain can’t say what they see when a scientist shows an image to the left visual field. The language centers are in the other hemisphere, across from where the image is being processed. The part of their brain in charge of using words and sending them to the mouth can’t tell the other side, the one holding the pencil, what it is looking at. The side that saw the image can, however, draw it. Once the image appears, the split-brain person will then say, “Oh, a truck.” The communication that normally takes place across the corpus callosum now happens on the paper.

This is what goes on in the world of a split-brain patient. The same thing happens in your head too. The same part of your brain is responsible for turning thoughts into words and then handing those words over to the mouth. All day long, the world appearing in your right hemisphere is being shared with your left in a conversation you are unaware of. At the biological level, this is a fundamental source of confabulation, and it can be demonstrated in the lab.

If split-brain people are shown two words like “bell” on the left and “music” on the right and then asked to point out with their right hand in a series of four photos what they saw, they will point to the image with a bell in it. They will ignore other photos of a drummer, an organ, and a trumpet. The amazing confabulatory moment happens when they are asked why they chose the image. One split-brain patient said it was because the last music they heard was coming from the college’s bell towers. The left eye saw a bell, and told the right hand to point to it, but the right side saw music and was now concocting a justification for ignoring the other pictures that were also related to the idea.

The side of the brain in charge of speaking saw the other side point out the bell, but instead of saying it didn’t know why, it made up a reason. The right side was no wiser, so it went along with the fabrication. The patients weren’t lying, because they believed what they were saying. They deceived themselves and the researcher but had no idea they were doing so. They never felt confused or deceptive; they felt no different than you would.

In one experiment a split-brain person was asked to perform an action only the right hemisphere could see, and the left hemisphere once again explained it away as if it knew the cause. The word “walk” was displayed; the subject stood. When the researcher asked why he got up, the subject said, “I need to get a drink.” Another experiment showed a violent scene to only the right hemisphere. The subject said she felt nervous and uneasy and blamed it on the way the room was decorated. The deeper emotional centers could still talk to both sides, but only the left hemisphere had the ability to describe what was bubbling up. This split-brain confabulation has been demonstrated many times over the years. When the left hemisphere is forced to explain why the right hemisphere is doing something, it often creates a fiction that both sides then accept.

Remember though, your brain works in the same way—you just have the benefit of a connection between the two halves to help buffer against misunderstandings, but they can still happen from time to time. Psychologist Alexander Luria compared consciousness to a dance and said the left hemisphere leads. Since it does all the talking, it sometimes has to do all the explaining. Split-brain confabulation is an extreme and amplified version of your own tendency to create narrative fantasies about just about everything you do, and then believe them. You are a confabulatory creature by nature. You are always explaining to yourself the motivations for your actions and the causes to the effects in your life, and you make them up without realizing it when you don’t know the answers. Over time, these explanations become your idea of who you are and your place in the world. They are your self.

The neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran once encountered a split-brain patient whose left hemisphere believed in God, but whose right hemisphere was an atheist. Essentially, as he put it, there were two people in one body—two selves. Ramachandran believes your sense of self is partly the action of mirror neurons. These complex clusters of brain cells fire when you see someone hurt themselves or cry, when they scratch their arm or laugh. They put you in the other person’s shoes so you can almost feel that person’s pain and itches. Mirror neurons provide empathy and help you learn. One of the greatest discoveries in recent years was to find that mirror neurons fire also when you do things. It is as if part of your brain is observing yourself as an outsider.

You are a story you tell yourself. You engage in introspection, and with great confidence you see the history of your life with all the characters and settings—and you at the center as protagonist in the tale of who you are. This is all a great, beautiful confabulation without which you could not function.

As you move through your day, you imagine a wide range of potential futures, potential situations outside your senses. When you read news articles and nonfiction books, you create fantasy worlds for situations that actually did happen. When you recall your past, you create it on the spot—a daydream part true and part fantasy that you believe down to the last detail. If you were to lie back and imagine yourself sailing around the world, seeing all the wonders of the planet from one port to the next, you could with varying levels of detail imagine the entire globe from Paris to India, from Cambodia to Kansas, but you know you haven’t actually taken this trip. And there are severe brain disorders where sufferers cannot sort out their own confabulations:

• Patients with Korsakoff’s syndrome have amnesia surrounding recent events but can recall their past. They make up stories to replace their recent memories and believe them instead of becoming confused. If you were to ask someone with Korsakoff’s syndrome where they had been over the last few weeks, they might say they worked in the hospital’s garage and need to get back to work when in reality they are patients receiving daily treatment in that same hospital.

• Anosognosia sufferers are paralyzed but won’t admit it. They tell their doctors and loved ones they have severe arthritis or need to watch their weight if asked to move their incapacitated arm to take a piece of candy. They lie, but they don’t know they are lying. The deception is only directed inward. They truly believe the fiction.

• A person with Capgras delusion believes their close friends and family have been replaced by impostors. The part of the brain that provides an emotional response when you see someone you know stops functioning properly in those with this dysfunction. They recognize their loved ones, but don’t feel the spark. They make up a story to explain their confusion and accept it entirely.

• Those with Cotard’s syndrome believe they have died. Those with this affliction will assume themselves to be spirits in an afterlife and believe the delusion so strongly they sometimes die of starvation.

Psychologists have long assumed that you aren’t aware of your higher cognitive processes, as Richard Nisbett and Timothy DeCamp Wilson at the University of Michigan suggested in their 1977 article for Psychological Review. In their paper they shot holes in the idea of introspection, saying you are rarely aware of the true stimuli that have led to your responses over the years, even from one day to the next. In one study, they write, subjects were asked to think of their mother’s maiden name.

Go ahead. You try. What is your mother’s maiden name?

The next question in the study was “How did you come up with that?”

So how did you?

You don’t know. You just thought it. How your mind works is something you can never access, and although you often believe you understand your thoughts and actions, your emotions and motivations, much of the time you do not. The very act of looking inward is already several steps removed from the thoughts you are remembering. This, however, doesn’t prevent you from assuming you really do know, you really can recall in full detail, and this is how narratives begin. This is how confabulation provides a framework from which to understand yourself.

As the psychologist George Miller once said, “It is the result of thinking, not the process of thinking, that appears spontaneously in consciousness.” In other words, in many ways you are only reporting on what your mind has already produced instead of directing its performance. The flow of consciousness is one thing; the recollection of its course is another, yet you usually see them as the same. This is one of the oldest concepts in psychology and philosophy—phenomenology. It was one of the first debates among researchers over just how deep psychology could delve into the mind. Since the early 1900s, psychologists have wrestled with the conundrum of how, at a certain level, subjective experience can’t be shared. For instance, what does red look like? What do tomatoes smell like? When you stub your toe, what does it feel like? What would you say if you had to explain any of these to someone who had never experienced them? How would you describe red to a person blind from birth or the scent of a fresh tomato to someone who had never smelled before?

These are qualia, the deepest you can tunnel down into your experience before you hit rock. Most everyone has seen red but can’t explain what it is like to do so. Your explanations of experience can build up from qualia but can’t go any lower. These are the ineffable building blocks of consciousness. You can explain them only in relation to other experiences, but you can never completely describe the experience of qualia to another person, or yourself.

There is more at work in your mind than you can access; beneath the rock there is more complexity to your thoughts and feelings than you can directly behold. For some behaviors, the antecedent is something old and evolved, a predilection passed down through thousands of generations of people like you trying to survive and thrive. You want to take a nap on a rainy afternoon because perhaps your ancestors sought shelter and safety in the same conditions. For other behaviors, the impetus may have come from something you simply didn’t notice. You don’t know why you feel like leaving in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner, but you come up with an explanation that seems to make sense at the time. Looking back, the explanation may change.

Philosopher Daniel Dennett calls seeing yourself in this way heterophenomenology. Basically, he suggests when you explain why you feel the way you do, or why you behaved as you did, to take it with a grain of salt, as if you were listening to someone tell you about their night out. When you listen to someone else tell a story, you expect some embellishment and you know they are only telling you how the events seemed to transpire to them. In the same way, you know how reality seems to be unfolding, how it seems to have unfolded in the past, but you should take your own perception with a grain of salt.

In the Miller and Nisbett paper, they cited many studies in which people were aware of their thoughts but not how they arrived at them. Despite this, subjects usually had no problem providing an explanation, an introspection, which failed to address the true cause. In one, two groups were given electric shocks while they performed memory tasks. Both groups were then asked to run through the tasks again after the experiment ended. One group was told the second set of shocks was important in the pursuit of understanding the human mind. The other group was told the new round of shocks was just being used to satisfy the scientist’s curiosity. The second group then performed better on the memory tasks, because they had to come up with their own motivation for continuing, which was to believe the shocks didn’t hurt. In their minds the shocks really didn’t hurt as much as they did for the first group, at least they said as much when interviewed later.

In another study, two groups of people who said they were very afraid of snakes were shown slides of snakes while listening to what they believed was their heart rate. Occasionally one group would see a slide with the word “shock” printed on it. They were given a jolt of electricity when they saw this slide, and the researchers falsely increased the sound of the beating of their hearts in the monitor. When they later were asked to hold a snake, they were far more likely to give it a shot than the group who didn’t see the shock slide and hear a fake increase in heart rate. They had convinced themselves they were more afraid of being shocked than of snakes and then used this introspection to truly be less afraid.

Nisbett and Miller set up their own study in a department store where they arranged nylon stockings side by side. When people came by, they asked them to say which of four items in a set was the best quality. Four-to-one, people chose the stocking on the right-hand side even though they were all identical. When the researchers asked why, people would comment on the texture or the color, but never the position. When asked if the order of the presentation influenced their choice, they assured the scientists it had nothing to do with it.

In these and many other studies the subjects never said they didn’t know why they felt and acted as they did. Not knowing why didn’t confuse them; they instead found justification for their thoughts, feelings, and actions and moved on, unaware of the machinery of their minds.

How do you separate fantasy from reality? How can you be sure the story of your life both from long ago and minute to minute is true? There is a pleasant vindication to be found when you accept that you can’t. No one can, yet we persist and thrive. Who you think you are is sort of like a movie based on true events, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The details may be embellished, but the big picture, the general idea, is probably a good story worth hearing about.
 

agni

Dagobah Resident
Could "own lies and visual photoshop" be the reason for "Seeing with eyes closed ? "

Laura said:
This split-brain confabulation has been demonstrated many times over the years. When the left hemisphere is forced to explain why the right hemisphere is doing something, it often creates a fiction that both sides then accept.
But what does make a final call whether to take accept the lie or deny it / or act on it ? It's little bit beyond me why we are designed in a way what seems to shield our psyche from truth/facts. (I understand protective function from trauma, but how about trivial day to day stuff?). I am not sure if it's survival thing, but being faced with facts and seeing them for what things are isn't it a more reliable mechanism for survival due to more objective picture ? Why it's not a preference of our physical vessel ? It almost seems it was designed not for our needs and benefit, but rather to defend something else all together.

Seems Plato was right on the spot: "Only thing I know for sure, I do not know anything for sure".
 

SeekinTruth

Ambassador
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FOTCM Member
agni said:
Could "own lies and visual photoshop" be the reason for "Seeing with eyes closed ? "

Laura said:
This split-brain confabulation has been demonstrated many times over the years. When the left hemisphere is forced to explain why the right hemisphere is doing something, it often creates a fiction that both sides then accept.
But what does make a final call whether to take accept the lie or deny it / or act on it ? It's little bit beyond me why we are designed in a way what seems to shield our psyche from truth/facts. (I understand protective function from trauma, but how about trivial day to day stuff?). I am not sure if it's survival thing, but being faced with facts and seeing them for what things are isn't it a more reliable mechanism for survival due to more objective picture ? Why it's not a preference of our physical vessel ? It almost seems it was designed not for our needs and benefit, but rather to defend something else all together.

Seems Plato was right on the spot: "Only thing I know for sure, I do not know anything for sure".
Well, one thing that can explain our tendency to illusions, confabulations, delusions, etc. is what the C's have said happened at the time of "the Fall." You seem to be alluding to this. If the physical bodies were prepared and tweaked for a very specific purpose for the souls to step into, then that explains all the crazy handicaps we have. The separating of the brain hemispheres, the burning off of the first 10 factors of our DNA, etc. basically locked us into our illusions, including linear time, according to the C's.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
agni said:
But what does make a final call whether to take accept the lie or deny it / or act on it ? It's little bit beyond me why we are designed in a way what seems to shield our psyche from truth/facts. (I understand protective function from trauma, but how about trivial day to day stuff?). I am not sure if it's survival thing, but being faced with facts and seeing them for what things are isn't it a more reliable mechanism for survival due to more objective picture ? Why it's not a preference of our physical vessel ? It almost seems it was designed not for our needs and benefit, but rather to defend something else all together.
I recently finished a book "Strangers To Ourselves" by Timothy Wilson (author of "Redirect: The Surprising New Science Of Psychological Change) which talks about the questions you have raised from a psychological perspective. He uses the term "non-conscious" or "adaptive unconscious" to distinguish from the "unconscious" of Freudian psychology. Repression of traumatic feelings is not the only reason for the unconscious to exist. Wilson writes
[quote author=Strangers to Ourselves]
The modern view of the adaptive unconscious is that a lot of interesting stuff about the human mind - judgments, feelings, motives - occur outside of awareness for reasons of efficiency, and not because of repression [alone].
................

The term "adaptive unconscious" is meant to convey that nonconscious thinking is an evolutionary adaptation. The ability to size up our environments, disambiguate them, interpret them, and initiate behavior quickly and nonconsciously confers a survival advantage and thus was selected for. Without these nonconscious processes, we would have a very difficult time navigating through the world.
.....................
Consider that at any given moment, our five senses are taking in more than 11,000,000 pieces of information. Scientists have determined this number by counting the receptor cells each sense organ has and the nerves that go from these cells to the brain. Our eyes alone receive and send over 10,000,000 signals to our brain each second. Scientists have also tried to determine how many of these signals can be processed consciously at any given point in time, by looking at such things as how quickly people can read, consciously detect different flashes of light, and tell apart different kinds of smells. The most liberal estimate is that people can process consciously about 40 pieces of information per second.
[/quote]

One of the most important functions of the adaptive unconscious is said to be implicit learning where learning happens without awareness of exactly what has been learned. One example given is that of children learning their native language. The adaptive unconscious is also very good at pattern detection. Wilson sites a study by Pawel Lewicki, Thomas Hill and Elizabeth Bizot where participants of a study did an exercise of watching a computer screen divided into 4 quadrants, pressing the right button when an X appeared on the screen. The sequence in which the X appeared had a complex pattern which the participants were not aware of. But they learnt the pattern with practice and their performance steadily improved as they became faster at pressing the correct button when the X appeared on the screen. That they learned the complex rules nonconsciously was shown when the rules were suddenly changed and the performance of the participants deteriorated sharply without them knowing what had happened. The participants were psychology professors who knew that the study concerned nonconscious learning. Yet when asked why their performance deteriorated at that point, some replied that their fingers had lost the rhythm, while some were convinced that experimenters had flashed distracting subliminal messages on the screen.

This is somewhat similar to the studies Mcraney sited in the sense that the conscious mind was not aware of what was going on and when asked to answer a "why", it made up a story.

The nonconscious processes also have another important property : people's judgment and interpretations are often guided by a desire to view the world in the way that gives them maximum pleasure - or what has been called the "feel good" criterion. There is a neurological confirmation for this as neuroscientist Candace Pert has mentioned that the receptors for the feel-good chemicals of the body - endorphins and morphine analogues - are located in the greatest abundance in the human frontal cortex, the most recently evolved and the highest command post of the brain. Wilson writes

[quote author=Strangers to Ourselves]
What makes us feel good depends on our culture and our personalities and our level of self esteem, but the desire to feel good, and the ability to meet this desire with nonconscious thought, are probably universal.
................
The conflict between the need to be accurate (also an evolutionary necessity) and the desire to feel good about ourselves is one of the major battlegrounds of the self, and how this battle is waged and how it is won are central determinants of who we are and how we feel about ourselves.
[/quote]

It is also reasonable to assume that the adaptive unconscious is older in evolutionary terms than the conscious processes (much like polyvagal theory where the myelinated vagus determining social behavior is phylogenetically youngest) and as such is more robust and less easily disrupted.

Wilson's says that his central thesis is that the human personality resides in two places - in the adaptive unconscious and in the conscious construals of the self. The adaptive unconscious is a multi-system pattern detector which works fast and efficient (often uses heuristics or shortcut rules), is concerned with the present "here and now", is somewhat rigid in terms of learning (responding to new contradictory information) and is perhaps more sensitive to negative information. The conscious processes on the other hand are slower, more deliberate fact checkers and concerned with long range planning. While the adaptive unconscious is more likely to influence people's uncontrolled implicit responses, the conscious self is more likely to influence people's deliberative, explicit responses. The two are often at odds. Also the conscious explanatory system has very little insight into the workings of the adaptive unconscious and this often results in lying to the self which are not really intentional. Brings to mind Mouravieff's statement that it is impossible to stop all lying at the beginning of the Work and hence the efforts are concentrated on stopping deliberate lies.

Wilson also states that no amount of introspection can illuminate the contents of the adaptive unconscious directly. Rather, unconscious goals and motives can be inferred from observing the behavior. In this context, the importance of power of the situation should not be underestimated as we sometimes mistakenly infer that our behavior is caused by inner factors alone overlooking situational influences (law of three) thus leading to fundamental attribution errors. The reverse is also true where in some cases, we may overestimate the situational influence.

As mentioned in the Redirect thread, the writing exercises as well as behavioral changes (do good - be good) are considered as effective methods in modifying undesirable aspects of nonconscious states and inclinations.
 

bngenoh

The Living Force
Great find obyvatel, about this:
[quote author=Strangers to Ourselves]
What makes us feel good depends on our culture and our personalities and our level of self esteem, but the desire to feel good, and the ability to meet this desire with nonconscious thought, are probably universal.
................
The conflict between the need to be accurate (also an evolutionary necessity) and the desire to feel good about ourselves is one of the major battlegrounds of the self, and how this battle is waged and how it is won are central determinants of who we are and how we feel about ourselves.
[/quote]
Just had a realization after reading this while smoking outside (ohh yeah baby :cool2: :D)

The work can be seen as simply eradicating the desire to "feel good," it is simply the process one undertakes in order that always and in everything all of one is directed towards objectivity, there is no concern for one's petty needs, and desires, springing from self importance, self love, etc, these must be eradicated. Isn't that what the C's have said STO is and does.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
This subject is so fascinating, I feel like a kid in a toy store!

[quote author=post]
In these and many other studies the subjects never said they didn’t know why they felt and acted as they did.[/quote]

I've learned at least this: even now after my little bit of Work, I find that, most of the time, the most honest thing to say is that I simply have a collection of intentions that I believe represents my real motivations/reasons for some of the things I do.

Most of the time, the most accurate answers I seem to get when I ask myself 'why this' or 'why that' seem to be similar to the ones offered years ago when I would answer: "...because I did!", or "...I just did!, why do you ask?", or "...I just did, what's so bad about that?" :)
 

agni

Dagobah Resident
Thank you Obyvatel for the interesting read. So, pleasure, eh ? :) I also suspected for a longest time, that for the most part people are "feel good" addicts and our neuro-pathways are strongly layed out towards it. That seems to be one of the major driving forces around here, on earth. So work-wise speaking, seems that such mechanism of self-deception is mostly defensive mechanism of internal vampire that only concerned about taste of "sweet" blood. So, everything seems to point out to a presence of predator mind and it's being in charge, or at least some sort of fragmentation where some aspects of psyche remain undeveloped or passive.
 

HowToBe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I was just reading about proofreading at _http://grammar.about.com/od/improveyourwriting/a/tipsproofreading.htm , and the following section is relevant.

"The difference between the almost-right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning-bug & the lightning."

Mark Twain's well-known observation appears at the top of the "Language/Writing" page of a university's continuing education website--just above a blurb for "Mistake-Free Grammar & Proofreading." Except that Twain's line is misquoted, and the word lightning is twice misspelled as lightening.

Twain himself had little patience for such errors. "In the first place God made idiots," he once wrote. "This was for practice. Then he made proof-readers."

Yet as an old newspaper reporter, Twain knew full well how hard it is to proofread effectively. As he said in a letter to Walter Bessant in February 1898:

"You think you are reading proof, whereas you are merely reading your own mind; your statement of the thing is full of holes & vacancies but you don't know it, because you are filling them from your mind as you go along. Sometimes--but not often enough--the printer's proof-reader saves you--& offends you--with this cold sign in the margin: (?) & you search the passage & find that the insulter is right--it doesn't say what you thought it did: the gas-fixtures are there, but you didn't light the jets."

No matter how carefully we examine a text, it seems there's always one more little blunder waiting to be discovered.
And since we commonly think using language, we can reason that the same applies to our thoughts and beliefs. All the more reason to network, and to never assume that we've finally ironed out all of our "bugs".

Edit: Added a sentance.
 
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