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Posted by Alan on December 20, 2003 07:36:41 UTC


Hidden Messages


If I don't reply much it's because the costs of internet weigh heavily on me.

Please consider:

It is possible to go into an art gallery or movie theatre and take quite a different message away than other patrons do.

It is also possible to be trying to figure something out and find inspiration for the answer in all manner of everyday patterns that one happens to come across.

You know the classic "light bulb" goes off in the inventor's head: the inventor may see the answer to some problem he is working on, in some ordinary event during the day- that others might regard as of little consequence and read anything into it.

Now this is curious given that there are some people out there who get locked up in institutions because they go around reading things into things and acting on it as if they have to. While a logician mifght consider it logically possible that a Martian is around every second corner; some people allegedly see "hidden messages" that appear quite bizarre and they seem to be "out of touch with reality".

But I wonder: are they revealing a caricature of society's own normal behaviour: maybe people are coercing patterns together and reading-things-into-things by force?

Maybe the supposedly crazy are mixing discovery of the free-ness of pattern association; with the narrow-mindedness expected by society? Just wondered.

So one the one hand; you have the socially acceptable behaviour of inventors finding the answer to a tricky problem in some everyday pattern that happens to be the missing puzzle piece; you have the everyday acceptance of patrons taking their own message out of a movie or painting or poem; but on the other hand you have the apparently socially unacceptable phenomenon of some people taking bizzarre-seeming messages out of things and acting on them as if they have to; and maybe causing social disturbance.

Holograms: if you break a small piece off a hologram- you can still see the whole picture that the hologram is of; but from just one perspective.

If you were very inventive you may find numerous opportunities to take inspiration from your surroundings. You may see potential inspiration frequently. You do not have to go along with a particular suggestion that you can see in your surroundings- but the potential of the idea you detect is a real potential in that you spotted the possibility.

Given that: one doesn't need to deny the existence of any phenomenon; how to deal with inspiration? Take it or leave it, it's up to you.

If a pattern fits, it fits doesn't it? If it could fit, it could fit, if you have misgivings, you have misgivings; the idea is freedom.

Why do some people then see e.g. complicated conspiracy theories where others don't; even some people acting out as if their apparent fantasies are real?

Well, pychologists claim that the ability to recognise that others may have a different viewpoint from one's own (they call this "theory of mind") doesn't appear till age 5 or 6 or something. However I would suggest that part of the explanation for this is that younger children expect people to know what they are thinking and share viewpoints; as they are not so old as to be fully out of touch with the natural "telepathic space" that humans naturally have access to and are in as newborn babies.

Maybe people "go off on their own planet" for a variety of reasons; it may be strategically useful for them in pursuing certain objectives; they may be going with whatever asociations come into their mind and not giving sufficient thought to considering other perspectives and to finding some common ground where a variety of perspectives can meet.


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