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  • This is probably the first presentation I've made of this nature

  • because the majority of my work surrounds the Zeitgeist Movement

  • or things that are related to my film series

  • but I've tailored this very carefully to

  • what I felt the audience of this event would find interesting.

  • The working title as noted in the program is:

  • 'When Normality Becomes Distortion: Reflections on a World Gone Mad'

  • but as the talk developed I experimented with a few other

  • less sensationalized titles to see what would work better.

  • The 2nd one I came up with was

  • 'When Intuition Fails: The Inevitable Breakdown of Human Assumption

  • and its Social Consequences'.

  • Not bad, a bit too wordy, though

  • so when I finished the presentation

  • it struck me to have a little more intellectual one

  • 'Limited Dimensional Thought in a Multi-Dimensional Reality'.

  • All right, annoyingly intellectual but still OK.

  • Regardless, I point this out so you can make your own decision

  • which title you think is more applicable

  • because they cognitively highlight different context

  • of what I am going to present here.

  • As far as myself, as introduced, it's usually at this point

  • I might say something about who I am, my credentials and experience

  • as though frankly, any of us should care.

  • One of the great failures of critical thought

  • is the assumption of authority around a given data set.

  • People might think "This person's considered an expert in a given field

  • due to the standard set forth by culture, so therefore

  • I can just trust blindly anything they say

  • without critical evaluation."

  • A rather ominous perspective and I think most would agree

  • a large number of atrocities historically can be found

  • sourced to this blind dedication to the statements

  • of supposed authority.

  • Who am I? I'm just like you.

  • I'm a compiler and a messenger.

  • You should have no faith in anything I say here

  • and rather be prepared to critically assess

  • whatever issues noted on your own accord

  • within the bounds of your logical reasoning and training.

  • As I will expand upon later in this talk

  • there is actually no such thing as the origin of any information.

  • I view knowledge as a life form in and of itself.

  • There is no empirical source

  • and it evolves and multiplies just like any other organism

  • utilizing the vehicle of our collective human experience: transference

  • and like biological evolution it is self-correcting.

  • Any false thought will eventually

  • (even after long struggles) be seen by the environment and

  • selected out by the collective awareness

  • or what could also be called 'The Group Mind'

  • which I will talk about again a little bit later.

  • Furthermore, the premise of this talk regards

  • not the specifics of any discipline of knowledge or understanding

  • but the mechanics of it

  • specifically the nature of its change.

  • I'm less interested in what people think and more interested in

  • how they came to think it, and how they maintain it as valid.

  • This talk will not only consider such frames of reference

  • as they're often called

  • frames of reference individual people utilize

  • to generate and support their decisions and beliefs

  • but also the larger order institutions

  • that arise from those referential assumptions

  • once they are shared by a large enough group of people

  • to define social normality

  • which is the status quo that we all know.

  • Then the status quo practices will be qualified or even quantified

  • against what we could haphazardly call 'Our Objective Reality'

  • which will draw its assumptions from a completely different referential benchmark

  • than most of the population of the world is familiar with

  • a frame of reference we have come to know as 'The Scientific Method'.

  • You'll notice I said haphazardly termed an objective reality. Why?

  • Because the concept of objective can only be hyperbole, right?

  • How could we possibly be so arrogant to assume

  • at any point in time in human history

  • that we have ever been empirically right?

  • It simply hasn't happened yet, if you take the broad view.

  • It wasn't until the past couple of hundred years

  • that The Scientific Method has barely been taken seriously

  • with respect to human affairs and society.

  • What is the core mechanism of the Scientific Method, really?

  • Self-correction.

  • Self-correction through testing and logical calculation and hypothesis.

  • The self-correction attribute of science is what enables its evolution.

  • There is no recognized phenomenon

  • that isn't undergoing a constant change of definition

  • as the evolution of knowledge continues.

  • Truth itself is an emergent distinction.

  • It's not a noun; it's more of a verb

  • which constitutes an approach towards reality

  • but never, ever, getting there.

  • That said

  • it's obvious that we're doing something right.

  • The fact that this building we're in hasn't collapsed upon us means

  • we have been able to come in harmony with some kind of

  • natural physical law that exists beyond our control.

  • The fact that we understand to a certain degree how our bodies work

  • creating medicines that can help us

  • in positive ways over statistical time

  • shows that we are indeed in some kind of alignment

  • with what we call nature

  • as opposed to blaming our sickness on gods and demons

  • as we did in the past

  • as this organism of knowledge continues to evolve.

  • There does seem to be a pre-existing logic

  • (this is important to note because people take this for granted)

  • a logic which dictates our reality

  • doesn't give a damn what we think of it and impose upon it.

  • It appears we can either be vulnerable and align as best we can

  • and engage this harmony, or we can walk against it

  • fight it, to our personal and social disadvantage.

  • The unfortunate thing is

  • (as I will continue to address later in detail)

  • our basic social construct

  • as a whole, top to bottom

  • along with the dominant human values inherent to it that support it

  • appear to be firmly walking against

  • the natural order that exists (that we are slowly discovering)

  • becoming more and more decoupled from reality as it were

  • and hence, really, our life support.

  • For the sake of argument, I would like to quickly reduce human perception

  • into two basic modes of operations: emergent and traditional.

  • Today the traditional element is clearly the most dominant.

  • The cultural zeitgeist (no pun intended) is always based on

  • institutions that are tending to perpetuate themselves

  • non-emergent thought processes and their consequences.

  • Why? Because they're forms of psychological security, aren't they?

  • They're also forms of financial security.

  • Our whole society is actually based upon

  • institutional self-perpetuation

  • whether it's the preservation of a political administration

  • a corporation's market share and dominance

  • or even a religious demographic.

  • The traditional notion is so powerful

  • that the very act of questioning

  • is often met with disdain in the culture today.

  • Some, in their defense, have even gone so far to suggest

  • that all beliefs and values must be equal and respected

  • and they must be tolerated in the same element of quality.

  • Is that true? Are all values equal?

  • Does everyone have the right to believe

  • and act upon whatever they choose?

  • Are we all to respect everything others want us to?

  • If I put a gun to your head and have the value and belief

  • that you should die, is that acceptable to you?

  • Are you a bigot for not allowing me

  • to express my freedom of belief?

  • Obviously, values are not equal.

  • Some work and some don't

  • or more specifically, some represent a closer approximation

  • to reality and others do not.

  • The farther those values are from this natural order

  • the more destructive they often become

  • not just to the individual or group

  • but to all of us as a collective society.

  • There rests a distinct, social imperative

  • that is often ignored or feared.

  • The taboo associated with challenging what others think

  • under the still convenient notion that all values are equal

  • is simply not tenable.

  • You are partially responsible

  • for the thoughts and values of others

  • and they are responsible for yours.

  • There is nowhere to hide from the collective consciousness

  • and an underlying thesis of this presentation

  • is that until human society is able to

  • find and share a basic, common

  • working, responsible, near-empirical value set

  • we're basically doomed.

  • My hope here is to generate

  • a personal and social reflection

  • with respect to