Mental Relativity Theory | Point and Context

Transcript from one of the tapes I recorded in 1994/1995 while expanding the Mental Relativity theory of narrative psychology I originally developed with Chris Huntley.

6/19/94

“Point and Context”

When we stick a pin to our finger, the surrounding nerves become deadened to accentuate the location of the pin through contrast. There is a real impact on those things most closely associated with events. When we focus on a concept, our minds actually suppress the concepts most closely associated with that concept as a means of defining it (providing edges or limits to its extent).

This is the essential step if we are to see things as particles: first we must negate or make invisible their holistic relationship to surrounding items.

So, in focusing our minds on a topic, we also “defocus” on associated items. If we have properly selected the scope of our considerations, we create a closed system by defining the edges of it through focus, and all “practical” purposes we hope to achieve are accommodated within it. However, if we have improperly selected the scope of our consideration, we may be limiting out essential relationships we will not consider because they have been suppressed. (Of course we may err by selecting too broad a scope in which the variables become unmanageable).

However, the impact of proximity occurs not only spatially, but temporally as well. And in fact, when we consider a topic, considerations that are most similar to the MEANS or PROCESS of consideration we employ at the moment are the least likely to proceed or follow the consideration in question.

In other words, manners of thinking run a full spectrum and can be seen as separate mental techniques only if differences in processing are identified. To see a process at all in the mind requires defining a process to be seen. This infers a linearity. Linearity in the mind is only a slice of the holism of self-awareness, therefore, it eliminates most of what is going on in order to see most clearly a part of what is going on. The function becomes clear, its purpose, obscure.

But once we have defined a process, those processes most similar to the one we have selected to observe (in ourselves or others) will become suppressed or de-enhanced. So that the processes we are least likely to employ immediately preceding or following a given process are those that are most similar to it.

As a result, if our “fine tuning” is a even a bit off in the process which we “leap” to and select to use in considering an issue, it becomes much more difficult to make small changes in the pattern of our thoughts than big ones. It is much easier to embrace an entire new paradigm than to slightly alter the one we are currently embracing.

This leads to an inertia of thought, wherein our minds ride in “ruts”, leaping from rut to rut in parallel, never changing the course of the rut we are in, but just adopting another. In this manner, we focus on the ruts, follow their preset courses and the ridges between the ruts become our temporal blind spots. We never see the tracks that guide us, only the paths we take.

When we think in waves, we see linearity. When we think in linearity, we see waves. But this is only half the picture. This is the methodology of the spatially oriented mind – the male mind. All understanding of process is divided into waves or lines (lines describing the paths taken by particles). This is because a true spatial view cannot be employed consciously in the male mind for it forms the foundation of the male mind itself.

Women have learned to adapt to this perspective (for women are able to jump between a male or female view of time, but cannot see the male perspective of space. Whereas, men can see the male perspectives of space or time, but cannot see the female perspective of time.)

A third appreciation of our environments and ourselves is available through the female mind’s appreciation of time, which sees time as objects, but not defined in the male sense, rather as gravitational pools of time in which all things are related not by their natures but their contexts. This is the view from which we determine that a slap in the face followed by a scream is not the same as a scream followed by a slap in the face.

Our view in traditional male models of priority tends to create recipes for what components are included in a phenomenon and how they are arranged. This would be like a recipe for a cake. This is so intrinsic to male thinking, however, that it is seldom looked at as a process at all that one must bake the cake BEFORE putting on the frosting. In other words, pillage THEN burn!

This comes so naturally to male thinking that it is not considered as intrinsic to the process itself. However, the oft-touted “female intuition” is nothing more than a series of seemingly unrelated events that indicate a temporal order of process by which the forces that precipitate a paradigm-shift leave a signature trail.

Women intuitively respond to the temporal relationships between these signatures, continually reevaluating the holistic meaning of the order in which processes are applied. As a real-life example, look at how women respond differently to a husband or boyfriend remembering her birthday without being reminded vs. WITH being reminded. It is the notion that a process needed to be applied as a catalyst (the temporal process signature) that changes the context of the process of receiving flowers or a gift.

To a woman, that difference is binary. To a man, it is a matter of degree. And therein lies the essential differences in evaluation – particle vs. wave.

Remember, of the three things men and women can see between them, one is uniquely male, one uniquely female and the other common ground. The fourth part of the quad is chaos itself. This is the subjective view. In the objective view, chaos is cut out of the picture, since we can know nothing about it. We then divide our information into fourths instead of thirds. In this view, one domain is wholly male, one wholly female. A third domain is seen as particle (or binary) by men and wave (or spectral) by women. The fourth is the reverse, wave to men and particle to women.

It is this “objective” view, which is really a pseudo objectivity taking three perspectives and dividing them into four places, that is the male view. It shows men and women as being completely opposite.

The “subjective” view, which is only subjective because we cannot see more than this, ignores chaos and sees only three perspectives existing. This is the female view for it does not allow for randomness but only holism, and sees men and women as having one unique place to be and one place of shared common ground.

These views are reflected in our determination of sympathy or empathy for a Main Character in a story due to (for men) male or female, and due to (for women) timelock or optionlock. Two different standards of measurement for the same topic of consideration.

In closing, think about the two standards of measurement for the same topic, versus the alternative of the same standard being applied to different topics. Men and women may agree on the same thing, but they will be seeing it in two completely different ways. Or, they may look at an item the same way and see two completely different things. From a spatial perspective, men and women will never fully line up and see eye to eye. From a temporal perspective, men and women can agree part of the time.

Mental Relativity Theory Notes

These are raw, unedited transcriptions of some of the tapes I recorded to document the progress of my work in continuing to expand the Mental Relativity theory of narrative psychology originally developed by myself and my friend and partner, Chris Huntley.

There are many more tapes and many more transcripts – dozens of hours – but as they were recorded and transcribed a quarter of a century ago, they are scattered in many places.  So, for the sake of creating a permanent record of them lest they become lost forever, I’ll publish each collection as I find them.

Alas, there are misinterpreted words, misplaced punctuation and so on, but I feel it is more important to protect the information than to spend any time at this juncture trying to edit the material.  Still, the transcription was a horrible task to give someone and she did a magnificent job under the circumstances back in the day, which is why we have them at all.

Here, then, is this group of transcripts for the record in PDF format:

Click to Download PDF

Occam’s Failure

I saw a meme today that suggested that since only Republicans in DC are getting Coronavirus, perhaps it is a plot by Democrats to spread Covid among the Republicans.

Of course the more likely explanation is that since the Republicans at these events weren’t wearing masks and didn’t practice social distancing, there was a lot of virus in the air. And that’s why they got sick at Republican gatherings where there were no Democrats in attendance.

Though it is kind of funny for that meme to say, “No Dems got it, therefore they must be behind it,” there’s a danger that some people will actually believe it, and that’s how a conspiracy theory starts.

The people who believe such things don’t accept the simple explanation because they don’t like that explanation. It disagrees with their views, which might make them look foolish because they publicly touted the views that are now in question.

So, they look for another explanation that is more to their liking. And when they find one, no matter how off the beaten track it is, they’ll believe it because it doesn’t contradict their existing beliefs, and they won’t look foolish in their own eyes (or the eyes of others).

It is called Confirmation Bias – rejecting information that doesn’t fit a person’s pre-existing view.

But if you reject the obvious explanation, there’s a big hole – a gap – something that requires an explanation, and these kind of folks have rejected the simple and obvious one.

People want the world to make sense. And they want to be right. Even more, they don’t want to be wrong.

So if you put that all together with Confirmation Bias rejection of the simple truth, folks will go to all kinds of lengths to spin tall tales, no matter how absurd and convoluted to fill that gap with an explanation -just like this meme.

Unfortunately, anyone who sees the meme who has rejected the obvious truth because it flies in the face of what they believe (and want to believe), and if they haven’t come up with their own satisfactory explanation yet, they might well latch onto the meme because it fills that hole and, from their perspective, the world makes sense once again, and they were right all along.

Confirmation Bias complete.

We train our minds every day to either let the facts drive our beliefs, or let our beliefs filter the facts.

Our minds are only truly free when we let them follow all the information and choose that which makes the most sense, regardless of whether or not it matches our pre-existing believes.

Debatable

I was once covering a union strike at Lockheed for the company.
My only job was to video tape any illegal actions by the strikers.
If they didn’t break the law, no problem. If the did, it would be documented.

At first, the strikers thought we were a TV crew and made pleasant conversation with us. Then, someone from management came over to give us some additional instructions.

As soon as that happened, the strikers turned angry and surrounded us. One guy in particular – a very BIG and red-faced guy, started shouting at us, wouldn’t let me get a word in side-ways, and moved forward to me with a raised baseball bat.

I tried to tell him we weren’t there to entrap them – just to make sure everyone obeyed the law so nobody got in trouble and nobody got hurt.

But he just shouted me down, wouldn’t let me talk, wouldn’t listen to anything I said, and kept advancing. That’s when my crew pulled me away before things got out of hand.

And from that, I learned a lesson that has served me well: You can’t reason with a man brandishing a baseball bat.

This fellow wasn’t interested in reason. He didn’t care about what made sense, or even about preventing trouble or keeping his people safe.

He was angry, plain and simple. He needed a target – a surrogate for the group he was mad at, and I was it.

But, he did have a function for his group of strikers. He protected them. He protected them from any and all threats from management, and they could get behind him and stand behind him – “Stand back and stand by.”

It is guys like him to enabled unions to form in the 1930s. They were the ones powerful enough and unafraid enough to confront management and drive them back – to keep the rank and file committed and motivated.

So, good can come from that when the guy with the bat is fighting for justice and fairness and equity. But when that guy is fighting for injustice, unfairness, and inequity, like the Brown Shirts in early Nazi Germany, then they are the ones disrupting law and order for their own purposes against what is best for the nation as a whole.

Did Germany become a great world power? It truly did! Did the they make Germany Great Again? Absolutely? Did they compensate for all the wrongs done to them by the treaty at Versailles? Absolutely. All goo so far.

But they did it by blaming a huge segment of their nation as being the cause of their troubles, rather than blaming the real causes, including their own war-like nature that was part of the trigger for WWI.

And beyond that, they not only compensated, but over-compensated. They used Blitzkrieg – literally, “Lighting War,” to roll over their perceived enemies before they could even respond.

They never gave those enemies a chance to respond. They weren’t interested in negotiation or compromise. They weren’t interested in debating the relative value of their ideas vs. those of other nations. All they wanted was a target upon which to express their anger so they could feel strong, and not perceive themselves any longer as victims.

Just like my guy with the bat.

And so, when a group is being wronged, those kinds of people are heroes as they protect the group and stand up against tyranny.

But when those guys overcompensate and attack others who are not the enemy, declare, “My way or the highway,” demeaning them, disrespecting them, and even refusing to let those others speak to defend themselves, much less share their ideas for peaceful progress – well, then that might-have-been hero becomes a villain, a trouble maker, a rabble rouser, a loose cannon.

He is no longer interested in what is best for his group, much less the others he is targeting. He is only interested in his own power, in the sound of his own voice, in bashing heads, in marveling at the blood on his hands.

Some people enjoy being mean, whether it be because of their upbringing, their genetic code, or just the luck of the draw. But for whatever reason, they enjoy being mean, being the center of attention, hearing themselves speak and on one else, interrupting, disrupting, creating chaos, lying with reckless abandon, blaming others for their own faults, refusing to abide by agreed upon rules, refusing to take responsibility, and on and on.

In short, they are bullies. They only feel “up” when putting someone else down. They need the spotlight, they need to be in control and so they shout down anyone else so the light remains on them, trying to get enough illumination to counter the darkness in their hearts.

One could say disruption is a tactic. And it is an effective one. But to what purpose?

If you have good ideas to share, disruption is the last thing you’d want. If you believe your ideas are stronger than the other guy, you’d relish the opportunity to prove it. If you believe in fairness, respect, honoring ground rules, finding common ground, uniting factions, fostering peace to support the pursuit of happiness, then you don’t disrupt.

But when are mean-spirited, don’t believe in the strength of your ideas or, worse, have none, and want all attention on you, and absolutely power to do as you please, then disruption is your game.