BeTheChange > What Fact?
We seem to live our lives under the illusion that fact, and the pursuit of facts, adds depth and value to our lives. Well, this is all in correlation with time, and time is a curious thing, as it seems to have played a trick on the human species and more specifically on what I call the illusion and pursuit of fact. As our intelligence has been increasing over time we can clearly identify some very disappointing traits and behaviours, on top of the undisputed brilliance and unrivalled processing capacity of our brain. Whilst progress in efficiency and innovation are some of the upsides, many humans have become more:
- Self-centred and selfish
- Obsessed with their own, personal make-belief of greatness
- Greedy and cold
- Willing to do anything it takes for personal gain and increased power.
Traits that, most certainly, do not represent a maturing and progressive level of intelligence. This even goes for most people with, so called, good intentions in life, people who call themselves guru, mentor, guide, coach etc., who offer their knowledge as services against an inflated sum of money in return. Obviously people who stem from greed and the hunger for power and exploitation inherently have the capability to find manipulative use for words like 'fact' and generally use it effectively to speed up their pursuit and ultimate intent to increase their position of power in society.
The problem with fact is that we have created a universal 'human' approach for establishing fact, which is not particularly sophisticated or effective. In the university and education setting this is called research, in general life it is called repetition, and in management it is called analytics.
- In research things or findings become fact through repetition, if two results end up yielding the same result or conclusion, it is considered fact. In science you can see the problem with this, when it comes to nature and the universe, the big and the small, scientist (especially in the past) were keen to claim fact, although in reality nearly all theory, design, findings etc. have already or will over time face re-tuning or in many cases a total re-write and make. So, why do we call it fact then? Simply because of the nature of humans, who have developed this fixation to claim and reward greatness. A smart move for motivating people granted, if we look at a single human, but not particularly smart when you take into account the countless people who end up believing and backing 'facts', although in reality there is no fact.
- In general life the most common and probably most naïve means of establishing fact is repetition. Humans are followers, this is a fact at present for over 99% of people; be aware I am not talking about the people in leadership roles and positions, out of which 95% or more do not actually have a clue about leadership, which makes them followers as well, why? Because these people see leadership as muscles, power, ego and self-righteousness, all aspects associated with low self-esteem, fear and exploitation, none of which are leadership traits. The people with the highest leadership potential at present rarely even end up leading anything, this is because we have created a world that rewards and promotes the wrong type of values. These hidden leaders, the gems of the human race, are possibly our only hope of pushing humanity to the next level, but whether we ever will be able to bring them out of the shadows remains to be seen. Repetition means that we copy a certain behaviour or action, back a particular view etc. and when something is backed by enough people it becomes accepted as a norm, which in turn people turn into fact. One great example is democracy, a failed and outdated governance model, which people back as the best way forward although it is the main reason for a lot of the present chaos in the world. Please recognise that none of the other present governance model alternative are effective enough or without concerning level of flaws either, but still democracy could and should be replaced with something more relevant and matching to meet the needs of present society. Establishing fact through repetition is dangerous, as it has the backing of the population and hence can be very strong and difficult to correct. An open mind is the only truly effective way to reduce the amount of so called facts established through repetition in society.
- And then we have analytics, just look at all those charts and lines influencing our thinking. Analytics is a powerful influencer, and who can argue with maths, after all it seems to be a pretty strong language for understanding aspects of how the universe and nature works. Still the problem I find with analytics is that whilst we can analyse big data, as well as major pieces of information, outline key trends, and even fill in missing gaps, the reality still is that things can, and will, change in most cases. I have worked closely with big data for over 10 years in my life and with it learnt to approach ambiguity, missing information and data constructively. The thing that I find striking is that even though I am pretty talented at filling in the blanks and missing pieces, interpreting and visualizing what the missing information is or could be, and getting it right nearly every time within an 5% or less error margin, I still would not call the information fact, regardless of the type of information, why? Because, like mentioned before, variables do change, especially over time.
In all the above scenarios, what we need to understand is that we all actually work with is information at the present level of understanding and with an unknown level of accuracy.
For the human race to evolve, fact is a word that should be side-lined until we find an appropriate way and means of accurately and respectfully using it. Whilst it is unlikely that countries, governments or high flying people will change the way they quote fact, each and every person can, and should do so, why? Because it is of paramount importance to not support, promote or reward misinformation. Our weakness is that we admire all the wrong things and especially people who actually represent nothing but an empty shell, shallow life, selfishness, ignorance and darkness. When we choose to admire achievements, accomplishments, style, confidence etc. of lesser individuals who are only strong on the surface and weak inside, we actually fuel our own destruction and demise, as we start to change deep inside and awaken the same darkness which these people represent. This darkness takes hold of our lives slowly over time, it makes us lose perspective and change our belief system towards something unnatural. This process, I call it The Black Circle, will actually start blocking, and end up hindering, the natural evolution of our mind and soul, hence reducing the potential for us to increase our level of awareness and consciousness organically. Instead we start forcing the world to bend our way, which ultimately, every time, will end up in tears, disappointment, loneliness, confusion etc.
Obviously there are many approaches, methods if you like, in this world, through which we can establish things, and in this context we need to learn to appreciate dialogue, we need to see the world, not as something ready-made, but rather as something taking shape. This type of awareness will in turn reduce, and lessen, the need for our trigger happy approach to claim facts that are not true. Perspective is key, perspective is knowledge, and perspective is always more valuable than fact.
Author │ Niklas Christides