It’s fascinating to watch the competing narratives regarding Covid-19 and risk assessment duke it out across the media universe (from social to mainstream to alternate media). As I’ve increasingly come to believe, we all believe what we want to believe. The continuum of beliefs seems to be that: we have faith in the complex systems we live within, our ‘leaders’ have things under control, everything will work itself out in some optimistic fashion, and life will return to ‘normal’ after a while; to the opposite belief that all hell is about to, or is, breaking loose and life will never return to where it was as sociocultural collapse is dead ahead.
‘Facts’ seem to make little difference to our belief systems. It is as author Robert Heinlein mused some years ago: We are rationalizing animals, not rational. We are not only not ‘objective’, but we are prone to using all sorts of cognitive/logical distortions to justify and confirm our beliefs and personal biases; because, after all, reducing our cognitive dissonance is a hugely powerful motivator. Our minds experience significant stress when ‘evidence’ opposes our belief system so we ignore or dismiss it and actively seek confirming information.
Science is not necessarily helpful here, although it is used as the ultimate arbiter by many. But one of the observations I made while attending university and shifting through different faculties as I sought a path to follow in those crazy formative years of mine in the 1980s was that the exact same ‘facts’ could be used for what were essentially diametrically-opposed ‘interpretations’. What one scientist saw as evidence supporting their paradigm was used by a colleague to justify their particular, and often very different, worldview.
…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…