Friday, December 2, 2016

How does it...

manifest itself when it operates? I'm in the midst of wrestling with that question.

I'm wondering about what features or dynamics operate to uphold or create invisibility when it comes into play in how we think about and perceive things?

The image below illustrates how we're products of lots and lots and lots of rules about how to think and perceive. We must work hard (and persistently) at bringing them into awareness so that we can evaluate and decide whether we want to enact them or reject them. If we don't work at it...then those rules control us...even if we don't agree with them or like them.

The "I" that I think i am (and the "you" that you think you are) is very much a product of ways of thinking and feeling and perceiving that folks who lived long before me (or you) made up. If I (or you) don't want to be their puppet...then I gotta "de-invisible" the rules and and ways of thinking and perceiving that I inherited. (those rules and stuff is what is meant by "social construction"...we often call that stuff made up by people who lived long before you "common sense")

And so do you. Yes...it's a pain in the ass...but...that's what we're stuck with and there's no opting out. You either do the work or be a puppet...there's no third choice.



Doing that kind of work is what is meant by liberating yourself. Such efforts require reattaching history and context to ideas and structures and ways of comprehending and thinking that you believed were yours but were actually made up by people who lived before you. It's part of the work of making "visible" the "invisible".

For instance...how is it that much/most of the "national narrative" that's going full blast right how is all about Trump's "victory" when in fact he lost the popular vote by...according to this link on Wikipedia...more than 2.5 million votes.That's totally bizarre to me...he lost...why aren't we talking about the absurdity of the loser becoming president? I suspect it's because of this process of invisibling.

The "national narrative" story I linked to above mentions this loss and then just ignores it. When something is seriously important...and visible to everyone...but almost completely ignored...isn't that one way that invisibility operates?

What kinds of things go on inside us that make this ignoring of the absurdity of talking about a "democratically elected" president when...in fact...as this website points out, you could theoretically become the president by gaining only 21.84% of the popular vote.

Stating it another way (according to the website)...a candidate could win a majority vote of 78%+ and still "lose" the election. (I haven't fooled with checking the numbers...so be aware of this...I do know it's all rather absurd to talk/think/write about "democracy" and "majority vote" in regards to the presidency)

This whole bizarre (and deeply dangerous) situation exists because of a structure that has been in place since the beginning of the nation that's called the electoral college...which was created to support the power of the states which enslaved human beings. Oppression and horror created this structure...and we're going to go along with this without a whimper?

So, why aren't we talking about this? Or...maybe a better question to ask is what ways do the mechanisms (or dynamics) of making something invisible feel when they occur inside of us? What's our personal experience of invisibling when it operates?

Apathy? Helplessness? How do we feel inside when a major phenomena of reality distorting (or minimizing or ignoring) happens? Or...how do we feel when one of those deep culturally imposed or inherited rules...that we disagree with...manifest themselves in our thinking or perceiving or reacting?

Does it have to do with what's discussed in this essay where the authors write: "...two important facts about our minds: we can be blind to the obvious, and we also blind to our blindness.”

This seems critical to me because it apparently is the case that invisibling is often (always?) associated with keeping systems of oppression and harm to those with little or no social power in place. Is it that a big part of the way they keep on keeping on is because we don't comprehend or notice them?

What are the specifics of how we experience invisibling when it happens inside us?

If we desire to quit behaving in ways that are harmful and hurtful to others...don't we have to figure out what the operations are of the processes that implement and uphold and maintain those hurtful practices? We are all subject to them...wouldn't it be useful to be able to identify them when they impact our perceiving/thinking/behaving...and resist them?

Maybe it's focus or paying attention to irrelevant (the majority vote for president) or only loosely connected stuff instead of the critical things (electoral college)?

I've spoken to several people about the ridiculousness of the presidential election (where the "winner" loses) and gotten responses that include feelings of helplessness or "that's just the way it is" or lack of realization that the person who lost by 2.5 million votes is apparently going to be the president.

It seemingly shows up in different ways in different people. What are those ways?

There can't be an infinite number of them (pathology, reality distorting, isn't that creative), we should be able to enumerate and identify the specific ways this occurs in various folks. Shouldn't we?

Why haven't we done this before? (or maybe we have and I just haven't done enough research) Is (if it hasn't been done before) the lack of information about invisibling processes part of the invisibling process itself? Is that part of not comprehending and not comprehending that we're not comprehending? (my own suspicion that all this is related to Charles Mills' concept of the epistemology of ignorance...but I don't know for sure)

Is it movement? Does invisibled stuff most often escape notice when it is not operating or moving...is it more easily detected when it is in operation? I ask because of the often used analogy about vision when we're talking actually about our comprehension. (Using the notion of "seeing" when we're actually trying to talk about comprehending or understanding).

Vision requires movement to operate...you see things with your eyes only because your eyes are constantly moving (those movements are called saccades). If there is no movement, then vision fades and you don't see anything.

I discovered the movement and vision thingee by accident when I was a kid, I shut one eye and then pressed on the eyelid of my partially open eye (that pressing on my eyeball through my eyelid made saccading stop) and voila...the visual field faded out quickly. Is it the case that we have difficulty noticing invisibling unless it is 'moving" (or in operation)?

(if you decide to try the vision experiment...well...be careful...you're doing it at your own risk...I'm not recommending it to you, ok?)

Or...does comprehension operate quite differently than vision and if it does then using the vision metaphor for comprehension might be more misleading than we're aware of.

I sure would like to get your thinkings about this stuff because it's quite confusing to me and it's also, I suspect, incredibly important...for us all.

3 comments:

Have Gone Vegan said...

"Is (if it hasn't been done before) the lack of information about invisibling processes part of the invisibling process itself?"

Yes, I would think so. Movement too. And it's what we pay, and not pay, attention to. I'm thinking of that phenomena of how when you do or buy something, you start to see it everywhere. You think about about going to Japan, for example, and all of a sudden you see references to Japan everywhere. You buy something, anything, and you start to see that object all over the place. Obviously those things were there all along, but didn't get your attention, didn't pop up in one of your filters, and you weren't even aware of not seeing it.

I really think we have this 'humans are so smart' concept all wrong. If it's true that we only use about 10% of our brain, then I bet ya there are other sentient beings who use a lot more. Which, would actually make them smarter. Or at least, a lot more efficient, snort.

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting HGV. That old movie thing about the 10% of the brain is actually not true. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_percent_of_the_brain_myth) What possibly is true though that we often filter out much (90% maybe?) of what's actually going on around us and fail to use that stuff we're not seeing. Then we're starving our brain of accurate information and maybe then it operates as if we're only accessing 10% of it? I've come to greatly appreciate the "smarts" of the bunnies I live with. They have all the "smarts" they need to survive and to live...from what I can tell about us humans we're way overly impressed with ourselves (and our "smarts")...given the incredible mess we're making of mother Earth and of our society. Bunnies don't screw up like that.

Have Gone Vegan said...

Well! Snort. Thanks for the link. The 7 points in the Analysis section make absolute sense, so it goes to show that if something is repeated often enough, even humans using almost all of their brains can get suckered into accepting something at face value that they really shouldn't. :)

But yes, I think we likely filter out a lot of stuff.