Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#41  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 16, 2015 6:03 am

logical bob wrote:Cito is content to care about crossword puzzles


I don't care about crossword puzzles. I do, however recommend them (or more interesting puzzles) as an alternative to interminable wibbling about meaning and other constructs. The latter isn't a puzzle, although lots of people mistake it for one.

A lot of existential dilemmas are simply expressing reluctance to make a decision, in case the road not taken was going to be the better one. So neither road gets taken, and the whining procrastination continues. You can look up the writings of Irvin Yalom and related thinkers if you want to know more details. It might also be that decision-making doesn't appear to you to be the fulcrum of the cast into despair. Our OP has a stated problem and is conversant with the strategies proposed by psychobabble. Yalom may be an alternative he's not considered. There are no guarantees, but somebody as much at loose ends as this guy really has no alternative but to leave no stone unturned.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#42  Postby Fallible » Dec 16, 2015 8:41 am

It doesn't sound like you can't find any 'meaning' in your life, EvertVd. Seems to me you find lots of 'meaning' in being tragically different from others, being an outsider. You might not 'feel it' in terms of how others find 'meaning', but you certainly feel plenty, so much so that you've spent the majority of your life in therapy or taking medication that hasn't helped, and to the point that you tried to escape by living an isolated life. You're not tragically different, you're just the same as the rest of us, feeling our way in the dark trying to find an imaginary light switch before our time runs out. If this sounds a tad harsh I don't intend it to, but I've met scores of EvertVds in my time.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#43  Postby EvertVd » Dec 16, 2015 1:58 pm

Okay, I'm not going to respond to everything that has been posted since last night. It is a lot. I must say some interesting things have been said. For those who wondered, I'm a he.

Like I said before, this is not the topic I intended to discuss, but in a way I am happy it took this turn. I think it best this to be my last reply as I fully understand this topic has no place in this forum.

Let me clarify that I am 47 and I have had depressions/anxieties since I was about 15. Although I think the problem already existed when I was at least 8. I never belonged to any group as a kid and I did spend most of my youth in my room and my fantasy. I am not the only member of my family to have this so there is a genetic component no doubt.

At the start I wasn't very rational. In fact I was very emotional. Never happy emotions though, always sadness and anger.I never got any satisfaction/energy from anything I did or tried. And believe me, I tried a lot of things from religion to volunteer work, from making fast money to hobbies. I must have read hundereds of self-help books and spiritual books, just to find some sort of pleasure. At around 20 I was diagnosed with depression and therapy and mediactions were done and tried. Again, not much help, and sometimes I wonder if it didn't do more harm than good (for better or worse I am still in therapy).
After I dedicated myself to thinking scientifically, rationally and logically things got a bit better. At least it gives me some sort of objective frame of reference. And living in a desolate(-ish) place for a while also helped get things a bit more organised in my head. But none of this makes me feel 'good' in general.

What I did learn was that I like observing life, not participate in it. No doubt also a form of escape. But looking at people live their lives makes me feel...well, content I think. But society does not allow one to take a step back and just be an observer. We all have responsibilities and such, understandably I guess.

I don't mind doing things. i don't mind helping or working and I understand that this costs energy and can be emotionally taxing, for anyone. But for some reason or other, my battery does not recharge. I feel like life is draining the life out of me. And believe me, I tried a lot from sports to writing, painting, reading, volunteering, working, relationships whatever. I only found things that are energy-neutral so to speak, never anything that actually charges me.

So reading all your replies I suddenly realised that I am indeed looking for validation. It is tiring and lately I feel like just giving up. I see no more venues to follow and my 'faith' (hope?) that it will improve or get better is depleted.
So perhaps I am looking for a reason to just quit. I need to consider that and think about how I must deal with that feeling.
Thank you all for your time and effort. While it was not what i was looking for, it did give me an insight even if it is a scary one and I'd like to thank you all for that.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#44  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 17, 2015 6:44 pm

Evert wrote:
But society does not allow one to take a step back and just be an observer

This is entirely untrue because I myself am an observer that has stepped back and society has zero problem with
it. Furthermore I totally accept my observer status and I find it particularly beneficial with regard to being more
objective and less judgemental. And so as a consequence of this I am now a more balanced human being. Indeed
I am more balanced than I have ever been in my adult life and I will continue to be even more so as time goes on

I do not think on the basis of what you have posted here this could apply to you. My own entirely non professional
opinion is that you exacerbate the situation by overanalysing it and that your mind is permanently set in negative
mode. But maybe talking to others here like you have has helped in some small way and if it has I would certainly
urge you to carry on doing that. I would also say that ultimately the solution has to come from within not without
That is to say it must be you who wants to make yourself better. Because after all it is your mind and yours alone
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#45  Postby igorfrankensteen » Dec 19, 2015 8:37 pm

Hmmm. Surrepticious57, I say you are wrong. Specifically, I think you misunderstood what our host meant by " society does not allow one to take a step back and just be an observer." He is correct. In general, various elements in our society actually DEMAND that we take sides, or that we accept involvements. The only option allowed to those who continue to remain aloof, is to be discarded.

EvertVd: I have had some similar experiences to you. Possibly very similar. including the ages that problem times occurred in.

I'll toss out one thing that helped me progress, in case it helps you as well.

I came to the chance realization one day (after a lot of expensive therapy and decades of personal work), that DEPRESSION ITSELF, is an attempt to solve a problem. In a way, everything we do is such.

The "solution" that depression offers, is twofold: it removes the tremendous pressure we are under, by allowing us to stop fighting, and to instead blame our own very nature for our lack of relative success. At the same time, it rewards us, by retaining the implied declaration that OUR OWN JUDGEMENT of everything, is sound.

Once I recognized that I was making myself depressed, in order to accomplish one or the other of those goals, I found that I could choose whether or not to remain depressed. It didn't fix my overall problems, but it did re-empower me. I still get depressed, and occasionally wallow in the freedom depression provides. But I now do it more mindfully, and only allow myself to remain in that condition for as long as I can see that it's not damaging to my life in general. Sort of like a dark psychological vacation, with me deciding when to go home again.

I was able to get off my expensive medications, and now function much better overall.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#46  Postby tolman » Dec 22, 2015 2:08 am

jamest wrote:
logical bob wrote:Is this where you come out with something really deep like "if nothing was true that would be a truth"?

My last post was akin to The Mariana Trench, as it utterly destroys all of this bollocks about there being no meaning. Try reading it again, but with the lights on.

So the Mariana Trench is full of shit?
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#47  Postby logical bob » Dec 22, 2015 2:21 am

igorfrankensteen wrote: I came to the chance realization one day (after a lot of expensive therapy and decades of personal work), that DEPRESSION ITSELF, is an attempt to solve a problem. In a way, everything we do is such.

The "solution" that depression offers, is twofold: it removes the tremendous pressure we are under, by allowing us to stop fighting, and to instead blame our own very nature for our lack of relative success. At the same time, it rewards us, by retaining the implied declaration that OUR OWN JUDGEMENT of everything, is sound.

Once I recognized that I was making myself depressed, in order to accomplish one or the other of those goals, I found that I could choose whether or not to remain depressed. It didn't fix my overall problems, but it did re-empower me. I still get depressed, and occasionally wallow in the freedom depression provides. But I now do it more mindfully, and only allow myself to remain in that condition for as long as I can see that it's not damaging to my life in general. Sort of like a dark psychological vacation, with me deciding when to go home again.

I was able to get off my expensive medications, and now function much better overall.

People often demonstrate a reluctance to recover from all sorts of conditions, not just depression, because once you lose the role of the sick person there are expectations on you. I certainly don't want to be critical of something that's had positive results for you, but I don't think it's fair to say that depression itself is a strategy of this type. Before someone can exhibit that reluctance to recover, recovery has to be an option. It's great that you could choose to come off medication. Not everybody has that option.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#48  Postby EvertVd » Dec 26, 2015 3:00 pm

I took a step back for a few days to let everything sink in. Thank you @igorfrankensteen and @logical bob for your feedback.

My problem is not how to deal with my own emotions and thoughts. They can be difficult but I accept them. Mindfulness helps a lot in those cases. I find it difficult to deal with the thoughts and emotions of others when presented from an entitled or (falsely) normalized position in such a way that it has consequences for me. When someone is stubborn and fixated on their own entitlement, and this has far reaching consequences for your well-being, financial means, happiness, how does one deal with that?
When do you accept defeat and when do you fight for your right (and how do you know you are right when there is no right or wrong?).

When you are lost in a desert with one other person. The other person has a bottle of water. But he thinks his survival is more important than yours, so he refuses to share. You cannot argue with him or convince him. He feels he is right and doing the right thing. Do you accept you will die? Do you start hoping for rescue (even if chances are slim)? Do you fight him? (which I may well lose.) Kill him? (don't think I would be capable of doing that.) Start looking for water?
This may be a bit of an extreme example, but everyone has goals in life and for most this means that anything that stands in the way of these goals they are entitled to defend it, no matter the cost (to others); probably a property of confirmation bias?

I do not deserve that water more or less than the other person. We are both in that desert together, in the same circumstances, having the same problem. That seems the most logical to me (perhaps I am wrong?). But since he does not see that logic, I am forced to also be illogical or follow his logic? If so, then what is the use of a society or laws? Survival of the fittest still seems to be the norm?

I don't want to compete with others. I have no desire to win so another may lose. So why do I feel others are expecting it of me, or worse, force me to do so by initiating the competition?
Sure, perhaps I have been unlucky and only met people who are selfish, competitive and opinionated in my life. Being introvert and non-social limits the pool you 'fish' in. Still, I see it on the news everyday, so it seems to be a normalized way of life?

That is what is depressing to me... I think.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#49  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 27, 2015 6:39 am

Avoid any attempt to compete with others
So instead simply be the best that you can
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#50  Postby EvertVd » Jan 02, 2016 1:43 pm

I think I know now what my initial question/post was supposed to be:

How does one deal with social constructs when you have (want?) an epistemic world-view?
Mind I am not talking about epistemic constructs, psychological constructs etc. but about social constructs (although certain psychological constructs within normative logic might also apply).
The only possible answer I see, is that you need some level of self-deception, but how do you deceive yourself when you know you are deceiving yourself? Moreover, how do you maintain a self-deception and at the same time be epistemicaly rational?

Living life effectively (whatever that may be) involves being instrumentally rational. And while epistemics can help with that in some cases; more often than not it is based on dynamic, deontic or doxastic modality rather than epistemics (afaics).

I'm not making statements here, just trying to convey my thoughts and looking for answers/help/correction.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#51  Postby laklak » Jan 02, 2016 4:16 pm

To paraphrase Thoreau, most men live lives of quiet self-deception. Two other great philosophers also spring to mind. Jack Nicholson's "you can't handle the truth" and The Dude's "well, yeah, that's just your opinion, man".

Without that self-deception, the most basic tenet of which is our own lives have meaning, we'd likely off ourselves.
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The sky is falling! The sky is falling! - Chicken Little
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#52  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 02, 2016 4:50 pm

laklak wrote:To paraphrase Thoreau, most men live lives of quiet self-deception. Two other great philosophers also spring to mind. Jack Nicholson's "you can't handle the truth" and The Dude's "well, yeah, that's just your opinion, man".

Without that self-deception, the most basic tenet of which is our own lives have meaning, we'd likely off ourselves.


Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Хлопнут без некролога. -- Серге́й Па́влович Королёв

Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#53  Postby laklak » Jan 02, 2016 5:14 pm

I'm partial to multiple birds with one stone, so I'd probably go with serial homicide. For the Greater Good, of course.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#54  Postby Cito di Pense » Jan 02, 2016 6:39 pm

laklak wrote:I'm partial to multiple birds with one stone, so I'd probably go with serial homicide. For the Greater Good, of course.


So, going out in a hail of gunfire is not your first choice? I'd go with cereal homicide, and wearing a flax jacket.
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Translation by Elbert Hubbard: Do not take life too seriously. You're not going to get out of it alive.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#55  Postby Fallible » Jan 02, 2016 6:52 pm

:picard:
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#56  Postby EvertVd » May 24, 2016 12:03 am

If I may, I'd like to conclude this topic (now dead for 4 months or so) by saying thank you again and letting you know that shortly after my last post here I had a break-down. After 3 months I was given the diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Which probably explains both my view of the world as well as my 'obsession' with epistemic vs instumental reality/truth.
Unfortunately it doesn't provide me with answers, but it does lessen the anxieties since I now know they are mostly caused by sensory overload so I can work around that at least.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#57  Postby tolman » May 24, 2016 12:55 am

My very best wishes for your future.

I have been lucky to find niches where I can use my strengths, have time to realise for myself who and what I am, and even luckier to find unusual friends who don't judge me but relate to me as another unusual human.
I do remember very clearly ~30 years ago making a tentative suggestion to seriously some close friends that I was 'maybe borderline Aspergers', to be met with by one of them with a rather surprised 'Borderline?'. It was a bit shocking at the time, and probably close to the limit of what I could cope with without reacting but he was a guy with a big heart but without many inhibitions, which was probably one of the reasons why I did, and still do, love him. Also, it was true, which made it somewhat easier, as was the fact that despite that being what he thought, he was my friend, as I was his.

While I've long ago given up trying to be 'normal', I have found the passage of time has made a huge difference.
I still find much social stuff mystifying or alien, and many social situations oppressive enough to at least need a breather every now and again. Even largely working on my own I still find I'm learning, and despite still feeling like something of an outsider and somewhat puzzled by why other people don't see what's obvious to me, I'm far more at home in myself than when I was younger.

There are a lot of good people out there, and those I have met seem to respond much better to me being me than me trying to be someone else.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#58  Postby crank » May 24, 2016 4:43 am

Good luck, and don't forget to empty the cat litter, that should help with the sensory overload. :cheers:
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#59  Postby BWE » May 24, 2016 5:55 am

The terrain is what you encounter, the map is what you think about it. Stereotyping is the classic map territory error. If you assume the stuff you think about something is the thing itself then you project that assumption onto the thing. In the case of stereotyping (and all map-territory errors actually) those assumptions cause us to act toward the thing as if it were the way we thought it was, and, consequently, we often miss what it actually is. Most of our experience is actually written in by our assumptions rather than our perceptions.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#60  Postby EvertVd » May 24, 2016 11:59 am

Thanks crank & tolman!

@BWE: I know. I think I am obsessed with trying to get my map as close as possible to the terrain as possible. The 'problem' with this is, that in regular life situations I think it is about getting your map to line up with the maps of others? The latter being more practical (?) and while it does not exclude the former, it is not a requirement. Besides, lining up maps seems (to me) to be more about social skills and emotions than it is about rationality and epistemic truth.

To me, life is about solving problems. And with problems I mean overcoming (natural) hurdles that prevent me/us from feeling content. This implies that sometimes we need to feel bad, otherwise there is no incentive to solve problems. So with everything I do and see I ask: "what problem does it solve" and I take into account that everything I do probably creates problems as well so I have to weigh them (most of the time this results in me not being able to make choices).
Basically I have difficulty accepting answers to the questions: "what problem(s) does society solve?" and "what problem(s) does money/economy solve?" because those answers (as I have gotten them till now) are always based on a constructed premise or a non-proven assumption.
As I experience it, most laws, rules, norms (not all of them, but the ones we deal with day to day) are (imho) either non-problem or meta-problem solving. They solve problems we created instead of them solving naturally occurring problems. Everyday interaction with either people, companies or institutions are (to me) about made-up stuff that take the focus away from 'real' problems.
An (extreme) example: how do we solve the problem of honestly and equally producing and distributing of (primary) resources? Money does not solve this problem. It only changed the focus from food to coins. And economy has become such a big and complex beast interwoven in most all aspects of life, it creates more problems than it solves and it is one of the things we have to deal with everyday in one form or another.
It confuses me and I am unable to grasp it in a way that makes me capable of practically lining-up my map with it.
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