Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

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Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#1  Postby EvertVd » Dec 14, 2015 11:52 am

I hope I have put this in the right section. I am trying to understand something, but am horribly failing.
For sake of my question I define things we first imagine on our map and then build on the territory as 'constructs'.

I find that constructs are often seen by people as if they are part of the original terrain. A simple example is the answer "from the supermarket" when asked where milk comes from (this example may be apocryphal). A more substantial example I often encounter is that people think our monotary/value system or our political system is immutable, part of the "original" reality. As I understand it, they somehow do not grasp that it is something that can be deconstructed. Or, if they do understand it, they do not want to.

My personal view is that constructs should be there to solve problems we face from the original territory. But the view from most other people (as I understand it) is that the constructs have gained a status akin to the original territory, and therefore they can only be improved by adding more constructs (or slightly changing the construct).

Who is fallacious here? Me or they? Can anyone help me decide which train of thought is most logical/rational to follow?
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#2  Postby Calilasseia » Dec 14, 2015 4:26 pm

Quite simply, ask yourself what was the genuine origin of a given entity.

Supermarkets are manifestly human artefacts. So is money. Quite simply, anything we construct, we can decide how to use. Just because some usages happen to have become norms, doesn't mean for one moment that those norms are intrinsic to the fabric of the universe, an elementary concept I find supernaturalists in particular experience difficulty understanding. So, it would seem, do many politicians and economists.

Of course, some of those same politicians and economists have a vested interest in the requisite fallacies persisting, because it suits their ends, as is the case with many pedlars of religious apologetics.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#3  Postby EvertVd » Dec 14, 2015 10:25 pm

Thank you for your reply.
I must confess I am uncertain if I want to be validated or proven wrong in my view on this topic. I am unable to find any meaning or purpose in my life within the boundaries of a constructed society where those constructs are less than -shall we say- rational. Add to this that I have social anxiety and my ability to sell myself is non-existent. I am well into the second half of my life and on a scale of 1 to 10 I would rate my life a 3.
I will assume I have to adjust my view of the world in order to become happier. But thinking logically or rationally doesn't really help. Constructs, society, politics, human behaviour... I sometimes feel like I am an alien observer trying to make sense of it all and looking for a place to fit in.
I am not. I am only human and as such prone to the same fallacies, mistakes and irrational behaviour as any other. But I learnt at a very early age to always doubt everything, esp. myself. I always question everything, perhaps not right away, but at some point, even if it is a year later. And that never ends well.
I think therefor that I asked the question in the hopes of getting an answer that would "open my eyes". Which is silly in hindsight.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#4  Postby logical bob » Dec 14, 2015 10:28 pm

How about human rights? I take it we can agree that these are a construct and not an intrinsic to all human cultures, never mind what you call "original" reality. Although we recognise that, it's a good idea for us to behave as if we don't.

I'm more interested in what you think the original territory might be. What is reality freed from all human constructs?

EDIT - cross posted with your reply. Don't think things less real because they're human constructs. Without that what you've basically got is rocks and trees and stuff.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#5  Postby EvertVd » Dec 14, 2015 11:45 pm

I get your point. I have nothing against constructs. As long as they do more good than harm (no harm would be preferred) and they are intended to improve life and not make it more difficult etc. And as long as they are always considered constructs (and not confused with original territory). As I see it, we became slaves to the constructs much like one becomes slave to religion. And just as I cannot participate in a religion I do not believe in, neither do I feel any satisfaction from participating in a society I do not believe in. I guess that is what I am saying. It has nothing to do with constructs, but with the way they are constructed, maintained and believed in.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#6  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 15, 2015 4:46 am

EvertVd wrote:I get your point. I have nothing against constructs. As long as they do more good than harm (no harm would be preferred) and they are intended to improve life and not make it more difficult etc. And as long as they are always considered constructs (and not confused with original territory). As I see it, we became slaves to the constructs much like one becomes slave to religion. And just as I cannot participate in a religion I do not believe in, neither do I feel any satisfaction from participating in a society I do not believe in. I guess that is what I am saying. It has nothing to do with constructs, but with the way they are constructed, maintained and believed in.


What's with this switch to 'good' and 'harm'? You can always try to sound clever by referring to stuff you like as 'good' and stuff you don't like as 'harm'. If you already know something is a 'construct', then maybe 'good' and 'harm' are also constructs when referring to it. Different strokes for different folks, and all.

EvertVd wrote:But thinking logically or rationally doesn't really help.


It keeps your mind off your troubles, though, you have to admit. I recommend taking a class, even if its on Kabballah, regardless of whether or not you 'believe in it'. Your task, rationally, is to figure out how the professor wants you to answer her questions.

You and Andrew4Handel should get together and compare notes on how grim life is in, you know, reality.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#7  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 15, 2015 7:55 am

Evert wrote:
I must confess I am uncertain if I want to be validated or proven wrong in my view on this topic

I am unable to find any meaning or purpose in my life within the boundaries of a constructed society

Add to this that I have social anxiety and my ability to sell myself is non existent

I will assume I will have to adjust my view of the world in order to become happier

I sometimes feel I am like an alien observer trying to make sense of it all and looking for a place to fit in

I always question everything not right away but at some point even if it a year later

I have no worry about being proved wrong since that is actually how I learn. No one has a monopoly on wisdom and so there is no shame in not always being right. For the greatest minds in history have got it wrong and spectacularly so also. And if it can happen to them it can happen to anyone as indeed it regularly does. So no need then to fear something that is universal

I am an existential nihilist who does not think there is any objective meaning or purpose to life either. Though I do not let it
worry me. For one thing it is beyond my control and I only worry about things that I can actually change. For another thing I
have made my peace with death so do not fear it either. Also once I enter that [ as far as is known ] permanent state of non
consciousness I shall be free of all suffering for the rest of eternity. No one who is dead has ever been known to complain of it and so less you are a masochist or a sadist you shall welcome it. But even if you are you shall still welcome it for you shall know no better after you are dead. So I myself am quite looking forward to spending the rest of eternity free of all suffering All life is is a temporary blip before the permanence of death and nothing else. For we are just passing through so should try not to hold onto it too tightly when the time comes to let go. I have already let go mentally and so I am as a consequence as free as it is possible to be while still being alive. And after I die I shall become even more free. And indeed as free as can be

I am sorry to hear that you have social anxiety. We have some members here who have it too. Have you tried to take any steps to address it ? Now what determines how happy you are is your actual state of mind not your world view though the
two can be linked just not absolutely so. You can have two people with the same world view where one is happy and one
is unhappy. Conversely you can have two people with opposing world views where either both are happy or unhappy. And
as you can see individual happiness is not necessarily compatible with a particular world view since that is quite arbitrary

As I get older I too feel detached from society albeit in a good way as it allows me to be more objective. I have no desire
to fit in since social isolation works perfectly for me since it gives me much needed psychological space. I can appreciate
that it may not be what you want but I came to accept it over time and am now as content as it is actually possible to be

Questioning everything is good for one should not take anything as given unless or until it has been proved to be true or as true as can actually be determined. But if you doubt everything all the time zero progress can be made. You need to have some foundational basis to operate from. Some first principles or basic axioms. If they are subsequently shown to be false they can be corrected. Without them you may as well not bother thinking. I try not to accept anything as objectively true outside of mathematics. Because it is an axiomatically deductive system of logic which uses proof to validate its premises
And so that is an excellent starting point to begin from and in actual fact the only starting point to begin from I would say

Finally may I welcome you to the forum and I hope you shall become a permanent fixture so to speak. They are a very argumentative lot here but are also very understanding and all of them are wonderful human beings in their individual
way. So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding to our numbers although that decision is one for you
and you only. But however long you stay may that time be well spent
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#8  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 10:48 am

Cito di Pense wrote:
What's with this switch to 'good' and 'harm'? You can always try to sound clever by referring to stuff you like as 'good' and stuff you don't like as 'harm'. If you already know something is a 'construct', then maybe 'good' and 'harm' are also constructs when referring to it. Different strokes for different folks, and all.


Of course you are right. My fault for not being clear enough. But again, I have nothing against constructs on the contrary. My problem is with how we create and maintain most of them. 'good' and 'harm' in this context is related to how I feel about such things (bio-chemically). This may or may not be how you feel about it I am well aware, but in the end we are all on this planet together so there needs to be some sort of medium that is 'good' for all. If this means different constructs for different people than that is so. Is is easy to say "I can live with it, if you cannot than that is your problem." If that is the baseline, why bother with society at all?

Cito di Pense wrote:
You and Andrew4Handel should get together and compare notes on how grim life is in, you know, reality.


I think it was John Scalzi who said: "There's a difference between the fact that the universe is inherently unfair on a cosmic level, and the fact that life is unfair because people are actively making it so."

surreptitious57 wrote:
I am sorry to hear that you have social anxiety. We have some members here who have it too. Have you tried to take any steps to address it ?

I have been (and still am) in therapy and using medication for the better part of my life. It doesn't seem to help one bit. I have learnt to live with it. Surroundings/Environment is a factor and I seem to be unable to feel in control of that. No doubt a big reason for the way I look at things.

surreptitious57 wrote:
Now what determines how happy you are is your actual state of mind not your world view though the
two can be linked just not absolutely so. You can have two people with the same world view where one is happy and one
is unhappy. Conversely you can have two people with opposing world views where either both are happy or unhappy. And
as you can see individual happiness is not necessarily compatible with a particular world view since that is quite arbitrary

Yes. which is where I find it difficult to rely on logic, rationality and reason. It seems you need 'blind belief' or 'faith' to be able to make such a mental jump? That is what makes it difficult (for me).

When we consider 'survival of the fittest'. I honestly think I just do not 'fit' in society. I feel I am just surviving and I find it hard to accept that is all there is for me. Perhaps that is selfish? Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly aware and capable of empathy for those far far worse off than me. I am unfit to deal with it emotionally I guess.
EDIT: (added later) I suspect this stems from my inability to grasp 'competition'. I never felt the need to win or be better etc. I just want to 'understand'. If I have any drive, it would be that.

surreptitious57 wrote:
Finally may I welcome you to the forum ...

Thank you. I'll try to stick around.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#9  Postby logical bob » Dec 15, 2015 11:47 am

The relationship between that sense of alienation and the reasons you have therapy and medication will be complex and not just one of cause and effect. It's hard to address your mental health on an internet forum and many fora discourage people from trying.

Still, I can relate to that feeling. Albert Camus called it the absurd - not the fact that the universe is fundamentally meaningless and not the human tendency to look for order but the collision of the two. I bought The Myth of Sisyphus when I was young because I thought it looked sophisticated on my book shelf, but it meant nothing to me. Coming back to it years later I was shocked at how much parts of it captured what I was feeling, which meant that at least it wasn't just me.

On losing the ability to accept constructs he wrote:

A step lower and strangeness creeps in: perceiving that the world is “dense,” sensing to what a degree a stone is foreign and irreducible to us, with what intensity nature or a landscape can negate us. At the heart of all beauty lies something inhuman, and these hills, the softness of the sky, the outline of these trees at this very minute lose the illusory meaning with which we had clothed them, henceforth more remote than a lost paradise. The primitive hostility of the world rises up to face us across millennia, for a second we cease to understand it because for centuries we have understood in it solely the images and designs that we had attributed to it beforehand, because henceforth we lack the power to make use of that artifice. The world evades us because it becomes itself again. That stage scenery masked by habit becomes again what it is. It withdraws at a distance from us. Just as there are days when under the familial face of a woman, we see as a stranger her we had loved months or years ago, perhaps we shall come even to desire what suddenly leaves us so alone. But the time has not yet come. Just one thing: that denseness and that strangeness of the world is the absurd.


Cito di Pense will tell you to give up the desire to find any meaning in anything, but most people don't want to be cured of that. The suspicion remains that those who point out most frequently that none of this matters might be the ones who wish the most that it did.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#10  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 12:16 pm

Thank you, logical bob. It was not my intention to discuss my mental health; but I do acknowledge that it is no doubt a factor in how I think and feel. But regardless if how I feel comes about from my 'broken' brain or some other factor; it is what it is and somehow I must find a way to make that fit into a world that makes no sense to me. I see it no differently from any other 'healthy' brain trying to find purpose and happiness in its life. I fear I do however tend to externalise my problems more.

I never read that book. The passage you quote indeed conveys not unlike what I feel.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#11  Postby crank » Dec 15, 2015 12:49 pm

You are " unable to find any meaning or purpose in my life within the boundaries of a constructed society where those constructs are less than -shall we say- rational." I would say of course, there isn't any to find. I haven't read Camus, but from logical bob's description, I'd both agree and disagree. To maintain my sanity, I relish finding the absurd in virtually everything, including the human tendency to expect meaning and purpose. If I had my way, uttering 'everything happens for a reason' would be a capital offense. I'm 57, and appalled by that, yet I haven't lost any of the burning curiosity I've had since childhood. I don't know if Camus had any knowledge of quantum mechanics or cosmology, or the science of the brain, they are marvelous aids in appreciating the absurd. The more I learn of these really fundamental sciences, the more our most basic constructs seem, well, really 'constructy', artefacts, illusions/delusions, ad hoc, subjective, whatever. Everything is illusion, but you still have to empty the cat litter.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#12  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 1:05 pm

Hi crank. I so agree with you. It is not so much that I mind life is meaningless or there is no purpose to it. What eats me up is that fact that so many people tell me "to find/create my own purpose". And indeed the "everything happens for a reason" makes me want to bash their heads in while shouting "I have a reason for this".

In the end, it is the cat litter that kills me. I don't mind that life is inherently meaningless and pointless, it is the fact that we also have to follow all these rules in order to be able to eat and have a roof over our heads. I can be happy knowing my life will amount to nothing. I cannot be happy trying to please people so they grant me the gift of life in the form and shape of money. (well, perhaps I could, if only it wouldn't be taken so seriously).

So there it is; I seem to be a... selfish anarchist?
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#13  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 15, 2015 1:10 pm

logical bob wrote:
Cito di Pense will tell you to give up the desire to find any meaning in anything, but most people don't want to be cured of that. The suspicion remains that those who point out most frequently that none of this matters might be the ones who wish the most that it did.


If you read my post again, I recommend that people who are struggling to find meaning take a class or something similar, and find meaning in trying to figure out what the professor wants you to do. It's like a crossword puzzle, only more challenging. And stop waiting for meaning to drop out of the sky onto you like a grand piano in a Looney Tunes.
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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

#14  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 1:19 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
If you read my post again, I recommend that people who are struggling to find meaning take a class or something similar, and find meaning in trying to figure out what the professor wants you to do. It's like a crossword puzzle, only more challenging. And stop waiting for meaning to drop out of the sky onto you like a grand piano in a Looney Tunes.


So basically what you are saying is: "life is a game" ?

I hate that. It supposes everybody likes playing games and everybody likes the same type of game. I hate challenges. Not everybody is the same, so why should we all live life by the same constructs?

I am not waiting for meaning to drop out of the sky. I am looking for a way to feel somewhat good about living. I am not asking for purpose, happiness, joy, riches etc. Just some minor contentment and relative ease of acquiring it would be enough. At least without all this contest and striving people seem to find so important.

My this thread has taken a turn I didn't foresee.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#15  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 15, 2015 1:28 pm

EvertVd wrote:
Cito di Pense wrote:
If you read my post again, I recommend that people who are struggling to find meaning take a class or something similar, and find meaning in trying to figure out what the professor wants you to do. It's like a crossword puzzle, only more challenging. And stop waiting for meaning to drop out of the sky onto you like a grand piano in a Looney Tunes.


So basically what you are saying is: "life is a game" ?

I hate that. It supposes everybody likes playing games and everybody likes the same type of game. I hate challenges. Not everybody is the same, so why should we all live life by the same constructs?

I am not waiting for meaning to drop out of the sky. I am looking for a way to feel somewhat good about living. I am not asking for purpose, happiness, joy, riches etc. Just some minor contentment and relative ease of acquiring it would be enough. At least without all this contest and striving people seem to find so important.

My this thread has taken a turn I didn't foresee.


You'll notice, please, that nowhere did I say anything like "life is a game", so don't start trying to give your life meaning by putting words in other people's mouths. This thread has taken a turn you didn't foresee because of your failure to foresee something that might have been obvious to someone not here mainly to whine about what they hate about people or challenges or the constructions people make in order to challenge themselves.

I'll spell it out for you plainly then, because you reveal that you don't like puzzles: It's your job to find meaning (and it takes some work), and not somebody else's job to provide it for you. I'll allow that there's a whole raft of people ready to take your money in exchange for listening to your complaints and making noises to the effect that they're "really hearing you on this".

I am looking for a way to feel somewhat good about living.


You know the old saying, "Life isn't a dress rehearsal." It's not written down in a manual somewhere, and if you don't like it, you can take comfort in the certainty that it will be over soon enough, unless you believe in some woo like an afterlife.

Not everybody is the same, so why should we all live life by the same constructs?


Who the fuck is telling you that you're supposed to live life in some particular way? I offered a suggestion for making life interesting, and it's not your cup of tea. That's okay, though, because you weren't paying me for my advice. I'm sorry that money doesn't grow on trees. Tangerine Dream has a signature that says, "If shit were worth anything, poor people would be born without assholes."
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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

#16  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 2:10 pm

Cito di Pense wrote:
You'll notice, please, that nowhere did I say anything like "life is a game", so don't start trying to give your life meaning by putting words in other people's mouths.


You said:
It's like a crossword puzzle, only more challenging.


I took this to mean "it is like a game". If that is not what you mean, I apologise.


This thread has taken a turn you didn't foresee because of your failure to foresee something that might have been obvious to someone not here mainly to whine about what they hate about people or challenges or the constructions people make in order to challenge themselves.

First off, I find this a bit ad hominem. No need to get personal. Secondly, what other people do to feel good about themselves and their lives, is their business, not mine. I am perfectly happy if they like their constructs. I am just saying I am unfit to and unable to "play" along with their constructs. I am not even asking for an alternative, I am just asking for advice/points of view/ways to deal with it/insight.

I'll spell it out for you plainly then, because you reveal that you don't like puzzles: It's your job to find meaning (and it takes some work), and not somebody else's job to provide it for you.

I was under the impression I was doing that? Unless you are saying I am not allowed to discuss my feelings and thoughts with others to see what they have to say about it? Besides, there is no meaning so why look for something that doesn't exist?


You know the old saying, "Life isn't a dress rehearsal." It's not written down in a manual somewhere, and if you don't like it, you can take comfort in the certainty that it will be over soon enough, unless you believe in some woo like an afterlife.

True enough. Only more reason to try and make what little time we have a bit less serious and a bit more 'fun'.

Who the fuck is telling you that you're supposed to live life in some particular way?

Really? Politics, money, economics, laws, society in general etc. They are not voluntary. It is not like there is any place on earth I am allowed to go and live and ignore the rest of humankind. Believe me, I tried! For now I live within my house and do not leave it, still the mail gets in.

I'm sorry that money doesn't grow on trees.

Indeed, which only goes to show it is not 'natural' but a construct. So why be so bloody serious about it? Why make it so important? Shouldn't it be used as a guide to help people live their lives instead of it being an anal-rule to which we must all submit or else...?

In general all you are saying is: "Others can do it, if you cannot bad luck." Of which I cannot help but suspect your arguments are fuelled by Loss Aversion. Let me say I have no intention of robbing you of your constructs or view of life, nor do I have the power to do so. So please calm down :)
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#17  Postby surreptitious57 » Dec 15, 2015 2:23 pm

Evert wrote:
I have been (and still am) in therapy and using medication for the better part of my life. It does not seem to help one bit
I have learnt to live with it. Surroundings/Environment is a factor and I seem to be unable to feel in control of that. No
doubt a big reason for the way I look at things

To what extent do you think your social anxiety affects the way that you see the world? So do you for example think that if
you did not have it that your world view would be more optimistic? Or do you think you would feel just the same? Have you
had cognitive behavioural therapy that is designed to change how you see the world? And if so then how did that work out?
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#18  Postby Sendraks » Dec 15, 2015 2:35 pm

EvertVd wrote:. I am just saying I am unfit to and unable to "play" along with their constructs. I am not even asking for an alternative, I am just asking for advice/points of view/ways to deal with it/insight.


Find your own constructs that work for you then. There is little point to be gained in waiting for someone to come along and provide the answer for you.

EvertVd wrote:Besides, there is no meaning so why look for something that doesn't exist?

The only meaning is that which you create for yourself. Going "looking for meaning" is a fools quest. Going out to "create meaning for your life" is a wholly different matter entirely. Anyone can do it, many do it without realising it.

Asking other people to provide an answer to the question "how might I give my life meaning" is also something of a fools errand. Some will just tell you what you want to hear. Others will sell you what you want to hear. None of them are actually better placed to answer the question than yourself.

And the first step is to start, rigourously and methodically, asking yourself what you can do to create meaning for yourself.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#19  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 2:36 pm

surreptitious57 wrote:
To what extent do you think your social anxiety affects the way that you see the world? So do you for example think that if
you did not have it that your world view would be more optimistic? Or do you think you would feel just the same?

besides the anxiety I also have chronic depression. So I suspect the core of the problem is the fact that my brain does not make the right amount of dopamine/endorphins/noradrenaline. Medication doesn't help with this. I think tried every type of AD in the past 30 years.
My social anxiety is a result from the fact that I feel different than others do. In everyday life people do things they find important or get satisfaction from. When looking for a job eg, they expect someone who is motivated and believes in the cause (whatever it may be). I just don't feel that. It is alien to me. I don't mind working (hard even) what I do mind is that I am judged more by how much I like it/seem to enjoy it/have a heart for instead of being productive. This makes me avoid people.
My enjoyable emotions are mostly centred around simple things like smells, colors etc. I do not get any satisfaction or enjoyment from goal-driven things, achievements or confirmations which is (as I understand it) what society revolves around for the most part.

surreptitious57 wrote:
Have you had cognitive behavioural therapy that is designed to change how you see the world? And if so then how did that work out?

I have, amongst a whole range of other types of therapy. It worked insofar as that I understood my feelings better and was better at controlling them. It didn't change my view of the world, it only made it more focussed/clear. So in a way, it aggravated the problem.
Last edited by EvertVd on Dec 15, 2015 2:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Map and territory - a cognitive fallacy question

#20  Postby EvertVd » Dec 15, 2015 2:47 pm

Sendraks wrote:
Find your own constructs that work for you then. There is little point to be gained in waiting for someone to come along and provide the answer for you...

Asking other people to provide an answer to the question "how might I give my life meaning" is also something of a fools errand. Some will just tell you what you want to hear. Others will sell you what you want to hear. None of them are actually better placed to answer the question than yourself.


I think you misunderstand me. I am not looking for constructs nor am I asking others to give me an answer. I may have been unclear about that, sorry. I am asking for insights, trying to understand how others look at the world and deal with it. I do this hoping to find in myself that I am stuck in some sort of tunnel-vision, perhaps I misunderstand something about the constructed world we live in.


The only meaning is that which you create for yourself. Going "looking for meaning" is a fools quest. Going out to "create meaning for your life" is a wholly different matter entirely. Anyone can do it, many do it without realising it.


I could be a dick and ask you to prove that, but I won't ;) I get what you are trying to say. But creating a meaning must still fit within the general (world) constructions of politics/monetary/culture etc. as well as be something I can believe in. It must make sense to me, otherwise how can it have meaning? And since I always question my believes...I find it impossible to believe anything other than logic.

EDIT: So in a way, my meaning in life is finding a way to live where the amount of dopamine/endorphins/etc. in my brains outweigh over time (even slightly) the time they are not there. I sometimes refer to that as my 'accounting problem'. In the end we all want (I suspect) a positive balance of 'feeling good' as opposed to 'feeling bad' overall.
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