The Life-Long Challenge of Differentiating Between Truth, Paradigms, Truisms and Plain Lies by Frank Suess

Your paradigm is so intrinsic to your mental process that you are hardly aware of its existence, until you try to communicate with someone with a different paradigm. – Donella Meadows

Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance can be deceiving; and, matters accepted as factual realities all our life may in fact not stand the test of simple logic when questioned properly by someone with another point of view. This is a reality we all have to live with and do our best to deal with honestly and openly. It´s one of the great challenges in life. It requires a flexible mind and mindset. And at times, it requires your admitting to be wrong.

We are all molded by the information kit we are fed as we grow up and as we grow old. And, unless we actively take the effort and find the energy to question all the commonly shared “truisms”, the spoon-fed “facts” of others, the things that “everyone knows” and that all take for granted, we are easy prey for those in possession of the means for mass propaganda.

As George Bernard Shaw once stated, “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.” We are all guilty of this sort of skewed perception and complacency. It is hard work to keep asking and Second-Guessing. But, it is important to keep at it all the same!

I like the term ‘second-guessing´, because, ultimately, an educated guess is all we will generally be able to achieve. This certainly applies to financial markets and investing, as it applies to life in general.

This past year, we have certainly been fed with A Lot Of Propaganda worth second-guessing:

  • Everyone seems to take for granted that money equals wealth…
  • Most believe that central banks and governments are working feverishly to protect us all…
  • A considerable part of humanity has pretty much accepted the necessity of mass vaccinations against the Swine Flu and other diseases. They appear to think that the pharmaceutical companies and their side-kicks act fully in the interest of our health…
  • The media is currently full of demands for more government “protection”: “We need more and stricter regulation. And regulators need to be given more power to ensure that another financial crisis is avoided.” They really think that is what we need. And, they are convinced it will work…
  • Another frequently heard piece of ‘wisdom´: Capitalism has failed…
  • Oh yes, it is clear to most that natural, unprocessed milk is unhealthy, if not even life-threatening…
  • etc. etc. etc.

As we move toward the surely very interesting year of 2010, I would like to invite all readers to second-guess the common “wisdom” above. If you are fully committed to any of these viewpoints, I challenge you to step back and reconsider. Chances are that you are falling prey to the steady beat of that global propaganda machine.

Of course, it could be me that is on the wrong side of the story. Possibly, your Mountain Guides and Sherpas have it all wrong. Maybe, but at least we can credit ourselves with continuously probing and questioning.

This editorial originally appeared in the Mountain Vision newsletter and is provided courtesy of BFI Capital Group.

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