Sunday, June 19, 2016

What I Know to Be true—Open Book Blog Hop

Just FYI—I may go deep into the rabbit hole for this one.

When I was eight or nine, the neighbor, who worked for the county, did some road work near the edge of my parent's property. During the work, a large rock was deposited along the side of the road, and was turned into a playground by my siblings and me. Somewhere, there used to be a picture of three of us sitting on the rock having a picnic.

So what does this have to do with anything, you ask. Don't worry, I'll get back to it later.

Current US politics offers many choices of what is true or not. I'm not going down that path today, but consider the many possibilities. Each side believes so strongly in the truth of their claims that they aren't willing to consider an opposing viewpoint even when given facts that indicate otherwise. Those who are willing to consider both sides of the political argument are, to some extent, scorned.

And how do we know if what we see on TV or on the internet is true? Photoshopping is everywhere and it's easy for even am amateur  to "fix" photos and videos. It's become a game to find the worst possible examples of bad jobs. We can spot the ones that aren't done well, but how can we trust anything that we see on line?

So maybe we can only trust what we see with our own eyes. We all know that the sky is blue and grass is green, right? Except there is new theory floating around that our ancestors couldn't see blue. Homer, in the Odyssey, never described anything as "blue." If you do an search on the internet, you'll find many interesting articles on this topic. Here's one, Business Insider I consider it flawed, but it's an interesting place to start. The claim is if a culture doesn't have a word for a color, then the people of that culture can't "see" that color. They did an interesting experiment with the green squares below, and came to the conclusion that some cultures can distinguish between different colors of green better than we in the US can because they have more words to describe green, It's a fascinating read, even if you don't accept the premise.

So now the sky isn't blue (maybe) and the grass isn't green. So what else do we know to be true?

Even our memories of an event can be wrong. Law enforcement knows all too well that eyewitness accounts can't always be trusted. Scientific American. Here's a quote that best sums up the article. "On the contrary, psychologists have found that memories are reconstructed rather than played back each time we recall them. The act of remembering, says eminent memory researcher and psychologist Elizabeth F. Loftus of the University of California, Irvine, is “more akin to putting puzzle pieces together than retrieving a video recording.” Even questioning by a lawyer can alter the witness’s testimony because fragments of the memory may unknowingly be combined with information provided by the questioner, leading to inaccurate recall."

Have you ever seen the video that tests your powers of observation? I admit that I counted wrong the first time.

So what do I know to be true? Remember that large rock I talked about at the beginning? The one that we used as a picnic table as well as a rock climbing wall? I revisited that rock as an adult, and at first I thought that part of it had been broken off and hauled away. It was so small! Maybe two of my siblings could fit on it now, but there wasn't any room for a picnic. Of course the rock hadn't gotten smaller, I'd just gotten bigger.

So what do I know to be true? I know that I've experienced both love and hate. That I've felt joy and pain—sometimes at the same time. That I'm only one person, but if I can help one other person, I've made the world a better place. And I know that I wish more people felt the same way.

June 20 Prompt - "What I know to be true". No rules here, just run with it. If you're deeply honest and open, the beauty of what you write may surprise you.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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  1. My dad always told me to believe in yourself and never to believe anything you read in the newspapers. Good advice I think!

  2. We can't even believe what we see in videos these days and that is especially important when viewing the news. Walter Cronkite proved to us that you can manipulate the news with impunity and still have the American people think you're trustworthy, like a favorite sweater-clad uncle who would never tell you a lie.

  3. Great post P.j. I counted the passes correctly but didn't see the gorilla. Funny what our minds can block out.