[personal profile] kibuno
As an interaction and a self defense mechanism to the outside world, our brain act as a speculating machine that pick up information on the fly whether we want to or not. The moment you are introduced to a new idea, subject, something you've never heard of and are in the process of figuring out its true nature, you start to collect, sort, organize and fill in the blanks. The collection and organization of information about a particular subject wouldn't be so bad, given that the source of the information are legitimate, however inadequate information could also lead to misleading comprehension of said subject.

There's an old folk lore about 5 blind men, who have never before seen an elephant but then one day as they were having a stroll a circus passed by and they decided that this was a once in a life's time to finally be able to examine and understand what an elephant was like. So each of them took turn to examine the circus's elephant, the first of five man concluded that an elephant was much like a fan since he examined only its ears. The second of them argued that it was more like a large pole since he only felt the elephant's leg. The third, after a moment of touching the elephant's tail, thought to himself that it was more or less a type of worm. The forth man decided that elephant was simply a name for a very exotic rot since he only grabbed the animal's trunk. And the last of them debated that the animal was hard as a rock after having examined one of its tusk. Needless to say they had a big fight about it, blaming each other for close mindedness and stupidity. Obviously none of them got the right idea of what an elephant was like and the fight itself was meaningless.

The story above mockingly illustrate the danger of not having the overall picture and seeing things from only one perspective, what's worse is the close minded, self loving ideology and pride in one's intellectual and experiential capability that lead to ignorant and denial of any new information that goes against the initial introduced concepts. This was very well planned, presented and executed in both "The Letter from Birmingham Jail" and "The Danger of a Single Story" Ted Talk.

However, let's not forget that was only the inception of inadequate information, I did mention that our brain act as a speculation machine, and by that I mean that subconsciously we will use the information given to us to complete the profile of the subject matter, even with insufficient information we will come up with speculations, guesses, prediction however biased depends on the previously received data.


Duy Nguyen

June 2014

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