In a recent episode #1465 of his podcast Scott Adams shares a filter on reality to determine whether you or someone else is hallucinating, i.e. ‘seeing’ something in their reality which literally doesn’t exist.
I’ve been listening to Scott Adams’ podcast daily for several years and more recently as a supporter of his work on the platform Locals. Most of his ‘micro lessons’ are posted there but he shares the occasional one on his podcast. Scott is the creator of the famous Dilbert comic. He is a master of persuasion and his micro lessons range from how to use systems over goals, how to tell when someone is experiencing cognitive dissonance, how to re-frame events in your life, how to be more persuasive and communicate better, to analyzing the persuasion and communication errors of politicians and ‘experts’. He also covers current events, business, satire, and discussion about the simulation hypothesis among many other topics. His lessons always include many practical takeaways for effective behavioral change.
Disclaimer: this is not medical advice
Beware of your own certainty
The below is a transcript taken from the podcast episode.
“All right, here’s a warning to you; beware of your own certainty. Do you ever wonder, let’s say you wanted to know are you hallucinating, your opinion, or do you have a rational opinion? Because wouldn’t you like to know that? You probably know that the only person who can’t tell they’re crazy, is the crazy person right? The person who doesn’t know they’re hallucinating, is the one who’s doing it. But everybody else can see it, you know, if you run into somebody who’s hallucinating. You can tell, it’s easy but they can’t tell.
So wouldn’t you like a little rule that you could use, just an objective little rule to know if you’re hallucinating? Alright, well here’s one. Now this is not one of those 100% rules. It’s just a really good indication that you’re hallucinating. It goes like this.
You have certainty about the uncertain. That’s it. Do you have certainty about something that really can’t be known?
For example, are you certain, just totally dead certain, that getting the vaccination is better than not? Or the other way. Are you dead certain, that getting, that the reverse is true? If you’re dead certain about either of those things or anything else, you’re probably hallucinating.
In other words you can be reasonably sure that your opinion is not moored to any facts or rational anything. It could be right. I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m saying that you might have arrived at your decision through an irrational process and certainty is really a tell for that.
If you see somebody saying; ‘well, you know, I’m like, 80% sure, the vaccinations are a good idea’ is that person hallucinating? No, no they could be right and they can be wrong. The 80% could be way off, or it could be right and they made the wrong choice, but they’re at least not hallucinating. If you’re talking in terms of probability, you’re probably looking at data and doing the best you can with rational thought. We’re not good at it, but at least you’re trying. If you have certainty. That’s a tell. It’s a gigantic tell.”
Pink elephant (thought experiment)
As Scott has pointed out on other podcasts, hallucinations are always positive experiences in that they add something to your reality. Rarely, if ever, does anyone hallucinate that the coffee cup in their hand is not there when they are actually holding it.
If a friend said he could see a pink elephant in the room, standing right in front of you, but you don’t see it, which one of you is hallucinating?
Answer: The one who sees the pink elephant is hallucinating.
In this post Scott Adams explains in more detail about this phenomenon – and even how it can affect groups of people.
I remind you that intelligence is not a defense against persuasion. No matter how smart you are, good persuaders can still make you see a pink elephant in a room where there is none (figuratively speaking) – Scott Adams
We have so many cognitive blind spots and distortions to our perception of reality and are so easily persuaded that to navigate this simulation as objectively as we can, we need to be aware of how we get our opinions, and how to filter out the noise of dogma and societal propaganda around us.
Learning about how we are influenced and how others seek to influence us is vital.
Scott is open about his past use with hallucinogens, so he is partly speaking from personal experience, but he is also a trained hypnotist and master of persuasion.
Bear in mind that while he addresses certainty about the vaccines (both for and against), he does so as someone who has had the vaccine and has explained his personal choice to do so based on individual risk and lifestyle factors.
I share his view on the complete lack of certainty around the vaccine, but doing my own risk analysis I have chosen to not get vaccinated at this point in time.
All over social media you will see people who feel absolutely certain that the vaccine is the better choice, virtue signaling with photos confirming their vaccinated status, while unknowingly flaunting their naïvety and irrational thought processes.
While there are cray-cray conspiratorial views from the unvaccinated, BigPharma doesn’t have a good track record historically, even within the last decade.
Click here to read my post on Scott Adams’ guide to determine “What Level of Awareness Are You Operating At?”
Recommended watching: Dr. Pierre Kory (M.D.) ICU and lung specialist who is an expert on the drug Ivermectin and Dr. Bret Weinstein (Ph.D) evolutionary biologist will discuss the ongoing pandemic, the care of COVID-19 patients, and the incredible story of Ivermectin.