Operator Speaking by Zachary Constantine

Mind Hack: Hijack The Internal Monologue

2010-04-29 23:08:53 // The Operator

When we’re unnerved by an unsavory caricature, our minds race; we’re vigilant; we’re arguing internally against the stereotype; denying its relevance; disparaging anyone who would use such a stereotype; pitying ourselves; trying to be stoic. In short, we’re doing everything except high level thinking—the kind that leads to academic excellence. We’ve channeled our limited cognitive power into dealing with the threatening caricature.

- The Ironic Power of Stereotype


Confusing the issue – framing interactions as racial conflicts or otherwise adding a distracting context to otherwise-unrelated events – seems to be a popular way to tire out the opposition or even create enough white noise to suppress rational analysis of disinformation.

Emotional reactions make it easier for me to lead the conversation.

One Response to “Mind Hack: Hijack The Internal Monologue”

  1. ex nihilo Says:

    “Emotional reactions make it easier for me to lead the conversation.”

    - i think emotional reactions are more ubiquitous and play a part in all most cognition and decision making. There’s probably different levels of emotion that run from base emotions (fear, , etc.) to more complex ones (shame, regret, etc.). Antonio Damasio makes a compelling case that we’re constantly experiencing some emotional “feeling”, and you might want to check out his work and Vilayanur Ramachandran comes to similar conclusions in his book (you can check him out on youtube).

    that said, experiencing intense emotion does close down faculties necessary for critical thinking. I remember marvin minsky’s book “the emotion machine” wherein he talks about critical faculties breaking down when one is experiencing love. he notes that the metaphors people use to describe the feeling indicates that they (perhaps latently) know they’re insane: “crazy about X”, “madly in love”, “can’t stop thinking about X”, “X is flawless”, etc. (ad nauseum).

    on the darker side of the spectrum, people disturbed by fear have a tendency to forego much of the cortical processing. in severe instances, some have reported periods where they’ve “blacked out”. memory of traumatic events is notoriously prone to error.

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