Hello my fair weathered friends, today is your lucky day. Today maybe the day you die. Today maybe the day you stop the world. Today, you just may liberate yourself from comfortable-certainty, from your concentrate-shoes.
Hello Tim, a little insight before the onslaught. I am an anomaly of anomalies, expectations and assumption MUST be abandoned at the doorway. A little social proof before we destroy its integrity. I am a life-long entrepreneur, I started-up and later sold an Internet Service Provider during the late 90’s. After selling my company, I became very disillusioned with “end-user” and business as usual mentality. The button-pushers only wanted “it” to work and never really wanted to learn how IT worked – we will get into this further down the line. I fell off the deep-end for several years, too wild, too much money, too much time – I then decided as a matter of personal survival, to re-locate to Nomansland, Alaska. I lived in the woods studying Thoreau, Jung, Seneca, among many others. After a short spell, I stumbled upon the love of my life, a passionate criminal law attorney – we married and soon we were working criminal defense cases together. Little did I know, how much I’d adore the criminal trial theater and the logic and marketing considerations therein. After a handful of years, we got really good at applying techniques and strategies to gain compliance – that is to get a jury to assert, “No guilty”. There is no better arena on Earth than the court room to test compliance strategies, no stakes are greater. One day long ago, I stumbled onto something that changed my life forever, while reading some material on Warren Buffet, Buffet mentioned some old, goofball named Charlie Munger (mind you this was over ten years ago). Charlie mentioned something about reading the eminent dead and building mental models to hedge against inevitable cognitive error. I was immediately hooked on Munger as he was speaking my language. I soon ripped apart every single lecture and writing Munger ever uttered. Munger pointed me to Robert Chaldini – and that is only the beginning of the story….
Your question was, “How can someone train themselves to care less about social proof?”
I will answer this question so thoroughly that someone out there, the right person at the right time, will never be the same after reading this post. IF the reader comprehends these words, there is no going back, as Munger has stated, “a return would be like cutting off one’s hands”.
Please realize, I have to go here and here to get to there – I can often lose good folks in the meandering sea of words……there is no other way around IT.
On to the MEAT.
One cannot TRAIN themselves to care less about social proof, to care less about the utility of SHORT-CUTS. Before the agent can even gain that near-impossible opportunity, he MUST conduct a realization of epic-magnitude, often times this realization is entertained as a matter of life and death. As a matter of survival, the crawling, immature, infant-man MUST make a systemic “change” – otherwise he will fall back into his comfortable, conditioned routine of REWARD and WITHDRAWAL…….of THREAT and OPPORTUNITY. Most men, your average podcast listener, only seeks to “improve” or make changes insothat they may RECEIVE REWARDS – to appease/satisfy carnal desire. And this inevitable, overwhelming tendency is DIRECTLY WHY “social proof” works so well as a heuristic, as a go-to mental short-cut.
IF man cannot “realize” who and what he ACTUALLY IS……he will only “see” other human beings as THREATS and OPPORTUNITIES…….as food. And when we entertain people as THREATS/OPPORTUNITIES we trade REALITY for delusional, self-indulgent fantasy – we only see what we want to see, we force/fix folks into terms and conditions.
Fundamental #1: Human beings build personal narratives LONG AFTER the Unconscious has selected its DRIVER-OF-ACTION. The story people tell themselves about why they did what they just did, is a post-hoc, after-market rendering. THIS is a KEY to never underestimate, the narrative-effect is the KEY to the Kingdom so to speak. If a person truly desires to “know thy self” – that person must fully-entirely accept this fundamental as LAW (because it IS LAW). I could spend 10,000 pages on the narrative-effect alone – suffice to say, this powerful tendency must be first realized as a “goings on”……in order to begin the REAL WORK……”the training”.
We build stories after our Unconscious has already selected its “call to action” – we then draft a story we tell ourselves about ourselves, about what just happened. Good folks continually, like clock-work warp these narratives to self-suit – with threats being deemed “bad guys” and opportunities deemed “good guys”. Good people STOP seeing and trade their sight for rational-analysis, what’s in it for me, will this dude kill or embarrass me?
So for starters, if the person cannot somehow realize this nature and make peace with it – no amount of training will suffice, the self-indulgent loop will continue on as business as usual.
How WE approach the scene will DICTATE what we will find. “The essence of an independent mind lies not with what it thinks, but how it thinks” – C. Hitchens.
Fundamental #2: Heuristics RULE YOUR REALITY. The Cosmos on a meta-level has two prime intents – to compute more and to seek ever-accelerating efficiency. These prime intents render down to one prime Cosmotic initiative, which is simply to REVEAL what is already here. Life is one wild journey of learning WHAT NOT TO DO. We don’t learn or improve anything whatsoever – all we do is learn what not to do. YET in this case, our bio-brains have evolved to harness a myriad of short-cuts, “heuristics” – and over time human beings have been conditioned to over-rely upon them, so much….. that these heuristics are actually doing nearly all of the light to heavy lifting – the short cuts have all but replaced active, conscious regard.
So for starters, the person must begin to notice these heuristics in action (by observing himself). One must begin identifying these short-cuts within his psychic environment – then also begin to differentiate between them. For example, selectivity heuristic is different than accessibility heuristic – which is different than confirmation heuristic or availability heuristic. Each of these heuristics render BIAS – which by nature is Selective-ASSUMPTION, which by nature is not-real, only illusion. YET human beings inevitably confuse their SELECTIVE-ASSUMPTIONS as actual-REALITY. And this is where they both fall into a pit.
In order to combat social proof – one MUST realize, who and what they ACTUALLY are…….all queries and questions render down to the REAL QUERY at hand – who are you?
Who you think you are, will dictate your approach, which will directly dictate WHAT YOU WILL FIND……..and if you want to find FANTASY, FAKE NEWS – then keep up with the program, business as usual. You will forever spin your wheels in the muck and mire of self-indulgent fantasy.
YET if you want to garner and glean an impossible opportunity to SEE REALITY – you will begin building mental models that cultivate conscious-regard. You must STOP BEING AN END USER and begin living as a LIFE ARTIST as a worthy navigator.
OK, out of time – this is just the introduction (raw and in real-time). I will get into every nook and crankie in a series of follow-up posts.