LATK#4 – Miss Understanding (VIDEO)

Why one group of people does not get what an other group of people says

LIFE ACCORDING TO KORSAKOW #4
Miss Understanding

This episode is in English.

We live in a divided time. There seem to be two groups of people that have very different perception of reality. Most likely you are yourself member of one of these groups. Most likely you never consciously decided to be in one or the other group, it just happened. And most of your friends happen to be in the same group.

Your family: not so much. Like most people, you have family members, that are in the other group, you know, whom I am talking about: it is that uncle/sister/nephew that you avoid talking about politics/religion/life, because he/she never gets it. And you never get, what he/she says.

This podcast explains why.

And as a bonus it will let you see how humankind will develop.

Enjoy!

Music by Jim Avignon / Neoangin and Ilja Pollach, Cologne.

 

This video was also published as a podcast. You can subscribe to my podcasts here:

SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST

LATK#4 – Miss Understanding (ENG)

Why one group of people does not get what an other group of people says

LIFE ACCORDING TO KORSAKOW #4
Miss Understanding

This episode is in English.

We live in a divided time. There seem to be two groups of people that have very different perception of reality. Most likely you are yourself member of one of these groups. Most likely you never consciously decided to be in one or the other group, it just happened. And most of your friends happen to be in the same group.

Your family: not so much. Like most people, you have family members, that are in the other group, you know, whom I am talking about: it is that uncle/sister/nephew that you avoid talking about politics/religion/life, because he/she never gets it. And you never get, what he/she says.

This podcast explains why.

And as a bonus it will let you see how humankind will develop.

Enjoy!

There is also a video of this podcast available. It includes the slides from the original talk.

Music by Jim Avignon / Neoangin and Ilja Pollach, Cologne.

SUBSCRIBE TO PODCAST

Why the question ‘good or bad’ is bad

This text is also available in German.

Most of the time, when I weigh up arguments, when I think loud about things like how the real estate market is developing, people immediately ask me: “Is that good or bad?” It seems to be an incredibly interesting question whether something is good or bad. And then I think to myself: But if that’s such an important question, why do people ask me? People should ask someone who has a clue. It might be best to ask someone who knows how the future will have developed. Someone who looks at the present from the future, so to speak. I have no idea, I’m just thinking.

I consider and weigh up the arguments, precisely because I want to find out how things actually will develop. I can only imagine, I can’t really see the future, obviously, because I am in the present. So I am sitting in the present and think about how the real estate market will develop in the future. What I absolutely don’t want, is to distort the image that I can see of the future with my wishful thinking. So I try to take a look as neutral as possible. Not judging if something is good or bad.

Yes, sometimes I do have an opinion. I think the rents should be bla, because blaba. But if I wish for the future (“I think the rents should..”), then it is only probable that I arrange the arguments in such a way that the future that I wish for appears most probable. And even if I’m aware of the problem, it doesn’t help at all, because this shifting of the arguments is done by the unconsciousness by itself. There is nothing I can do about it.

That’s why scientists, when they want to find out something, conduct double-blind-experiments. It is proven that a researcher who has an opinion unconsciously influences the result. More than that: it doesn’t even matter whether the researcher has an opinion or a preference, the mere fact that the one who conducts the experiment, knows the result increases the probability that the result of the whole examination is wrong.

Once it was believed that a horse could calculate. Experts tested the horse for years. That was before the double-blind-experiment was known. If you have given the horse a calculation task, for example: How much is 3+9? Then the horse would scratch 12 times with his right hoof. But the horse could not calculate at all. The horse could only read the faces of the human experimenters well, and they were the ones who could calculate.

So if I want to know how the real estate market will develop in the future, then I don’t want to spoil the result with my opinion – that would be stupid!

So I try to have no opinion when thinking, when weighing up the arguments and just not to consider whether one or the other is good or bad.

And arguments usually work in a way that one argument builds on the other. It’s like a house of cards, where one card supports an other card and that way layers are build on which even more layers stand. Only that the cards are not cards, but arguments. And if that works well and you get a stable house of cards that you have glued together with a lot of good information (because only good information makes the glue that really holds) then you can finally stand on top of the construction and look into the distance and see the future.

This means that I want my information to be correct (as information is the glue that holds the arguments together) and I want my arguments to be correct, i.e. the cards that make up my tower. So I don’t want to manipulate a card consciously or unconsciously, pull it longer or shorter, because that would make my tower crooked and I would see some nonsense from its top, but not the future – if the tower holds at all and doesn’t collapse already because of the many crooked arguments.

That’s why, in any case, I don’t want to form an opinion when I think about something. And certainly not, after I have only considered the very first argument and have at most reached level one. I still want to put many more arguments, many more cards, many more levels on one another. Whether something is good or bad? So the question that most people ask right at the beginning – it can only be judged anyway if you stand on the finished tower and look down. When the tower has grown out of arguments. Only from there, i.e. from the top of the tower, can you really judge whether something is good or bad.

Translated with the help of www.DeepL.com/Translator

Warum die Frage ‘gut oder schlecht’ schlecht ist

There is also an English version of this text available.

Meist, wenn ich Argumente abwäge, wenn ich Überlegungen ausspreche, zum Beispiel darüber, wie sich der Immobilienmarkt entwickelt, dann fragen mich die Leute sofort: “Und ist, das nun gut, oder schlecht?”. Es scheint eine wahnsinnig interessante Frage zu sein, ob etwas gut ist, oder schlecht. Und dann denke ich mir: Aber wenn das so eine wichtige Frage ist, warum fragen die Leute dann mich? Die Leute sollten jemanden fragen, der Ahnung hat. Am besten also jemanden, der weiß, wie sich die Zukunft entwickelt haben wird. Also jemand, der quasi von der Zukunft aus, auf die Gegenwart schaut. Ich habe keine Ahnung, ich überlege doch bloss.

Ich überlege und wäge die Argumente ab, doch gerade weil ich herausbekommen will, wie sich die Dinge in Zukunft tatsächlich entwickeln werden. Weil ich in der Gegenwart hocke und wissen will, wie es in der Zukunft ausschaut. Das kann ich mir aber nur vorstellen, wirklich sehen kann ich es nicht, denn ich befinde mich ja in der Gegenwart, nicht in der Zukunft. Ich sitze also in der Gegenwart und überlege, wie sich der Immobilienmarkt in der Zukunft entwickelt. Und damit ich mir die Zukunft ja nicht schön oder hässlich sehe, versuche ich einen möglichst neutralen Blick, der möglichst nicht durcheinander kommen soll, von meinen Präferenzen und Wünschen.

Ja, manchmal habe ich auch eine Meinung. Ich finde die Mieten sollten bla, weil blaba. Aber, wenn ich mir die Zukunft wünsche (“Ich finde die Mieten sollten”), dann ist doch nur wahrscheinlich, dass ich die Argumente so anordne, dass die Zukunft am wahrscheinlichsten erscheint, die ich mir wünsche. Und auch, wenn ich mir des Problems bewusst bin, hilft das gar nichts, denn dieses hinschieben der Argumente macht das Unbewusstsein von alleine. Man kann nichts dagegen unternehmen.

Deshalb machen Wissenschaftler, wenn sie etwas herausbekommen wollen, Doppel-Blind-Versuche, weil bewiesen ist, dass ein Forscher, der das Ergebnis kennt, unbewusst das Ergebnis beeinflusst. Es ist dabei sogar egal, ob er eine Meinung hat, eine Präferenz, welches Ergebnis eintreten soll. Allein, dass der Wissenschaftler, also der, der die Untersuchung durchführt, das Ergebnis kennt, erhöht die Wahrscheinlichkeit, dass das Versuchsergebnis falsch ist.

Einmal hat man geglaubt, dass ein Gaul rechnen kann. Experten haben das Pferd jahrelang getestet. Das war, bevor man den Doppel-Blind-Versuch kannte. Wenn man dem Gaul eine Rechenaufgaben gegeben hat: Zum Beispiel: Wieviel ist 3+9? Dann sollte der Gaul 12 mal mit dem rechten Huf scharren. Doch der Gaul konnte gar nicht rechen. Der Gaul konnte nur gut die Gesichter der menschlichen Versuchsleiter lesen, und die waren es, die rechnen konnten.

Wenn ich also wissen will, wie sich der Immobilienmarkt in der Zukunft entwickelt, dann möchte ich doch keinesfalls das Ergebnis mit meiner Meinung versauen – das wäre doch blöd!

Also bemühe ich mich, beim Nachdenken, beim Abwägen der Argumente keine Meinung zu haben und eben nicht zu überlegen, ob das eine oder andere gut oder schlecht ist.

Und meist funktionieren Argumente ja so, dass ein Argument aufs andere aufbaut. Das ist wie bei einem Kartenhaus, wo man eine Karte mit einer anderen Karte abstürzt und Ebenen baut, auf die man noch mehr Ebenen stellen kann. Nur, dass die Karten keine Karten sind, sondern Argumente. Und wenn das gut läuft und man ein super-stabiles Kartenhaus hinbekommt, das man mit ganz vielen guten Informationen verklebt hat (denn nur gute Informationen ergeben den Kleber, der wirklich hält) dann kann man sich am Ende auf seine Konstruktion stellen und von dem Turm in der Ferne schauen und die Zukunft sehen.

Das heisst, ich will, dass meine Informationen stimmen (Informationen sind der Kleber, der die Argumente zusammenhält) und ich will, dass meine Argumente stimmen, also die Karten, aus denen mein Turm bestehet. Ich will also auf keinen Fall eine Karte bewusst oder unbewusst manipulieren, länger, oder kürzer ziehen, weil das meinen Turm schief machen würde und ich von seiner Spitze irgendeinen Quatsch sehen würde, bloss nicht die Zukunft – wenn denn der Turm überhaupt hält und nicht schon aufgrund der vielen schiefen Argumente in sich zusammenkracht.

Darum, will ich mir, auf jeden Fall, keine Meinung bilden, wenn ich irgendwas überlege. Und schon gar nicht, nachdem ich erst die allerersten Argument bedacht habe und allerhöchstens eine Ebene geschafft habe. Ich will noch viele Argumente, viele Karten aufeinanderstellen. Ob irgendwas gut ist oder schlecht? Also die Frage, die die meisten gleich am Anfang stellen – berurteilen lässt sie sich ohnehin erst, wenn man auf dem fertigen Turm steht und hinunterschaut. Wenn der Turm aus Argumenten gewachsen ist. Erst von dort, also von der Spitze des Turmes, lässt sich wirklich beurteilen, ob etwas gut ist oder schlecht.

The kids are amazing

Recently I had a number of encounters with a group of people that I find absolutely fascinating. In fact they are so amazing, so bright, so intelligent, so knowledgeable and at the same time so humble, that to me they feel like a new breed of humankind. I met them in Germany where I live, in Mexico, in the States (places where I recently traveled), I find them on the internet. Those people are well educated open minded young adults, up to 25 years of age. Those are humans that grew up in the time of digital. Kids that, while their brains were assembled did not exercise in watching TV (as I did) but exercised in playing computer-games and using the internet.

Gonzalo Álvarez at Vertice Transmedia Conference in Mexico-City, Oct, 2018 

I was never a gamer, but I realized early on, that if you practice playing computer games, it must be a different kind of practice for the brain and therefor lead to a different wiring of the brain, that leads to a different kind of thinking. And I said 15 years ago, that when these kids are grownups, they will be able to think thoughts, that we might not even be able to understand, but those thoughts will be amazing. Those kids grew up now. You meet them at conferences, they deliver papers, they become visible by expressing themselves making music, uploading stuff to YouTube (for sure they become visible at more places, these are just the places I find them).

What makes them so fantastic is the effortlessness how they seem to be able to connect different bits of information from various fields of expertise. They seem not to be bound by the borders of particular areas of thinking. They are open-minded to an extend that I was not, when I was their age (and I always considered myself to be an open-minded person). Those kids are beautiful and it is sheer pleasure to watch them think.

Those kids know, what they don’t know and they are not afraid say that. I remember being that age and I was so full of myself. I knew, what I knew and that was a lot and in certain fields often times more than the elders. But I was not able to see what I don’t know and it took me many, many years to learn.

And because those kids that know so much, also know, what they don’t know, they are not afraid to ask others for help. This way they are able to collaborate in a way that I never was and maybe never will be.

I am not sure if all the kids are like that. Probably not. Maybe there are those kids that TV loves to portrait so often: The casualties of the digital, the kids that live in their parents’ basement, play computer games, smoke weed and suffer depression.

I personally never met one, but of course that does not mean they don’t exist. Those kids don’t show up at conferences or ask me for an interview. Certainly, I am just talking about the top of the iceberg. But the young top of the iceberg is so much more impressive than the top of the iceberg when I was young!

An other recent text about the same topic.