SUPER! LA! TIVE!

I recently had a conversation with a friend. He was complaining that he was wasting all his time with computer games. Nevertheless it was clear to him – “Computer games are shit – absolute crap!”

I know my friend as an extraordinarily intelligent guy. The picture wasn’t right for me. I can’t really imagine how he spends all his time dealing with a completely stupid exercise. Now I don’t know from my own experience what it’s like to play computer games intensively and therefore deny myself an opinion. But it seems obvious to me that if an intelligent monkey is engaged in an activity, this exercise is meaningful.

My friend said that he would try again and again to quit playing computer games completely, but then he would find himself in front of the computer again, gambling. “Absolute waste of time!”, “Computer games are absolute shit!”

“Really?” I asked my friend, “Do you really think computer games are absolute shit?

To my astonishment he replied: “No, of course, computer games are totally awesome”.

Now I was seriously confused: “What now, total shit, or total awesome?

We discussed for 15 minutes and all the time I tried to find out exactly where he was on the scale between one extreme and the other. But his statements always jumped back and forth between one and the other.

Totally awesome. Totally shit.

“But you know what I mean!” he said reproachfully at some point.

“I can only guess. You can’t be on both counts and you’re certainly neither on one point nor the other. You are probably somewhere in between. Where exactly – I have no idea. And you, you probably don’t know either.”

At this point we ended the conversation, which had become somewhat unpleasant. A few days later I got some feedback from my friend. The conversation had made him think.

Since I got into the habit of paying attention to the use of extreme narration, I notice more and more often: We discuss with each other to find out if something is so or so. Whether the EU is one way or another, whether migration is one way or another. Whether globalisation is one way or the other. Whether the Internet is one way or the other. Totally awesome or absolute shit. And most of the times we discuss as if there is nothing between the extreme points.

That’s a great pastime and you can argue a great deal. Good approaches for solving problems can only be found in the rarest cases. Reality can usually be found between the extremes. The solutions for problems as well.

But, if it is fun.

SUPER! LA! TIV!

Vor kurzem hatte ich ein Gespräch mit einem Freund. Er beklagte sich, dass er seine ganze Zeit verdaddeln würde. Immerzu würde er Computerspiele spielen. Dabei sei doch eigentlich klar – “Computerspiele sind Scheiße – absoluter Mist!

Meinen Freund kenne ich als aussergewöhnlich intelligenten Kerl. Das Bild, war für mich nicht stimmig. Ich kann mir nicht recht vorstellen, wie er seine gesamte Zeit damit verbringt, sich mit einer völlig blödsinnigen Übung zu beschäftigen. Nun kenne ich nicht aus eigener Erfahrung, wie es ist, intensiv Computerspiele zu spielen und versage mir deshalb eine Meinung. Doch es scheint mir auf der Hand zu liegen, das, wenn sich ein intelligenter Affe mit einer Tätigkeit beschäftigt, dieser Übung Sinnhaftigkeit inne liegt.

Mein Freund sagte, er würde immer wieder versuchen, das Computerspielen ganz bleiben zu lassen, doch dann würde er sich doch wieder vor dem Computer finden, am Zocken. “Absolute Zeitverschwendung!”, “Computerspiele sind Scheiße!”

“Wirklich?” fragte ich meinen Freund, “Finderst du wirklich, dass Computerspiele absolute Scheiße sind?”

Zu meinem Erstaunen sagte er: “Nein, es ist doch total klar, dass Computerspiele total geil sind.”

Nun war ich ernsthaft verwirrt: “Was denn nun, totale Scheiße, oder total geil?”

Wir diskutierten 15 Minuten lang und ich versuchte die ganze Zeit herauszufinden, wo genau er auf der Skala zwischen den dem einen und dem anderen Extrem lag. Doch seine Aussagen sprangen immerzu zwischen dem einen und dem anderen hin und her.

Total geil. Total Scheiße.

“Aber Du weißt doch, was ich meine!” sagte er irgendwann vorwurfsvoll.

“Naja, ich kann raten. Du kannst ja nicht auf beiden Punken sein und du bist sicherlich weder auf dem einen, noch auf dem anderen Standpunkt. Du bist wohl irgendwo dazwischen. Wo genau auf der Skala – ich habe keine Ahnung. Und Du, Du weisst es vermutlich auch nicht.”

Wir beendeten an dieser Stelle das Gespräch, das etwas unangenehm geworden war. Einige Tage später bekam ich von meinem Freund noch einmal Feedback. Das Gespräch habe ihm zu denken gegeben.

Seit ich mir vor einiger Zeit angewöhnt habe, auf die Verwendung extremer Erzählung zu achten, fällt es mir immer öfter auf. Wir Affen diskutieren miteinander um herauszufinden ob irgendwas so oder so ist. Ob die EU so oder so ist, ob Migration so oder so ist. Ob Globalisierung so oder so ist. Ob das Internet so oder so ist. Total geil oder absolute Scheiße. Und wir diskutieren, als ob es nichts zwischen den Extrem-punkten gäbe.

Das ist ein toller Zeitvertreib und man kann sich trefflich streiten. Gute Ansätze für Lösungen von Problemen findet man so allerdings nur in den allerseltensten Fällen. Die Realität findet sich in der Regel zwischen den Extremen. Die Lösungen für Probleme ebenso.

Naja, wenn es Spass macht!

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