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George Carlin: The Illusion of Choice

Really powerful. Thanks Jacoub!


To what extent do you think we have control on our automatic and controlled thoughts? When we play the role of the “Social Thinker” are we really thinking what we want to think or rather we are convinced that we really are so that we do not lose our sense of independence and uniqueness? or is it an illusion of choice?

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2 responses to “George Carlin: The Illusion of Choice

  1. nohaezz ⋅

    To a great extent, we are convinced that we fully control our decisions and thinking but actually it’s rarely the case! And this isn’t just about political or major decisions you take in life, No it exceeds this limit; your minor decisions are affected by a million construals that were ‘forced’ by media, press, society and all these. Consider, for example television ads; these are very very powerful in forcing unconscious messages and views that affect us on a huge scale! In different ads, you are told what to wear and how to look and who to go out with and how your friends should look like and how to have a happy life. Ads don’t always portray our culture but at many times, they design a new culture that they want to produce or create. We perceive ads lightly but they are really huge and if analyzed, various horrible messages are often understood. Ads really freak me out!
    Even something as “seemingly” innocent as Disney is very problematic. Its movies are very influential and appeal to a very wide range of children worldwide and they are playing it right! If the basic Disney movies are analyzed a bit more closely, major ideas and concepts that they use aren’t very innocent. Slavery, beauty notions, body image, social roles, and many other powerful messages and stereotypes are sent through these fascinating movies! Personally I watch and love them very much but we should really be aware of what is said and what is not said; what is between the lines and what characters represent and teach.
    Media, press and all these stuff control our controlled and automatic thinking by forcing ideas into our heads while we aren’t really focused on those implicit ideas being sent to us! Well, we can’t really live without media (although some people do and total respect goes to them) but what we can do is analyzing our thoughts and thinking and being totally aware of the effect of media and to be more scientific and systematic while taking decisions!

  2. Personally, i think it is very hard, if not impossible to detach yourself from automatic thinking. maybe because it is hard to consistently think critical about everything you pass through. As mentioned in the book, it is easy, effortless and take few seconds. However, i still believe that controlled thinking is the only way out from stereotyping and wrong assumptions or perspectives. Therefore, subjects like philosophy and psychology are very crucial to be taught for coming generation in order to enhance critical thinking and rationalism.
    By developing these thinking skills, power tools like media wouldn’t have this poison effect of spreading schema, judgments and stereotypes. Additionally, to any source of information that should be challenged and proven either right or wrong.

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