Look for the obvious first as you forget the blinders of narrative. That's the easiest way to find the truth. It is very easy to build up an impossible lock-room murder mystery as you build up suspects with their scene-chewing quirks, and forget to look for signs of ways to override perceptions.
I was a journalist with a psych degree, and the psychology always came in handy that way: I learned to focus on patterns and the habits they formed as they distorted perceptions. People always gravitated to the narrative first, then personality -- and then tried to make reality look like it proved the narrative right as well as the assessment of the personality. I was taught to look for ways how perceptions and interpretations could be manipulated, and so, my job was always to question stories and personalities as I looked for facts.
Stories were always secondary for me, and it meant that I have had to endure a lot of nonsense from people over the years, especially those who knew I was a journalist and wanted to either impress me or one-up me with some canard to draw attention to themselves.
One of the stories that always annoyed me the most was the one where someone who was average but tried to build herself up as special was trying to convince me that her old house was haunted by a ghost.
Sometimes her faucet turned itself on; so there was the "proof."
As someone who has done her home renovations from installing toilets to doing the entire kitchens and grew up with a handy mother and grandmother, I am very familiar with everything from putting new floorboards to fixing a sink.
An old house usually means an old faucet, and defective O-rings and cartridges often cause that kind of turning itself on the woman tried to convince me was a ghost.
Seriously, if you were a ghost and had the advantage of power, invisibility and stealth -- are you really going to play childish pranks if you could get away with something far more malicious -- or would you even bother with lesser developed creatures in the first place? What's in it for ghosts to fool around with a bathroom sink, especially as living people do far worse things when they know they can get away with it?
If you are going out and lie with a stupid ghost story, then think of the ghost's motivation for doing the ghost stuff it does. Is this supposed to be a poor OCD apparition?
And how smart is it to tell it to someone who can disprove the ghost theory with a wrench and a working knowledge of basic plumbing?
Just look for the obvious explanation, but that is hard when you have something to prove and an axe to grind with someone you want to best in some way.
Journalists are in a profession where it isn't fun if you find the obvious. It is always about building ideas and people up. You cannot just be a very good businessman: you have to be a Titan of Industry or even Visionary who Defines His Generation.
They look for what is larger than life: that impossible locked-room mystery.
The problem is their actual job is to show how that locked room isn't impossible or how people are just people. People can use misdirection and argument to build themselves up -- but a narrative is not reality.
I always had a lot of deconstructing to do as a reporter: puffing was rampant, as was insults from sources who didn't want me to feel confident enough to question them. For some sources, they would put me down whenever I started to ask questions that revealed I wasn't impressed with their puffing and crowing. I was looking for facts, not buying narratives.
I was looking for the obvious, and I always found those who played those games were, in reality, in a position of weakness, but used smoke and mirrors to make themselves seem powerful.
If you want me to start taking a hard look at your situation, insulting me and trying to imply I am inferior to you is a perfect place to start. It is not going to work with me.
Because you are obviously hiding something and are banking that my self-esteem is shaky enough to deflect attention away from your deficits. It's an old ruse, but it can be very effective when you are dealing with narcissists or those with an inferiority complex.
But those who prey on the weak don't just feast on egos with put-downs: when convenient, they also seem to praise and reassure those who are looking for validation.
Yet even then, it is always done in such a way that he places himself on the top of a pecking order and his pigeons would be lost without him because they are weaker than he is.
He builds himself up as someone who is a deep thinker and even messiah. He is extraordinary.
And he seems to be if no one looks at the obvious.
But journalists don't look for the obvious. They are always on the prowl for the extraordinary.
And they aid ad abet those those try to hide the obvious at all costs.
Actors are usually are the big beneficiaries of this journalistic logical flaw. Athletes and singers also get the special treatment. Politicians and CEOs who burst on the scene can expect the drooling, too.
These are the people who are built up, but many get torn down when they cannot reach the hype they created themselves. The obvious eventually shows itself, and then people feel betrayed. You were supposed to provide to them The One Rule That Explains Everything, and then be the living proof that TORTEE is reality.
And then reality smirks and uses the truth to prove the messiah is nothing more than a mundane person who dabbles in puffing and sleight of hand.
But time and again, journalists give those mundane and flawed people a free pass. They may be critical, but they still do not look for the obvious.
Watching the press get trampled by Dr. Laura for white boys Jordan Peterson is instructive. His theories may enable a certain insecure demographic, but those theories are not flattering.
The Los Angeles Times recently had a silly piece that missed the obvious. The headline set up the blinders:
Hate on Jordan Peterson all you want, but he's tapping into frustration that feminists shouldn't ignore
Peterson isn't tapping into frustration: he is doing what Fox News Channel has been doing fr years: throwing dirt on white men who waste their lives believing a fantasy fairytale that has destroyed them, but as these same group already abuse themselves, the dirt-throwing seems kinder by comparison.
Feminists shouldn't worry about Peterson as he is no threat to them. He is pandering to the weak, not building them up because if he is their leader/guru/messiah/daddy, the implication is they are too silly and incompetent to think without someone giving them a list of thoughts to be put in their heads.
The theories Peterson proffers comes from the old "special needs" theory of men. The theory covertly postulates that men's testosterone has a natural fear of women's estrogen and cannot function in the presence of women who are not repressed followers parroting other people's scripts that rig things in men's favour. Knowing that they would lose to women as they are innately inferior, but do not want to draw attention to this fact lest the true extent of their genetic and biological malfunctions be exposed to the superior gender (go, girls!), mean come up with a series of ruses and excuses to ensure they are not discovered for their poor genetic quality, and deceive their gender rivals into thinking they must retreat because men are smarter visionaries and stuff.
Which means men need rigs to succeed. They cannot function understanding how to negotiate with someone whose life requirements differ from his. They cannot think outside the box; so they must stay in the box for mere survival. They mistake dysfunctional rote requirements that do not challenge his flawed interpretation of reality as order.
They are special needs who must be propped up and reality and truth most always be hidden from them lest they fall apart.
After all, if you are special, you need fewer props and rigs and can surpass the average.
But if you are special needs, you need more help of that sort just to keep up with the average.
And Peterson's theory assumes the evolutionary and biological inferiority of men, and devises excuses and feints to keep their deep dark secret from women.
It is war on women, and as war is deception, Peterson offers a variety of ruses to prop up his fellow sex.
This man-theory on men is not new. Pick up artists do it by negging: insult a woman out of your league by pointing out her "flaws" to make her lose focus and confidence.
She never realizes she is settling for less and will be slumming it with the inferior mate because of the prop of siege and gaslighting.
People of quality never stoop to manipulation or decreeing ahead of time that their in-group is superior to the out-group.
That's propaganda, and Peterson is not a very convincing propagandist to people who are in tune with reality and truth.
But journalists never understood reality or truth, and they build up an unremarkable psych professor because they don't see the obvious.
The sophistry appeals to a very certain male: the white boys whose mommies phone the professor to make excuses why he isn't going to do his presentation as she does his assignments for him so she wouldn't lose her money bankrolling his education.
I had more than my fair share of these students -- always males with one exception, always white with no exception. There wasn't a course where this phenomenon didn't happen at least once, unless the class had all females, then it just didn't happen.
I did have female students fail, skip class, and make all sorts of stupid and unconvincing excuses, but they weren't recruiting their elder family members to save them.
I never had my mom do my assignments or call my professor to get out of failing. As soon as I could write, I always insisted on writing my own absence notes with my mother signing them, and even then, it bothered me that my own signature carried no weight with the school.
But for this concerning number of young men, it was always the mommy who tried to clean up his messes. Usually it wasn't enough and he'd drop out anyway because he couldn't hack it.
Peterson as a professor would be very familiar with that breed of inferior male -- somewhere along the way, a light could have gone off.
You have a group of men who can make withdrawals from the Bank of Mom and Dad who want to hear how bad it is to have to deal with estrogen when your testosterone isn't up to snuff.
Because if these men were strong and equal to women, they wouldn't be bothered that a group of people have their own ideas, theories, hopes, dreams, ambitions, and hearts.
But it always comes back to sanctioned insanity: what if we replaced Men with White and Women with Black?
Would this theory sound right?
Of course not. It's just silly.
Journalists never learned to look for the obvious. That requires testing, experimenting, and verifying information and theories by running them through empirically-based tests.
Feminists shouldn't build up Peterson because he has a very dismal view of men. They are incapable drooling crybabies who must live in a sterilized environment to function. They are not the wild, exotic creatures who can thrive out in the open as they embrace the world as it is and thrive despite all the differences and puzzles in the world.
I know my worth because I am that wild exotic adventurer who has fought a million wars and still stands, being grateful for all the gifts and blessings the define me -- and all those others who also fight a million wars to make the world kinder and better. No strong man has ever threatened my ways -- and no strong man would cower in the presence of a strong women like me.
That is the definition of strong: you do not compromise yourself -- nor do you require others to compromise themselves.
You do not need to be a follower or leader: you live your life for you and you don't compromise.
That is a simple and obvious truth -- but for whatever reason, those obvious truths terrified journalists and they have been ignoring them ever since...