Are you a sheep?

Photo from Flickr by: DoblonautAs a kid, I use to question everything. I don’t know what it was in me that made me do it, but I did it. I do it. I’m raising my kids to do it too.

Being raised Catholic, I remember questioning a priest why I had to go to confession. Why did I have to tell my sins to a complete stranger? It didn’t make sense to me.

Question everything

In the US we rely on a couple of television networks to report the news, I think it’s a better idea to go outside and look in? When was the last time you looked at US news from sources like BBC, CBC and the Guardian?

We are very fortunate to have the Internet and be a part of a community of people who care enough to share things with you.

We can go to Snopes if we question a story. We visit Politifact if we really want to see how the president is performing. One only needs to search Google to find out if it’s true. We need to question things more often.

Are you easily manipulated?

Today Seth Godin has a great post on his blog titled Who is easily manipulated? In it, Seth shares a few general categories of behaviors that manipulators seek out:

  • Believing something because you heard someone say it on a news show on cable TV.
  • Being a child (or acting like one).
  • Buying penny stocks.
  • Repeating a mantra heard from a figurehead or leader of a tribe without considering whether it’s true.
  • Trying to find a short cut to lose weight, make money or achieve some other long-term goal.
  • Ignoring the scientific method and embracing unexamined traditional methods instead.
  • Focusing on (and believing) easily gamed bestseller lists or crowds.
  • Inability to tolerate fear and uncertainty.
  • Focus on now at the expense of the long term.
  • Allowing the clothes of the messenger (a uniform, a suit and tie, a hat) to influence your perception of the information he delivers (add gender, fame, age and race to this too).
  • Reliance on repetition and frequency to decide what’s true.
  • Desire to stick with previously made decisions because cognitive dissonance is strong.
  • Inability to ignore sunk costs.
  • Problem saying ‘no’ in social situations.

 

Do you question things? Are you easily manipulated?

 

Photo from Flickr by: Doblonaut