Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bloggers, Mind Mechanism and the new Sykes-Picot fans!!

The mind has a very powerful way of work, fascinating, effective and sometimes quite dangerous. The mind creates "patterns" based on past experiences and codes them in words and gestures that are easy to identify in order to make decisions on the fly. Experiencing a pattern over and over again makes it harder for a mind to change the way it perceives things. For example, if you had a bad experience with a dog... Your mind creates a pattern for dog behavior based on that experience... If you have two, three, four similar experiences your mind identifies this pattern so strongly that it becomes very difficult to change that established pattern and restructure it...

This is a very useful trait but can be very dangerous as well; it is very useful because it makes it easy to identify dangerous conditions at a very early stage. Creating patterns and coding them is very useful in terms of establishing minimum communication. The mind doesn't have to experience the same behavior again in order to act. It will quickly recall the same pattern whether the dog is white or brown, big or small... you already know how it behaves. You have that pattern strongly imprinted in your brain and based on that you will either shoot the dog or play with it when it wiggles it’s tail and run towards you. “Perception is reality”.

One very strong aspect of creating patterns and coding them (with words) is that minimum communication is required, once you assign a code name to a pattern, you don't have to recall the whole set of behavior. For example, the importance of patterns is clearly shown in combat situations, or team games... instead of telling the soldiers/players to follow a complex set of movements, every time you want them to perform a similar maneuver... You train them on such maneuvers and assign a code to that pattern (say, “Plan A”). When you want the team to perform that complex set of movements/procedures all you have to do is say, perform “Plan A”.

It happens everyday in our lives, in much simpler terms, instead of telling someone to go, open a door, walk 200 meters north, say hi, enter the supermarket, allocate the fridge, search for milk, pick it up, go to the teller, pay him the amount written,....etc. You just tell him, "buy milk" and based on this persons previous experience with you, he will know exactly what to do, (what milk, qty, grocery..) unless he had already established a bad credit pattern with you... then he will probably give you the "busy" pattern, which means go find someone else to borrow from :)

Why are patterns so dangerous?
Its because a pattern might be established so strongly that you overlook any alternative, lets go back to the dog example, if your established pattern identifies dogs as a threat only, you will never think of using them for drug detection, helping the blind, guarding your sheep... whatever... alas, dogs doomed and you are terrified every time a dog is in sight... if a dog wiggles his tail you might recall aaaah he's going to attack me, while his intention might be simply to play with you... In short, patterns can be very misleading... and we are so unconscious about it that we just follow our own patterns so blindly without thinking they may be another alternative...

Why am I telling you this, and what does it have to do with blogging and Sykes-Picot ... I used to think that the Internet was supposed to be a place where borders are demolished, somehow Bloggers continue to draw borders on that old map, they are so happy with drawing thicker lines over and over those FAKE borders, their pencils have punctured those thin maps, tearing apart not only maps at border lines but nations and relatives sharing the same culture, language and religion. Somehow, their words act like guided missiles of mass destruction continuously bombing the border lines so heavily, you can almost see the ridges in their eyes, yes they have torn the thin surface that once connected one nation.

Jordanian, Iraqi, Palestinian, Syrian... What are we contributing to this mess... Dangerous racist patterns... The most recent event, that has contributed to establishing patterns on Jordanians and Iraqis.... So much aggressiveness directed to bad Jordanians and Iraqis... over and over again and in the minds of people its not individuals... The mind doesn't deal with people in that way, the mind will eventually create a pattern that is recalled when you say Iraqi or Jordanian... and this is how racism is born... how we "Blogide and Conquer"... it is not a very conscious act... It's simply how our mind works...

And to escape this kind of stereo typing, please be responsible with your blogs and posts... be specific... always state that this or that action is directed to "officials in that airport" to "that comment is coming from the ignorant Iraqi who doesn't represent Iraq" or else you might be creating a pattern without knowing it... It doesn't hurt to remember the good things some Iraqi's & Jordanians do in a post that attacks a certain behavior...

For God's sake read the comments, see how people react to your posts... Have a sense of accountability to what you write... to the patterns you establish... to the patterns you sometimes follow without knowing it... There will always be bad apples in every nationality, lets not point the cameras at them so repeatedly, lets not zoom in so closely that we no longer see the good people that belong to the same group... don't feel the urge to defend something wrong just because you have the same nationality... This is what racism is all about, taking sides with people based on ethnic backgrounds without any respect to what's right or wrong...

Borders are merely ink on paper unless they are imprinted in the minds of men, I hope you will not contribute more to the mess we are already in...


Note: Some of the concepts I used are taken from books by Edward De Bono's work, for more information please refer to his work, suggested titles, (Lateral Thinking, Mechanism of the Mind).

11 comments:

Mohanned said...

Good post man:)

M Kilany said...

thanks Mohanned...

Mohanned said...

Sa7ee7, I bet now that you are saying:"hath mohanned kayen ne3meh"

:P

M Kilany said...

LOL

AlurduniAlurr said...

off topic,,,Here is one more story about Abadi's arrest

Bilalٍ said...

Abu Kilany, greatest blogger in MENA Area:) Great Post ya man. It is good to see bloggers with this degree of awareness.

M Kilany said...

Thanks Bilal... allah yojbor be7'atrak :)

M Kilany said...

Urduni,
I couldn't log on to the LA times report... maybe you can post it on one of your blogs :)

AlurduniAlurr said...

كيلاني,,طلباتك أوامر عندي،يمكن لك قراة المقال علي موقيعي

AlurduniAlurr said...

I almost forget to tell you,keep up the good work,we need Jordanian like ,you can see beyond what original colonialist planned for us ,I believe humanity is the greatest nationalism we can adopt and and guided by to solve our problems.

M Kilany said...

Thanks Urduni,

لا يؤمر عليك ظالم :) عربي