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Mad As A Snake – Frames Trump Facts

August 29, 2012

In our new ‘post-truth’ world being heralded in triumphantly by Mitt Romney, the unloved and unloveable Republican candidate in the U.S Election, I have been practising my new spiritual discipline of staying calm and centred while egregious lies rain from the heavens.

Mitt’s campaign is so full of outright sh*te I can barely believe my eyes ands ears.

It’s not just the blatant racism, the total lack of vision, the hideous misogyny, the utter meanness etc – it’s also  that the mainstream media in the States appear not to care that the central planks of their aspiring president’s arguments are based on seriously massive lies and distortions.

This man might be the most powerful man in the world in a couple of months time. Yikes!

As you may have already guessed, the  new spiritual discipline? not going so well…

Janet Suzman’s brilliant article on the ‘Birtherism’ at the Globe challenges Mark Rylance and others who have made their living and reputation from Shakespeare and yet choose, against the mountainous evidence, both historical and textual, to believe that the plays were written by someone else.. an Elizabethan aristocrat of course.

A Warwickshire glover’s son?! Good grief we can’t have an ordinary but super-super-gifted boy from the sticks be a world-class genius.. fie upon it!

Mad as a snake, indeed.

I fall off the wagon again…

Apparently  research shows that sometimes the more you are shown evidence that what you believe is untrue, the deeper you dig in to your ‘untenable’ position.

Since everything is just perception and all perception is distortion and lies why get annoyed? After all I’m just running my own self-serving version of reality too aren’t I? No need to get all huffy about others surely?

Except that  sometimes it matters doesn’t it, that gross distortions are repeated as solid facts, despite high-quality evidences to the contrary?

I realise all these terms – ‘fact’ ‘lie’ ‘evidence’ etc –  are slippery terms indeed and  require at least a PhD  in philosophy and science  to define them and even then it’s a tricky business.

However, whereas no-one probably will die over the Bard’s identity, won’t Mitt Romney’s lies/ frames take the world more towards war, more towards an extreme hyper-capitalism , more towards ecological devastation and global poverty for the 99%?

And even with Shakespeare doesn’t it matter at all that a young man from Stratford, without a university education or rich parents miraculously became one of the world’s greatest artists?

So ‘Frames Trump Facts’ – George Lakoff’s wonderful aphorism.

No matter that the Paralympic opening is celebrating the Enlightment as I write. What really influences and sticks in the maps of the mind are the frames.

And so too with NLP…

‘Pseudoscience’, ‘debunk’, – these frames  situate NLP as risible, flimsy, unworthy of serious consideration, maybe dangerous, deceptive, unethical, cultish, lightweight.

Richard Wiseman’s latest  – the so-called ‘radically new approach to changing your life’ is.. yawn, yawn, based on the ‘As If’ Frame… at the heart of  NLP  for 40 years and key to how we get the results we get.

Oh and did I mention he is currently spearheading the latest ‘isn’t NLP so over.. and pseudo and  nonsense’ campaign?

So let me get this straight. When Richard Wiseman uses the ‘As If’ frame it’s radical and new and will change your life. But if it’s a  core part of NLP it’s pseudoscience…ridiculous etc.

See also my previous account of other utterly non-controversial aspects of NLP

Okay.. so probably no-one will die..

But wouldn’t be a shame if one of the genuinely most integrated and radical fields in applied psychology just got so contemptuously framed in the public discourse that it could no longer thrive and contribute?

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