This article is an excerpt from the Mountain Vision newsletter. We stronlgy encourage readers to subscribe to the service.
Things are not always what they seem: at first glance, they may be deceiving. Matters that have been accepted as factual realities all of our lives may, in fact, no longer stand the test of simple logic when questioned properly by someone with another point of view. This is a reality we all have to live with and do our best to deal with honestly and openly. It’s one of the great challenges in life. It requires a flexible mindset and at times requires you’re admitting to being wrong.
We are all molded by the information kit we are fed as we grow up and as we grow old. And, unless we actively take the effort and find the energy to question all the commonly shared ‘truisms’ – the spoon-fed facts of others, the things that “everyone knows” and that all take for granted – we stand to be easy prey for those in possession of the means for mass propaganda.
“Your paradigm is so intrinsic to your mental process that you are hardly aware of its existence, until you try to communicate with someone with a different paradigm.”
~ Donella Meadows
We Need to Keep Second-Guessing
As George Bernard Shaw once stated, “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it.” We are all guilty of this sort of skewed perception and complacency. It is hard work to keep asking and SECOND-GUESSING. But it is important to keep at it all the same!
I like the term ‘second-guessing’, because, ultimately, an educated guess is all we will generally be able to achieve. This certainly applies to financial markets and investing, as it applies to life in general.
This past year, we have certainly been fed with A LOT OF PROPAGANDA worth second-guessing:
- Everyone seems to take for granted that money equals wealth…
- Central banks and governments are working feverishly to protect us all…
- A considerable part of humanity has pretty much accepted the necessity of mass vaccinations against the Swine Flu and other diseases. They appear to think that the pharmaceutical companies and their side-kicks act fully in the interest of our health…
- We want more government ‘protection’, more and stricter regulations. And regulators need to be given more power to ensure that another financial crisis is avoided. Most people really think that is what we need and they are convinced it will work…
- Another frequently heard piece of ‘wisdom’: Capitalism has failed…
- etc. etc. etc.
As we move further into what will surely be a very interesting 2013, I would like to invite all Mountaineers to second-guess the kind of common ‘wisdom’ listed above. If you are fully committed to any of these viewpoints, I challenge you to step back and reconsider. Chances are that you are falling prey to the steady beat of that global propaganda machine.
Of course, it could also be me that is on the wrong side of the story; it is possible your Mountain Guides and Sherpa’s have it all wrong. That might be, but at least we can credit ourselves with continuously probing and questioning. Over the years, we have worked at second-guessing and at keeping you in tune with our somewhat different, not-so-mainstream perspectives.
Frank R. Suess | Your “Swiss Mountain Guide”
In order to practice second guessing, one could start with the news items that Mountain Vision shared in their latest newsletter: