How is it that we make mistakes in our lives? When we are good people, trying to do the right things, how is it that sometimes we make an egregious error? Errors in judgment, or action, at work can cost one his job. Errors in relationships can cost one the relationship. We are smart, discerning, we think. How is it then that either you make mistakes, or those around you do?
There actually is an anatomy to mistakes: one or all three of these ingredients comprise the mistakes we make. It boils down to this: Mistakes occur when there is False Data, Omitted Data, or Misevaluated Data. When one of those elements is in play, the possibility, if not probability, of a mistake occurs.
We have often heard the phrase, “Garbage in; garbage out.” In the computer world that implies that if you feed the computer false (garbage) data, it computes on the false data, and spits out a false (garbage) conclusion. The same is true for us. If we are given false information, and we accept it as true, we are likely to proceed with the false data, and end up with a totally corrupted product or end result. If a pilot is flying relying upon weather data which says there will be clear visibility at his destination–not knowing that the weather data is two days old, and a lazy employee just posted the data again, without consulting the most current meteorological data which shows heavy fog at the destination–that pilot could be in a world of hurt. His decision to fly becomes a mistake–potentially a fatal one. The danger was not in the pilot’s skill, it was in the false data he had been given.
Omitted data is the hardest to spot, because it IS OMITTED. It’s hard to see something that is not there. Suppose a prosecutor in a case omits some exculpatory evidence, and proceeds vigorously with the facts that point toward guilt. If the defense is not aware of the data, it is now also omitted from their defense. And the jury forms a conclusion of guilt. An innocent person is convicted, and a life is ruined–because of the omitted data. Now you see why “discovery” is such a big part of any litigation, and why there are penalties for failure to disclose.
When I was younger I was fascinated by the writings of Thomas Hardy. His star-crossed love stories were replete with missing data, which caused his hero and heroine to fail to connect. It was almost agonizing to be the reader knowing something that neither character knew, and which they needed to know, to achieve happiness and fulfillment. Frankly, it’s a good way to depress yourself. Read Thomas Hardy, and see how to make horrible mistakes in relationships. The culprit–missing information.
All of this leads to misevaluated data. Sometimes the data is there, and it is true, but the person looking at it completely misevaluates it, and makes a bad decision as a result. One of the exceptions I take to our jury system is the rule that does not allow the jurors to look up the meaning of words or symbols. They have to just rely upon their evaluation of the data, and what they think the data means. Horror stories have emerged where jurors had true data in front of them, but one juror misunderstood the definition of a word, thinking it meant the opposite of what it actually meant. Refusing to change their mind on what they thought the word meant, they stuck to their guns, producing a mistrial. The juror thought the word “culpable” meant “innocent” and when a witness assigned culpability to the defendant, the juror thought that witness was attesting to his innocence. Plain to see, there would be a mistake there.
What does this have to do with propaganda warfare or information warfare, you may ask? Everything, my friends, everything. The Propagandist will rely upon withholding critical information from you, or planting totally false information in your mind, or boldly promoting a misevaluation of the circumstance so that you embrace the false impression and make mistakes in your actions, attitudes, and evaluations.
This is why gossip, rumor, lying, and innuendo are so very dangerous. They are the tools of the mind control guys.
These three things can mess up your life in ordinary situations–but they can also destroy nations. My concern is our nation. That is what prompted me to do the research that led to the White King Trilogy.