‘Fake It Till You Make It’ Turns Out to Be a Good Strategy’.
This runs so much against what I have been trying to achieve over the last year and a half, but there is something about it that works.
In recent tests and experiments, it was found that a person’s level of self-confidence, articulation and determination presses all type of buttons within others. We like assertive types, ones who can eloquently outline their arguments, people who puff out their chests before quietly beating them in a drum rally to all who would follow them. And follow them we do. We human-beings, like a leader.
According to what we call status-enhancement theory, people gain influence by acting dominant and confident. Doing so gives others the impression that you’re a competent person. One study tested the effect of dominance on perceived competence—and how a person’s true level of competence factors into how others see them.
In one of the controlled-tests, they asked group members to rate each others’ mathematical ability based upon a collaborative-problem-solving task they had completed. The Big-Heads got it! Regardless of how good their mathematical skills were, the others voted them best. Now, in itself, that is only just digestible, but taken against impartial judgments made by outsiders, who had recorded the real scores, nobody changed their minds on how well they thought the EXTROS did. Bull wins out, every time.
So, why do we like a super-confident confidence-trickster?
I think that we like to believe. Some of us like to follow, but mainly it is about belief. As a species, we have been drawn to meaning and become mesmerised by those who seem to have the answers. For some reason, we are prepared to sacrifice our sound judgement in favour of those people who are able to express themselves with absolute conviction. We will overlook inaccuracies, omissions, and flaws in reasoning, just as long as that firmly-held and articulated conviction is able to distract us from what is really being said.
In my later years of teaching, when self-doubt and humility crept in (not to mention my questioning of the system in which I found myself), more and more people would openly question me on anything that I chose to say. I had been accustomed to being believed and followed, but then there came non-acceptance, open disagreement and refusal. Perhaps, I had only myself to blame.
I have often laughed at people who puffed themselves up in the smoke of brief authority, only to realise that others were not taking their arguments with a similar pinch of salt. During this last year, I have watched open-jawed and astounded by the rise of the reactionaries. Not in a million years would I have believed that the British people would follow such a nationalist bigot as Nigel Farage. I hoped that citizens of the USA would see the error of lending their support to a blond-buffoned-bafoon such as Trump. But, I was wrong. These two spoke with such assuredness that lots or ordinary people fell for it. They had the answers that less erudite politicians could not see. The answers had been staring us right in the face all along, but we had failed to see them. These new guys could see them and the new guys could pull the wool from our eyes. SEE?
It’s happened before and it will happen again. Take your pick.
Now, even as I am writing this, I am beginning to see the error of my ways. I am now the assertive one and I am attempting to persuade you that what I say is the truth. The problem is that this is my truth, one that I have constructed for myself and one in which I choose to exist. For every dictator, there is another’s charismatic leader. A seer who can lead us to the real message; The Truth.
And The Truth has some real appeal. It does not equivocate, negotiate or bargain; The Truth is exactly what is says on the label.
“I ordered a tin of Truth, but you gave me a can of worms.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but sometimes The Truth can appear to look like that.”
The Truth is not easy to swallow or to digest. It is complex and does not sit on the palate well. There is also something else about The Truth, it is never the same for everyone. When we want it to be something real, we name it so, speak about it with passion, fight its corner, and convince others of our authority.
Fake News is not The Truth. Neither is calling news, fake. For every right there must be a wrong; or must there?
The Six O’Clock News
this is thi
six a clock
man said n
a talk wia
iz coz yi
mi ti talk
lik wanna yoo
it wuz troo.
jist wanna yoo
way ti spell
ana right way
to tok it. this
is me tokn yir
right way a
is ma trooth.
yooz doant no
yi canny talk
right. this is
the six a clock
nyooz. belt up.
By Tom Leonard
Only poetry can get me out of that one.