Misconceptions From Wrong Perceptions & Limiting Beliefs

Misconceptions about science fuel pandemic debates and controversies, says Neil deGrasse Tyson

Schools should teach science as an evolving process — not a series of hard facts, argues astrophysicist

This article pretty much confirms what I said before about how many people are misunderstanding the meaning of things today because they have the wrong perception of things.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson says some of the bitter arguments about medicine and science during the COVID-19 pandemic can be blamed on a fundamental misunderstanding of science.

“People were unwittingly witnessing science at its very best.… [They said,] ‘You told me not to wear a mask a month ago and now you tell me [to] wear it.… You don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Yes, we do,” the American astrophysicist and author told The Sunday Magazine host Piya Chattopadhyay.

Misconceptions about how science works stems in part, he said, from the fact that it’s often improperly taught at the earliest levels of education.

“People think science is the answer. ‘Oh, give me the answer. You’re a scientist. What’s the answer?’ And then I say things like: ‘We actually don’t have an answer to that.’ And people get upset. They even get angry. ‘You’re a scientist. You should know,'” he explained.

“What’s not taught in school is that science is a way of learning what is and is not true. The scientific method is a way of ensuring that your own bias does not leave you thinking something is true that is not, or that something is not true that is.”

If anything, we should be taught in school how we perceive reality. That we’re not seeing reality directly but with psychological “lenses” that filter and distort what we’re seeing based upon our beliefs.

For example, the mentioning above of “not to wear a mask and then to wear a mask” ties into a conventional belief that if someone changes their mind, it shows they’re not honest and not to be trusted. And yet growth and development at its very core is about changing your beliefs and values, as well as the way you perceive yourself and your world.

So if you believed that people should never change their minds, you would be fostering an environment and culture where no growth or development occurs. You’d want everyone to stay as they are and never change.

But alas, for some people, that’s actually what they want. They want time to stand still, what they know to be enough, and for things to remain permanent as they are.

Yet again that’s the opposite of life and nature itself which is embodied by constant change. The problem is that we’ve been extremely fortunate to live within such a highly stable time frame, that we assume and belief that this is what reality is like all the time.

It’s not. It’s constant change. And without a doubt, over the decades to come, we’ll probably see more change, more often, than some of us have ever seen throughout our entire lives.

And I have no doubt, that in the near future, science will probably have a major breakthrough that will completely redefine our reality and what we believe as a whole, similar to the radical shift that Copernicus had when he realized the Sun was the center of the solar system and not the Earth (which was considered heretical and blasphemous during his time).


Upgrading Your “Game Interface” for Life

Could a psychedelic ego death bring you back to life?
Tripping on mushrooms can make you feel at one with everything. Could that help heal mental illness?

For the first time, she saw her true self — and came to terms with her mortality. “This is who I am. This is how I was born. This is my skin, my fingers, my hands,” says Turner, a 24-yearold in New Jersey who works in patient services and freelances for media outlets. “At some point, this shuts down, but that doesn’t mean that I’m no longer me. I am a spirit. This (body) is a shell, but my spirit is in this shell.” The experience left Turner feeling a sense of unity with everything, which she attributes to what’s known as “ego death.”

A damaged sense of self could also lie at the root of addiction, he adds, in which people might see the self as a failure that just can’t seem to quit. Meanwhile, those with anxiety disorders might deem the self ill equipped to handle certain situations. In generalized anxiety disorder, there’s a fear that harm to the self could lurk around every corner. “It’s all about that interface between me and the rest of the world,” Johnson says.

Because ego death can allow people to “reset” their sense of self in this way, it makes intuitive sense to Johnson that it could be a central facet of the mystical experience thought to underlie the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. Ego death can help you realize you’re more than how you normally define yourself, that you can see your problems from a different perspective, and that you have control over your sense of self, he says — and that’s powerful.

Although your odds of a mystical experience — and the ego death that can come up with it — increases with higher doses of psychedelics, Johnson says it can totally happen without psychedelics, or any drugs at all. He tells me you can experience it through fasting, prayer, meditation, near-death experiences, or simply out of the blue.

As for Turner, she’s still awash in the afterglow of her trip. Now, she can see all the ways in which her ego held her back — emotionally, mentally, and even physically. “I finally feel like I’m living in my spirit, and not in a shell,” she tells me.

Your soul and body are similar to what a player experiences playing a character in a video game. So your soul as the player is seeing what your body as the character is perceiving based upon how it perceives its world and itself, just like a video game interface that gives you information to make choices during gameplay.

The key thing everyone needs to realize is that the “level” you are at in this “game” of life actually defines how you perceive your world and yourself. Thus as you “level up”, your perception of your world and yourself actually changes, thus making it feel like a whole new game. In this way, life as a game is actually like a metagame with a different game at each level to meet your changing needs.

Unfortunately for some of us, who haven’t gotten the “expansion pack” with the newer “levels” yet, they can’t see and comprehend the newer “phased” content yet, so life will probably seem pretty confusing to them right now until they to level up and things start to make sense.

And interestingly enough, one way of levelling up oneself is by psychologically “slaying oneself” as Joseph Campbell talks about in the Hero’s Journey (ie Luke Skywalker slaying Darth Vader but seeing his own face behind Vader’s mask).

As I noted before, this is effectively going through a grieving process for your old sense of self (ie denial, anger, etc) and eventually accepting the death of a self they no longer works as a constructed idea in our present reality. By doing so, you open yourself up to a larger sense of Self which is more in tune and aligned with your soul, thus leading you to begin a quest by questioning your life as a whole.

A simpler way I’ve described this before is as social innovation on a personal scale. “The social innovation achieved by applying creativity to oneself is being oneself. It is a stripping away to reveal and discover the wonder and potential of something already there at the vulnerable core of oneself.”

That vulnerable core is effectively the authentic and real you. You as a soul. The player within us all. The player who isn’t afraid to truly “play” at a level we’ve never imagined before.


Marginalized Masses Awakening & Demanding Human Dignity

Now, as the pandemic has led people to re-evaluate how they live and spend their time, many are also examining their relationship to work. As a result, and in the context of a recovering U.S. economy, a record number of Americans quit their jobs throughout the spring and summer months.

Lim sees this trend as “a great thing,” noting that people are “standing up for themselves,” their personal values and how they expect to infuse purpose into the work they do every day.

What people are calling the Great Resignation, I’m also saying there’s a Great Awakening here.

I believe the future work is human. There are certain things that will take the place of what we do. But let’s not forget the fact that technology is and should be our friend. It’s coming from humans.

We’ve seen the bad sides of technology, but we’ve also seen the good sides. As long as we make good decisions of what jobs we take, how we run our companies, how we manage our teams, if we keep that in check, the future of work can be about technology but rooted in the core of who we are as human beings.

In the next year or two, I think it’ll be really clear that our human needs must be on the same plane as our technological needs. And the more that we can tap into that, the more successful our organizations and teams will be.

It was a reminder that it’s not just our highs in life that we learn from, it’s also our lows. The way we think of happiness being such a universal term, at the same time, this loss and grief everyone experiences is also a very universal term that is not embraced and explored enough.

Indeed, it is these low times that help us stop and reflect on our lives, giving us the potential to step forth onto a new path that can lead us to better highs in life.

So more than anything, people are the ones feeling empowered and driving this “Great Reset”. It’s not the rich 1% as conspiracy theorist would have you believe but rather the marginalized masses who have had enough and are seeking something better and different.


Workers Redefining The American Relationship & Identity

The Great Resignation Is Accelerating
A lasting effect of this pandemic will be a revolution in worker expectations.

As I wrote in the spring, quitting is a concept typically associated with losers and loafers. But this level of quitting is really an expression of optimism that says, We can do better. You may have heard the story that in the golden age of American labor, 20th-century workers stayed in one job for 40 years and retired with a gold watch. But that’s a total myth. The truth is people in the 1960s and ’70s quit their jobs more often than they have in the past 20 years, and the economy was better off for it. Since the 1980s, Americans have quit less, and many have clung to crappy jobs for fear that the safety net wouldn’t support them while they looked for a new one. But Americans seem to be done with sticking it out. And they’re being rewarded for their lack of patience: Wages for low-income workers are rising at their fastest rate since the Great Recession. The Great Resignation is, literally, great.

Leisure and hospitality workers might be saying “to hell with this” on account of Americans deciding to behave like a pack of escaped zoo animals. Call it the Great Rudeness. Airlines in the United States reported that, by June 2021, the number of unruly passengers had already broken records—doubling the previous all-time pace of orneriness. The Atlantic writer Amanda Mull has chronicled America’s epidemic of bad behavior, from Trader Joe’s tirades to a poor Cape Cod restaurant that had to close briefly in the hope that its clientele would calm down after a few days in the time-out box. Cabin-fevered and filled with rage, American customers have poured into the late-pandemic economy with abandon, like the unfurling of so many angry pinched hoses. I don’t blame thousands of servers and clerks for deciding that suffering nonstop rudeness should never be a job requirement.

Look at what we have instead: a great pushing-outward. Migration to the suburbs accelerated. More people are quitting their job to start something new. Before the pandemic, the office served for many as the last physical community left, especially as church attendance and association membership declined. But now even our office relationships are being dispersed. The Great Resignation is speeding up, and it’s created a centrifugal moment in American economic history.

That sentence describing how “even our office relationships are being dispersed” is quite poignant because transformational change occurs by restructuring relationships which in turn redefine a new identity. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about an individual, an organization, or a society being transformed. It all occurs in the same way.


The Right To Be Treated Like A Human Being at Work

Former Restaurant Workers Are Sharing Why They Left The Industry, And Dear Lord, This Is Important
“When everything shut down during COVID-19, I realized how much the place destroyed my mental health.”

I worked back-of-house for almost 10 years. I realized working 60+ hour weeks with no sick days, no benefits, zero breaks, and missing every single family holiday just wasn’t worth the measly check that restaurants provide. Once I left, it was almost scary how it felt to work at a job that actually treated me like a human being.


The Pandemic Lifts The Rug & Reveals Long-standing Bad Practices

The ‘Great Resignation’ Is Finally Getting Companies to Take Burnout Seriously
Is it enough?

Every month from April to August 2021, at least 2.5% of the American workforce quit their jobs. In August alone, more than 4.2 million people handed in their two weeks’ notice, according to federal statistics. So far, 2021 quit levels are about 10% to 15% higher than they were in record-setting 2019, by Klotz’s calculations.

For a long time, burnout was seen as the worker’s problem—something they needed to fix with self-care and yoga and sleep if they were going to make it in the rat race of life. There are dozens of studies and even more articles focused on curing burnout from the employee perspective. Mindfulness and meditation can help. Finding social support can help. Tailoring your job to align with your interests and values can help. But according to Christina Maslach, a social psychologist who is the U.S.’ preeminent burnout expert and co-creator of the most commonly used tool for assessing worker burnout, none of these strategies will ever be successful if they place all the onus on the worker. “Nobody is really pointing to the problem, which is that chronic job stresses have not been well managed” by employers, she says.

Importantly, burnout is not a medical diagnosis or a mental health condition—instead, the World Health Organization classifies it as an “occupational phenomenon.” But studies show that it can overlap with physical and mental health issues, including depression, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems and headaches. It can even be a predictor of chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes, research shows.

Part of the problem as to why these problems have existed for so long is that overworking people has been glorified by both employers and employees, even being seen as a badge of recognition for some. The gaming industry is notably bad for this with the EA Spouse story in 2004 highlighting this. While some say improvements have been made, others are saying not by much.

As a whole though, this type of thinking, belief, and behaviour is outdated, as it dehumanizes people. Thankfully, as it is has put the spotlight on so many long-standing issues, the pandemic is highlighting this one as well and finally seems to be breaking it as well. Yet it’s sad it has taken two decades and a major pandemic for it to be addressed.


The Need to “Level Up” Our Mental Complexity

[PDF] Preparing for Complexity and Wicked Problems through Transformational Learning Approaches | Semantic Scholar
As the information environment becomes increasingly complex and challenging, Library and Information Studies (LIS) education is called upon to nurture innovative leaders capable of managing complex situations and “wicked problems.” While disciplinary expertise remains essential, higher levels of mental complexity and adaptive capabilities are also needed to manage complexity. This article reviews three transformational learning approaches with the potential to effectively guide student growth toward these higher levels: (1) overcoming immunity to change, (2) threshold concepts and variation theories, and (3) transformative learning theory. All three approaches aim at transforming high-level meanings that are limiting into understandings that empower in order to achieve pragmatic goals, comprehend foundational disciplinary concepts, and generate new frames of reference for social justice.

As we move from ideas to action, a critical issue that arises is the gap between the world’s complexity and our abilities to manage such complexity (Kegan & Lahey, 2009). Managing complexity demands more than technical knowledge; it requires the ability to make adaptive changes in our thinking, beliefs, and behavior (Heifetz & Linsky, 2002a). Recent developments in learning theories and teaching practice are often responses to some form of this critical question: How can we help our students prepare for the future in a complex, rapidly changing environment?

Behind that question is a belief that new forms will emerge that are unimaginable now, and that increasing our knowledge and skills within existing frameworks will not suffice in dealing with novel situations. What we come to know through informational learning will still be fundamental, but changes in how we know through transformational learning will also be critical (Kegan, 2000). That is the premise for this examination of three transformational learning approaches that have the potential to help students move toward higher levels of mental complexity: (1) overcoming immunity to change, (2) threshold concepts and variation theories, and (3) transformative learning theory.

To deal with the complex “wicked problems” that are emerging today, we need people with higher levels of mental complexity who can thus comprehend and tackle the breadth and scope of these problems, often from multiple perspectives.

Why is this critical? Because using outdated thinking, beliefs, and behaviours, which may have worked in the past for simple or complicated problems, will no longer work for these complex problems today. In fact, using outdated thinking, beliefs, and behaviours actually exacerbates these wicked problems, making them all the more severe.

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Albert Einstein

The Great Resignation Leading To The Great Strike

Why Literally Millions of Americans Are Quitting Their Jobs
“Workers are burned out. They’re fed up. They’re fried.”

“[Employees] don’t want to return to backbreaking or boring, low wage, sh-t jobs,” Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, tells TIME. “Workers are burned out. They’re fed up. They’re fried. In the wake of so much hardship, and illness and death during the past year, they’re not going to take it anymore.”

“People are quitting and they’re not taking jobs,” he says. “That’s tantamount to a strike. American workers have, in effect, called a general strike.”


Shattering The Boundaries of Your World & Self

Alain de Botton on the Myth of Normalcy and the Importance of Breakdowns
“Crisis… is an attempt to dislodge us from a toxic status quo and constitutes an insistent call to rebuild our lives on a more authentic and sincere basis.”

The moment we begin to see that there are infinitely many kinds of beautiful lives, we cease being captive to the myth of normalcy — the cultural tyranny that tells us there are a handful of valid ways to be human and demands of us to contort into these accepted forms of being. But the great hoax is that they are Platonic forms — the real reduced beyond recognition into the ideal, an ideal too narrow and symmetry-bound to account for the spacious, uneven, gloriously shambolic reality of being what we are.

Maria Popova

A breakdown is not merely a random piece of madness or malfunction; it is a very real — albeit very inarticulate — bid for health and self-knowledge. It is an attempt by one part of our mind to force the other into a process of growth, self-understanding and self-development that it has hitherto refused to undertake. If we can put it paradoxically, it is an attempt to jump-start a process of getting well — properly well through a stage of falling very ill.


In the midst of a breakdown, we often wonder whether we have gone mad. We have not. We’re behaving oddly, no doubt, but beneath the agitation we are on a hidden yet logical search for health. We haven’t become ill; we were ill already. Our crisis, if we can get through it, is an attempt to dislodge us from a toxic status quo and constitutes an insistent call to rebuild our lives on a more authentic and sincere basis. It belongs, in the most acute and panicked way, to the search for self-knowledge.

Alain de Botton

Alas, it is our basic psychological need of wanting to belong, to “fit in”, that drives us to conform and bury aspects of ourselves, thus preventing the world from seeing who we truly are, deep down inside. Not until we awaken to the fact that we are not belonging but rather conforming to society, do we step beyond it and begin to learn to belong to a larger sense of Self within us. Brené Brown describes this as True Belonging.

I’ve likened this post-traumatic growth experience and feeling to being cataclysmic, in that it rocks the stability of your world because your sense of self is destabilizing, so it can broaden itself. In the process though, new lands emerge from the ocean of you, expanding the world that is you, letting you explore a larger sense of being that was previously hidden from you.


Deep Processing of Big Sensory Data

People Talented At Deep Thinking Need More Time To Process And Recover
1 out of 3 people have sensory processing sensitivity: they take in more information and process it more deeply to produce unique insights and high performance. Now new research finds their brains do this work while resting.

1 out of 3 people have sensory processing sensitivity, which means they live in a more vivid world, full of brighter colors, more nuanced sounds, richer tastes and smells, and more intense emotions than the rest of population. Essentially, their brains are thought to take in at any given time, and then process that information more deeply than their peers. That depth of processing makes highly sensitive brains are capable of a unique levels of creativity or insight.

Sensory processing sensitivity is increasingly recognized for its connection with high-level thinking and talent, but most people avoid admitting they have it. That’s because people with SPS, often termed highly sensitive, have been criticized their whole lives. They are told they are too intense or hypersensitive, or that they need to get over things and move on.

In other words, highly sensitive people process more because their brains notice more. A lot more. They have also been found to have higher levels of empathy—which means they have a way of absorbing the emotional vibe in the workplace. They can be driven crazy by sensory stimuli, which makes one wonder if they overlap with the 1 in 3 people who have misokinesia (annoyed by fidgeting) and the 1 in 2 who have misophonia (driven nuts by noises).

And all of that sensory overload means that highly sensitive people need more time to rest and recover than their peers.

Researchers have found that daydreaming and mind-wandering are two of the highest yield activities for our brains, so it makes sense that when people with SPS appear to be resting, they are actually doing deep mental work. But until this study, that connection between rest and when deep processing happens had not yet been shown. And that discovery had to do with the difference with a new approach.

The findings help to explain why highly sensitive people have higher anxiety and are more prone to overstimulation than typical. But with that difficulty comes the talent in the thinking.

The characteristics described in this article come very close to describing me.

I find I’m highly sensitive to ambient loud noises (versus a single loud noise), particularly in large venues when people are talking before a show and the ambient noises are all around me. Once the concert starts though, I’m usually fine.

I find I’m highly empathetic to the point it can be debilitating because I can empathize so deeply with others at times that I can experience their pain and suffering as though I was experiencing it myself. If this feeling is too great, I actually want to get away from the environment or space where this suffering is occurring.

Mind-wandering, when I’m doing a menial chore or in the flow of a video game, is when I have a lot of great ideas and insights. And sleep I find is critical because it helps me process what I’m feeling and thinking. In fact, if I’m overloaded with feeling and thoughts, I’ll sometimes feel exhausted and will want to take a nap.

A simple metaphor to describe myself in the past is like a doctor with a stethoscope. So I’m highly sensitive to the patterns around me which helps me intuitively and creatively pick up insights that others often miss. But it comes at a cost.

That said though, rarely has it affected me in a professional work setting. Well other than when I see issues affecting the mental health and well-being of people at work and they aren’t addressed, so I end up feeling the pain and suffering that others are feeling which is why I’ve been quite vocal about addressing social injustices in the workplace, often caused by a poor culture.