Who Is Fooling Who?

Dear Mr. Editor,

News is something that is shared continuously. It has life in it which it derives from being repeated, recorded and documented. Old news is replaced but not discarded. Some news is meant to allay fears and other news is meant to start trouble. Some news is meant to move us to a comfort zone and some news is meant to confront us. With all this news, rumors, anecdotes and gossip, where should the individual stand? How do we make sense of all this news etc.? How are we as a tourist destination perceived by the potential visitor? What ought we to do to build a society that is transparent, equal, fair, caring, loving, balance, trustworthy and just?


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Philosophers and reflective persons are and have always been interested in language for a long time for various reasons. This interest is evident in the discipline called Neuro-linguistic Programming. What characterizes among others human language is the fact that its use allows for the construction of an infinitely large number of expressions. Secondly, problems seem to arise from false beliefs, the way communications is done and maintained. Understanding the message may help solve these misunderstandings or avoid them altogether. So it is imperative that the messenger is given the precise information that can only be interpreted in the intended manner. As expression is nothing more than sharing what is on the inside it becomes clear that we need to be sure of the signals and use of words that we are undertaking. How mature and transparent are we on the inside is reflected in the language we use. E.g. "Nothing came down the road" is not the same as "John came down the road". John exists and one can easily think that nothing is something that exists. Lastly and most important; many philosophers and others believe that language is a reflection of reality and thus society as a whole. In this belief the structure of the language says something about the structure of society. Language is the expression of thought and human thought is considered equal to knowledge about that society. The information conveyed through language often leads to misunderstandings with all the negative consequences. The problem here is that the choices of words chosen to deliver the message carry within it, the seeds of disbelief, misunderstanding, distrust, imbalance, lack of equality and growth. Is it a message with an olive-branch or a spear? In the humanities there are many types of test. Tests construction and administration present many challenges. The same goes for the use of language to communicate. They both should be reliable. There need to be a core of consistency. The consistency informs others that the message will be understood, besides that, it is clear and concise. Another aspect that tests and the use of language should meet is usefulness. Usefulness or validity means that the tests or language used will achieve what it was designed to achieve. Some tests and used of language as a means of communication is gauged for criterion validity. The ability to predict other independent measures or critical mass based on consistency and validity. In other words the criterion validity enriches society as a whole and adds to the framework of the individual. It carries within it the ability to sustain itself. The Truth never has to apologize or find excuses. The Truth is as it is. For us this is the way to go in this information age. The Truth is full of life and emanates feelings. When we understand and accept the Truth, these emotions become the essence of what we have to say and share. It is what helps us to connect. Through truthful information we can build a truthful society which will enhance transparency. Wrong will always be wrong and when wrong has emerged we can use all the words in a language to right that wrong but those efforts will never succeed.

According to the psychologist Edgar Schein there are three levels to each culture. The first layer on the surface contains the visible signs of that culture – flags, emblems, logos, mottos, carnival and so on. The second layer of that culture tells us how decisions are arrived at and what is considered important in that culture. The third and most fundamental layer is the layer of shared beliefs and basic assumptions about the nature of that society, its participants and the underlying relationships. Could applied psychology bring an end to the Fooling game?

John A. Richardson on behalf of the Pythagoras-group.