Furthest Right

It’s all in our heads

Philosophers have often said that much of what we take for granted as reality is illusion, and much of what we consider as illusion is actually more real. If we inverted our logic for some reason, for example to please others with offerings of politeness, that could cause us to have such an inverted sense of reality.

Let’s explore it.

Boys with ring fingers longer than their index fingers run faster, a new study finds.

Finger-length ratios have been related to a host of things good and bad, from fertility and disease vulnerability to test scores and personality traits. In fact, you’ll need the digits on both hands, regardless of their length, to count all the correlations that have been made.

Researchers say exposure to testosterone in the womb is behind the speedy kids and their finger-length ratios.

Kids with longer ring fingers are likely to have higher SAT math scores than literacy or verbal scores, while children whose index fingers are longer are more likely to do better at reading and writing, or verbal, rather than the math tests.


They didn’t mention this part:

The length of a man’s fingers may predict his success in the City, research findings suggest.

Scientists at Cambridge University found that financial traders whose ring fingers are longer than their index fingers make the most money.

The link could be down to testosterone exposure in the womb, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says.


Why is our society so biased in favor of long-fingered people?

We give them more money, higher test scores, and assume they run faster. This supremacy of long-fingered people is most assuredly a social construct, and as a result, it’s unfair to short-fingered people.

Dr David Batty, a Wellcome Trust research fellow at the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in Glasgow, and colleagues, found that a lower IQ was strongly associated with a higher risk of death from causes such as accidents, coronary heart disease and suicide.

The researchers studied data from one million Swedish men conscripted to the army at the age of 18. After they had taken into account whether a person had grown up in a safer, more affluent environment, they found that only education had an influence on the relationship between IQ and death.

The researchers say the link between IQ and mortality could be partially attributed to the healthier behaviours displayed by those who score higher on IQ tests.

Science Daily

Here’s another one: why are we biased in favor of higher-IQ people, since IQ is a social construct that doesn’t correspond to anything meaningful?

Probably the reason they live longer is that we give them better treatment, believing them to be more important or more competent or something. The rest of us get slighted, which is unfair.

As such it narrows down, perhaps even begin to dismantle, the concept of our consciousness – our ‘we’-ness, as a separate entity from our brain. We know this because we can change components of ourselves through physical or chemical means.

“We’ are very much hardwired into our brain; ‘we’ are our brain.

Evidence suggests that we’re living closer to the answer of our existence than we think; whether we like those conclusions or not, they’re very – physically – real.

Evin Daly

We get used to backward logic early.

When we look out at the world, we are not aware that we are the looker; it just appears to be there. Even more, we’re able to see our body, so we assume it is part of the world and not of us, that abstract thing that seems unrelated to physicality because it is not constrained by it. In our minds, we can imagine anything. We can even alter what we know so that it doesn’t seem as grim as it may be.

When we do that, we think backward. We assume that what we “know,” including memories we’ve altered, are real, so we use all new data to justify those memories by contorting the new data until it fits in with the old. It takes a lot to jar us out of that mode, like a tragedy or big failure.

So when we see that long-fingered people do well, our first thought is that it is irrelevant. Why? Because very few of us are really living like kings. Most are somewhere between pauper and king, which means we have regrets and failures. In order to not look too deeply into those, we have invented mythologies of why others succeed: they’re lucky, they had more opportunities, they’re whiter or have longer fingers.

We seize eagerly on any opportunity that shows IQ tests are bunk, so we can explain away the fact that the guy two doors down is really smart and is making a ton of money when we’re barely making it in our job as assistant editor at a Green books publisher.

But really, our logic is backwards. We’re altering data in our minds, not the world itself, which will keep doing what it was doing. We don’t all live in separate worlds where we can think whatever we want to. Reality is out there and it’s more powerful than us, and we will face the consequences of our actions, as individuals and as a civilization.

But that makes us feel small and mortal, so it’s antisocial to mention it; reality must be a social contract for us all to feel good about ourselves.

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