Sunday, 16 September 2007

Rock Steady?

There is an interesting relationship between the 'truth' of situation and what people really believe. The recent run on the Northern Rock bank also illustrates how, in moments of crisis people will decide to make sense of situations themselves rather than accept statements from people supposedly in authority.

Don't you think it is interesting (sic) how people decide when to trust an 'authority' and when to ignore it, such that 'I'll trust in the authority of my religious leaders about my moral and ethical conduct, however today I do not to trust the authority of financial managers' . What would it take for there to be a 'run' on Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc etc? Isn't ironic, don't you think...that the Christian Church was built on The Rock

The sometimes futile effect of 'authoritative' statements can be shown by the gap that is created between the expectation of political, religious and business leaders(sic)when faced with a crisis and the experience & beliefs of the populations they seek to influence. Meta-Physical authorities do have a 'trump' card known as 'Faith' however. Imagine...a bank excommunicating you for not having 'faith' in their pronouncements.

In the film Independence Day the President says:
So far these things have not become hostile. For the moment let's assume they won't. Connie, let's issue statements advising people not to panic, to stay home and take cover....

and in the news on the 15th September

The chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, John McFall, said Northern Rock's customers should not panic.

What is really interesting about any situation such as this is how it shows the fragility of authority. Something that is normally taken for granted suddenly evaporates in the light of a new interpretation of 'the facts'

If any of these people understood the effects of hypnotic language from writers such as Kevin Hogan and Steven Heller they would realise that the statement 'Don't Panic' is actually a command to do that very thing because many of us sub-consciously delete the word 'don't' when we hear it as a counter-reaction to authoritative statements.

You will of course know that visiting Gullibility regularly will help develop your critical thinking because you can trust it to provide you with ideas that will keep you one step ahead.


  1. Lakshmi Mareddy from Chilligavva17 September 2007 at 20:27

    I went through a big Deja Vu feeling, when I read the Northern Rock bank crisis. At least their plight was genuine (I hope) of bad loans. In India a few years back we had a huge bank scam. It was a bank called Charminar bank. They first enticed customers by offering higher rates of interest than the rest. Greedy middle class folks fell for the trap. Not one person asked, why when the market rate for interest in savings a/c was 5-10%, this guy was offering upto 14% per annum. This particular bank gave loans left right and center without verifying. [this is the part where the hand-in-glove scheme comes in]. The debtors refused to pay. [I can never think of talking to my creditors like that :)] Net result, the chairman had absconded, hiding in the next state. [I guess if you asked nicely enough the coppers would have shown the house as well.] Media had high drama with the wife and brother-in-law left behind. They ran pictures similar to what is going on outside northern Rock bank's premises. The whole thing died a natural death. The chairman had friends in high places [read political circles]. My observation, its better to have your funds in hand than pay the price of loyalty: If the bank was to close 15 days from now, the guys who were loyal, end up with zlch, nada etc. The lesson never learnt is getting attracted to glamour campaigns.

    PS: I LOVED the faith, tsunami [dont I abhor the leap of faith premises] and bin laden articles.. No energy right now, but shall post some comments later...

  2. Well, I guess, people simply want to comfort theselves. Some people are not psychologically equipped to face reality. However, my basic role of thumb here is if it's too good to be true, most probably it's not.

  3. Interesting comment you make on how telling people not to panic makes them do exactly that. I agree that it probably puts the notion of panicking into their heads. I am reminded of Clive Dunn's character in Dad's Army running around shouting "Don't Panic" ;-)