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Apples & Oranges


As creatures of evolution, humans have survived by finding patterns in their environment. On our evolutionary trail, a colourful fruit might have attracted our early ancestors and some fortunate creature might have taken a bite and lived to tell others about this new found delicacy. Another less fortunate Darwin awardee might have paid for this folly with its life. Either way, a pattern or bias was created and we knew whether to eat the fruit or to stay away from it . This brute force approach can be as costly as a life but effective on the grander scale of evolution. It is also cognitively easier. It is easier to eat the fruit and realise its effects, rather than systematically analyse everything that looks deliciously tempting. We have evolved and become more much more self aware than our hungry desultory brethren but still rely heavily on patterns. Politics, if you see it as the science of choices, requires us to elect representatives who we rely on to make decisions on our behalf. We find it cognitively easier to simply believe what our representatives say, rather than hold them to why they make the decisions they make. This blind faith can propagate as a political dynasty or as idol worship of an enigmatic figure. In reality, every word that a politician speaks must pass through a blind test in our minds. We have to judge words for words, if we feel that the same words, had they been spoken by the opposition, would be thought more or less true. Then, maybe, our own feelings aren’t based on fact but rather on faces. It needs more diligence on our part but we should put a face on the decisions after the decisions have been made and assessed and not simply see the decisions as the faces making them. We are creatures of bias and we often look to maintain our biases and implicitly look to others to validate our own. Virtue signalling today is as easy as a retweet or a forward. When our favourite sports team is doing well , we should remind ourselves that their performance does not reflect on us whatsoever. Our unconditional love does not alter an objective and perpetually changing reality. Ideologies exist because we choose to believe in them. That we can change our minds about what we believe tomorrow and choose to no longer support them if they don’t satisfy our introspection should feel like power in our hands but, instead, we chose the ease and solace of familiarity over intellectual rigour and self awareness. We so desperately want every brightly coloured fruit to be as delicious as the last one and, before you realise it, you are dressing up like green apples and oranges, rioting in the streets. Be aware and take a breath before you take a bite.