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Friday, March 16, 2018

"Before You Know It" a book by John Bargh, Phd


I occasionally recommend a book I’ve read, but this is not one of those occasions.  John Bargh, PhD, latest effort is ‘Before You Know It /The unconscious reasons we do what we do.’  Well, I got through about 50 pages or so.  The introduction was rather interesting.  Then…

Maybe, I’m overly sensitive.  But, Bargh quickly launched into his half-baked assertion that liberals are genetically programed to be more unafraid, (courageous) if you will, than those who are more politically inclined to be conservative.  He has based his findings on a dubious lab experiment involving volunteers, presumably college students, who were asked to imagine they had super-powers which precluded them from harm.  I know, it does sound silly.  It is.  It’s ridiculous.

The immediate question that came to my mind was:  Dr. Bargh, in your whole life, and as a self-avowed political liberal, what have you ever done that was the least bit courageous?

Some quotes regarding his experiences:

“New York was overwhelming to me:  so many people, so much traffic, so much going on to pay attention to.”  “One morning, I stepped out of my office building, wended my way through the crowds on the street, looking in every direction at street crossings…”  “… often needed to react to dangerous situations immediately.”  “I benefited from these unconscious skills firsthand when I stepped off a curb on the way back to my apartment, and was nearly hit by a bicycle whizzing the wrong way down that one way street.”  “Reflexive, automatic mechanisms (or instincts) for physical safety had protected me…”

Yes, indeed, this guy knows about dangerous situations and courage.  My gosh, he could have been hit by a bicycle.

Well, I don’t have a PhD.  Although, I have experienced danger and have witnessed first-hand what I consider to be real courage.  And, I do have my life experiences to draw upon – not merely some lab experiment involving confused, immature college kids.

Furthermore, my son has spent a career in military ‘Special Ops.’  And, I’ve met several of his friends in like capacity.  They know danger, of that I can assure you.

Isn’t it interesting that those in law enforcement and those in the military who have faced actual, life-threatening danger and incredible sacrifice are, for the most part, politically conservative?  If, in some way, these particular individuals can appear occasionally wary or guarded, isn’t it possible that they know more about potential danger than some college student.

And, isn’t it possible that these same individuals, upon dodging a bicycle would not even give it a second thought?  Much less include in their memoirs.

True Nelson

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