The Great Disconnect, by “IRVM”

The recent SurvivalBlog letters regarding wolves illustrate something that has interested me for a while. This is a phenomenon that might be called “The Great Disconnect”.
“The Great Disconnect” is defined as the increasing number of people who lack the ability to distinguish between reality and their own beliefs. These are people who reject out of hand anything that conflicts with their internal world-view, no matter how out of touch with reality that view may actually be.
I have no idea what percentage of the population falls into the ‘disconnected’ category, but judging from what I see on the Internet, perhaps 25% to 50% of the people posting there suffer from it to one degree or another. I hope the percentage in the real world is less, but there are plenty of examples that prove otherwise. Watch the TV news sometime.
This condition is characterized by blindness and deafness to anything that may contradict the person’s belief. In other words, they react the same way as the six-year-old who covers his ears and shouts “I can’t HEAR you!” Facts don’t matter. No amount of evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, registers. No logical counter-arguments are ever offered. The best they can do is to threaten an appeal to Authority (“I’ll tell Mommy!”) when unable to present a rational response.
This, however, isn’t just immaturity. A child may be unaware of the consequences of her actions (touch that hot stove, and you’ll get burned!), but once made aware, she’ll usually admit that there are consequences. (She’ll probably go around warning others.)
Our disconnected folk, however, are different. They will never admit to anything that goes counter to their beliefs, no matter how compelling the evidence. Their beliefs are more real than facts to them. They’ll keep on touching the hot stove and keep complaining about being burned. Then they will try to blame someone else for their injuries. (e.g. fast food and fat a**es)
I don’t know what causes this condition. I do know it is far too common. Perhaps it is related to education. After all, many of the best examples of that kind of irrationality are found in Congress, and those people are generally thoroughly-educated. (I originally wrote ‘well-educated’, but now I think ‘well’ implies quality which may not be in evidence.)
Another possibility is that people no longer experience much interaction with the physical world (where, for example, if you hit your foot with an axe, it hurts.) Years ago, people knew this. Many found out the hard way. The beneficial side of this was that very few people went around claiming that axes couldn’t hurt. Even fewer went around trying to ban axes because they *might* hurt you. And, anyone suing the axe manufacturer would have been laughed out of court. If a person insisted in believing that axes were going to jump up and whack you, all by themselves, well – there were safe, well-padded accommodations for those sorts of folks.
One outcome of this ‘Great Disconnect’ is that, to these people, thoughts become more important than actions. Hence the entire ‘Political Correctness’ madness.
– Where, when an entire family is murdered, these people just shrug their shoulders. But, they’re ‘deeply disturbed’ if the confessed murderer doesn’t express ‘regret’. And, they are outraged when other, more rational people aren’t willing to give the murderer another chance once he assures us he’s ‘very sorry’.
– Where buying a homeless person a meal is dismissed as ‘insignificant’ in comparison to spending the weekend at a luxury resort conference entitled ‘Envisioning an End to World Hunger’. It’s the thought that counts, after all.
– Where calling someone an “Indian” (a white-man’s word) is somehow worse than calling him a “Native American” (two white-man’s words.)
– Where well-known and provable facts become too ‘politically incorrect’ to cite.
How does all this apply to a survival forum? People who are unable to deal with reality on reality’s terms are going to have a very hard time surviving whatever comes along. And, something is sure to come along, sooner or later.
While every civilization in the history of the world has experienced hard times, many have not survived them. If you think nothing is ever going to happen, the odds are against you. Just ask the dinosaurs. Whether you believe it will happen or not won’t change the odds in any way. If it could, you’d be in Las Vegas getting rich.
A lot of effort is spent discussing guns, knives, and BOBs. This is good, as long as you don’t believe that what you own is likely to matter much when the fecal matter flies. Survival isn’t going to hinge on who owns the ‘best’ gun or knife or MRE. What will be important is knowing how to use whatever you’ve got, and being able to improvise what you don’t. That’s reality.
You may believe you can live off the land when TSHTF. The reality (at least in the US) is that you’d be lucky to stay unperforated long enough to starve to death. Hungry city people, with guns, will shoot at anything that moves – you included. Actual hunters and trappers will be smart enough to stay out of the woods. At least until the city people kill each other off.
You may imagine yourself prepared to “Bug In” in the city. The reality is there will be several orders of magnitude more people trying to take your stuff than there would be in the country. Again, the odds are heavily against you. Believing otherwise won’t change anything.
Believing the police will help – well, surely you don’t believe that, do you?
In other words, being disconnected from reality is not a survival trait. It’s too bad that so many people are.