If you have a chance to read Okanagan Life's April/May 2016 issue, do so.
There's an article -- contained in a Special Report -- that'll be of considerable interest to Greater Vernon Water customers in the North Okanagan.
More specifically, to SAC and CCMWP members.
And some politicians.
Why only "some" is evident later.
The story's lead-in promises that two UBCO professors will "change the way we understand deception".
Good timing, huh?
Especially timely as the Stakeholder Advisory Committee's last meeting at RDNO--following the November 2014 failed borrowing referendum--looms.
Before quoting from the professors, John Paul Byrne's editorial that accompanies the story is a most appropriate intro. He titled it "The truth about liars".
"It has been said that 'all truth passes through three stages.
First, it is ridiculed.
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident'."
He continues, in part: "The UBCO research found within these pages tells a story of a group of social psychologists who have arrived at the precipice of a world that needs to change and must stop incessant lying."
"...The UBCO truth team shows us how easy it is for psychopathic people to manipulate and deceive regular trusting folk. It is fascinating when we are able to understand the science on how politicians obfuscate and lie to start illegal wars and invade peaceful countries....an absence of integrity by the supposed leadership(s) of the free world."
Sure, not everyone's a psychopath, I say.
But the degree to which lies and deception rule our lives today is, well, frankly staggering.
Think of the water issues in the North Okanagan, and politicians and bureaucrats ganging up on Coldstream councillor and GVAC director Gyula Kiss to virtually guarantee that his scientific--and honest--mind didn't contaminate the bureaucratic biases that would deliver the desired outcome for the Master Water Plan stakeholder review.
Back to lying and deception.
Back to comparing the following with GVW and politicians' tactics.
John Paul Byrne closes his editorial with:
"...high stakes politicians are lying to all of us."
UBCO researchers Michael Woodworth and Stephen Porter are a team of "lie busters...attaining worldwide acclaim by seeking greater understanding in the fields of malfeasance, untruth and secrecy."
"...why do humans lie, how pervasive is our lying
and why do we fall for it?"
"When asked how often people lie to themselves, Porter admits, "It's impossible to quantify, but I would argue almost continuously, in terms of defense mechanisms like being in denial, rationalizing and avoiding the truth."
Porter is also looking at how emotion can serve to enhance memory, but also increase memory's susceptibility to misinformation, including widely publicized events from the media.
While Porter and co-researcher Michael Woodworth understand that little white lies and half-truths are necessary for honest people to coexist in today's society, for them, high stakes lies are a completely different animal.
As a psychology professor at UBCO and one of Canada's top lie detectors, Woodworth has focused on three main areas of research: psychopathy, criminal behaviour and deception detection...careers are blossoming in psychopathy, says Woodworth, who watches as the worldwide trend in lying expands.
"Today humans are not only lying and cheating more, they are getting away with it," he says. "Downright deception has increased from being clever, which was the norm 20 years ago."
(For example), Woodworth can't hide his amazement that no Wall Street bankers have gone to jail for the subprime fiasco. Single-handedly Wall Street bankers lied, cheated and defrauded millions out of trillions of dollars. They ran the entire world economy over a cliff and then, unbelievably, were bailed out by their government for doing so."
'it is easier to fool a man than to
convince him that he has been fooled'.
"Porter claims that honesty and all other virtues are expendable if deceit, treachery, and force would be more expedient. This axiom appears to be embossed on the foreheads of Wall Street bankers, yet the courts fail to act....a shining spotlight on this human gullibility."
"Humans do not think or reason through problems or challenges, but instead embrace the first story or the popular narrative. Mark Twain explained it thusly: 'it is easier to fool a man than to convince him that he has been fooled'."
Also included is a frank conversation with author Dan Ariely to underscore the topic.
Mr. Ariely wrote "Predictably Irrational", has spoken at TED conferences, and done seminal research.
The editor's phone interview with author Ariely included:
"...the public wants and expects our politicians to be dishonest. The reason for that is people view politics as a means to an end. If you want your agenda being implemented--you want your politicians to deceive to achieve it."
Still thinking of SAC and GVW?
The editor stated: "We live in a world where scientists are marginalized and trivialized by politicians who effectively lie and fabricate arguments, just to discredit good science..." The author replied: I think that the dismissive nature of data is a problem. I don't think that people should say, here is a piece of data, let's just accept it. What I believe is people should be updating their beliefs....(otherwise) you are idealogical rather than logical, and that is terrible."
Dan Ariely concluded: "There is no question that you can create a (false) story and get people to believe just about anything. It is shockingly easy to do that."
Gyula Kiss is aware of that.
So are GVW customers in the North Okanagan.
So are CCMWP members.
So are some SAC members...unfortunately an insufficient number of them.
Even the May 2016 Rotarian publication touches on the topic with this quote from a G.Tijani of Nigeria: "There seems to be an urgent need for individual and group psychological repair so we can improve the human condition."
This story therefore, as it relates to the political and bureaucratic "scene" at RDNO/GVW, needs two graphics to underscore deception, thanks entirely to the Master Water Plan 2012 supporters.
"Think of the Senators 'getting off', think of how Gyula's scientific proposals were undermined--and in a recent case--actually falsified, think of the backroom deals being made to keep Greater Vernon directors in lockstep with bureaucrats, think of how engineering consultants have been leaned on to not accept anything but the status quo, think of the abject lack of researched media coverage on the topic here" offers Kia, "and it makes me sick."
Only the little people and old dogs tell the truth.
Because the others will do anything to save face.
That referred to "some politicians" from earlier on in this blog entry.