We hear more and more that our society is the most polarized it’s ever been. And everything we see and hear can be so confusing.
On the other hand, we the people could also be far more capable of dealing with our complicated world in an equal and opposite direction and dissolve the confusion and polarization.
For the first time we’ve now made it extra easy to do just that – dissolve away the confusion.
Don’t let the disarming pictures above give you the wrong impression. This innovative approach is designed for absolutely everyone, of any age, in any country, and addresses just about every situation we encounter.
Here’s how it works…
Go through the dozen cards below and check out each one. Once you get the idea, simply NOTICE these things as much as you can as you go about your daily life.
That’s all you have to do – just NOTICE these things. All the benefits will follow automatically.
First check out each of the cards all the way to the bottom to get the “lay of the land” and then try the Deeper Dive buttons on the ones that interest you.
If there’s any card in this deck you come to understand really well, let it be this first one – about how confusion works.
“Confusion on purpose” is meant to make a person or a thing super slippery and almost impossible to get a grip on – like a handful of slime.
Confusion tries to make logic and reason useless so we’ll resort to reacting emotionally instead. And once we react emotionally then we become easier to manipulate and polarize, exactly as the confuser intends. This includes making us throw up our hands in frustration and just not care anymore. Boom.
But once we get a grip on how confusion works, well, now we’re wise to it. There IS a way to get back to logic and reason. As a result we’ll have a huge sense of “traction” moving forward, and a sense of freedom too.
Then, in turn, we can help others understand confusion. This is how we dissolve confusion on a massive scale – together. There’s no other way.
Hearing With Both Ears
With one ear I hear you say something about me or the world.
With my other ear I hear you say something about yourself.
This simple technique is so powerful that once we start doing it all the time it’s pretty amazing how it helps us to not react to what people say, especially when it feels mean and inconsiderate.
We are now listening for what’s motivating a person to say what they’re saying.
For kids this can seriously reduce the impact of bullying. Kids can learn that bullies say mean things because of something that’s going on with the bully and it has nothing to do with them.
And there’s an added bonus! When we practice this, we realize that WE are saying two things whenever we speak.
This whole site was created and written by me, Mark Halvorson. What am I saying about myself to you?
Super powerful. So simple.
In the same way that there’s a speck of dust in the middle of every raindrop, there’s almost always at least one oversimplification somewhere in the middle of every disagreement, argument and heated discussion.
The fastest way to arrive at a better understanding is to hunt for the oversimplifications and give them the detailed treatment they deserve.
Even better, hunt for them together.
Yours • Ours • Mine
It’s important to always be mindful of our shared spaces and world. What are the things we say and do that involve others?
Driving is safe because we all share the road and respect the rules.
And when we vote, we’re voting in the best interest of both ourselves and our society in general.
We can also be respectful of same-sex marriage even though it may have nothing to do with us.
Many of the difficulties we have are created by losing sight of what’s yours, ours, and mine.
Us vs. Them
People like to belong to a group, team or movement.
But once we start demonizing the other side and invalidating an entire group of people then it’s nothing but trouble.
This is when someone refers to a group of people and sees nothing but black and white and won’t acknowledge their colorful varitety and complexity.
If you hear anyone invalidating an entire group of people then let them know they have also just invalidated themselves and you won’t be able to take anything else they have to say seriously until they correct themselves. There are no exceptions to this. None.
Let’s have a zero-tolerance for any display of us vs. them.
To figure out if something that’s being said is true or possible, try this technique: make a quick mental list of any other things we can think of that may be involved no matter how minor.
For example, we all wish that someone would come along and save the world, and we might join their movement because of the great ideas and plans they propose.
But in order to implement just one of those ideas or plans what else is involved in making it a reality?
This may involve other sections of the government that must approve it, the financial backing the effort needs, the complexity of implementing it, the forces that resist change, an adequate amount of public support, and much more.
We can understand things so much more quickly when we use comparisons, analogies and metaphors. Comedians use them constantly. “It’s like when…” and “It’s as if…”
An analogy or comparison can be very helpful in getting us most of the way toward quickly understanding something even if it doesn’t completely match.
But comparison can also be used to deceive us, and that happens when we just accept a comparison without thinking it through.
Comparisons are an important tool, and should be handled with care.
“4 out of 5 dentists agree…”
“Today’s modern woman wants to feel comfortable yet sophisticated.”
“The public demands that we…”
“People say that…”
It helps to catch all the times advertisers and others try to get us to accept something as fact because they know most of the time we’re not really paying attention, or we’ll never get around to verifying whether it’s true or not.
Unlike any other animal, humans can speak and we use many different languages to communicate.
But words often feel so clunky, like trying to describe what it was like to skydive for the first time.
And how many times have others misunderstood our emails and texts!
Faulty language, though, is also the number one way we can be tricked, angered, confused, distracted, dismissed, etc.
The entertainment and advertisement industries depend on us all having the same instant idea of what someone is like based only on how they look.
The problem is that we carry this over into our daily life and typecast the people we see around us within a fraction of a second. And then we discover that 99% of the time it’s a total MISMATCH with what they’re really like.
Ever been on a first date? Ever met a “hot mess”? Ever felt misunderstood and realized people are typecasting you incorrectly?
Grab a friend and call out what you think the people in the photos are like the instant you see each one. Notice how different your reactions can be!
Closed Loop Minds
We all know someone who leaves us with that feeling where we want to say “There’s just no talking to you!” When we try to talk about one specific thing they’ll say something like “Yeah, but what about…”
We can think of these people having a “closed loop” mind. It’s part of their survival mechanism to believe things that aren’t true, and to feel very certain about the things they believe. They don’t want to notice that their beliefs are inconsistent with one another and with the world they live in.
So they have to keep their thoughts constantly moving, churning, like clothes in a washing machine. You can’t talk about the blue shirt and point out its flaws because it quickly disappears and suddenly we’re now talking about the red sweater, so to speak.
They will also avoid checking out this site. The name ClearThinkingCampaign.org is enough to feel threatening to them. It’s worth a try though.
The screensaver on the Apple TV box constantly shows video of amazing places on Earth and views from above.
It’s a wonderful and frequent reminder that we’re guests here on this mind-boggling, wild and beautiful world which just has to be one of the top ten planets in our galaxy!
This helps us readjust what we think, say, and do because it helps us notice what matters more and what matters less.
Before you hit the deeper dive buttons I just want to talk about why this matters so much.
The purpose of confusion is to get us all to react emotionally and prevent logic and reason from being used, which makes us vulnerable and easier to manipulate, and then polarized and separated from each other. That tactic, which is thousands of years old, is still working really well isn’t it? (Even moreso with our smartphones.)
The purpose of the Clear Thinking Campaign is to dissolve that away so we can be strong individuals and get back to enjoying our connections with each other, warts and all.
If you’re thinking “Yeah, good luck with that!” and it seems futile, then I’m convinced you’re probably still reacting emotionally. Confusion wants to make us give up and feel powerless.
So an even easier way to dissolve that feeling, like the way soap cuts grease, is to make clear thinking a team sport and practice noticing these things with as many other people as we can. Together!
We know for sure that a society is strongest when it’s diverse. We don’t want everyone thinking the same way.
We also know that a society, especially a democracy, will become seriously weakened and damaged when it gets overly confused and tribal, and we’re not paying attention to important things that affect our lives because we’re busy arguing and fighting with each other.
We want everyone to have the basic ability to cut through the confusion and be strong individuals with their own ideas and still be on the same team!
Let’s take advantage of the Clear Thinking Campaign for ourselves, share this site with everyone we can, use these cards together, and look after those who struggle with thinking clearly for themselves.
Just reminding everyone of what we’ve known for about 2500 years.
Note how you can quicky jump around between the tiles at the top, the cards, and back from the Deeper Dive pages by clicking on the pictures. You can also jump from the top to the bottom and back again by clicking on my face and signature. This is especially useful and fun on your smartphone.
Here are all the additional things including links to the Facebook group and Twitter page, how you can reach me, and other interesting pages related to the Clear Thinking Campaign.
© 2020 Mark Halvorson. All Rights Reserved.
This campaign and website imagined, created and maintained by Mark Halvorson. This is a living document. All media is properly licensed, attributed, and usage rights are respected.
Get out there and practice, practice, practice thinking clearly with your friends and family. Help refine what people say rather than reject it. Try to say what you want in the form of a question. You can also send people here and not say a word. The huge benefit from all this is that it won’t be long until people and the world won’t be able to mess with you anymore. People will notice that about you and will want to know how you did it. Be strong and have your own ideas, style and identity. We’re all in this together.