Seeing Blind Spots
man with hologram glasses at a National Rainbow Gathering Card URL:

Card #633 – Seeing Blind Spots


“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” Matthew 7:3

New International Version (of the Bible)
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”

” . . . stress was eroding his ability to perceive. He saw less, heard less, began to miss important cues from his environment.” Laurence Gonzales, Deep Survival

Blind spots are the greatest generator of tragedies in human experience. Violence to self and others almost always occurs in a state of eclipse by one or more blind spots. This card challenges you to locate your own blind spots and those of people close to you.

If you don’t think you have blind spots, then that is the first blind spot you need to recognize. Even psychologists who specialize in blind spots find themselves frequently succumbing to blind spots.

Captain Jacob Van Zanten, the head of KLM’s safety program, was one of the world’s most accomplished and experienced pilots with a spotless record. Nevertheless, during a day of acute frustrations, he made the impulsive decision to take off in a foggy, unfamiliar airport without tower clearance. He plowed into another jet, resulting in the deadliest plane crash in human history, ending the lives of 583 people.

Captain Van Zanten was motivated by one of the most classic blind spots, “loss aversion.” Many studies show that people are far more motivated by preventing losses than achieving comparable gains. Loss aversion keeps someone at the casino table trying to recoup losses until their life savings are gone.

On the day of the crash, March 27, 1977, Captain Van Zanten’s excellent on-time record was being threatened by a series of mishaps. His co-pilot, who warned him that he did not have tower clearance to take off, went along with Van Zanten’s impulsive decision because of another classic blind spot — the tendency to override your own better judgment out of deference to a person of authority.

Here are some of the other most classic blind spots:

Planning Fallacy: The tendency to underestimate task completion times.

Need for Closure: Studies show that creative people are better able to live with ambiguity, but many cannot bear it. To overcome ambiguity, doubt, and uncertainty, people reach premature closure on important decisions, convincing themselves they have reached the correct verdict. Time and social pressure increase this tendency. People often try to permanently immunize themselves from the threat of ambiguity by surrendering to fundamentalisms and ideologies. See: Ambiguity Card

Post-Purchase Rationalization:
The tendency to persuade oneself that a purchase was a good value. This tendency may derive from loss aversion — we don’t like to admit that we didn’t get a good deal.

Wishful Thinking:
The formation of beliefs and the making of decisions according to what is pleasing to imagine rather than through evidence or reasoned consideration.

Halo Effect:
The first traits we recognize in others influence our interpretations and perceptions of later ones because of our expectations. For example, we may think good-looking people have better personalities and skills than those of average appearance. Celebrity endorsements improve sales of products that the celebrity knows nothing about.

Illusion of Asymmetric Insight:
People perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers’ knowledge of them.

Illusion of Transparency: People overestimate others’ ability to know them, and they also overestimate their ability to understand others.

Outgroup Homgeneity Bias:
Individuals see members of their group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups.

My-Side Bias: Our perspectives seem strong and obvious compared to those of others.

Negativity Bias: It takes 5 compliments to make up for 1 negative remark in a relationship.

Instant Gratification:
A quick, pleasurable payoff outweighs long-term consequences.

The following are classic blind spots I’ve noticed and made up my own terms for:

Other Guy Fallacy:
Tragic consequences only happen to the other guy. Young males are particularly prone, therefore take greater risks and suffer more accidental deaths.

Overvaluation of Statistics: “Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.”
— quote usually attributed to Einstein

Catchy Aphorism and Famous Person Qoute Bias:

“I hate quotations, tell me what you think.” — Emerson

“Not everything you read on the internet is true.”
— Abraham Lincoln

Aside from the fact that so many famous person quotes are falsely attributed or fabricated, many catchy sayings fail as soon as you actually think about them. I love to quote aphorisms, but some don’t hold up when you think them through. Particularly awful are shadow-denying ones that directly contradict human psychology and experience:

“Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

“Time heals all wounds.”

Inane affirmations such as:

“Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” Émile Coué Ever hear of aging or dementia, Emile?

“You create your own reality.” see Dynamic Paradoxicalism

“God only gives you the burdens you need to bear.”(12-Step Groups) — Explain to a baby dying of leukemia.

The Special Occasion Fallacy: Almost any occasion can be interpreted as either particularly stressful or celebratory and declared a “special occasion.” Once the “special occasion” label is applied, we can suspend disciplines and allow unwise indulgences — E.G., “Studying for finals is a special occasion, so I’ll allow myself to eat all the ice cream and pizza I want.” The antidote: “Every day seems like a special occasion; I need to eat now in a way that would be suitable to set as a pattern of lifelong eating.” Food is merely one example — the special occasion blind spot can riddle a lifetime the way holes riddle Swiss cheese. A drama queen, for example, has the special occasion blind spot at the center of their way of life.

We feel entitled to indulge when we are eclipsed by the special occasion blind spot, and thereby lose awareness that the nowever is the special occasion, a sacred occasion requiring of us what I call “existential impeccability” — a stance of impeccability that is path-oriented rather than goal-oriented.

Fashionable Darkness Bias: A novel, film, etc., with a positive ending, is thought to be naïve and crassly commercial. Dark art, though often a postmodern cliché, is thought to be more authentic, daring, and avant-garde.

Kurt Vonnegut’s Fart Paradox: Kurt Vonnegut pointed out that we are much more offended by the smell of other people’s farts than by our own. In other words, we overestimate the annoyingness of others while underestimating how annoying we might be. For example, we’re offended by the banality of someone’s loud, oblivious cell phone conversation but don’t notice when we intrude our cellphone conversations in public places.

The I Fallacy: We always refer to ourselves as “I” when most people present a revolving cast of often very different subpersonalities.
See: Aspects of the Self

Attraction Paradox: We expect other people to be attracted to and love us for who we really are, while our romantic attractions largely depend on appearance. “I just want young hotties to love me for who I really am.”

The Celebrity Fallacy: The belief that celebrities are fundamentally better off despite all evidence to the contrary. See: Celebrities are Hot, but You are Not

The Amazing Success Formula Fallacy: The belief in hyped-up one-size-fits-all success formulas. Dieters, multi-level marketing folks, and power of positive thinking/you-create-your-own-reality absolutists are especially prone to this delusion — The Secret, many self-help books, surefire methods to get rich quick, etc. When asked the secret of his success as a composer, Philip Glass responded: “My secret — I get up early in the morning and work all day long.” Even that isn’t a success formula because Philip happens to be a genius who works all day long.

The Romantic Completion Fallacy: Seeking a beloved to make yourself whole. You need to find wholeness within, not without. You betray your inner wholeness by making it dependent on another. See:
Stop the Hottie!, Casting Precious into the Cracks of Doom — Androgyny, Alchemy, Evolution and the One Ring.

The Real Life Up Ahead Fallacy: This isn’t your real life right now — you’re working toward your real life up ahead when you find your soul mate, perfect weight, career, dream house, etc. If nothing else, this fallacy will be painfully exposed by aging—the antidote: existential impeccability.

The Star Fallacy: I recognize myself as the star of my movie, but fail to recognize other people are the stars of their movies.

Consider this an auspicious time to become more aware of how you and others are affected by blind spots.

This card invites your participation. What blind spots have you noticed that I haven’t mentioned here? I would like to add some of the blind spots you’ve discovered to this document. Send to [email protected]. Also, is there a blind spot in this oracle, something you feel is missing or over-emphasized?

My editor, Austin Iredale, suggested the following:

Aysmmetrical Suffering: The idea or feeling that your experiences and hardships are unique or perhaps greater than those of others. E.G. “Nobody knows the troubles I’ve had.” “People in Haiti probably have no idea what I have to go through to run my website.”

SEE ALSO: Carnival 2012 — A Psychological Study of the 2012 Phenomenon and the 22 Blindspots and Pitfalls of Esoteric Research

Also quite relevant: Rabbithole Navigation Skills — A Free Video Guide for Navigating Zones of High Novelty

My knowledge of blind spots was expanded by the following three books. Sway, was by the far the best.

Sway — The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior — Ori and Rom Brafman

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions — Dan Ariely

Blind Spots — Why Smart People do Dumb Things — Madeleine L. Van Hecke, PhD

This website is the product of tens of thousands of hours of work. Making all this content available free and without ads means this enterprise runs at a lifetime six-figure loss. That hurts my feelings as well as my finances! Please help out!
please donate

Listen to Zap Oracle SteamCast in your favorite apps.

Contact Jonathan

Notice any glitches with the site? Please do us a favor and report these, along with the browser you were using, to our webmaster ([email protected]).
Verified by MonsterInsights