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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR INFORMATION

© Copyright 1993 By Frederick Mann, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Your Win-Lose Switch

The Win-Lose Switch
Consider that each of us has a master "win-lose switch" in our mind. It is a graduated switch like those used for big direct-current electric motors. Rather than just "on" and "off" settings, it is a graduated switch with eleven settings from "0" to "10." If we set our master switch to "zero," we are completely turned off - a total loser. If we set our master switch to "ten," we are the complete winner.

Of course, there isn't just one master switch that controls the extent to which we win or lose in life. We can think in terms of a win-lose switch in every area of life we care to specify. For example, I can think in terms of my health win-lose switch, my fitness win-lose switch, my relationship win-lose switch, my money win-lose switch, etc.

In each area of life, I can think of my win-lose switch as being a measure of my relative success in that area. Success is winning; failure is losing.

Now comes the question: How do I move the handle of the switch to a higher setting? In the case of the big DC motor, as the switch is turned up, more electricity is supplied and the motor runs faster. (If the switch is immediately turned from "0" to "10," the motor will overload and burn out.)

For the purposes of success or failure in life, humans can be said to run on information. The quality of information determines success or failure. Improving the quality of information is the equivalent of moving the switch to a higher setting. The human brain can be thought of as a computer. The information in the brain can be regarded as a program. To improve human functioning, we need to improve the quality of the program - move the switch to a higher setting.

As in the case of the DC motor, the switch has to be moved up gradually. A person with information at the level of "2" in an area of life, if suddenly confronted with level "8" information, may suffer overload and may not be able to handle and integrate the information. A person with level "2" information can handle and integrate level "3" information - if there is a motivation to consider this "higher level" information.

The problem is that many of us believe that much of our information is already at level "10" and that we have little further to learn. Suppose that in the area of health most people (including doctors) operate on level "2" information. Someone makes a series of breakthrough discoveries that boosts his health information to level "8." He presents his level "8" information to people with level "2" information. They can't handle or integrate the new information. They denounce the purveyor of level "8" information as a crazy crank.

This phenomenon applies to most humans, no matter how intelligent. In fact, it may even be that the higher his intelligence, the more difficult it tends to be for a person with level "2" health information to handle and integrate level "8" health information! With intelligence may also come vanity and arrogance.

So the first step in improving your information is to realize that in some areas of your life, the level or quality of your information might be lower than you think it is.

"Among the innumerable mortifications
which waylay human arrogance
on every side may well be
reckoned our ignorance
of the most common objects
and effects, a defect of which we
become more sensible by every
attempt to supply it.
Vulgar and inactive minds
confound familiarity with knowledge
and conceive themselves informed
of the whole nature of things
when they are shown their form
or told their use; but the speculatist,
who is not content with superficial views,
harasses himself with fruitless curiosity,
and still, as he inquires more,
perceives only that he knows less."
- Samuel Johnson

"Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abyss Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."
- T.H. Huxley

"Wipe your glasses with what you know."
- James Joyce

Your Information Versus Coercion
Coercion is the means by which an individual or group impose their will on another individual or group. Coercion typically consists of the initiation of force, threat of force, or fraud - to make someone do something which he or she wouldn't otherwise do.

Some forms of coercion imply that the information of the victim is no good and/or the victim can't think for himself or herself (can't process information). Therefore the coercer must decide for the victim.

In a way, when someone coerces you, they are trying to force your switch towards the "zero" or "lose" setting. When you allow someone else to coerce you, that person has control over your switch and moves your switch towards the "zero" or "lose" setting.

The first step, of course, is to take responsibility for your own information - your own switch. If you don't control your own switch, someone else will!

The Most Useful Information
If someone gave you information identical to information you already have, how much would you value the information given? Well, you might put a small value on it because it confirms your knowledge and maybe helps you feel more secure. But it is unlikely that you would pay much for it.

It follows that the most valuable information could be the most different from the information you already have. But there is a problem: New information could be different and useless or different and useful. We apply our minds to decide.

Please do not summarily reject the information that is provided in the reports, articles and books available here, because it may be very different from what you now know. Even if initially you object strongly to new information, you are likely to find that your objections are satisfactorily answered later... or in another report or book on related subjects.

Sometimes when two people communicate it is as if suddenly a brick wall jumps up between them. This usually happens when one person reacts with resistance to something the other says or does. And sometimes the other person then reacts with resistance to the resistance...

Such invisible brick walls become barriers to further communication. Probably the most prevalent way such brick walls are brought about is when one person says or does something that makes the other wrong - or when the other person feels or perceives being made wrong...

Another way such brick walls come about is when a communication is perceived as threatening. Consider the possibility that the information that would be most valuable to you might be information most different from some of the information you now hold. If this is so, then the information potentially most valuable to you could also seem the most threatening...

Some of us build invisible brick walls around us to "protect" and "isolate" us from people of different color, culture, class, race, age, sex, political or religious persuasion, etc...

We have the ability not only to control our own invisible brick walls, but also to influence the brick walls of others to a considerable extent. This is an awesome power wielded by the most charismatic...

By becoming more aware of our own brick walls and those of others, we gain control over invisible brick walls - and increase our power to communicate.

Overcoming the Semmelweis-Reflex
Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis was a Hungarian physician who discovered in the 1840s that puerperal or childbed fever could be virtually abolished if doctors washed their hands in a chlorine solution. This is a superb example of a new inside angle (described below). The Semmelweis story is told in Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science By William Broad & Nicholas Wade (Simon & Schuster, NY; 1982). In the 1840s puerperal fever typically caused a 10-30% mortality rate in maternity hospitals throughout Europe. Semmelweis reduced the mortality rate in the division of the obstetric clinic where he worked in the General Hospital of Vienna from 18 percent to 1 percent. But he failed to convince his colleagues and superiors. Instead of listening to him, and disinfecting their hands, they hounded, persecuted, and fired him - for daring to suggest that they wash their hands properly. In the autumn of 1860, after the dismissal of Semmelweis, in the same ward where he had demonstrated how to virtually eradicate childbed fever, 35 out of 101 patients died.

In a book published in 1861 Semmelweis presented his statistics and findings. He sent copies to medical societies and to leading obstetricians in Germany, France, and England. Despite his copious and undisputed statistics he was completely ignored.

Thirty years after Semmelweis's discovery, Lister and Pasteur succeeded in convincing doctors that they should disinfect their hands.

The Semmelweis-reflex is the automatic rejection of the obvious, without thought, inspection, or experiment. It was so named by author Robert Anton Wilson. The results that Semmelweis produced made it obvious that his possible discovery needed to be inspected, experimented with, and thought about.

The Inside-Angle Orientation
This is probably one of the most powerful success principles ever formulated. Here are its elements:

  1. In practically every activity or business there are inside angles.
  2. The inside angle consists of important information or knowledge that is not generally known.
  3. Whatever you "know" about any activity or business tends to blind you to new inside angles.
  4. An important aspect of the inside-angle orientation is to be willing and able to question everything you "know."
  5. A second important aspect of the inside-angle orientation is to open yourself wide to potential information and knowledge that may constitute new inside angles.
  6. In every activity or business there will always be new inside angles to be discovered and developed.
  7. Knowing inside angles can provide you with huge advantages in practically every activity or business, and in life generally.
  8. Knowing and applying inside angles can increase your personal power phenomenally.

During the past four years I have been studying the U.S. Constitution and common-law. Knowing this information and how to apply it provides me with huge advantages when it comes to running a private business. However, people (such as most attorneys and accountants) who "know" all about "the law," tend to be blinded by their "knowledge" to the inside angles that can be applied to operate a real free-enterprise business.

In order to adopt the inside-angle orientation there are certain obstacles you may have to overcome:

  1. "Automatic knowledge" received from "authorities" and accepted without question - the inability or unwillingness to question this "knowledge."
  2. "Automatic emotions" associated with the "automatic knowledge" - for example, the automatic fear associated with the "knowledge" of the "power" of politicians, bureaucrats, and police prevents many entrepreneurs from even considering the inside angles that will enable them to operate real free-enterprise businesses.
  3. Blind obedience to "authority."
  4. Regarding any "inside angle" as the "final word" - today's "inside angle" tends to become tomorrow's obstacle to the next inside angle.
  5. Investment in "knowledge"; pride associated with "knowledge" - questioning what you "know" involves the risk of being "wrong" - the determination to be "right" at all cost.
  6. The need to conform; fear of rejection - "If I think and behave differently, I will be cast out of the "in-group" (tribe)" - in ancient times this meant almost certain quick death.
  7. Habit; laziness - it is much easier to "think" the same old habitual thoughts, than it is to entertain new radical ideas.
  8. Intellectual cowardice - human history is replete with examples of "different" thinkers "eliminated" for espousing new inside angles - it takes courage to swim against this stream.
  9. Much of "education" (so-called) deals with what to think, rather than how to think.
  10. Fear associated with the loss of "knowledge." For years my friend Ted Hampton has been operating his business according to the traditional advice of his attorney and his accountant. When Ted, who is wide open to new inside angles, found out about the constitutional and common-law inside angles, he naturally changed the way he operates his business. However, his attorney and accountant wouldn't even look at the inside angles. They had to protect their "knowledge." The practices of the attorney and the accountant had been built up over many years based on their "legal knowledge." The constitutional and common-law inside angles, if valid, would completely destroy the foundation of their professional careers. The fear of this prevents the attorney and the accountant from even considering constitutional and common-law inside angles. They know little about the U.S. Constitution and common law. Furthermore, their licences to practice involve allegiance to statutory or legislated "law." If they were to practice constitutional and common law, they might be disbarred.

Every single human being, anywhere on Earth, needs better inside angles. No matter where you live or what you do, there are inside angles you can apply to improve your wealth, your health, your happiness, your work, your business, your relationships, your sex-life... you name it. Everybody needs better inside angles.

The scientific and technological history of Earth is the history of inside angles that were discovered, developed, communicated, and applied. E=mc2 is an example of an inside angle. The notion that the earth is round was an inside angle at the time when most people believed it was flat.

Any subject, activity, or business you care to think of could be improved by new inside angles. Everybody needs better inside angles. The discovery, communication, and application of inside angles have increased human power phenomenally - and will continue to do so. Inside angles have repeatedly transformed the world - and will continue to do so.

Improving Your Reading Skills
One particular thing you need to be aware of is the potential problem with the use of "quotation marks." They are used for at least a dozen different purposes. The reader has to figure out from the context for what purpose quotation marks are being used. In his book How To Read A Page, I.A. Richard wrote:

"We all recognize - more or less unsystematically - that quotation marks serve varied purposes:

1. Sometimes they show merely that we are quoting and where our quotation begins and ends.
2. Sometimes they imply that the words within them are in some way open to question and are only to be taken in some special sense with reference to some special definition.
3. Sometimes they suggest further that what is quoted is nonsense or that there is really no such thing as the thing they profess to name.
4. Sometimes they suggest that the words are improperly used. The quotation marks are equivalent to 'the so-called.'
5. Sometimes they only indicate that we are talking of the words as distinguished from [the meanings which we associate with them]...

There are many other uses..."

The World We Live In
We live in a world which may be very different in many respects than we think it is. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. Much of the world we don't experience directly or first-hand. We watch television or read a newspaper. We perceive most of our world via the communication of others. Everyone tends to want to communicate particular viewpoints or perspectives at the expense of others. All communication tends to be biased, no matter how "objective" communicators attempt to be.

  2. The second reason is due to gullibility. Consider what would have happened if, from the start of his political career, nobody believed a word Hitler said; everyone simply laughed and turned their backs whenever Hitler said anything political. What power would he have had? Would anyone have died because of his words?

    Most people are very gullible. Why? As children, if we didn't believe our parents, they punished us emotionally and even physically. (Gullibility begins from a very young age; e.g., we are expected to believe that myths such as "Santa Claus" are "real.") As students, if we didn't believe our "teachers," they punished us in all kinds of ways. As a churchgoer, if we don't believe the preacher, we risk "going to Hell." As a worker, if we don't believe the boss, we may be fired. In general, if we don't believe "government" bureaucrats, politicians, police, etc., we risk being "fined" and "jailed," or even shot! Everyone in society is subjected to enormous peer pressure to conform. If you don't share the beliefs of those around you, you're considered "crazy."

    Another important reason is that very few people have developed the consciousness and thinking-skills necessary to critically question everything they are taught, and what they see, hear, and read. There are some areas of life where practically everything the average person believes is false.

  3. Most of us were subjected to "compulsory education." We were forced into attending "schools" where the "teachers" were forced into "teaching" us the "official government dogmas."

Consider the possibility that in many areas of life you've been consistently lied to (often unintentionally!) by parents, friends, teachers, preachers, journalists, politicians, bureaucrats, lawyers, lobbyists, doctors, scientists, etc. Consider the possibility that most of the information you've been presented with during your life came from people painting false pictures.

Improving Your Information
The general formula:

  1. Be aware that everything you are told, everything you read, everything you see on television, is subject to falsification.
  2. Be willing to question everything. Adopt the speculatist's orientation of Samuel Johnson as described earlier. Beware the Semmelweis-reflex. Adopt the inside-angle orientation.
  3. Particularly question what "everybody knows."
  4. From time to time consider the opposites of popularly held beliefs. Example: Some believe that if you open a new shoe store you should do so in an area where there are already several shoe stores, because that is where people go to buy shoes. Consider the opposite: You should open your shoe store in an area where there are no other shoe stores, because the people in that area won't have so far to travel to buy shoes. Another example: Most people believe that food must be cooked; consider the opposite that food must be eaten raw.
  5. Visit bookstores and libraries and systematically look for "opposite" information. Remember: The information most useful to you might be the information most different from the information you now have.
  6. Read all of the information in the reports, articles and books provided here.

Personally, I continue to work on turning up my switches and finding more switches to turn up. I am completely open to others to assist me in this never-ending endeavor.


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