Collective Illusions - Part 2 - Causes and Cures
“Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.” Napoleon Bonaparte
In the first article on collective illusions, we defined the term as our false beliefs about popular opinion. We also looked at a few important examples of how these illusions can harm our decision-making. Since all life strategies depend on finding common purpose with others, our misconceptions about their values makes our lives more difficult. Those examples illustrate the key points of this article.
In this article, we look at the sources of collective illusion, why such illusions are growing more common, and what we can do about it. We will also examine the most destructive aspect of such illusions: the illusions of the current generation become the firmly held beliefs of the next generation. Collective illusions are a form of self-fulfilling prophecies. What we falsely believe today becomes what most people think in the future.
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