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Mental Viruses and the hazards of building on a foundation of Swiss Cheese.

The importance of multiple micro-clues and the example of how Jim Corbett expressed a wonderful ‘snap-shot’ explanation as to how a person can systematically learn the essential, complex, and highly interrelated lessons on which a successful Life depends. In the process of ‘living’ Corbett formed the habit of trying to understand the basics of how to successfully ‘live’.  Covered.  The importance of the master detective gradually assembling many micro clues, that are unified and don’t conflict with each other, in order to be prepared to deliver solid decisions when called on and to steadily fabricate solid and applicable theories, rather than making quick and faulted judgments.  Covered.  In many cases, judgments are twisted off course when the ‘detective / decision maker’ is guided by incorrect theory – theory application being essential, to varying degrees, in all decision making situations. Covered.  Before you push the launch button, all support systems must be in place and working together because cleaning up ‘instantly created wreckage’ from costly but botched launches is not cool!  Covered.

The ‘covid-event lesson’ is a wonderful educational experience for the discerning mind in that it is currently on-line, in a Big Way, and various theories and ‘facts’ can be considered and tested in real time for accuracy, by the ‘hard logic of experience’. The mental stimulation associated with suspense, fear, uncertainty, pain, frustration, disgust, and amazement are pluses in that these seemingly negative mental jabs focus the attention of the student and burn the resulting lessons into the memory. Lesson progress is on – the results of actions will be revealed - what will our minds be thinking when the lesson is over? Will we have learned something of value that we can apply to the future? Or will we be like the Corbett examples of missing the lessons completely or being untouched because we think we have everything cased before the lesson even begins – no reason to watch and listen and consider any re-evaluation? And will we personally learn from the successes and failures that are occurring – both our own as well as those of others? At the same time that a personal lesson may be unfolding for any one of us, consider how the ‘herd’ and its leaders react to the same outcomes. Will the ‘herd’ and its leaders fit into one of the Corbett categories? Will lessons be learned or will excuses and cover-ups allow events of value to slip uselessly past and into the historic vault of wasted time? When I use the term ‘we’ and ‘others’ and ‘herd’, truly ‘we’ are all on the same globe but everyone has a ‘me’ type of connection because everyone has a totally personal mental existence and a unique outlook that we each live and die with.

I will put forward the theory that there is a close analogy between the covid disease virus and the associated and highly unusual mindset that has developed and spread and can be seen as a ‘mental virus’. The reaction to a singular disease is more unique than the actual disease. New disease viruses are like waves of the sea and past situations have resulted in greater percentage death levels. Death is unfortunate and real and, even if covid death stats aren’t skewed by being largely those who are near the end of life due to age or other health issues, 37 to 64 ‘non covid entities’ die for each claimed covid death, the rather large variation explained by counting abortions as entity deaths. Yet the social disruption, pain, and human friction that ‘light weight covid 19’ has triggered is quite amazing. Why the novel mental reaction which could be labelled as ‘panic’, in a world with so many seeming knowledge advantages over previous time periods?

Is it possible that due to a perfect storm of combined errors on several theoretic fronts, that a huge portion of the world’s attention and effort is being sucked into a black hole of futility due to fighting a problem on a front that is an illusion while the real monster is contentedly curled up, resting, and preparing for its next round of hell raising? Are we wearing ourselves out, trying to hold back a programmed, natural tide – ignoring clear cause and effect? Are we frantically mopping up water rather than repairing a burst water line? If so, how has such irrational thinking become so widespread and entrenched?

It isn’t that there isn’t a problem. The virus and associated disease are real. But a good detective doesn’t try to nail a drug mule while ignoring the existence of the agent who loaded the mule. And a super detective might probe deeper and see how to dry up demand for the drug! Please translate my analogy terms to fit the case at hand!

Consider a sample opinion from an agricultural researcher who was knighted for his work. Sir Albert Howard did his work at a time when agriculture was undergoing a radical transformation that discarded time proven traditional approaches in favour of economic driven technologies. World War I had produced a huge explosives industry and nitrogen producers were looking for peace time uses for their product. He would have agreed that a ‘one, two, three, blastoff’ approach was being applied and that multiple micro clues were being ignored. He wasn’t an advocate of faulted or inefficient agricultural from certain periods in the past, which he felt accounted for many past human difficulties but he did feel that many basic biology facts were being overlooked – both in past and in the new dollar driven approach that was taking hold. He was convinced through theory and research that soil must ‘live’ and that the associated mycorrhizal mechanism must be an essential link in plant nutrition and that this fact was being ignored in the new use of artificial fertilizers and associated support chemicals. His prediction of the outcome was written in 1940 – that’s a long time back – not a date very many living today experienced. Will his futuristic prediction prove accurate, eventually?  Is it accurate already? (additional information on Albert Howard via links on the home page of this website)

“because artificial plants, artificial animals, and artificial men are unhealthy and can only be protected from the parasites, whose duty it is to remove them, by means of poison sprays, vaccines and serums and an expensive system of patent medicines, panel doctors, hospitals and so forth. When the finance of crop production is considered together with that of the various social services which are needed to repair the consequences of an unsound agriculture, and when it is borne in mind that our greatest possession is a healthy, virile population, the cheapness of artificial manures disappears altogether. In the years to come, chemical manures will be considered as one of the greatest follies of the industrial epoch. The teachings of the agricultural economists of this period will be dismissed as superficial.”  

Howard was of the strong opinion that as men walk down the road of life, that time and chance may necessitate detours or occasional difficult going. He appreciated that one may stub a toe now and then, but for the vast majority of the time, human bodies are designed to work with amazing reliability - and for a life time, men should be able to focus on ‘Living’ and not be marginalized with constant repairs and major breakdowns and fears of such. If there are problems, is it that we are Monday morning lemons or just ignorant of simple and essential maintenance principles? Human life is finite but why not ‘Live’ while you are alive and then die quickly! Sputtering along at half throttle is not ‘Living’! We should be able to do better than giving the rotting dead the will to live.

There is talk of covid 19 vaccine developers getting a Nobel prize. Is dealing with a single disease out of thousands note worthy? Sort of. But Howard proposed an immunity approach that kicked at all diseases – communicable as well as bigger and ongoing modern killers like heart disease, cancer, and diabedes. Should he get a posthumous Nobel prize? Life Style brilliance is really THE broad spectrum Super Vaccine! And it takes an army of Maestro Sherlocks to assemble the clues to develop that winner.  Where are they in the herd of 'three count launch' detectives?  And when one surfaces, is he beaten down as a heretic?

Howard focused on agriculture method and its impact on plant, animal, and human health. The worrisome aspect is that this is only one underlying facet of the stability of current society. Is it possible that basic errors that Howard detected in agriculture also show up in most other underlying society support structures? Medicine, Economics, Education, Religion, City Planning, Public Health, General Business, Historic accuracy – feel free to add to the list. A concept worth giving thought to - and then it is worth asking, so what to do about it? Can something be done about it? On a societal level? On a personal level?

Disease viruses are not exactly alive and require a living cell in which to reproduce and then the virus can spread to other living cells. What I am calling a ‘mental virus’ is similar in that a thought pattern has no life until it gets into a living mind, is able to infect that mind, and then spreads to other living minds – a type of contagion that would not happen if an ‘infection’ couldn’t take place. A mind that is immune to the mental virus at hand, and cannot be infected, breaks the chain.

A vaccination normally is used to protect a person from a specific disease virus. The patient is ‘infected’ by a modified disease virus, in that the virus is damaged in some way to prevent it from having its normal powers, but enough of the viral characteristics are allowed to remain that the human immune system can react to that specific virus and develop resistive capacities that will then prevent the non-compromised virus from gaining a foothold in the human body. It is wise to note that success with smallpox and other vaccination projects are impressive in a way, but the human system (and perhaps the broader, general ‘Life’ support system should be included) is amazingly complex and the observer needs to keep in mind that tens of thousands of things can go wrong with a human body. Before getting too elated about having discovered the key to the total system, keep in mind that each personal body that appears to be protected from small pox or measles can also die or be impacted from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness and suicide, lupus, flesh eating disease, crohn’s disease, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, macular degeneration, alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, blood poisoning, kidney failure, even starvation, economic and social collapse, murder, war, and on and on. The list of vaccinations on humans, not to mention the animals that humans consume, goes on and on and up and up. Each vaccination only protects against one of many threats and given the staggering complexity of the human body and its interface with all the other living systems that it interacts with, it is difficult to believe that there are not some unappreciated side effects associated with the significant ‘jimmying’ that is taking place. Even the impact the vaccination ‘fad’ has on the thinking of the herd should be considered. Is there such a thing as ‘asymptomatic transmission’ of mental viruses?

Life is built on laws. Each living entity is in many ways extremely machine like. We exist in an environment of physical laws, chemical laws, biological laws, and arguably spiritual laws that define effective and enduring interactions between living entities. There is the real world made up of a maze of interrelated and interacting laws and each individual does his best to find his way through the resulting jungle. It is a jungle of interactions at levels from huge to microscopic and one can only marvel at the complexity that is built into our ‘around’ as well as in ‘us’! Each individual navigates the jungle maze based in large part on ‘autopilot’ and also on thought groupings that consist of knowledge of assumed facts combined with a lot of theory and calculated speculation. Being effectively in touch with solid and stable ‘reality’ is no small challenge. Further complexity is added, in that human efforts, in effect, create new laws. Understanding laws of physics and chemistry has resulted in rules regarding which side of something called a ‘road’ you should drive on. Safety and application rules or laws for high voltage power supplies were not an issue 300 years ago.  

And the complexities of Life are not just an individual matter. No one functions in the world apart from the herd. Living humans are a lot like computers – the human hardware is generic – we are all set up with very similar individual central processors and memory hard drives and RAM – now or 3000 years ago. But for each of us, our herd environment and connections differ greatly. And what we have on our hard drive is very much the product of herd impact over centuries. No one is capable of generating a fraction of the knowledge resources that we utilize daily, on their own. And the same can be said for the multiple operating programs and apps that our individual brains use constantly.

If our mental images are evaluated against ‘reality’ there should be no doubt that there are going to be many situations where the internal personal version does not match the ‘external reality that everyone is immersed in’. But the closer each individual can come to correctly seeing ‘reality’ the better their life performance is going to be. Being blind or deluded is not a formula for achieving goals. Driving success is closely linked to being able to see the road and being able to read signs and maps!

We function on groupings of thoughts that are built with perceived facts glued together with theory. We have a LARGE number of these ‘thought packets’ stored in our minds. And we are constantly gaining new packets and modifying old packets and forgetting old packets. What is the quality of our packet load vs the ‘reality’ that we are travelling around in?

And how good are we at evaluating new ‘packets’ that are constantly floating by us, compliments of the herd, present and past, plus our own analytic ramblings?

Our minds react to ‘thought packets’ rather than just to simple, isolated, facts. And those ‘packets’ have a great similarity to viruses. Many of the ‘packets’ can be seen as being good, perhaps most, and some as being bad. Physical viruses are similar. We would die were it not for beneficial bacteria and viruses. Yet there are other bacteria and viruses that are damaging or fatal, and we are dependent on having immunity to them. And there is a strong possibility that blame for viral damage should be focused on underlying factors that allow the negative virus to act rather than directly on the presence of the virus itself (same with bacteria). No physical virus known has the capacity to infect and kill everyone. Viruses are ‘weakness hunters’. Where is the ‘new’ virus that killed ‘everyone’? And doesn’t it seem surprising, in a world that claims to be enthusiastic about ‘science’, that there is such a high level of effort to prevent individuals from coming in contact with a new virus, especially in recent times, yet negligible interest in trying to determine why some people fall victim, to varying degrees, and why some people are either not touched or, if they are, show no negative effects? Why the research barrier? It would seem there is an invisible and irrational line that ‘Sherlocks’ aren’t supposed to cross!

A further puzzling point, current at time of writing, is the unusual pattern of wild media excitement over positive covid 19 testing results but minimal reaction to the rather low death count. If people were dropping in the streets, wild excitement would seem more reasonable! Covid is often referred to as ‘this deadly disease’. So why not be wildly excited for the huge number of ‘victims’ who miraculously are minimally impacted by successful attacks of this ‘lurking nightmare’?  And what about those who seemingly are immune?

What would a neutral visitor from another planet think of the current show format?

So, my theoretical approach is to classify mental thought packets as error viruses and truth viruses and I feel that it is helpful to consider how an individual can have immunity to either type and how an individual can be ‘vaccinated’ against either type. This appreciation has a vital connection to the ‘Sherlock Detective’ approach. The current ‘covid reaction’ illustrates how a negative mental virus can be highly contagious if underlying mental health is faulted.

A mental error virus is a thought grouping of facts and theory that includes significant factual content, usually quite obvious factual content, but then there is the addition of an information facet that is not true and/or there is undue weight or focus put on the facts and theory that are clearly presented in combination with a major downplay of many important micro facts. If all the relevant facts or clues presented in the thought packet were considered as a balanced whole, major conflicts would assault the recipient and the mental virus would have no infection power.

A mental vaccination against a truth virus is similar to an error virus. In this case an error virus is advanced and fully accepted by a mind as being solid truth. Any sub-sequential theory or fact that comes along that clashes with this simple viral structure is immediately suspect, vilified, rejected, ignored, or driven away, even if it is true. The error virus or mental vaccination usually comes with significant social pressure be it from a charismatic leader who manages to catch the attention of a large number of people or a leader who has some form of credibility be it governmental power or wealth or family connections or religious status or medical status or 'scientific' status. Once a sizable herd is infected, anyone within the herd who has the nerve to point out a failing with the ‘now popular’ concept immediately is labelled as a heretic, and finds it difficult or impossible to get positive traction for support of their isolated position.

A mental vaccination against error viruses can be better defined as solid mental health built on very deep and solid factual appreciation. Healthful theories are connected to reality bedrock and advance from that solid base, without porosity. Part of the mental health system is linked to the habit of a probing mind that is constantly testing all theories that are being held and attempting to fill in any revealed gaps in logic or to at least admit that they exist, and to then move cautiously with the uncertainty in mind. When observed experience fails to fit theories that are held, consideration is activated – an alarm bell rings. ‘Once burned, twice wise’ and ‘learning from the mistakes of others’ are relevant concepts. A sickness that imparts immunity for the future fits the same concept, as in ‘learning from your own mistakes’. Blank, fatalistic, accepting minds and heads stuck in the sand are not part of the success formula.

Error viruses or truth virus vaccinations are impacted greatly by the social environment into which they are advanced. Many error viruses are carefully designed by an agent (who often sees himself as well meaning) who sees opportunity in a troubled social environment for a ‘designer type’ of mental virus. In some cases the viral infection that occurs may appear to be a very positive development, at least for a period of time. In some cases the mental virus may be a social disaster. In some cases a seemingly positive infection may morph into a condition that is less positive. But viral activity usually has some sort of a contributing social environment. Herd health, which can change for better or worse over time, is an important aspect of viral infections, both physical and mental.

Consider a simple and classic example of a mental vaccination. First a simple and highly effective vaccination to thwart a truth virus. When the Wright Brothers were developing practical flight, they wanted to fly and perfect their plane close to their Dayton Ohio work shop. But they did not want anyone to notice and copy their technical ideas prior to being able to sell their concept and get a return on their investment. They weren’t wealthy and they knew that bigger operators could quickly dollar them out of their technical lead in a lucrative market that was on the verge of exploding. How do you fly a ‘heavier than air, aircraft’ by a large city and not have the press take note of the unheard of, but anticipated, event? ‘Flying aircraft’ were not a common sight at that point in time! Birds yes. Airplanes, no! Wilbur Wright was technically brilliant and no fool with regard to human thinking. He knew that attempts at fight were rampant, bragging and self promotion went along with the act, and success was, to that point, zero.  

He had publicized his December 1903 ‘first flight’ but withheld close-up photos and repeat acts in order to protect his ideas until he could deliver more than a ‘launch and crash’ performance. A launch and crash was novel and breathed potential, but was not an immediately saleable achievement of itself. On the brothers’ return from isolated Kitty Hawk, the location of their initial practical research and first flying success, they rented a somewhat remote pasture area (Huffman Prairie) six miles outside of bustling Dayton, Ohio, set up a hanger and assembled their plane. They realized that they needed to be close to supplies and a work shop in order to advance their project. Even a home and decent meals were vital to the project as brains and creative hands need basic support! But visibility and publicity was an enemy at that point. What to do?

They invited the press from around the Dayton area (the eyes of the world at that time) promising a flight demonstration. Turnout was good. Their December 1903 news release had been noticed.  Wilbur fooled around with the machine and ate up time. It was a routine geared to create boredom. Then an unspectacular and unsuccessful attempt at flight was made. Technical problems were blamed. The day was over. The press was asked to come the following day. Fewer came. Same process. A kindly but unspectacular newspaper report resulted. Wilbur blamed technical problems and said he would notify the press again once the problems were solved. Two summers passed. No further invitation was offered. But progress was dramatic and slightly guarded against widespread visibility. Finally in late 1905 the plane was seen circling high in the air by a trolley train full of passengers. The next day the press arrived to a pasture and a few cows but the Wright plane had been disassembled and packed away until a financial deal was in place. In 1908, dollars had been looked after, and the brothers staged coordinated flights in Europe and America. True Reality was laid on the line. And ‘Reality’ blew the minds of the observers. Women fainted and flight experts lost their voices. The Wrights became the most famous men in the world, for a short time. Others could get into the air. The Wrights could ‘Fly”!

The mental virus or mental vaccination that had been planted by Wilbur’s deliberate distortion of facts had prevented the press establishment from reacting to any rumours they heard about the goings on at Huffman Pasture over an extended time period. The few truth viruses that floated into local new rooms were snuffed out by an effective mental vaccination of the reporter herd that fit the atmosphere of scepticism about flying projects, especially from those proven Wright losers! Brilliant! It took a major infection to finally shake the media herd into reality based action.

The editor of the main Dayton newspaper during the Wright period, James Cox, was a very capable man who went on to be the governor of Ohio and even ran for president of the United States. He was asked how the paper had overlooked such a world impacting story as it developed under their noses at the hands of two native sons who eventually were lauded as Dayton heroes. He said “We just didn’t believe them”. He was vaccinated against the truth virus along with his staff. He hadn’t seen the Wright ‘vaccination display' but the technique was so effective, the vaccination was 'contagious'!

The lesson I got from the incident is that there was a herd attitude of uncertainty and scepticism with regard to flying claims due to the steady string of effort and claims and failures. Wilbur tapped into this attitude with rigged events that intentionally destroyed his credibility with the press, even though he knew what he was capable of and planned to prove it - eventually. Think of the leaked clues of flying activity at Huffman pasture as a type of truth virus. Wilbur Wright’s vaccination of the press with a compromised version of the truth had made them immune to these truth viruses so long as the there wasn’t an overload, which eventually did occur after the trolley incident in 1905.

Consider the mental viruses that put Europe into the second world war. Social conditions, a charismatic leader, a twisted theory advancing a packet of a few orphan facts. And perhaps other mental viruses could be blamed for setting the stage for the Nazis to effectively advance their viral creations.

Just about any political or religious movement could be nailed for some sort of mental virus generation or truth virus vaccination.

The Rwandan genocide and numerous other genocides could be analysed in the same way.

I am not at all sure that my ‘mental virus’ theory is overly novel but I am not knowingly copying anyone. It was triggered by the Wright Brother example and by personal contact with cult situations. And the Sherlock Detective thinking has a close connection to these matters. Cults are everywhere and vary in size and levels of irrationality but they are mentally based. People get a certain thought packet combination in their mind, it spreads to others, and it can hold onto them like crazy glue. They become invested. It is a type of three step Sherlock situation – a one, two, three, blastoff. Once the rocket is launched, in many cases a ‘herd think’ develops, the rocket just keeps going and common sense, logic, and experience gained, can’t touch it. And these natural ‘reality advocates’ fade to irrelevance in the minds of the ‘believers’. The feedback of the ‘hard logic of experience’ gets turned off. The world-wide ‘covid reaction mindset’ can be viewed as a type of religion or cult movement that has infected the herd! Too few people are asking “Hold on – is what I personally see happening making sense vs the hype and the theories that are being advanced as support for the actions being taken?” And those who do not go with the flow risk being ‘burned at the stake’ with general herd approval!

The wheel is in spin. Relax. Watch. Think. Time will pass at the same rate as it has for thousands of years. The currently mainstream mental thought packets will be tested by time. Will they prove to be sound or faulted? Note the results and remember. If wild flaws become apparent, aim to be personally wiser, next time, even if others don’t learn any lessons!

James Cox - newspaper editor, State Governor, Presidential Candidate - an intelligent and capable man.
Wilbur Wright at Le Mans in 1908
The press herd in the Dayton area post their last Wright entry in early 1904.  They won't hear or see a thing of note from May 27, 1904 until October 5, 1905.
On Oct. 5, 1905, the Daily News finally reacts to the amazing activities at Huffman Pasture!
The Wrights let the world know that they have mastered flight (Dec. 18, 1903)