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Why We Seek Convenient Illusions Over Reality

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“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance.” Plato

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Shortly after the tulip bulb was introduced to Europe from the Ottoman Empire it found favor with Dutch high society. The humble tulip bulb rocketed in price. At the height of the mania one tulip bulb was equivalent to ten times the income of a skilled worker. This tulip mania or bubble which took place in the Netherlands from 1634 to 1637 is associated with a herd mentality. The overconfidence which occurred during the tulip boom was a result of individuals actively assigning weight to circumstances while ignoring evidence and fundamentals. This limitation of the human psyche contributes to overconfidence in one’s personal beliefs about some event or circumstance. This confirming bias can appear in economic and political systems as well as businesses, organizations, and social systems. This tendency to interpret information can manifest itself in economic bubbles known as speculative bubbles. Bubbles have long been influential in shaping economies and impacting societies.

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Impacts in Finance, Investing, and Business

Confirmation bias can lead investors, businesses, and organizations to be overconfident in their views and decision making. People ignore relevant evidence in favour of information that supports their original views. A recent study of how information from virtual communities, such as stock message boards, influences investors’ trading decisions and investment performance was examined with an analysis of 502 investor responses. The study showed how investors use message boards to seek information which confirms their prior beliefs in relation to a stock. Confirmation bias confirms current views, making investors overconfident, adversely affecting their investment performance. The study demonstrated investors exhibit confirmation bias when they process information from message boards. The study also demonstrated investors with stronger confirmation bias exhibit greater overconfidence. They have higher expectations about their performance and trade more frequently, but obtain lower realised returns. (1)

Bubbles are a Result of Confirmation Bias

The history books are littered with examples of businesses, ideas, and manias that have promised the world and delivered nothing. This tendency to interpret information can manifest itself in economic, financial, or asset bubbles known as speculative bubbles. From Railway Mania which swept the United Kingdom in the 1840s, to the Florida Real Estate Bubble of the early 1920s, to the Great Depression, asset bubbles have become a regular feature of modern society. Following on from the Florida Bubble, the stock market crash of 1929 was another bubble which popped after the ‘Roaring Twenties’ economic boom. The markets soared during times of peace and prosperity with new technologies such as radio, the automobile, and airplanes becoming commercialised. Americans speculated in the stock market, often with borrowed money. By October of 1929, the stock market peaked then plummeted. Thousands of banks failed and unemployment skyrocketed, signalling the beginning of ‘The Great Depression.’ Bubbles have long been influential in shaping economies and impacting societies.

All Bubbles Burst

In the late 1980’s the Japanese ‘Bubble Economy’ collapsed. The bubble episode was characterized by rapid acceleration of asset prices and overly exuberant economic activity, as well as an uncontrolled money supply and credit expansion. The Japanese post-war economic boom saw both stocks and real estate assets increase significantly until late 1989 when the tide turned. Japan’s economy deflated and many assets halved almost overnight. The succeeding decades saw Japanese assets continue to deflate as the economy struggled to deal with the massive deleveraging of assets. A more recent example of bubbles was the Dot-com Bubble, which was another speculative bubble in the early years of the internet. Excessively high business valuations combined with pure speculation drove stocks to spectacular levels in a very short time. The NASDAQ plunged from 5000 to 1000 by 2002, sending the U. S. economy into a recession.

The Biggest Bubble of Them All

According to the Financial Times, currently, 99 global companies have defaulted since the year began, the second greatest tally in more than a decade and only exceeded by the financial crisis which saw 222 defaults in 2009, according to Standard & Poor’s. US companies account for 62 of this year’s defaults. Investors have become increasingly concerned about the state of the credit market, reflecting how companies have borrowed heavily against the backdrop of low interest rates during the era of easy money. Since 2007, the proportion of corporate bonds S&P has rated speculative-grade, or junk, has climbed to about 50% from 40 percent. Now, as markets anticipate the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates for the first time in almost a decade, the rise in defaults suggests a number of companies are being challenged by a sluggish operating environment, declining revenues, and heavy debt loads. (2)

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McKinsey and Company released a report earlier this year which highlighted that since the GFC, a mere seven years ago, global debt continues to grow. All major economies today have higher levels of borrowing relative to GDP than they did in 2007. Global debt in these years has grown by $57 trillion, raising the ratio of debt to GDP by 17 percentage points. (3)

Confirmation Bias IS NOT Limited to Business

Our tendency to look for corresponding and confirming information enables us to live with consistency, which gives us comfort. These confirming beliefs, however, lead us to make errors of judgement. This bias is embedded deep within us all and prevalent throughout society. We selectively recall and interpret ambiguous sources of information which support our existing position, making us overconfident in our assumptions and open to statistical bias and manipulation. Is it little wonder there is so much misinformation, bias, and confusion around many issues facing individuals and society. Some notable belief distortions include:

  • The Climate Change Debate
  • Terrorism
  • Politics
  • Israeli / Palestinian Conflict
  • Over Population
  • Genetic Modification
  • Pesticide Use
  • Resource Depletion
  • Wifi Impacts
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Vaccinations
  • Inequality

We Are All Biased in Some Way, Shape, or Form

Over the centuries societies have made erroneous decisions based on beliefs, half-truths and indoctrination, these failures stem from the inability to objectively assess the reality that exists. We ignore the facts and unfavourable information in the search of information which supports our view and makes us feel good. Our ability to ignore relevant evidence in favour of information that supports our original views is hampering humanity. While we seek to confirm we are right, we are only setting ourselves up for failure. Until we think critically and overcome our biases we will always struggle to reach our true potential — a world of harmony, peace, and connection with all that exists…

It’s time to Rethink…

excerpts from Rethink…Your world, Your future.

Article by Andrew Martin, author of  Rethink…Your world, Your future. and One ~ A Survival Guide for the Future… 

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(1) JaeHong Park, Prabhudev Konana, Bin Gu, Alok Kumar, Rajagopal Raghunathan, Confirmation Bias, Overconfidence, and Investment Performance: Evidence from Stock Message Boards, http://misrc.umn.edu/wise/papers/p1-3.pdf

(2) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/40146b80-91bf-11e5-94e6-c5413829caa5.html#axzz3sfLAUoG2

(3) http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/economic_studies/debt_and_not_much_deleveraging

 

 

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Melinda Gates Was Concerned About Her Husband’s Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein, WSJ Reveals

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CE Staff Writer 7 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that one possible reason for the divorce of Bill and Melinda gates may be due to his supposed relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

  • Reflect On:

    Did you know that elite child sex trafficking may be a real issue among certain circles? We are bringing attention to this recent story to bring awareness to this fact.

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What Happened: Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced that they will be divorcing. They haven’t revealed the specific reason for their divorce, but the Wall Street Journal has reported that one source of concern for Ms. Gates “was her husband’s dealing with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, according to the people and a former employee of their charity, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ms. Gate’s concern about the relationship dated as far back as 2013, the former employee said.”

Business Insider explains:

Sources told The Daily Beast last week that Bill Gates’ willingness to meet as early as 2011 with Epstein — who by then had already pleaded guilty to soliciting an underage girl in 2008 — “still haunts” Melinda Gates. According to the outlet, the couple met with Epstein in New York City at his Upper East Side mansion in September 2013. Sources told The Daily Beast that soon after the meeting, Melinda Gates told friends of her discomfort during the encounter. Several people close to the couple reportedly said she was “furious” over her husband’s relationship with Epstein. Bill Gates told The Journal in 2019 that he was not friends with Epstein. Documents reviewed by The Journal say that after The New York Times first reported in October 2019 that Bill Gates had met more than once with Epstein, Melinda Gates called her advisors multiple times.

According to the National Post, days before Epstein died in a New York Prison he named venture capitalist Boris Nikolic as a backup executor of his will. Nikolic had worked as a science advisor to Bill Gates. The Post goes on to mention that in an emailed statement at the time, “Nikolic told Bloomberg that Epstein had not consulted him about the will and that he had no intention to fulfill the duties.”

Nikolic is seen in the picture above on the left side of Gates. The others, from the left are, at the time, a senior JP Morgan executive James E. Staley, former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, Mr. Epstein and of course Bill Gates.

This is the only other connection between Gates and Epstein that seems to exist. Gates met with Epstein in 2011, 2013 and 2018 it appears although no information as to why is available. Rumours related to philanthropy seem to be the reason but again, these meetings had occurred after Epstein was a convicted sex offender.

In 2014, multiple media outlets reported that police arrested  a Seattle man at the Gates’ mansion for allegedly collecting more than 6,000 child rape photos. Rick Allen Jones, reportedly employed as an engineer at the Gates’ home, is also accused of trading pornography images via Gmail. None of the activity Jones was involved in occurred at the Gates’ residence except for his arrest.

Why This Is Important: It’s no doubt odd that Bill Gates would meet with Epstein multiple times, especially after he was convicted as a sex offender. Perhaps these meetings were the only ones made public and there were more we don’t know about? Who really knows, we will probably never get the truth as to why they had this kind of relationship, if you can even call it that. We’ve seen the same thing with Prince Andrew, except Bill Gates doesn’t have any sexual offence accusations against him like Andrew does.

 Last year the former CEO of Reddit, Ellen K. Pao, tweeted that Ghislaine Maxwell “was at the Kleiner holiday party in 2011” but she “had no desire to meet her much less have a photo taken with her. We knew about her supplying underage girls for sex, but I guess that was fine with the “cool” people who managed the tightly controlled guest list.” After the tweet, Pao removed it and then made her profile private.

Maxwell, Epstein’s close associate is now on trial facing multiple sex offences and child sex trafficking charges, just like Epstein. It’s concerning that many people  seemed to be well aware of Epstein’s activities yet nobody really went public.

The Epstein saga, and all of the strange connections that go along with it are important because it highlights a very real problem that doesn’t seem to receive enough attention within the mainstream, and that’s the issue of supposed elite level child sex trafficking.

These kinds of rumours are quite prevalent among high ranking people, as a paper published in European Psychiatry details:

Research eventually led to the Franklin scandal that broke in 1989 when hundreds of children were apparently flown around the US to be abused by high ranking ‘Establishment’ members. Former state senator John W DeCamp, cited as one of the most effective legislators in Nebraska history, is today attorney for two of the abuse victims. A 15 year old girl disclosed that she had been abused since the age of 9 and was exposed since the age of 9 and was exposed to ‘ritual murder’ of a new born girl, a small boy (who was subsequently fried and eaten) and three others.

It’s a very deep issue, with countless examples of accusations and convictions involving high ranking people which include Vatican officials, Royal Family members, Prime Ministers, Presidents, politicians, Hollywood elite, financial elite and many more. You can read about more examples here if interested.

Sonia Poulton, a British journalist, social commentator, and filmmaker, has been investigating the dark web of pedophilia for years. Some of her research has been compiled into a documentary called “Pedophiles In Parliament.” You can access that here if interested.

We have conducted an interview with a survivor of elite child sex trafficking/slavery. You can access the full interview and start your free trial HERE on CETV, a platform we created to help combat internet censorship and allow us to continue to do our work and get the word out about various issues and topics.

The Takeaway: Much has come to light over the past few years regarding this issue, but if it is prevalent at the highest levels, how can it be stopped? If those with the power to stop this issue and the ones we approach to deal with this issue are involved, what steps can we take? Take Cardinal George Pell, for example, a high ranking Vatican official who was convicted of child sexual abuse. His charges were dropped and he was set free. It’s disturbing to contemplate the idea that Cardinal George Pell is or would be involved in such things, after all, he himself established The Diocesan Commission Into Sexual Abuse in 1996.

Perhaps some of those whom we view as idols, or gods and saviours are actually not what they seem? Perhaps it’s time for humanity to turn to itself instead of continually relying on big politics and powerful people to solve our issues. Perhaps that’s why they never get solved? Politics has become a cesspool of corruption and a system that does not seem to be adequate at dealing with many of the issues we face today, yet we continually turn to it for answers and permission. Given the amount of corruption within the system, the idea that sex trafficking is prevalent in some of these circles should come as no surprise.

The mainstream has failed to have appropriate conversations around elite level child sex trafficking and pedophilia, many people would consider it to be a “conspiracy theory” if you brought it up to them. It really goes to show how media sources have become a hub for disinformation and perception manipulation in many areas. It’s important to start having these discussions if we are going to make any progress with regards to solving it, regardless of how unbelievable it may seem.

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Why Can’t We Question COVID’s Origins?

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Recall back to the beginning of the COVID pandemic and discussion were had about the origins of the virus. Was it naturally occurring, coming from an infected bat sold in a wet-market in China, or was it created in a lab and leaked whether on purpose or accidentally? At the time, the ladder was sharply considered a conspiracy theory, and if you ask most people today, inevitably including fact checkers, they will tell you this is true – COVID coming from a lab is a mere conspiracy theory.

But still today, many don’t agree with this hypothesis.

On May 3rd, journalist Nicholas Wade, a science writer who has worked on the staff of Nature, Science and, for many years, on the New York Times, penned an extremely lengthy piece on Medium called: Origin of Covid — Following the Clues.

In it he explores how the ‘debunking’ of the lab origins story came to be, and the stark conflict of interest associated with the letter published by the Lancet claiming the virus was naturally occurring. The letter was written by Dr. Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York. His organization funded coronavirus research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. This means Dr. Daszak would at least partly responsible for COVID leaking from that lab if it in was made there and in fact had leaked. Yet this stark conflict of interest was never claimed in the Lancet letter that became the political piece that encouraged the world not to consider lab origins.

As time has gone on, as Wade suggests, the evidence that COVID indeed originated in a lab continues to mount:

After all, the more months pass without the natural emergence theory gaining a shred of supporting evidence, the less plausible it may seem. Perhaps the international community of virologists will come to be seen as a false and self-interested guide. The common sense perception that a pandemic breaking out in Wuhan might have something to do with a Wuhan lab cooking up novel viruses of maximal danger in unsafe conditions could eventually displace the ideological insistence that whatever Trump said can’t be true.

Make no mistake, and I have to write this in or else we risk further demonetization and de-platforming, mainstream media and fact checkers will assure you COVID did not originate in a lab.

As I read through Wade’s extensive research into the origins of COVID, I began to see a possible pattern: the same ridicule and shutting down of scientific conversation regarding the origins of COVID that occurred throughout 2020 appears to be occurring right now when scientists and virologists question current vaccinations and roll out methods.

Multiple scientists have drawn questions about COVID vaccines, and they are only met with censorship and the label of “anti-vaxxer”, even when they are themselves pro-vaccine.

We had a discussion about this, and we also gave an inside look at how internet fact checking and Big Tech are being sure vaccine  story doesn’t get out. We wanted to give people an inside look at how our narratives, and financial well being as a company, is held hostage until we agree with change them at the behest of internet fact checkers.

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UFOs: More Advanced Intelligent Life Could Exist Right Here On Earth

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The UFO phenomenon may not only be indicative of extraterrestrial life, but perhaps intelligent life from here on our planet, perhaps in other realms or dimensions that are not always perceivable to our senses.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is the UFO phenomenon receiving extreme amounts of legitimacy within the mainstream after years of ridicule?

Before you begin...

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Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs), now commonly known as Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon (UAPs) have become a big topic of discussion within the mainstream as of late. We are talking about objects that have been photographed, videotaped, tracked on radar, and seen by high ranking military personnel as well as civilians on the ground and in air-craft. These objects perform maneuvers and travel at speeds no known man made piece of machinery can. They truly defy our understanding of aerodynamics and, and in some cases, physics.

The next discussion to arise is, are those manning these craft human or something else?

Based on my years of research, just as there was strong evidence for the existence of these objects decades ago when they were deemed a conspiracy theory, there is strong evidence now, and in my opinion, there is evidence these objects are not human made.

As far as credible sources that support this idea, Colonel Robert Friend, in his very last interview before his death, who was a director of Project Blue Book from 1958-1962, suggested that the U.S. Air Force knew what these objects were even at that time. The former director of the Pentagon’s UFO program, Lue Elizondo, recently gave an interview to the NY Post saying that he had a meeting with a very senior Department of Defense official who mentioned he knew the craft were not of human origin as well. Former Air Force Colonel Ross Dedrickson also claimed to have information that these objects were not human made, and from what he knew, the beings are benevolent, concerned about the well being of our planet.

I recognize not all people will consider these sources ‘credible evidence.’

Beyond these testimonies are things like documented cases of sightings or “contact” experiences. According to these cases, people report both benevolent and malevolent experiences, often linked to the UFO phenomenon.

So, if they are not human, what are they? The obvious truth is, we don’t know, but there’s no harm in speculating.

Are They From Here?

Plato once said, as documented in Phaedo:

And upon the Earth are animals and men, some in a middle region, others (elementals) dwelling about the air as we dwell about the sea; others in islands which the air flows round, near the continent; and in a word, the air is used by them as the water and the sea are by us, and the ether is to them what the air is to us.

The truth is, much of our “reality” isn’t even perceivable to our human senses. We can only see within a tiny frequency of the entire visible light spectrum. We have to use special equipment like infrared telescopes and more to see things that we otherwise couldn’t. Quantum mechanics and the emergence of post-material science has shown us that there are “invisible” parts of what we perceive to be our physical and material world that make up the vast majority of it. Some, like Plato, referred to this as the ether, or aether. Who is to say that life does not dwell in these realms? They exist all around us, perhaps some of these objects originate from there – or as you might say, right here on Earth.

Another interesting quote from ancient philosophy:

“And they allowed Apollonius to ask questions; and he asked them of what they thought the cosmos was composed; but they replied; “Of elements.” “Are there then four?” he asked. “Not four,” said Larchas,  “but five.” “And how can there be a fifth,” said Apollonius, “alongside of water and air and earth and fire?” “There is the ether,” replied the other, “which we must regard as the stuff of which gods are made; for just as all mortal creatures inhale the wire, so do immortal and divine natures inhale the ether.” “Am I,” said Appollonius, “to regard the universe as a living creature?” “Yes,” said the other. – The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Philostratus, 220AD (source)

Even Rene Descartes proposed the theory that “space,” (what we perceive as empty space) is completely filled with matter in various states. There is evidence to suggest he was executed by the Church because his science entered into the realm of metaphysics.

Many ancient cultures have stories and texts which refer to ‘magical’ and ‘mythical’ lands that co-exist alongside our reality. Whether these places are actual physical places, or places that reside in ‘another dimension,’ for lack of a better term, has been the subject of great discussion within various material throughout the ages. These stories can be found in ancient Buddhism and Vedic philosophy, along with oral stories passed down from Native cultures throughout the world.

According to Paracelsus, a German-Swiss physician and alchemist (like Issac Newton) who established the role of chemistry in medicine, in his Philosophia Occulta, translated by Franz Hartmann: 

“Man lives in the exterior elements and the Elementals live in the interior elements. The latter have dwellings and clothing, manners and customs, languages and governments of their own, in the same sense as the bees have their queens and herds of animals their leaders.” The Secret Teachings of All Ages, An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabbalistic and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy, 1928, Manly P. Hall

What’s also interesting is that these objects are commonly observed entering or exiting our oceans. Sometimes when they “fly away” they don’t appear to fly away, but rather dematerialize. In other cases they are observed “taking off” at tremendous speeds.

The point is, there could be a number of different explanations, and chances are not all objects originate from the same source. It truly calls into question what we think we know about the nature of reality. And I feel we’re at an important time to question this curiously. Recall that there was a time when scientists, like Galileo, were condemned for the discoveries that they made and ideas they presented. Are we really any different today? How open are or minds to concepts of reality that don’t fit within the current framework of accepted knowledge?

One thought I’ve often had is that it can feel concerning to that topics like UFOs have to be presented in mainstream media before most will see it as legitimate. Footage has to be verified by the Pentagon, as it recently was, for the masses to realize that these objects are indeed real. Less than a decade ago the evidence for the existence of these objects was already very strong.  Yet we have to be told by government or mainstream media before the general populace can see it as real?

Does this highlight just how reliant humanity has become on these sources for information? What are the implications of that? As with so many geopolitical issues, it’s hard to trust mainstream media, or government for that matter, to get an accurate depiction of what’s really happening. This is why I am concerned that so many people rely on these sources when it comes to an honest depiction of the UFO phenomenon. Perhaps this phenomenon is one that requires a citizens initiative as well?

One thing to look out for with critical thinking is the US government’s suspicion that these objects are Russian or Chinese in origin. I believe this narrative is an effective to heighten the national security state, for no legitimate reason, while simultaneously controlling the extraterrestrial and/or other life hypothesis that goes with this phenomenon.

Perhaps they will paint these objects as a threat, even though the vast majority of the time these objects perform evasive maneuvers to avoid our own aircraft. We seem to be the ones chasing them.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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