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May 13, 2024

Face Value or Programmed Perception: Decoding the Act of Understanding

BY Marc Mathys
In the complex world of human interactions and experience, the way we perceive things can hugely impact our actions and reactions. Often, we are faced with the dilemma of whether to take things at face value or to consider the possibility of underlying programming that shapes the observed reality. This question not only pertains to our interpersonal relationships, but it also extends to our interaction with technology and artificial intelligence. 
Face Value: Simplicity or Oversimplification? 
Taking things at face value means accepting them as they appear, without questioning their authenticity or looking for hidden meanings. This approach can simplify our interactions and prevent overthinking. For instance, if a friend says they’re fine, we assume they’re okay. If a news article reports an event, we believe it happened as described. However, this approach might lead to oversimplification. It assumes that people always express their true feelings and that information presented to us is always accurate. In reality, things often have multiple layers of complexity. 
The Influence of Programming 
The term ‘programming’ in this context refers to the underlying factors that shape our perceptions, behaviors, and the information we receive. These factors can be our past experiences, societal norms, or even algorithms in the case of digital content. For example, our understanding of a friend’s well-being might be influenced by our knowledge of their past experiences. Similarly, the news we read online is often determined by complex algorithms that track our digital behavior and tailor the content accordingly. 
Balancing Face Value and Programming Striking a balance between taking things at face value and considering the influence of programming is a challenging yet essential task. It involves developing a nuanced understanding of the world around us. 
1. Openness to Complexity: Acknowledge that individuals, situations, and even algorithms can have multiple layers. While the surface level information can provide an initial understanding, there may be underlying factors at play. 
2. Critical Thinking: Develop the habit of questioning and analyzing information. This doesn’t mean doubting everything but understanding that things might be more complex than they appear. 
3. Empathy and Patience: Understand that people might not always express their true feelings due to various reasons. Being empathetic and patient can help uncover deeper emotions and truths. 
4. Digital Literacy: As we interact more with digital technology, understanding how algorithms work can help us make sense of the information we receive online.
In a world where appearances can be deceptive and information can be algorithmically curated, taking things purely at face value can be an oversimplification. Understanding and acknowledging the influence of ‘programming’, be it societal norms, personal experiences, or digital algorithms, can lead to a more comprehensive and realistic understanding of the world around us. 
However, this doesn’t negate the value of face value perceptions entirely. Instead, it calls for a balanced approach, blending face value simplicity with the depth of programmed influences.
 

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Hello I’m Marc the creator of the Reset-it program and a TedX speaker.

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