I See Four Lights!!


Fans of Star Trek TNG will undoubtedly remember the episode where an alien captures the captain (Cpt. Picard played by Patrick Stewart) and attempts to break him by torture. The simple test used to determine if Picard’s will has been broken, is to ask him if he sees 5 lights when there are actually 4.

Even against increasing physical pain and mental torture he maintains, “There are FOUR lights!!”. To this day this is one of the only episodes I remember, because Stewart’s incredible acting, and because of his comment to his rescuers at the end (paraphrasing): “Just for a moment, I could see five lights”.  This indicated to me that even the best amoung us can be convinced of something false, given enough mis-information under duress.

Politics today has way too many layers. I think politicians are trying to convince us there are 5 lights on one side, and sometimes 3 by the other side. If one side uses rhetoric, the other side must reply with the same, like two sides trying to barter to a final price. Trouble is, what comes out from both sides is only so much crap, and sometimes people actually are listening.

I choose to see 4 lights regardless of what crap they throw my way.

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One Response

  1. I decided to leave the genesis of this post out above, because I often throw people too much information which ends up confusing the message, but I thought this time it was worthy of a comment.

    I get a lot of my ideas in the shower, I don’t know why. Maybe it is the ‘white noise’ of the falling water, or that I don’t have a computer open in front of me (I haven’t figured out how to do that yet in the shower), but probably 80% of my blog posts here and on psycheconsulting.org start in the shower.

    I watched the vote on the health care bill last night in the US Congress, and after the bill passed one of the Republicans decided to pull out the abortion card again, and suggest the bill was about using public money to fund abortions. I wanted to smash the guys face in, and I couldn’t immediately figure out why I was over-reacting so.

    In my bathroom I have a row of lights above the vanity, there are 5 of them. Until recently only one was burnt out, and so I have been “Seeing 4 lights” every morning (I won’t say how long 😉 ) until today when another was burnt out. There are now three lights… you can see where this is going…

    Then I realized my frustration with the congressman was an allergic reaction to the relentless rhetorical drivel that is thrust upon us by all angles on every single issue. The noise is so high, and the signal is so low. Its like politics, TV, and other media are all trying to pound us with so much rhetoric that we eventually start to see 5 lights.

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