“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

— William Shakespeare

“Trust, but verify.”

— Ronald Reagan

“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”

— Stephen Covey

“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.”

— Anton Chekhov

“Trust not too much to appearances.”

— Virgil

“It is unfortunate, considering that enthusiasm moves the world, that so few enthusiasts can be trusted to speak the truth.”

— Arthur Balfour, British Statesman

“Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.”

— Ernest Hemingway

“Trust is the lubrication that makes it possible for organizations to work.”

— Warren Bennis

“Without trust, you have nothing: trust is so important to me.”

— Tamara Ecclestone

Do you get impatient, or a bit angry, with people who are too trusting – even gullible perhaps? I often do, almost instinctively, but never thought much about it. Recently, however, I am thinking that I may be wrong – unfair – in feeling this way. Why? What’s changed? Me? Probably, at least some. But I now believe it is the world that is changing – hugely.

Surely a personal weakness for me. Or so I’m told. Of course I don’t believe everything that I’m told. Perhaps in this case the heads-up – for myself and others – is both timely and warranted, but in a different way. Our world is rapidly being divided into two camps on so many issues and beliefs.

Which camp is “right” or “correct” in each of these? My views are based on “my facts” as I struggle to extract them from the avalanche of information and propaganda out there. However, my faith in “facts” – even my own – is pretty shaky, as I posted about not too long ago. See here and here.

If I often can’t determine facts for myself, which are in many cases simply my beliefs, how can I justify being impatient or angry with others who I see as believing differently, and even too-trusting or gullibly? In this light, I really cannot.

Just human nature at work being human, I guess, as it has been forever.

So, what is “too trusting” or “gullible” in practice?

There are many situations today for which quite solid facts are increasingly available. From a recent post here:

A fact is an observation, measurement, or occurrence. It should be verifiable by others. It’s validity exists only within a definable, generally repeatable, context. Facts are objective, not subjective. Reality, if you will.

In such situations, it seems possible to assess rationally a person’s beliefs and positions. One can then say, with some reasonable confidence, that a person is wrong or incorrect in their particular beliefs. This may of course do nothing to change the person’s beliefs. Beliefs are pretty hard to change, with facts or not.

An example? Climate change. How dare you, as some might respond. Well, 1,609 scientists including two Nobelists dare, as this recent report illustrates:

Robert Williams via The Gatestone Institute and ZeroHedge reports on an inconvenient happening amidst the global climate change hysteria: “The ‘Climate Emergency’ Is A Hoax”:

“More than 1,600 scientists, including two Nobel laureates, have signed a declaration saying that ‘There is no climate emergency. … Climate science should be less political, while climate policies should be more scientific,’ states the declaration signed by the 1,609 scientists, including Nobel laureates John F. Clauser from the US and Ivar Giaever from Norway/US.”

“The statement adds:”

“Scientists should openly address uncertainties and exaggerations in their predictions of global warming, while politicians should dispassionately count the real costs as well as the imagined benefits of their policy measures…”

“The geological archive reveals that Earth’s climate has varied as long as the planet has existed, with natural cold and warm phases. The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming.”

“Warming is far slower than predicted … The gap between the real world and the modeled world tells us that we are far from understanding climate change.”

“Climate policy relies on inadequate models … Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. They do not only exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases; they also ignore the fact that enriching the atmosphere with CO2 is beneficial …”

Despite such facts (aka real-expert opinions), many people out there believe strongly and actively in “climate change” as their reality, as their fact. They are, in my scientific mind, simply wrong. What might explain their beliefs? They trusted very vocal and official-sounding media sources. They are therefore “too-trusting” and maybe “gullible” as well. What does “gullible” mean, and might it be appropriate here?

Is “gullible” too strong a word? It means easily persuaded to believe something; credulous; easily duped or cheated; they are easily tricked because they are too trusting. The key I think is “too trusting” – too easily taken advantage of or persuaded by others who do not have the person’s interests at all in mind.

People who are too trusting are often very nice people. They go-along-to-get-along in many situations. They often can’t imagine that anyone may be trying to take advantage of them.

People, at least among those I know, who are too trusting in my view are mostly quite intelligent people. They can in no respect be considered stupid – even if they sometimes do things that I think are stupid. But my seeing them instead as “too trusting” or even “gullible” doesn’t seem to capture what is going on. The real story just has to be deeper, and so it is.

Climate change in action? Source: NASA.
Climate change in action? Source: NASA.

Human nature has a strongly-trusting component

From the “human nature” post linked above, my shortlist of human nature components includes:

  • Courage
  • Going-along-to-get-along
  • Belonging
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Creativity
  • Intelligence

Trusting is partly “going-along-to-get-along”, and partly a strong need for “belonging”. Kind of tribal stuff from the days of the distant past (and still very much with us). We truly want to trust, and our preferred sources are those with which we feel we belong in some sense.

Note that this belonging connection has nothing to do with external facts or beliefs. We believe because we trust from belonging. That’s it.

In our current world, we have enormously powerful techniques for spreading information – right and wrong (morally), correct and incorrect (factually) – and for closing people’s minds to anything contrary. Computing and communications technologies in recent decades have made these efforts incredibly effective and widespread.

True believers via belonging make up some 10% to 30% of a population, or so psychologist Mattias Desmet argues. Others who both value belonging highly and go-along-to-get-along are roughly 40% to 60% of a population. The rest – up to 30% – are the resisters and active non-believers.

This to me at least is pretty shocking. Perhaps as many as 70% of a population can be persuaded to believe or trust in all kinds of things. The power of communications and propaganda operates at a level impossible until recently. Facts don’t really matter today in so many cases. It is beliefs that matter.

It further means that my impatience or anger with people who seem to be ignoring facts that are objectively verifiable to a reasonable degree are just being humans. Trust-based beliefs and belonging-based beliefs are simply part of the majority’s human nature. And beliefs are really hard to change or to argue against.

So, it appears at this point that I am truly wrong and unfair to be impatient or angry with believers. I can be impatient and angry only with the minority who can be persuaded by facts.  

This is rather discouraging, yes?

Our brave new world is really what I should be angry with

As I noted in a recent post, our brave new world is facilitating an array of belief-forming situations and positions. Of course, leaders have been able to stir up and motivate crowds to do all manner of nasty things forever. Nothing new about this.

My impatience and anger, and even action, should instead be directed toward to the sources of what I strongly believe to be wrong and/or incorrect. I should not be hassling the poor folks who have surely but understandably been too trusting and at times even gullible. Unless of course I have delusions of changing human nature.

Speaking  of Huxley’s Brave New World, he had some rather acerbic views on our human nature:

“The vast majority of human beings dislike and even actually dread all notions with which they are not familiar… Hence it comes about that at their first appearance innovators have generally been persecuted, and always derided as fools and madmen.” — Aldous Huxley

“… the greater part of the population is not very intelligent, dreads responsibility, and desires nothing better than to be told what to do. Provided the rulers do not interfere with its material comforts and its cherished beliefs, it is perfectly happy to let itself be ruled.” — Aldous Huxley

People are what people are, and always will be. Nobody can change that.

Again, this conclusion is rather discouraging – to me at least.

Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.
Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World.

Is there anything that I can do about anything important?

So, it seems that if I want to snarl at something, the something should be among the vast array of major concerns out there. Not among those poor souls I know who appear to be overly trusting and/or even gullible. They have their beliefs and I have mine. So, is there anything that I can do productively about any of the various source concerns, besides snarling of course?

Yes, there must be. What about starting with the above list of human nature components, absent belonging and going-along-to-get-along that I mostly don’t do, and see where this might lead:

  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Love
  • Creativity
  • Intelligence

These five (out of seven) suggest that human nature at its core has plenty of sources of constructive, positive beliefs and actions. The only problem is that the other two – going-along-to-get-along and belonging – seem to dominate the majority’s human nature. It will be a rather lonely quest, as it always has been.

Compassion and love seem to be the most likely human nature sources for identifying important concerns and possible actions for anyone without an agenda or cause.

Courage is then essential, at least initially, since you will likely be among a small minority. Pushback, often aggressive and unfair, must be expected.

Should one such person be inclined toward action of some sort, then the last two components of human nature come into play: creativity and intelligence. As noted in the prior post in a different context, past practices generally won’t work in a complex, fragile, unpredictable world. To be effective, actions will require new approaches.

Sources of concern for possible action seem highly individual. My top concerns may not be close to yours. My actions similarly may be very different because my situation, resources, and abilities are very different. Only after I get something started and begin to bounce off reality and its minions will I begin to see what and where I may have something in common with others out there. I might even learn some things, and change.

What’s wrong with the world today that might attract my concern?

As you might expect, there are so many things going on today that are “wrong” in some significant respect that choosing and committing to one or two is extremely difficult. I think about these for starters, based on self-interest and compassion:

1. Return of vaxx mandates and lockdowns.

Here is something that truly concerns, and greatly angers, me. It is part of a much larger concern, but possibly a starting place on which to focus. The question of just how I might be able to do anything useful here is unclear, to say the least. Perhaps nothing much. But perhaps this concern will lead me to something in the larger picture, such as using pandemics that seem artificially-created to justify a return to widespread (global, probably) lockdowns – soon.

CDC director Mandy K. Cohen is still pushing these shots for all Americans down to six-month-old babies, despite a significant amount of solid of evidence that they are useless for preventing the disease and often harmful, especially for children.

This is indeed a serious concern for someone like myself who is almost certain to be hugely impacted by pandemic-justified lockdowns. I read, for example, about tying our “freedoms” – permissions, in reality – such as our ability to travel, buy certain things, to lockdown compliances. Whether I can do anything useful about a situation of this nature would be a major puzzle for me.

It may well be an action limited to “do not comply … resist to the extent possible”, whatever specific positions and actions these may entail in practice. I am not COVID-vaxxed due to a severe reaction from a flu vax years ago that nearly killed me, plus a serious anaphylaxis episode from a wasp sting that required immediate hospital treatment. I will never agree to be vaxxed again. That’s likely to be a major problem for me in the coming total-lockdown, vax-all regime.

Excess mortality trend among ages 0 to 24 years. Source: Twitter aka X.
Excess mortality trend among ages 0 to 24 years. Source: Twitter aka X.

“Providence Hospital System, the largest Catholic health care system in America, imposed mandates for newest COVID jabs – employee refusal could result in TERMINATION” — Ethan Huff via Natural News on September 18, 2023:

“In its InOurCircle app, Providence Hospital System, a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 50 hospitals, 1,000 clinics, and 120,000 employees, notified all employees – including those who are already ‘fully vaccinated’ and ‘boosted’ – that they must take the all-new Fauci Flu shots from either Pfizer or Moderna, or else be forced to take unpaid leave or even lose their jobs entirely.”

“The announcement states that all employees must take the new shots because ‘[w]e’ve all heard that cases of COVID-19 are on the rise and the latest updates to COVID-19 vaccines are proving effective at preventing serious illness from the latest strains.’”

“Even though the new shots were never tested for safety on a single human being, Providence Hospital System has decided that in accordance with its ‘updated’ COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, all ‘caregivers need to receive the most up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine available.’”

Am I presently impatient or angry with folks I know who are fully vaxxed and are still fully supportive of vax therapies? I suppose that I should be for consistency, since I am strongly opposed, but I believe that people have to make their own calls on such matters. Each of the people I know has their own, probably very good reasons, for being vaxxed (or not) and vax-supportive (or not). Despite my unavoidable angst over their choices, what they have decided is really not my business.

So, what might I be able to do in this case? Well, non-compliance is definite. How far would I go with non-compliance? What price am I willing to pay? To be determined by reality should reality occur, but likely a very high price. Very high.

Being an example of non-compliance seems possibly helpful as well. I have had a number of people remark on my steadfastness and on how it has helped them stay somewhat or fully non-compliant as well. So, personal non-compliance plus being an example of sorts is about all that I can see myself doing in the vax-mandates department. As for the coming pandemic 2.0 lockdowns, which I feel sure will happen shortly, I’ll have to see. Talk is cheap, as always.

2. Climate change tyranny

This description pretty much sums up my position with respect to climate change. I agree with only about 1,609 scientists including a couple of Nobelists that the climate change hysteria is invalid and is likely being used to obscure a more ominous underlying agenda. However, I know quite a few people who are at least in principle on board with the climate change agenda and are not a bit hysterical. To their credit in most cases is a bias toward something that I can definitely relate to – environmental damage by all sorts of things, like society-generated waste.

The problem of enormous quantities of society-generated waste is truly serious.
The problem of enormous quantities of society-generated waste is truly serious.

However, giant firms like Apple that have huge numbers of devoted followers pursue climate change policies that focus on “decarbonization” (aka fossil fuels). Impractical, in my view (and that of at least 1,600 scientists of some repute). Apple isn’t dumb, so this has to be a distraction from whatever is actually being pushed.

From Apple corporate on October 25, 2022, “Apple calls on global supply chain to decarbonize by 2030”:

“Apple today called on its global supply chain to take new steps to address their greenhouse gas emissions and take a comprehensive approach to decarbonization. The company will evaluate the work of its major manufacturing partners to decarbonize their Apple-related operations — including running on 100 percent renewable electricity — and will track yearly progress. Apple has been carbon neutral for its global corporate operations since 2020, and is laser-focused on its ambitious goal to become carbon neutral across its entire global supply chain and the life cycle of every product.”

“As the impacts of climate change are increasingly felt around the world, Apple also announced new initiatives and investments aimed at helping decarbonize the global economy and promote innovative climate solutions for communities. These include significant investments in renewable energy in Europe, partnerships to support businesses transitioning to clean energy, and new support for projects that advance natural carbon removal and community-driven climate solutions around the world.”

“’Fighting climate change remains one of Apple’s most urgent priorities, and moments like this put action to those words,’ said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. ‘We’re looking forward to continued partnership with our suppliers to make Apple’s supply chain carbon neutral by 2030. Climate action at Apple doesn’t stop at our doors, and in this work, we’re determined to be a ripple in the pond that creates a bigger change’.”

If climate change isn’t as such climate-changers claim, it is diverting much-needed attention and resources away from a real environmental problem, or ten. Probably intentionally, if my take on things is valid. The underlying agenda deals with world domination by one or more of the usual suspects. Maybe even to the extreme of implementing martial law?

Again, this situation is nothing new in the grand scheme of things. Similar efforts have probably gone on since human societies were invented.

Because I know quite a number of people who claim to be greatly concerned about climate change, and my sense is that it is nothing more than subterfuge, should I become impatient and angry with them? Probably not, since their climate change support seems largely symbolic and facts-free (or facts-ignored). They simply believe in climate change as presented to them by people and organizations they trust. I can’t change their beliefs with facts (or my beliefs).

So, what to do on this concern (my concern version, not theirs)? In this case also, non-compliance as much as possible seems useful and be a possibly effective example. How far am I prepared to go? Especially if some kind of martial law gets enacted? Another potentially life-or-death decision, I think maybe.

3. Economic collapse

While economic and financial system collapse have been predicted for a long time, conditions for some sort of major collapse seem to be reaching critical states right now. Colossal debt with still-rising interest costs are almost certainly unsustainable for much longer. Inflation remains unchecked as we head into another recession, with major layoffs and business failures. The usual stuff.

George Ford Smith via The Mises Institute and ZeroHedge paints a pretty grim picture: “The Coming Collapse Of The Global Ponzi Scheme”:

“Interventionist economies of the West are in a fatal downward spiral, comparable to that of the Roman Empire in the second century, burdened with unsustainable debt and the anti-prosperity policies of governments, especially the Green New Deal. … In the global Ponzi scheme, thin air and deceit substitute for sound money.”

“The central banks have colluded with the national governments in order to fund huge increases of national debt, beyond what can ever be paid off. … interest on the federal debt alone will be about a trillion by the end of this year. By the end of next year [it will reach] two trillion dollars—and that’s if interest rates don’t go up. … This is a huge debt bomb that’s going to explode.“

“… Ultra-high corporate and credit card debt, along with bank insolvency sustains his argument for a coming collapse …”

Economic collapse resulting from money, especially the dollar, becoming worthless except for heating purposes.
Economic collapse resulting from money, especially the dollar, becoming worthless except for heating purposes.

While this is definitely among my major concerns, very few if any folks I know seem at all worried. For the most part, they are not interested in economics and money troubles (apart from their own). If a collapse comes, as seems almost certain prior to election day, they will be quite surprised.

But maybe because neither they nor myself can do much about this kind of happening, I really can’t get either impatient or angry with them. Even the standard prepper nostrum of “be prepared” seems pretty lame, to me at least. As I have argued previously, you can’t effectively prepare for an event or situation – black swan flavor – that you can’t predict. The odds of being wrong are far too high.

The best approach that I can come up with is set forth in a recent post. It focuses on agility, adaptability, and creativity, which should help no matter what black swan flavor comes along.

Not doing so well, am I? Three major concerns, and the best that I can come up with for myself is “non-compliance”, with likely limits, and some sort of “active resistance”, whatever this may be in practice. Lame is a pretty apt description.

Bottom line:

One positive but minor accomplishment is that I have pretty much convinced myself that impatience and anger at too-trusting and possibly even gullible people is just wrong, unfair. This is a habit that will take some serious effort to put behind me, but I am going to do it regardless.

While I might productively shift my impatience and anger to what I consider sources of bad information and agendas – i.e., concerns, the question about what I can realistically do remains. Since I dug up four additional concerns (of mine), I’ll push them into the Related Reading section below for anyone who may be interested.

A. Declining trust in medical institutions and professionals

This is a serious personal concern following two very troubling recent incidents. The hospital staff made what seemed to be excessive efforts to persuade my late wife and myself to get COVID vaxxed. Truly excessive. Hard sell at a time of great angst.  Also diagnosed my own situation incorrectly, in my non-medical but well-researched opinion. And prescribed what my pharmacist wife considered to be the wrong drugs for both of us. Not at all reassuring from once-trusted sources. Trusted no longer.

I have been reading quite a bit lately about similar reservations, which seem to be increasingly valid. From Wikipedia:

“A 2000 Institute of Medicine report estimated that medical errors result in between 44,000 and 98,000 preventable deaths and 1,000,000 excess injuries each year in U.S. hospitals. … One study suggests that adults in the United States receive only 55% of recommended care. At the same time, a second study found that 30% of care in the United States may be unnecessary.”

This concerning situation may be due in substantial measure to the growing complexity of medicine and medical practices.

Jim Hoft writing in The Gateway Pundit has a disturbing story about the declining trust in medical institutions and professionals: “You Can’t Make This Up: Doctors Are Now Struggling to Differentiate Between Covid, Allergies, and Common Cold – ‘We Only Knew It Was Covid Because We Tested’”:

“Medical professionals are finding it increasingly challenging to distinguish between Covid-19, allergies, and the common cold. Gone are the days when the loss of taste or smell and a dry cough were the telltale signs of Covid-19.”

“According to Dr. Erick Eiting, vice chair of operations for emergency medicine at Mount Sinai Downtown in New York City, the symptoms have shifted. ‘It isn’t the same typical symptoms that we were seeing before. It’s a lot of congestion, sometimes sneezing, usually a mild sore throat,’ he shared with NBC News. He mentioned that a sore throat usually appears first, followed by nasal congestion. Eiting admitted that the only reason they identified it as COVID was due to the testing; otherwise, it would have been mistaken for a mere cough or cold. ‘The only way that we knew that it was Covid was because we happened to be testing them,’ Eiting said.”

And yet again, I know a number of people who have stated their absolute trust in medical services. Including one who suffered both myocarditis and pericarditis, and was fully vaxxed. They clearly trust and believe, and cannot be swayed. Am I impatient or angry with any of them? Absolutely not. These are personal choices that are not any of my business, despite my deep concerns in each case.

What might I be able to do then? A major concern, certainly, and one pretty solidly defined by non-agenda-driven research, at least by sources I have come to trust and believe. My plan at this point is to focus heavily on maintaining health by diet, exercise, and mental activity. Seems to be working okay – so far.

B. Financial censorship

This is not a serious problem as yet, but it seems to be on the fast-track. Might even reach warp-speed soon. The issue here is the use of digital money and digital IDs to track us and to control us. I have written several posts on this topic, such as this recent one. Here is one example of what appears to be underway:

Peter Chawaga via BitcoinMagazine.com and ZeroHedge describes how regulators are working to eliminate money forms that compete with their government-issued Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): “Operation Choke Point 2.0: How US Regulators Fight Bitcoin With Financial Censorship”:

“This concerted effort, later labeled ‘Operation Choke Point’, targeted a wide range of business categories, including ammunition sales, drug paraphernalia, payday loans, dating services, pornography, telemarketing, tobacco sales, and government grants. This broad application of financial exclusion ultimately prompted multiple lawsuits and federal investigations into the conduct of both the DOJ and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as well as harsh criticism from all corners.”

“And while many Bitcoiners may think that policymakers are powerless to determine the success of this permissionless technology, adverse or absent regulations can limit Bitcoin-specific businesses just as harshly as they do broader, cryptocurrency-related ones. In fact, it may be Bitcoin’s unique properties that make the current regulatory landscape such a daunting one for growth.”

“’Bitcoiners should care about Operation Choke Point 2.0 because certain policymakers are trying to take away our ability to participate in the Bitcoin network’, Morgenstern argued. ‘Moreover, Bitcoin is different. It is not only the oldest and most tested asset in this space. It is perhaps the only one that everyone agrees is a digital commodity. That means the on-ramp for inclusion into any policy frameworks will have less friction inherently, and Bitcoiners need to understand this.’”

CBDCs are coming without doubt. They will be used for nefarious purposes by the usual suspects, also without doubt. What to do here? Nothing immediate that I can see, apart from what is suggested in the linked post above.

C. WHO’s Global Digital Health Certification Network

This one seems to have come up quickly from nowhere. The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), with official jurisdiction over nothing, seems to have usurped control over national handling of pandemics.

“The United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly (UNGA) president today approved the non-binding U.N declaration on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response (PPPR), without a full assembly vote and over the objections of 11 nations. Critics called the declaration, which seeks to create a global pandemic authority with the power to enforce lockdowns, universal vaccination and censorship of ‘misinformation,’ ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘unhinged.’”

“Other experts took a different view. Author and podcaster Frank Gaffney, founder and president of the Center for Security Policy, told The Defender it is ‘very worrying’ that the U.N. and WHO’ will further encourage, if not actually authorize, the kind of standing capability or authority on their part to essentially dictate what constitutes emergencies.’”

“’There’s no getting around the fact that it’s going to come at the expense of the sovereignty of the various nations that will subsequently be told that they have an emergency and told what they have to do about it,’ he added. ‘This is unprecedented.’”

“[Dr. David] Bell [a public health physician, biotech consultant and former director of Global Health Technologies at Intellectual Ventures Global Good Fund] said a ‘silence procedure’ is in place, ‘meaning that States not responding will be deemed supporters of the text.’ He said the text is ‘clearly contradictory, sometimes fallacious, and often quite meaningless,’ and intended to centralize the WHO’s power.”

“Bell told The Defender, ‘The declaration was not written with serious intent, but is essentially empty rhetoric promoting a continued centralization of control that the U.N. and WHO are openly seeking, at the expense of democracy, human rights and equality.’”

What to do personally about this one? I mean apart from snarling and muttering, which helps somewhat to relieve serious angst. The U.N. is positioning itself to be the world dominator. The WEF’s similar aspirations may result in a merger or showdown. Best I can hope for at this point is for human nature to trash the whole lot of them. See my previous post on “The World Is Getting Greatly Reset, But Not As Planned”.