Quinta-feira, 16 de Abril de 2020

Stockdale Paradox: How It Can Help You Survive the Worst

 

Stockdale Paradox: 

How It Can Help You Survive the Worst

Janey Davies, B.A.

https://www.learning-mind.com

April 16th, 2020.

 
 
 

 
Would you describe yourself as an optimist or a pessimist? Perhaps you’re more of an idealist? Maybe you think it’s important to see the reality of a situation? In any case, is it better to be one or the other? The Stockdale Paradox states that a mixture of realism and optimism is the best way forward.

What Is the Stockdale Paradox and Who Was James Stockdale?

The Stockdale paradox is named after the high-ranking naval officer Admiral James Stockdale. Stockdale fought in the Vietnam War and, unfortunately, was captured by the Viet Cong.
He was held prisoner from 1965 to 1973. During this time, he underwent some of the most brutal torture ever inflicted during a conflict; all whilst living in subhuman conditions. But Stockdale survived. Not because he was an unwavering optimist, or, indeed, a naïve idealist.
Stockdale lived to tell his horrific tale because he managed to deal with the realism of his appalling situation with a small measure of optimism.
Stockdale Paradox
US Navy Vice Admiral James Stockdale

Life in Prison During the Vietnam War

Out-matched by America’s great show of military strength, Vietnamese guards took a different tactic. They set about staging a propaganda war instead.
They captured thousands of US soldiers and brutalised many into ‘confessing’ the bombings of school children and homes of civilians. Guards filmed US prisoners denouncing the US government in humiliating videos.
So why did Jim Stockdale survive whereas others didn’t? In an interview, he said:
“I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which in retrospect, I would not trade.”
He was asked ‘Who didn’t survive?’
“Oh, that’s easy,” he said. “The optimists.”
The interviewer pressed Stockdale for more details.
“The optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, ‘We’re going to be out by Christmas.’ And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they’d say, ‘We’re going to be out by Easter.’ And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart.”

Stockdale’s Role as a POW in Vietnam

American POWs endured appalling conditions in the prison camps. Routinely shackled to beds by their legs with ironclads, these metal shackles were extremely tight and led to infections and sores. For days on end, prisoners were left to lie in their own faeces and urine.
Vietnam guards tortured Stockdale over twenty times. One form of torture was the rope trick. Prisoners would have their hands cuffed behind their backs, then guards would use ropes to rotate their arms up until their elbows and shoulders popped out of their sockets.
Guards would hang prisoners up for hours, days even. During this time prisoner’s arms would turn purple through lack of blood. Sometimes guard would hogtie a prisoner’s arms and legs together then string them up from a meat hook.
Returning at regulars intervals, guards would tighten the ropes until the prisoners had no feeling left in their limbs. Arms and legs would balloon to twice their normal size.
Remember, these were prisoners with infections and injuries from the war or previous torture. So they were already gravely ill before these hanging sessions. And torture sessions would go on for hours, in some cases even days.
One such inmate of a notorious POW camp, known as the Hanoi Hilton, is Congressman Sam Johnson. He described the torture in an interview:
“As a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, I could recall nothing from military survival training that explained the use of a meat hook suspended from the ceiling. It would hang above you in the torture room like a sadistic tease—you couldn’t drag your gaze from it.”
How do you survive such mental and physical torture with no end in sight?
How Stockdale Survived the POW Camps
Jim Stockdale knew that no one could survive endless torture, either physically or mentally. So he devised a step-by-step system of rules that would help. For instance, he advised prisoners to endure x number of minutes, then give away some information. This gave the prisoners a system to work from.
In fact, Stockdale was instrumental in organising his fellow inmates. He invented an elaborate communication system so that isolated prisoners could feel connected.
Slashing his body with a razor and beating himself bloody with a stool, Stockdale knew the guards would not videotape him as propaganda for the Vietnamese war effort. He taught prisoners a simple code of blinking Morse Code when they were videotaped for propaganda purposes. Now prisoners have a modicum of hope that their messages were getting out.
So where did Stockdale get his incredible resilience from? Was it his training in the Navy? Actually, Stockdale took inspiration from philosophy. He remembered quotes from the famed Stoic Epictetus:
“Men are disturbed not by things, but by the views which they take of things.”
“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

A Matter of Free Will

Stockdale realised that despite his capture and subsequent imprisonment, he still had the capacity for free will. Although he couldn’t change what was happening to him, he could control how he reacted to it all.
And that’s different from hoping things will turn out okay in the end. It is being proactive but also realistic about the situation. There are the factors you can control, for instance, your reaction to imprisonment and torture.
Then there are other factors you cannot control, such as liberation. Stockdale knew that to survive this horrific experience, he could not have ‘faith’ that things would turn out alright in the end. Because, dash this faith, time and time again, and there was no knowing if his mental state would ever recover from the sheer disappointment.
Instead, he confronted head-on the desperation and brutality of his situation and devised methods to deal with the worst of them.

So What Does Stockdale Paradox Teach Us?

So how does the Stockdale Paradox help us today? I’ll let Jim Stockdale answer that question:
“You have to have faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficultiesand at the same time, must confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
In other words, a healthy dose of realism along with a measure of optimism is the best way through any difficult situation.
References:
  1. https://www.defense.gov
  2. https://www.usna.edu

Janey Davies



About the Author: Janey Davies.
Janey Davies has been published online for over 8 years. She is the head writer for Shoppersbase.com, she also writes for AvecAgnes.co.uk, Ewawigs.com and has contributed to inside3DP.com. She has an Honours Degree in Psychology and her passions include learning about the mind, popular science and politics. When she is relaxing she likes to walk her dog, read science fiction and listen to Muse.
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2020 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 
 
 



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Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

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Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


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publicado por achama às 22:41
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Quinta-feira, 2 de Abril de 2020

The Unknown History of April Fools’ Day: Origins and Traditions

 

The Unknown History of April Fools’ Day: Origins and Traditions

Sherrie Hurd, A.A.

learning-mind.com

Posted April 1st, 2020.

 
 
 

 

Tricking people has become a normal pastime on the first of April. However, the history of April Fools Day is more interesting than that.
For as long as I can remember, my friends and family have been playing tricks and lying to me on the first of April. Some of these tricks have been pretty shocking and frightening. But the origin of April Fools Day is much more than telling someone a lie and watching them “freak out”.

The History of April Fools’ Day

Many people assume the history of April Fools’ Day originated from France, but we don’t know this for sure. In fact, there are a few origins of April Fools Day that circulate within society. Although we see this holiday as a purely frivolous day, it wasn’t always just about fooling people. It was a bit deeper than that, and one of the rumors of origin did indeed come from France.

Some of the historical facts and rumors:

1.  The French Calendar

One story or rumor comes from 1582 when France changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The significance of this comes from the fact that France originally celebrated its New Year on April 1st on the Julian calendar, but when the Gregorian calendar came into use, this changed the New Year to January 1st, as we celebrate the holiday today.
Some people didn’t get the news as quickly as others and continued to celebrate the new year on April 1st. These individuals became known as “April fools” because to others they were jokes. Everyone who did know of the transition played pranks on them and made fun of their ignorance of the change.

2. A published poem in 1561

One belief that completely changes the idea of French origin comes from a poem written by the Flemish writer, Eduard De. Dene. This writer wrote a poem about a man who sent his servant on fake errands all day long on April 1st.
If indeed, this was the first incident considered an April Fools’ joke, it contradicts the origin concerning the French calendar. Supposedly, the French calendar was changed after this poem was written. This is one reason why the history of April Fools Day is such a mystery.

3. Vernal Equinox

Some believe that April Fools’ Day started because of the Vernal Equinox, the start of spring. People of the Northern Hemisphere believed that nature was playing tricks on us by using its unusual weather.
As spring is the transformation of cold into mild weather, the weather itself is often unpredictable, almost as if it’s playing tricks on us. Just when you think it’s getting warmer, springtime throws in a couple of cool days to remind us that winter isn’t quite completely gone yet.

4. Roman Hilaria

There is also the belief that April Fools’ Day originated in Ancient Rome. Those who were members of the Cult of Cybele celebrated Hilaria by mocking the magistrates and dressing up in costumes. This celebration of sorts in March was apparently inspired by Egyptian beliefs in Isis, Seth, and Osiris.

5. April Fools in Scotland

There was also a tradition for April Fools’ Day in Scotland, as it spread throughout Britain. The Scots celebrated the first of April by hunting “the gowk”. It was a two-day event, with the “the gowk hunt” being on the first day.
The “gowk” was a fake bird, also known as a cuckoo bird, which is a symbol for a fool. People were told to hunt down this bird as a joke. The second day was called “Tallie day” where individuals pinned signs, such as “kick me” on other’s derrieres. It seems that as the ideas of April Fools’ spread, the jokes continued to become even more imaginative.

6. Modern April Fools’ Day

Society has gone much farther to celebrate April Fools’ day in modern times. Television stations and radio broadcasts fooled many people with fake announcements to scare and amaze us. All throughout history into modern times, this holiday was observed almost as much or more than other holidays. It was just celebrated in different ways.

Notable April Fools’ Day Pranks

There are a few pranks that should be remembered for their outrageous claims. These April Fools’ Day jokes go far and above simple comedy. Some of the jokes had people scratching their heads in confusion and wondering if the world was going crazy. Let’s take a look at a few notable pranks.
  • The 1950s

Apparently, many people were convinced there was a spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. This is hilarious because we should all know that pasta itself is not grown in any garden. Then again, some people think cotton is man-made, so go figure.
  • 1968

“Fooles Holy day” represented April 1st when everyone was supposed to gather at the Tower Ditch for the “lion washing ceremony”. This became a popular prank, especially for out of towners. Can you imagine a special day for watching the bathing of such wild beasts?
  • 1996

In the year 1996, Taco Bell, a fast-food restaurant, announces that it has purchased the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell. This prank is just silly, but it is amusing.
  • 2008

BBC releases clips of flying penguins and publishes a story called, “Miracles of Evolution”.  The story states that Penguins are migrating from the Arctic and moving to the jungles of South America. Believe it or not, some people fall for this prank.

April Fools’ Continues

Although we really don’t know the set date in which this routine came to be, we still enjoy pranking people. It is also a day we celebrate around the globe with colorful antics and amusing jokes. So, today, try to see the origin of April Fools’ Day as a beginning to poking fun at your friends. After all, we need a little hilarity in today’s crisis.
Go out and play that joke, have some fun, and remember to be kind.
References:
  1. https://www.cnn.com
  2. https://www.loc.gov

 
 
 
Sherrie Hurd

 

 

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No religious or political creed is advocated here.

Organised religion is unnecessary to spirituality.

Excellent teachings of the masters have been contaminated by the dogmatic control of these religions.

Discernment yes; judgement does not.
If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 

With discernment it is possible to reach the spirit of the letter of any writing and it is also much easier to listen to the voice of the soul that comes from the heart.
Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 


Please respect all credits.

 
Discernment is recommended.
 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 


 

 

Like this! please bookmark. It is updated daily

 


 
 
 
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