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Self-awareness

About Subjectivity and Objectivity

It may be hard to believe, but people experience the same facts differently.

People see, hear, and feel the world differently

This post first appeared on the 1st things 1st blog.

It may be hard to believe, but people experience the same facts differently. When someone sees, hears, tastes, smells, or touches something, they filter that through their perception and make corresponding conclusions: I like it, I hate it, this is good, this is bad, this is interesting, this is dull, etc.

Previous experience forms the perception. The more happenings a person has and the more conscious a person is while experiencing; the more subtle will be the conclusions.

On the web, there are intriguing examples that are interpreted differently by different sides of people.

For example, there is a photo of a dress that looks like striped gold and white dress to some people, and it looks like a blue and black dress to some other people.

The thing is that some people expect there to be light colors in a shadow, and some others expect a photo of dark colors with high exposure.

In another example, there is a mysterious track, where some people hear “laurel,” and some other arguably hear “yanny”. 

I can explain that too. The track is built from both sounds at different frequencies: some people hear higher pitches better than lower ones.

Or let’s have a look at the picture in the cover. What are the colors of this shoe? White and pink or cyan and gray? 

Opinions, attitudes, mindsets

Fact interpretations are contextual. The same gray buttons will look lighter on a dark shirt, darker on the light shirt, or even colorful on a colored shirt. As people add contexts to facts by their previous experiences, they make different interpretations of the same events and make different conclusions.

So opinions are formed. Repeated opinions develop attitudes. Finally, attitudes create mindsets, which are later more and more difficult to change.

Cultural norms, rules, laws

As people communicate with each other, they form collective opinions, attitudes, and mindsets. So cultural norms are created. Some of those norms become rules and regulations. If the rules are good enough for the communities and society, they become governmental laws.

There are some laws that are more difficult or almost impossible to change compared to governmental laws. And these are the laws of nature, universal laws, or scientific laws.

  • You can’t change your genes to become someone else than you are.
  • You can’t make gold out of elements that don’t include gold atoms.
  • You can’t resist gravitation and float in the air.
  • You can’t take a thing and copy it without using resources to build it. 

Can you?

So what is subjective and what is objective

The observable things and happenings that are around us are the facts. They are objective. They just are. They just happen. They have explainable known or unknown causes to happen.

But any interpretation of the causes is subjective. It’s like modeling a picture of reality in our heads, trying to understand it. It’s like coloring the facts in the colors we are given from past experiences.

All the subjectivity we have is there to serve us or go against us. It’s for us to decide. It’s for us to choose when we should keep fighting for what we believe and when it is time to release the blocks and change our perceptions, attitudes, and shift our mindsets towards more objectivity and wisdom.

Clarify what is the most important to you using 1st things 1st

I built the 1st things 1st for you to choose which of the activities, ideas, thoughts, wishes, items, pieces of art, are the most important to you so that you could spend more time and energy on them, but lose the clutter. Why spend ten years on everything that just happens, when instead you could spend that time to build expertise in your field or live your dream.

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