Our brains are fantastic – we remember stuff – we can do all sorts of things with our fancy dan bodies – it carries on doing stuff without you having to think, ‘Is my heart beating…oh, bugger…’
It also performs a funky little thing during all your waking hours.
Completion is a trick, as the name suggests, where that kilogram of mulch between our ears completes things that your other senses didn’t quite get.
Studies show that if someone is flashed an image of a square with a bit taken out of the corner they will perceive the complete shape – often, when the words FLICK OFF are flashed up, some of the naughtier members of society report seeing an altogether more swearyier brace of words…
In the same vein, when a person from a Tory persuasion hears about someone in receipt of benefits they may fill in the gaps with worklessness (made up word), £1000’s per month on benefits, a something for nothing mentality and so on…
Similarly, if a person of a more socialist leaning meets someone who votes for Mr Cameron (I can speak with a little more authority here) the gaps in knowledge might be filled with something for nothing mentality, greedy, prejudiced and small minded, for example.
The trick of completion, handy, and indeed, dandy as it may be, is often wrong.
Ok, missing a hole in the corner of a random geometric shape isn’t a major problem – but what about when you start mis perceiving people?
Your, oh so clever, brain uses it’s previous knowledge of a square to complete the image.
Your prejudices, influenced by some of your experiences, the opinions of your friends and family, what you’ve read in the paper, seen on TV, whatever…complete your perceptions of folk.
The problem with these automatic responses is that they often occur without the individual engaging the conscious part of their brain…
It often takes someone else to point out the gaps in your knowledge.
However, whereas we are more than ready to have a little chuckle at ourselves for being fooled by an illusion, we are far more likely to exclaim ‘FLICK OFF!’ when someone points out the more prejudicial holes in our understanding of the world.
This is probably why George Osbourne declared today, on the same day that the minimum wage increased to £6.31 per hour, that people on job seekers allowance will have to work for their benefits – £71.70 per week for the higher level of job seekers allowance.
Which would probably mean they’d be working for around £2.50 an hour.
Now, if you lived in a shed and your only knowledge of the world came via the Daily Mail and the Sun on Sunday slipped under your door and the obscure view of the allotment outside through your muddy window, you could be forgiven for their slightly opaque view of the world.
However, someone who knows that the main reason for an individual to be unemployed in this country is because there are 2 million too few jobs and that the ever inflating housing benefit bill isn’t paid to poor people – it’s mainly given to wealthy landlords, like Mr Osbourne knows, should be offered a different level of forgiveness.
Or am I assuming something given my limited knowledge of our chancellor?
To be fair my only knowledge about Chancellor Osbourne comes via a variety of media outlets – I don’t know him – I can only guess at his motivations, at what gets him out of bed in the morning.
I can only guess at the information he has at his fingertips.
That said, I’d like to think he’d make it his job to know the facts, to complete the gaps in his knowledge before he starts off down the road of yet another punitive policy that batters the poor.
I’d love to get to know him better, to hear his story, to work out how he has completed the gaps in his perception.
With the gaps in my knowledge about the gaps in his knowledge, I’m left with my prejudice.
My prejudice as to why a man in his position punishes the most vulnerable people in our society again and again leaves me thinking he’s a bit of a FLICKWIT
Walk a mile