the problem of Buck Fever
Back when I got my gun licence the chap running us through the course had been a Deer stalker for many years and related this true story of an accidental shooting.
A hunter had been following what he was sure was a good sized Stag for quite some time. Some sign here, some marks where the Deer had clambered up a bank there... he was getting closer to the animal and his excitement was mounting. He was imagining a freezer full of meat and maybe a fine set of antlers on his garage wall. He knew he was closing in on his prey. As he rounded a bend in a stream he expected to see the Deer at any moment. He was primed. Coming from behind some shrubbery into an open area he finally saw what he had so anticipated - the Deer.
He raised his rifle, fired and shot dead a forestry worker wearing a bright yellow raincoat.
What had happened? Where was the Deer? How could anyone do that?
He had so expected to see a Deer that he had made up his mind that the first living thing he saw was going to be the Deer. This is called Buck Fever by some.
Below is a truly educational video which I think you may well have seen (it has nearly 5 million views in 2 weeks) but just in case you haven't I recommend it as a must see. Conservative Clinical Psychologist and lecturer Jordan Peterson is interviewed by a lady who is I'm sure, extremely good at her job; very intelligent and with a great deal of experience. Yet, she had in her mind that she was about to bag a fine trophy Head, irrespective whether the thing before her was a Deer or not. Dr Peterson, she was sure, was a Transphobic, Misogynistic, Right Wing member of the White Patriarchy. She was certain of it and she was going to show everybody that was the case. She had Buck Fever.
The problem with this is that the man is nothing of the kind. In fact he is a very courageous man with deeply held convictions for which all Westerners should be grateful. Once you hear what he's saying that is. The problem is that she, like many of us tend to do from time to time, had already made up her mind who & what he was. Consequently she was unable to hear anything he said and blunders through what is for her a totally humiliating 30 minute interview. Although by its end I'm sure she still doesn't understand what just happened and still believes she was completely in the right. Fascinating.
As the interview proceeds Dr Peterson begins to actually laugh at her "silly" misunderstandings and even though she tries to reflect back to him what he is saying (I think she actually said "so you're saying..." 19 times) in order to challenge it, she only manages to display to all that she has not the faintest idea of what in fact he is actually saying or what kind of person he is.
At one point she realises that she's been caught out by Dr Peterson and falls silent for a few moments. It is then he says "Gotcha!" - but even then he's so kind and moderate that he does it as a way to ease the tension of an embarrassing moment for her, not to in any way underline his superiority.
By the way, Dr Peterson has made a great study of Totalitarian regimes, of both Left & Right. So when he discusses the shadow Totalitarianism in contemporary Western society he knows whereof he speaks.
If nothing else, let it be a warning to us.
See what is there, not what we really, really hope & wish is there.