After months of low-engaging posts on a topic (elsewhere, not on this blog), I decided to post a link that grossly generalized a topic to the point of lying. Everyone jumped on it as if it were fact. At that point, I realized that no one was reading and considering what I had been saying all along. They didn’t believe me. BUT they believed this link from a dubious source because it “looked correct”.

I really had to stop and think about that. The people that I was posting to KNOW that I have credentials and KNOW that I don’t post without thinking, but that didn’t seem to matter to them. This got me going on human nature again…

See, people are funny creatures. Regardless of the quality and the results of a thing, humans will require a heavy amount of weight to our requirements for validation of a thing. It’s pretty amazing and a bit disconcerting.

What am I getting at?

There is no intrinsic value on it’s own. That’s nearly impossible.

People assign value based on many contextual factors that may have nothing to do with the actual value they purport to want. Hopefully, the truth can be gleaned from those many factors.

It’s the white lab coat effect.

Scenario: If a barefoot person in jeans on the side of the street told you to take some pills they gave you, you’d probably tell that person to go to hell.

  • You could know that they are a doctor on vacation
  • You could validate all of their claims with a quick Google search
  • You could know for yourself that the information about the pills is sound
  • You could personally know the doctor in question
  • You could have a valid reason why they’d have pills on them
  • …and so on. 
After all that, people still wouldn’t trust them completely because they aren’t wearing a white lab coat and standing in an office. That context is too strong to overcome with mere truths. Our minds would deny ourselves until we got over whatever mental barriers we had constructed. We simply wouldn’t have the proper context we desire for that situation to make sense. 
Personally, I’ve been trying to battle this in my life, but the need for “proper context” is legitimately difficult to get around. I’m not immune to these mental barriers, I’ve just started trying to think about them.
I wonder what the proper context is for validation nowadays. Likes? Retweets? Influencer mentions? Guest blog posts? Podcast appearances. There seem to be a lot of them.


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