Target Fixation

How focusing on the problem enlarges the problem—the art of letting go

Humans have a very narrow range of conscious attention that we allow to define us. Based on our personalities and what values (rewards) catch our attention, it begins to define us as a person and collectively as a specie, while the rest of life passes by—often a very good life that is all around, yet unnoticed.

Target fixation is an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on a hazard, that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object. In such cases, the observer may fixate so intently on the target that they steer in the direction of their gaze, which is often the ultimate cause of a collision“.

The human neuron is already very much like radar, always scanning the horizon for trouble. When we stay focused on danger, a type of neurosis sets in and we miss the good, open waters through such myopia. When this evolutionary mechanism of protection is embraced as a value, another mechanism engages—tribalism. Then when evidence is gathered to dismiss such behavior, humans employ a final, last ditch defense against reason—the backfire effect, which describes how individuals, when confronted with evidence that conflicts with their beliefs, come to hold their original position even more strongly.

As our christian dominated culture continues to fixate on the apocalypse, that somehow they can win with this mindset, we may just be bound to bring it on. But really they may have to wait a while, because actual life is petty damn good. Not that anything really matters when its all just a part of evolution. Our only chance of survival is to stop fixing everything before we blow it up by taking sides—or is that natural natural selection too?

Weigh some witches—2020