Authenticity Meter

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Peter König was instrumental in kicking off this line of thought. A special thank you to Peter for this!

Contents

Reality

We perceive reality in our very personal terms. We align them with (by us) commonly accepted assumptions and then call what we perceive facts and reality. It is our sphere of reality. It will be unique. We must make sure that we really understand this. There is no such thing as an objective perception of reality. There is a reality of phenomena out there but each and all of us perceives and interpret them differently. Therefore it does not make much sense to insist on one's own interpretation of reality as being the right one. There is not much absolute Truth for us but mostly personal reality.

When we synthesize what we perceive as reality into general terms and rules we create a mindset and ontology to work with. Both will always be restricted to our very own self and reality. Form this personal set of information we create assumptions and predict the outcome of phenomena and what effects our interactions with reality (the causes) will have. We can see a loop closing here which is what makes it so hard to accept that we can only perceive our version of reality .

Authenticity

There is a level of having come to terms with being in a material world and encountering external phenomena which are very different from oneself. Authenticity is the degree to which one acts true to one's own reality.

Real and Proclaimed Self

There are three levels of reality:

  • Objective reality. We cannot perceive this reality as it is. We can only interpret it on the grounds of our mindest and ontologies. There are theories that claim that human beings can perceive reality as it is when they are "fully realized" or "enlightened". This is only a working theory to me because I am unfortunately neither fully realized" nor "enlightened".
  • Our self perceived reality. This is our interpretation of reality. It is not "wrong" or "right" in itself but it is distinctly unique to our self, memeplex and ontology. We can only communicate this very inefficiently using speech, word, body language, etc. There is no such thing as a "digital exactness" as we know it from making a copy and passing it along.

Authenticity Meter

My personal "Authenticity Meter" is a measure to depict the level of proclaimed ethics and lived morality of an individual. The Authenticity Index (I just put together on this page) ranges from 0 (no correspondence between proclaimed and lived ethics) to 7 (synchronicity of proclaimed ethics and lived life). If I was in a position to award authenticity indexes to folks, then for example Ghandi would have a fairly high Authenticity. He proclaimed peacefulness and lived it. Paris Hilton would also have a fairly high authenticity index: She is rich, dumb, does not care and lives up to it. This is to show that my Authenticity Index does not out of itself judge the ethics of folks but only on whether they live up to it.

The worst that can happen is folks who proclaim high ethics but do not live up to them. From my experience this unfortunately includes almost all politicians, many religious leaders and "leaders" in general. We have come to be used so much to the disparateness of proclaimed ethics and lived ethics that we do not care anymore. Sometimes it is even worse, we believe that we a personal distance to our lived ethics is directly proportional to our proficiency. It is completely normal that a Shrink (Psychiatrist) consults couples on how to live a better matrimony but themselves have broken their own family. A general comment on shrinks is that they always have a broken personality - which is why they became a shrink in the first place. One question that is left open the justification that we have to follow or believe a being's proclamation that does not live up to it?

In my case it would be environmental protection. I pride myself to be careful with the environment and do not tire to proclaim that we (people from privileged industrialized western countries) live off the cost of the less privileged majority of world population. But I still drive a car and fly around the world injecting poison right into our stratosphere. Dammit, #fail: Authenticity Rank 0.

Conclusion

This disparity must end. Live up to your own proclamations or shut up. Do what you can and if it is good, talk about it. If you think something is a good idea and you want to make other people do the same then first you have to live up to it yourself. Proclaiming one thing and doing another is our culture but it is stupid, bad and wrong.

Comments

Peter wrote (with some typos cleaned by me) in our IRC chat room:

 Danke für den Link und die Erwähnung. Die Idee ist natürlich
 gut, aber wie will man die Authentizität tatsächlich "messen", ist
 es nicht ein Versuch einer erneuten Objektivierung und wider-
 spricht das dann nicht dem zuvor Geschriebenen zur Objektivität?
 Schwierig, schwierig..
 Interessant ist, dass ich just gestern (weil ich mit dem Namen
 Salinger nichts anfangen konnte, und über die sehr breit gestreute
 Todesnachricht verwundert war) mal in der Wikipedia nach seinem
 Welterfolg "Der Fänger im Roggen" in der Wikipedia nachgelesen
 habe: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_Fänger_im_Roggen
 Nach dem, was ich gelesen habe, spielt Authentizität dort auch
 eine entscheidende Rolle - ach ja: "Rolle" - bei der Betrachtung von
 Authentizität dürfte auch ihr Spannungsfeld zur Handlungsfähigkeit
 und in dem Zusammenhang die Bedeutung der eigenen Rolle
 (sowohl angenommen, gewünscht als auch "von innen" und "von
 außen") ziemlich bedeutsam sein. Denn ich denke, dass Unauthen-
 tizität nicht selten eine Konsequenz eines Rollenkonfliktes ist,
 der entweder in einem selbst (Wunschrolle vs. tatsächlicher Rolle)
 oder darin ligt, dass die Umgebung einem eine Rolle zuweist, die
 man selber nicht übernehmen will.
 Bedeutung .. bedeutsam sein - mhh. Chat ist hierfür igendwie
 nicht das richtige Medium ..