2 months ago by siggi

Yesterday I watched a movie with my kids. We popped some corn, opened up a couple of bags of potato chips, endulged ourselves in sweets and had something nice to drink with it. All this did not take place in a movie theater, but in the comfort of our own home, in front of the TV.

I must have been really tired, because the couch was very comfortable and I got comments from the kids that I fell asleep during the movie. I denied all the accusations as nonsense, because I clearly remembered all of the film and especially the ending. But I wasn’t actually 100% sure …

So I watched the movie again today. It was actually really good and this time it made a lot more sense. Turns out that I probably missed about a third of the movie, very important plot elements and probably the biggest aha moment of the whole film while dosing in and out of sleep the night before.

The interesting thing about this, is that I was actually quite sure that I had not really fallen asleep and that I had not missed anything important. My brain seems to have stitched the parts of the story that I did see together and filled in the missing pieces, giving me the feeling that I had not missed anything.

Then I got thinking about our own reality. If my brain is good at stitching together a fairly simple story of about an hour and a half, with huge plot holes, which make the whole thing make no sense, but still in my mind everything is dandy, what is it capable of doing in the real world.

If we are seeing and hearing only half the story of anything that reaches us through the news, if there are “plot holes” in the narrative we are being fed, but our brain is filling in the missing pieces, making us be convinced that it all makes sense, what does that say about the actual state of the world? I assume to prevent complete cognitive dissonance, our brain is stitching things together, making a whole out of an incomplete picture, but this could leave you with a feeling that something is not right. That some things just do not add up.

Does anybody else have that feeling?