At the most basic level, you can perceive this event in several ways simultaneously. You may see them move, hear their footsteps, or feel the air move behind them. At that moment, your subconscious applies a medley of algorithms and heuristics; driven by the concert of your biology and your socialization, your brain takes shortcuts you aren’t aware of in an attempt to understand the patterns in your perception.
When our conscious kicks in, it overlays its biases, processing, and reflection over the scene. Your conscious can give the basal instincts context, can reframe the inputs, and supersede and ultimately wrest control from the instinctual.
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We call this cocktail of preconceptions SLANT. It is the combination of inherited programming, processing, and heuristics born of our own experiences. When having any kind of intelligent conversation, we should recognize when we are falling victim to SLANT, and harder yet, we need to to train ourselves to overpower that programming with logic, science, reason, and an egalitarian perspective of self-interest and systemic understanding.
That person you saw is just that – a person. For our purposes, they are only that. A human being can be seen, heard, felt, and valued without labels. All life can be seen, heard, felt, and valued without labels.
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