Rethink: Eloquence Over Truth

Abdelmoumen
3 min readNov 27, 2023

What is the common point between Propaganda, storytelling speech Debates, Narratives ? They all aim ONE thing: persuading the audience to adopt a particular viewpoint.

James Garrett/New York Daily News via Getty Images

I n today’s world, we are bombarded with a multitude of messages, opinions, and ideologies daily. Often, it becomes challenging to discern where we stand on certain issues, which political party aligns with our beliefs, or simply who’s presenting the truth.

The Appeal of Articulation

Amidst the information overload, many, when confronted with topic or debate that piques their interest, rather than do the intellectual work to think it through. they might tune into a podcast, scour social media opinions, watch a YouTube video, or read an article that presents someone else’s meticulously crafted viewpoint. If this source is compelling, persuasive, or simply articulate, it’s easy to adopt their stance without thorough analysis. We find ourselves parroting their arguments, sometimes even emulating their demeanor when discussion the topic, all because we found their presentation appealing. Our agreement may be more influenced by someone’s eloquence than the actual merit of their argument.

And that’s exactly the immense power of articulation.

The Myth of Rational Decisions

There’s a prevailing notion that humans make decisions or adopt ideas based on rational, critical analysis. However, we are led by our emotions and feelings, and our brain is inherently inclined to conserve energy. Donald Miller expert in neuromarketing, explored this idea in his book: “Building a story brand”. When people must process too much random information, they tend to disregard its source in order to conserve calories and effort.

The Illusion of Perception

In his book “Rewired”, neuroscientist David Eagleman delves into an experience known as the waterfall illusion or the aftereffect illusion. Imaging fixating on a waterfall’s cascading flow, and then you look over the rocks to the side of the waterfall. The rocks appear to move upward.

This illusion is a testament to the tussle occurring in our brain. One part of the visual cortex registers the downward motion, while another detects the upward motion. Over time, to conserve energy, our brain starts to skew our perception, making us believe the stationary rocks are moving upward.

I cite this example to reinforce Donald Miller’s assertion: the brain, in its quest to conserve energy, can be easily persuaded. This phenomenon becomes particularly relevant when considering the impact of a well-articulated argument.

The Brain’s New Normal

David Eagleman delves deeper, suggesting that our brains doesn’t merely create these illusions to save energy. They also recalibrate our perception as If it were the new normal.

If our brain can be so malleable with basic visual stimuli, think about its susceptibility to more complex ideas and narratives. And this is a concern. Given our daily exposure to ideas, opinions, and messages form media, governments, marketplaces and peers, how often is our brain reshaping its beliefs, influenced by repetitive narratives or captivating speeches, without us even realizing it?

Cognitive Predisposition vs Genuine Conviction

The essence of this blog is hinges on two pivotal points: Our brain, frequently gravitates toward that are easily digestible, sometimes under the guise of genuine conviction. Secondly, crafting a clear, compelling narrative or argument is a direct response to this cognitive predisposition.

Therefore, the next time you find yourself on the cusp of accepting an opinion or stance, it’s paramount to dissect the arguments critically. Otherwise, you might just be swayed by another’s captivating narrative.

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Abdelmoumen

Business consultant. Engineering Master's. Exploring politics, history, and tech through analytical storytelling. Sharing insights and opinions on Medium