TED Conversations

Alison Whitmire



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What does it mean to be authentic?

Authenticity has an illusive quality. It's like 'Blink", you know it when you see it, but can you describe it? How is it you know when someone is being authentic? Is it because of how they are being or because of how they are NOT being? Is there such as thing as being too authentic? If not, what's meant by TMI, too much information?

Is authenticity showing up with no filters? Is that wise? Don't we need our filters? Is it OK to always be authentic? Is it always safe to be?

As you can see, I'm all questions and no answers. I look forward to yours. :)


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    Feb 20 2011: For me being authentic is simply a matter of the absence of any intention to deceive at any level.

    Sometimes people can be open on one level, and deceptive at another.

    Often times we deceive ourselves as to our actual motives (games theory requires that we have the capacity to do this).

    How we "know" is via the mechanism of "holographic association" (the mechanism that powers the "blink" phenomenon that Malcolm Gladwell so eloquently describes). It is the power of the brain to form linkages via the mechanism of storing and retrieving information as interference patterns. We learn what is normally associated with deception and what is not. Actors, poker players, deceivers of all realms, learn how to imitate these patterns that our subconscious can recognise, and thence deceive most of us.

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