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There are always perceptions, facts, and interpretations that are often associated with any particular phenomena, incident, and any event of any sort ( e.g., political, economic, social..etc), and there is always a significant amount of variance between the three, to which I believe the underlying causes of the vast majority of the world today's problems can be attributed. As far as the variance is concerned, I don't see nothing but our bias, selfishness, and voluntary blindness as the antecedents of such variance. Put simply, the relationship between the variance ( between facts, perceptions, interpretations) and any problem of any sort is either partially or fully mediated by individual or collective bias, selfishness, and voluntary blindness.
In today's volatile, messy, and chaotic world of politics, most of what we label as problems, challenges, and conflicting views are the resultants of such variance, which is a natural outcome of the huge differences in political agendas of political leaders.
Take for example the Middle East longstanding conflicts, there are so many intervening variables that have been contributing to the persistent struggle at many levels; political, economic, and social. One of the most important factor that have been worsening the collective state of affair for several countries is the profoundly damaged trust between the people and their respective governments. These governments have willingly and intentionally built a weak social system that can be easily manipulated, and therefore minimizing the likelihood of healthy society that can collectively think, process information, and act accordingly. People on the other side have failed miserably to figure out a way to overcome their deficiencies in determining the sources of failures, the root causes of their economic struggles, the proper approaches for gradual and positive change, and more importantly the rational way of information processing, upon which depends all the subsequent intellectual works. This failure can be attributed to the individual selfishness, which occurs when each individual sees the world from his established perspectives, refuses to accept a debate over his beliefs and conceptual frameworks, rejects the fact that everyone of us could be wrong in many occasions. This leads to a major barrier to social bridges, which can greatly help facilitating knowledge sharing, better information processing, promotes culture of acceptance, and encourages continued revisions of our own beliefs. Collective thinking comes from mutual respect, collaboration, continued exchange of ideas and propositions with regard to the macro-problems facing a society, and therefore leading to greater likelihood of social systems that are effective, efficient, and moderate.
Societies in countries like the Middle East countries need to promote a culture of acceptance between its members, encourages collaboration and continued exchange of insights and views. This can help overcoming one of it's most problematic dilemmas, which is the lack of a cooperative and moderate collective social system. A system that if properly built, other problems can be then addressed more effectively, including the longstanding gaps between governments and societies, as well as perceptions about these societies in the western countries.