LINES | ANGLES
Every day we underestimate ourselves as individuals and as a culture. One looks at a building like this, shaped to house research, classrooms, students, staff, multiple organizational offices, laboratories beyond imagining, all coming together in this somehow cohesive symphony of art and architecture, and yet still, we have no faith in where we're going as a species. No faith that we're ever going to figure it out.
The anti-thing to the placebo — the make-believe panacea that somehow generates a very real result — is the nocebo — a make-believe negative expectation that likewise makes itself manifest in real ways. Consider that old nutshell about the soldier who, if he believes he'll die tomorrow, will find a way to make it happen. He's believing his own headline.
We're doing no different when we expect the worst of our future. The current social media/media landscape sells us the nocebo. The rarer murders become, the more they are reported on in the news (there's good data on this). That's wholesale negativity, and because of negativity bias, boy are we buying. But take it from the full reality of human history, the ugly and gorgeous, those buildings and stories — we're actually capable of creating wonders together. We figure shit out.
It takes time. It often comes a little late and at a steep price, one paid in lives and waste, but we get there.
The lines and angles meet. The decisions are made. The building is built.
Don't believe it? Ask the sports psychologists and athletes of the world. It's been proven that endurance decreases when we tell ourselves how tired we are during the marathon. Likewise, we see it increase when we tell ourselves, in the midst of brain-erasing muscle fatigue and pain, that we're "feeling good." Those two words make us better athletes.
And it's not by a little bit either. In fact some studies have shown as much as an 18% increase in output as a result. In short: the stories we tell ourselves matter.
Nocebos are poison. They keep your pace low until you drop out.
Let's instead make some angles. Let's make a building.
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