Posted by: The Discerning Man's Squatch on January 27th, 2014
The importance of training yourself to see worthwhile evidence correctly so that you can be a better judge of it
Typically in any endeavor that becomes a hobby, pastime, sport or other, you begin at a place where things look very different to you then your future self will see them. When I first became interested in woodworking for example, I would have never imagined a chair or the concept of chairs, which I had seen countless versions of throughout my life as we all do, would look different to me as I learned the craft of carpentry. Today, instead of looking at a wooden chair as something that mostly serves a utilitarian purpose of resting your butt with varying degrees of aesthetics and comfort, I now see as trees that were chopped down, milled into boards, measured to exact lengths, cut into precise parts, assembled, sanded and then finished with a multitude of different options depending on the desired end product. Chairs to me today are a very different animal then they were before I got interested in wood working as I generally see and appreciate them on a very different level than most people do. Instead of viewing a chair as a whole, I see them as a sum of its parts and form an accurate mental story of how it came to be.
Another example of this in my life was a rather profound moment in my twenties that seemed to transform a familiar place right before my eyes one day.
My father used to work in a building in downtown Denver and I used to, on some regularity during the summer, visit him in his office on the top floor. I had many times looked out the window admiring the view of the city, but also was forced to look upon the roofs of other office buildings as they were in my direct line of sight. Then one summer I took a job for a roofing company that prevented me from visiting my father. It was a brutal job where I had to endure the extreme heat of a summer sun as well as a rough bunch of guys that would as soon fist fight as have a beer with you. In fact my boss who after losing his license after a DUI would often have me drive him to a bar for lunch and then return to work steaming and ready to rumble. Anyway that is another story, for another time, but needless to say I decided after tolerating this job for that summer and the following winter I had had my fill of the roofing business. The next summer I visited my father again at his office building downtown. As I looked out the same window as I had countless times before, I realized the landscape looked much different to me. Instead of buildings and their rather boring rooftops, I now saw vent pipes, rakes, drip edges and eaves. It was like looking up at the moon from earth after having the experience of landing on it in a spaceship. I had a knowledge of roofs I had never had before and would never look at them again in the same way.
Anyway, thanks for reading a page of so far unrelated to Bigfoot content that you patiently hoped would end as you forgot why you were reading it in the first place. As always, I have a point, but sometimes take a bit to get to it. The point is… time studying and participating in a subject will eventually change the way a person views it and depending on how well it is studied that can be a good thing. That is one of the reasons I believe I can look at a video and determine what degree I should even be paying attention to it, based off of what are now subconscious clues. I can go into detail why I think something looks good or bad, but I can’t make you see it, unless you are coming from the same places and experiences I am. Just like in the chair case in point, I can sit down and explain how it was made by going through all of the steps in its construction, but like the moon illustration, I can not relate that to you in a way that you will appreciate like I do, unless you hop on a spaceship yourself.
In our hobby though, that very thing if studied wrong can be your worst enemy. For example: when you endeavor to view photos with nothing discernible in them and pull out a half a dozen Squatches as a habit.
In that case you are conditioning and reconditioning your pareidolia (The imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist, as in viewing clouds with animal features). You are learning how to build a chair that will not hold the weight of the subject sitting on it and you reinforce that every time you build a crappy bench…mark (pun intended). You are still looking at the roof with “do dads” and “whats its” without knowing what they are or do and so you do not advance your knowledge or credibility anymore than a mailman inherently knows the surface of the moon.
This is the reason I try and drive home that if it is a blobsquatch with nothing further to corroborate it being anything more, that is all it is and you are not doing yourself any favors or advancing your subject knowledge by trying to pull something out of it that is speculation at best and delusional at worst.
When you train yourself correctly however and approach the subject with a critical leaning eye, you are better suited to discuss and analyze the subject matter. As armchair enthusiasts we are certainly faced with obstacles, but that does not mean you have to condition yourself with poor training. This goes for poor so called researchers in the field as well and while those people may have fans, the serious people pay them little attention.
So to end, a little bit of advice
If you look at blobsquatches and find a dozen subjects in the trees, you condition your pareidolia.
When you condition your pareidolia, you see Bigfoot everywhere.
When you see Bigfoot everywhere you never leave the house in case of attack.
When you never leave the house in case of attack, your wife leaves you for the mailman.
Do not let your wife leave you for the mailman.
Ready, set… Bigfoot!
The Discerning Man's Squatch
Gordon Ambrose from Golden, Colorado is an enthusiast of things that go bump in the night. The strange, the unexplained and the manufactured imaginings of the human species. Believing that the human monster can be the scariest of them all, Gordon likes to tackle these questions with a philosophical slant that digs deep into the human psyche. “There are reasons we tell tales of the creepy kind Gordon believes, and they come from not only the darkness under our beds, but in the recesses of our minds, especially when the sun goes down and we are left with only our unprotected, naked selves.” Specifically for Gordon, Bigfoot is a fascinating and profound subject, and has the distinct possibility of being one of many real boogeymen that we have been warned about in myth and legend. “That is why it has captured almost everyone’s imagination, he says, both believer and skeptic.” Gordon considers himself a skeptic, but warns that does not mean he doubts anything for doubts sake. Both sides have blinders on Gordon thinks, as skeptics can use the same faulty logic to come to conclusions as those who see our planet teeming with Bigfoots, UFOs, Sea Monsters and Ghosts. Critical thinking is our friend and the best tool in our tool box and always our justly prerogative. One question Gordon gets asked a lot is, “Do you think Bigfoot exists”? His answer is not a straight forward one, because he, like most of us, has not had a personal encounter. He believes it is a possibility and even a likely one though. “Unfortunately we sometimes share this hobby, with those who use very little critical thinking and I am not a fan of that, he says. We have made leaps and bounds since the Dark Ages and I for one don’t feel the need to go back there in my search for an answer. The truth is out there and it resides in the real world. The place I like to hang my hat”. Gordon has a Facebook fan page named “The Discerning Man’s Squatch” where he first began to ponder and speculate not only the existence of Sasquatch, but what it means to us and how it relates, to our understanding of ourselves. “These are the questions that many don’t ask and I feel compelled to ask them” he says. Majoring in both History and Philosophy, he has a unique perspective that those subjects have brought to him and likes to remind himself of the phrases “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it” and” I think therefore I am”. “We do have an inherent need for a boogeyman” he states. The need arises from our persistence to survive and keeps us from being careless when there are real dangers out there. Colorful stories keep those things close to our breast and help us to remind future generations to look before you leap, because there are real things out there with sharp teeth.” “That being said, he reminds us, that does not mean the colorful stories do not represent the real deal on occasions and in the case of Bigfoot, the deal has gotten a little more real for me, by doing some deep exploring into the topic.” “I am lucky to live in the mountains of Colorado. An area where I can look out my window and see miles of thick trees that cover the hills. There have been sightings not far from my home and I absolutely love that! There is almost nothing more exciting to me, to think that the big guy with big feet could be lurking in my very own backyard. However it also has the secondary consequence of making me a little more jittery when I go camping solo with just my dog.”