Tag: central statistical office

Seeing black where there’s black and white where there’s white

Seeing black where there’s black and white where there’s white Featured

“People will tell you that the economy is not booming, yet activities which indicate that there’s money in the economy and people are living well are there for all to see,” says President Edgar Lungu, and adds: “This is the contradiction of our political activity where we see white, you see black.

”Is President Lungu seeing a mirage and mistaking it for a river? Are these bridges that are being built where there are no rivers confusing him – making him to see water where there’s bitumen?

But we know that the “bent light from the sky” is refracted as it passes from cooler air into hotter air and back up to your eye. Combining all of this together, refracted light from the sky is interpreted as straight, letting us see an image of the sky on the ground. This is why many mirages appear as blue water.

Why do some people see black while others see white before their eyes when they are about to pass out? Why does the colour that is seen differ from person to person? This is about memory not colour. You can only be sure that it is the memory people have created that differs, not the actual experience.

We know human brain does not record or play back a linear stream of events like a machine does. We don’t fully understand any of the processes of memory or recall. But we are pretty certain that a memory is in some way edited each time it is recalled.

There would be many possible reasons and processes of ‘passing out’ and many different experiences, and some reasons might involve the sensation of light or darkness, but the memories may well be more ‘coloured’ by the expectations, and the most recent sensation on waking – darkness of closed eyes, or brightness of a lit space – might well confuse the creation of memory.

Most people can remember the fact of having sometimes woken remembering vividly, for a moment the dream from which they have just awoken; but can almost never remember again, any of the dreams! – I think that is probably the most common instance of the fact that memory is not always ‘recorded’ permanently or accurately.

It’s not in dispute that the President is living a comfortable life – no problems about food, no education problems for his family, no water and electricity problems, no problems with medicines, he doesn’t have problems with rentals and transport. There’s no joblessness in his family. But this is not the case with the great majority of our people. What he sees about himself and his family is not a reflection of the living conditions of all our people. Poverty is not reducing. Despair is growing. Hopelessness is on the rise. Monthly statistics are there from the Central Statistical Office to show the true living conditions of our people. There’s no need for guesswork, witchcraft or voodoo. Things are not good for our people. It’s not a question of seeing black where there’s white; it is seeing black where there’s black and white where there’s white.

Fred M’membe

President of the Socialist Party