The view from England: Perception trumps reality – by Chris Hinde (Northern Miner – April 7, 2022)

Global mining news

The mining industry is playing by the wrong rules, and has been for decades. Many of us are scientists, and believe truth is discovered by establishing all of the facts.

However, as Oscar Wilde told us, the truth is rarely pure and never simple. Reality is easily distorted by incomplete data and misunderstood information, and what is real doesn’t matter as much as people’s perceptions, accurate or not. This dichotomy is exposed by publication of a report on the looming, catastrophic, underinvestment in mining.

The role of perception has been debated by philosophers since Plato, 400 years before Christ, and Aristotle (384-322 BC) was one of the first to observe that we might perceive to have seen or heard something, without actually seeing or hearing anything. Whenever we mis-see or mis-hear, Aristotle says, we nonetheless see or hear something real; it is just not what we take it to be.

The difference between reality and perception comes to mind as we approach Saint George’s Day. The patron saint of England was born in Cappadocia (now Turkey) and died Apr. 23, 303.

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