Let us leave off these divagations, for it serves no purpose to invent a “comforting interlude,” wearisome feature of all eschatologies. Not that we may not conceive this new humanity, transfigured on the brink of the horrible; yet who can assure us that, its goal once achieved, it would not fall back into the miseries of the old one? And how are we to believe that it would not weary of bliss or that it would escape the lure of disaster, the temptation of playing, it too, a rôle? Boredom in the midst of paradise generated our first ancestor’s appetite for the abyss which has won us this procession of centuries whose end we now have in view. That appetite, a veritable nostalgia for hell, would not fail to ravage the race following us and to make it the worthy heir of our misfortunes. Let us then renounce all prophecies, those frantic hypotheses, let us no longer allow ourselves to be deceived by the image of a remote and improbable future; let us abide by our certitudes, our indubitable abysses.CIORAN, “Urgency of the Worst” (1979)
Through the eyes of a group of people convinced that they knew the date of the end of the world, ‘Right Between Your Ears’ explores how people believe, and how we turn beliefs into certainties and then mistake them for the truth.
Many people have a strong sense that their views are right and couldn’t possibly be wrong. So how do we come to hold an unshakable conviction and why is it hard to consider that we could be mistaken?
A stock trader with a young family, a philosophy student about to graduate and a retail manager who became so convinced she quit her job of 18 years. As they face the consequences of their conviction, neuroscience and social psychology offer insight into how we can become convinced that we’re right, even when we’re wrong.
“A fun and warmhearted look at a community of doomsayers as they face the day of judgment, it ends up saying a great deal about how we all think.” — Louis Theroux
This documentary was first released in 2016.