February 26, 2016

To Think or Not to Think


Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. - Criss Jami

I am a child of a simpler time. A time when a person had the pleasure of forming their own conclusions about the world around them. A time when folks were given credit for having a "lick of sense." Apparently we mere mortals are unworthy of this kind of power because it's been completely stripped away.

I must have been otherwise engaged when things changed so radically because I didn't see it happening. It feels like I blinked too slowly one day and the world I lived in morphed into something that bares no resemblance to what was in its place before the blink. 

For for whatever reason, the powers that be (or the powers that want to be) seem to believe that human beings are no longer capable of taking in information and drawing conclusions from it. There's an urgent need to translate - even the simplest of things. It seems we now need to be spoon fed our impressions and conclusions. Did we get too lazy to do it ourselves? Were we only too happy to have one less thing to do or did we all just do what I did - blink?

The news media is particularly guilty as it vies to input its various and sundry agendas in that hallowed space once reserved for our own rational thinking. They can take a simple statement and shape shift it into something that would totally confound even the X-men!

When you stretch the truth, watch out for the snap back! - Bill Copeland

Have our brains rusted shut? Who should we believe, the commentators or our own lying eyes and ears?

 Those who think it is permissible to tell white lies soon grow color-blind. 
                        - Austin O'Malley

I've also noticed that truth has changed dramatically. Now instead of being a stand alone item it shifts depending on how many times misinformation about it is reported. It goes something like this: Take the truth and change it up enough times and...POOF...the lie is not only transformed magically into truth but has taken on a new life of its own. Might this sort of stuff have worked on my parents when I was growing up? If I lied repeatedly enough about the same thing would it have been awarded enough "truth points" to actually become the truth? If that's the case can I get a do over and get back all the time I spent grounded? 

There's nothing wrong with stretching the truth. We stretch taffy, and that just makes it more delicious. - Stephen Colbert

Why do we need so much conjecture? For instance, why are we willing to let someone tell us, after a political debate, what the candidates on stage really meant? Have we so completely devolved as a species to the point of not being able to connect the dots without someone holding our hands and guiding the pencil? On top of that all we need to do is push a button to get a different version of "what really happened." We can channel surf until we come up with the the version we like best without ever activating a single brain cell in the process! Isn't life grand??

If we understand the mechanisms and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without their knowing it - Edward Bernays

It's not just the "news" media however. We're not even sharp enough to watch a sporting event without an hour of conjecture before hand telling us what we can expect to see and an hour after letting us know what we just saw - in case we somehow missed it.

Politicians have elevated conversational hocus-pocus to an art form. Soon we'll have national museums displaying beautiful works of spin. Admission will be free if we can cut through the sticky webs at the entrances and don't mind the slime dripping off of us as we leave.

All of this worries me - apparently - since I'm writing a blog post on the topic. Maybe I'm just a late adapter. Maybe I should just get on board the train to Brainlessland and stop complaining. I see so many other people doing it that I have to ask myself: "Is it just me?" 

 But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and important requirement for success
 - Adolf Hitler

Regardless, I've made it this far drawing my own conclusions so I don't feel particularly inclined to hand that job over to someone else. Especially someone whose agenda I can't even pretend to know. Not yet at least. There's no doubt that the big wheels keep on turning and the big spin will keep on churning. I guess it's left to us to decide whether to get on board or continue to swim through the ever thickening murk ourselves. To think or not to think. That is the question!

How about you? Are you still thinking or has it become just one more thing on an already too long to do list?


  1. Too much information, everywhere! But don't worry too much - the sheep have always adopted the opinions of others ("She must be a witch!" "Homosexuality is evil!" etc etc), and the intelligent have always thought for themselves, and will continue to do so :)

    1. Yes, WAY too much information - and even more disinformation. Keeping my thinking to myself!

  2. Oh, so true! I wish more people could start thinking, really think about what's going on and see the truth for what it is. Too much confusion going on and it doesn't help to add to that.

  3. Actually, we all now need to be spoon-fed our impressions and conclusions! Thanks for sharing this educational post! Your recommendations are vital!