I’m old school on reality. Well, technically, I’m kinda’ old period. And white. And male. You could say I am a remnant of a bygone era. I still believe that reality should be sought, and accepted, and that to do so is healthy and necessary.


We should defer to the greater argument.

There are a few obsolete ideas that I still cherish, and they could get me erased if I’m not careful about acting on them. One is that we should defer to the better argument and evidence. I might have picked that up from an Intro to Philosophy class in community college. [Not that I didn’t go on to get a Master’s in Art, but I think I learned the most in a couple years of free community college, back in the day, which is part of the reason I think we should bring it back.] This idea has vanished along with objective journalism.

Nowadays it seems as though people subscribe to what a person with unimpugnable status (such as a black civil rights activist, or Jesus], or a celebrity, or a group of people, or the majority maintains. There’s safety in numbers, and many just go along with the herd. They may know a few often repeated bits that substantiate the argument in question, but will be blissfully unaware of what the counterargument is. They haven’t evaluated the evidence themselves, but aligned themselves with a group, and usually a set of beliefs.

For example, on the more conservative side of the spectrum, someone who is pro-gun is also usually going to be anti-abortion, pro death penalty, a climate change “skeptic”, for smaller government, and an anti-masker. What is the connection between being anti-abortion and a climate change “skeptic”? None that I can see, but the conclusions come bundled together in a narrative. Some people surely come to all these conclusions on their own through rigorous investigation, but most people are just followers when it comes to what they believe, whichever narrative, and wherever it falls on the spectrum. Belief is based on group association and belonging, not argument and evidence, hence the common feeling that if you don’t agree you belong to a different group, an enemy camp, and you are a __________ [insert pejorative of choice]. I’m not trying to toot my own horn: I’m pointing out that the value of truth that I grew up with has dwindled, along with the objection to selling out, or the aforementioned standard of objective reporting.

Nothing is ever settled anymore. Debates which should have ended conclusively when overwhelming evidence and arguments were presented remain open. Patently ridiculous ideas are allowed to flourish, because there is never closure, as we refuse to, or are incapable of, recognizing or accepting the stronger argument. Thus the Earth is not a sphere, it could be a saucer, or perhaps an obelisk. There are people today who have a poorer understanding of astronomy than in Galileo’s time.


Truth is indifferent to the seeker of truth.

The second of my cherished obsolete ideas is that the truth is indifferent to the seeker of truth, as in, the truth doesn’t care what the seeker would prefer it to be. I don’t know where I picked this up. I didn’t make it up, but if you do a Google search for the phrase, you will only get links to my blog, and a digital painting which I gave that title. [Incidentally, the same goes for the unknown is always preferable to a known evil. Two of the core philosophical ideas I live by are now only attributable to ME!? It must just be my unintentional paraphrasing.]

Truth is Indifferent to the Seeker of Truth.

The idea is that the truth is its own reward: an inherent virtue. If you go looking for the truth, you may not discover what you had hoped for, nor like what you find. But the broader notion is that such a truth is a treasure in that it gives you greater actual perspective. Consider — to continue with astronomy — that when Copernicus’s heliocentric theory placed the sun and not the earth at the center of our galaxy, it also displaced man from being the center and focal point of the universe and everything else. That was quite a blow to the arrogance of the collective ego, but exciting for the thought explorers because of the new vista of possibility it opened. The same could be said for Darwin’s theory of evolution.

In our postmodern world, we now consider reality relative, malleable, and that we can construct it to our liking, promote and reinforce the belief system we want to implement. You may have noticed some startling conundrums proposed as unquestionable truths. For example, we’ve learned that there’s no such thing as innate gender. Nevertheless, if someone declares that their gender is other than what their physical biology would suggest, we are to understand that it is innately so. Agree or disagree, it’s a self-contradiction, unless we accept that gender is inherent, but not biologically, in which case what is it inherent to? Note that someone’s gender identity does not need to be innate to be accepted or respected. Instead of molding ourselves to an inexorable reality, we seek to customize one to fit our likes, needs and ideals. In that case, it becomes a battle among interested parties of whose version of reality will be promulgated and enforced.

The call for equity is in some ways symptomatic of this. How is it possible that every individual, or group, should perform equally in all capacities, at all times, and in all places? That would be wonderful, but until we are farm-raised in test tubes, some of us are going to get the shorter end of the stick in some respects [I’ve worn glasses since kindergarten, which means I couldn’t be a pilot]. Part of the reason we want equity — as in equal results, not just equal opportunity — is that the cosmic injustice of our life being left so much to biological and circumstantial chance is highly unpleasant and objectionable. Of course we should remove artificial barriers that keep people down because of race, class, and gender, etc., and we should provide equal opportunities when we are able to, but enforcing equal performance for all is trying to force reality to obey our wishes: if all people are not created equal in all regards, we will compensate and make it so. Even equal-opportunity is impossible. How is everyone going to have the same opportunity as the children of billionaire 100 times over, Mark Zuckerberg? He went to Harvard. I didn’t have anything like his opportunities, despite the shade of my epidermis or configuration of my gonads. The most we can probably hope for is a fighting chance, and even then we aren’t taught how to fight.


Accepting reality is necessary and beneficial

My third cherished obsolete idea is that accepting reality is necessary and healthy. It is better to have a compass that points true North, than one that diverts in any other direction. We can’t make good decisions with bad information. We sometimes fantasize about what we would do with the information of today that everybody knows, and go back in time to take advantage of that. Just think of the investment we could have made in Microsoft.

Aside from the importance of having right information, there’s the idea of aligning oneself with reality. If I switch out the word reality, which is rather hard, for nature, this perspective is easier to digest. Yes, it would seem it is better to be in sync with nature than opposed to it.

I am reading Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations before bed. Just a little aside, but a couple days ago I thought how tragic it is that we are so exposed to the perhaps less than stellar minds of people because they are contemporary, fashionable, hold the megaphone, or are crammed down our throats. What if we could commune directly with the mind of a truly great historical figure, instead of listening to the lyrics of the song nominated by NPR as the best of 2020 [spoiler, it was Wet Ass Pussy.]? If you don’t know, Aurelius wrote the Meditations for himself, and they were never intended to be published. It’s his own private attempt to grapple with the universe and navigate how to be in the world. We have access to his internal reverie, which, among other things, aided him as the most powerful man on Earth to be humble and not abuse that power. Some would argue that Cardi B has much more relevant to say in 2020/21 than whatever the last of the five good Roman Emperors expounded prior to 200 AD. After all, he’s a dead white male! Nevertheless, here’s a paragraph I happened to read last night that addresses the value of coordinating oneself with reality.

Revere the ultimate power in the universe: this is what makes use of all things and directs all things. But similarly revere the ultimate power in yourself: this is akin to that other power. In you too this is what makes use of all else, and your life is governed by it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Here, he’s arguing that by being in union with the universe, one shares in the power of its guiding force. Aurelius is a Stoic, so his arguments have really a lot to do with accepting circumstances without mental resistance, and making the most of that which is within our control. Rather than debilitating ourselves lamenting the hand we are dealt, we should play those cards as best we can. Our part in the grand scheme, however minute, is also essential and pivotal in that we are the same as the guiding principle. If we play the hand as a God would, then we have acted as a God, even if we lost the hand. If our actions, seemingly inconsequential, are in line with the movement of the whole, than we are an inseparable part of that entirety. Aurelius also, significantly, maintained that the universe necessarily operated by some grand, universal, form of reason. So, when he talks about the “ultimate power in yourself” he is referring to reason.

Aurelius takes it all a bit spiritual, but there are surely practical and plebeian applications of his philosophy. But how can we be in union with reality if we don’t know what it is? When we are spoon-fed a narrative, we are dragged by the leash away from reality.


Narrative has replaced reality, and it’s dangerous

OK, I’m using a bit of hyperbole here. My cherished ideas about truth are certainly not obsolete in the sciences, nor among a thriving multitude of thinkers who value reason. But they’ve lost ground socially and politically, and now are anathema to the master narrative that is being peddled and policed by big media, academia (surprisingly and sadly], and the internet. There are competing narratives, of course, each distorted and incomplete, but one has become dominant and seeks hegemony. One of the characteristics of a narrative out of control is that its believers proselytize, and feel it is necessary for others to get onboard. If there’s a “you are with us or you are against us” clause, or other prominent either/or imperatives, and especially if there is a villain group responsible for all wrong who must be sacrificed, it’s safe to say that the narrative, whatever its virtues, has metastasized into a cancer.

I think we could all agree that we know what the conclusions are that we are supposed to believe. If I were to give you a checklist with some ideas and a column for “yes” and “no”, you’d know which one you were supposed to check, whether you agreed with it literally and entirely or not. [I once took a personality test as part of a job interview and aced it simply because it was so glaringly obvious what I was supposed to say.] For example, would you know whether to check yes or no to the statement, “Americans are living on land stolen from indigenous peoples”?

We know all the conclusions we are supposed to believe because the narrative has been hammered home. And this applies to events even as they are unfurling in the news. The most outstanding example of this, right now, with which everyone is familiar, is the 2020 election.

It is astounding, whether one applauds the measure or not, that an American president has been censored by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in a simultaneous purge. [Note: I didn’t vote, and don’t support either democrats or republicans.] We only need to imagine the shoe being on the other foot, the tech giants being republicans, and Biden being expunged, to recognize the inherent threat of social media venues having the power to obliterate from their platforms anyone they choose. Surely, if they can cancel the president, they can cancel you. YouTube recently asserted that they would delete any video that maintained that the election was stolen due to fraud. What else might one say that runs afoul of what we are required to believe? Again, even if you want such videos to be taken down, and you are certain that there is no evidence of fraud in the most secure election in US history, we have entered a new era in which information or conclusions which are deemed incorrect will be summarily expunged from the public record using the iron fist of total censorship.

Do you think media companies in China can censor Xi Jinping? Absolutely not! If the justification for censoring the president is that he is a functioning tyrant, then you wouldn’t be able to get away with it. Similarly, I notice that he is the subject of the most savage caricatures in the history of political cartoons, which would also be considered extremely racist and body-shaming if they were of someone else, who also wasn’t white. But we know that we are free to publish such images, and we can tweet the most insulting things we can come up with and see them appear beneath his tweets. That’s a level of freedom very rare in the world. In the country I live in presently, any criticism of the royal family could land you in prison. For four years you were safe to post an image of trump with a micro-penis on social media, and you didn’t have to fear censorship. Keep that in mind.

I have the same underlying reservation against heavy-handed censorship as I do against capital punishment. I don’t like tech companies or the state having absolute power over the individual. The state can kill us, and tech companies can wipe us off the internet. The heads of either of these are just individuals themselves, and thus what we are granting is that one individual or group of individuals has the power to kill or silence others under the law. Interestingly, the president is abusing the power to execute prisoners at the same time social media giants are using their power to erase his presence. Both internet censorship and capital punishment, it is worth noting, are to be expected the more repressive and backwards the governing body in question. And the more backward the government, the more likely it uses its powers to crush not only that which is truly false and objectionable, but that which is true and merely challenges its claim to power. America appears to have its gears in reverse in this regard, and is flooring the pedal while smugly patting itself on the back for riding the crest of the wave of progress.

In a fit of amnesia — where the McCarthy era of rooting out suspected communist sympathizers and destroying their careers is no longer a stain on American culture, but an operation manual — Americans are now putting together lists of people whose lives they feel morally entitled to destroy. Politicians, with no self-awareness of hypocrisy, propose creating databases of people who supported the opposing candidate, and using it to notify their employers or customers in the hopes of crushing them financially. Ordinary citizens scour the internet looking for some tidbit to use to root out individuals who they perceive as the domestic enemy. Did someone say something bad in a tweet, or did someone’s father say something wrong decades ago? That is now grounds for public annihilation.

There is only one small thread that separates this sort of behavior from the acts of fanatics aiding repressive regimes: that such measures are taken morally and are on the right side of history. It’s presumed that it’s OK to smash people with the iron fist if they are the bad people! It’s OK to punch a Nazi! But this very easily and probably inevitably leads to “It’s OK to burn a witch”. When you give people that sort of power, they abuse it to torture the innocent.

When you know what you are supposed to believe about everything, and it is heresy punishable by your life being destroyed should you speak or do otherwise, or ever have, then we are back in the ages when Socrates was sentenced to drink the hemlock for the crime of “corrupting the minds of the youths of Athens”; or when Galileo was forced by the Inquisition to recant the theory of heliocentrism, and was confined to house arrest for the remainder of his days. One of Socrates’s crimes was rhetorically favoring Sparta over Athens in some critiques. That used to sound ridiculous. Now, favoring the wrong party could get you fired. Just flip that around if it doesn’t seem draconian. The Golden Rule wasn’t, “Do unto others as you would never have them do unto you”.

We are back in a time when narrative trumps reality. It’s not only frequently agonizingly stupid, it’s dangerous. Many people now genuinely believe that they can’t say something that is true, just, and beneficial, if it does not support the narrative. Part of this apprehension is absolutely connected to the punishment of those who dare challenge it. Agree with the narrative or not, what we can safely do is believe what we are supposed to, and regurgitate it verbatim.

That’s a bit of a downer, but let’s go back to Marcus Aurelius:

Judge yourself entitled to any word or action which is in accord with nature, and do not let any subsequent criticism or persuasion from anyone talk you out of it. No, if it was a good thing for you to say or do, do not revoke your entitlement. Those others are guided by their own minds and pursue their own impulses. Do not be distracted by any of this, but continue straight ahead, following your own nature, and universal nature: these two have one and the same path.

Marcus Aurelius, the Meditations.

If you can’t publicly speak what you believe is true — what the best arguments and evidence you are aware of demonstrate to be true — well, you can abide by it in your private life. Hopefully, while Socrates died for telling the truth, and Galileo was forced to recant and spend the rest of his life indoors, you’ll merely need to keep your head down, and if called upon to give your opinion, gack up the pablum of the day. The scene in The Killing Fields comes to mind where the Cambodian reporter, Dith Pran, was asked by a leader of the Khmer Rouge what his profession was. Professionals and educated people were murdered, so he humbly pantomimed steering a car, and uttered, “Taxi”.

I too am now a taxi driver.

[Note: The graphic is “Big Brother” from George Orwell’s 1984, with a gender swap filter. OK, yeah, this time it’s the Trojan Horse of “Big Sister”. Quite obviously, it and the whole post is a caution against buying into narratives as opposed to seeking the truth; against punishing people who disagree; and hoping to incline some to reel in their extreme stances or become aware that they subscribe to a narrative at all.

Also, to keep this article short, I haven’t talked about the limitations of reason or the human intellect in grasping or conveying reality. There is the Buddhist practice of apprehending reality directly by sidelining the thinking mind and linguistics. People obtain knowledge through psychedelic forays, epiphanies, dreams — some scientists got their best ideas in dreams — and intuition. Reason is merely paramount in the areas where it strictly applies. I also don’t think Aurelius uses reason to mean just logic in linguistics, but I haven’t finished the book.

If you follow my blog, you may already be familiar with a codicil I often add to the bottom. It says that I recognize I see the world through my own, individual, limited porthole, and my understanding is necessarily partial, skewed, and subjective. Whatever I argue is my view now, and it could change tomorrow. I’ve been wrong before, and I will be wrong again. I also don’t have fixed conclusions, as even science uses “best working models”. So I am saying how the landscape looks to me, at this time, and from this vantage point.]

~ Ends

20 replies on “Reality is Now the Enemy!

  1. “It is astounding, whether one applauds the measure or not, that an American president has been censored by Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in a simultaneous purge.”

    Yep. And excellent read all around. Love your content. Ha, I said “content”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A couple thoughts…Does Donald Trump seek reality and express it through his speech? When a communication is based on lies and absurd fantasies, is it all right for that speech to be used in a public forum to incite violence?

    The famous example: it’s criminal to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. The attendees might trample one another trying to exit the room in a panic.

    Other presidents have communicated to the public without resorting to social media platforms. They sent out press releases and held news conferences. No one is stopping Trump from communicating to the public. His tools for weaponizing speech have been neutered instead.

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    1. “When a communication is based on lies and absurd fantasies, is it all right for that speech to be used in a public forum to incite violence?”

      This relates to my example of Socrates being sentenced to death for “corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens” in that the characterization of a communication is not necessarily accurate.

      For a more colorful example, I’m reminded of the question, “Is it OK to punch a Nazi?” Before I could answer that question, there’s a more pressing one that must be answered, which is, “Is this person really a Nazi?” There is the distinct possibility – as in burning witches – that we are maligning someone in order to justify harming them. So, in your example, I would want to know if the communication really was based on lies and absurd fantasies, and did it really incite violence, or was it merely characterized that way by an opposing party out of self-interest? Was there exaggeration, bias, ill will, or a double standard?

      Before we shut down the communication, punch the Nazi, or burn the witch, we have to honestly investigate whether our accusations are truly accurate. If we are only listening to one side of an issue where we are very certain there are two sides — and especially if people’s reputations, careers, or access to power are on the line — then we might want to do our homework, examine both sides of the argument, and use our own intellect to come to our own intelligent, informed opinion.

      If it’s the Hatfields telling me the McCoys are spreading lies and trying to incite violence out of the blue, for example, I’m going to take it with a grain of salt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Trump lied about winning the election (in a landslide), urged followers to march to the Capitol. He told them to fight, that weakness wouldn’t win, and (what a lie) that he’d be right there with them. Rudy Giuliani told the crowd to hold a “trial by combat”. The crowd marched directly from his rally to the Capitol, invaded, ransacked, killed a police man, threatened to hang Mike Pence. (This was all recorded on video.)

        Is any of that a biased, partisan statement that needs to be taken with a grain of salt?

        Did I suggest that Trump should be harmed for his actions, his speech? Did I advocate violent retribution toward anyone? Cutting Trump off from social media platforms seems like a mild response under the circumstances.

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        1. Your news outlet surely shared that Chancellor Angela Merkel, of Germany, doesn’t support the ban on Trump, and finds it an “alarming” infringement on free speech. Or did it not?

          Yes, you are making one-sided, exaggerated, partisan claims.

          So, for example, you probably remember when several city blocks in downtown Seattle were taken over by BLM and antifa, and an autonomous zone was created which was declared not a part of America. Self-appointed vigilantes patrolled the streets with weapons and beat people. Businesses were forced to pay a protection fee. This included taking over and vandalizing a police station, which is a government building. Would you use the word “insurrection” or “domestic terrorism” in this case, and would you hold politicians accountable who encouraged the protests, who said things like, “I don’t know why people aren’t protesting more”?

          If not, then you have a double standard in which if your political or ideological opponents do something, you extrapolate connections and accountability to politicians you don’t like, and demand they be censored and removed from office. But if it’s on your side, then you are OK with it.

          The censorship isn’t just about stopping alleged, extrapolated calls to incite violence. It’s also about using that as a pretext to shut down the speech of ideological opponents. Ron Paul was blocked from editing his page on Facebook. You are aware that Apple and Google have worked together to shut down Parler, which is a conservative alternative to twitter. The site no longer exists on the web. It’s not just the president being silenced, but a whole platform for conservative speech.

          I might find quite a lot of that speech objectionable, am not a part of Parler, never visited the site, and I did not vote for Trump (the first time around I was for Bernie, until the dems sabotaged him). But what we are seeing is a not just fighting a tyrant, but an opportunistic clamp down on political and ideological rivals, and anyone who challenged the narrative.

          As for fraud. There were outstanding cases of fraud in the swing states, and undeniably there was rule bending. If it wasn’t enough to swing the election, or literally if no evidence was proven in court of a single, coordinated, mass instance of fraud that was sufficient to swing the election, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen in spades. Trump’s exaggerated claim of a stolen election isn’t based on pure fantasy and lies. There’s definitely truth in it, though the partisan media will only say that there is no evidence of fraud – while conceding there is fraud in every election – when the real question is whether there was enough fraud to swing the election (and it needs to be coordinated). We will never know for sure, because the courts wouldn’t take the cases, and that’s part of why Trump is able to believe he won. That’s why Giuliani was putting his reputation on the line saying to prove that he was a fool. If the courts refuse to look at the evidence, or merely declare it bankrupt without doing so, there is no real process of examining it. The anomalies in the election in the swing stages are so striking that it could certainly appear that there is fraud if one is inclined to believe it.

          In short, while I don’t support Trump and certainly not the fringe wingnuts of the far right who stormed the capital building, neither do I uncritically chug down the partisan Kool-aid served up to me by the other members of the ruling elite that make up the democrat option of corrupt political power. The mass censorship is more chilling to me than the wingnut spasm of several days ago at the capital.

          Totalitarianism can come from the right or the left, and, historically, if you look up totalitarian regimes, most of them are on the left, practicing some form of communism, Marxism-Leninism. We’ve seen astronomically more violence from the left in the last year, and it is the left censoring the right, not the other way around.

          Would that we could reel in the power-mongers on both sides and move the pivot point of politics into the center. In reality, we need all kinds of people and voices, including conservatives and radicals, to make up a healthy society. When one faction tries to cancel out the other, they pose real danger.

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  3. Perhaps “Truth is indifferent to the seeker of truth” has not caught on as a pithy saying because it’s confusing. “Indifferent” could mean the seeker doesn’t care whether something is true or not, which is the opposite of what you are trying to say. I think what you are getting at is expressed in the C.S. Lewis quote from The Abolition of Man: ” The true doctrine may be the one that if we accept it, we die.”

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    1. Ha! I hadn’t realized it was a double-entendre.

      It’s safe to say I wasn’t quoting C.S. Lewis, because I don’t understand what he means. Does he literally mean die, or is it the death of the old self? Is it along the lines of “you can’t handle the truth”?

      I just mean that the truth doesn’t care what it is the seeker of truth wants it to be. I think I may be quoting it correctly, and that it came out of a book about Nietzsche. I read the physical book, and I doubt the text is available online, so that could explain it. I move so much that the only physical books I have are ones people gave me since I’ve been at my current residence.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, now I realize I wasn’t even parsing the phrase quite correctly. I didn’t realize it was personifying truth. I thought it meant something like, “The seeker of truth (must be) indifferent to what the truth turns out to be (in the sense that he accepts whatever is true even if it’s not what he would prefer).” I guess that, as with the Lewis quote, the pithy saying only makes sense in the context of the argument that led up to it.

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      2. If you haven’t read The Abolition of Man by Lewis, I recommend it. It addresses this very problem, though in language from about 80 years ago.

        In the book, Lewis has just shown that strict materialism – the belief that literally all that exists is matter – implies that all our value judgments and indeed thoughts are completely irrational phenomena, caused ultimately by random movements on the quantum level and more immediately by our genetics, diet, weather, etc. If we take this seriously, we cannot trust our own thought and we will be left unable to think or act at all. He then points out that proving that the acceptance of materialism will destroy us as people, is not the same as proving materialism false. Perhaps it IS true, and realizing it WILL destroy us. “The true doctrine may be the one that, if we accept it, we die.”

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        1. That does sound interesting. Though it’s impossible for our thoughts to be irrational if we are applying formal logic. Science happened. Our advanced technology is the result of applied logic. So, we can’t conclude in any way that the result is other than what it is. We definitely are not completely irrational. So, either materialism wouldn’t necessarily end in irrationality, or the end result proves that we must also be immaterial beings.

          I’ve had a lot of debates with people about this, because I argue that the mind is not a material object, even if it is wholly dependent on the physical brain for its existence. So, I probably agree with Lewis.

          Anyway, I bet I can find an audiobook on YouTube. I like to listen to books while working on art, when I’m doing the kind of process that doesn’t require a lot of linear thinking. I can easily do both at once sometimes. Yup, there are several audio versions on YouTube.

          I’m looking forward to listening to it.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. It doesn’t surprise me that this stuff has infected academia. It actually originated there. Smart people are dumb. They can’t resist any idea that sounds clever (like “there is no such thing as reality”), and once they’ve picked it up, they can’t be argued out of it by any means because they are so much cleverer than people with common sense.

    Trump didn’t cause this fatal philosophy, and neither did social media. I have known people who reason this way years ago, before we all had e-mail. It is what happens when we teach our smartest kids that everything is subjective. Once you believe that, all that’s left is power and everything becomes weaponized. The most fearsome weapons are the ones that are the best under and objective system – things like “justice” and “empathy.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right. I know firsthand that it originated in academia because I got a lethal dose of it in graduate school a quarter century ago.

      “It is what happens when we teach our smartest kids that everything is subjective. Once you believe that, all that’s left is power and everything becomes weaponized.”

      I think I said the same thing in a post about postmodernism I wrote years ago. Let me just dig that up:

      “Power and money define reality through media, and this plays right into Postmodern rhetoric, which boldly states that since there is no objective reality, and we create it ourselves, our creation of reality is more real than anything else. Corporate media, then, defines reality, and it is a kind of market economics and obsessive consumerism.”

      So, yeah, when reason and logic are thrown out the window, and everything is subjective, then whoever has the loudest bullhorn defines reality, and that’s just going to be the ruling elite. They also have the power to shut down anything that challenges their definition of reality.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “There’s safety in numbers, and many just go along with the herd. They may know a few often repeated bits that substantiate the argument in question, but will be blissfully unaware of what the counterargument is. They haven’t evaluated the evidence themselves, but aligned themselves with a group, and usually a set of beliefs”. How this is true about nutrition questions! If just to ask any activist of “proper nutrition” whose knowledge is based on an internet search, you might hear the same but nothing more, FOR EXAMPLE: “We need proteins to build our body”. Nor they (we) learned about what are the proteins in chemical formulas, their physical and chemical properties, their huge variety, nor they (we) know the biochemistry of a human body which tells that ANY protein in a body is built from amino acids but not from the whole proteins of foreign origin, nor that ANY protein looses its tertial and quarterly configuration under the influence of temperature and pH (when cooking) and therefore can not de unfold till separate amino acids depending on its complexity, nor they (we) remember from a secondary school even the main elements which construct the protein! But everyone is an expert these days to say almost the same two-three phrases about proteins. It is getting even regrettably funny to listen. And nor they (we) have an ability to match and recognize two simple things that after 25-30 years old decomposition takes over the construction and one should take his/her efforts to weed out the accumulated toxins and mucus rather than stuff with the portions of new.

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    1. Thanks for the link.

      That’s an interesting analysis of how the QAnon phenomenon developed and functions, convincing people they are coming to their own conclusions, when it’s all highly orchestrated and they are being led like chickens with breadcrumbs.

      He seems a bit partisan, though, as if he’s only really interested in the brainwashing that happens on the right, and not how similar left belief systems are orchestrated and maintained. For example, he doesn’t mention how people saw the OK sign everywhere as evidence of membership in white supremacist cults, even thought it’s precisely the same phenomenon he was addressing with people seeing stanic cult membership in other hand gestures.

      I looked him up and he was a Green Party candidate for the House of Representatives in 2014. I like his analysis, but I wonder if he will next analyze how the belief system of “wokeness” is manufactured and proliferated. Probably not.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. By the time I finished the article 26-some minutes later I was beginning to wonder if I had been following breadcrumbs throughout what I was reading. Which I guess only reinforces the points he was making. Or not…(sigh). At any rate, I can say for myself that generally when I am reading some sort of “here’s the way this all happened” I usually find something that doesn’t make sense and then I go poking about looking for other versions of that thing trying to make sure that possibly what I am reading is likely or unlikely to be at least leaning toward truth. I did resonate with his point about the dopamine rush that comes when you think you have solved a problem. I’ve felt that repeatedly, but it’s usually because I have done something mundane like install a bathroom faucet by myself. It does happen often when I think the art piece I’m working on is a lost cause and then I somehow miraculously make it work. Which is probably why I keep making art. Dopamine rush…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Right. That dopamine rush of realization, or figuring something out is usually a very good thing. I suppose crafty people could manipulate it for ulterior purposed, but I get it ever time I get out of the latest snafu when working with Blender.

          Like

  6. Reblogged this on I can't believe it! and commented:
    Here is a passionate, thought-provoking post by Eric Wayne on the dangers of current trends away from respect for truth towards shared narratives divorced from critical evaluation and thinking for oneself – and whether banning ideas from media is actually a sinister trend in the wrong direction.

    I particularly like his quotes from an old friend, Roman Emperor Marcus Aureliius. Eric also posts really innovative art.

    Liked by 1 person

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