Reading time: 1,520 words, 4 pages, 4 to 6 minutes.
If you weren’t already aware of it, there are few things you need to know about the ass media:
– If the ass media reports it, it’s NOT important.
– If it IS important, the ass media ignores it.
– The ass media will tell us what we already know when that knowledge has reached such a critical mass of acceptance that they can no longer suppress it.
-When the ass media tells us what we already know they’ll distort it to distract us from the truth.
– They’ll never tell the whole truth.
– Fearmongering sells.
There are many examples, but a good one is the National Post article “Andrew Coyne: The pessimists might be right, social media may have plunged us into a new dark age” [Link] It is instructive because it hits most of the points above.
I write this as a stand-alone article although you might consider reading Coyne’s article linked above for a fuller understanding. As well, the reader’s comments are interesting. [Link]
Coyne starts by saying. “Surely this is another in a long list of ‘moral panics’ that have arisen through the centuries, only to recede.” That’s a straw-man fallacy. It’s not a ‘moral panic;’ it’s a long-term view of our dumbing-down over many centuries. And, it’s not receding. It’s getting worse.
I once read the 8-volume Folio edition of Edward Gibbon’s “The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” I had a reading speed of 1,600 words a minute with excellent comprehension. Edward Gibbon killed that. I was about fifty pages into the first volume when I realized I had retained nothing; no comprehension. I began re-reading at a slower speed. It worked.
When Gibbon began writing his history at the end of the 1700’s, paragraph-long sentences were not unusual. But, you had to read slowly (almost conversation speed) in order to retain the wealth of information those long sentences contained. And, I never did regain my former reading speed (damn Gibbon!) As an aside, I do recommend his history; there’s usually at least one dry chuckle on every page.
Our reading and writing have deteriorated over the centuries since then. Today we have 140 character Tweets. As well, many previously text blogs are changing to Podcasts (audio) or YouTube videos. Why? Because we’ve become so dumbed-down and illiterate that, in order to survive, those blogs need to accommodate the lowest common denominator. In other words really, really dumb.
I can’t do it. I refuse to waste an hour listening to some indecipherable dolt blathering when I could read the transcript in less than ten minutes. I rarely watch YouTube videos for the same reason I don’t watch TV. First, it’s usually either bullshit or propaganda. Second, it by-passes the brain’s critical thinking function as I explained in the article This is Your Brain on TV where in less than a minute our brains switch from wakeful Beta-waves to dream-like Alpha-waves.
The Troikas of social media are YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Coyne fails to mention social media’s political correctness and Big Brother censorship. He ignores the fact that social media have appointed themselves our ‘thought police,’ who declare that conservative websites are “fake news” and then ban them. YouTube did it to Mike Adams’ Natural News [Link] and Jim Sinclair’s JS Mineset [Link] (since re-instated,) Louder with Crowder and numerous others. Facebook recently hired 10,000 more censors to tell us what to think by removing politically INcorrect posts and banishing those who disagree with them.
I give Coyne credit when he writes “the last thing we need is the government deciding what is false news and what is true.” Unfortunately, the social media Troika are doing just that to support their extreme Libtard platform.
Coyne joins the chorus of commentators who list the apparent harms of social media. He cites fake news, bigotry, lunatic ideologies, conspiracy theories, Russian bots, ideological polarization, identity-group affinity, the coarsening of debate, self-censorship to avoid being “mobbed” and the dumbing down of complex subjects. But this is a distortion to distract us from the truth. These charges also apply to the entire internet, not just social media.
This isn’t an indictment of the internet. Compared to the ass media, the internet is superior. 100% of the ass media is BS compared to only 90% of the internet. With experience, we learn to separate the pepper from the fly shit on the internet.
Coyne mocks Socrates for “bemoan(ing) the advent of reading, on the grounds that it would make it unnecessary for people to carry knowledge around in their heads, in the same way folks today worry that “Google makes us stupid” But, it’s true. Einstein said, “Never memorize something that you can look up.” That’s fine if you’re literate and have internet access or a library card. But, what happens when the power goes out or the shit hits the fan? Store clerks today can’t even make change without a functioning cash register.
Consider two major ancient Greek epic poems; the Iliad and the Odyssey. They are attributed to Home, although he didn’t create them. They were handed down by word of mouth in an oral tradition for centuries over many generations. Homer merely recorded them. Can you imagine people today memorizing one of these poems let alone a single line from them?
If you want to see how dumb we’ve become, look at an eighth-grade final exam in 1895 from Salina, KS. [Link] I know I’d flunk.
Does the internet spy on us? Of course, it does. We all know it or we certainly should by now. Anyone who posts anything online or in social media they don’t want the whole world to know is a special kind of stupid. One way to reduce the personal information you share on social media is to avoid participating in those insipid quizzes, personality tests, comparisons, etc. because those companies collect and sell your personal information to advertisers. And, if you don’t want Google to spy on you there are countless other search engines such as WWW.DuckDuckGo.com that don’t follow you.
Personally, I’m glad the internet keeps tabs on me. Why would a lifelong bachelor with no pets want to see advertising about feminine hygiene products, or baby formula or pet food?
I admit it can be freaky. At home on my desktop computer, I did one of my rare searches for a YouTube video on Joseph Stalin. The next day, back at the office, using the company’s laptop I clicked on a link for one of our new products which took me to a YouTube video. Typical of YouTube, they offer suggested videos on the right side of the screen. There were several suggestions for Joseph Stalin videos. How’d they do that? That’s not a coincidence.
My home email address is gerold@[ISP].ca and my work email is “g[last name@company].com.” In other words, two different computers, two different URLs, and two different email addresses with two different names, two different companies, and two different domains, and yet, somehow YouTube ‘followed’ me. I’m amazed, but I’m not bent out of shape about it. I have no expectation of privacy on social media.
The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal has me perplexed. They had access to over 50 million Facebook user profiles. OMG! Hit the panic button (sarcasm.) Apparently, Facebook friends can impact behaviors, such as voting, but I must be particularly stupid because I can’t figure out how Cambridge Analytica can control my friends in order to influence my vote. This smells like ass media distraction and fear-mongering. I couldn’t care less about it any more than I care about Trump’s affair with Stormy fucken Daniels more than a decade ago (another ass media distraction.)
Social media is but a small part of the World Wide Web although you’d never know it from Coyne’s article. As ubiquitous as it is, the internet transformation has hardly begun and only in the fullness of time will we realize all its potential. The Daily Bell calls it “The Internet Reformation” [Link] comparing it’s impact to the Gutenberg press that made information widely available to the public.
It’s doubtful that Brexit, Trump’s election or the recent nationalist movements in Europe would have occurred without the internet. And, that’s why our owners are shitting themselves. The internet makes it harder for them to control us, so out of desperation, they encourage the Troika’s censorship.
Is social media plunging us into a new Dark Age? That’s a false dilemma. Yes, we are plunging into a new Dark Age for the reasons outlined above, but it’s not social media that’s doing it. Social media does have its shortcomings, but it is the effect, not the cause. The cause of the new Dark Age is the dumbing down of the population and that’s one of the reasons that why social media is so attractive.
And, we have no one to blame, but ourselves. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
If you don’t want to burn your fingers, don’t touch the hot stove. I’m sure you can complete the comparison to the internet.
March 28, 2017
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