Monday, May 11, 2020

Thinking for ourselves, rather than being told what to think


Last week, we talked about "The corruption of the 'news' media into the 'propaganda' media".  In that context, I was interested to come across an article by my friend in meatspace and cyberspace, author Cedar Sanderson.  I think she makes a very good point.

The death of critical thinking and logic in our culture has become more and more evident in the last few years, reaching a feverish peak during the recent crisis ... if we do not start exercising our abilities to think clearly, skeptically, and seek truth, we can and are giving up much of what our ancestors fought and worked so hard to gain.

We have got to figure out how to think for ourselves again. And it seems the first step toward doing that is to reach over to the remote and turn off the news. Also, switch off Youtube if you’re trying to use that for ‘news’ and definitely flee the flaming dumpster that is Twitter.

What’s left?

That’s a good question. A very good question, and one I don’t fully have an answer for ... When I hear some tidbit of information, I spend a few minutes to track it back and verify it. Yes, this is a lot harder than simply letting the talking heads fill my mind with what they want to allow me to hear and think. On the other hand, with the world wide web of information at my fingertips, and a little knowledge of how to read critically, I can be a lot closer to the facts and finding the truth than I ever can if I rely on the mass media to think for me.

There's more at the link.

Cedar quotes from an article by William Lehman, in which he considers the damage done to human society by the increasingly-cut-off-from-reality press.

There once was a time when the “traditional” press was in service to the community.  Seems for the most part, that ship sailed.  Newspapers, the oldest mass media existent, are going the way of the dodo… well, they helped themselves become extinct, and I shall not much mourn their passing.  When the news existed to serve the community, and SURE, to expose corruption, and malfeasance, they served their purpose.  After Watergate though, it seems like the press got drunk on their own power.

. . .

Where once there were thoughtful articles weighing both sides of an issue, the “USA TODAY” and others of their ilk developed the Splash box, the Text box in a box, and all of the other things designed in a most P. T. Barnum way to excite, to stir the emotion, to catch your attention for mere seconds and then on to the next thing, in the style of “THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS!” “SEE THE EGRESS!” “THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD, THE EGRESS!” until you find yourself dumped out at the end having passed through to “the egress” which of course, means EXIT, knowing no more than you did when you started, and wondering, “just what happened here?”

In short, they forgot their roots.

. . .

I desperately want you to question.  Take nothing, including what I say, at face value.  Always assume there’s a motive, an agenda.  My personal agenda I will be quite clear about, I want freedom, freedom for my nation, freedom for my people, and for my family.  I want people to THINK.  If I am trying to win your thoughts, it’s to cause you to question, to examine, and to reason. And I want you to question, including questioning me.

Again, more at the link.

I think both articles have the right of it.  Recommended reading.

Peter

7 comments:

Innocent Bystander said...

There's no question electronic media is worthless: Anything from a major network is just the "Nightly Propaganda Broadcast," and what's jokingly called "local news" is merely social media garbage broadcast on TV.

Newspapers and "news" magazines gleefully committed seppuku by becoming increasingly biased to the left (any bias is reprehensible, but the leftist version seems more strident and toxic).

Which leaves the internet and talk radio. Unfortunately, in today's environment one must consume time and energy to verify their information as well.

We're in deep yogurt - not only has critical thinking been eradicated from our culture, there are few places to turn for accurate, truthful information.

I don't want "Fair and Balanced," I want the actual, complete abd total truth, without fillers, added conclusions or baked-in opinions; I'll decide what to think about it.

Aesop said...

Thinking is hard work. Most people hate doing it. Some have so little experience of it, it literally physically hurts them; as if you had hitched them to a horse-drawn freight wagon loaded with pig iron, and asked them to haul it over the Continental Divide, barefoot, walking on carpet tacks and broken glass.
And then the caterwauling and tantrums start, and the seriously butthurt look for rope and a stout oak tree.

The road to Hell, OTOH, is downhill, wide, and paved with shag carpeting. Unless someone on it tries to walk the other way, against the crowd.

Unknown said...

One America News Network.

oann.com

They have some amazing reporters, most notably Chanel Rion. I just LOVE her reports from the white house.

Diane

Jonathan H said...

I read across a broad spectrum of organizations regularly.
My preferred sources are the Real Clear websites who aggregate articles from across the spectrum and who add polls, editorials, and some very good original writing.
I most often spend time on RealClearPolitics.com and RealclearHistory.com, but I also look at their Energy, Science, and Defense sites regularly.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

I say this again and again - I’m probably sounding like a skipping record - but the problem isn’t media bias. The news media have ALWAYS been biased. What changed is that the Progressive Left persuaded us that an unbiased media was possible, and gained sufficient control over the news that they could pretend they were providing it.

News is reported by humans; it WILL be biased. There was a time when most citizens knew this, at least on some level. What needs to change is not the AMOUNT of bias, but the uniformity.

deb harvey said...

ManY of us have no internet, too expensive, nor do we have smart phones
Called the post office heard lots of recordings none of which were helpful and an hour plus wait to speak to an agent
So many of us are cut off except for the tv drivel (no cable)
Where are the reports on local businesses going broke and local people losing shelter and who have few groceries?
It is all 'we are all in this together' said in soothing tones
We have been cut off from Liberty and livelihood among other things
Looks like there may be no return for many of us, in many ways
Then the euthanasia can start
Truly the nation has been turned over to the devil without a shot being fired or hardly a whimper of protest

OvergrownHobbit said...

Once upon a time we were a Christian nation with a common (by State more than by nation) culture that tolerated compatible outliers.

Now we are not.

Since we are not, we cannot agree as to our lares and penates. Since we cannot agree, we have to replace the judgment that came with no having a common yardstick.

So we use feelings instead. Mostly.

You cannot teach "critical thinking" without the ability to accept judgment: praise and condemnation based on an understood and acknowledged rule

Which is, currently unendurable.Even SocJus would "work" were it a reliable rule. Though since it was invented to allow capricious judgment (preferably of thee, and not me) I admit that is a non-starter.

What you want requires a sea-change in the culture, at least of your State, if not your nation. The which I think neither you nor Mrs. Sanderson would care for.