Thursday, March 26, 2020

Don't Believe Everything You Hear

Particularly if you hear it from someone who has lied over 16,000 times in his first three years in office. The Washington Post reports that as of January he had made 16,241 false or misleading claims in his first three years. They haven't updated their fact check for total lies since January but they are tracking his false or misleading claims regarding the Covid-19 virus.

It's really something (depressing, frightening, confusing, maddening, as expected) to think that someone who wouldn't qualify to hold any position of trust is defended or even idolized by so many. 

It must be incredibly disorienting to think that all mainstream fact-based podcasts, radio shows, newspapers, magazines, books and television coverage can't be trusted when it comes to reporting on this president.

It's hard to imagine how frightening, not to mention degrading, it would be to live in a world where your truth, your facts, your reality - come from one human being. Of course people willing to do that are just doing what he told them to do when he made that Orwellian statement,  "just remember what you are seeing and what you are reading isn't what's happening." 

I suppose if you must live in a Fantasyland you gotta do what you gotta do. The only problem I have is when your fantasy starts to disrupt the real world and cause harm to other people.


I know I've made a mistake, well actually a bunch of mistakes in this and other blog posts. 

I mistakenly assume other people are like me, that they share my life experience - that they are curious, that they have the capacity, desire and time to try to find answers to difficult questions - that they like to think, to read, that they like to exercise their minds. For sure some percentage of people have those traits. I think I know some things but I'm sure I'm wrong about some or a lot of things. I'm not bragging about my oracle-like capabilities it's just that I have a lot of time, some brain cells left and I'm curious. So...I imagine with my vast knowledge ;-) I sound like a know it all, a scold, a pompous ass, a nut or a partisan to a fair number of people. All probably true to some degree. We are all lots of things.

In the real world people will do almost anything to avoid thinking - that is considering new facts, or facts that are contrary to what they believe they already know. People confuse having a mind full of thoughts with thinking. It's easy to have a mind full of thoughts - in fact it's very hard not to have a mind full of thoughts. Thinking independently, that is creating your own thoughts based on available data, is hard time consuming work. Some consider thinking and learning new things fun because they were trained by good teachers (shout out to good teachers!) but if I'm honest about it a world where everyone wants to think and learn is my Fantasyland.