Editors Note: This post might be better titled “ramblings from a mind turned to mush by our “information highway”. I had the luck to be on ARPANet before it was opened to the public in the great “explosion” of information (the “dis” being optional but applicable in the too many cases.) As people, and especially as Preppers we make decisions based on the facts we are presented and our interpretation of their accuracy, so this hits us at home every minute of every day.
I still tell a story I heard from a Civics Teacher in High School that goes like this – There was a horse race between a Russian horse and an American horse. The American horse won and the newspaper headline the following day at the New York Post read “American Horse WINS!” Pravda’s headline that same day read “Russian Horse Places Second, American Horse Finishes Next to Last!” – both are factual, both tell the truth. (The story was told to me with the American newspaper being the New York Times but I just could not bring myself to type that. It was awhile ago, when reporting the news was their agenda and the means by which they promoted their circulation.)
I am sure you have also all read or been told the theorem that if you put enough monkeys at enough keyboards eventually they will turn out the….Bible, or The Works of Shakespeare, or some other great historical accomplishment. I contend that the “internet, information highway” has disproved that theory.
My notes on what to point out, just the notes, are about to exceed 2,000 words so I will just put a couple in here and save the others for another day.
My Top Two: The Media and History
The Media, the Fourth Estate.
“It used to be that the media was called “the Fourth Estate” to accentuate the freedom of the press, not to be confused with the term “fourth branch” which proposes that they are not free from the government. The press is called the fourth estate in the United States usually because they observe the political process.” No longer, they are the political process, I believe they own the DNC as opposed to the other way around, but that may be the mush I alluded to earlier.
I know I am speaking to a lot of like minded people on this matter and won’t bore you reaffirming things we all know about the quality, or rather, the utter lack of journalistic integrity in America from the Fourth Estate. What you may or may not know is that it singularly poisons the world. I make no secret that I have traveled the world, been to every US state but one (Iowa), have been to 6 continents (I can see penguins in zoos), dipped my toes in the five major Oceans (though they are really just one), been to 7 Muslim ruled countries and on and on AND their news sources about America, and Americans, are AP (Associated Press) and all the alphabets – CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and on and on as well a Reuters and all the others services.
Fox News and Breitbart and Drudge might as well not exist as they don’t really outside of North America and that isn’t 100% bad, I will expand on that in a little while. And yes, I know about Fox News Europe, and Breitbart Europe, but their market penetration in those markets is very low.
The media is a business and it sells content, period. It is just another channel on the TV or the internet trying to garner viewers to get improved Google Analytics to be used to sell advertising. Anyone who thinks that the Fourth Estate in America is doing it for any other reason is a candidate for, well, you fill in that sentence. Their are journalists with integrity, and a passion for what they do, I am sure, but if you want to succeed, you are an employee of the corporation and instructions come from the top like everywhere else. And there are shows hosted by people who care here and there, but it is still all show business and all about capturing advertising dollars. Am I cynical? Most likely but only from years of the droning, mock debates and the news outlets spinning news stories out of every current and over-the-hill celebrity’s tweets. Since I don’t spend a lot of time on the alphabets I will use Fox News and Breitbart as examples for this.
Any celebrity of any status in any industry is given the stage by them, their national pulpit as long as they can be quoted saying something that will infuriate their base, as determined by the Google Analytics they track and use as a determining factor in the generation of their SEO – Search Engine Optimization:
the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.“the key to getting more traffic lies in integrating content with search engine optimization and social media marketing”
This is taught at the college level, degrees in SEO are available from major universities across the country. In fairness I have taken college level courses in it to bolster my market penetration to reach more people. It is a normal business practice of all media outlets to have producers write incendiary comments on their posts on social media just to increase the number or responses they get as this too is a Google Analytics measure of success. When you see a post about say a successful NASA launch you can bet the comments on the post that go right to politics and attacks on politicians and have no relation to the subject matter are that producer looking to increase the number of replies to show that their content brought value to the business. It IS that crazy. It is spin in my opinion.
Fox News just today put out posts from members of the ensemble casts of the TV shows Grey’s Anatomy and The Big Bang Theory as “news” because they sent out tweets against the NRA and against Conservative reporters in this weekends trending analysis. THIS is what is being spun as “news” and promoted as a “fair and balanced” alternative to the lock-step mindset of the mainstream’s slighted view. Just how does one fathom this as news in the first place, and, as an American, how does one defend this as the historians of our age, because that is how our history will be recorded. And to that point, I’ll go a little deeper.
When I was an avid skier I subscribed to the big industry magazines – Skiing, Downhill, Ski and on and on and like all sports they put out their “annual review of what’s new” for the coming season. For skiing this was an August release. None of the products reviewed were ever given any criticism as the advertising for that issue of the magazine and other issues as well, was from these same manufactures. The beginnings of my skepticism (Yes, I can be a slow learner.)
I could go on and on about this as I am sure we all could. My hope is that we never take things at face value, that we do our own due diligence, that we question even when we see something that “exactly” expresses what we were thinking. The enemy of my enemy is NOT necessarily my friend. Be open, but never accepting without your own due diligence.
History: What is No Longer Taught
I asked the question of a learned friend last week “Just how does one learn from the past when they are never taught the past?” The measure of an education after all is that you acquire some idea of the extent of your ignorance. By this measure our education system is excellent.
The teaching of History at every level of the American Education System now leaves a lot to be desired. I apologize to that singular history teacher that is out there a voice in the wilderness, they do exist and we should exalt those that do and try. When my two children were in high school “history” was the assistant football coach showing PBS reenactment movies of historical events and people. I almost got arrested for my reaction to this, more correctly my reaction to the stonewalling and apathy I got when I tried to change this. I lobbied in vain through the PTA and directly to the district. At the time I was a single father with two kids in high school and did not have the financial means to put them in private school, but had the sense to know when they were being severely limited in their ability to compete for college with peers who were receiving a well rounded education. In hind sight at least there weren’t taught from the viewpoint that our founding fathers were rich white elitist slave-owning murderers, that came after.
Today I come across people almost daily who look at me like “who?” when I mention some historical figure and then they go right to their smart phones and Google the information, getting those same impeachable media sources I ranted about above. My laptop has the words “Who is John Galt?” on it’s top and whenever I bring it to a meeting I can see the strangers in the room googling John Galt.
I was a scientist, I have the periodic table app on my iPad called “The Elements” which was done by Theodore Gray. The graphics are amazing. Click on “U Uranium 92” and arrow to the description and here is the first sentence “It is impossible to discuss uranium without acknowledging that the first atomic weapon used in anger was a uranium fission bomb, built in secret lab deep in the deserts of New Mexico and detonated over the unsuspecting city of Hiroshima on the Honshu island of Japan.” While it certainly is possible to discuss this element, in the same context as all the others are discussed as opposed to the author’s revisionist view of historical events, it is of interest that there are blatant errors in this first sentence alone – there was a warning, it was ignored by the Imperial Japanese Command, just when was the first atomic weapon NOT used in anger used, Los Alamos is on a mountain top in north west New Mexico, I have property near there. BTW it has one of the most interesting interactive museums you will ever visit in the town itself. I have skied Pajarito Ski Area while visiting, it is managed by the labs, both my late wife and I did business with the labs which are still owned by the University of California. And following the first sentence you get 7 more paragraphs so laced with opinion and incorrect “facts” that no one could really learn much from this other than mankind is evil. This is just one obscure writing in a iPad app that probably isn’t on a lot of devices. But it is published as the truth. I almost suspect I will find Bitcoin mentioned in the description on Au Gold 79.
We have all seen example of how revisionist history is being taught, I can only imagine what it must be like to have kids in school today and seeing what they are taught, what homework assignments they are bringing home. Weekly we can read about yet another classic piece of literature “being dropped because it is offensive or non-inclusive.” Again, I don’t want this to be an indictment of teachers as there are great ones out there.
In my opinion the REAL power in America is wielded by educators. Period. They create and control everything your child sees, hears and reads in school and are only aided by the Fourth Estate which controls everything else they see, hear or read. Parents have been reduced to the lone voice in the wilderness. Once they enter the education system the education system gets the majority of their waking hours. In order to compete they must conform. If they question they may be subjected to ridicule, or worse. Most major school districts have an almost 1:1 ratio of administrator to classroom teacher.
My point is again, “Just how does one learn from the past when they are never taught the past?”
Sometime my rants run away with me….I look forward to your comments.
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