elaborating on being brainwashed and ill-informed


I suppose I should elaborate a bit about brain being washed and ill-informed which I mentioned here all too briefly yesterday.


It is very easy to be brainwashed in the age of the online echo chamber and insane TV news coverage. Probably almost impossible not to have portions of our brain washed free of facts and replaced with “framing” of an issue. Again and again I watch intelligent people online seeming to back unsubstantiated sets of facts that interpret their way into falsehood.

The echo chamber effect causes the things that you disagree with to stand out and the things that you agree with to seem like part of the environment.

In order to counter act this one must develop a set of literacy skills.

An important one is sourcing of information. I know that my conservative sisters and brothers think ill of the New York Times.

But I still think that it is an important source of information in the USA.

But besides that when i see a link on Facebooger or Tweeeter, I immediately look at the URL (the web address) to see where the link originated. It makes a huge difference to me what site is being cited (so to speak).

I have been doing this sort of back story sourcing for years for news organizations and news stories.


Now on Facebooger since I have such a wide array of political points of view and education and sophistication among the people and organizations I “follow,” I can see that many people (if not most) are consulting with sources that are dedicated not to accuracy or informing but instead to shaping (“framing”) if not down right deception.

Speaking of being ill informed, I find that news stories flicker quickly and superficially through popular media. Many if not most people are just not paying attention anyway. And popular US media leaves out a lot (if not most) of the information. Attempting, one supposes, to make the information more accessible and compact.

I find myself asking softly to myself what I learned in my high school journalism class.






Besides the last one (WHY?), the first four are usually facts and not interpretations. And unfortunately one or more of them can be omitted when the reporting is trying to be accessible and compact.

So basically, I wonder how many people are being critical of their own approach to getting and processing information whether that be news or just continuing learning about life.

Finally the only person i can really work on in this area is myself.

The dilemma is to decide when to enter the mad conversation that is based not on clarity and learning but on something else. Reading dimly online it is impossible to see each other clearly especially in a time when people are using language in such varied ways.

Decades ago when I got the idea of having my own online web site (preblog) I envisioned a conversation online much like the idealistic Great Books conversation idea of Mortimer Adler Jr. Alder envisioned. As one absorbs the great ideas and books of Western Civilization one enters into their conversation.

Like my old idea of connecting with minds online, Adler’s Great Books conversation may be unrealistically idealistic.

But there you are.


1 thought on “elaborating on being brainwashed and ill-informed

  1. First off, let me preface this post by assuring that the following is of my opinion only so most likely there will be more “I’s” than “you’s”. Second, I have not played this game in a while (other than the other day briefly) so I thought I would bite the carrot, play adversary and continue to procrastinate on working on my dissertation.
    The first area I would take issue with is the term “brain-wash” and how it is used here. I am of the opinion that this statement is a strong and misleading sentiment in and of itself. Although I do see much following of like-mindedness and subscribing to points of views that are pleasing to one, I do not perceive others as being brainwashed in masses as would be suggested.
    When I think of the term brainwashing, I associate it with cult-like behaviors, overall irrational connotations or negatively reinforcing systems. It has been many years since the likes of cult leaders such as Jim Johns or David Korish have gained notoriety with their brain-washing dispositions and I do not believe that “the system” is brainwashing millions of people worldwide, for this would be very narcissistic of me. This would indicate that I have a better grasp of the world than millions of others, which I simply do not believe. I believe that there are some who have a better grasp of the world, but they are far and few between and who I would categorize or “frame” as those who access parts of their brains that many of us currently are unable to do. I do not claim this as fact but rather as my opinion based on the limited amount of knowledge I have, coupled with the information I have accessed and processed both empirically and theoretical in nature.
    Next, I am of the persuasion that it is most often not my place nor my goal to continually correct others’ perceptions, beliefs or notions about anything including others’ way of living/thinking, use of societal laws/norms or social media interaction. If I felt an injustice had been done in my immediate daily interactions and life, I would most definitely be involved. But I was not put on this earth to judge others, solve the world’s problems nor challenge all of the philosophical anomalies that we as a society have developed. I am here to simply be in existence, be productive and love others. If I were to attempt to continually correct or challenge others, not only would this be constantly exhausting, but would play into my prior notions of being self or ego centric and narcissistic.
    For the first part of my life, the norm for me was inconsistent with varying rules or corrective manipulations playing into my daily affairs. I was either staunchly corrected or left to my own devise. There was no teaching or learning in the traditional sense. Others would constantly correct my way of thinking and it drove me bonkers. For example, I was originally a left-handed person and through the education system, it was “corrected” so that I would write in a right-handed manner. This constant correction, along with other issues was why I would resist a lot more so in my adolescent years. Like every teenager, I also had my share of rebelliousness, confusion, anger, etc. So throw in some continuous correcting and it would seem that it is no wonder that I am where I am today.
    However, It took a long time for my “corrected” way of thinking to be unlearned (adolescence, military, etc). This leads me to my third point. I firmly believe that “that what can be learned, can be unlearned!” This is a Classical Conditioning ideology that I subscribe to since I “learned” it in undergraduate school. This idea has not only helped me help myself, but other people as well.
    With regard to the media and deception, I would agree that there is a fair amount of this practice roaming around. However, I also believe that not every little piece of information needs to be obsessively subject to the most rigorous empirical challenges. There are many things in the media that can be taken at face value to be accurate. For example, a report could indicate that someone has died as the result of a car accident in the city of Pasadena. I would take this report to be true or factual unless retracted later that the person was still alive or that the person had actually drown as opposed to getting into a car accident. I have not found it to be true that stories significantly change and are retracted are the norm but rather the exception. They can be located in small sections of newspapers or magazines when they happen. Nonetheless, I would not know the finite details on a report unless I did some more digging into the story. Eventually I would come across everything including who, what, why, when and where. The problem I have with this process is that I sometimes (not all the time) want to know everything about a specific story, but do not have enough time in the day to sift through everything to find the intimate details that would satisfy my criteria. This is my own experience and because of this experience, it leads me to believe that due to the massive amounts of information available, it would be improbable that any person living a traditional life of working and loving (Freudian) would literally have the time to find the demographics of any large set of reports of information.
    These thoughts of mine are simply that…my thoughts. I agree they are subject to correction, challenges or disagreement, but I am very much content with my thoughts and I believe my purpose in posting this has been met. That being said, I have no need of response or acknowledgment that I have posted a “reply” on this post.
    David =^)

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