THE CLOSED MIND
The year 2018 fast approaches and with it, some really old-fashioned thinking repackaged and redecorated to look all sparkling and new. The newspapers of the day are all reporting some really great positive news following the Christmas celebrations of 2017. The news is all about how to fix the problem that’s not a problem, like how to fix the non-existent “War on Christmas.” It’s so easy and comforting to fix problems that are almost all made up and here is more proof. What’s being fixed is the made-up problem of “fake news.” Supposedly high intellect students from Ivy league universities were set to work late in 2017 to come up with a solution for the online fictional problem created by the very real fictional U.S. president of our time. The project was entitled “Open Minds,” and several groups of competing students went to work to solve this “down the rabbit hole” situation. The winning resolution came from one group of students creating a program that determines what things written on social media sites are real news, and what things are fictional or biased. Those things determined to be fictional or biased would be banned, or at least have warning signs plastered all over the offending comments. “Alternative news” articles would be added for readers who’ve had their minds bent, so they could get their heads straightened out.
According to who and according to what? Yes, that is the fundamental question of all politics, leadership, discussion, media and even marriage. It is the fundamental question all human beings deal with in each and every verbal or written discussion carried on in all of life. What fact is correct, or actually the truth? Does light travel as a particle or does it travel as a wave? It cannot do both. Physics has never settled the dispute. The physicists decided to render an opinion about it instead. They decided that light travels as a particle if the observer of the light wants it to. If it is seen traveling as a wave, then that happens because the observer wanted to see a wave effect. The physicists, with all of their vast education and intellect, published something fundamental to the social order, much more so than reporting on the results of testing a physical phenomenon. Everything in the universe involves a human opinion. From those very first days, millions of years ago when human intellect was first expressed (opinion), and humans looked up at the stars at night to try to explain what they were (opinion), and so on.
What happens when “open minds” render rules for what is fake, real or opinion, is very, very simple. Those people making the rules are thinking for you. They are deciding what is fact and what is an opinion for you. And if you haven’t figured out how life really works in this human condition across the planet, those people rendering the opinions about the opinions you should be exposed to, or believe, have a very definite bias themselves. They come from a position, each and every one, and in groups, that have (as part of their genetic makeup) the favoring of their own genetic survival and comfort over your own. That includes ensuring the survival and comfort of their spawn over your spawn. It is not their fault. As was so eloquently written years ago by E.O. Wilson in his now buried tome Sociobiology; we must all fight for survival and we must all recognize just how competitive it is to maximize that survival against others of our own kind. And I do not use the word ‘against’ lightly.
All news is fake news. All. In an argument between the GSR publisher and John Halverson of the Lake Geneva Regional News years back, Mr. Halverson stated that the GSR was a publication of opinion while the Regional News was a publication of facts. When asked a simple question following his comment Mr. Halverson had no answer. The question was, after preamble: “So, the GSR gets about fifteen stories a week it can write about, and is forced to choose six or seven of those stories to publish. The Regional News must get double that many stories with maybe double that many openings to publish. Is not the selection of which of those stories is going to be published not an expression of opinion?”
Everyone’s opinion is not as valid as everyone else’s opinion. Validity is assigned to power. There is little or no validity to a story that is not published or to the characters in it. Mr. Donald Trump proves this every day. He brought back the ridiculously stupid “war on Christmas” and conquered a non-existent opposition. He created the phrase “fake news,” and yet is well known for saying almost nothing of fact.
Do not be fooled. Your opinion about almost everything and anything is as significant and valid as that of anyone else. However, your power to express it may become even more limited as time goes by and technology proves to be less of a savior than something more of a force from the dark side.
~ James Strauss