Daniel Patrick Johnson (teknotus) wrote in pytharwinism,
Daniel Patrick Johnson

Be careful what you believe

Marketing holds more power in the United States of America than logic. It is a sad truth, and I'm not quite sure how to fight it.

News media realized that they can get more advertising money from candidates if they only give abysmal election coverage. The result is that when it got close to the election there were more minutes of propaganda advertising than news of the candidates during any given newscast. Even the news coverage was usually a horse race bit about who is highest in the polls. Many voters even believed that US forces found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Totally clueless.

Another point, and this one from science. Global warming is something scientists all over the world agree is a real phenomenon. Even if we stop actively adding greenhouse gasses to the atmosphere today it will take IIRC 200 years for earths temperatures to stabilize. There is a lot of money being spent to combat this truth. The caribou have already been in decline for years as a result of rising temperatures, and now the Bush administration wants to destroy vast tracts of their very fragile ecosystem to mine for a resource whose use will lead to even more global warming. Which will of course lead to even more decline of their population.

How can you protect yourself from having your mind poisoned with false truths on a daily basis? That is a hard question to answer. First I would say try to avoid commercial media as much as possible. It will actually make your life happier. It might not be obvious why at first it will make you happier, but if you think about how many messages you get in commercials about how you aren't good enough it will start to be clearer. They tell you that you need to lose weight. That if you don't eat some wonderful food that you are missing out on life. That the stuff you have is junk, and needs to be replaced. I don't think you would keep many people as friends if they treated you like that on a regular basis, but people tune in to these kinds of messages on TV, and radio all day long. The second thing I would say to do to protect yourself is try to read multiple sources on a subject. Even with the internet this doesn't tend to be an easy task. When I tried to find out more information about the college level national championship soccer game a girl I know played in online instead of finding multiple viewpoints I found 50 copies of the same article. The associated press dominates news reporting so much that it is often hard to find another viewpoint when any AP article on the matter exists.

I think that is enough standing on my soap box for now. I'm going to try to write regularly about some of the issues I mentioned in last weeks post, and a little bit about what people can do about them.
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