Friday, March 14, 2014

A World of Followers

I think I finally understand the world around me – or at least why it is traveling in its current direction. It was a simple post on Facebook that made me become aware of the entire picture. The graphic to the left apparently circulated enough that Snopes saw fit to add it to its long list of internet myths. When it came to my attention, I was shocked that any single individual could believe that Facebook legal staff could pass laws.

Each day there is something new about which people become outraged. Some of it is fact, some a blend of fact and fiction, and some obvious mis-truths. We have Alex Jones who has a huge following. There are those who accept everything he says as gospel. There are the Art Bell followers who do the same. I'm not here to say what is and what isn't truth from either of those. All that interest me is why do others believe almost 100%.

People love a conspiracy. People love a good mystery novel. I'm sure science can point to an area of the brain that is stimulated by such things. But I think there is more to it than simple mind stimulation. There are the people who are skeptical of everything – to a fault. There are those who often look at events with cold logic.

For now, let's stick to those who want to believe and how they are being manipulated. There are items like the fake graphic about Facebook banning religion. Someone likely did that for amusement. Many love to watch the gullible fall for the obviously outrageous.

There are those who do the same thing for power and money. Marketing is this type of manipulation. Someone made a fortune selling Pet Rocks. Not because they were anything more than a rock, but because they made it become a novelty – something popular.

Each day, people are sucked into these Nigerian money scams. People open virus filled files because they promise riches. This is because people have a deep seeded need to believe. People need to believe government will keep them safe or that there really is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Just this week, there was a local incident where a York, SC police officer shot and severely injured a 70 year old man simply because he exited the car with his walking cane. We are seeing these incidents daily all over the country. That in itself is a problem, but possibly the bigger problems are those who make excuses for the officers. There are those who say, “The old man should have followed the rules.” We now live in a society where it has become acceptable for government to kill innocent people simply because they broke the rules.

We have the NSA, politicians, and citizens alike who support spying on innocent Americans. We have the CIA killing people with drones, occasionally Americans. Many support these actions. Too many people want to believe what they see and hear, especially on the internet and television. It doesn't matter if your political orientation is left, right, or middle, you are likely a victim of falling for propaganda and mis-truths. We find people along the full IQ spectrum that are acceptable to propaganda.

The human has some innate need to believe. This is especially true if the information comes from friends or those in the media and government they trust. Those people are often influenced by propaganda and mis-truths. Many people don't intentionally lie except in cases of scams and practical jokes, or to cover their butt.

The only thing we can do is to take no information for granted. Unless we become a society of moderate skeptics then we will fall for many evils. The people of Nazi Germany put their faith in government. Governments, monarchies, and oligarchies throughout history have committed atrocities against their citizens.

Become aware of your surroundings. When in the grocery store know who is behind you. When you hear your best friend tell you something – double check. When your favorite politician or television/radio personality tells you something, double check the information. Our generation has been blessed with the greatest research tool ever devised by mankind. We have the knowledge of Einstein at our fingertips – we must take advantage of those tools.

When you see someone with the title, doctor or nuclear engineer, don't assume they know their job. More people in our society are addicted to prescription drugs than those made illegal by government. People pop those pills into their mouths simply because a doctor tells them they should.

Justina Pelletie was taken from her parents because one doctor disagreed with another. The parents were treated like criminals simply because they sought the best medical treatment for their daughter. This young girl is now near death because her parents were not allowed to seek the best medical treatment.

Ladies, gentlemen, and the gullible, I present to you your government and the police state that you have allowed them to create. We now live in a society where the lower middle class will be fined because they can't afford health insurance. We live in a society where police attacked and broke the bones of a 90 year old, or shot a 70 year old for the simple act of getting out of his car with his cane. We live in a society where Stop and Frisk is an accepted practice. Our world is one where we allow government employees to frisk our bodies before boarding a plane. We willingly step into machines that will electronically remove our clothing.

We buy goods and services we don't need simply because of what we are told. We lock ourselves in endless cellphone contracts simply because we must have the latest phone. We go into debt for houses and cars we can't afford. We demand government keep us safe at any cost. We never want our comfortable lives to end. For these things you have gladly traded your liberty, you are willing to vote for someone who simply offered Change when they had no history to back up their words.

I will still cry for you when it is your child the government takes and nearly kills. I will cry when it is your mother or father that is killed on a lonely highway by an overzealous representative of the police state. I won't cry when you lose your home and car you never could afford. I won't cry when your child ends up in the hospital almost dead because of prescription medicines, or when the government refuses your heart operation – because it is your fault.

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