Reading The News
February 19, 2019
In upgrading the "News" section of my "Free World" link directory earlier today, I was inspired to comment on reading news in the modern day, or even more broadly, being exposed to information in general and deciding what (if any) of it to beleive (read: act upon with conviction over).
Hopefully, there is no-one left in the year 2019 who believes everything the media tells them undconditionally. We are living in an era of unprecendented distrust towards the stewards of our information. This is, I think, a very positive thing. I do not like buzzwords, and everybody's recent favorite, "Fake News", inspires a particular disgust in me. This is mostly because it implies there is such a thing as "real" news, the likes of which everyone must be united in supporting and acting upon, and that alternative viewpoints (I mean real alternatives, not just slightly modified perspectives on orthodoxy) must be not just resisted but silenced and ignored. I disagree.
It goes without saying (or at least I think it does) that you should be skeptical of what you read or hear, even (perhaps especially) if it comforts you. You should also be doubtful of information that comes from "trusted" sources like authority figures, experts (or self-described "experts"), or so-called "common sense" or "public knowledge". Those that you would believe unconditionally have the greatest chance of successfully lying to you, and many are in the position to benefit the most from your cooperation (which you would likely give if you believe what they say). Trust is a problem when it comes to the dissemination of information, especially if it is information that you cannot independently verify yourself (independent verification is not neccessarily a better way to find out the truth, however, but I will have to leave that subject for another day).
So what am I getting at with all this, you might ask? I am simply trying to preface a little anecdote I have about news media with a description of my position on some tangenitally related issues. You might say I am paranoid, and you would probably be right. But I would counter that anyone who lives in the modern day and is aware (or at least suspicious) of the tremendous surveilance power of both government and corporate forces, the massive worldwide buildup of military resources, and the pervasiveness of propaganda in people's daily lives and is not at all worried is someone with their head buried in the sand. The powers that be do not care about you, they do not have your best interests at heart, and you and everyone you love are not important to them. To say otherwise is disingenuous.
So does that mean that I think we live in a nightmare NWO dictatorship? No, though I'm sure some have already written me off as a crazy tin-foil-hat loon. I also feel that it is possible to get at least a decent picture of current events, as they are or close to it, if one is willing to put in the extra work of resisting their comforting illusions and being skeptical of the things that others (especially others with power and authority) seem to take for granted. This applies to reading the news, too.
Personally, I always read pretty equally from news sources that could be best described as far-left, center-left, center-right, and far-right. In this way, I am at least able avoid being locked into a single narrative that is shaped by an editorial slant. It prevents me from having an emotional reaction to some political piece, and, since emotional reactions are what your manipulators want you to experience (people are more likely to take action, even action they don't agree with, if they are experiencing powerful emotions), this goes a long way towards preventing me from being manipulated. I am under no illusions, however, and neither I nor you, the reader, are immune to propaganda.
Admiting that much of what you are exposed to is propaganda, and that it comes from all sources that have something to get out of you, will go a long way toward dulling the emotional response that you get when learning something new, which will make you less vulnerable to manipulation from those that pull the strings of our centralized sources of information. Corporate advertisements, politically-charged headlines, and politician grandstanding are all attempts to get you to do something that somebody wants you to do. Just remember that when you are having an emotional reaction to a piece of news, your thoughts might not be your own.
So be skeptical. Even if it makes you unpopular, or if it raises the ire of certiain organized groups that have everything to lose from people becoming doubtful in general. Trust those who have proven themselves to you and with whom you have a personal connection, and offer unconditional trust to no one, especially not authority figures. And thanks for reading!