Freedom, Musing

Fresh Air for the Mind


The death of critical thinking and logic in our culture has become more and more evident in the last few years, reaching a feverish peak during the recent crisis. It doesn’t matter if this was engineered – and no, I do not mean that the virus was engineered (it was clearly not) nor do I mean that the virus is not a threat to human lives (it is, although not as much as the mass media makes it out to be). What really matters is that if we do not start exercising our abilities to think clearly, skeptically, and seek truth, we can and are giving up much of what our ancestors fought and worked so hard to gain. 

We have got to figure out how to think for ourselves again. And it seems the first step toward doing that is to reach over to the remote and turn off the news. Also, switch off Youtube if you’re trying to use that for ‘news’ and definitely flee the flaming dumpster that is Twitter. 

What’s left? 

That’s a good question. A very good question, and one I don’t fully have an answer for. I can tell you that I rely on none of the above (or the newspapers below) for my daily news. When I hear some tidbit of information, I spend a few minutes to track it back and verify it. Yes, this is a lot harder than simply letting the talking heads fill my mind with what they want to allow me to hear and think. On the other hand, with the world wide web of information at my fingertips, and a little knowledge of how to read critically, I can be a lot closer to the facts and finding the truth than I ever can if I rely on the mass media to think for me. 

I like what William Lehman had to say in a recent article. You should go read all of it, it’s an evocative, poignant picture of a dying piece of America. He’s worth listening to, I think. And… well, you’ll see. 

There once was a time when the “traditional” press was in service to the community.  Seems for the most part, that ship sailed.  Newspapers, the oldest mass media existent, are going the way of the dodo… well, they helped themselves become extinct, and I shall not much mourn their passing.  When the news existed to serve the community, and SURE, to expose corruption, and malfeasance, they served their purpose.  After Watergate though, it seems like the press got drunk on their own power. 

THEY TOOK DOWN A SITTING PRESIDENT!  If they can do that, they can do anything! And so the rot began… then we had the seemingly intentional “dumbing down” of the newspapers.  Where once there were thoughtful articles weighing both sides of an issue, the “USA TODAY” and others of their ilk developed the Splash box, the Text box in a box, and all of the other things designed in a most P. T. Barnum way to excite, to stir the emotion, to catch your attention for mere seconds and then on to the next thing, in the style of “THIS WAY TO THE EGRESS!” “SEE THE EGRESS!” “THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD, THE EGRESS!” until you find yourself dumped out at the end having passed through to “the egress” which of course, means EXIT, knowing no more than you did when you started, and wondering, “just what happened here?”  


 I desperately want you to question.  Take nothing, including what I say, at face value.  Always assume there’s a motive, an agenda.  My personal agenda I will be quite clear about, I want freedom, freedom for my nation, freedom for my people, and for my family.  I want people to THINK.  If I am trying to win your thoughts, it’s to cause you to question, to examine, and to reason. And I want you to question, including questioning me.

12 thoughts on “Fresh Air for the Mind

  1. It’s been horrifying watching this ride happen. I’ve watched bright people become dumber than the worst stereotypical stoner…just because someone on tv told them so. I know people who won’t eat food after a “best by” date, even if it still looks fine, but eat obviously rancid food because the date on the label says it’s okay. (Yes, they got sick.)

  2. Part of the problem is that a lot of folks who demand you “think for yourself” expect you to come to their conclusion– and can’t identify the assumptions they’ve made or accepted, nor understand that someone else may differ.

    It’s not 2+2=4, it’s a good amount of veggies fried in some nice-smelling oil with a not-too-pungent meat and warm but not painfully hot spices.
    Yes, that recipe *IS* maybe a third of anything cooked in a pan, especially if you remember that garlic, ginger and pepper are all warm/hot/spicy.

  3. Speaking of questioning you — the virus is “clearly not” engineered? I haven’t seen anything that convinces me it was engineered, but I certainly haven’t seen any proof that it is not. How is it clear?

    1. Just my opinion, but the virus would be much more dangerous than it actually is if it had been engineered.

      The vast majority of people killed by it have been old and had other health problems.

      1. Some would say that was a desired outcome. 🙁

        The thing with the idea of bioengineering is, biology doesn’t behave in predictable ways. Even systems we study *extensively* still surprise us. Ask me about enzymes in the lab… LOL!

    2. The whole genome analysis indicated at a molecular level that this is a bat originated zoonotic infection. There’s a 96% correlation to the virus found in humans. That is, in molecular biology terms, identical.

      Now, was the virus being explored for possible therapuetic value in the Wuhan biolabs and managed to get into the wet market through resale of laboratory animals? I’m not saying that isn’t possible. Human nature and corruption being what it is…

  4. Speaking of unclear thinking, “…I certainly haven’t seen any proof that it is not.” One cannot prove a negative. And the absence of a negative proof, that is, the absence of something that has no existence, does not verify something else. The phrase, “Prove me wrong” is similarly fatuous. Proving the truth of any assertion is on the one making the assertion. Otherwise, “Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.”

  5. “One cannot prove a negative” got me thinking, since proofs of non-existence are a mainstay of mathematics. But it is a common phrase, so I started poking around a bit. And I ran across this, which seems pertinent:

    You can prove a negative logically very easily.

    not not true = true

    You can’t prove a negative with evidence, which is what “can’t prove a negative” is really about.

    All evidence is positive. It’s nature’s way of saying something. All evidence is true.

    Except, evidence does not come with words. The job of a scientist is to articulate the evidence in a statement that can be fed into our logical instruments as premises.

    True evidence needs to be translated into true statements. A lot can go wrong here, and most are blissfully unaware of our limitations of language, and how the nature of language is distinct from nature itself.

    But once we’re working with logic, we trust our premises. When there is a contradiction, there is little that can be done logically. We need to go back to reworking our premises, which entails working again with evidence.

    What’s amazing is that all accurate evidence fits. It’s as if there is only one universe. Indeed, there are always multiple possible mistakes and miscalculations, but at the end of the day, everything real fits. Reality itself holds no contradictions, and case in point, even our mistakes eventually make sense.

    There are two scenarios where “can’t prove a negative” can be confusing.

    First, yes we can show evidence of my bowl not having milk. Just observe the empty bowl!

    But what we did was already make a deduction. The evidence we have is positive evidence of an empty bowl from which we can logically deduce there being no milk. And if “empty” sounds negative, then maybe it is. What we really have is evidence of the bare wood and nothing else. What we saw wasn’t nothing. What we saw was a bowl. But our mind skips steps so that we can easily think in terms of negatives. But that doesn’t mean we had negative evidence or evidence of a falsehood. What we saw was a bowl.

    Second, we can seemingly prove an impossibility.

    So with a photo of the bottom of the bowl, we can conclude that for the bowl to also have milk would be impossible. And in this way, we may or may not be able to prove that UFOs do not exist, or that God does not exist. But again, the raw evidence itself is never “not” anything. It’s always “something” that is “not something else”.

    This is made more intuitive with an understanding of the logistics of information in any of these cases.

    Only “something” can cause “something else”.

    A bowl is something, and the bowl causes our eyes to see it. Hence, we see an empty bowl.

    Only “something” can be described as “something”.

    The bowl we see is still just a raw non-articulated image. We then put words to what we see and describe it with a statement.

    “A wooden bowl.”

    The point is, “no milk” is not something that can send any messages. The lack of something cannot be communicated, because the it’s not there! Nothing is there to do anything.

    We can also think of it this way. If nothing was communicating, then why milk?

    The bowl is empty of uranium fuel rods, of memories of Coco, my first pet chihuahua, and of pink lemonade. Why milk?

    Milk, because we expect milk!

    So it’s not the bowl, it’s you. It’s us. It’s not evidence.

    And we say “empty bowl” because we want it to not be empty. We’re looking for something and “see” that is it is missing. But this is an expectation of evidence, refuted by evidence of just “a bowl” from which we deduce “empty bowl”.

    But an ”empty bowl” is indistinguishable from just “a bowl”. Which is also how we know it’s true.

    And all of this is also evidence of something else.

    The “empty” in “empty bowl” is evidence of our expectations.

    A non-articulated image or sensory input is the true nature of something. When aligned with language, we arrive at a true statement of something.

    This is a scientist’s favorite tool.

    But we can also do the opposite.

    From “empty bowl” we arrived at “expectations”.

    From a true statement, we can also arrive at the true nature of something.

    This is a philosopher’s favorite tool.

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