Chris Bray, who writes Tell Me How This Ends, has a fantastic essay about the years he spent covering a complex international legal dispute. Basically, historians had conducted confidential interviews of former IRA members about their activities during the Troubles. UK police, when they learned of this, attempted to subpoena these tapes, leading to a years-long court battle:
Sadly, it has become so bad that people are living in completely different realities at the moment. Even to have a good faith discussion with a covidian would take many many hours just to unravel and unpack everything, a feat that few people have the energy or bandwidth for
Even if researchers aren't eager for attention, the whole system has been captured through grant funding. There is no way to be successful or achieve without being part of the system. Grant funding needs a major overhaul and definitely more oversight
My sense is that now, rather than being governed, we are being managed and controlled , sloganising propaganda having replaced rational debate and informed personal and social consent: ' build back better', 'stay safe', 'new normal', 'taking back control', 'levelling up', 'do your bit', 'can you look him in the eye', 'don't kill granny', 'anti-vaxxer', 'Putin apologist', etc, etc.
What's most dispiriting is how avidly this stuff has been absorbed by so many ostensibly intelligent citizens.
Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
I’m too old and tired to try to explain the world to people who have no interest in learning the truth.
It is utterly maddening, not to say frightening, that so many people have such a simplistic view of all things in life, and when complex matters arise, God help them, or should I say God help us all.
Most things in life are simple - until you actually study them.
Covid and the responses to it in particular.
The same cancer is on full display in the coverage and framing of Ukraine- Russia.
A dental hygienist shared with me that more patients aren’t getting boosters and claiming it was because the doses are too weak,(for safety), requiring more shots and she wishes that they had made them stronger from the start. She spun a story from whole cloth.
I mentioned one of the findings from the FDA document dump being analyzed by Naomi Wolf’s team indicated Pfizer may have intended 6 shots all along.
Blank stare. She knew nothing about the court mandated FDA document release, adverse effects, Naomi Wolf, etc. (and she didn’t want to)
She was totally a product of the news media you described.
Confronting delusions head on is rarely effective. There is too much information for most to want to look at. Reality is sometimes best delivered in small doses through cracks in the wall that has been built up. We may view the Jehovah's witness that knocks on the door as believing some ridiculous nonsense not realizing that they view us in the same way. The true vax believers see us as the cult that has irrational beliefs.
It is somewhat amazing that most people with an open mind who spend an hour or so just looking at the statistics would at least question the official narrative but most don't have the time or desire to look at what they already 'know' is bunk.
This is an edit addition:
Right after I wrote the above I saw this Carl Sagan quote on Steve Kirsch's substack.
"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: if we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth."
The legal system is no longer insulated. You surely are familiar with the new SCOTUS appointee?
Way back, when I was a very diligent, serious fellow, one of my first bosses & mentors – bless him - warned me not to put my faith in the carefully worded memos & briefs I would write. Said he: ‘Nobody reads anything.’
Over the years, I learned just how right he was.
He also warned me to always take notes of important meetings and conversations. Because, he said, “Nobody remembers anything.”
"the reason so many people misunderstand so many issues is not that these issues are so complex, but that people do not want a factual or analytical explanation that leaves them emotionally unsatisfied. They want villains to hate and heroes to cheer- and they don't want explanations that do not give them that."- Thomas Sowell
I believe there is an excellent explanation for the lack of complexity of journalistic (and legal) thought. There are two basic ways of thinking (modes) that begin in the first 6 months of life and continue throughout our lives each growing with 5 logarithmic orders of sophistication.
Only one of these two modes is able to handle logical rigor, scientific experiments and cause and effect complexity, this is mode one.
Complex systems, logical solutions start at a very young age, similar to a baby thinking of a smile or a coo to draw the parent closer, creating great value. This mode is about making value, solving problems, building systems, eventually resulting in the creation of self-sustaining genius individuals after many logs of complexity.
The second mode utilizes an impassioned use of force, exactly like a baby crying to control its mother for food. “I take because…”. This advances one log to “we take because life is unfair” and so on. It is an us-them, mode that does not create real value or intellectual independence.
Journalism today almost completely uses this mode two thought. There are no real thinkiers they all parrot the same talking points again and again as nauseum.
When a person using high level mode one thinking (fourth or fifth log of complexity like Chris Bray or eugyppius or Alex Berenson) they can not be understood by a mode two person who place their force-based arguments upon these logical mode one problem solvers.
Totalitarian thought is always mode two, and is basically a baby throwing a tantrum to get something, it destroys everything it touches, because it use emotional arguments “to take”. That is 98% of journalism today.
I have an unpublished book which describes the bifurcation of human thought. Basically an Adam Smythe “wealth of nations” and inventor Ben Franklin vs. Josef Stalin/Adolf Hitler/Mao/Pot battle for the ages. Sadly, it describes exactly what Bray is bemoaning.
Journalism should follow the great printer and thinker Ben Franklin as a force of enlightenment and complexity for mode one thought. Instead they are simplistic propagandists for the shallow and forceful mode two totalitarians.
Journalists are like real estate brokers, insurance salesmen and many teachers. 2nd or 3rd rate minds incapable of even doing their own jobs well, let alone much else.
That may be the best summation of intellectual laziness ever written. Nothing could describe a modern journalist better than "anxiously eager, well-trained but utterly uneducated pup with nary a thought not imparted by third party agents."
Applies to COVID and Ukraine and global warming, etc.