Tuesday, July 08, 2008

American Stupidity...

You may have noticed that Chaos, in the extensive reading and writing that composes the underpinnings of this blog, has reached a two-headed conclusion of sorts: that the looming reality-based issues which confront the Empire, and the rest of humanity, are largely technically solvable, albeit with a great deal of time, effort, expense and (some) inconvenience, along with one other thing: a full awareness of the actual extent of the said issues. That such a consciousness is lacking, more in the Empire than anywhere else, now, later and at all times in the future, is the second observation. Ironic it is, in Chaos' eyes, that problems with physical, geological, climatological, and scientific components depend upon sociological factors. To the point then, the lack of awareness of the US public is the primary focus of this continuing study, made the more difficult by the lack of candid appraisal in the "Matrix" that comprises the mainstream media. This brings us to the value of the current column in the most esteemed anti-war website, TomDispatch, written by one Rick Shenkman, investigative reporter and associate professor at George Mason University, entitled, "How Ignorant Are We?" As noted, this is not a new subject discussed here, but it bears repeating, because you aren't likely to hear it in many places elsewhere: the infantile, delusional, and (dare we say it) stupid US public does not possess the mental acuity to effectively perceive, much less confront, the multiple emerging catastrophes now presenting themselves on the world stage. A bit of Shenkman's virtuosity, for readers benefit: the five varieties of stupidity...

"First, is sheer ignorance: Ignorance of critical facts about important events in the news, and ignorance of how our government functions and who's in charge. Second, is negligence: The disinclination to seek reliable sources of information about important news events. Third, is wooden-headedness, as the historian Barbara Tuchman defined it: The inclination to believe what we want to believe regardless of the facts. Fourth, is shortsightedness: The support of public policies that are mutually contradictory, or contrary to the country's long-term interests. Fifth, and finally, is a broad category I call bone-headedness, for want of a better name: The susceptibility to meaningless phrases, stereotypes, irrational biases, and simplistic diagnoses and solutions that play on our hopes and fears."

Highly interesting, in Chaos' view. Also, kindly note that this author has written a book on the same subject, which of course Chaos intends to peruse at the earliest opportunity. Interested readers can find more at the author's blog here.

For further viewing: Idiocracy

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