Gaslight: manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.
Not to be confused with persuasion.
Persuade: induce (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.
We all have blind spots. We all make mistakes. We all have room from improvement and therefore at times may need to be persuaded to change our perspective.
However, it seems to me that the voice of reason is fainter and fainter. It is also no longer heard from where you would expect. Instead of reason, devious tactics have taken over.
Mainstream media AKA Lame stream media?
News broadcasting used to consist of reports on what was happening around us. But whatever the issue, can we believe that what is reported is unbiased, the way it’s supposed to be?
Now it seems to be more of a tool to manufacture consent.
A couple of examples: whether you are vaccinated or not, did you notice what perspective is pushed on the news ?
From the start, statistics about the number of infected and deaths took center stage.
We were all gripped by fear (with good reason as the pandemic was a tragedy in more ways than one)
We couldn’t wait for the vaccine to appear and wipe it all away. Any thought of helping ourselves with better lifestyle choices like diet and exercise was downplayed if ever acknowledged.
Surely true journalism would have prefered to cover all bases objectively?
Instead, to the day I’m writing this, it’s amplified division, discouraged real discussion and the pursuit of truth, by silencing and vilifying opposite views to its own, thus failed in helping to make sense of it all.
What about the lockdowns? We were told that they were crucial to save lives. It made sense at the time but now the data is available. It turns out they didn’t make any provable difference. Does this even feature on mainstream media?
I’m not into conspiracy theories but it seems to me that the mainstream media is not on the side of objective truth anymore.
My medical correspondent of choice would be Dr John Campbell for that reason. He uses a scientific approach and sticks to data. He strikes me as unbiased and fully transparent. But of course, he is not part of traditional media. He is on YouTube, and even there, he is now being censored so he has to be criptic with his criticism.
Social media influencers AKA trick-fluencers?
The saga continues: shame anybody that doesn’t support your world view. Character assassination, ridicule, condescension, all is fair except a healthy debate.
On the other hand however, scammers are roaming free, barely challenged.
Social media is brimmimg with crypto, dating, fitness, health gurus unashamedly peddling products that they can’t in good faith vouch for.
They end up selling pipe dreams. They don’t care, it’s lucrative for them.
If you hold a proverbial mirror to their face, at best you will be ignored. At worst, you might receive an answer using varying degrees of mental gymnastics to explain that you only have yourself to blame for any negative outcome you are facing as a result of buying from them.
If you don’t know what I mean, have a look at one of Cofezzilla’s or SpencerCornelia’s videos on YouTube.
As regulations try to keep up with the vast and ever changing minefield that social media can be, a lot of people are able to get away with daylight robbery. They lie through their teeth with alarmingly great confidence, painting a picture of reality that is simply not there.
The result: our trust issues are exacerbated more than ever. Social media has become synonymous of fake.
Politics or poly tactics?
I’ve never been well versed in politics but growing up I’ve always felt politicians are at least clever about what they lie about.
I believe it’s a sign of the times but lies and corruption are more and more brazen, no matter where you are on the political spectrum.
Name me one democratic country where corruption is the monopoly of one side.
When in power, the left typically does what it accuses the right of doing and vice versa.
It’s also clear that governments have been very shifty with how they have handled the pandemic.
They imposed rules that, as it turns out, they didn’t follow themselves and that don’t even follow the science.
What science? Just to scratch the surface, the efficacy of Vitamin D in boosting one’s immune system, the potency of natural immunity, the lower risk from children to catch the virus.
Despite evidence and science, governments insist on their own black and white narrative, mandates being the preferred way to tackle the pandemic.
Why? Expediency? Monetary gain? Control? We’re left to speculate.
Activism has taken a different flavour, and it leaves a bitter taste.
It’s not enough to be able to accept that someone has an alternative lifestyle, you have to agree with it lest you are deemed to have a phobia.
Gender is redefined. Racism is redefined. Normal is redefined.
It’s a game of wack-a-mole where if you stand out by not accepting the unending new rules, you are bashed on the head, cancelled, doxxed, bullied into submission.
I accept having to go back on previously held opinions in the light of new evidence. That’s already tricky and painful. But that’s how growth occurs. Everybody benefits long term.
On the other hand, when fundamentals are being challenged on the basis of fleeting emotions, personal preference, and virtually no test of time, count me out.
I just don’t have any inclination to leave clear beaten paths and hazard my way through that deep fog.
Here’s an old beaten path that would be a game changer everywhere, I believe: integrity.
Integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. In other words, not being wishy-washy or prone to change on materialistic and other selfish grounds.
If the media always operated with integrity as an institution, broadcasting blatant untruth would be an exception, never the norm.
Result? We’d trust them more.
If all influencers operated with integrity, promoting potential or known scams would virtually be unheard of.
Result? We’d trust them more.
If all politicians operated with integrity, they’d be more transparent, own up their mistakes and work on deeper issues rather than simply on the public’s perception (take any war, the noble intentions portrayed are never the real ones )
Result? We’d trust them more.
If all social activists operated with integrity, their tone and message would change. Virtue signaling and shaming tactics would never be part of their arsenal.
Result? We’d trust them more. Whether we agree or disagree with their cause, we would at least be able to come to a mutual understanding instead of vilifying each other.
There is so much more to say about how integrity and other moral values could take us out of the mess we are in. I cannot cover them all in one post.
But if there’s anything to take away with this rant it’s this:
Let’s stop forcing ideologies down each other’s throats. We are all flawed. Let’s be more open to reasoning things out, learn, grow together and be decent human beings.
And as importantly, let’s call out those tactics for what they are: manipulative, enemies of truth.
Reflect, redefine, rise!