Flimsy Sanity: The Problem with Reading

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Problem with Reading

I think if you get all your news from TV, you probably are very patriotic, quite content with the way things are, and most likely a Republican (since the owners of all the major networks are Republican and push that agenda in both obvious and subtle ways). If you delve a little deeper, you probably think the Democrats could do a better job. However, the more you read, the more you see that there isn't a great deal of difference and both worship at the money trough. That is why things continue pretty much the same, no matter who is elected. The democrats were even too chickenshit to let Stephen Colbert run in an inconsequential state because they knew it would be embarrassing. So much for what they teach in school - that in America, anyone can be President.

Anyone (and it will never be a Republican) who actually comes up with the obvious - that the system needs reform - is GOING TO FACE RIDICULE or worse. All the well reasoned, intelligent things Kucinich has said in the past (and there is plenty) have not been publicised, but now that he has said he has seen a UFO, he is done for (even though he really never stood a snowballs chance). Because Howard Dean got carried away with enthusiasm, he was branded unstable. That is why Wellstone had to go.

My favorite cousin, who used to talk about politics all the time, has given up and is just trying to have fun by playing his music and teaching math creatively. I think I want to give up too as it is hopeless. There comes a time when you have to quit trying to fix an old car.

So let me tell you about my new toy. I once saw a program about how Google designed a game to make their picture tags more precise. People were shown a picture and given points if their terms matched another player and some people were so addicted to it, they did a ton of work for Google for free. Stumble Upon (and del.icio.us to a lesser degree) works by the same principle and categorizes stuff on the net. In a way, it is just an echo chamber. When you choose your preferences, you can watch videos and read articles that just mirror your prejudices, but isn't that what we all do anyway? When you find things on your own that are good, you indicate that you like it and review it. It is a way to separate the wheat from the chaff, although like wikipedia, there are jerks who try and ruin it. When you google a topic, you can see the ones that other stumble uponers have liked and in general, I think their choices are good. The problem with the internet is that there is TOO MUCH information and this addresses that in a small way. Anyway, I give it my endorsement.

For instance, I watched a program with some famous physics guy talking about creating ideas. 90% was lost on me because I didn't know what the hell he was talking about even though I strained to understand. What I did get though, was that school teaches by presenting a problem and asking you to solve it, but in real life you first have to identify the problem or even recognize that there is a problem. Cool, huh?


  • At 8:11 AM, Anonymous michael greenwell said…

    good article.

    i wonder about thinking everything will be alright if you watch a lot of tv tho. when i see american shows it seems like there is a terrible amount of fearmongering going on.

  • At 8:15 AM, Blogger Flimsy Sanity said…

    I think humans like to be scared. Why else would horror movies exist?

  • At 5:29 PM, Blogger Graeme said…

    it seems so damn depressing to just give up

  • At 2:02 AM, Blogger Flimsy Sanity said…

    Graeme: That reminds me of a family story. Our aunt gave us a little wooden plaque that said, "If at first you don't succeed, give up". My little sister was just learning to read and as she was sounding out the words she said, "If at first you don't succeed, get up." Mom and Dad laughed so hard they had to stop the car.

    Actually, that has nothing to do with the topic, but this story does. A shirttail relative (Mike)was kind of a jerk and liked to drink and get in fights. One day this big guy was beating the shit out of him in the alley and Mike kept calling him a "fucking bastard" when he could talk at all. The wisest thing would have been to shut up and maybe the beating would have stopped.

  • At 5:07 AM, Blogger Flimsy Sanity said…

    I apologize deeply. I did not mention Ralph Nader in my list of reformers that have been marginalized. I think the Democrats were meaner than the Republicans in that case if such a thing were possible.


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