Saturday, December 27, 2008


Contemplation does not comfort. It creates an unsteadiness...a feeling that the ground is composed of very loose soil...and that a sinking is possible.

Nothing exemplifies this more than our love of referencing "they" when citing our expertise. In our use of this amorphous source, we seem to be saying, "Don't give me might shake my reality." And doesn't any person spend the majority of his/her life defining reality...a place to call "home" so as to breathe easy and settle into routine? There is great comfort in knowing "what is"...and we have this comfort based on what "they" say.

In a benign example, take this recent weather in the Northwest. You heard it grocery stores, from friends on the phone, from those passing on the street. "They say we'll be getting another six inches of snow this weekend." "They say it's going to warm up and melt soon." "They say this will be a harsh winter." Etc. Etc. And people spoke with such conviction. Then when things did not always turn out the way "they" said it would, people felt betrayed. "They don't know what they're talking about!" "I made plans and they were wrong!" And on and on. But if these people had simply looked at the four or five different weather models online, they would have seen there was virtually no agreement amongst the myriad meteorologists. So the only question is: which "they"?

And this is what I'm getting at. The majority of our society bases reality on a surface understanding of virtually everything. Without even scratching the surface of possibilities, people claim to know things. They use this knowledge to build a foundation for themselves...and often, it is all an illusion.

Less benign is the fact that the media is completely corporate controlled. And these corporations have biased political interests. This leads some to seek knowledge from blogs or other online sources - which have much to offer, but many are simply exercises in narcissism. Where does one find trust? Our science industry is run by stockholders. It is almost impossible to get a grant for research if the result of the funded research is not a sellable product. If those funding research are mostly companies run by stockholders, then how is there any possibility of reliable results? If the scientist wants more funding, the results better yield something to the scientist will want to make sure this happens.

Point careful of what "they" say. Who are "they"? Did you bother to look for yourself? Did you bother to question? Or is it too inconvenient, because the simple answers give you that longed for foundation? Is it troublesome, because if you looked deeper, you might find the answers don't fit your politics?

What is your excuse for accepting what "they" tell you?

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