Who Can You Trust Anymore?

carrotsJust when you thought you could trust the medical system… here are 49 facts you’ve been told that are totally wrong.

What?  Is nothing sacred?  Carrots don’t improve your eyesight?  All these years I have been eating spinach to be strong and broccoli for who knows what reason!  What then can you trust as factual anymore?  Is the Golden Rule the next thing to get turned upside down and proven to be a myth or a vestige of ancient societal bias?  Thank God for snopes.com and WikiPedia.  Oh … right … they can be compromised as well.

Human nature … seems flawed for sure.

For those of you who are not headed for the wilderness of Alaska and do want to be an integral part of our modern community, let me remind you that this is just part of the charm of life today in the “information age.”  It is certainly not the “truth age” for sure.  How do you define truth anyway?  Everything now seems to be a matter of opinion.  People are prone to see things from a personal self-interest point of view, and when you get enough of them to chant these ideas in unison long enough, they can seem to hold powers beyond reason.  Groupthink can overwhelm critical thinking.

I just finished taking an online screenwriting class from Aaron Sorkin where he details the formulas he follows.  I have to admit that, as an engineer, I have always thought logic and the presentation of facts wins the day.  Aaron stresses mystery as the way you spin the plot.  You all must remember some of his best works: A Few Good Men, The American President, and of course West Wing.  I think the snippet he wrote from the speech near the end of the The American President sums it all up best when the President explains the challenges with democracy:

“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You’ve gotta want it bad, cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say, “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.” You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.  Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free.”

I have to admit; this is really a hard thing to celebrate.


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