in Other Voices , 247 references
I love fishing -- especially when I don't have to actually put a line in the water for the fish to wind up in the boat.... once again, Ishmael delivers -- Ed
The Guard Your Mind series showed how to spot a propaganda campaign when it happened.
Whenever I see a picture or read a story I ask, “Is any of this real?” It’s a legitimate concern with deep fakes and AI processing rapidly improving. Although chatGPT has yet to rise above a simple tech support troubleshooting script, that hasn’t stopped some media outlets from writing articles with it. Sadly, even the most unskilled “journalist” won’t have to find new jobs just yet.
I sincerely wanted to end this series on a hopeful piece after five posts of doom and gloom. The perfect Pt 6 would be entitled How to Always Know the Truth, 100% of the Time.
Unfortunately, that is not what happened. What I offer is an anemic solution, and like most these days is only a partial one. But bullshit makes good fertilizer when it lands in the right spot. Maybe this will help someone.
We cannot control the lies other people tell. Until enough of us get off the couch, we won’t burn it all down and start over. And no one should lone wolf on behalf of a bunch of useless parasites.
The only thing we can control is ourselves. This means the media we consume and the people we associate with. In other words, tribe is more important now than ever. Tighten the walls around your tribe, starting with your mind and soul.
I am not suggesting any news junkie give up a source of joy. Many of my loved ones get pleasure from staying informed about what’s going on in the world. Co-opting the news for the propaganda arm of the government was cruel to these people. It’s just as vicious as turning professional sports into Wokeball, which ruined Monday nights for millions.
The way to harden your defenses is answering the questions: What values do you live? What concepts are so fundamentally important that violating them is akin to rape?
Call these principles, values, honor code, whatever you like. Write them down. This list isn’t for anybody else, it’s for you. Everyone has their own, that’s free will. When making a decision or acting, follow those values.
Do you like the honor code you live? Every decision and action defines it. “Yeah, but…” Is a sure sign of discomfort with what you just did. You broke personal rules for life. Are you in fact living to a dis-honor code?
Filter everything you see, hear, and interact with through your principles. It’s a good first defense for your mind, and it’s something you alone control.
Unless your life goal is pleasing everybody all the time, the world immediately pushes back against anyone with consistent values. What do you have to change in your life so you can live to your own standards without compromising? A new job, retirement, different friends, or new habits might be the answer. Find others whose values parallel yours and expand your tribe.
Anyone repeatedly violating your honor code is not your tribe. Ditto for those demanding you compromise. If you value honesty, and your boss is dishonest, do you keep your paycheck or give him the finger and look elsewhere?
On its own this advice is as effective as masks were against Covid for filtering out propaganda. What it does do is remove guilt at jettisoning trash from your life, including any propaganda you choose to. That junk broke your personal rules, it had to go.