The Media and Why We Shouldn’t Listen to It
Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.
— Einstein in his Letter to Jost Winteler
I’ve not written about this subject before, but I think it’s time in concern for future events. I’ve come to terms with the fearfulness in even my own writing and am worried I give off the wrong impression. So I wish to make amends and write something else not fearful and even enlightening. I’m not sure if what I am writing is entirely correct however, you must make that determination yourself. Trust in institutions and media has fallen considerably over time. A lot of this has to do with recent events, such as 9/11, the crash of 2008, and most recently Coronavirus. I have problems with institutions of authority, even though I myself have used the fallacy of authority before. Institutions of authority are not to be trusted, not because they have bad motivations, they likely have good ones. But because they are human, and error like everyone else does. I don’t want to make you hate the institutions, on the contrary to realize they are a part of us all because we make them. One of my favorite Phil passages is from his How to Build a Universe speech.
“Today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups… So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.”
― Philip K. Dick
After the Coronavirus I’m still questioning everything. I have my doubts like others about the new variants named after every letter in the greek alphabet. I believe the CDC has good motives, but I doubt the reality they try to portray. We humans are always trying to push our version of reality onto others, often fearful and painful. Maybe I’m doing the same thing, I kind of am, so I ask you to confirm with your experience so I can check my sanity. Yes sometimes “negative” things happen, yes there are fires, and viruses, and sometimes you get a cold, maybe sometimes disasters happen in certain parts of the world. However I seriously question the fearful narrative we have been fed. I can barely remember what I did yesterday, how can we claim to know anything about what happened 500 years ago with credulity. Whether all the famines, wars, and murders were just our imagination. I am often fearful and I wonder how much of that fear is due to what I have been taught, by school, by the media, by my parents, and I then push onto others.
I question whether much if not most of the coronavirus “deaths” are really just people with health conditions or other problems that caused their death instead. The numbers don’t add up, my city had strange outbreaks of Coronavirus when other nearby cities had none without any good cause. Certain countries that you normally expect wouldn’t be affected too much like developed European and American nations with the best medicinal equipment were hit hardest while developing nations in Africa and Asia never had the severity that the west had.
I wonder whether we really are in such a miserable time where mass shootings occur everyday and people are dying in masses attached to ventilators eeking out their last breath. That’s not the reality I experience, maybe you experience something different than me. Why does the United States have so many shootings and murders when areas with high gun ownership like the Falkland Islands, New Caledonia seem relatively serene and sometimes cold. Are Americans just that more deranged? Maybe but I doubt that.
We live in an atmosphere of fear, fear of death, fear of each other, fear of the future, and worst of all, a fear of life. I don’t know what the answer to our problem is, maybe in time it will reveal itself. I don’t think the media intentionally lies, but they spread their fears to others and it spreads like a wildfire itself. We jump to the worst possible conclusions and it makes everything seem worse. This is partly the cause of our depression, our mental problems, our problems with rising anxiety. To quell fear we first must face it and push it aside to realize it was nothing all along. I leave you with this.