January 14th, 2021
Confused? Me too!
This week's webinar "Confused? Me too!" - Friday January 15th 4:00PM MST
I don't know about you, but I'm confused. About what? Well it feels like just about everything current and important. For starters I'm confused because I can't recall where I last left my glasses. But that's minor stuff compared with the big issues. You know the ones that make the headlines each and every day. Consider...
When change becomes
... the march to and occupation of the US Congress. Was it a siege, an insurrection, a riot, or an invasion? Was it an extremist mob or simply protesters, peaceful or violent? Were they confused and mulling around, or determined, storming and charging? People died - which side, heart attacks? What's your viewing channel or reporter?
No wonder our Canadian Prime Minister speaks of multiple truths. We see and hear and think we know too much. When overloaded, we turn to our life-long beliefs and see what we want to see. We have a "favourite" channel, a favorite party, a favourite reporter. And boy do some feel compelled to share it. Just ask any "professional" how clients have changed - much more knowledgeable and obtuse, litigious and challenging.
Words matter and their selection serves to shape the "narrative" of intention. The media, the reporters, the narrators, are now opinionators selecting "facts" for shaping or even creating our viewpoint. The news may have never been different but today it is dripping with opinion. Read with caution/ awareness.
Here's another. Is the amount of money being doled out by the governments to mollify the pandemic good, bad, irrelevant? Is debt bad for me but good for us? Confused?
Who are laws for? Are politicians who shape the laws having to follow them? "Some" seem confused. Oh yes there is that word "some"; so over used. All it takes is one person to give a reporter license to represent an opposing narrative that "some" disagree. No accountability when "some" believe otherwise. That is just plain lazy reporting. And what's this about defunding the police? This is certainly an urban perspective as suburban policing with virtual photo assistants is all about traffic control as a suburban revenue generator.
Covid - what is it? A flu? How serious and what to do about it? What countries are doing it right or not? Sweden? Ireland? Certainly not Italy, Brazil, or the US. Is it safest where it's hottest, coldest, rural or urban, developed or not? Should schools be open? Do lockdowns work? Are vaccines safe? Confusing? Confused!
Should we monitor cases or deaths, ICU occupancy or hospitalizations? Deaths do count. Right? But attributable to what? How many have compromising conditions. Smokers and elders. Lockdowns and distancing. A whole new education about health and disease, the economy and personal rights, traveling restrictions and who to trust.
Then there's the climate. Is it cooling or warming or neither? The ocean and reefs. State sized pools of plastic. Hurricanes and tsunamis. Species declining but hippos and rabbits on the rise. Danger everywhere. Are trees good except when they burn? Should they be conserved or be subjected to controlled burns?
And then there is "identity politics" and post-modernism. Are we all victims of something or someone? Can or should the state care? Will government growth ever end?
The campus is a champion of free speech or not? Statues are monuments to be revered or trashed? Inclusion, equality, equity. We must all sacrifice to achieve equality - reaching the lowest common denominator.
History is irrelevant, times change, nothing's permanent or sacred...values change but it's ok to assess historical responsibility. Christian's, it is soon to be your turn to hang the lions. No statute of limitations.
Conspiracy? Real? Not? Entertaining the playbook of the cabal? Soros. Clinton. Gates. Democratic leaders. Hollywood stars. Predators, baby eaters, child and sex traffickers? Information? Disinformation?
And then there is our ever evolving language and issues shifting not just fast but uninterpretable. Woke? Narrative? Cancel culture? Post-modernism? Inclusion? Racism? Deep fake?
I find myself bouncing through articles skipping phrases that are elusive, sentences too long, ideas jumbled, and trying to remember people's names and why they are cited, or not. Then there are phrases invented, complex metaphors not understood. The dictionary is as useless as an encyclopedia.
Am I trying too hard? Reading too much? Listening without understanding? And just when I think "I got it!" some pundit disrupts my thinking and I have to start all over again. Exhausting. Need I cite dietary research and the latest regimens that flip flop like fads and a beached whale.
Then I'm told that "research" reveals that people only attend to information that coincides with what they already believe...that we avoid dissonance. Ahh if it was only that simple. I have suspended belief.
Millennials have gone a step further. They don't even read. They understand the off-spring of gaming - virtual anythings: Amazon Alexa and Echo, Siri and Garmin, personal assistants, artificial intelligence, Google, autonomous driving and so on. Alexa is a target for stiff arguments when "she" plays stupid.
Hugh Hefner would blush how technology has brought porn from out of the bedroom and under the mattress to the desktop and hand held today - free, accessible, virtually uncensored, 24 x 7. No age restriction. No secrets. Santa dies earlier each year. Raising children ain't never been easy.
Entertainment hyping of zombies. Nothing yet worse than the most crass Borat. Drugs galore - an opioid crisis and horrible meth addictions. As for sports - enough already: empty stadiums, enormous salaries, and egregious scandals.
Rust bucket states struggling with offshoring. Well-off communities struggling with overconsumption while slums fight deprivation.
Newspapers thin as tissue paper featuring cartoons and obituaries, sports and opinions. News is disappearing other than the latest local murder. Media in crisis; advertising gone - also online. Fight it? Good luck!
Reading? Why bother when social media knows what you want and feeds you a daily diet of stuff interpreted to fit your "narrative". Narrative? When did that word emerge to capture your viewpoint?
Schools and schooling focus on the union and teachers. Is there a spokesperson for students? What happened to parent teacher associations?
The President of THE UNITED STATES admits he gropes and behaves and speaks like a imbecile - my apologies to those who abhor such a label. While twitting he abuses free speech. But THE OTHER side endorses extremism and disinformation with it's oppositional retorts.
We are witnessing government politics - always pitting conflicting "ideologies" rarely committed to innovation and/or the resolving of "issues". Politics competing for eyeballs with WWF.
We honour free speech above all else, but social media giants serve as its governor with power to "listen in", censor, and suspend websites and social conversation. Is government regulation and a breakup the answer or will it only serve to futher incite.
Enough? Sympathetic? Physics acknowledges "uncertainty" as a feature of our universe. From time to time, humankind suffers through periods of intense uncertainty when law and order fall prey to anarchy and chaos. Moderates then take to the sidelines. I recall that after WWI there was a movement called Dadaism. It featured "deliberate irrationality and negation of traditional artistic values". Times were confusing as the war and it's aftermath featured a new age displacing former ideals and institutions.
At times I feel I'm living Dadaism of the 21st century. Am I alone? Apparently not. See below the response from one of my US readers? I'd appreciate hearing from you too.
US East Coast Perspective
Thank you Tom...
l think you are right on target, and many of us can commiserate with you. When the only thing we seem to agree on politically these days is that The Other Side Sucks, kinda hard to find common ground, isn't it. When "alternative facts" replace truth, then what?
When one side's truth is the other side's conspiracy theory, the chasm is so wide the two sides can no longer even hear each other shouting how wrong they are. And when one side's "patriots" are the other side's "insurrectionists," where do we go from here?
This is the sort of divide that led up to the Civil War here in the United States. Brinkmanship used to be between us and the Soviet Union; now it's right here at home between our side and the other side, the side that SUCKS!
Before we all kiss and make up, there's a reckoning to made, an accountability to be obtained, and it may not be appreciated or even agreed upon, but, as someone once said, "Elections have consequences." The presidential election of 2016 has certainly produced consequences, and the election of 2020 will too. Ah, but will they be things we can all agree on? Ya think?
Is the Stock Market Heartless?
Thank you Jeff...
The introduction is quite humourous but very fitting! The substance addresses confusing stock market behaviour
McKinzey & Company
Forecasting 2021 - economic recovery and a resurgence of Covid. For more...
More on Covid
Stay away from the USA!
US West Coast Perspective
Fingerprints of a Terrorist?
Thank you Michael...
The NYT reported on one or more mercenary contractors that Trump pardoned — and the backstory. It is really detailed. I went away with the impression that most people would never read stuff like this let alone have the intelligence to understand it or worse yet want to understand it. Technology sophistication has exploded in recent years and I believe that too many people are unable to consume most of what's published this article included.