Open Thread WE 5 OCT 22 ~

Free Thinking vs. Compelled Opinions
IMG_5884.JPG
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Working on some of the intrinsics on how to objectify an unbiased world view in this age of
directed thought. The dwindling freedom of speech rights we once had are being diminished
by ever more pervasive social restraints. Under this cultural blanket, it is becoming more
important to clarify issues and ideas using critical reasoning skills.

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“There's a difference between an open mind and an empty head.” 
― Abhijit Naskar, All For Acceptance

“Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.” 
― Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

“Of necessity, indoctrination must legitimize itself by dressing itself in the garb of ‘education’ lest we discover that we are being robbed of our ability to think independently by being led to believe that we are thinking independently.” 
― Craig D. Lounsbrough

“The prophylactic for culturally transmitted diseases is free thinking” 
― Dean Cavanagh, The Secret Life Of The Novel

“Nothing from the external world as well as the internal one, should be accepted to be true, good and healthy, unless it passes the test of reasoning.” 
― Abhijit Naskar

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The madness of my soul
cannot repose,
it lives in the restlessness
in the disorder
in the imbalance
of things dynamic,
in the silence
of the free thinker, who lives alone,
in quiet exile.
― Julia de Burgos, Mi Alma / My Soul

~

Credits ~
Local lighthouse beyond a cresting wave by Elka Leech

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What mental mechanisms have you found useful to filter truths from the noise?

This is an open thread so post whatever gems you have.

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Comments

“There is more to life than both cold facts and blind faith.” 

“Nothing from the external world as well as the internal one, should be accepted to be true,
good and healthy, unless it passes the test of reasoning.” 

“All opinions are not equal, as far as running a people is concerned.” 
from The Constitution of The United Peoples of Earth

cheers!

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10 users have voted.
Lookout's picture

garbage in, garbage out. Meaning if your world view is shaped by MSM, your views will be mistaken. You will have been led down the propaganda path to ignorance.

I takes digging through several usually reliable sources to winnow a probable truth. We also must accept that we are often mistaken and be willing to evolve our own thinking.

With the current AI driven "divide and conquer" program, building a common collective working class movement is stifled and probably impossible. I think it is Jimmy who commonly says, We in the US are the most propagandized population on the planet.

Thanks for the thought provoking OT.

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15 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout

Along those lines ..

“And herein lies part of the tragedy of America, and the reason the country will eventually have to implode: the enormous disconnect between the propagandised ideology of the people and the brutal reality of the thin layer of elites that run their government and military, their corporations, banks and mass media. There is no other nation whose population has such a large gap between myth and reality, between what the people believe their government has done and what it has actually done. When the people one day put the pieces together, the US will have another revolution; I don’t believe anything can prevent it. It was not for nothing that George Bush Sr. said, “If the people knew what we were doing, they would hang us in the streets”. Perhaps one day soon, they will.”

-- Larry Romanoff, If America Dissolves

Thanks for posting!

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usefewersyllables's picture

@QMS

Stealing it! It goes hand in hand with this one, from CIA director William Casey in 1981:

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

We have clearly arrived upon those sunny shores. We are the most effectively propagandized people on the earth, precisely because we have been told over and over and over and over that we aren't. We Are Free and The Constitution Says So and We Are Exceptional and It Can't Happen Here Look At This Shiny Object. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Goebbels would *weep*. We clearly learned more than mere rocketry from Operation Paperclip. Consequently, I automatically dismiss news from organized government/oligarch-controlled sources- and in the US, at least, they are *all* oligarch/government sources at this point. I also dismiss news from other governments. At this point, I read volumes of news and believe essentially none of it.

The real news will be delivered via the baby's arm holding an apple, and I can wait for a while yet before that is delivered. Meanwhile, we are ripe for a good network of samizdat authors. Individually they won't last long, but it could at least be interesting.

On edit: This place has some of the samizdat feel to it- at least, without the smell of mimeograph fluid. That is at least part of the reason I continue to hang out here, and I suspect that I'm not alone in that...

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Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables

That's a new one for me. Seems quite appropriate for our continuing bucking of the
MSM story telling.

The authorities reacted to this self-publishing, or samizdat, with arrests.

Thanks for weighing-in!

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10 users have voted.
mimi's picture

“There's a difference between an open mind and an empty head.”
― Abhijit Naskar, All For Acceptance

But what to do if you have an open mind AND an empty head? Seems to me that is the beginning of the end.

"Propaganda is as powerful as heroin; it surreptitiously dissolves all capacity to think.”
― Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali

oh, oh, I sat at that pool once and my son liked it as a kid. There was nothing else to do for him than enjoy the pool and trying out his first guitar. That was before the great genocide.

As a free thinker I take the freedom to not comment any further to your excellent collection of quotation. Thanks so much.

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mimi

@mimi

in their sights.
At least in the weaponized financial realm.
I hope you will survive this onslaught.
I think we are next.

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Who chose not to swallow the dictates.

Julian Assange (state secrets)
Eric Snowden (mass surveillance)
Chelsea Manning (state secrets)
Frank Serpico (NYC cops)
Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers)
Karen Silkwood (radiation)
Mark Whitacre ( food additives)
Cheryl Eckard (pharma)
John Michael Gravitt (DoD)
Coleen Rowley (9-11)
Jeffrey Wigan (tobacco)
John Kopchinski (pharma)
Dr. Eric Ben-Artzi (finance)
W. Mark Felt (Watergate)

most of whom paid a price to expose the lies and cover-ups.
Some also successfully sued to derive recompense.

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@QMS , here's a few more;
Chris Hedges, Michael Hudson, David Graeber, Rachel Carson, Farley Mowat, Vandana Shiva, Albert Camus, Emma Goldman. This, only a few out of the many. We could have an ongoing list. Don't forget Socrates and Galileo. Thucydides etc..

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@QMS

R.I.P. :

Danny Casolaro (Clintons, Inslaw, 'The Octopus')

Gary Webb (CIA/Crack epidemic, Iran Contra)

Paul Wellstone (Iraq War, Israel(?))

Terrance Yeakey (OKC bombing whistleblower)

Nancy Schaefer (CPS and Human Trafficking)

Dr. David Kelly (UK WMD whistleblower)

Philip Haney (Homeland Security whistleblower)

'Are you paranoid, or are you paranoid *enough*?'

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6 users have voted.

When I read A Face In The Crowd I confused other directedness with open mindedness and inner directedness and traditional mindedness with closed mindedness. It wasn't untill I read Eichmann In Jerusalem that I saw what Reisman was getting at. The tldr is that when you take your moral cues from the people around you you have no morality. Eichmann wanted nothing but to be liked and accepted by the people around him, but all the people around him were Nazis.
The progression is Capitalism > advertising (propaganda) > prejudices > consumerism > authoritarianism. This progression can (only) be stopped at the prejudice stage,but only if enough people have the moral courage to tell the majority to f*** off.
In my defense the late 70s was a time dominated by people (conservatives) who idolized inner direction but confused it with narrow mindedness.This led naturally to SJWs/the Woke Mob/Hillbots. God help us!

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7 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/04/politics/white-house-lobby-opec-oil-produ...

CNN Updated 7:15 PM EDT, Tue October 4, 2022

Washington
CNN

The Biden administration has launched a full-scale pressure campaign in a last-ditch effort to dissuade Middle Eastern allies from dramatically cutting oil production, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

The push comes ahead of Wednesday’s crucial meeting of OPEC+, the international cartel of oil producers that is widely expected to announce a significant cut to output in an effort to raise oil prices. That in turn would cause US gasoline prices to rise at a precarious time for the Biden administration, just five weeks before the midterm elections.

For the past several days, President Joe Biden’s senior-most energy, economic and foreign policy officials have been enlisted to lobby their foreign counterparts in Middle Eastern allied countries including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to vote against cutting oil production.

Members of the Saudi-led oil cartel and its allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, are expected to announce production cuts potentially up to more than one million barrels per day. That would be the largest cut since the beginning of the pandemic and could lead to a dramatic spike in oil prices.

How did that work out?

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/3674708-opec-announces-2-m...

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its oil-exporting allies announced a 2 million barrel per day cut in oil production Wednesday, bucking months of pressure from Washington to increase production and potentially spiking gas prices again.
.
.
.

All hands on deck

Amos Hochstein, Biden’s top energy envoy, has played a leading role in the lobbying effort, which has been far more extensive than previously reported amid extreme concern in the White House over the potential cut. Hochstein, along with top national security official Brett McGurk and the administration’s special envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking, traveled to Jeddah late last month to discuss a range of energy and security issues as a follow up to Biden’s high-profile visit to Saudi Arabia in July.

Maybe they will sanction OPEC?

Edited to add:

It appears as if the dimwits in charge cant see the forest for the trees.LOL

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9 users have voted.

really in charge say something different.

@humphrey

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-10-05/biden-calls-opec-cut-...

President Joe Biden called plans by OPEC+ to cut output targets by 2 million barrels a day “unnecessary,” and the White House said more releases from US petroleum reserves are possible.

“I need to see what the detail is. I am concerned, it is unnecessary,” Biden said Wednesday as he left the White House to tour hurricane-ravaged areas of Florida, according to CNN.

OPEC+ agreed Wednesday to the 2 million barrel-a-day cut as it seeks to halt a slide in oil prices caused by the weakening global economy.

The White House’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said in a statement that the US would release another 10 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in November, and that “the president will continue to direct SPR releases as appropriate to protect American consumers and promote energy security.”

“He is directing the Secretary of Energy to explore any additional responsible actions to continue increasing domestic production in the immediate term,” they added.

They called the OPEC+ cut a “shortsighted decision” that would most impact “lower- and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices.”

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4 users have voted.

So why doesn't the US stop exporting our oil and gas?
Guess the oil cartels here care less about domestic needs
than profits overseas. That is wrong, but the present govt.
are more beholden to big corps than and won't do anything
about that. We are made to suffer so that big oil can make
more money from our oil reserves. Same with natural gas.

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9 users have voted.

it's just the propaganda that is our problem. It is also denial. Denial is a powerful mechanism used to blind ourselves. It is a self inflicted blindness, independent of outside forces. Most people don't want to know how dire things are. I agree with those who think it's hard and painful to take a look at how broken everything is. It's not fun to realize how massively our society has to change in order to address the problems we face. Nobody wants to admit that the jig is up. People need the consolation of denial, they don't want to look, they don't want to reason. Cue the denial response.

Mother Nature though, has other ideas. She is increasingly in our face. It is increasingly hard to deny what is happening. The "storms of our grandchildren" are coming earlier than we planned. Deny that she says.

In his book The Treeline Ben Rawlence writes; "When water and food become scarce, when intercontinental supply chains are no longer viable, when industrial agriculture falters, we will need to once again pay attention."

Some think it's too late and paying attention will have no effect. I'm hard-wired to pay attention though, even if I can only dimly see the shadows and even if it doesn't do a bit of good. So here we are, between a rock and a hard place and our leaders are batshit insane.

Thanks for the OT QMS. I very much like that photo by E. Leech. It makes me want to go to the coast. I don't need to have a permanent structure on the beach to enjoy it...just my own two feet...and the company of some friends, and of course the four legged friends....then some snacks....some drink....an umbrella or such thing...and so forth. (admittedly, I'm part of the problem) Smile Hope all is well up there in the north woods. Do you consider yourself in the Boreal Forest?

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enhydra lutris's picture

“When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

Sherlock's maxim, always a good "go-no go" test, but not nearly enough and raises as many questions as it answers.

For starts, how one defines the question or problem is often far more than half of the battle. For that matter, is there really a question or problem in the first place. When somebody, especially in the media, drops a question out of the blue and leaves it hanging, the presumptive answer is "no" and the question is probably not worth further study. "Does rutabaga stew twice a week improve sex" Probably not and not worth reading. "Is it true that the CIA fed live baby Peruvians to alligators? Regardless of the fact that the CIA is capable of anything, probably not and not worth following up.

The process really begins with carefully studying who asked the question and why and why did they phrase it the way that they did. What alternative phrasings are there, and what hidden assumptions and presumptions are included in the question and how likely are they to be true.

A biggie is to eschew nonsense. A lof of nonsense abounds. First question for each and every alleged or assumed fact = "can that be proved, at least in theory". Second question for each and every alleged or assumed fact = "can that be disproved, at least in theory". Something that can not be proved to be false, whether true or not, is nonsense. Something that can not be proved, whether true or false, is almost certainly nonsense.

Relevance. "Putin has 2 mistresses". So the fuck what? How can this enter into chain of argument that can have an impact on our lives or behavior. (Most ad hominems, fwiw, are fallacies of relevance.) The more ad homs per article, the more likely it is to be at least propaganda if not absolute bullshit. Don't waste time chasing and analyzing bullshit.

In that vein - arguments from probability are generally untrustworthy. Even if 99% of the privately owned cars in Ohio in 1950 were "American Made", that has nothing to do with whether or not a specific Ohioan owned an MG or whether or not one or more such persons owned an Alfa. There are a ton of buried unverifiables in most probability based arguments.

Absence or near absence of the word "some" or other similar qualifiers
Abuse of "some" to besmirch a target class or person but have an out
Similarly, empirical absolutes and absolute negatives.
Special or unusual definitions

Who wants me to believe this
Why do they want me to believe this
In both cases cui bono, who benefits, how and why.

When one looks as any given day's news and news blogs one finds that most of it isn't really anything. Will "Dick Divorce Jane, they ...". (who gives a fuck, but also simply noise - if and when Dick divorces Jane, if it somehow matters to anybody but them, that is the time to announce that he did do so, teasers aren't needed) This takes us straight to 1984 and the war news. There is a seige of Dostoyevskyville. Hourly status updates are only useful if you are gambling on the outcome in some fashion.

At one time I was trained (in house) as an instructor. An important point often re-emphasized was to make sure to different what was "need to know" from what was merely "nice to know" Taking that approach as a listener or reader is very useful, especially regarding anything that purports to illuminate the likelihood of some near-term future which, if you can't impact the outcome and don't really have any skin in the game, is a good time to tell yourself "well, if we'll know in two weeks, why the hell don't we just wait and see and skip all of the speculation, unless somebody stands to somehow gain by getting me to think that x is virtually certain to be the outcome.

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

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mimi's picture

@humphrey

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mimi

@humphrey Ditch the cocaine user and owner (supposedly) of a large Miami spread???

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NYCVG

enhydra lutris's picture

(as it impacts gasoline prices or the allocation thereof between industry sectors)

https://caucus99percent.com/content/oil-cost-oil-and-gas-price-disconnec...

be well and have a good one

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

“There's a difference between an open mind and an empty head.”
― Abhijit Naskar, All For Acceptance

Wow. Perfect. That's one of the hidden battles we are fighting.

My opinion.

Your opinion.

We have a right to our own opinions.

BUT.....if the mind has been submerged in propaganda relentlessly for decades, what is the value of the "opinions" it has..

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NYCVG

usefewersyllables's picture

@NYCVG

must occur- and that will look different for every individual. This one kind of resembles mine...

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8 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

@usefewersyllables I doubt that anybody who saw this film has ever forgotten it.

But what if anything, was the widespread effect?

Most of us take the easiest path. "lalalala, everything is okay...."

The warning sign I am seeing now in NYC is that shoplifting and associated violence is out of control. Going into a store is becoming increasingly fraught with danger. And I live in one of the safest parts of the City.

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NYCVG

usefewersyllables's picture

@NYCVG

with an incredible upsurge in shoplifting and similar petty crime, as well as an enormous increase in car thefts and burglary. Thefts of catalytic converters are through the roof, and CO is now the car theft capital of the country. There has been more than one report locally (South Metro Denver) of an individual in black motorcycle leathers, a black full-face helmet, and a dark smoked visor worn closed simply walking into stores, filling a shopping bag with whatever they needed or desired, walking right back out again as if they owned the place, hopping on their motorcycle, and casually riding away. The utter banality of it is really disturbing.

Between that, and the continued breakdown of social mores such as you see in daily driving, you can tell that it is building up to something. Add open-carry, and it gets uncomfortable very quickly. A lot of the local ammosexuals are rattling their sabers about being happy to be given any opportunity to blow away any miscreants that might stumble into their sight-pictures, which will probably lead to a number of innocent bystanders getting Freedumbed.

Basically, people are pissed, and a lot of them are working up some serious chips on their shoulders. Get enough of them with the same chips together in one place, and you’d have a fine militia. All they really need at that point would be a good demagogue (orange or not) to tell them who to shoot at, and then to say “Go!”. Pure standard-issue Amurikan blood lust would do the rest, at least until the ammo ran out.

And Gawd help you if you call the cops. When folks hear stories like the one above about the Amber alert kidnap victim getting annihilated by the cops as she was going for help, it just adds more Sturm unto the Drang.

Eventually, it’ll get bad enough that even some of the most numb, jaded, and checked-out will have their own epiphanies. Dunno what to do about it- but it is going to be a long, cold winter. Be safe out there!

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6 users have voted.

Twice bitten, permanently shy.

all that'll do is give the oil companies more oil to sell after they raise prices. Tough luck about the midterms Joe, but flunkies are there to be sacrificed. Maybe if you hadn't hired a brass band when you bombed the pipelines?
BTW, if you haven't figured it out, OPEC+ never was your friend. Probably too late, but the masks are coming off. Right now it's the Europeans that are going to die, but all that means is when the angry mob comes it'll be larger and angrier.

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8 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

“Every smallest step in the field of free thinking, and of the personally formed life, has ever been fought for at the cost of spiritual and physical tortures . . . change has required its innumerable martyrs. . . . Nothing has been bought more dearly than that little bit of human reason and sense of freedom that is now the basis of our pride.” 

― Friedrich Nietzsche, The Dawn of Day

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