President Troll

Your adversaries are known for spreading disinformation by any means necessary, including social media. The purpose of their actions?  They want to sow confusion for two reasons:

  1. So that people in targeted countries lose faith and trust in their government.
  2. To create divisions within the targeted countries.

The Chinese, the Russians, North Koreans, Iran, and a number of other adversaries are well organized and quite effective with their disinformation tactics. Currently, there a number of false and illogical causes of COVID-19 being promoted. These include:  It came from a “wet” market in China. It’s a secret weapon created by (choose one) the Chinese or the American military. The real culprit is the implementation of 5G telephone service.

Unfortunately, there are not enough facts to adequately explain the coronavirus cause. Even so, some theories, such as 5G, should be intuitively obvious as being false. Nevertheless, each of these theories is endorsed and shared by some individuals. It appears that either by coincidence, or by intentional disinformation, both of your adversaries’ goals have been achieved.

Some countries establish military or government entities to push disinformation. Others contract it out to people in a third country. Collectively, these various groups of disinformation spreaders are known as troll farms.

Troll farms can be rather sophisticated. Some have teams of three; the first publishes a legitimate news story with their interpretation, which favors their employer’s message. The second then challenges the original viewpoint, while the third adds polite comments which support the disinformation. By having a point, counterpoint, and then a moderate it makes the information seem more believable.

However, when your President Trump gets involved, things get worse. Skipping over all the known falsehoods and self-contradictions, he still does immense damage. Why, for example, did he tie the Second Amendment to the pandemic? What does the right to keep and bear arms have to do with practices meant to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus?

Nothing, but the tactic has further fueled the divisiveness your country is experiencing. At the same time, when the US President makes such statements, it can only diminish faith and trust in the government. His actions aid and support your country’s adversaries.

 

Political Quotes

Here are some interesting quotes that might have come from a political party’s guide for today’s candidates and campaign managers.

  • “The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. ”
  • “The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category. ”
  • “Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.”
  • “I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few.”

Like most quotations, they may not be 100 percent accurate, but you get the idea. The source of these was a very popular and powerful politician. If you don’t recognize them, maybe the next one will help.

  • “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

The author?  Adolph Hitler.

Surrounded by Idiots

With regard to COVID 19–Laurence J. Peter, a professor at the University of Southern California, proposed that cream rises until it sours. The Peter Principle states that in a hierarchy, an employee advances until they reach incompetency, after which time they neither advance nor decline. A good grocery clerk might be advanced to department manager and continue to do a great job. However, when promoted to assistant store manage, if they perform poorly, they remain an assistant store manager.

In emergent situations, this process accelerates; today’s idiot is tomorrow’s idiot-in-charge.

It was an idiot-in-charge who decided that celebrities should have front of the line privileges for the COVID-19 test.

Idiots-in-charge are the ones deciding that meetings, religious services, etc. should include hundreds of people in an enclosed space.

Idiots-in-charge also engage in independent operations by boarding aircraft when they know or suspect that they have the virus.

Beware of these idiots! They are not difficult to spot–you know what to look for.

Pandemic or Plague?

Over the millenia I’ve seen my share of plagues–black death, bubonic plague, septicemic plague, pneumonic plague, and a few whose names I never could pronounce. With modern medicine, you no longer call them palgues–now call them pandemics. Pandemic sound so much more clinical and therefore less dangerous.

Of course, the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 killed between 50 and 100 million people, which is right up there with the plagues. I grant you that the records from the Middle Age and prior are based on guesstimation–no computers, no accurate numbers, etc. but a million deaths here and a million deaths there and pretty soon you’re dealing with a plague.

Now, the world is facing the corona virus, or as the scientists call it, COVID-19. Will a rose under any other name smell as sweet? Will a disease under any other name kill as many? It’s currently called a pandemic. Due to political pressure, it will probably never be called a plague–regardless of the death toll. Calling a skunk’s fur Alaska Sable doesn’t change its actual identity.

 

Entropy by Any Other Name

entropy

I’m a philosopher not a physicist, but I believe that I have a minuscule understanding of physics. Based on the two or three brain cells that have grasped the concept, here’s my interpretation of entropy.

In this universe, physics tells us that everything devolves into chaos unless effort (energy) is added. In other words, while an abandoned house falls down and is overtaken by vegetation, a house that has regular maintenance will not. Maybe this isn’t the most exotic explanation, but it provides the basics.

“If you don’t expend effort to take care of something, it will decay,” or as Firesign Theatre presented as Fudd’s First Law of Opposition–“If you push something hard enough, it will fall over.”

So, given that everything will eventually fall apart, why do your politicians expend so much time, effort , and energy on promoting chaos? Are they impatient and want to see utter ruin faster, are they ignorant of what they are doing, or is it something else?

And people for several thousand years have called me crazy?

John Stuart Mill Explains

mill

Some have noticed that I use the byline of “think vs feel.” I’ve tried to incorporate this attitude and philosophy into my writings. However, as the father of cynicism, I expect some readers to be, well, cynical. So, to plead my case, I am invoking the lessons of another, much more recent philosopher,  John Stuart Mill.

For an excellent article on this by Yukta Sinha, please click here.

 

A Simple Test

As the founder of philosophical cynicism, you might naturally expect me to attack any viewpoint with which I do not agree.

You’d be right, of course.

Today your Senate votes on the question of impeachment. I’ve heard arguments, delivered with a straight face that strained the truth well beyond its specifications. I guess people who are seeking re-election or being paid enough . . . .

I propose there’s a simpler way to find the truth.

If you were in the military and deploying to Afghanistan for a year,  would you:

  • Hand your credit cards to Donald Trump for safekeeping?
  • Give Donald Trump all your passwords so he could handle your business while you were gone?
  • Ask Donald Trump to check visit your wife?

 

If you like my posts–great. If you hate them–forward to those people who drive you crazy.

 

And There It Is

I have been busy, trying to ignore all the chaos in your political system.

I swept out my sewer (Yuch!–Even from me.), I went down to the river and bathed (Ahhh!), and when I walked away from the river, naked, someone offered me clothes–just as I anticipated. They didn’t fit well, but good enough.

Keep in mind that my philosophy is cynicism. So . . . . . . . .

I saw your supposedly “most deliberative body”–the US Senate”–make fools of themselves, yet again. As a cynic, I have both con and pro thoughts toward democracies, but, as has been said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

Legend has it that after the Constitution was written, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “What do we have? A republic or a monarchy?” His response, according to that legend, was, “A republic–if you can keep it.” It does sound like Ben.

Can America keep a republic? I don’t know, even with a couple of millennia under my belt. I’ll leave it to you. Can you face difficult decisions? Can you make wise choices? Can you hold your elected representatives responsible?

It’s not my future–I died long ago and just hang around to exercise my cynicism.

The future is yours–deal with it.

You, Me, and Them

Being that I live in a sewer and am known for my lack of hygiene, I don’t often get out to the movies and they won’t install cable for me. However, I have subscribed to Netflix, so I can see movies and television shows, although they’re what you used to call “reruns”.

As I watch the political goings on, I am struck by the mob mentality. Mob might be a bit strong, but I believe someone once called it group-think. The phenomenon is that members of a group tend to surrender their individuality in order to fit in. Instead of using critical thinking and logic, they go with the prevailing opinion of the group.

The reason I mentioned Netflix is because I can’t say it better than how it was explained in Men in Black:

J: People are smart.

K: A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

No Place Like Home

diogenes_04

 

If you ever read about me you know that history claims that I lived in either a sewer or a large pot. Trust me, it was a sewer. If you live in a large pot, before too long, it becomes a sewer.

However, that was my choice. After all, I was a legitimate and, in fact, esteemed philosopher. I am credited with being a major force in developing the philosophical discipline known as cynicism. Me, being a cynic, suspect that you don’t believe that.

Observing events in your time, I must admit it adds great credence to the importance of the cynical philosophy. In fact, while every age needs a certain amount of healthy cynicism, your age will never be cynical enough.

But I digress.

I was thinking, after seeing political, social, and religious interactions over the past decade, how I am perfectly adapted to live in this time. If I had lived in your here and now, I would have readily eschewed my desire to find an honest man. It was a fool’s errand in my time, and today, um, well . . . .

Today, it is often not the person with a powerful title who has power; the power is frequently wielded by those who whisper in the leader’s ear–those once called the powers behind the throne.And, indeed, a throne it is.

If I lived in this day and age I could . . . .

No. Never mind.

I miss my sewer.