For the first time ever, I find myself in total agreement with Ron Paul wow!
Check out his statement regarding the “anniversary” of 9/11 . Everything here I can agree with. No matter what else you may think about his views, and his past statements – this was a sensible statement that surely took courage to make.
It seems that he also mentioned it at the last CNN/Tea Party debate and was roundly booed for it.
Two things stand out for me here:
1. Does Ron Paul really want to go there? He must remember the reception this stance received during the primaries of 2007 – being made ridiculous by Giuliani and others. He was accused of changing his mind then, of being unpatriotic and whatnot – and he really wants to repeat the experience? No matter what else, you have to admire his courage and character for standing by his beliefs in the face of hysteria. Which brings us to:
2. Now is this a case of the revolution devouring its own children? (or its godfather?) Compared with the surreal arguments, groups and shouting of the Tea Party in 2011, the responses in 2007 seemed measured and rational. So when will the grown-ups in the Republican Party wake up, smell the manure and react? Maybe we should ask if there are any grown-ups left in the GOP. It certainly does not seem to be the case.
Things happen, circumstances exist, and we give them meaning through our stories about them and our interpretations. In this way, we each “construct” our own reality.
Picture this: 3 people standing on a sidewalk, A, B, and C – now a snake slithers by, A screams and runs, B looks at it, and C says “hey cool, its a mamba!”.
The point? All three saw the same snake => one common circumstance. All three had very different experiences and reactions, due to their individual realities, which are based on past experiences, likes and dislikes, beliefs and choices they have made.
So there were actually 3 realities resulting out of one circumstance.
Now: not only do we “do this” to ourselves, but our opinions and beliefs are acted upon each day not only by our family, friends and peers, but also by media, films, advertising etc. Someone who watches only Fox News has a certain view of the world, and if you get your information from Alternet you probably have opposing ideas. Sometimes almost all (people, media, etc) push the same agenda.
In the summer of 2002, my husband and I (we live in Austria) were in the US for 3 weeks traveling. As a kind of “ex-pat” I made sure we watched news wherever possible – my husband and I were absolutely flabbergasted at the picture being painted of Iraq – we came home to Vienna and told our friends that war was inevitable. No-one believed it, in Europe we had had a very different perception of the situation.
The point? We all thought that the internet, with its freedom to connect with anyone, anywhere, would finally remove this kind of manipulation. Well, as I have found out: that belief is absolutely wrong!
Watch this TED Talk and draw your own conclusions – this is why, when you and your friend do a search for the identical topic in Google, you get very different results. That is because both Facebook and Google have “personalized” their search algorithms to incorporate what they know about you from other data that they have gathered about you.
So what? Well, yes, on the one hand that may be convenient at times, on the other hand, it will tend to reinforce your world view and opinions – if you always look for the Fox News site, the chances that Google will offer you the Guardian are presumably slim.
Again, in research this might be a good thing – but it also might not – what I find personally disturbing is that you are not informed about this personalizing – you naively believe that “this is what there is” to see about a certain topic. Personally, I would prefer an option to “opt out” of personalization, but at the very least, I want to see what hidden criteria were added to my searches by the algorithms.
How do you feel about this? Is there something that we want to or can do about this?