Fake News

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The thing that makes humans special is thought. There is an assumption that human thought looks for truth. In actual fact human thought is a consequence of experience and there is no underlying truth, except for facts. Fact versus belief, or opinion. For facts there is the obvious, science tells us about the atom and Mars is a planet of our solar system. But during my education I understood that there were such thoughts as right, wrong, good, bad, difference and also subjective truth. Indeed we humans become assimilated, when using our minds and considering ideas. There is an obvious mental path for us to follow, a sensibility. Is there a right or wrong way to think? This is fake news. As a thinking being I often wonder where to aim my thought, what to consider and whether my thought is accurate. What logic I’m using. I wonder about my mental processing and if it’s fit for purpose. Sometimes I think with simple binary logic, up versus down, left or right, good or evil, etc. Perhaps it’s illogical to speak of consciousness in this way with too much detail, maybe thought is always merely best fit. In the west we believe in absolute truth. But there is no absolutely correct mode of thinking, thought is just another human approximation of reality. The TV news just now appealed to “what’s right” presuming there is an absolute truth, a “what’s right”. Indeed the human mind is shaped by the times we live in and not by our absolute truths. We have created a very muddled world of opinion. A human academic might laugh at me and say of course there is such a concept as absolute truth, it is right not to kill. Yes it does seem to me that there are absolute truths but they are very human and not absolute. Thought exists in individual and collective consciousness, the collective is now becoming more substantial through technology. Artificial intelligence provides us an opportunity to deeply consider thought’s laws and the mental processing that occurs in consciousness. Political thought seems most malleable when considering today’s Trump and Russia. The US believe there are absolutes truths like individual freedom, Russia thinks people are just trying to live their lives through struggle. The long and short of this post is “you are what you think” although some people say “you are what you do”. I don’t intimately trust my thoughts but am aware I think. It is true that I exist, I do, another thought. And what thoughts lead Assad to use chemical weapons in Syria against his own people? The CNN news now tells me this but these ideas should be checked against fake news, opinion or fact. I actually think news services perpetuate the state of play by always stating current opinion between facts. Maybe we’ll get past all this fact versus opinion when we evolve. Maybe we’ll transcend thought.

 

Influence

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News services like CNN and BBC are concerned about social media. Facebook helped to elect Trump these news services suggest because Facebook sold private data to communicate with and influence voters. Apparently another company called “Caimbridge Analytica” was involved. This opinion might be considered fake news, only fact if they provide evidence for changed votes. The fact is Hillary had 3 million more votes than Trump who won because of the college voting system. We should always remember that people can be influenced by anyone but must decide for themselves when voting. There are people trying to influence you everywhere, in the City Square or on the Bourke Street Mall (Melbourne Australia), and beggars, all manner of interests trying to get your attention. Are we suggesting people shouldn’t go to public places? I regard Facebook as just that. Globally through technology Facebook is a public place where I can interact with the people I know anywhere in the world. Indeed like all public places social media can be used to influence if you want to listen. People should take responsibility for their decisions and not blame social media. Personally I think there is some value in the likes of Google, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress etc, we have taken communication to the next level. They are now saying on CNN that Facebook privacy was abused. Perhaps but I have always regarded anything on the internet as public and am careful not to put things online that I think I don’t want to share. Things that I don’t want anybody else to see. For me the internet is where I can keep in touch with people, and see fake news and sometimes facts. For example what’s the distance to Mars? How’s your day wifey?

Facts

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So much for fake news, Trump is taking alternative facts the next level. There is news today of an unconfirmed meeting with the president of Canada (unconfirmed because they don’t know if the meeting happened, he said it did) where Trump makes the false claim of a trade deficit with Canada. I suspect the real problem for the most powerful man in the world is senility, they ought to test his mental fitness. For such an unwitting person soon to have a meeting about nuclear weapons with North Korea is quite dangerous. Not to mention global warming, that’s extremely dangerous. Climate change is an enormous threat to our species, we face extinction.

Guns

downloadAs reported on CNN, Amnesty International is presently saying a big threat to human rights is the United States of America. I never thought I’d see the day that the US made their list of concerns. America’s answer to the US gun problem is more guns, give guns to teachers and good people? They should simply ban guns like most other countries. The reason there are so many gun killings in America, I think the figure is 90% of such crimes globally, is because of the laws. In Australia it’s a point of interest where the gun came from in any such crime, nobody has easy access to guns there. I’m quite sure these shootings would occur globally if the world had easy access to guns. We all go off the rails occasionally but such shootings only occur in America where they have the right to bear arms. Guns are designed to kill, people or animals, for death. The only protection they offer is against another gun, to kill that bearer. Gun control might also make more difficult the other ever increasing cause of death, suicide.

Sexism

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You must be a famous person to be president of the United States these days. CNN now reports Oprah Winfrey might be next, she would come after reality TV star Donald Trump, before him movie star Ronald Reagan. Probably the right thing for a country so focussed on the individual and during the time of the “me too” movement. I’m sure Oprah is a fine person, better than the incumbent. Actually I’m viewing these developments in US politics as the possibility of a more fundamental changes.

Clearly we still need to overcome sexism, or powerism as an actor called it discussing Harvey Weinstein’s sex abuse. The use of power for non-consensual sex. I think at some point while growing up we objectify woman. I too began passing judgement, thoughts like “nice tits… nice arse… great legs”. A global phenomena, perhaps the result of animal instinct, we are evolved animals after all. It will require childhood education to stop such judgements and the objectification of women. Just now there has been disturbing reports of rape and murder of a child in Pakistan, such crimes occur globally. Indeed we need to evolve and start to live in our intellect rather than our bodies.

Maybe one day humanity might overcome money too. Through blockchain we might be able to exchange ideas and effort, intellect, rather than cash. As I’ve said here before the human species might go beyond the Industrial Age. If we do evolve we will survive the destruction of this planet because of global warming. We will need to act quickly to slow down the increase of weather events around the world. Ironically the recent freezing weather in the US was caused by global warming. Hoping for the development of nuclear fusion, not fission, as an eternal power supply. Amazing to be able to create the sun’s energy on Earth by atomic interactions. To replicate the sun’s surface energy in the Large Hadron Collider, apart from black holes.

Equality

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Indeed the recent public furore over Harvey Weinstein’s sex abuse in Hollywood is making the world recognise that power has been used for sex. It has happened in every position of power, all vocations including acting, politics, education, hospitality etc. Even in normal life such concepts take over, I sometimes said to myself  in the past “she’s f-able” when I saw a beautiful example of the opposite sex. Only words but perhaps the beginning of sexism. We are mammals, products of our biology. I think we can now achieve a truer equality and possibly evolve as we move towards our intellect rather than being constantly driven by our biology. Humans have always had biological urges, perhaps we can move past the body and it’s preoccupations. But we are physical creatures and I suspect desire will always exist for us, perhaps we can become better acquainted with control, controlled desire. Human sexual desire has been in part the reason for our population growth over time, maybe we can focus more on intellect now.

Health

HealthI only write this because I’m watching the debates about the healthcare bill being put forward by Trump in the US. In Australia we use tax to pay for health cover for everyone and only use health insurance for extras and to reduce waiting times and maybe choose doctors and hospitals. If you have lots of money by this you can get first class hospitals and healthcare but health is regarded as a fundamental right of any living individual and so we use public money to cover all. It is much the same system in other western countries. The US should remove the concept of insurance from health and tax more to provide health as a basic right. Focus on life rather than money.

I should mention that the tax system in Australia is graduated depending on how much you earn. It gradually goes up as you earn more money, the top rate for earnings over $100,000 is 49%. If you earn below $18,000 it’s zero tax, say 30% on earnings between $30,000 and $50,000 and 40% on earnings between $50,000 to $70,000 etc. In Australia the individual tax rate is up to 49%, in the US it’s 39%. These are all estimate tax rates but it’s graduated and quite a fair system in Australia which also has unemployment benefits if your out of work. And the pension if your too old to work but still need money for food etc all covered by the tax system. The country hopes to provide for all people in need but then again there is also Superannuation which is deducted from your income, partly for retirement. Citizens should financially care for the poor and in Australia they try to.