What does it mean to be you?
That’s not a rhetorical query, but a simple question.
Put another way, what makes you, you?
Sure, there are physical differences between you and the rest of humanity. Like a snowflake, there is no exact duplicate of you stalking the earth. There are, however, physical similarities with hundreds of thousands of others. I will enter into evidence the time when a woman approached me at a restaurant and emphatically insisted I was the spitting image of her son.
So, I think we’ll have to look elsewhere for the traits that separate you from the other 7.4 billion sparsely furred apes now prowling the planet.
While I am only an amateur observer of the human condition, I would say that the one thing that really defines us as unique is how we process the information we receive.
Each of us runs that information through the supercomputer between our ears in order to find the appropriate slot to drop it in.
Sometimes the information will require taking immediate action.
“Hey, that bus seems to be in my lane, we’re going to die” your id might mention. “Righto,” your superego pipes up in firm agreement while dashing off sharp instructions to your arm to yank the wheel starboard.
In such instances, with very few exceptions – notably those, the result of fantasies involving 40 virgins -- the desire for self-preservation will result in almost all of the 7.4 billion coming to the same conclusion and being damn quick about it.
For the most part, however, the information we receive more or less constantly throughout the day is not nearly so urgent and so can be handled at a far more measured pace.
That doesn’t mean we won’t make snap judgements – we will and we do. But with no immediate action required, we can be a tad more deliberate.
This is where the ‘you’ comes in.
That’s because you can process the information using the lifetime of experiences programmed into your brain. Those experiences have led you to create mental filters - short-cuts if you will – that allow you to make a quick decision even if the thing you are observing is something you’ve never seen before.
Just the other day my wife pointed out the yellow web of something called a Golden Orb spider. Though never having previously encountered this particular subspecies, I can assure you I was quite quick in deciding that while the web is rather striking, should I happen across the spider while it was on terra firma I would stomp on it like a kid would bubble-wrap.
That’s because, well entrenched in those corners of my brain dedicated to cognition is a file folder containing direct experience, anecdotes, superstitions and past news items indicating (rightly or wrongly) that spiders are bad. Furthermore, the mental folder provides explicit instructions that, given the opportunity, spiders should be squashed without ceremony.
It is all of the unique experiences and inputs received over a lifetime – along with certain mechanical aspects related to our DNA and to our hard wiring – that assure, when it comes to processing information, we are indeed a snowflake among the other 7.4 billion.
Which brings me to the point.
Thanks to profound cultural changes brought on by new technologies, the ever-present puppet masters of society are armed with new tools that can literally cause you to come to conclusions that, all things being equal, you might otherwise not have arrived at.
It’s not that brainwashing is new. In fact, the media has been at it for as long as there has been media.
An example I have shared before, but dust off again here as it makes the point, has to do with a family member.
In a conversation during the presidency of Bush the First, said relative growled and spat out his less than charitable comments about the then president. If I recall the words correctly he said, “I hate Bush”.
No, that’s not quite right. What he actually said was, “I HATE Bush!!!!!”.
While I have pretty much always been apolitical (I did get briefly stirred up about Ron Paul’s campaign, until he got lost in the Republican weeds), I can remember being struck at just how forcefully my relative expressed his dislike of Bush the Elder.
So I asked him what, specifically, had caused him to hate Bush Senor so vehemently?
Well, after a lot of sputtering and hemming and hawing, he couldn’t name a single reason he found King George so loathsome an individual that if curses actually worked he would have been unhesitant in unleashing a pox on the man.
I think the only reason he could give was “He’s BAD!”.
It was at that moment, the effectiveness of the media propaganda machine became apparent to me. After all, here was an otherwise rational individual (well, mostly rational) who for literally no reason at all hated a man to the point where if a Secret Service official was within earshot things might have gotten tense.
But that was then, and this is now. And in the same way that grainy black and white television has given way to theater quality 3D flat screen television, the propaganda tools have morphed to the point where the end of ‘you’ is a distinct possibility.
Bear with me a few minutes more, as I think this is all going to come together. (If not, then this missive will end up in a deep lagoon full of ideas with cement shoes).
Pretty much everything you need to know about how much the art of laundering brains has progressed you can glean from the screen swipes here, one from the video game Wolfenstein circa 1992 and the other from the same game today.
In the event you are having a modicum of trouble in understanding the lessons in those screen swipes, I will weigh in.
In a nutshell, what I see is the lightyear advancement in creating a new reality. The early Wolfenstein was obviously a depiction of reality, whereas the Wolfenstein of today is virtually real.
If the villains in the original Wolfenstein were to show up at your door it would mean only one of two things: you had consumed a high quality dose of LSD, or you had lost your mind.
Conversely, if the villains shown in today’s Wolfenstein showed up at your door, you’d hit the ground so fast you’d crack the tiles.
These advancements are meaningful for a couple of reasons.
For one, the electronic arts have become massively engaging. For another, this same level of technological advancement has occurred across the full breath of services and industries.
We were amused at the dystopian future depicted in Terminator, but today take it in stride that walking, talking, lethal military robots are in an advanced stage of development. There are fully armed pilotless F-16 fighter jets now being added to the military arsenal. (What could go wrong with that?)
As direct result of its elevated engagement factor, we humans have integrated technology fully in cultures the world over. Especially in the ‘first world’. And there’s no country more first world than the United States of America.
How integral technology has become is as obvious as the keyboard I am writing you on. It literally affects every aspect of our lives. In particular, how we receive information.
You used to have to wait until 6:00 pm for the nightly news, now the news is in your face almost every time you open your computer or glance at our smart phones – something the average user does 110 times a day.
And that’s the average user – the ‘high frequency' user will unlock their phones as many as 900 times a day.
Part of the reason for this level of engagement is that we now know that, thanks to increasingly powerful search engines, all of the answers to all of our questions are only seconds away. For example, how many times does the average person check their smart phones.
And that brings us to…
The End of You
Back in the day, the selection of news media was very limited: A couple of local newspapers and a few national television network shows.
That has now changed with a proliferation of news channels, each of which offers you the ‘news’ with a particular bias. If you want liberal the choices are endless. If you want Republicrat, there’s Fox News and websites like Breitbart and The Blaze.
You pick your favorite bias and off you go and it’s all bias, all the time. Personally, I never read stories put out by sites such as Huffington Post and other populist/socialist/alarmist outlets.
In today’s world, the role the news services used to play – of providing information on current events – has been usurped by the search engines.
And, as with the news media which has always been manipulated for political aims, today’s search engines have politically-minded masters as well.
Here’s an excerpt from an important book, The New Mind Control by Robert Epstein…
<i>“And what if new means of [mind] control were developed that were far more powerful – and far more invisible – than any that have existed in the past? And what if new types of control allowed a handful of people to exert enormous influence not just over the citizens of the US but over most of the people on Earth?
It might surprise you to hear this, but these things have already happened.”
“To understand how the new forms of mind control work, we need to start by looking at the search engine – one in particular: the biggest and best of them all, namely Google. The Google search engine is so good and so popular that the company’s name is now a commonly used verb in languages around the world. To ‘Google’ something is to look it up on the Google search engine, and that, in fact, is how most computer users worldwide get most of their information about just about everything these days. They Google it. Google has become the main gateway to virtually all knowledge, mainly because the search engine is so good at giving us exactly the information we are looking for, almost instantly and almost always in the first position of the list it shows us after we launch our search – the list of ‘search results’.
“That ordered list is so good, in fact, that about 50 per cent of our clicks go to the top two items, and more than 90 per cent of our clicks go to the 10 items listed on the first page of results; few people look at other results pages, even though they often number in the thousands, which means they probably contain lots of good information. Google decides which of the billions of web pages it is going to include in our search results, and it also decides how to rank them.”
To make a long story short, and you can read the entire story by clicking here, Epstein and his colleague ranked a comprehensive number of studies to see if they could influence political choices around the world simply by re-ordering search engine results.
Here’s more from Epstein on his findings:
“We predicted that our manipulation would produce a very small effect, if any, but that’s not what we found. On average, we were able to shift the proportion of people favouring any given candidate by more than 20 per cent overall and more than 60 per cent in some demographic groups. Even more disturbing, 99.5 per cent of our participants showed no awareness that they were viewing biased search rankings – in other words, that they were being manipulated.
“SEME’s near-invisibility is curious indeed. It means that when people – including you and me – are looking at biased search rankings, they look just fine. So if right now you Google ‘US presidential candidates’, the search results you see will probably look fairly random, even if they happen to favour one candidate.”
“Does the company [Google] ever favour particular candidates? In the 2012 US presidential election, Google and its top executives donated more than $800,000 to President Barack Obama and just $37,000 to his opponent, Mitt Romney. And in 2015, a team of researchers from the University of Maryland and elsewhere showed that Google’s search results routinely favoured Democratic candidates.”
“Looking ahead to the November 2016 US presidential election, I see clear signs that Google is backing Hillary Clinton. In April 2015, Clinton hired Stephanie Hannon away from Google to be her chief technology officer and, a few months ago, Eric Schmidt, chairman of the holding company that controls Google, set up a semi-secret company – The Groundwork – for the specific purpose of putting Clinton in office.”
So, what do you actually see when Googling “U.S. Presidential Candidates”?
The results are very revealing.
The first article, from The Atlantic, is an unabashed attack on Donald Trump which then winds its way to the following:
“That’s created an opening for Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House. Whether he wants it is a different story. Influential voices, like the D.C. tip sheet Playbook, are circulating his name as the likely consensus nominee out of a convention fight. (Liam Donovan lays out a persuasive case against it.) Ryan, the youngish Wisconsinite, insists he has no interest in the job, but he said the same thing about becoming House speaker.”
Look at the second two results. The second, dated November 11, 2008, contains enough of a preview to share that “Ryan loses to both major Democratic candidates in head-to-head matchups…”
So, in a U.S. presidential election year the best results the Google search engine could come up with was from 2008?
Then, Google lays it on with a current story from Voice of America by helpfully pointing out that “Ryan was the party’s losing vice presidential candidate in 2012”.
What a loser, eh?
So, what we have here sure seems to me a clear sign that the puppet masters are already beginning to look past Trump to Ryan, the preferred Republicrat candidate… and are already softening the ground to harden the populace against him.
And Google’s subtle attempt to sway the election is equally apparent when you visit Google News. Over the past little while I clicked on Google News then took a screen swipe of the top of the page. Here’s my montage… and these are tame compared to the usual fare.
What Are You To Do?
First off, it is important to wake up to the reality of the new masters of mind control and to view all your internet news and search results as politically biased and manipulated.
While I can’t swear it doesn’t also have an agenda, I use the www.duckduckgo.com search engine. Querying “U.S. President Candidates” returns current general interest stories on the topic, a positive sign. As an added benefit, unlike Google duckduckgo keeps no records of your web searches.
Another suggestion is to always try to find original source material when doing research.
For example, if you want to hear who Donald Trump thinks he is, in his own words, look up a transcript of one of his speeches. Say what you might about the man, based on the transcript, the guy isn’t a very polished political speech giver… but that’s probably why so many people like him.
Finally, if you want to know what the new-powers-to-be are thinking, use the Google search engines as part of your intelligence apparatus.
Go ahead, try it for yourself by Googling the presumptive next President, “Hillary Clinton”.
And with that, I will bid you farewell for day and probably the week.
Until next time when I promise you not to breathe a word about the U.S. Presidential parade…