have I been shadowbanned or do my tweets just suck
— indecline (@MaxxPayme) October 8, 2016
There was a period of time in my 20’s that I studied the game of chess. I read all kinds of books with notations for famous openings and lines of play based on board position and opponents moves.
My then roommate Kenny and I would wage marathon chess battles for hours on end, staring across the board at each other while barely uttering a word.
The nature of the game is to look ahead multiple moves and plot strategy not based on what the board looks like at the moment, but what it will look like in the future after the opponent makes the likely move.
Truth be told, I was never that good at chess because I need to put ideas and my thoughts right out in front of me in order to process them properly.
Gifted chess prodigies often can think 30 moves ahead, or even play blindfolded. To do that, you need to be able to think internally. I’m really bad at that.
My ideal world is one in which I can theorize out loud. Where I can inquire, question, debate and argue. Where I can vocalize points of view to challenge my beliefs and others commonly held views.
Allowing for satire and coarse raw thought to be part of the conversation. Welcoming and encouraging the possibility of being wrong, or being perceived as rude or repugnant, but still listened to and considered.
That’s becoming harder to do in today’s world.
Political correctness is a metastasizing disease.
Try voicing a view these days, even among friends, that goes against the grain and see what happens. It feels like the art of discourse and debate has been lost or at least forgotten.
To be outside of mainstream groupthink is to be shunned, to be persecuted, to be shadowbanned. Deviant opinions are “fake news”.
Slowly but surely the many branches of possible truth are being pruned from the tree of knowledge, leaving only the sturdy trunk of populist rhetoric.
Media and journalists are part of the problem. There is a dangerous trend away from independent treatment of news.
With a steady drone of propaganda and pablum forced down society’s collective throat, we have become conditioned into only believing what is deemed truth du jour.
Chess eventually bored me for just this reason. I eventually came to the realization that although chess is amazingly complex and varied, it has a scripted quality to it as well.
The best computer will beat even the highest ranked Grandmaster because chess at it’s very roots is formulaic. There is really only the right move and the wrong at any given time.
Two master class players playing against each other would be expected to ruthlessly exploit anything but the defined best move.
Isn’t it possible that life itself is more complex than this, and that what appears “obviously” right could turn out to be wrong and that what you have been told to believe could sometimes be lies and disinformation?
After all, haven’t we always been at war with Eurasia?
There is nothing new under the sun, and similar conditions have existed at previous points in the annals of history. What is paradoxical however, is a perception “out there” that with the advent of the internet age, access to real information has never been easier.
There is a fallacy to this logic, because with so many instant sources of information available there has been a subtle restricting of the pipelines that this information flows down and a lessening of the democratization of this material.
Media consolidation and quasi-governmental control over the internet is the shameful family secret that nobody wants to talk about. Weren’t the internet and Google CIA/Pentagon love children from conception?
In Orwell’s 1984 we had the telescreen, now in 2018 we have the smartphone. What’s the difference?
All one has to do is to ride public transportation or even walk down the street and you can see the extent of the programming already accomplished. So many of us are face down in our phones that it’s a wonder more people don’t walk into poles.
What do you think these people are doing? Might they be searching for available primary source documentation to corroborate the latest article that they just read while scrolling Facebook?
More likely they are absentmindedly grazing on bland sanitized ‘news’ and pop culture abundantly found in the social media ghettos as they trudge zombie-like towards their daily 12 hour shift in the salt mines.
All of this serves to conform and solidify popular opinion. Voices against dissent are magnified and counter-point ideas disappear. Who needs to ban or burn books when nobody reads anything but shit these days?
Dialogue takes place within an echo-chamber. You never need to see the other side of the argument. You never need to feel uncomfortable.
This reality scares me, troubles me, nags at my senses. Why can’t we learn to think for ourselves and decipher truth based on sifting though all available points of view. Why do we need to be protected from ourselves?
Soon enough, there will only be one voice telling us what is right and what is wrong.
This is not thinking. This is not evolution.