This is the third and final article in a short series on cleaning up the information environment. Part one can be found here, How to Fight Information Pollution, and part two here, How to Identify Your Cognitive Biases & Allergies. This one focuses on identifying unwitting (or witting) culture warriors parroting tribal narratives in the wild and online:
This essay is the second in a short series about taking personal responsibility for improving the quality of the content circulating in the information environment. In essay one, ‘How to Fight Information Pollution’, we considered methods we can adopt to help ensure the information we share is integral and truthful. This second essay focuses on a process to help us gain greater awareness of our individual cognitive biases and allergies.
In this age of polarisation, disinformation and fake news, never before has it been so important that we carefully and thoughtfully evaluate the information we consume before we share it. I think of it as fighting “information pollution”.
I've been thinking a little recently about the intensity of the conversations around vaccines and attempting to understand what underpins the most hardened and vocal positions on either side. While far from a definitive list, the primary concerns and fears might best be defined with the following propositions:
“Rather than focusing only on what is false or who or what is at fault, wisdom involves focusing on whoever and whatever is true, whole, wholesome, valid, and right.” — Forrest Landry
Human beings have a desire for certainty that is inborn and part of the wiring of our brains. We seek certainty because it rewards us with a feeling of satisfaction and the comfort of order. We avoid uncertainty because it causes a sense of insecurity and anxiety.
We are living through a crisis of meaning and sensemaking. No longer is there a single consensus reality that binds us together.
While on Southsea beach at sunset
Mother cooks a Sunday roast
Our friend, Theo, left us today
I know the past
No more and no less -
How dare you, pious iron-fisted tribe
Are you free, Aphrodite
Jim lost w/out words
Well, I'll tell you a story about the splintered dreams of a young man
From the tallest height I scan
Dreams of summer
Harsh but sad delicate mouth
The King is the ultimate source of order
Bastard kid cult of the digital age
Andrea’s sins bring feared nights and woeful dreams
There is a well known Indian fable which supposedly dates back to the mid 1st millennium BC called The Blind Men And The Elephant. The fable tells the story of six blind sojourners who encounter different parts of an elephant on their life journeys. As the fable progresses, each blind man, in turn, conceptualises what the elephant is like by touching a different part of its body.
Marxism is a political theory and method of socio-economic and historical analysis that originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
In a previous article published last November, I explained the reasons why I cancelled my membership of the Labour Party and how, for the first time in twenty years, identity politics had left me questioning who to vote for at a general election.
Much has been written about the Labour Party, the crisis of the Left and progressive politics in general. I’m adding to it not because I claim to hold any authority on the subject, but from a compulsion to share my personal experience, and, as an ex-Labour member, my deep frustrations with the current situation in the party.
Joker is the must-seemovie of the moment. That rare type of movie that succeeds in mirroring the cultural moment in which it was made, as Taxi Driver did in the seventies and Fight Club managed in the nineties.
My wife and I land at Marco Polo Airport for a short stay in Venice, affectionately known “The Floating City”, a week after its worst flooding in 22 years.
Unless you are a political junkie or obsessive nerd like myself, it is quite likely that you have never heard of the ‘Overton window’. Named after its originator, Joseph P. Overton, the Overton window represents, at any given time, the frame of reasonable options or opinions across a spectrum of possible options/opinions in public/political discourse.
The notion that there are vast disparities in power and influence which favour men over women across all levels of society is so prevalent and commonsensical to us these days that to challenge the concept of the ‘patriarchy’ and to question the dominant narrative on gender inequality is, at best, a demonstration of ignorance, at worst, an act of misogyny.
One need only turn on the television, read the news or watch the latest Hollywood movies to realise a war is being waged against masculinity. The ideologically-loaded term “toxic masculinity”, with its shaming and demonising inferences about the male propensity to display aggression and dominance and the characterisation of male biological nature as an “illness”, is the latest line of attack.
From radicalism and hedonism to responsibility and purpose.
The Parrhesia Diaries is a photo and diary blog run from the UK, founded on the guiding principle of authentic expression.