Monday, January 30, 2017

When Prophecy Fails

With the current new president and the staff he's put into power, and even before that while the debates were going on a lot of hearsay was bandied about.  Some people care about that stuff, while others, I think, are just fine putting up something whether it's true or not.   Helluva way to win an argument--I'm glad normal life isn't that way... Or is it?   I'm always pretty much upfront with people and try and buttress an argument with something real: science, facts, statistics, etc.  That doesn't mean I'm always right, but I'd at least I like and try to have an informed opinion about the world in which I live.

Granted some issues can be argued either way.  The above graphic about news quality comes from this site.  It tries to establish what are the more reliable news sources.  Some are biased, but that's not to say they don't have some bit of truth to them, say Fox news for example.  But if you look at the far right side and bottom of the graph, you'll see that Glen Beck's infotainment (I won't call it news) is low on the scale as is Alex Jone's propagandist site, Info Wars, which both rate nil. 

I don't suppose knowing this, except for me personally, will amount to much, but it's good to have this graph handy I guess if you are trying to win points for staying informed.  I had a friend (past tense) who I grew up with back in high school and college who drifted his own way, and I had to go mine.   He was always a bit of a loner, but so am I, and we shared many things in common like music and movies and whatnot.  We used to be pretty close, at least from a long distance (not living in the same city, plus Texas is pretty spread out).  At any rate, I remember going to his property in Georgetown, Tx and seeing that he is now raising Icelandic horses.  Good luck with that, and also a particular type sheep dog or whatever.   Sometime back he sent me an email about music or something about improving one's health, and we chatted a bit, but he'd quickly turn the conversation over to government conspiracy, ie. about the how the Bilderberg group were taking over, end of the world scenarios, George W. Bush having something to do with blowing up the 9-11 towers, and all sorts of nutsville stuff. 

We'd argue back and forth, and spent way to much time doing so, until I had to tell him, look it's obvious we don't agree on that topic, why not avoid that and just chat about something that's not so polarizing.  He would not do that, so I had to let him go, or he went his own way.  I think one of the final straws was he blamed me for something I didn't do.   He came back about a year later or so, again sending me a Youtube video of a musician, and I told him that's cool.  We reunited for about a day before he got back into his bullshit again.  Then he disappeared again. 

At any rate, I guess what I'm getting at is, people gonna believe what that wanna believe whether they got facts or not, it might just be a totally uninformed opinion.  That's just the way of the world, I guess that's life.  That goes back to our current president and his followers.  They want to believe what they want to believe, evidently some facts just don't matter to them.  What makes matters worse, Trump just won't let lying dogs lie.  He's gotta tweet about it. 

Here's an interesting article about self-deception. 

But I found the article buried within that article on a 50s UFO conspiracy every bit as interesting:  When Prophecy Fails.


At 5:58 PM, Blogger Richard Bellush said...

Yes I remember reading about Dorothy Martin (no relation to Dorothy Martin the frontwoman for the rock band "Dorothy") and the whole planet Clarion business.

In moore earthly matters, it’s a very hard time for the more out there conspiracy theorists, I should imagine. After all, to continue to claim that the Illuminati not only exist but are running everything behind the scenes would mean accepting that they do a very lousy job. I’ll bring the matter up at our next meeting.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

I wondered if Martin had been married to L Ron Hubbard, but I guess not. Someone said that it's believe that one of Hubbard's wives wrote some of those Scientology books (speculating there's just too many for one person to have written). Dorothy Martin's spiel smacks a bit of that and parts of the Christianity myth ie. Star Wars, George Lucas or better yet, Joseph Campbell.

Martin fell off of radar, spending several years in the Peruvian Andes, returning to the U.S. in the 1960s. By then known as “Sister Thedra,” she founded the Association of Sananda and Samat Kumara in Mount Shasta, California (“long an attraction to America’s mystically minded”), where she found herself again reporting from the nether regions of space to a small group of believers.

She died in 1992 in Sedona, Arizona—home of spiritual vortices and a thriving New Age tourist industry—at the ripe old age of 92: “It is now come the time that ye come out from the place wherein ye are. Ye shall shout for joy! Let it be, for many shall greet thee with glad shouts! So be it, no more pain….”

I guess once a mystic always a mystic.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Roman J. Martel said...

This is always one thing that frustrates me most when it comes to talking politics with anyone these days. They have their facts. I have my facts. And despite the fact that both are labeled "facts" they seem to be completely opposite at times. I question their sources. They question mine. We end up just getting frustrated with the situation and each other.

I'm reminded of Obi Wan from "Return of the Jedi" - "What I told you was true... from a certain point of view." - Alternative facts?!

At 8:33 PM, Blogger El Vox said...

I frustrates me as well, Roman, but a majority of the time when I ask someone where they get their information from or a way to back up their assertion, they don't have any. It's mostly just an opinion or hearsay. Maybe they heard some guy at work rattle off something or their parents or it's from the way they were brought that informs their opinion--I heard a lot of that bullshit at work too. I once got into a friendly argument with one of my friend's mom as she claimed that they did find weapons of mass destruction over in Iraq. Of course I said, no they did not. And we batted it back and forth a few seconds, but she still held her belief. I wondered if she'd ever learned the truth.

I try and find things to back up whatever I talk about if for no other reason because I would like to know myself. That's not to say the resources I got are always right or that I am either. Truthfully I feel the older I get, the less I know at times. I've found that particularly on the web and forums etc. A lot of people will want to argue with you, and when you say, where did you get that information from, do you have a link? They can't provide any, which leads me to believe, okay you just pull that out of your ass. It's just an opinion. I usually give them the old Frank Zappa line: Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. And then the Harlan Ellison line, An opinion is worthless, an informed opinion is priceless.

Still it would be nice if at least politically (or otherwise) we could at least discuss things without all the defensiveness (or offensiveness). I understand why it gets that way at times as we feel like if so and so gets in office we might lose something ie. healthcare or whatever. A lot of my friends have ACA are really depending upon it and if Trump doesn't come through they are really going to be angry, and I can't blame them. I have a friend that got cancer and he said ACA actually saved his life. I have another friend that says if Trump repeals and doesn't replace Obamacare, he'll lose his healthcare and probably his house. He has health problems too.

Most of my cousins are Republicans here and it's a Big Bible Belt town & area, plus Texas in general is a Big Red Republican state. So I'm always at odds, therefore I have to stay informed. I had a cousin recently put up a meme on Facebook about Why Are Liberals Against Vetting Immigrants, Yet Want to Take Away Our Guns. I posted on the meme: Democrats aren't against vetting, that's ridiculous, that immigrants are already extensively vetted. I'd just seen a 60 Minutes program about it. Even so, I doubt that will mean much nor change his mind. Win some, lose some.


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