The Wisdom to Know the Difference

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Do you have a favorite song?  Did you love it from the first moment, or did it grow on you?

Do you have a favorite hobby?  How did you find it?  Was it passed down to you from a parent or seem to appear from nowhere?

Have you ever doodled, maybe even just randomly while chatting on the phone?  What did you draw? Did you wonder why?

Have you ever pondered what makes your preferences your preferences?

When confronted with your obvious limitations have you ever said, “F*ck off!”?

C707492B-9C4A-442E-9106-957FE4671BA4

When you hear again and again, apparently sold with all the best of intentions the same menu:  You can’t control the weather; You can’t fight the government; You can’t be David against Goliath; You can’t conquer the dragons; You can’t rise above your lot . . . Have you ever said, “Excuse me, why the bloody hell not?!”

Some are most certainly doing it, so why not me?

You can call that a sense of entitlement if you want.  I call it something else entirely.

 

 

 

Healing Wounds Right

That I knew she was a life-squasher from first glance, no one cares.

F2F6C0E2-A8D5-49F8-85B3-3C9CCB29ABAD

One encounter and I knew I was dealing with a CON at some level.  But how, but where?  It’s just a hunch, I must be wrong.  They always call me wrong.

She was showered with love and swooning in approval.  Not to mention charming beyond all reason.  I should like her anyway, because that’s what we do, in our clan.

Besides, she was all that he wanted, that any man could conceivably want: Beautiful, caring, young, gregarious, doting, etc., etc.

That I talked to her, privately, intimating, questioning her ever so delicately, which I can be just as efficacious at as I can be badgering mercilessly.  No one cares.

There’s consensus, we’ve aligned with it, and if you ask a single unsavory question, you will be met with the total indignation of our collective clan wrath. 

How dare you sense what we can’t see!  We do not agree, missy!

But, wait, what about me?  When I march along I’m blessed, but when I disagree I’m pitied?  I’m castrated?  I’m eye-rolled out of existence? That speaks much more of y’all than it does of me.

You say you love me, care about me, have protected me and yet . . . My senses are routinely dismissed, and completely subjugated under your defenses. 

Do you care how it feels for me, really, to sense these things, to remember these things, while being systematically dismissed by those who say they love and care?

17AAD782-040A-4241-9AD1-EF6641EDA1A6

Don’t rock our boat!  Well, that proves right there you are narcissistic and selfish! And a bully! A bully is rocking our boat of perfect delusions and illusions! STOP HER!

And yet, the truth will set ME free.  I will, at last, be able to force that 300 pound laughing man off my lap, for once, and for all! Once every person in my life who finds this acceptable is OUT, breathe will return to me once again.

The liars will scatter, and even fear.  

Heaven on MY hearth.

 

Beggar’s Strike or Fountainhead

1EE48CDE-5129-4D11-A65E-1B3E7F507FD9Two very different novels I read at university appear to have completely different ideological stances, but are actually about the same fundamental thing, now considering decades later.

The Beggar’s Strike (La Greve des Battus) 1979 by Aminata Sow Fall, considered an African classic, on which my Master’s thesis was based. Plot according to GoodReads:

 “The sight of disease-ridden beggars in the streets is giving the town a bad name, and the tourists are starting to stay away. If the Director of Public Health and Hygiene can get rid of them he will have done a great service to the health and economy of the nation – not to mention his own promotion prospects. A plan of military precision is put into action to rid the streets of these verminous scroungers. But the beggars are organized, too. They know that giving alms is a divine obligation and that Allah’s good will is vital to worldly promotion. So when the beggars withdraw their charitable service, the pious city civil servants and businessmen start to panic.”

In the U.S. this would be leftist ideology without a doubt. And yet, the very ‘right’ ideology of Ayn Rand fame, the Fountainhead (1945), is also about a strike. Again, according to GoodReads:

“This modern classic is the story of intransigent young architect Howard Roark, whose integrity was as unyielding as granite…of Dominique Francon, the exquisitely beautiful woman who loved Roark passionately, but married his worst enemy…and of the fanatic denunciation unleashed by an enraged society against a great creator. As fresh today as it was then, Rand’s provocative novel presents one of the most challenging ideas in all of fiction—that man’s ego is the fountainhead of human progress..”

What I remember from my nut-shell:  In the first the poor/used strike against the wealthy/privileged.  In the second the gifted/used strike against the wealthy/ privileged.  Sounds like a classic case of working both sides against the middle, Machiavelli-style.

Whether man’s ego is the fountainhead of progress we can debate all day and night, but what happens in the Fountainhead plot is basically they build a walled community of the select brilliant people to escape the tyranny of the majority.

In the Beggar’s Strike the majority is manipulated to serve the tyranny of the underprivileged few.

Both novels lead to the same outcome: collectivism.  Rand’s ruggedly individualistic characters still had every intention of serving the collective, they just wanted to be well-recognized for their efforts.  Fall’s characters have no intention of leaving the herd, they just want their heroic efforts to be recognized.  One noose for all necks.

From whom are y’all seeking recognition?  Rand’s characters deserve it based on their passion and creativity and integrity and perseverance.  Fall’s characters deserve it based on their humility, and perseverance, and creativity and integrity. But from whom?

Both are based on power structures of who needs whom more, and exploiting that angle to the hilt.

Whether the African jungle or the American one, the spin doctors are hard at work.

160228C2-DF03-4E45-8A79-50C5F8C4EDAC

Addictions & Distractions: Part 4 “Solutions”

Addiction solutions are big business. Make that BIG Business. From Big Pharma to recovery clinics to psychiatry, from religions to self-help to metaphysics. Enormous industries have been built up to solve this always-escalating crisis of addiction.

But undeniably the biggest and most well-known solution to addiction are The 12-Step Programs, used by Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and a long list of other recovery programs. Anyone who has ever looked into addiction recovery has come first across a 12-step ‘solution.’

In fact, they are so ubiquitous it’s hard to find anything else. The 12-step programs have not only dominated the market for coming up on a century, the 12-step program created the recovery market, thanks to Bill Wilson and the Oxford Group.

According to the Oxford Group’s 12-Step website, Bill Wilson, Frank Buchman, and Mary Baker Eddy created the foundations for the 12-Step Program.

As fate and the WWW would have it, I know a thing or two about Mary Baker Eddy. 

Her “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” was selected as one of the “75 Books By Women Whose Words Have Changed The World,” by the Women’s National Book Association and in 1995 she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.  She was also the Founder and President of the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in the later years of her life.

She is considered a major founding figure in the Human Potential Movement, also called the “New Thought” faiths, the precursors of the New Age Movement, of Unity Church, that is of Oprah and The Secret fame.

Many volumes of her work are praised by religious thinkers worldwide and her Christian Science Monitor has won 7 Pulitzer Prizes and Christian Science Reading Rooms have been established around the world, all attesting to her remarkable influence during her lifetime until today.

My own family, on my mother’s side, are Christian Scientists and I attended their church as a child. What I most remember are the large block letters on the wall behind the pulpit that said “God is Love”.

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson on ‘Religious Science’: “The emphasis is on positive thinking, influence of circumstances through mental processes, recognition of a creative energy source and natural law (referred to as God, First Principle, Universal Intelligence, and other terms) that manifests as the physical universe, and the rejection of a good/evil duality.”

I have a copy of her most famous text where the seal on the cover reads: “Heal the Sick. Raise the Dead. Cast out Demons. Cleanse the Lepers” in fine print around a symbol of a cross and crown.

photo

Eddy was born of an elite New Hampshire family, married 3 times, first to George Washington Glover, a well-known Mason. Christian Science and Freemasonry have maintained a symbiotic relationship to this day.  Her first school of Christian Science “Mind Healing” was started in 1867.

From the Preface: “Since the author’s discovery of the might of Truth in the treatment of disease as well as of sin, her system has been fully tested and shall not been found wanting; but to reach the heights of Christian Science, man must live in obedience to its divine Principle.”

We think that we are healed when a disease disappears, though it is liable to reappear; but we are never thoroughly healed until the liability to be ill is removed. So-called mortal mind or the mind of mortals being the remote, predisposing, and the exciting cause of all suffering, the cause of disease must be obliterated through Christ in divine Science, or the so-called physical senses will get the victory. Unless an ill is rightly met and fairly overcome by Truth, the ill is never conquered. If God destroys not sin, sickness, and death, they are not destroyed in the minds of mortals, but seem to this so-called mind to be immortal. What God cannot do, man need not attempt. If God heals not the sick, they are no healed, for no lesser power equals the infinite All-power; but God Truth, Life, Love, does heal the sick through the prayer of the righteous.

Unfortunately for Mary Baker Eddy, despite all her efforts at righteous prayer, it was not enough, as she spent the majority of her life ill.

She was recorded as having been sick for most of her life: anxious, erratic, doubled-over, her frail body wracked by mysterious intermittent pains. Eddy’s temper tantrums and day terrors alienated her siblings and forced her parents into a lifelong tiptoe. She required constant rocking as a child, and when she was an adult her family commissioned an oversized cradle in which she spent many of her days.  Harold Bloom describes Eddy as “a kind of anthology of nineteenth-century nervous ailments.”

https://catapult.co/stories/we-are-all-scientists-on-mary-baker-eddy-and-christian-science

https://www.conspiracyarchive.com/2014/07/20/oprah-winfrey-new-thought-the-secret-and-the-new-alchemy/

In her later years Eddy apparently became paranoid, believing that 50,000 people were trying to kill her by projecting their evil thoughts. She wrote that if she died it would be due to malicious animal magnetism rather than from natural causes.” (wiki)

One biography claims she had an addiction to morphine. That’s another interesting parallel, considering Bill Wilson, previously mentioned of the social engineering institution known as the Oxford Group and founder of this famed 12-Step Program, used magic mushrooms to find his inner-voice of God, who then cured him of his alcoholism, and dictated his 12-step cure to addiction.

Yes, just like the New Age ‘Bible’ called ‘A Course in Miracles’, the 12-step Program was reportedly ‘channeled.’

He later went on to help manufacture synthetic LSD.

omgoleus_dry-piper-hdr_38523_sm

http://www.dosenation.com/listing.php?smlid=4189

According to the Narcotics Anonymous site, 33% of addicts get clean from their 12-Step Program. According to Dr. Lance Dodes, author of “The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science of 12-Step Programs” that figure is less than 10%.

As I skimmed through the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous, the parallels to Eddy’s principles are obvious. The addict has an incurable disease over which they will remain powerless for the rest of their lives unless they adhere forever to the Principles.  The Principles according to the 12-step site are:

Absolute Honesty
Absolute Purity
Absolute Unselfishness
Absolute Love

Not a tall order in the least, right?!

NA meetings usually close with a circle of the participants, a group hug and a prayer of some sort. Prayers used to close meetings today include the “we” version of the Serenity Prayer (God, Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”); the Third Step Prayer (“Take my will and my life. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live.”) or the “Gratitude Prayer” (“That no addict seeking recovery need ever die . . . My Gratitude speaks when I care and when I share with others the NA way.”) (wiki)

 

 

According to Narcotics Anonymous’ “Basic Text” the problem with the addict is the: “inability to deal with life on life’s terms.”  He has a terminal disease which can only be dealt with by adhering to the Program.

“We tried drugs and combinations of drugs to cope with a seemingly hostile world. We dreamed of finding a magic formula that would solve our ultimate problem—ourselves.”

In other words, addicts cannot adapt to their environment, and the problem is not the environment, the problem is the addict himself.

According the Prayer, you need the wisdom to know what you cannot change, and what you cannot change is your environment. So it would appear to me we have leagues of folks being brainwashed into adjusting to a hostile environment.

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

If you can’t fit in, it’s your fault, because the society is just fine, and if you can’t see that, that’s your problem. You just don’t get it! Once you are off the drugs, and healed by mind-spirit, you’ll see how great the culture really is.  If not, just buy better rose-colored glasses, perhaps.

The Basic Text is peppered with similar mantras as Eddy’s about ‘unconditional love’ and our never-ending battle against our disease and selfless demands like: “We learn that we keep what we have only by giving it away. . . No matter how much we give, there is always another addict seeking help.” Double-speak. Life-long commitment. Collectivism.

I suggest what’s happening is a transferring of addiction, from drugs to the collective and the designers of the system know this explicitly and implicitly.  It’s done with a goal in mind . . .(to be continued).

Welcome to the Hotel California.

hotelCA

 

 

Why Science is Wrong: A Book Review

Why Science is Wrong . . . About Almost Everything by Alex Tsakiris

Entrepreneur, iconoclast, family man . . . those qualities alone might be enough to win me over.

So I started listening to Alex’s podcast at Skeptiko.com, including many years of past podcasts on the most controversial and fascinating topics largely left behind by mainstream science: near-death experiences, parapsychology, consciousness, and so on; as well as conversations that dare to question some of the oldest assumptions still clinging to modern scientism, in ideas about evolution, race, spirituality and healing/medicine.

I then got hooked on his forum, so it was only natural I buy his book. It also does not disappoint.

Alex’s mantra is not a unique one, it’s one I and many others share: ‘Follow the data, wherever it leads.‘ It has led him, continues to lead him, through some pretty rough terrain.

But in his interviews he comes off as fearless and fresh, in content and sometimes in attitude, as in the way my grandfather used the word with me, as an endearing synonym for wise-guy.  He is known for not shying away from the challenging questions, which is completely contradictory to the ungodly number of weenies and yes-men who overwhelm podcasting cyberspace in my experience.

From the book’s introduction a provocative statement sets the tone and the overarching theme, “Science as we know it is an emperor-with-no-clothes-on proposition. It mesmerizes us with flashy trinkets, while failing at its core mission of leading us toward self-discovery.” He then weaves together pieces of various interviews interspersed with commentary, which makes the book not only a concise and interesting narrative to follow, but a key for further perusing the subjects at hand on his forum.

How could this be?” he challenges early on in the book, “How could otherwise intelligent, competent, seemingly honest people be locked into a mindset that kept them from the kind of open-minded, objective, rational thinking they advocated?” He then proceeds to demonstrate the ‘defend-the-status-quo thinking’ that has become deeply ingrained in the scientific establishment.

Medium communication is one such taboo-type topic covered in the book. Alex surmises three main reasons why most scientists just won’t go there.

  1. They are willfully ignorant of the research that exists;
  2. They never personally investigated the topic themselves; and
  3. They can’t accept any anomalies that challenge their carefully constructed mind-equals-brain paradigm.

But, could science be at a tipping point?  Included in the book are portions of interviews from many leading researchers in what most still consider pseudoscience. Other interviews are with insiders doing cutting-edge research against-the-current, like Dr. Jeffrey Long, a radiation oncologist and near-death experience (NDE) researcher with a best-selling book, Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences.

The data tells us, says Dr. Long, “. . . what you see in the life changes of near-death experiencers is markedly consistent. In other words, it’s not just that they have life changes; it’s the consistency of those life changes. The substantial majority, if not overwhelming majority, of near-death experiencers believe that there’s an afterlife. They believe that there’s a God. They no longer fear death. They’re less materialistic. They value loving relationships more. The list goes on and on. This has been consistently observed not only in our study but in scores of prior scholarly studies of this phenomenon over 30 years.”

Alex’s interviews often include elements of more subtle and sensitive inquiry, which I find remarkably over-looked by most others–fundamental questions of ethics, the destructive powers of group-think, authentic vs. contrived compassion, leadership, hypocrisy and responsibility–those deeper aspects of a more spiritual nature.

I’d be willing to bet more folks have had experiences of inexplicable, or otherwise anomalous events than have not. These experiences range from things like the placebo effect in healing, paranormal-feeling synchronicities, even prophetic dreams or unusually strong connections with certain people or animals or places. All kinds of folks practice astrology, and Tarot, channeling, meditation, herbal healing, which mainstream science mostly dismisses as quackery.  

Science today dismisses anything and everything it cannot directly observe.  So we the non-experts, the general public, are left with gaping black holes in our knowledge, that morphs into mythology and fantasy-based reality, in all the corners where science fears to tread. Few of us really believe we are biological robots in a meaningless universe, yet that is where materialistic science seems to be permanently stuck.

The data eventually led Alex to the place where I found him, conspiracy theories. He had some predictable push back from some of his regular audience and it’s possible his forum has still not completely recovered the losses. To me, that speaks volumes. “Following the data wherever it leads” is not just lip service to him, he sticks to his guns; this is a man of principles.

He even dares to question a southern hot-button topic of the highest order–the theory of evolution–not so much the science aspect behind the theory, but the social engineering aspect of it, the conspiracy angle of it, my preferred angle.

After three interviews, Michael Flannery, Associate Director for Historical Collections at the University of Alabama and expert on Darwin and the theory’s co-discoverer Alfred Russel Wallace; evolution enthusiast Dr. Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago; and Roy Davies, a former BBC filmmaker and journalist, Alex asks a few more of his compelling questions. “Do we really need to elevate this tiny bit of history to the untouchable status it has among many scientists and committed atheists? Does it really answer our deepest questions about who we are and where we came from? Or is the theory of evolution protected so fiercely because it’s a vehicle for propping up our absurd science-as-we-know-it, mind-equals-brain paradigm.”

To me being just a layman following the data, the answers look self-evident.

Alex concludes with a touching personal observation that parallels my own experiences, which demonstrates why I, and many others, believe conspiracy work is in fact, spiritual work.

The Skeptiko interviews I’ve compiled have changed me. They’ve turned my world upside down more than once. But the knowledge I’ve gained has made me a better husband, father, and friend. I’ve discovered and re-discovered myself again and again and, in the process, I’ve gained a deeper connection with those I love and care about. Knowledge is power, and sharing knowledge, like so many of my guests on Skeptiko have done, is the ultimate gift one person can offer another.”

I have a hard-ball question of my own for Alex, but I’ll save it for a future date.  😉

 

tsakiris2

Reclaiming Time: Part IV, Finale

There is no greater luxury than time. When we give our time we are giving our energy, our single most precious resource as individuals. I wish I’d understood that better far sooner in life.

I can’t turn back the clock to make up for that, but I can make certain to never sell my time so cheaply again. I see now how I, and a good many more, confused the game with reality. It would also seem, in terms of numbers and the obvious direction culture is heading, that this confusion is getting far worse.

I grew up in a fantasy-based reality, where, as I said in part 1, the artificial, man-made construct of time had long since replaced not only my own internal clock, but the clock of nature as well. I spent an enormous amount of time at school, much of that which I now consider wasted. I spent a good deal of my youth watching television and reading fiction. I spent a fair amount of time in young adulthood experimenting with altered states of consciousness, exploring a bit of the world and a bit of my own mind.  That was actually loads of fun, which I cannot regret anymore than I could have continued.

Now in middle age I have a new goal and agenda centered on my own re-education. This to me is reclaiming time and I do it not out of loneliness or boredom, nor to indoctrinate others, nor in the aim of becoming an authority figure, nor even to make money—all of which I have been repeatedly accused and none of which mean anything to me in these pursuits. I do it because it needs to be done, according to the small, still voice of Self.

luckyday

That I should have the occasion now to do this necessary work fills me with gratitude and even awe. As an unexpected rainbow might stop one in her tracks, or make her hurry back for the camera, I gaze with gratitude at the long empty hours in front of me each morning, ready and waiting to be filled with my heart’s greatest longings: extended walks in the woods with the dogs; spoiling the puppies as much as I dare; answering the phone, or not answering it; writing a blog post, or not; puttering in the garden; cooking something delicious, even if just for me and the critters. 

suppertime

Beyond nature as my companion, I also have many other teachers, ironically the majority of them brought to me by another fantasy-based reality: cyberspace.

From the viewpoint of some friends still enthralled with the fantasy-based reality matrix in which they reside, they find this disturbing. You will be alone on Thanksgiving? And Christmas? And you welcome this? Some even try to label this ‘depression’ or a ‘crisis’ of mid-life. What about family, friends, shopping?! I try to assure them: “No, really, I care not a hoot for the Black Friday specials, or Christmas gifts.” And as for friends and family, they know exactly where to find me.

entergarden

This Thanksgiving I wish to express my deepest gratitude to he who is making this luxury of time possible, that is Hubby, whose absence and employment are both a gift and a curse. Not a day goes by where I do not marvel at the journey we’ve made together and where it has brought us. I could’ve never predicted it nor imagine how suited to me it could become.

cheeseYT
Me, a cheese-maker? Didn’t see that comin’!

I also want to show my very sincere gratitude to those out in the cyber-world making my re-education easier, more accessible, more entertaining and thought-provoking than it otherwise could have been. These individuals have gone to such incredible lengths to offer their great contributions to knowledge and humanity, not only against the current paradigm, but as serious matters of conscience, and using the most innovative gifts of modern technology available to them. For this modeling I am unreservedly impressed and inspired.

Dane Wigington at Geoengineering Watch: a powerful and tireless voice against geoengineering and for a more responsible relationship by humans with our environment. I would be hard-pressed to find a more consistent and honorable advocate for nature and sanity.

Alex Tsakaris at Skeptico, where have you been all my life?! I just found his site last month. And after the very long series of posts where I was attempting to better understand the nature and frauds of science, I now finally have a solid guide through the territory that most inspires me, expressed in his tagline: “intelligent discussion on science and spirituality.” I’m now a happy member on his forum site after only one previous miserably failed attempt in the world of forums.

Still a favorite after all these years, thank you James! A gifted writer who uses his many talents in devotion to truth–my favorite shows being those in which he demonstrate his extraordinary wit and creativity.

https://www.corbettreport.com/5-unbelievably-stupid-ideas-governments-actually-tried/

https://www.corbettreport.com/solutions-laughing-at-tyrants-video/

https://www.corbettreport.com/shut-up-conspiracy-theorist/

I have recently praised the work of Michael Tsarion and David Whitehead at Unslaved.com, but I would be remiss not to mention them again now. Tsarion gets a baffling amount of criticism, but I’ve found his work, especially on the Tarot, to be invaluable. Now that he has teamed with Whitehead he is grounding into the topics I find most necessary today–personally, politically, intellectually, spiritually, physically. There is an uncanny synthesis in their shows together, maybe based in the inter-generational aspect of it, and that they so often draw from history yet underscore its continued relevance, but definitely in the shared vision that what’s required to move forward and make a better world has been right under our noses and at our fingertips all along. I have learned an enormous amount from them about the nature of evil and the capacities required to usurp it. Thank you, gentlemen, oh how the world needs you now!

Another one I must thank is Crrow777. While definitely not for the faint of heart, they are very much on the cutting edge and I can’t help but to respect that. They are now battling censorship and taking it on like true spiritual warriors. For those ready for a heavy dose of deconstruction, take a deep dive into their waters!

Jon Rappaport (nomorefakenews) I re-blog fairly regularly as he has my great respect as another man of honor with an inspiring dedication to, and passion for, truth. A veteran journalist, one could spend considerable time learning from his vast expanse of past and present work.

Finally, I want to take a deep bow to the greatest teacher by far that I’ve ever known, and will ever know, and which has taken me far too long to find: Nature.

zinnia.blackswallowtail

It is in you my reality is centered and my energy devoted for the rest of my luxurious, reclaimed time in your exquisite home.

 

All Cheer the ‘Change Agent’

An effective slogan for the social engineers that is quickly becoming all-pervasive is ‘to become an agent of change.’ In education, politics, self-help, being ‘unwilling to change’ is the latest in shaming techniques applied to any perceived neo-luddite who might question the value of said changes. Change simply for the sake of change is universally accepted as a good thing. Whether the change will be good or bad is not considered, to ask such a question gets a blank stare in return.  Because, it’s change!

This is in fact an adolescent’s mindset now being applied to all of human endeavor. To question the diet dictocrats and scientific dictators, the administrators or really any part of the established order, the change peddlers, is to be treated like a child in need of a harsh scolding. Or worse, like a cranky old lady who wants to spoil everyone’s fun. After all, why worry about education, or the future, because robots will do all the work and the thinking for us.

With 54% of the US budget in discretionary spending going toward the military, with the stated goal of “Full Spectrum Dominance” (Joint Vision 2020) we can be sure robots will soon be fighting our wars for us too. For our 800 foreign bases the robots will be multi-lingual, of course. Robots will even be crafted to repair and maintain other robots. This will be so ideal for all of mankind, so get on board with change!

Humans will become sort of like horses, it is said in some elite circles. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2015-06-16/will-humans-go-way-horses

At Davos and the World Economic Forum they rub elbows over champagne and amuse-bouche while they debate about the plight of the grubby unwashed masses. You can watch some of them on Youtube, but it seems very few do. Kitten videos are more popular by far.

Has there been a dumbing-down in America? That’s not difficult to assess. The early settlers had town hall meetings brimming over with citizens coming to discuss politics, theology and philosophy. Common Sense by Thomas Paine was said to be in every household next to the Bible. This was certainly an exaggeration, but it was an extremely popular book nonetheless. Note the level of sophistication in the language:

“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one; for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries By a Government, which we might expect in a country Without Government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.”

http://freakonomics.com/2011/09/01/were-colonial-americans-more-literate-than-americans-today/

In this fascinating article we find a bleak conclusion.

In an extensive NAAL (National Assessment of Adult Literacy) survey, only 13% of adults attained this level. Thus, the proportion of Americans today who are able to understand Common Sense (13%) is smaller than the proportion that bought Common Sense in 1776 (20%).

But, change is always good!  Because now we are better equipped to appreciate the great gifts bestowed on culture by the Kardashians.