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We Are So Wired, and So Separated

A high level connectivity does not ensure that the facts of vital and emerging issues are ingested intelligently around the globe



Envision a world with nearly 60% of 7.9 billion people online. That is the state of Internet use today, in 2022. Before 2000, less than one billion people were connected, and a decade before that, less than 30 million people.

While Internet patronage has exploded, and the sharing and dissemination of information is unprecedented in human history, humankind is no closer to achieving what anyone would call cohesion. In many respects, we are heading in the opposite direction: splintering. How can this be so in an era where virtually anyone can access the Internet and make a thorough exploration on any topic or issue?

One answer is that on any major topic, the information explosion is too much for anyone to fathom. Add in the inherent bias of mainstream news reporting and how little time you might have to thoroughly read, ingest, and fathom what you’ve read, and you have the keys to less agreement, unity, and social harmony than ever before.

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Controlling the Narrative

People were not better off in previous eras when there was a dearth of information. For most of recorded history, whoever did the recording, controlled the history. Today, with the plethora of news sources, in free societies no one has a monopoly on what is disseminated to the populace.

Still, it is possible to control the narrative, like it’s done in the U.S. mainstream media – the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, NPR, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, the failing CNN, and other purveyors of a like-minded, pre-determined agenda dominate.

When every story, issue, and square inch of semantic space is politicized, one can expect exceedingly little agreement on any particular topic. Even events that happened within the last year, for which an abundance of reporting sources, video and audio recordings, eyewitnesses, and other documentation exist, major disagreement over what actually happened, let alone the implications, are likely. Why? What we ingest is filtered by our predispositions.

Spin, or a contortion of issues, is not merely a political phenomenon dispensed by PR handlers, it is a growing phenomenon that impacts every arena of human endeavor. Psychological processes such as selective attention, selective perception, and selective retention ensure that what one concludes on any particular issue might not be rooted in scientific fact.

’Til the Facts Get in the Way

For decades people reported being abducted by Martians, until telescopes and surface probes conclusively showed no intelligent life on Mars, at least for the past million years. Facts can be quite inconvenient. Those who claimed “Martian abduction” sauntered away only to be replaced by those who claimed “alien abduction” which opened up an array of abduction “possibilities.”

What can we expect in the future? Within a few years, more than 7/8 of the planet will have access to the Internet, and eventually nearly everyone will. Yet a high level connectivity does not ensure that the facts of vital and emerging issues are ingested sufficiently around the globe.

When seven out of eight billion people have online connectivity, given the human propensity to color and distort even the most basic of phenomena, expect an even greater level of Babel-like misunderstandings and missed connections.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®


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Justice, not ‘Social’ Justice, Improves Society

If we ignore existing laws simply in favor of what we want, society will soon break down



Thomas Jefferson wrote that, “The most sacred of the duties of government is to do equal and impartial justice to all its citizens.” The hallowed duty to fulfill the promise of justice for all remains, or ideally should remain, as the guiding ideal for the people we elect to government.

A friend of mine recently commented that the ‘social’ justice movement in America is alive and well, and that great things have been happening. However, when you put any word in front of the word ‘justice,’ the true meaning of justice is altered. Social justice is some group’s attempt at righting what they consider to be wrong.

I asked my friend for an example of social justice and was told that power lines being installed near poor neighborhoods instead of wealthier neighborhoods was a prime example. I then explained that that was not an issue related to ‘social’ justice but to justice itself.

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Express Lanes for Redress

This is not 1860, or 1960. Today, many avenues exist for illuminating any issue of merit. Locally, there are zoning boards in every municipality, city councils usually with members on the left and the right, town hall meetings, public forums, newspapers, local television stations – a variety of entities that can be brought to bear to examine an issue and to forge some type of equitable redress if needed.

To be sure, no form of political government is anywhere near perfect or even equitable, much of the time. Democracy is difficult, but all other forms of government are worse.

In a democracy, or representative republic, such as we have in the U.S., you can’t go off half-cocked and do exactly what you want because you think that a particular law is bad. You have to work to change the law, to change policies, to address inequities within the framework of democracy, and within the bound of the justice system.

A Sanctuary for Whom?

Consider the phenomenon of sanctuary cities. For a sanctuary city to exist, one has to have a mayor, an alderman, city council members,  and other committee members, including those whose were elected as well as as appointed, to believe that what they’re espousing is right, while ignoring what has been passed into law. This ruling class thus usurps that which a majority of citizens rely upon each day.

A sanctuary city, by definition, is a city that is breaking the law. The Left will rationalize that ‘social’ justice requires breaking the law and that not all laws are good laws. True: not all laws are good laws. Laws, nevertheless, were passed as a result of a process in place for tens if not hundreds of years.

If laws routinely discriminate against one segment of the population versus another, then by all means work to change the law. When you insert catchphrases into the mix, such as ‘social’ justice, what that actually means is that you have another viewpoint of an issue. Further, you deem that your view and your actions are more meritorious than whatever came before them.

Vigilantism isn’t Pretty

Years ago, by exhibiting such behavior, you would be called a vigilante. Vigilantes are a self-appointed group who engage in policy enforcement without having legal authority, usually because they deem the legal agencies to be inadequate.

We dwell in a society where the media is distinctly liberal, and even leftist – as we have witnessed with big tech, the big TV networks, nearly all newspapers, and, unfortunately, a variety of government agencies. Thus, those advocating for ‘social’ justice have the wind at their backs. Yet, they violate the rights, and votes, of half the population and perhaps much more.

Welcome to My Two Cents

Any one of us could offer a long list of social issues that we’d like to change. If we decide, willy-nilly, to start ignoring existing laws in favor of what we want, how long will it take before society breaks down completely? Taking the law into your own hands is the essence of what it means to be a vigilante. Vigilante-dominated societies are not healthy. Many of their residents live in constant fear.

Taking the law into your own hands is an ill-advised shortcut to seeking what you want without working through the system, however imperfect the system might be. This country, any country, does not need more vigilantism.

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Texas School District Says Enough is Enough



Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

BREAKING: The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in North Texas voted last night to:

1) Ban the teaching of critical race theory. 

2) Wait until students are in the fifth grade to teach them sexual orientation and gender identity. 

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3) Ban boys from playing in girls’ sports.

4) Encourage the use of pronouns that align with student’s biological gender and require them to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological gender.

5) Require that library materials be posted online and readily available for review by parents.

6) Not teach The New York Times “1619 Project”.

7) Implement a strict process for reviewing library books, so as to allow To Kill A Mockingbird and disallow Daddy, Papa, and Me and others.

It seems nearly incomprehensible that a school district would have to vote on measures like these. In fact, to many thoughtful Americans, it seems utterly Orwellian. How can truths about gender and the proper use of pronouns suddenly seem controversial rather than commonsensical?

Why does it seem radical to return power to parents and reaffirm biological reality? Or to keep boys from dominating girls in sports? Or to let students read revisionist history and propaganda about their nation on their own time? Why teach something that cannot withstand even the lightest objective criticism? 

Perhaps the school district’s 4-3 vote is a sign that there’s hope, that the pendulum has reached its arc and is beginning to move back toward truth and reality. Maybe the radicals are on the run.

No matter what, kudos to North Texas educators for pushing back against the absurdity and reaffirming responsible education.

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