When Nothing is Definitive and All of History is Up for Grabs - Politicrossing
Connect with us

Life

When Nothing is Definitive and All of History is Up for Grabs

Today, nothing is ever settled and that is a cultural shame

Published

on

It’s a sad commentary on our current state of affairs: the Left and the Right agree on next to nothing and, in many respects, have 180 degree opposing views. Nothing seems to be settled, every other issue is under contention, and the rift seems to be worsening each day. No consensus, no agreement, no closure…

I’m not sure when all of this started, but 1963 was certainly a pivotal year. This might have been before you were born, so I’ll take you back to November of that year. President John F. Kennedy was shot. The case was solved 30 years later in 1993 and presented in Case Closed, by Gerald Posner.

Case Closed, Hardly Anyone Knows

In the book Case Closed, Gerald Posner walks the reader through every conceivable detail of the case. He shows conclusively why, acting alone, it was Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the gun. He explains how the “magic bullet” took the angles it was supposed to. Noted historian William Manchester, after reading Posner’s book, said that he couldn’t imagine anyone having any further doubt about the fact that Lee Harvey Oswald, on his own, shot and killed John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

I read Case Closed cover-to-cover and concur. U.S. News & World Report concluded that Posner’s work was so thorough and so convincing that the magazine would never feature another “who shot JFK?” book review again. What’s more, modern day testing, using the latest technology, and presented on the Learning Channel, the History Channel, and PBS, has consistently supported everything that Posner concluded 21 years earlier. Yet, new mythology and conspiracy theories about who killed John F. Kennedy will be concocted and added to the glut of information you can’t use, information which serves no one.

Currently, the “who shot JFK?” industry currently earns multi-millions of dollars a year, constantly fed by more TV news “investigations,” authors, books, and tours.

Misinformation That Won’t Die

Do not regard the deception surrounding JFK’s death lightly. Society changed as nearly an entire generation suspected that a conspiracy, perhaps a government-led conspiracy, might have brought down the leader of the free world in broad daylight. Who knew what cynicism about the press, government, and truth itself ensued?

Finally, 30 years later, when Posner offered irrefutable evidence about the only single assassin responsible, hardly anyone knew, or worse, actually cared. Even now, a majority of the U.S. population still believed that President Kennedy’s assassination was the result of some type of conspiracy. The case has been long solved, but there is no sense of national closure.

The nature of your life been altered as a result of the cultural incompletion, misinformation, and unreality that has glutted society’s receptors. This situation is more than simply a mystery for the uninformed – it signals the start of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers unwittingly entering the era of incompletions, when nothing is ever settled.

How has that impacted our psyches? Aren’t we supposed to get to the root of such events, especially those that shook a generation, a nation, and the world? What unrecognized psychological scars has the incompletion of the JFK assassination stamped into the cerebrums of an otherwise free-thinking, optimistic generation? When major cases are never closed, everyone suffers, even if in small and undistinguishable ways.

Vital Inquiry to Media-Fueled Lies

Fast forward from 1963, to 15 years later in 1978 and to the death of Elvis Presley in Memphis. Unquestionably, he died as a result of a self-induced pharmaceutical drug overdose, which resulted in heart failure. The coroners’ reports reveal this as do reputable follow-up inquiries and analysis. Still, many people from that era, and many thereafter, think Elvis died as a result of a conspiracy.

Some people believe that Elvis didn’t die, that he’s alive and well (he’d be 86 today) and showing up in random locations captured by the ever-present photographers of the Enquirer, Globe, or Star.

Regardless of what you think about Elvis, his death, even amidst the jokes, and everything that’s been made about it since then, the pervasive message is that no case is ever really solved. Everything lingers on and on and on.

The turmoil in the 2000 presidential election, centered on Florida, with its endless motions filed, court appeals, and legal procedures, has spawned debates, arguments, and accusations that exist to this day and no doubt will linger on for years. No conclusions, no consensus, no closure. Just additional coverage. The 2016 election has Democrats still complaining. The 2020 election might never be “settled.” The media wins, the pundits win, one candidate or another wins, but everyone else loses.

History as Turf Wars

The turf wars fought in our age of incompletions, especially in the political arena, now retroactively extend to anything that has ever happened, whether you’re assessing U.S. history, the formation of our nation, world history, the origins of Islam, or the origins of Christianity.

At one time, it was widely held that dropping the atomic bomb on Japan hastened the end of WWII, saved a bare minimum of 60,000 U.S. troops who would have been needed to fight a ground war in Japan, and provided the world with the closure it so sorely needed after six years of global destruction.

Since then, the arguments about the U.S. being the over-aggressor, the only nation to ever drop an atomic bomb on another, and the inhumanity of it all, have risen to the forefront of many people’s consciousness. Some people drum up scraps of ‘evidence’ that the United States had no need to have dropped the bomb, as if the casualty rate of invading mainland Japan would have been minimal.

Some people say that Japan was near gone (yet even after one atom bomb was dropped, it still did not surrender!), U.S. intentions were racially motivated (although the bomb was originally designed to use on the now-surrendered Germans), the hawks had their way, and so forth.

What had been regarded by many people as closure to the most terrible event that the earth had ever encountered in which 44,500,000 perished, is now the subject of endless debate in some circles. Not that debate isn’t healthy, quite the contrary, especially for an action of such magnitude.

Every Inch Contested

When every inch of political terrain is contested everywhere around the clock, and when all public discourse is subject to interpretation, reinterpretation and revision, and essentially nothing is final, it begins to wear on humanity and notably trickles down to the level of the individual. You, an otherwise confident professional, have reached adulthood in an era and in a culture where incompletion more often than not, is the norm. Nothing is ever settled and that is a cultural shame.

– – – – –

 

We'd love to hear your thoughts about this article. Please take a minute to share them in the comment section by clicking here. Or carry the conversation over on your favorite social network by clicking one of the share buttons below.


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®



  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
 
 
 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.



Business

Multitasking Renders You Less Productive

Multitasking sends a message to your subconscious that this is how you must proceed to stay competitive and succeed

Published

on

Dividing your attention to complete multiple activities at once can make you less effective at everything you’re doing.

From CEOs to newbie hires, everyone has numerous tasks to manage throughout the course of a day, week, month, and year. The multitude of responsibilities on your plate requires the capacity for self-management, time management, and the effective allocation of your resources. However, don’t confuse legitimate workplace skills with the contemporary, ill-advised phenomenon called multitasking.

A False Promise

Multitasking might appear to be a reliable way to tackle many issues that compete for your time and attention. It seems intuitive that if you can juggle both A and B concurrently, you’re achieving a productivity gain and saving significant time. But the fallacy in that argument is surmising that the human brain can double-up or triple-up on tasks with no loss of attention, focus, or effectiveness.

A plethora of psychological studies have shown that the human brain can only give “sharp attention” in one direction at a time. Seeking to give this level of attention in multiple directions yields a reverberating type of attention allotted to each activity and predictably results in a loss of mental acuity and productivity.

A clear example of multitasking is when you’re driving along the highway and speaking on a smartphone. Even if you switch to the hands-free speaker phone feature, both activities compete for your brain’s vital sharp attention. So you execute neither activity as effectively as you could by undertaking one activity at a time. It’s also prudent to point out that driving while talking on the phone-hands-free or not-contributes to distracted driving and an elevated rate of vehicular accidents.

Multitasking Coexists Best With Routine

Certainly, it’s okay to multitask while completing some repetitive and familiar work activities. You can run a print job while you work with a file on your screen, for example. As long as the printer has adequate toner and the paper feeds through as designed, there is no deficit in multitasking in this manner.

Nevertheless, for whatever task you are attempting to handle, the fact that you are running a print job at the same time is likely to diminish your overall effectiveness.

The loss in mental acuity will be relatively minor, and you might not even be aware of it. The real risk of workplace multitasking, however, is that you never quite retreat to that mental space where you can offer concerted concentration and, hence, your best work. But if you trace your actions over time, you’ll likely see that for the larger tasks you executed effectively, you stopped multitasking and focused on the task at hand.

Sending the Wrong Message

Multitasking sends a message to your subconscious that this is the way you have to proceed to stay competitive and succeed. When multitasking becomes ingrained in your psyche, you’re telling yourself deep down that you can’t make it in real estate any other way. You end up missing the benefits derived from practicing the art of “doing one thing at a time.”

Multitaskers have trouble “seeing the forest for the trees” and often fail to focus on the most critical components of their day-to-day operations, abandoning less palatable tasks because they require creativity, concentration, and analysis.

As an everyday practice, repeated often, multitasking separates those who continually scramble to keep pace from those who rise to the top.

Avoid the Bind

Since we all face multiple priorities on the job, it’s easy to equate managing multiple priorities with multitasking. The larger and more vital the task, the more essential to focus on it intently. Practice doing one thing at a time. When you’ve finished a project or have taken it as far as you can, only then should you switch focus to your second most important task, and so on.

As your day and work unfold, mastering the art of doing one thing at a time is the best way to proceed. You may, however, multitask on issues that represent the routine or familiar and that carry few consequences for lost time on the trail. In general, though, your best strategy for high productivity is to forsake multitasking and its false promise as you handle the multiple priorities that you face.

– – – – –

 

Continue Reading

Business

Culture Jamming, by Kalle Lasn

America has been subverted by corporate agendas and its elected officials bow before corporate power as a condition of their survival in office

Published

on

Here are excerpts from the culture-shaking book, Culture Jamming by Kalle Lasn, published by  William Morrow in 1999, which rings truer now than ever!

A Multitrillion-dollar Brand

America is no longer a country. It’s a multitrillion-dollar brand…. essentially no different from McDonald’s, Marlboro or General Motors. It’s an image “sold” not only to the citizens of the U.S., but to consumers worldwide. The American brand is associated with catch-words such as “democracy;’ “opportunity” and “freedom.” But like cigarettes that are sold as symbols of vitality and youthful rebellion, the American reality is very different from its brand image.

America has been subverted by corporate agendas. Its elected officials bow before corporate power as a condition of their survival in office. A collective sense of powerlessness and disillusionment has set in. A deeply felt sense of betrayal is brewing.

By The People?

American culture is no longer created by the people. Our stories, once passed from one generation to the next by parents, neighbors and teachers, are now told by corporations with “something to sell as well as to tell.” Brands, products, fashions, celebrities, entertainments, the very spectacles that surround the production of culture, are now our culture.

Our role is mostly to listen and watch-and then, based on what we have heard and seen, to buy.

A free, authentic life is not possible in America today. We are being manipulated in the most insidious way. Our emotions, personalities and core values are under siege from media and cultural forces too complex to decode. A continuous product message has woven itself into the very fabric of our existence.

Most North Americans now live designer lives: sleep, eat, sit in car, work, shop, watch TV, sleep again. I doubt there’s more than a handful of free, spontaneous minutes anywhere in that cycle.

Smile Button Culture

The human spirit of prideful contrariness and fierce independence has been oddly tamed. We have evolved into a smile-button culture. We wear the trendiest fashions, drive the best cars industry can produce and project an image of incredible aff1uence-cool people living life to the hilt.

Behind that happy mask is a face so ugly it invariably shocks the hell out of my friends from developing countries who come to visit, expecting the giddy Americana depicted on TV and finding instead a horror show of disconnection and anomie.

Our mass media dispense a kind of Huxleyan “soma.” The most powerful narcotic in the world is the promise of belonging. And belonging is best achieved by conforming to the prescriptions of America™. In this way a perverted sense of cool takes hold of the imaginations of our children. And thus a heavily manipulative corporate ethos drives our culture.

The Facade of Cool

Cool is indispensable, and readily, endlessly dispensed. You can get it on every corner (for the right price), though it’s highly addictive and its effects are short-lived. If you’re here for cool today, you’ll almost certainly be back for more tomorrow.

American cool is a global pandemic. Communities, traditions, cultural heritages, sovereignty, whole histories are being replaced by a barren American monoculture.

Living in Japan during its period of sharpest transition to a western way of life, I was astonished by the speed and force with which the American brand took hold. I saw a culture with thousands of years of tradition behind it vanquished in two generations. Suddenly, high school girls were selling themselves after class for $150 a trick so they’d have cash to buy American jeans and handbags.

The Earth cannot support the lifestyle of the cool hunting American-style consumer. We have sought, bought, spewed and devoured too much, too fast, too brazenly, and now we’re about to pay.

Killing the Planet

Economic “progress” is killing the planet. This did not fully hit home for me until nightmarish environmental stories suddenly appeared on the news: acid rain, dying seals in the North Sea, medical waste washing up on New York beaches, garbage barges turned away from port after port, and the discovery that the milk in American mothers’ breasts had four times the amount of DDT permitted in cow’s milk.

To people like me, for whom time had always seemed like a constant, eternally moving train which people got on and, seventy years later, got off, it was the end of innocence. The premonition of ecocide — planetary death — became real and it terrified me. It still does.

– – – – –

 

 

Continue Reading

 

Our Newsletter

Become a Politicrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Sites We Like

Our Newsletter

Become a PolitiCrossing insider: Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.

Trending

Politicrossing
 
Send this to a friend