I have just made a decision to “buffer” my reaction to the mainstream media. Why? I am getting a stomach ache after reading this about CNN.
CNN is dangerously close to becoming a complete propaganda machine.
CNN is dangerously close to becoming a complete propaganda machine.
It’s 2015, and there’s no denying it: We live in an era of hyper-connectivity. We are constantly being bombarded with information—text, image, and video sweep into our consciousness night and day, flowing at us from our many screens. We’re pinged for urgent emails and random miscellany alike. Every buzz has the potential to be the day’s most important message. Usually, though, it’s nothing.
No matter. Our devices are like technological extensions of ourselves, and as such, we have a really hard time putting them down.
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Fifty-four thousand words: that’s how much textual information—in the form of digital content—is dumped on the average social media user per day.
When that measure is expanded to include emails, digital imagery, web browsing, and the like, it increases dramatically. According to a 2011 study reported by the Telegraph, we receive about 200 newspapers-worth of information everyday.
And how much information does the average person produce? About six newspapers-worth. Whether you’re sending messages via text or Tinder, it all adds up.
That same study also found that there were 295 exabytes of data floating around the world—that’s 29,500,000,000,000,000,000,000 pieces of information. Three-hundred and fifteen times the number of grains of sand on Earth. That was in 2011; we’ve no doubt surpassed that count by now. Talk about information overload.
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“Our brains were never designed to be always on and permanently connected with the amount of stimuli that we get [today],” Max Blumberg, a research psychologist from Goldsmiths, University of London, said in a recent interview.
“Our brains haven’t evolved to handle that level of high activity yet,” he continued. “And that’s a problem.”
The science of how always-on technology impacts human behavior hasn’t been extensively explored—maybe because we’re still in the dawning of the information age. But some studies have been done, and the results are distressing. Researchers have found that social media might promote narcissism, smartphones could be causing insomnia, and screens seem to be making our kids less empathetic.
“Our brains will always be seduced by the high stimuli [of constant connectivity] because of the dopamine that it provides,” Blumberg explained in another interview. “It’s really similar to having ADHD.”
“People with ADHD, their big problem is that their cortex—the outer part of your brain that does the executive function like making decisions—doesn’t function in the way that it is supposed to,” he continued. “Unlike animals, who are distracted by every stimulus they encounter, human beings have the cortex, which is supposed to help them weigh up whether what they are currently doing is more important than whatever the new stimulus is—whether it’s a Facebook notification, phone call, or email.”
Essentially, we’re over-stimulating ourselves. Constant connectivity makes it hard to sustain attention on one task at a time. It can make us get all willy-nilly with our focus, giving our attention to whatever is right in front of us, without thinking about whether or not what is in front of us is truly worth our time. As a result, it’s harder to engage in deep thought, critical thought, and creativity.
Blumberg thinks this is going to have a serious impact on society:
“In fact, what I think we’re going to see is a society that is even more divided into the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. And we’re already starting to see that the kids from richer backgrounds are really restricted in the amount of TV and internet that they are allowed to use because their parents who built these big companies know that that is what is required to be able to achieve such things, so those kids are going to end up building the big companies of the future.
“And the kids from poorer backgrounds, who are online all the time and have a very reactive brain, will end up being the consumers and customers of the other kids’ companies. There will be a huge market where people will buy anything because the brand is flashed up without having any critical thinking about it because their brains are not used to deep thinking.”
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Sounds pretty bleak, but there is a solution: Turn off. Unplug. Go on a digital detox.
Daniel J. Levitin,* Ph.D., is the director of the Laboratory for Music, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University and author of the book “The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.” According to him, unplugging is a practice, not just a one time special event. And it’s not as hard as you may think. He explained how to hit the reset button for your brain in an article for the New York Times last year:
“Every status update you read on Facebook, every tweet or text message you get from a friend, is competing for resources in your brain with important things like whether to put your savings in stocks or bonds, where you left your passport or how best to reconcile with a close friend you just had an argument with.
“If you want to be more productive and creative, and to have more energy, the science dictates that you should partition your day into project periods.”
Levitin suggests doing your daily activities (even digital ones, like social networking and emailing) at designated times. Your brain—and output—will be better for it.
“Increasing creativity will happen naturally as we tame the multitasking and immerse ourselves in a single task for sustained periods of, say, 30 to 50 minutes,” he wrote in the Times. And when you’re not plugged in? “Several studies have shown that a walk in nature or listening to music can trigger the mind-wandering mode. This acts as a neural reset button, and provides much needed perspective on what you’re doing.”
That’s helpful when the goal is being able to disregard a stimulus that isn’t that important. Even what might feel like doing nothing gives our brains the much needed break from technology required for problem solving and making an impact on the world. Levitin explains, “daydreaming leads to creativity, and creative activities teach us agency, the ability to change the world, to mold it to our liking, to have a positive effect on our environment.”
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Using unplugged time to pursue your hobbies or passions can have enormous benefits, too. Levitin says that “music, for example, turns out to be an effective method for improving attention, building up self-confidence, social skills and a sense of engagement.” You might want to reconsider those guitar lessons you’ve always wanted to take.
Music isn’t the only way. The ultimate goal is to increase our human potential, and to do that all we have to do is pause. Put down the iPhone, stop staring at the screen, and ignore the timeline for a bit.
“Taking breaks is biologically restorative. Naps are even better,” Levitin concludes. “In several studies, a nap of even 10 minutes improved cognitive function and vigor, and decreased sleepiness and fatigue. If we can train ourselves to take regular vacations—true vacations without work—and to set aside time for naps and contemplation, we will be in a more powerful position to start solving some of the world’s big problems. And to be happier and well rested while we’re doing it.” So go ahead. Give yourself a vacation. You deserve it.
But wait……………there’s more
Hillary Clinton states that she is named after Sir Edmund Percival Hillary. Ms. Hillary Diane Rodham was born in Chicago on October 26, 1947. Oddly the annals of history don’t seem to support that chain of thought.
Sir Edmund originally made application to the military at the outbreak of WWII , but due to religious objections withdrew his application, and was later conscripted to serve in 1943. Shortly after that time, her supposed namesake was repatriated to New Zealand from Fiji and the Solomon Islands following a rather unspectacular stint as a navigator. He had suffered burns in a non-military conflict boating accident in 1945 and was removed from the New Zealand Royal Air Force. 1Calder, Peter (11 January 2008). “Sir Edmund Hillary’s life”. The New Zealand Herald (APN Holdings NZ Limited). Retrieved 11 January 2008.
In fact – there is no photographic evidence of the accomplishment and the 2 climbers – Hillary and Tenzing – went to the summit and only remained at the peak for 15 minutes. The entire expedition consisted of over 400 and included 362 porters. Pretty spectacular stuff, eh?
This past May, Salami said that Iran desires a war with the United States.
“We monitor their acts day and night and will take every opportunity to set fire to all their economic and political interests if they do a wrong deed,” Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the IRGC’s lieutenant commander, was quoted as saying in Tehran on Thursday. “We have prepared ourselves for the most dangerous scenarios and this is no big deal and is simple to digest for U.S.; we welcome war with the U.S. as we do believe that it will be the scene for our success to display the real potentials of our power,” he said at the time.
Check this recent report from IT News: http://www.itnews.com/internet/95945/wikipedia-blocks-381-user-accounts-dishonest-editing
What is the BEST Marketing Tool around? Word of Mouth. The Valid Mouth.
Yesterday, it happened again: People were going about their daily lives only to be struck down by a crazed murderer. This time, the backdrop was Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, where 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker and 27-year-old cameraman Adam Ward were up early on a Wednesday morning, delivering a live broadcast for WDBJ, the local CBS News affiliate where both worked.
During the 6:45 a.m. broadcast, the murderer walked up and shot dead both Alison and Adam. He also wounded Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce, whom Alison was interviewing. In an act of psychotic narcissism, he filmed his crime and posted the video online before taking his own life. Due to the fire-like speed of social media, many people unintentionally found themselves viewing both versions of the horrific footage as videos auto-played in their browsers or on their phones.
The killer faxed ABC News a 23-page manifesto showing just how deranged he was. In it, he praised by name the killers in the 1999 Columbine High School massacre as well as the man who murdered 32 people at Virginia Tech in 2007. Yesterday’s murderer was a former WDBJ employee who claimed discrimination as a homosexual black man and wrote that the Charleston mass murder, in which a white man killed nine black churchgoers in June, was the last straw motivating his homicidal targeting of white individuals.
His anger and instability were no surprise to some. According to his former supervisor at WDBJ, the killer had a history of lodging complaints against co-workers — none of which were ever validated. Eventually, he was fired for bizarre and threatening behavior, and police even had to escort him out of the building.
Yet despite the overwhelming evidence that yesterday’s tragedy was perpetrated by a sick man bent on vengeance, almost immediately Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and other leftists used the tragedy to blame their favorite scapegoat — guns.
First, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, “This is another example of gun violence that is becoming all too common in communities large and small across the United States.”
Then Obama himself said, “What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism.” So in one astonishingly stupid statement, he managed to blame the tool and minimize the (jihadi) terrorist threat that has claimed hundreds of thousands of victims around the world just during his presidency. And, by the way, 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11 without a single firearm.
His comments also come on the heals of his lament last month that the area he feels “most frustrated and most stymied” is that the U.S. “is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun-safety laws.”
Not to be outdone, Hillary Clinton declared, “We have got to do something about gun violence in America. And I will take it on.”
Likewise, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe used the killings to call for stricter gun control, saying, “There are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns. That is why I’ve long advocated for background checks. … This is why we need to restrict access to guns.”
Unfortunately, emotion plays better than facts in times of tragedy — and that’s what Obama, Clinton and McAuliffe are banking on. Contrary to McAuliffe’s insinuation, the murderer passed a background check in order to buy his gun. But leftists won’t stop with more checks because, as McAuliffe said, they’re after “restricting access.”
And despite Obama’s claim of increased gun violence, such violence has actually drastically decreased over the last couple of decades. In fact, in 2010, the gun homicide rate was 49% lower than in 1993, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center study. The downward trend appears to have remained steady since 2011 — all while gun laws have been loosened and gun ownership has increased.
Thanks in part to leftist rhetoric, though, just 12% of Americans believe gun crime is lower now than in the early 1990s. In fact, the 2013 Pew study reveals 56% erroneously believe it’s higher.
Unavoidably, false information leads to faulty judgment, such as one absurdly ignorant tweet saying the county where yesterday’s murders occurred supported Romney in the last presidential election, so it must be gun-friendly. Evidently this person hasn’t heard of Chicago, Baltimore, Ferguson, or any other inner city Democrat poverty plantation where murder and violent crime are rampant.
Yesterday’s killings were perpetrated not by a county, a community, a tool, or the Second Amendment but by a sick individual driven by racial and anti-heterosexual hatred. His hatred — not his gun — drove him to kill. More to the point, the killer wasn’t a Romney voter but reportedly was reprimanded for wearing an Obama button during campaign coverage. That’s a report the American Leftmedia won’t bother getting around to.
Heartbreakingly, this unchecked hatred cost the lives of Adam Ward, who was engaged to be married to a coworker (who saw the murder happen while watching the broadcast in the control room), and Alison Parker, who was also dating a coworker and by all accounts was a vibrant and joyful woman.
Adam and Alison’s deaths should not be used as props for political gain. Instead, they should motivate us to counter the hatred that drives killers to take innocent lives and inflict unspeakable heartache to satisfy their delusional sense of vengeance.
Original Source: Allyne Caan · Aug. 27, 2015
Mind you – these nations were not communicating as we do today. Men spoke with one another and they consulted their respective militia before making claims. There already had been plenty of wars and land grabs throughout Europe – but they managed to put petty greed behind their responsibility for the populations they represented and somehow maintained honorable relations with one another. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had that kind of diplomacy in the world again today?