The Worth of the Written Word

Written communication is an artform which – when performed in a certain manner – can be persuasive and compelling. Many of us feel we have ideas, questions and facts worth sharing with others and, with the advent of the internet, it is now incredibly easy for anybody to communicate these ideas to other people all around the world. There are several popular methods for disseminating our information, with videos and podcasts the primary formats I have used during my almost two years active in this scene. Finally the time has come for me to spend more time focusing on the written word, and this progression is something I have been looking forward to for some time.

Those of you with a keen eye and mind will have noticed my use of pronouns in that first paragraph. One of the ongoing inner dialectics I find myself engaged in is the matter of objectivity vs subjectivity, specifically regarding the content I produce for mass consumption via my YouTube channels and podcasts. For one reason or another, I have generally been inclined to put less of myself (figuratively and literally) into the material I have produced than many of my peers are wont to do. Although this may have somewhat hampered my efforts to build an audience in terms of quantity, I would like to think that it has assisted that same effort in terms of quality. When we are dealing with empirical knowledge and objective facts, why should the audience care so much about the personal thoughts of the individual presenting the information? When a solid case has been built upon empirical knowledge and objective facts, why would a presenter want to dilute or delay that case by infusing his own opinions? When the relevant facts are presented well, then the logical, sensible members of the audience will arrive at logical, sensible conclusions – or, at least, that is the ideal.

Of course, we are not mere creatures of logic. Some might argue that this is a good thing and, even if I were interested in disagreeing with them, this particular post shall not be the place for such musings. He who wishes to convey his message must understand those who might receive that message, and the reality is that the people who visit my website, the people who watch my videos and listen to my podcasts, and even the people who read this very post, will be – to varying degrees – affected and directed by aspects of their nature that are not entirely ‘logical’ (at least in the broad sense of the term). We all have our own intuitions, emotions, and preconceived notions which influence the way we perceive information, regardless of presentation. Chief among the factors which sway our interpretation is that same fundamental aspect of our psyche to which I referred earlier: our inner voice.

When we listen to a podcast or watch a video with its own narration, the information comes to us via the voice of somebody else. When we read something, we may ‘listen’ to it in a voice of our own. That voice may ‘sound’ similar to what we hear when we speak, it may sound entirely different, it may not have any ‘sound’ at all. What matters is that we receive written information in a manner that is fundamentally and substantially different to other forms of communication. This fact is obvious, perhaps so much so that we can sometimes become oblivious to it, like the fabled fish who is entirely incognisant of the water in which he swims. Even as you have read the some-500 words up til this point of this very post, you may have been blissfully unaware of the voice (or lack thereof) reading along with you. Whose voice is that? Who is that person?

Our eyes and brain work together somehow to turn an arrangement of discrete pixels on a screen into a discernible image (and, if enough of those images are cycled through in a short enough period of time, we see a discernibly moving image). Our ears and brain work together somehow to turn airwaves from a speaker into discernible sound (and, when the speakers are utilised in a certain way, that sound can be practically indistinguishable from what we hear when we listen to real humans in physical form).  We can and do consciously know that there is no football being played in our living room, and that our favourite podcaster is not walking alongside us as we go for an afternoon stroll – and yet, how many of our internal reactions to these stimuli are no different than if we were just metres from the game, or within listening distance of the podcaster? In our reality, in the moment, we are not just staring at a large, flat, rectangular matrix of pixels, or listening to a tiny piece of coil and plastic inside our ears vibrate at thousands of cycles per second. We are experiencing something more than that, if nowhere else than in our own minds.

What, then, of the written prose we read? Regardless of the medium – be it a plastic screen, a physical book, or a clay tablet – the written word requires us to read. It requires another level or type of subjectivity in the experience that is not apparently necessary when watching videos or listening to podcasts. Official literature on this topic is surprisingly little, but a 2015 study by a psychology professor at New York University suggests that about 80% of people report hearing an ‘inner voice’ when reading to themselves. This finding is of tremendous significance to myself and anybody else in possession of thoughts they would like to share with the world. The audio/visual medium may be more stimulating to the senses, and the audio-only medium may be more portable and personable, but the written media require (or induce) by their very nature an active participation of the very inner voice of the audience with which we are attempting to communicate.

In the ideal world, we like to think that with better information comes better thoughts, and with better thoughts comes better behaviour. For instance, the individual previously unaware of the extremely negative outcomes for transgender individuals (both post-op and no-op), who is then exposed to this information, may first change their opinion on the merits of pro-transgender education for children and then, where their behaviour is discordant with this updated opinion (such as allowing their dependents to consume pro-trans media), modify their behaviour (by disallowing their dependents access to pro-trans media). Of course, things rarely work this way in reality, and in future posts I will go into more detail about the workings of the mind via concepts such as ‘cognitive dissonance’, and explain why so few individuals in modern society can or will change their opinions on social matters. The example I give above may be simplified, but it is typical: one may claim to be concerned for children’s welfare, one may even believe they are concerned for children’s welfare, even when they are actively supporting/condoning programs which can be shown – via inference and/or deduction – to be significantly harmful and detrimental to children’s welfare.

Despite the realities evident on the macro scale, the notion of a linear information -> thoughts -> behaviour pattern remains the ideal on the micro scale, and it is the schema against which I produce my content. I know from personal experience that my own thoughts have changed upon exposure to new information, and these new thoughts have yielded new behaviour. To keep with the previous example, once I was exposed to the fact that Australian children today are indeed being taught that transgenderism is normal, and found for myself empirical studies which show conclusively that transgender individuals suffer from horrendous health outcomes (such as significantly higher levels of suicide, early death, and psychiatric hospitalisation), my thoughts (which were previously ignorance-based indifference) changed to genuine concern, and my behaviour (which was previously inaction) changed to self-directed activism (via the most efficient means available to me i.e. my online operation). Another example can be found in my eating habits: once I was exposed to the fact that factory meat is not necessary – or even desirable – for human health, my thoughts changed, and then so did my behaviour, such that my conscious factory meat intake now sits at nil.

The above are only my personal experiences, and I am well aware of the fact that my own reactions to the new information were largely driven and/or influenced by other factors. The topic of morals (not mere ‘morality’ as espoused by evangelical types, but genuine morals i.e. fundamental personal values which form our core framework for analysing and evaluating our role within this realm of existence) deserves a post all of its own; suffice for now to say that after two years active in this scene, it is blatantly obvious to me that my own morals are significantly different to most – if not all – people who consume the content I produce. Indeed, it seems few people alive in our society today can be genuinely described as holding or living by what I term morals. Put simply, we have all been utterly demoralised as individuals and as a society, via a process so methodical and even mechanical that the tiny few of us who can see it for what it is must, from time to time, pause to admire the strategic and operational beauty of the system. It is natural, then, that some of us may be further along in the process of remoralisation than others, and it may well be that many people out there, no matter how ostensibly well-meaning they may seem to be, shall never regain a basic sense of right and wrong of the type which governs my own reactions to the new information I become exposed to.

These realities laid bare, it remains the case that I maintain in my mind an ideal regarding human thought and behaviour, one which my own anecdotal experience proves to be valid not only in theory but also in practice. Clearly I am required to share my own subjective account of the information -> thoughts -> behaviour schema in order justify what may otherwise be described as impractically idealistic. The cynic has every right to point out that in my two years active in this scene, which has entailed the production of approximately 200 videos and 100 podcasts, my own work has not ultimately encouraged (to the best of my knowledge) even one other person to produce their own widely-disseminated, similarly-themed content.  Clearly, then, I have not succeeded in influencing behaviour to the degree I had hoped or intended. It is undoubtedly true, however, that I have exposed many thousands of people to new information: at the time of writing, the subscriber count of my primary YouTube channel sits at over 3,300, and combined views across the two channels (JLB and JLBExtra) sits above half a million. Evidently there is something amiss in between the information and the behaviour.

Now what might that be?

If you have been following this post closely, you may have just spoken the answer yourself, in your own mind: Thought. Information can be objective, behaviour cannot. You and I can share the exact same objective information, but even if our behaviours are ‘identical’, they cannot be the same, for it takes a subject to engage in behaviour, and we are different subjects. This is obvious, just as it is obvious that our thoughts, even when the ‘same’, cannot really be the same, as we are not the same people engaged in thinking those thoughts – no ontological or epistemological argument is required to understand this basic notion. The corollaries which follow are simple, straightforward, and profound: if one seeks to assist another improve their behaviour via new information, one ought to intend that it be the other who derives the appropriate thoughts from that information themselves. This concept has already been promoted by men long dead, such as Dale Carnegie of How To Win Friends and Influence People fame. One of Carnegie’s fundamental teachings was that the most effective method for an individual to influence others is to assist them to think of good ideas for themselves, in order that they buy into and take charge of the actions which follow.

Although the audio/visual and audio-only formats have many important advantages over the written word, they do not easily lend themselves to the one simple goal my content has at its root: encouraging others to think for themselves. A single one-hour podcast may contain dozens of discrete and important points, each one masking all which came before it, not allowing the listener any time to properly consider what they have just heard. A single 10-minute video may contain dozens of discrete pictures, on top of the audio with which it is paired. Content in either format runs at its own pace, resulting in a one-size-fits-all product; few and far between are the individuals who regularly pause a podcast or 10-minute video to contemplate what is being claimed or shown. Thus these formats serve as perfect mediums for idle entertainment, and they function as sensational mediums for emotion-based propaganda; it makes perfect sense that governments like the one here in Australia subsidise digital television set-top boxes and encourage ipads in schools, while simultaneously overseeing a decrease in student reading outcomes. The populace is encouraged, from a young age, to become attached to the mediums which can most easily be used to propagandise them, while the schools ostensibly in place to help them learn to read fail more miserably at that task with each passing year. Only the wilfully ignorant and/or utterly programmed could fail to see the significance of these developments, but I digress.

As Goebbels rightly noted, good propaganda is based on true information, and there is a time and place for good propaganda; both audio/visual and audio-only content will continue to have its place in my operation. In a future post I will go into more detail about what I mean by the term ‘propaganda’, including an in-depth analysis of the ‘trivium method‘ promoted by Jan Irvin. Suffice for now to say that for the entirely of my two years active in this scene, I have always based my content on objective facts (or what Irvin might describe as ‘grammar’), and presented the information logically, in the hope that the audience would connect the dots for themselves to arrive at valid conclusions. By ‘propaganda’, I simply mean the overt and intentional use of rhetoric to convey information and ideas. For this purpose, the audio/visual medium will continue to be the most effective of those available to independent content creators like myself. When good information (objective facts), good logic (sound reasoning), and good rhetoric (strategic use of language and symbols) are employed in unison, the effect can be forceful enough to reach and influence even staunch gov/media believers (such as those who consume hours of television programming weekly, or undertook several years of university study). To reiterate, there is a time and a place for good propaganda.

The primary audience I am seeking to reach, however, are the very people who are least likely to be susceptible to the rhetorical devices which make propaganda effective, and most likely to read a 3,000-word treatise with regular pauses for contemplation along the way. Those who have followed my work for long enough will be familiar with my emphasis on logical form, and the first season of the ARP was replete with segments which focused on breaking down the rhetoric of mainstream media outlets. By now, long-time listeners ought to have much better mental shields than most against the ploys of rhetoric, regardless of the truth or otherwise of the underlying message. Long-time listeners should be concerned primarily by the truth, regardless of how entertaining or emotionally-compelling it may or may not be. For the core audience I am seeking to get my messages across to, there simply ought to be no need and little use for rhetoric; objective facts presented in a logical format should be sufficient and, for the reasons outlined in this post, the written word may be the most effective medium for communicating the facts and logic I have at my disposal.

This will be, therefore, the first of what I hope will be many written articles to be posted to this site – not only by myself, but by those of you who would like to contribute. This is a blog, after all, and if you have the patience to read through what amounts to my first essay since university, you likely have the patience to write an article yourself. I have explained why I think the written word is the most effective medium for communicating good information and ideas to others, and if you agree with the case I have presented, you have the opportunity now to put your beliefs into practice. If on the other hand you disagree with the case I have made, I will be more than happy to post your reply, here on this site. Unlike the audio/visual and audio-only formats, the written word can remain entirely anonymous. There are literally no excuses left for you to remain silent, other than that of utter demoralisation – and if that description fits you, then why are you still here at johnlebon.com? I’m quite serious: why are you here?

tl;dr The written word can be a powerful artform, whose experience is one in which objective and subjective cannot be easily separated. By engaging in the process of reading, the reader will produce, in their own mind at least, either their own voice, another voice, or ‘no voice at all’. It is this inner voice of each audience member which content creators like myself seek to reach. My own content up until this point has been produced in audio/visual and audio-only formats, and while these are themselves important and useful mediums, they are not necessarily the most effective available to me for what my content is designed to do: encourage people to think for themselves. The written word literally requires the reader to think in a way which audio/visual and audio-only does not. It may well be that even if I succeed in encouraging other people to think for themselves, their own mental or moral weaknesses prevent them from modifying their behaviour; I am keenly aware of this fact, but I maintain my focus on the information -> thoughts -> behaviour schema (due to personal experience) and the written word ensures that any influence my information may have on the audience will be at least partly directed by their own thoughts. This is the first written article to be posted to this site, and it is my hope that many more will follow – including from people like yourself, who have no excuse other than utter demoralisation to keep your thoughts and ideas entirely contained within your own mind.

14 thoughts on “The Worth of the Written Word

  • 06-September-2016 at 3:25 pm
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    john,

    i think that people simply enjoy the sound of your voice. this is part of the reason why you make such a great moderator of debates and host of podcasts, because you have a very smooth, calm, comforting voice. the aussie accent probably helps too, as americans seem to be automatically impressed with english accents and derivatives thereof; especially australian.

    that being said, you obviously do have a talent for writing as well.

    (*Note- 10th paragraph down, line 4, you say “in order justify what”; i think you forgot the “to”; also, 11th par, line 7, you say “assist another improve their”; seems like you forgot an “and”)

    the difference you note between the audio/visual and written mediums is well-taken. i too have noticed that since the digital age has taken-hold, my proficiency at reading, and my predisposition towards it has significantly waned (along with my attention span).

    on a side-note, if you have ever seen the “scrambled text” meme, as presented here:
    http://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/brain-teasers/scrambled-text
    (hopefully url’s work, if not, just google “scrambled text, brainhq”), it is a rather telling exercise which reveals just how malleable the english language is, and thus how successfully it has been used for programming. some say that WHY it is called “spelling” and “grammar”, is because it is a form of magick, like spells and grimoire.

    that being said, i totally agree that there is some innate importance to allowing the “grammar” (or grimoire) part of the trivium method to be reiterated audibly by your own inner-voice, so that things such as NLP and other subtle tactics are not coded on top of it, which may significantly alter the message. even electromagnetic frequencies and vibrations are used through the aforementioned digital mediums, to further corrupt the original message.

    it is said that as much as 70% of communication is NON-verbal, and in some cases may be even greater still. this seems to be a self-evident claim, if politicians and lawyers are to be considered as an example. what this in effect means, is that it is not so much the CONTENT of the words themselves which matters, but the intent and delivery of the person saying them. after all, who among us has not gotten into trouble with a friend or loved one, by not providing sufficient context or emoticons in their ever-more abbreviated text messages, in which our sarcasm was misinterpreted?

    yet, i would submit that the printed medium may also be a double-edged sword, in that you cannot so easily glean the intent of the writer, even WITH the proper context, simply because that intent often is so EASILY discernible through the eyes and body-language, that people feel more confident in the person AND the information, if they feel that they have made some sort of connection with them, and thus trust the message conveyed. this, of course, is with the exclusion of lawyers and politicians, or other paid liars.

    another benefit of the lost art of written word, is that it requires the consumer of the text to utilize their “imagination”, to create their OWN interpretation of the data in their mind’s eye. we can speculate on WHAT the mind’s eye IS, or what its significance might BE, but let’s just say that what they are putting in the water, along with all of the visual-overload that has been brought on by the “digital age”, has all but atrophied this very important tool over time.

    as for your assertion that your influence has been insufficient in prompting listeners to take up the mantle and follow your lead, you have to take into account that people learn at very different paces. you obviously realize that you are a special case; being as intelligent and analytical as you are at your age is EXTREMELY rare, even WITHOUT all of the physiological effects of neuro-toxins and other mind-numbing chemicals which have been used to stunt our intellectual growth.

    most of us, at the time of our “awakening”, are already (at least) 25,000 hours behind from the word “go”, having to basically transform into autodidacts after 20-30 years of indoctrination into one of the most advanced mind-control machines ever conceived of, and relearn everything from scratch. even those on the “accelerated learning” program have a lot of ground to make up for, before EVER reaching your level.

    confidence also plays a role in this, as some people have all but had theirs shattered by the system. as it is, to say that your perspective is a niche one is a massive understatement. to realize that virtually EVERYTHING is a hoax, is extremely difficult for most, and still more will simply see such a position as mere “gas lighting”. thus you must have confidence in your ability to discern fact from fiction, to know what is real and what isn’t.

    this is why i say that we never truly escape from the matrix (or plato’s cave), but only make strides to understand the extent of its effect or influence on the reality in which we live. i like how you used the “fish in water” example, as it is one of my favorite methods of analogizing the reality in which we truly live. our entire world is BUILT upon deception, and thus until you have some way of differentiating this PERCEIVED reality, with that which truly exists, you have no hope of ever moving forward.

    the truth is, however, that people have for so long underestimated the vastness of the control structure, that they have been unwilling to fully commit to abandoning all of their previously held presuppositions about their reality. thus, a gate-keeper has always been there, at every turn, to keep them from coming to terms with a truth that would literally shatter their entire world.

    to a certain extent though, all we can do is speculate about such things. but as fun as such an exercise may be, it accomplishes very little, and simply leaves us vulnerable to the next psy-op or controlled operator, which seeks to once again mislead us by taking advantage of our desire for equilibrium and homeostasis; in effect, a sense of normalcy and acceptance.

    but for the true philosopher, sadly, this is something we can never really have. thus, we must always remain vigilant, and be ever-ready to abandon any preconceived notion or illogical premise that we may discover to be internally inconsistent or contradictory. cognitive dissonance is our FRIEND, NOT our enemy, as it is to most others.

    hopefully i did not ramble off onto too many tangents. it’s good to see you start writing, as i think that it is just as important to write, as it is to read the written word. not to mention, now we won’t have to worry about being entranced by your silky-smooth aussie voice, and lose track of what you are actually saying. ha, i kid, i kid.

    • 29-September-2016 at 4:28 am
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      Lo-gic and Ma-gic go together. Magic is indistinguishable from a sufficiently advanced tech-nology. Verbal language is only one technology of communication and in no way the “best” one. It’s often not even as effective as body language and gets in the way of it. Charles Bronson didn’t say much, but he communicated enough “macho” and “hardness” to become the biggest movie star in the world in the 1970s. Mathematics is more accurate but not even scientists and mathematicians “talk” only mathematics to one another and every last one of them has to learn verbal language first. In fact, the Greeks and Romans did not even have the zero invented yet, but they had plenty of more-or-less accurately communicated science, accurate enough to solve many problems faced in physical reality until more advanced technology of the zero arrived to supercharge the math into another dimension by making it much easier to use.

      Muse-ic is a language developed out of higher abstracted sound-metaphors to communicate or map out territories within the psyche that are beyond verbal and mathematical cartography.

      An artist is someone who can impose his “artifice” on reality and have reality accept it enough for it to “work,” in other words, for this artifice to allow better navigation of the many territories within “reality,” the most important of which are psychological territories where ideas are formed and in turn are codified back into verbal language as foundational principles, heal-thy t-roots for heal-thy leaves of be-leaf.

      You filter these “extra-logical,” “extra-moral” aspects of reality through the maps that the more refined visions and sensibilities of artists provide. Hence why propagandists know very well that the “useful idiocies” of a great artist are worth many thousands of useful idiocies from non-artists and/or mediocre artists.

      A “great artist” is someone who can chart a new course of navigation previously undiscovered through old territory or apply an old course effectively to new territory. As the most famous example of the former: the Beatles. They came from rock & roll roots which itself came from black rhythm & blues roots but made their own path in it, at first through their melodic gifts but later on, especially from 1966 on, under the influence of people like Bob Dylan and Frank Zappa, through surrealism, which was re-labeled “psychedelic” (delicate and delicious to the psyche) “rock” music. This path provided the aesthetic and ideological blueprint that turned into “progressive rock” in the late 1960s and also the Jazz-Rock fusion of the 1970s which took its cue from the “throw everything in but the kitchen sink” mindset of prog-rock but held the surrealism more in check. There was also amplification technology involved in making the medium the message. If you took only the notes of what a guy like Jimi Hendrix played on “Band of Gypsies,” it’s not all that hard to learn. It’s mostly blues and pentatonics. But he created a new path through that old territory by how he played those notes, then combined with Bob-Dylan influenced lyrics, what images “beyond” a more surrealistic approach to verbal language provided. That’s why he’s a great guitarist and artist, not because he can sit down and play what Segovia or Julian Bream play “note-for-note.”

      A revolutionary artist or “genius” is one who overhauls the maps that came before and creates an entirely new map covering far more territory than before. No metaphorical map, however detailed, can ever be fully the territory but some maps are drawn by explorers for taming undiscovered and unfamiliar lands.

      Magic is glimpsed when the “superlogical” is activated. You don’t have to be a student of philosophy to do that but you do have to be in touch with the deeper layers of subtlety that have been programmed out of large numbers of people, especially males, to keep them docile, the very “hues” of your humanity which have as many gradations and smooth transitions within those gradations as your sense-abilities will let them.

      Mencken used to say that womb-men are not more “emotional” than men but due to their dependence ultimately on a group of strong men for physical protection (what would “feminism” be if a group of strong men, regardless of whether that strength was arrived at morally or immorally, did not promote it? Not much. And why would they promote it if it did not serve their interests in weakening their competition: other groups of wannabe strong men?) use the “superlogic” of intuition, which men wrongly consider superfluous, a lot more.

      “What is a word? The image of a nerve stimulus in sounds. But to infer from the nerve stimulus, a cause outside us, that is already the result of a false and unjustified application of the principle of reason. If truth alone had been the deciding factor in the genesis of language, and if the standpoint of certainty had been decisive for designations, then how could we still dare to say ‘the stone is hard,’ as if ‘hard’ were something otherwise familiar to us, and not merely a totally subjective stimulation! We separate things according to gender, designating the tree as masculine and the plant as feminine. What arbitrary assignments! How far this oversteps the canons of certainty! We speak of a ‘snake’: this designation touches only upon its ability to twist itself and could therefore also fit a worm. What arbitrary differentiations! What one-sided preferences, first for this, then for that property of a thing! The different languages, set side by side, show that what matters with words is never the truth, never an adequate expression; else there would not be so many languages. The ‘thing in itself’ (for that is what pure truth, without consequences, would be) is quite incomprehensible to the creators of language and not at all worth aiming for. One designates only the relations of things to man, and to express them one calls on the boldest metaphors. A nerve stimulus, first transposed into an image—first metaphor. The image, in turn, imitated by a sound—second metaphor. And each time there is a complete overleaping of one sphere, right into the middle of an entirely new and different one.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth & Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”

      http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/Philosophers/Nietzsche/Truth_and_Lie_in_an_Extra-Moral_Sense.htm

    • 29-September-2016 at 6:19 am
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      “The need to search consciously and unconsciously for cause-and-effect patterns, regularities within perceptual environments, lies deep within the circuitry and chemistry of the brain. Individuals, unaware of the infinite variety of perceptual realities or options always available, assume there is only ONE reality, ONE cause, ONE interpretation, ONE option, ONE objective, ONE course of action. Their sealed premises are usually supported by others similarly entrapped.

      Anyone who presents alternative options risks being considered evil, insane, or subversive. It is next to impossible to explain to an addicted player how a slot machine operates. Your explanation, no matter how well intentioned, will provoke defensive aggresiveness . . .

      During the course of over 300 research projects this author conducted for private corporations and governments, it became apparent that problem-solving was rarely a simple, objective enterprise. The notion that ‘truth’ resolved problems was naive in the extreme. Institutions hire expensive consultants and research specialists to confirm or reject decisions, perspectives, and perceived truths already apparent. Many institutions will accept failure or even annihilation before agreeing to reconceptualize their dilemmas and paradoxes. During corporate crises, this author usually attempted to provide at least three — preferably more — alternative solutions to each problem under study, each one more or less equally constructive and applicable. A fourth option was usually added to the basic three at no additional cost: Do nothing! Permit the problem, or the perception of the problem, to work itself out. The fourth option was never acceptable. It was rarely an option anyone was willing to pay for, even though it might have resolved the dilemma. Managements compulsively insisted upon the correct and most profitable solution. Such simplistic perceptual conclusions continue to be responsible for countless failures in business, industry, and government throughout the world.

      A perceived structure or pattern easily becomes a self-reinforcing delusion. Once the seemingly reasonable, often “scientific” premise has been accepted, delusions follow, through logical deductions. The self-sealed premise often takes on a life of its own. However, in terms of reality — or reality-oriented perceptions — it is usually not the truth or falsity of a delusion that is important; the delusion succeeds because of its mere existence or apparent rewards.

      To manipulate reality on behalf of an objective, mere SUSPICION about an alternative’s validity is often powerful enough. In the media competition for consumers or in political candidates’ competition for voters, great effort is expended to create credible suspicion about opponents. Even minor doubts, once established, can expand effectively. One big lie, of course, feeds back into another big lie. Reality engineering is a major growth industry. Factual evidence is usually unnecessary, often undesirable. The more exaggerated the story, the more believable it can become if properly legitimized. Fact-oriented perceptions become Silly Putty in the hands of anyone who understands perceptual vulnerabilities and how to exploit them.

      People generally cannot believe themselves so easily manipulated and controllable. This is precisely why they are so easy to manipulate and control.

      Cultural or ideological systems are engineered like casino slot machines. The conviction that members have free choice or volition, once established, makes them even less aware of contradictions, qualifications, and paradox. A substantial majority of citizens in both the U.S. and U.S.S.R., fro example, believe their societies are free, democratic, and concerned with human rights. The question is of itself a conditioning device, though complete nonsense in any reality-oriented perception. Both societies ignore or observe human rights when doing so serves some internal or external objective. The question is a matter of more-or-less, rather than either/or. Facts by the trainload could be generated to validate or discredit the view of either society. Yet each side believes with religious fervor its world is superior. The argument is comparable to two small boys arguing over who has the largest penis and finally over whether the comparisons will be made in the flaccid or tumescent state, or somewhere in between.

      Human history reveals a disturbing human inability to deal with reality-oriented perceptions — to comprehend empirical data, the rhetorical nature of questions, and complex arrays of the conscious and unconscious motives underlying arguments.

      It appears far easier for humans to fantasize and project responsibility for decisions on some mystical principle, ideology, fate, secret metaphysical power, God, a prophet of God, or an omniscient charismatic leader. Humans rarely consider that chance or probability — coupled with a handful of basic human needs and always limited resources controlled by ruling power elites — guide world destinies, have done so throughout history, and will likely continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Morality and justice usually depend upon the power to enforce rather than upon intellectual discourse, and so do perceptual realities.

      As discussed, perceptual realities appear to exist on at least three levels: macro, micro, and submicro. At each level, perceptions can be measured and verified by more-or-less standard scales, calibrations, devices, mathematical relationships, and conscious agreements to these standards. Physical and biological properties can be established by experimental, repeatable, and verifiable proofs or refutations. Very few problems between humans cannot be resolved at this fact-oriented level of reality perception. The nightmares in human communication stem from an inability to agree on meanings, values, evaluations, perspectives, syntheses, and analyses. The rules are completely arbitrary. The fantasy of eternal truth frequently appears. Absurd arguments erupt over what really is or is not, and once verbally resolved, self-sealing premises take over . . .

      In spite of reality-oriented information, even from high-credibility sources, humans are persistently reluctant to turn loose traditional reality perceptions. As has often been demonstrated over the centuries, cultures hold to perceptual fantasy constructions until death . . .

      All behaviors communicate reciprocally. Problems arise when misrepresentations, lies, or misinformation are introduced into the system, consciously or unconsciously, purposefully or accidentally. Since meaningful goals are rarely achieved without trust, awareness of manipulation is often repressed. At the unconscious level, though, lies are difficult to conceal. The manipulated usually know they are being manipulated, at some level of perception . . .

      Majority consensus is an overwhelming social force. Consensus is courted by every power structure in the world and is engineered by mass-media ads and public relations techniques. The human need to be accepted — no matter how absurd or destructive such acceptance may be — extends deeply into the one basic imperative: survival and adjustment. There appears an innate willingness to compromise individual perceptions in favor of what appears — or is constructed to appear — as group consensus. Unfortunately, however, intellectual, social, and economic systems depend for new ideas, growth, and survival upon deviant innovators, not conformists.”

      ~ from “The Age of Manipulation” by Wilson Bryan Key, Ph.D, (1989)

      http://www.slideshare.net/TheOccultTruthDotCom/the-age-of-manipulation-wilson-bryan-key

      • 29-September-2016 at 6:32 am
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        Negentropic – “…People generally cannot believe themselves so easily manipulated and controllable. This is precisely why they are so easy to manipulate and control…” – Indeed, and what a strategy hey?

  • 08-September-2016 at 2:24 am
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    I rather enjoyed your first article here, JLB. There are definitive benefits to reading (and writing) on a regular basis, daily if at all possible and I would be pleased to add your written work to my daily or weekly stack.

    I highly recommend you check out the work of John Taylor Gatto, if you have not done so already. His work is largely about the school (see, not “educational) system, the history thereof and his methods of getting around its constraints during his 3 decades as a teacher. He likewise promoted the trivium as the basis of all learning and it is from JTG that I first picked it up, before listening to Jan Irvin.

    As always, keep up the good work and no worry about the Lovecraft video. I am sure it will be here when it is good and ready and I’ve been enjoying the videos and talks on the Trans movement. I’ve shared them with some friends who and it has sparked worthwhile conversation with them.

  • 08-September-2016 at 11:18 pm
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    With all due respect, I find the “Aussie” accent irritating beyond measure. I have always preferred reading to having anything read to me. That’s if the writing is up to par, of course.

    It’s agony listening to the array of speech impediments of so-called truthers out there!

    One can only hope more in the “community” will follow JLB’s initiative and turn to the other medium.

    Say, Lebonski, are you a fan of e.e. cummings perchance? (grin)

  • 08-September-2016 at 11:56 pm
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    “Written communication is an art form which – when performed in a certain manner – can be powerful, persuasive, and compelling.”

    Words fail me.

  • 09-September-2016 at 1:15 pm
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    I love your accent and as I read this I heard your voice in my head. As I watch your videos I wonder about your education and background and what led you to where you are. I began watching you after the obvious fake Nice incident, the live feed had me transfixed. I am saddened by so many people’s refusal to even consider that what we are told is often a lie. On a lighter note I thoroughly enjoyed your walk around Brisbane. I hope I make it to that part of the world one day. As far as your impact, there are many of us out here who look forward to your fearless articulation of ideas that inform, ideas that few dare utter, yet oftentimes confirm what we ourselves believe. I would love to have the courage to take my personal beliefs and realizations public. I am not there yet, but your insights provide a beacon for me and everyone with whom I share your videos–and now your written word. So grateful you are out there broadcasting.

    • 16-September-2016 at 1:17 am
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      Wow, that is a terrific comment. Thank you very much. I might just make a video response. Stay tuned!

    • 22-July-2017 at 11:45 pm
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      Im sorry I didnt finish that reply to you yet. I said 48 hours, but I failed to live up to that.

      (Ive been getting lots of sun lately and I keep falling asleep whenever I hold still)

      I am very serious about accurately describing the path I took to get here. I deleted a couple of drafts because I thought I talked too much about myself.

      (Duh, whole things supposed to be about myself)

      • 25-July-2017 at 12:48 pm
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        No need to apologise, brother. We are all very busy. I am usually a week or two behind on my emails.

    • 25-July-2017 at 12:50 pm
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      The beauty of writing is that it forces to the recipient to take an active role the transmission of the information. The downside is that most people today are too retarded and lazy to want to take an active role in the receipt of information. This is why fewer and fewer books will actually be read (although plenty will continue to be purchased), while more and more video content will be consumed. What a time to be alive.

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