So, has the world gone mad?

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    Without getting into politics, it is interesting and disturbing to see what the state of the world “news” services is. Kind of like the hyped-up furor over the U.S.S. Maine that sparked public outrage and helped to start the Spanish-American War.

    It’s equally disturbing to see what various countries are saying back and forth to each other, and what various countries are doing. Almost makes me wonder if the entire world has embraced some species of fatalism.


    It’s always been mad 🙁

    Good read about hate. Just finished reading it myself.



    Hi Xenopus Tex,

    Even the NYT is getting all silly. Written by sixth graders or something.

    My solution is not to watch the news, or if I do, I watch BBC or from news from Public Broadcasting. It is closest to the way news used to be delivered. Without the journalistic feel, gossip and fear mongering.




    That is my solution as well. I think it comes down to the ability to discern news from editorial and entertainment.
    I just want to be told the what, who, when, where

    Unfortunately the news editorial becomes part of the what, who, when, where and it gets confusing. As we have to respond to not just what happened but how people are interpreting and reacting to what happens. In many cases what happened getting lost


    It is true such madness is not new but I think we are intuitively experiencing that something different is happening.

    I think we are witnessing a paradigm shift due in personal communication styles and privacy expectations that we don’t yet understand or are conscious of.

    Social technology allows us to share everything about ourselves while the 24 hour news/entertainment outlets allow nearly real time witnessing happenings around the globe. At the same time information that we might think is private isn’t and were not yet sure if we should care.

    Anything you say can and will be used against you.

    With regards to the 24 news/entertainment outlets and that includes the internet is the ability to discern news from editorial and entertainment.

    Add to this the change in how we view privacy. No one is outraged that people hacking others people information and many people will freely share everything about themselves.

    It is a paradigm change and we haven’t become fully conscious of how easily we can be manipulated once people gather this information about who we are and what that might mean.

    We like to think we are unique, and we are, but we are also very much the same especially when it comes to communication. Just look at how accurate auto correct can be. With just a few words what we are going to say can be pretty accurattly predicted.

    There appears to be two reactions to this. If privacy doesn’t matter what we say no longer matters or disconnect from communication into isolation.

    Maybe it’s like the experiment were the dog is locked in the cage and shocked so that they move to one side of the cage to the other. Eventfully stopping all movement and just accepting the shocks. Even when the door to the cage opens the dog continues to just lie there.

    I don’t know but something is changing and this madness we may be intuiting is coming from a place of uncertainty. I don’t think we are fully conscious of how technology is changing us.

    World War One is a good example of the leaders not understanding the new weapon technology. Lets hope we don’t repeat the same mistakes.

    I’m pretty sure we will


    I think what would be bad would be to allow what are basically apocalyptic death cults (what else do you call groups focused on inflicting death/chaos through martyrdom?), to get countries to do to themselves what the cults could never have hoped to achieve on their own.

    Unfortunately, a large part of global society has become so focused on what is “acceptable” and “not acceptable” that it does not know how to react to opponents that do not subscribe to that particular philosophy. What the world is trying to deal with isn’t going to meet in “honorable combat” on the battlefield, it’s going to blend in with the civilian crowd. This, unfortunately means a lot of collateral damage. The media grabs onto this fact and spreads it like wildfire all over the place, without any explanation as to why collateral damage happens. Before long, people are forgetting about the real folks who want to watch the world burn, and start picking apart the actions of those trying to stop it. I remember the comment: In the battle between good and evil, evil will triumph because good is stupid.

    As far as hacks, leaks, etc., known for a long time that there is no such thing as “secure communication.” As soon as you transmit information to another in any form, you lose control over it. The thing is, it can be very difficult to determine where the actual actors are.

    Peter, you mention The Great War. Kind of the same B.S. was being tossed around Europe before that rather ugly bit of human history started. Same for the Spanish-American war. The question is, how long before one side feels like they have been trapped in a corner, and does the last-stand thing?


    It seems to be different. Little personal integrity. So I try to be impeccably honest and fair. It is a game for me. I show up on time, pay in full with a smile and support people. Occasionally some one comments about it.

    I try to go slower and plan less. I try to be more intentional. I relish the small blessings in life. It work to stay in the moment. I get there earlier. I drive slower and come to full and complete stops.

    I talk less and listen more. I try to spend time with easy going people. I stay off the internet except for one time a day.

    I make gratitude lists and make note of more unfortunate people’s plights.

    I am especially grateful for my waterproof Timberland boots, Swiss Champ army knife, Toyota car, Blue Healer, frig full of bottled water and new tires. Life is made easier by my iPhone 6SPlus with the plug (superior to the 7), a big mag lite, Netflix, plenty of folded cotton handkerchiefs and an old quilt to sleep under(they breath).

    I have a friend with a mechanic shop who is very spiritual and we often have lunch. Every fall I leave the ranch and go to San Francisco and buy supplies. I get rope from marine stores, cheese from Sonoma, black ceronni olives from Vallergas in napa, new bedding at Nordstroms, a new big bathrobe, some flannel shirts and jackets. It is a rite of passage for the old year.

    Life can be good even though you are widowed. Good wives cannot be replaced. It is a waste of time to try. Better to have the memories and a good dog.

    I spend a lot of time in the Amish community and have backed away from the grid a lot. Not all the way, but a lot. I read more and put together puzzles.

    Things are very good here. Peace reigns and I like it.


    Making a list of things you are grateful for is probably a good idea. Unfortunately, my little piece of the world has had an uptick in crime and violence. Things that used to be problems for big cities on the coasts are showing up out here. In other parts of my state, things have reached some level of insanity that was utterly incomprehensible just a few years ago. Now I understand why some folks in my position own a light set of body armour and keep an AR-15 or equivalent in the vehicles along with a pistol on their persons. Yeesh.

    More globally, it appears that the stupid continues to flow out of all sides. Just hope that something really stupid doesn’t happen. The posturing though is just absolutely stupid.

    Rock Banana

    Agreed that the world has always been “mad” (if you want to use that frame). It’s always been chaotic.

    On the micro level, I perceive this year in particular as being particularly ‘crazy seeming’ politically.

    The question is, what is in your control and what isn’t?

    Donald Trump’s presidency bid is not in your control. So to be emotionally attached to it is not going to be useful in my opinion.

    Furthermore, creating positive change in the world is not going to happen if you feel completely disillusioned and depressed and think everything’s gone up shit creek.

    There’s a little bit of push / pull between looking out into the world to understand what’s happening, and keeping your own headspace. I think you can do both if you simply differentiate between what is in your control and what isn’t – a Stoic perspective.

    Also worth challenging your opinions. “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so” – Shakespeare. Trump “seems” crazy and dangerous and part of a ridiculous rhetoric to me, but I know that’s judgements I’m imposing onto him, not inherent qualities.


    Been sick for a bit, feeling better, so taking the time to respond. Listening to an organ transcription of the soundtrack to Conan the Barbarian, so things can’t be all that bad yet 🙂 Fantastic use of parts of the old Gregorian Chant Dies Irae; nothing musically says we’re here to kick your a** quite like hellfire and brimstone 🙂 Though, it does lose something to Verdi’s Requiem, particularly the 2013 BBC proms edition… the choir size is simply epic.

    Rock: I’m not saying one candidate is better or worse than the other. I find both to be bad choices, but each for very different reasons. In my opinion, both candidates are so bad that it might be time to appoint the person next in line after the current pres and VP to a one-year term and do the elections next year when both parties can present worthy candidates. That was one of the reasons I wasn’t going to get political, that and the fact that this probably isn’t the place for that stuff anyway. Regardless of who “wins” the election, I am thinking that there is probably going to be a great deal of internal civil unrest, not to mention issues from outside.

    You are right about the things that I can and cannot control. Just pains me to see the changes in the country. When somebody thinks of the Northern Plains, assuming that they think of them at all, I bet they don’t think drive-by’s. That’s a Chicago, LA, Bakersfield, Cleveland, Detroit problem… right?

    I have actually considered keeping a 1911 and spare magazines along with my IWI Tavor and spare magazines in the car, and join the rest of my compatriots who bring assorted weaponry with them wherever they go.

    As far as the craziness in the rest of the world, if there was an all-out exchange while I live out here, there wouldn’t be much to worry about. The place would be slagged along with most of the rest of the state, and most of the neighboring states.

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