The Silence is Deafening

Well, it has gotten very quiet around here for the past few days. I find myself starting new articles, getting a couple of pages into them, and then grinding to s stop thwarted by a feeling of utter futility triggered by the perception that nothing I say, write, or do is going to make any difference to my personal outcome or to the world around me. Is that happening to you?

For years, I have worked on the premise that it was important for each of us to express our opinions on the issues that affect us and the world we live in, but I have recently come to the conclusion that this is a waste of time. My opinions don’t matter to anyone else and there are very few people whose opinions matter to me, present company excepted, of course.

No matter how much expertise you have on any given subject, there is always someone who is absolutely sure that you are absolutely wrong, and I am sure that I have the same effect on other people because I have a broad (but not deep) knowledge about a great many subjects, which is only natural when you have reached my age. You learn a lot along the way.

When I look around, what I see is the ever-growing mountains of undigested data in which we are individually and collectively drowning.  I see the consequences of this information overload in the increasing unreliability of even the most respected news organizations. There is simply too much information being created for this society to process and verify or challenge that information.

It is currently estimated that the amount of human knowledge is now doubling every 12 to 24 hours. This is, of course, ridiculous. What is true is that the amount of data is doubling at that incredible rate, but much of that data is filled with repetitions as the same stories are posted over and over again on the same media platforms by different people, while the identical data – down to the misspellings – is also being posted on many other media platforms by the same people.

In one form or another, this website has been up and running for six years. More than 2,100 articles have been posted on the site, but only 1,800 of them have been published, which means that there are around 300 “articles” (and I used that word with reservations) that have never actually been posted. More than 6,000 comments have been posted on those 1,800 articles. No one (not even I, myself) has read all 1,800 articles or all 6,000 comments, and no one ever will, so what is the point of keeping them stored on the site?

This site is like a sidewalk lemonade stand on a dusty seldom trafficked side street. It is so lonely here that I don’t know why anyone visits this site at all and, to be honest, I spend much more of my time on Facebook or exploring the new social media sites that are popping up every few days, many of which already have millions of posts.

When I started Tellus News Digest, I was hoping to build a system that could have an impact on the 2016 election. I actually wanted to recruit at least one correspondent in each of the fifty-one jurisdictions. That didn’t happen.

When I step back and allow myself to gaze across the vastness of the social media environment, I realize how out of control the entire intellectual environment has become.  There are people who are actively plotting to overthrow the government of the United States right now, and they have the guns to do it. What’s worse, they also know that, even though they are a small minority, the vast majority of the people in this country don’t have the balls to oppose them. That’s because they are former and present military, former and current law enforcement officers, and both serving and retired first responders. These are the people who take care of US when we get in trouble, and now they are coming to fix the government that they believe has turned against them because they think they represent the majority of the people in this country.

These people – the militias and their fellow travelers – know that, while 45 percent of the colonists were in favor of the Revolution, only 12 percent of the population actually served the cause of American independence.  They really believe they can pull this off…and they might be right.

And if that wasn’t enough to immobilize me, then there is the epidemic that is spreading unchecked across the country while we are mired in the mess that the former president left behind him. While we are obsessed with the Covid-19,  we are being overrun by other infectious diseases that are sneaking up on us while we fight the epidemic. Our foreign enemies are attacking us economically, cybernetically, and politically while they are building weapon systems that compare favorably with our own, democracies around the world are turning into dictatorships, another recession is building up a head of steam, and the environment is falling apart while we prattle about long-range plans that fail to address the immediate problems.

But like I said, I don’t think my opinions matter anymore.

How’s your day going?

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