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First to demystify the title: decompressed, it is “You want to know what is REALLY going on? Are you SURE?” And a good look at the image reveals the title as well.

Would any of us want to know, on a level approaching omniscience, the nature of Reality? Scientists seem to strive for clues and answers along those lines. But it would take a fearless person indeed to cast aside presuppositions and wishes that things be a certain way, in exchange for unwished-for glimpses of Truth.

This is relevant to me now because, in my country at least, mythmaking propaganda is on the rise. It is not confined to a political party or a religious or nonreligious belief. Algorithms seek and find an individual’s way of thinking, and the exploiters who designed–or purchased–the algorithms then capitalize on that knowledge. In my own case, my internet feed sends me unasked-for “Art events in your area” information, and links to liberally-biased news items abound. The phrase “echo-chamber effect” describes this phenomenon well.

It is insidious and is dividing us. Since it also unites us into special-interest tribes, it is also well-nigh irresistible. So when I think of the questions I have posed, I get these answers:

Do I REALLY want to know what’s going on? Only when my thirst for true knowledge is greater than my fear of being uncomfortable, or horrified, or devastated, or suicidal.

Am I SURE? Paradoxically, I am more and more sure that it is dangerously self-destructive to be sure about almost anything. It is important, though, to choose basic precepts upon which to behave and act. So:

Harmlessness is a virtue. Hatred of fellow beings is poisonous. The most valuable currency is Quality of Life. The most valuable consideration is the use of one’s time while alive.

A few corrolaries to these basics are:

Black lives matter. Love of living creatures compels Goodness and Mercy. Every precious moment is an opportunity. Self-awareness is vital to self-improvement.

Peace be unto you, my friends.

 

 

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