Tuesday, May 8, 2012

To Be On Top

 *Image from http://www.soxfirst.com/wp-content/uploads/superpower.jpg

Prior to the Internet and the flow of ideas and free information, people of other countries had been wary and suspicious of American democracy and capitalism. As a superpower, let's face it, Americans are the first world citizens of the world, whether they like it or are embarrassed about it. It's simply because of state affiliation and citizenship. What sensible group of people and sovereignty would allow themselves to be on the short end of the stick? 

 *Image from http://killinghope.org/images/interventions_map.png

It's only natural for all people, who value freedom from direct/indirect influences by any outside force (other people), to insist that they get a good bargain from trade, industry, and the partitioning of scarce resources.

While Castro remains a prominent global figure against "imperialism", I think it would be helpful for him to mold his paradigm and perception of the socio-political landscape of the world by exploring the Internet at the very least. While politicians make all the hard choices on behalf of their countries' people, not all citizens of the US and even the citizens of its allies have nefarious intentions to oppress people.

As what has always been the scenario between a dominant state (the empire) and the conquered (those seemingly subdued by the money, power, and influence of the lead state), people at the bottom may choose to simply get by and play their roles in the system or they may develop ambition and create in their minds a perception of unacceptable social injustice, if they so find their lives unsatisfactory.

We simply have the politicians do all the pulling and shoving when making the difficult decisions on the bigger stage.

In the end, we all just want to get by this life, happy, safe, and content. (And hopefully alive, with no nuclear holocaust to worry about.)

The constant churning, challenges, and opportunities we face in our lifetime are never-ending cycles that older generations have faced and the new ones will face.

Even with the emergence of media and journalism, people can't help but wonder if the information and perspectives they are fed with are manipulated, skewed, twisted, and even fabricated. Even with the Internet, big corporations that are headed or controlled by people of power and influence have the ability to manipulate facts, turn truths into half-truths, and even blatanly discredit or insist on what the facts are (SOPA/PIPA, anyone?).

 *Image from http://hetu.in/img/phpThumb.php?src=fun/ATT1395133.jpg&w=700&q=85

*Image from http://rlv.zcache.com/funny_internet_mug-p1689843339955507522otmb_400.jpg

The danger with selective journalism and the muddling of facts is that the truth is transformed into a half-truth. A half-truth not only sells itself as the absolute truth, but you can never tell which part is the truth and which is fabricated. Half-truths have gradients, which can be pretty hard and messy to sort out. A lie can be held as the absolute truth to everyone who knows it and if it happens that it is found out to be erroneous/false, then it will be dismissed entirely - 1's or 0's, true or false, black or white.

Media and journalism are all about word-play and semantics. People have no other recourse but to take them as they are presented, especially when the breadth of coverage and exposure is maximized by "feeding" and informing the most number of people. It then becomes a consensus fact as perceived by most people. This is in the same line of thinking as what crowd-sourcing knowledge databases promote, like Wikipedia. For a phenomenon like this, in cases wherein the truth is meant to be intentionally muddled, all an organization has to do is hammer the fabricated truth in as frequently as possible to the widest number of people, until an entire populace swallows the assertions wholly.

*Image from http://www.horace.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/book-buy-sell-sell-sm.jpg

In the end, the perception is transformed and aligned accordingly to how the orchestrator wants the scenarios and facts to be seen by people. Academic institutions remain bastions of truth, especially in fields that involve the scientific process of experimentation and verification. Unfortunately, students and faculties cannot afford to test and experiment on every assertion conceived out there. That's why we have books. They are the supposed archives/storage of phenomena and events that have been proven and attested as facts. Furthermore, even if perceived as a notch higher in reputability over what we find on the Internet, not all books are as reliable as people expect them to be. Books published based on opinions and varying points of view are understandably created to allow people to look at things with different paradigms in mind. History (a favorite subject of mine), meanwhile, has been quoted to be written by the victors and cannot be taken with full confidence, unless the defeated concur with the testaments.

 *Image from http://www.joeydevilla.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/barack_obama_conspiracy_photo.jpg

 *Image from http://rlv.zcache.com/history_is_a_pack_of_lies_we_play_on_the_dead_bumper_sticker-p128960044697483083trl0_400.jpg

All compositions, statements and opinions of the author are copyright © Earl T. Malvar 2009-2012. All rights reserved. There is no honor, respect, admiration, intellectual and academic dignity garnered through plagiarism.