If the Internet did one horrible disservice to Western intellectual evolution, it was to have rigs that promoted sophistry over facts, reason, and emotional intelligence.
Here is an article that blithely decrees without any evidence that somehow psychological problems are "society's fault." No, there is (a) such a thing as personal responsibility, and (b) biological dysfunction. This article is fake news.
Society will never be perfect. You are in society, and not outside it, meaning you cannot explain away your mental defects as being Daddy Society's Fault.
Sometimes I think there needs to be a sensibility test for people who wish to be information disseminators, and the first concept they must absolutely understand to show they have the maturity for such an undertaking is the comprehension that life isn't fair.
Sometimes you have depression because you were born that way. Sometimes you have Lynch Syndrome, making you vulnerable to getting certain cancers. Sometimes a group of people at a party just plain don't like you and they have every right not to like you.
Sometimes your joke falls flat. Sometimes you lose your job because you aren't good enough.
Sometimes it is someone else's fault. Sometimes it is your fault. Sometimes it is nobody's fault.
Sometimes you are just deficient. Sometimes you are out of your league.
Sophistry tries to explain away our failures and rigs narratives so that we are always proven right, and always the hero of every story.
But sometimes, you're just wrong.
Journalism was always about assigning blame to an out-group. This infantilizes audiences as they are primed and groomed to always look for someone else to blame for their woes. To be wrong is a horrible burden to the passive who never want to earn their progress, but have it handed to them on a silver platter by some benevolent They.
To the active, they are strong enough to see their flaws, and correct them, if possible, and if not, work around them.
The problem is with sophistry, comes propaganda, and an unwillingness to look at oneself in the mirror with a realistic lens.
That is the other job of a chronicler of the present: reflecting the world as it is. It is more than a mirror, but the method of taking the eyes of your audience so they can see themselves as they really are.
Sometimes they must come to grips with the fact that they are poor and dispossessed, and yes, it isn't fair. Other times, they must come to grips with the fact that they are rich robber barons who are nothing more than the elite Establishment, and not some fun resistance activists. They sold that opportunity to have a fleet of expensive cars on their mansion's driveway.
Sometimes you burn out. Sometimes you have no talent. Sometimes you are the villain.
And that's just the way it is.
It is the reason why narrative is too problematic in nonfiction: it softens the blow and cushions audiences. They believe they are superior, and will have a They to guide them to better places so long as they march lockstep with the crowd and following the script.
History has shown us repeatedly that this is the way to war and collapse.
And no lippy tweet or meme poster is going to alter that reality.
By presenting facts to paint the map, there is no soft landing for hard facts. People know exactly where they -- and society -- actually stands.
There is no need for fear, panic, anger, or hatred -- those are the reactions of the passive. The active see the dilemmas and challenges and then begin to work on their own fortunes.
But with facts, this process becomes simpler and easier.
There is no They. There is only Us.
Journalism never understood that critical truth, and then retreated into sophistry and propaganda.
That is the reason they never saw their own imminent collapse, and why they vanished as an influence, yet the Internet did not pick up the slack.
But sooner or later reality pries your eyes open to force you to see it.
Yet is better to get a hold of reality before reality gets a hold of you...