The View From Here – We are in a social and political environment where everyone is talking at once and no one is listening

Tom Henihan
We are living in a perplexing world of not just information overload but of an overload of conflicting information. We live in a “post truth” onslaught of “fake news” and “alternative facts.”

It is hard to think of a country in the world that has maintained political balance or social equilibrium.

Whether it is the US, France, Britain, the Netherlands or Scandinavia, the last two regions former bastions of restraint and reason with functioning institutions, they are all now struggling to redefine themselves while coming asunder.

We are at a juncture when everyone, every political leader, talk show host, journalist and news anchor, every celebrity, blogger and internet troll are all speaking at once, at cross purposes and conflicting positions with no other outcome than to incite greater conflict.

The chasm between opposing positions has become so inflamed and the distance is now so great there it is rare that there is any civil exchange of opposing ideas.

Elections resolve nothing because the process has been a platform for deception and self-interest for so long that no one trusts the players or respects the outcome.

While there is still some rote compliance with the voting process no one involved is thinking of democracy as much as they are about seizing power and subjugating the opposition.

There are few ideas or political positions that gain traction on their own merit.

Most ideas are expressed from the perspective of opposition and protest, without having any real social, moral or intellectual viability to stand alone.

Of course, with the endless bedlam, fear and hatred the situation has descended into normalized chaos where each new revelation about governments, banks etc. is increasingly met with resignation if not indifference, because rather than illuminating anything each new discloser only adds to the confusion.

The thing that keeps some people paying attention is the hope that the next revelation, the next defection will finally push the situation forward and maybe some semblance of normalcy will be restored.

It is indicative of how jaded people are becoming that the response was so blasé to the recently published Wikileaks files outlining how the CIA’s use of software flaws to hack into Samsung TVs, iPhone, Android, Skype, Wi-Fi networks to spy on people overseas.

It is rather humorous that Wikileaks noted that the CIA’s malware can penetrate devices such as the one used for Trump’s Twitter account, suggesting that Trump’s Twitter account might have been compromised.

This begs the question: Why would anyone need to hack into Donald Trump’s Twitter account as that account is a proverbial open book.

What is telling also is that what little response there was to the recent Wikileaks files, that response was more practical than moral. The American Civil Liberties Union asked why the CIA did not alert the companies to the breaches in security so these companies could protect people from cyber attacks.

No outrage was expressed at CIA spooks having the means to spy on people in their own home, which might indicate moral lethargy resulting for an endless barage of revelations, speculations and conflicting information.

No doubt the temptation to tune out is strong but to do so would be an abdicationbecause if we cease to be interested in the world we live in we have allowed ourselves to be defeated.

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