HOW AND WHY MY TMV OPINION POSTS ARE WRITTEN
A reader/commentator on my previous TMV post stated a preference that I include footnotes, references, and citations to outside source materials to justify my various statements of fact. That’s just not going to happen very often because I’m not writing an article for a peer-review scientific, legal or academic forum.
In most TMV articles/posts/submissions, these types of citations and annotations are rarely found – and this applies to most opinion pieces in Op/Ed forums across the blogosphere and in the various broadcast and print media. Even the many TMV links within posts to other blogs are not to be considered objective sources of facts but more often they merely point to another well-written opinion piece or respected news source.
While attending college and different graduate schools over 20 years ago, I generally had to include such supporting citations in my academic papers. When during my professional career I wrote many legal briefs and business memoranda, I would have to cite various cases, studies, research documents and outside sources in order to support my conclusions. Over the years, I have read a huge number of such citation-packed articles and have only fallen asleep about half the time during such readings. I would venture to opine that most TMV readers would not want to drag themselves through citation-laden academic tomes on most Internet news/opinion blogs.
Before making any statements of fact in my posts, I make a good-faith effort to research various source materials elsewhere on the Internet and via independent reading. I also assume TMV readers are high-information, well-educated and widely-read people so that certain facts need not be subject to citations or debated. However if readers find important contradictory factual statements by reputable sources, I welcome those citations in the TMV comments. Some of my struggles in writing my TMV posts come from reviewing too many source materials and wrestling with conflicting facts and varying third-party interpretations of many diverse facts. However, just one or a few facts or outside citations do not always justify alternative conclusions or interpretations.
Frequently some people misuse or ignore certain facts to fit their preferred ideologies and worldviews because consistency is paramount. I don’t share their need for consistency and will modify my opinions more often than most to include new and conflicting facts. There are some people who live their lives and bloviate their opinions without reliance to any facts or reality whatsoever. These people are often drawn to the extremes of both political parties. I am also not going to argue metaphysically or wax philosophically about the reality of facts, observations, and other existential fetishes. Some pseudo-intellectuals attack all objective observations, facts and opinions used by honest people who struggle daily with reality. They do this because they live on the financial support of others to reside in some alternate fact-free mental state of manipulated truthiness and paid delusional thinking.
I have been a frequent critic of polls and polling methods because too often the results are based upon who pays for the studies, who drafts the questions, how the issues are formulated, the order and words of the questions, who is asked, the size of the test group, and a variety of other factors. However, if certain results keep coming up over time despite the variations in who, what, when, how and where the polls are conducted, then one can rely upon the most obvious results for a reasonable construct of what strong majorities of people and specific groups are thinking, feeling and doing.
During 2011, I made an effort to reprint in whole or in part a number of other Internet news/opinion blog articles that were well-researched, well-written, and a good source of thoughtful opinions and aggregators of facts that TMV readers should read on a regular basis. All the recommended blogs and bloggers have extensive academic, business, legal, financial and real-life experiences that tend to reinforce the reliability and veracity of their factual statements and analytical rigor.
My TMV posts are principally opinions with which readers can agree or disagree, in part or in whole. I do not speak on behalf of any particular political parties; paid business or legal interest; social, religious, governmental or entertainment organizations; or anyone else on the planet. I write on TMV to exorcise my mental, emotional and physical demons that are a result of not working full-time for the past 3 years in any project or venture that fully engages my extensive experience, knowledge, creativity, or passions. Fortunately, the part-time gigs with which I have been involved do provide a good amount of time to read, think and write on all types of issues completely unrelated to my banal temporary work.
Whatever I say or propose in my TMV articles will not have much consequence for or influence the opinions and actions of the small number of powerful and wealthy people who constitute the global oligarchy and who make the vast majority of decisions that determine the personal, economic, religious, social, employment, business, environmental, or political lives of most human beings and other living creatures on this planet. Overall the blogosphere is its own little bubble that exaggerates its importance and its real number of followers.
For most people in the US and around the globe, the most frequented parts of the Internet, television, radio and print media, comprise various sites, stations and avenues principally geared towards diversionary entertainment, shopping, and some superficial yet specific information. I believe a clear majority of people are uninterested in the daily or weekly debates raging within the media over most major and minor issues. Most people are generally unaware of the concentrated control of most major media outlets by our corrupt crony capitalistic system. Our 24/7 info-entertainment propaganda/media machine is geared to divert the majority of the public from the sources of real news, hard facts and the reality of life in favor of encouraging most people to perpetually dwell in a passive land of mindless consumerism and entertainment.
In my opinion the majority of individuals on this planet are rather uneducated, willfully ignorant, passive, apathetic, lazy, short-sighted, self-absorbed, and driven by base emotions when they finally pay attention to the world outside their small set of personal interests. For many people, facts just don’t matter. How they filter facts, statements, outside forces and opinions into their worldview, may be a result of their own intellectual, emotional and physical experiences during the first two decades of their lives – and are also influenced by genetics, hormones, and their interactions with a limited number of other individuals.
When faced with unpleasant realities, many people foolishly retreat into denial and to the safety of clinging to old beliefs in a doomed effort to remain consistent with some fabricated prior worldview. This happens no matter how many changes occur around them that challenge and contradict their narrow worldviews. In many situations, new ideas are an anathema for the majority of human beings. Only when the overall environment has so radically changed that thinking differently is the only option left when all the old ideas, ideologies and theologies have finally been discredited and abandoned – but that only occurs individual by individual and years after the old beliefs have utterly failed to explain or help us cope with reality.
I promise TMV readers to occasionally reference noteworthy and pertinent non-TMV Internet blogs and sources of facts and opinions in some of my future posts. This effort may be necessary when I discuss novel ideas such as Modern Monetary Theory that many other superior intellects have thought and written about for some time. TMV readers should read them on their own for greater explanations. However, the majority of my TMV posts will be principally my ideas and opinions for which there are no outside references except that I formulated them from a wide range of outside sources.
I have changed my opinions on a wide range of topics on many different occasions. Today I am not the same person I was 3, 12, 15 or 30 years ago. I feel free to critique all political, economic, social and religious views and I prefer to choose the best ideas from them all – even though the pickings have gotten much thinner during the past decade. I am naturally open to experimentation, new ideas, and all the inconsistencies in life.
Depending upon the factual situation, sometimes a liberal approach would be best, other times a conservative solution may be better, and other times some libertarian or socialist leaning ideas are superior. The only valid test of an idea and ideas based upon it are whether they improve the lives of the majority of people, the overall health of society, and benefit our fragile planet. Too often, people foolishly judge the merits of most new ideas based upon the persons or groups who present them or if they blindly are consistent with old and familiar ideologies.
Life is a constant struggle to learn, adapt, change, and grow – and they are all part of an life-long effort to seek the truth and make oneself truly free. We act in the constant hope to make the lives of those people around us and our world a little bit better as a result of this endless struggle. Whatever we do in this life, it should be dictated by an enduring love and respect for our fellow human beings and for the greater affirmation of the infinite Cosmic force that is part of and gave life to this universe, planet and everything that is intrinsic to being human.
Posted on 2/16/12 by Marc Pascal ranting from Phoenix, Arizona. (My direct email address is [email protected])