Egon Freeman

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What are some Civilizational Sanity Interventions?

Have a look at Poland - in a way, the late 90s is an exercise in failures of a multi-partisan system, whereas the current state (mid-2020) is an exercise in failures of a bi-partisan system (that Poland seems to be hurtling towards). We've recently (as recent as over the last decade) seen an emergence of media outlets that tend to be rather clearly biased - enough that, at this point, the general population is often quick to associate a particular TV station with a particular party, even.

Obviously, there have always been divisions in this regard, where a media outlet was considered "leftist" or "rightist", or whatever... but it feels as though it hasn't been much of a debate in 2008, and in 2020 it feels as if it's mentioned in every conversation. It has gotten to the point where both sides will accuse you of reading "fringe media" if you opt for something neither side has their (perceived) fingers in.

Is Clickbait Destroying Our General Intelligence?

It's funny to me, now that I look back on 2005 and what I said back then.

I argued that you should throw your TV out the window, because the content delivered there was being "tailored for you" by limited groups with vested interests. I argued at the time, that I would much rather be my own group with vested interest, and that the Internet enabled me to filter input according to my own preferences.

When I think about what you said, today, I realise that I was 100% correct - and how wrong I was to be joyous of it. Through various social algorithms employed by (most notably) Facebook and Google, over the years I've probably isolated myself from things that would've been of tremendous intellectual value for me - not least of which is the simple input of things contrary to my current way of thinking.

So it seems that, in the end, I still have to get off my behind and go looking for things to challenge myself with - I can't count on any outside force to bring these things to me, even by accident. Because, it seems, there are no more accidents.

At this point I should point out that the only reason I'm even here is because I read "HPMoR". It was brought to my attention because I'm into "fanfiction", and there was no reason to even consider the deeper things that it essentially "smuggled" into my perception. To put it another way: the person recommending it to me didn't do so because they thought it'd enrich my mental life - they did so because they thought I'd enjoy this well-written story.