Critical Thinking

 Social media has only emboldened the feeble minded.

Able to find cohorts who agree with them, people expound on vaccine efficacy on Facebook with the epidemiological pedigree of a 6th grader only with far more conviction. Some, who have been twice vaccinated, walk in empty fields and when questioned about mask wearing tell you about how COVID can spread through the air. I recently met such a couple and did my best to avoid a deep sigh or an eye roll.

If this pandemic has reinforced anything in me it is that critical thinking is not a strong suit among a large swath of the population and finding kindred spirits who share your opinion has been a boon to those who seek reinforcing of their own ideas, no matter how mistaken. I don’t think it is entirely their fault as right-wing echo chambers (I think of Fox News in the States) trumpet conspiracy theories daily to attract eyeballs. Advertisers are the gleeful recipients of viewer attention, and the network makes money. No one loses except we are just one more step in our downward spiral towards a further dumbing down of society.

I have said enough about Trumpists here over the years and, by now, we are all fatigued by them. So, I watch Chris Hedges videos about the imminent and inevitable fall of the American empire but not with any sense of joy. I simply feel how much of this could have been avoided had we not done so much of the groundwork towards our own downfall.

As climate change wreaks havoc on places which have no business experiencing floods or drought, I ask myself if it is avoidable that humans compound their own problems with what appears to be inherently gifted idiocy.


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