January 31, 2019: Mind Hack: Part Deux (see the blog dated December 10, 2016)

It’s a scary idea that someone could “write” into our mind, create thoughts and ideas in our own brain that we won’t be able to distinguish from ones that we generate ourselves.  Would there even be any difference?  Moran Cerf, neuroscientist and business professor, Northwestern University (as reported in Time, January 28, 2019, p.33).

I feel all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.  From the film Toro, Toro, Toro, in a line uttered by actor Sô Yamamura, who played the part of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.  There is apparently no evidence that Admiral Yamamoto actually said that, though there is evidence he was dismayed by the effect of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The magician’s hands don’t tell the story.  It’s not what our attention is drawn to, it’s how we are able to pull attention away and see what else is afoot around the magician.  Even when we can’t see it, we know something is not as it seems. Hoo-nōs  

We may be a nation divided.  We may be mind-hacked by information “out” there specifically designed to convince us that red is blue or blue is red or that it is another color altogether.  We might not know which way to turn or whom to believe.  We might not know what to do, but believe what we believe.  We might be entranced by the magician-leaders.

But watch out for us if we understand we have and are being hacked and attacked.  Watch out for us if the confusion turns to resolve.  The authoritarians in this country or abroad, the hegemonic, the oligarchs, etc. who are relying on the space—the inertia—created by sowing confusion, will feel the wrath of the “fooled.”  Yes, Americans are a divergent lot, birthed in the notion of “…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  We want privacy.  We want the Bill of Rights.  We want freedom.  And somewhere deep and at the surface, we know that the price of freedom is discipline.  And we know that both freedom and discipline are not simply someone else’s, but our own.  

We are not the only people on earth who know this and we are not the only people on earth who can be “sleeping giants.”  Ironically nowadays, given the putin-esque meddling, think of the Battle of Stalingrad when Russia was invaded in WWII.  The Russian people fought against the odds and held outYes, Native Americans lost their standing by notions of manifest destiny and we have yet to resolve that, though we may dimly recognize it.  African-, Chinese-, Japanese-, Women-, and “Other”-Americans have all been seen as “lesser” folk by those who would and do rule by threat and money and class.  We have been, are, and can be fools.

But wake us up and we are a formidable force, because we have the foundation, if not the practice, of democracy and “…life liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” along with so many other precious gems that stand as the cornerstone of us.

The magician’s hands don’t tell the story, and even if we can’t see the trick, we know something is not as it seems.  Forget the magician-leaders.  Remember us.  And don’t forget that us means all Americans.  And remember that Americans are but one form of human being.  

Let’s get to representing instead of resenting.  Let the bullshit lie—as it already does and in so many ways.    

3 Responsesso far.

  1. Edgar says:

    Mr. Gibbs,

    When you say we are being mind-hacked, are you also referring to the manipulation of the media? It seems hard to find truth in today’s media. Perhaps this is how it has always been. I have been back and forth in supporting democratic and conservative ideas and in the midst of all this, I have found both parties manipulating the American people. One example is this idea of identity politics. It seems we have moved away from equality of opportunity and towards self-oppression of our identity (race or gender). I prefer to look at all Americans the same way you write, “…remember that Americans are but one form of human being.”.

    • Travis Gibbs says:

      Greetings Edgar!

      I look at the media as one form of human outlet, manipulating no more or less than non-media. Of course the media gets a bigger audience. I do agree that identity politics is a major problem–a wolf in sheep’s clothing (no offense to either wolves or sheep). Perhaps we are simply easy to manipulate, to be given what we are looking for. To change that, we might have to look for solace and well-being in another way?


      • Edgar says:

        I agree, it seems we are easy to manipulate. Perhaps because of the discipline it takes to “pull attention away and see what else is afoot around the magician.”. I wonder to myself how much less we would be manipulated by authoritarian figures and others if we didn’t fall into the foolishness of using identity politics. Perhaps then we can come together more as a Democracy.

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