2022 the year of reawakening

2022 the year of reawakening

I’d like to start this new year off with an ominous warning.

Society is falling apart.

Everywhere you look these days, we see division. We see polarization. Everything is politicized. And in a world where most households have a “no politics” rule at the dinner table, what is happening is that we stop talking to each other.

Society is sick with AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. This disease attacks the body’s immune system, making it unable to defend itself from ever-present viruses and harmful bacteria that surround us every day. But what does it mean for society itself to have AIDS? Exactly that; society’s immune system has been compromised, and we are now exposed to any attacks upon our system as a global community.

Before I take this anthropomorphic analogy too far, let me explain…by society, I mean the civilized world. I don’t mean any particular country or even any trans-national cultural bloc. I mean human society in general. And what is our immune system? The scientific and journalistic institutions which we rely on to seek the truth in both the physical and social world. Over the course of the last two years, they have been systematically taken down and/or corrupted by greed and power, and we are now living in times where people have lost trust in these institutions to both inform and provide the needed checks and balances to keep our politicians honest and accountable.

We live in times where a pandemic has been turned into a political tool to defeat rivals and increase the power of the state while reducing basic human rights, all while a good part of the population is cheering it all on. We live in an age where a policy of tolerance of race, culture, and creed has been twisted into one of intolerance of opposing views and where civil dialog is impossible between tribes of ideology.

We live in times where cults of personality are stronger than voices of reason and where people judge more than they listen.

The disease that afflicts modern society is that people have been programmed to be tribalists and reject discussing or listening to anything that counters their own pre-existing views. The world has lost its grip on the scientific method, which states that you must always be willing to change your views when given new data. People have become so divided, so tribal, that they violently reject anything against the group-think of their tribe.

Social media is mostly to blame for this. With so much disinformation afloat (a necessary consequence of giving EVERYONE a platform), society has become desensitized to information. We are so inundated with information overload that we simply no longer have the time or energy to filter it anymore, so to remain sane (and not to have our world views changed on a daily basis), we developed a coping mechanism. This mechanism is that we start to gauge the truthfulness of information depending on where it comes from. So long as the information comes to us from a trusted channel, whether that be a media news channel that aligns with our political views, a favorite podcaster, YouTube-er, family member, or a ‘social influencer.’ We have collectively delegated our information inbox filter to the messengers that carry the messages.

I grew up in an age where we were taught to train our ‘BS filter’ when we watch the news. We knew that news always has a bias. But in this age of social media where people are consuming information almost every waking free moment of their days, our BS filters have all overloaded and blown a fuse. So we tossed them out and substituted a channel filter instead. And with that, we have collectively fallen susceptible to the dreaded cult of personality. 

Now whether or not you accept the news as ‘fake‘ or ‘real’ depends on the charisma or perceived reputation of the messenger, and certainly reputation isn’t something that is easily corrupted or manipulated through marketing and PR, right? Right? 

We have thrown out the rule of Science and, in its place, enshrined the rule of marketers, salesmen, and influencers. 

We now live in a world where if scientists told us that there was an asteroid heading towards earth and that we were all going to die, but Elon Musk and mainstream media told us it was all fake news…we would believe the latter.

A quote from the recently de-platformed Dr. Robert Malone in his recent podcast with truth seeker rogue podcaster Joe Rogan, said it best, “Remember years back, when we all felt sorry for those who lived in China, who had to endure social oppression, have to live in a society without free speech and have to watch what they say or be persecuted? Who live in a country where the internet is filtered and censored, and only government approved content was allowed? Remember how we were all shocked with the human rights violations, with people being penalized or ostracized depending on their social credit scores? — Wake up people, this is America TODAY.”

How did we let all that we hold dear slip out of our hands so easily?

The answer is obvious. Simply two words: “Emergency measures.”

With those two words, social freedoms were wiped away. Scientific due process sidelined and pharmaceutical clinical test procedures skipped or fast-tracked, industry watchdogs were shut down, and any opposition was silenced and de-platformed. George Orwell is rolling in his grave. How quickly we slipped into the world of Oceania vs. Eurasia, 1984-esque dystopia, without mainstream people realizing it. And now, most recently, free-speech (scientific scrutiny and discussion) is censored and muzzled.

With “Emergency Measures,” you can get authorization for almost anything like funding, grants, incentives, contracts, favors, and power. The capitalist mechanism of free-market penalizing the bad and rewarding the good was tossed to the side, and the governments of the world exercised (to the extent of each’s own laws) as much totalitarian control1 they could muster.

With 2022, I hope that everyone can remember to put effort into being less tribal, to be open to new data and opinions, to be more tolerant, listen more, and judge less. Society has AIDS, and I’m not sure what the cure can be. But it certainly will start with building back up a healthy immune system in the form of encouraging open debate, skepticism, and dialogue. 2022 will be a year of reckoning and reawakening.

Hopefully, we will start to wake up from the hypnotic trance that we have all allowed ourselves to fall into before it’s too late.

/Jerry Chan

***

NOTE:

[1] Thankfully, some governments like Japan and Sweden, either through their own restrictive laws or through enlightened decisions, kept disruptive measures to a minimum

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