What is it about the American people that makes them so easy to control? Dictators have failed over and over again to accomplish such control elsewhere yet it happens here with an invisible oligarchy behind it. The staging is ironic! We have a two party system that gives an illusion of choice based on a bunch of clowns threatening to pass all sorts of vile, restricting laws and then the "good guys" whose sole purpose often seems to be the protection of the invisible oligarchy. The voter is given this scenario to provide "choice"? Had the system been contrived by an evil genius one might understand better. As it stands it just seems to happen. From a systems theory point of view it is an example of a self organizing system that is very stable. Nothing seems to be able to challenge it successfully. The clowns stand in line to threaten all sorts of dire things if elected and the good guys point fingers at them and say "vote for us or you will get this"! Read on for more ideas about this system we support.
Cognitive neuroscience is a relatively new area in the hundreds of years science has been working to understand human behavior. Even newer is the whole area of brain plasticity. As a neurophysiologist I was taught about areas of the brain and their "jobs". Lately, complexity science has paired up with rehabilitation experts and demonstrated conclusively that that picture is false. The brain never stops rewiring itself and this has been exploited to restore function lost through stroke, injury, or other damage. It also has begun to show promise with autism and other mental handicaps. That's the good news. The bad news is a bit harder to swallow, especially if you are one of the victims.
The rewiring and wiring, for that matter, of of our brains is also going on when we least expect it. You've got it! Sitting and watching Tee Vee. Here's just one of many sources, chosen more or less at random, that discusses the matter:6 Shocking Ways TV Rewires Your BrainHere's their list you can go to the link for details or google the subject. There is a lot out here and it is consistant, on the whole, with the work mentioned above:
The average American watches more than four hours of television per day (five times the amount dedicated to socialization!). It makes sense that it would change us, the same as doing anything for four hours a day changes you. Yet, it's surprisingly hard to get people to accept this.These ideas are not exhaustive but certainly give a basis for understanding why American politics and the media that portrays it to the people are the way they are.
But the science is pretty much overwhelming. Enough television rewires your brain in a bunch of unexpected ways. For instance ...
It Changes You, Even if You're Too Young to Know What You're Watching
Yes, TV Lowers Your Attention Span
It Alters Your Dreams
It Cures Loneliness
It Makes You Fat
It Makes You Violent
Let's take one very potent example. I was teaching a high school algebra class on September 11, 2001. In the middle of class the TV monitors went on and we witnesses airplanes crashing into the twin towers and the aftermath. I can still see it. The American public was exposed to these images over and over agin and were programmed for the application of the politics of fear that followed. I am not a TV watcher and it still lives on in my brain.
The willingness, no actually need, to be entertained overpowers the need for information. The media thrive on this. Faux News is the prime example. I watch with amusement as everyone devours the psuedodrama of the republican primary race. I know that no matter who wins the pseudodrama we will be exposed to during the campaign will take predictable form. The politics of fear and the framing we have endured every election will be rewarmed and served as new
But then we are to work and finance our salvation, right? The man who led us down the garden path four years ago will be recast as a newly imaged savior from "THEM"! And the people will remain under the control of the invisible oligarchy. And the system will grind on. Is this a great country or what?