Saturday, October 27, 2012

Are you living in an "information bubble"?

Jason Whitlock
Are you living in an INFORMATION BUBBLE? I was reading Jason Whitlock's column at Fox Sports titled, "Bubble Doesn't Help Black QBs." In a nutshell, Jason's putting forth the argument that the No. 1 hindrance for black quarterbacks is the "information bubble" which insulates them from any real criticism, and creates self-delusion, and a lack of self-awareness. Now fortunately, Jason is black and can say this--if this column had been written by a white sports' writer, he'd be fired on the spot for racism.

This got me to thinking about the rest of us--about you and me. Do we live in an information bubble? An information bubble means you get your information from a limited number of sources and they all affirm rather than challenge your thinking. You may subscribe to 2 newspapers and watch the news every night and go on the internet, and still live in an information bubble if all your news sources present a certain political viewpoint and ideology. 

Democrats and Republicans both live within their respective bubbles. If you are a Democrat or a liberal, you probably get your news from one or more of the following sources: 
  • CNN
  • NBC
  • CBS
  • ABC
  • PBS
  • NPR
  • LA Times
  • NY Times
  • W. Post
  • USA Today
  • Jon Stewart
  • Boston Globe
If you are a Republican conservative, you most likely get your news from one or more of the following sources:
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Times
  • Talk Radio
  • Fox News 
  • Drudge Report
Take note that there are many more outlets supporting the liberal-Democrat point-of-view.

If you live in an information bubble, it's unhealthy for your own personal and intellectual growth. It's "group-think." You want to be loved and accepted so you go along with the political mindset and the dogma of those around you that says abortion is an "ok" thing--after all, it's just human tissue, and even in the 3rd tri-mester, it's no big deal. Besides what would your co-workers or friends think if they thought that you were one of those "pro-lifers" who actually believes that life begins at conception? Whether you lean left or right, there is an accepted dogma.

You also buy into the idea that the oil companies are bad for America because that's what you hear coming from the President and all the news programs you watch. You never entertain the idea that maybe, just maybe, oil is a good thing--after all, we need it to power our cars (even electric cars), fuel our airplanes and jets (when's the last time your flew cross country on a wind or solar-powered jumbo jet?).

Have you ever thought that those big evil oil companies that MSNBC keeps telling you are making obscene profits have a much smaller (like 1/5) of the profit-margin of Apple. You never hear anyone complaining about all the big profits that Apple's making off of consumers. And while we're at it, your computer (be it a Mac or PC or tablet) is made from OIL--try buying a MAC or PC or tablet made from wind or solar energy? There's NO such thing available. Try buying a flat-screen TV made from solar energy? There's no such thing. I think I've made my point.

For the record, I refuse to fall lock-step into group-think. Sad to say, many that I went to school with in high-school and college are still part of the "group-think" crowd. They haven't grown intellectually in 30-40 yrs. If you have a conversation with them, it's as though they are living in a time warp back in the 70s during the final days of the Vietnam War. At that time, they were anti-government, now, they believe government is the answer to every problem, which is why they support Obama.

I was raised to be a good liberal, and I marched for peace and protested the war in Vietnam, voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976. But then I walked away from the group-think crowd. I realized that I no longer needed their love and acceptance, which is really phony anyway, because they only love you when you think like them and espouse their accepted viewpoints. Walk away from liberalism or the LEFT and they'll turn on you like a rabid dog.

Even to this day, I try not to get caught in the "information bubble" and I try to exercise my critical thinking skills. I'm always asking why this network or news program is ignoring certain stories.

I'll guarantee you that you are living in an "information bubble" if you haven't read or heard about the Benghazi emails which reveal that the White House and the State Dept. knew almost immediately that the attack on the Libyan embassy was not the result of some YouTube video. You also live in an information bubble if you haven't heard or read that those CIA operatives a mile away from the Libyan embassy asked for permission to go and provide back-up during the attack on the Libyan embassy and three times they were told to "stand down" or in laymen's terms, "NO!" If you haven't heard about this breaking story, you live in an information bubble and need to get out more. 

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