Tag Archives: news

Please Die Already

Rage.

Rage.

There has been quite a hullabaloo recently about the healthcare reform bill, incited mainly by this man and this woman. Why are they ranting and raving about Democrats creating “death panels” that will decide whether or not the elderly† or mentally disabled‡ continue to receive medical treatment? Can’t they see that America is chock full of people ripe for Death’s annual picking?

The Democrats want people to have access to “end of life counseling.” That is a nice way of them saying “we want to encourage you to die without eating up millions of millions of dollars in care.” And the elderly and infirm DO eat up millions of dollars; 80% of the money you spend on healthcare will be spent during the last three months of your life. Is it really worth it? To spend hour after hour, barely breathing, barely thinking, hooked up to life support with a feeding tube in your gut?

Americans have become highly sensitive to the issue of death. I thought that the whole reason behind this mushy Christianity stuff was to make people comfortable with the idea of dying. “Oh, don’t worry, there’s always the afterlife! Feel free to pass away as you wish.” Nope. Christian evangelicals and conservative Catholics are amongst the most adamant individuals who support your right to clutch on to your existence by any means; even if your body and mind have rotted away to nothing.

Actually, they’re not even supporting your right to life; they’d keep you alive regardless of how you feel.

"Sir, we have found you to be too goddman crochety old for the State to continue financing your life."

"Sir, we have found you to be too goddamn crotchety old for the State to continue financing your life."

What about my right to death? Listen to me: people need to die. People have been dying for millions and millions of years. Its natural. It happens all the time. The problem is that no one has instructed us on how to cope with and move past these tragic events.

Wait. Tragic? It shouldn’t be tragic; it should be joyful. The joyful passing of your loved one. We are so far removed from our natural state of being that we no longer value death… excluding the deaths of our enemies; that has always been joyous.

Lion King

Even Disney supports death panels.

Human bodies were not designed (intelligent or not) to last forever. Our cells stop regenerating as well, our joints become rigid and sore, our systems fail to save over and over again until it gets to a point that your body just dies. All of this extensive healthcare is in denial of the natural ‘Circle of Life‘. Certainly the deaths’ of those who did not live up to the prime peaks of life are tragic; they died too soon. But that only covers people up to about age 40; if you live past that point, I will be joyfully celebrating your passing with explicit glee.

So lighten up. Embrace death (the insurance companies have been running death panels for years now). Maybe even buy a t-shirt. It’ll balance the budget for Christ’s-sakes.

You don’t want to be alive for the zombie apocalypse anyway…

†‡Not that either of these groups really qualify as  being ‘that alive’ in the first place.

jakefunc is a contributing writer and editor of projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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Filed under philosophy, Politics, science, social commentary

The Life or Death of Journalism

I was watching CNN the other day and an assortment of journalists was holding a press conference.  Side thought, if the journalists are holding the press conference, then who was covering it?  Anyways, the topic was amateur journalism versus professional journalism.  These professional journalists were primarily bashing the world wide web’s near infinite assortment of online bloggers that consider themselves to be journalists.

I listened with interest for a while in interest, and at first I was slightly irritated at them attacking the world wide web as a news source.  My primary turn off was the fact that these journalists said that there was no way that a person doing it in their free time could possibly gather as much accurate information as someone who is paid to do so for a living.  This irritated me as I believe that someone can do something far better if there are doing it because of genuine interest and passion or because they were being paid.  I initially thought that these journalists were complaining that their job market was disappearing and they may have to go seek other means of employment.

The more I listened to these journalists, the more I saw that loosing pay wasn’t their entire point; I refuse to believe that it wasn’t at least part of it.  The journalists started to discuss how much time they spend building a foundation of resources, leads, and verification points on top of the fact that someone else goes behind them and rechecks these stories for credible sources and accuracy.  They mentioned that only a full time journalist has the time to invest into a story in order to ensure that they exhaust all resources available before actually writing the story.

I feel that I agree with these individuals that were telling their story and presenting the issue of reliable journalism.  I also agree that amateur journalists are equally important.  Every newspaper has its own vendetta.  Every person with an urge to write about something also has their own vendetta.  So how do we sift through the corporate and individual vendettas?  We utilize both resources.  I generally use professional news outlets as my primary door into the topics of what’s going on in the world today.  When I find a story that intrigues me or covers a topic that I have interest in, then I google or bing it.  I am more wary of online bloggers than I am of large media outlets because there is no one editing the bloggers.  A blogger can blatantly write that I am a hermaphrodite, and there’s no editor sitting their asking what piece of medical evidence there is to support such a claim; I am not one, it is simply an example. 

We have to learn to be speculative of both sources as we look for the truth in things.  Don’t just accept that XYZ media mogel says it so it’s true and there’s no other facts that are relevant, and don’t accept that what the dude sitting as his laptop at Starbucks is typing either.  I do back these journalists and agree that it would be a sad day if professional journalism ceased to be a profession in this upcoming economy as we do need someone that will research a topic for 60+ hours in one week.
-KevinKMJr

KevinKMJr is a guest writer on projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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Wake Up: You Have Swine Flu

Soon enough you’ll have a little piggy tail to match your sniffling snout, nose deep in the home-sty littered with the corpses of the unfortunate. The World Health Organization might as well boost its rating to a Level 6 pandemic because H1N1 is here, right now, in your town. I myself stocked up on Tamiflu years ago when the last ‘animal’s viral vengeance against man’ swept through; good luck, suckers.

But to be completely honest, you’re more likely to be trampled to death by a herd of flu-panicked hypochondriacs at the pharmacy than actually die from the Swine Flu. Since January of this year, the ‘regular’ flu has killed over 13,000 people in the United States (see http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/28/regular.flu/index.html). Influenza: 13,000. Swine Flu: 5. So why did I even bring this issue to your attention? Because its bullshit propagated by the news media to woo you. Totally unfair. I should have a free shot at warming your heart/loins with some Bush-era fear tactics too.

!!!!!!!!YOU’S GONNA DIE!!!!!!!!

©2009 jakefunc

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Filed under Entertainment, Politics, science

Project Anti-Groupthink

The name of this blog-experiment, I think, is a bit of a misnomer.  In psychology groupthink refers to phenomenon that sacrifices personal creativity, innovation, and conflict for group consensus.  (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groupthink)

In the spirit of not conforming, I will begin by taking a sharp curve away from music and movies into a diatribe on the importance of personal responsibility, creativity, and discernment.

The hype surrounding swine flu really brings to surface the true function of the mainstream media in our lives.  By only providing sound bites instead of substance, the mainstream media is really only good at bringing the name of a topic into popular awareness.  Beyond that, it’s basically useless.  Gathering actual useful data about a particular topic requires an individual to engage information, instead of being spoon fed. 

I have six recommendations for preventing conformity and increasing constructive conflict in our lives.  I strive for these in myself and continually encourage others to as well.

1)       Get outside your comfort zone. 

Think back over the past 30 days.  How many times can you say that you forced yourself to do something, learn something, or endure something that wasn’t easy?  If your answer is less than ten, you’re being complacent about your growth as a human being.  Human beings are capable of amazing growth, as many individuals in history have proven.  Complacency, comfort, and contentment are the 3 C’s of stagnation. 

This brings me to my second recommendation:

2)       Widen your circle of information

The tech term GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out) applies here.

With all this additional information, however, passivity is no longer an option.  This brings me to my third recommendation:

3)       Discriminate

The viewpoints outside the mainstream media are diverse, divergent, and sometimes downright dumb.  This should not discourage your from your search.  When panning for gold, you do not give up because there is dirt present.  You keep digging, keep panning, looking for the shiny rocks.  Yes, there is pyrite, but there’s also gold.  The search is worth it.

You need to apply your own sense of what is possible, what is likely, what is plausible to the incoming data.  Do not allow yourself to be duped.  Staying loyal to mainstream media does not keep you safe from being duped, but almost certainly insures its inevitability.  Yet, not everything outside the mainstream is any more that dirt in the river bed either.  It takes discernment, discrimination.  Can you tell fact from bullshit? 

Ultimately our beliefs in what is possible, what is real will determine how we discriminate the incoming data.  This brings me to my fourth recommendation:

4)       Challenge your own beliefs

The best way to constructively demolish a paradigm is by introducing compelling data that the paradigm cannot handle.

A great way to find this data is to investigate other person’s paradigms, and the data they are built on.  This brings me to my fifth recommendation:

5)       Learn other’s viewpoints and rationale

Really get inside the head of your philosophical opponents.  Are you a radical, left wing liberal that believes in social justice, equitable opportunity, and civil liberties?  Spend some time learning about what the conservatives in this country truly believe.  Temporarily set aside your objection to each of their assumptions and learn what it is they are trying to preserve, what they value, what their fears are that spawn the decision you do not like.

Are you a conservative that believes in god, country, and the sanctity of the nuclear family?  Try to learn about what drives liberals, what they are striving for.  Temporarily set aside your objection to each of their assumptions and learn about the values that spawn their desire to uphold civil liberties for all regardless of ideology.

I use politics as one example.  Ethical philosophies, religions, scientific theories and paradigms…..each of these could benefit from truly understanding the “opponent” from inside the opposing paradigm. 

My final and sixth recommendation is more of a cautionary warning than a recommendation:

6)       Extreme non-conformity is conformity

 

Intellectual irresponsibility brings conformity in excess.  Conformity itself, however, is not necessarily bad.  For instance, we agree not to kill each other (generally).  This is an excellent convention for us all to conform to if we’d like to cohabitate on spaceship earth. 

 

It goes back to discrimination.  There’s no easier answer, no formula to apply.  You literally have to make up your own mind on each topic, whether to conform and stay with the mainstream, or diverge into something less conventional.

 

Good luck with the struggle against groupthink.

 

merkaba33 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com.  Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.

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