Learning to UN-Think

When I was very little I was afraid of all sorts of things, including that devils/trolls/evil creatures would grab me from the back of grandma’s garden.

This was probably the result of trying to make me properly afraid of SOMETHING so I wouldn’t run up to strangers or try to pet the neighbor’s semi-feral pig, or equally crazy adventures.

But what it did was make me so afraid that I had entire sets of prayers that started playing in my head when heading out of sight of adults.  It took me till my late teens to stop the words running through my head reflexively whenever I was in trouble/scared.

These weren’t prayer as such.  I mean, they really didn’t mean much except saying these words, even when I was little.  What they did was stop me thinking.  I stopped thinking about the bad thing that could jump out or the bad thing that could happen.  They were a thought stopper.

I was talking to a younger friend, a few days ago, and he said that’s what schools teach mostly.  They teach you to “un-think”.

There are a set number of phrases and sentences, and approved thoughts.  If you deviate from them, starting when you’re very young, you get punished.  Worse, you get cast out.  You’re told you’re an awful person, not one of us, evil.

When evil is defined in terms of having an unapproved opinion/belief, and not in terms of what people DO with that opinion/belief, people become deathly afraid of their own thoughts.

This is not an invention of the progressives.  I have no idea why in heck I’m fascinated by Tudor England, but it was another such period.  If you were a Protestant/Catholic you were evil in the eyes of the other side, regardless of who you were or what you’d done or not.  They would cheerfully turn in their best friend, from whom they had nothing but good on finding he was a secret Catholic/Protestant, depending on who was in power.

They had, in their defense, more reason for this — at least rationally and explicitly — than our current-day fanatics. They thought one’s thoughts and beliefs, more or as much as one’s actions determined one’s fitness for eternal life.  So there was a lot of burn the heretic to stop the infection going on.

Of course, to an extent our current fanatics believe the same as well.  They think that people’s wrongthink is the only thing standing between them and utopia.  If they could just change humans enough!  Which means stopping humans thinking/saying/believing whatever they want, and instead believing what the fanatics wish them to.

Unfortunately what the fanatics wish us to believe goes against not just human nature, but reality.  No one in his right mind thinks that a person of pale skin has inherent “privilege” when you consider the person with pale skin can be born to a coke addicted mother in the Appalachia, and the person with dark brown skin might be the son of an upper middle class communist who married an upper class foreign polygamist, both of them with channels in the corridors of power.

As a person of relative swarth who has friends who are blond and also raised by wolves, (I lie.  Wolves would have been better parents) I never felt the overwhelming burden of their privilege.

The only people who can believe that twaddle are upper class ninnies who never had to struggle a day in their lives and, if they’re pale, believe that other people have it much worse (true) because of their tan (untrue); if they’re tan believe that anything they failed to get is the fault of “unconscious racism.”  BAH.

In the real world where people live among real people and not Marxist constructs, there is a certain recoil (unconscious) from a certain type of looks.  There are ways to get around those, often amounting to cultivating a studied upper class accent and a certain mode of dress.  Take my older son (please? He has a final today and his driving me bonkers) who is a tall, dark, bulky swarthy menace built like a football player (or a mini-Larry-Correia) and who looks inexplicably Cuban.  (I guess my African ancestors and Dan’s Amerindian ancestors met and made whoopy in his genes?)  Sure people — even I when I’m scanning for menace, not for son — will cross the street to avoid him.  This is why at thirteen or so, when the beard came in, he started wearing a button down shirt and tie every day.  NO ONE recoils from a guy in a shirt and tie, no matter how big or blunt featured.

Now, yeah, sure there are prices we pay for the fact that people who look like him are considered menacing (and that’s a statistical analysis people do, and it has bloody nothing to do with racism and a lot to do with certain communities being troubled) such as we had to pay more for his apartment to be in an area he wasn’t likely to get caught in gang crossfire with police (not literally, but possibly literally.)  Heck, given his ambiguous looks, for him not to get caught in the crossfire of rivals gangs.  But that’s okay, because as a professor of his pointed out sometime ago, he had lots of books growing up and a family that insisted he learn, so he always had “lots of privilege.”  In other words, yeah, he has some factors that tell against him.  For him he has only one: a family that told him early on the only inheritance we could give him was a good mind and the ability to use it.  So far he’s doing okay, swarthy menacing looks notwithstanding.

And in the end, in the whole question of privilege, that’s what normal people notice.  No matter who you are, if you behave like a decent human being, you will do better than people who don’t.  Also, the only real “privilege” is money and connections and (except at the highest levels of society, which I think is where they get the idea) this correlates poorly with inverse ability to tan an has for at least the 30 years I’ve been in country.

People can’t help noticing this.  Because it’s before their eyes.  And that’s just an example. There’s a ton of other things they can’t help noticing: like for instance that no, women and men AREN’T exactly the same in different bodies.  That those who work hard tend to get ahead.  That some people are just lazy/crazy, NOT victims (except of themselves) etc.

It is because they can’t avoid noticing these things — it starts as early as pre-school when my younger son noticed that contrary to cartoons, most girls don’t want to get dirty and have adventures, while most boys DO — that they learn to unthink.

Consider that a single, stray thought can get you cast out of “decent people” and you’ll understand why people start deploying magical words of unthought to cast out the bad thoughts.

This is why so often, in conversation with otherwise decent people, you say something unapproved of — say that men and women are different (without any value judgement) and they call you racist, sexist, homophobic.  Or accuse you of privilege.  Or call you a neo-nazi.

ALL of these things are ridiculous from the statement you made, and often applied to you are risible.  VISIBLY so.  That doesn’t matter, because the words are not “real” words with meaning.  They’re an incantation, a string of “unthought” to keep the person talking to you from having badthought that would get them cast out of the community of “good people.”

I remember feeling like that, though my triggers were much higher than other people’s.  Coming from Europe, though, I found all nationalism uncomfortable, having been taught NOT to feel it.  So open expressions of patriotism made me reach for the same place those prayers came from when I was little.

Until I started evaluating things in the cold light of reason, and understanding the differences between the US and Europe.  Now I still despise European blood-and-soil racialism applied to the US (not so much to Europe, not unless they come up with a version where only blond people can be German, or other a-historical nonsense.  Which a lot of them do.  But I come from a mixed country where that doesn’t apply and the idea that someone who wants to be Portuguese — I don’t know, I presume there are misplaced Portuguese born in other places because the stork was imbibing Port Wine! — needs to worship the Portuguese ancestry even if they don’t have it themselves, sounds about right.)  I despise it because we’re a covenant nation, not one of blood.  But I don’t need to reach for magical words and call those who have that idea bad names.  Only a few of them deserve those, anyway.  The rest are confused bunnies who know no REAL history.

As far as I can tell, the only cure for “unthought” is thinking.  And the only way to force someone who’s been thoroughly indoctrinated in unthought to think is to make them very uncomfortable.  It is a process like de-programming cult members.

I did it to myself when I immigrated and decided to acculturate.  How to do it to the vast majority people under 30 or so is a puzzle.  Except that life itself makes them uncomfortable enough to plant doubts.  It’s important to remember this unthought has been taught in one degree or another to three generations, and yet some of us escaped.

My guess is with what’s coming down the pipe, a lot more people can’t help escaping.

So, in addition to economic turmoil we’re going to have some very angry, confused people who know they’ve always been lied to.  The problem is that the first reaction is to fall into unthought of another kind, to turn the American left exactly on its head.  Which leads to the European right, not the American.

Be ready to offer an alternative and to tell them thought IS safe.  Thought doesn’t make you evil.  Only actions make you evil.

Teach your children well and fight unthought.  It’s all we can do.

 

 

 

128 responses to “Learning to UN-Think

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Why is it that when I think of the “bad things grabbing you”, I think of “The Ransom Of Red Chief”? 😉

  2. > racist, sexist, homophobic. Or accuse you of privilege.
    > Or call you a neo-nazi.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”

  3. > inexplicably Cuban

    Cubans are a pretty mixed bunch. At least some parts in common with a spherical Portuguese of uniform density.

  4. There are no fnords on this page.

  5. > most girls don’t want to get dirty and
    > have adventures, while most boys DO

    That’s one of my favorite scenes in the Firefly series.

    Kaylee is at a cotillion, being viciously snubbed for not being part of the glitterati, then joins a conversation about spacecraft. Shortly afterward she’s surrounded by attentive guys.

    Geishas and psycho killers you can find if you look around, but a girl who can handle a wrench and soldering iron, that’s leveling up to a new game…

    • It’s amazing the attention one can attract by being a womanly woman who happens to enjoy some “guy things.” 🙂

      No, I’ve never inadvertently reenacted that scene. Really.

      • Advertently maybe…

      • Yep – my first date with mt now fiancee had us talking Star Wars and X-Men.

        I fell in love right there.

      • Birthday girl

        My spouse is physically handicapped, so I do lots of house repairs, and I’m always having to learn how to do it and spouse can’t always explain … so I saunter into Lowe’s and start asking questions of the middle-aged-and-older guys … and it takes me a couple of hours to get out of there, every time … and I’m well into my 50’s myself. Once DH came along with and later remarked that he never, ever got that much info from those guys when he was the one asking questions … I just flipped my ponytail and smiled coquettishly (not really, I never think of things like that, just trying to be literary)

        • Yes. This. I was one of the “Ace guys” once….

          • sabrinachase

            At my local hardware store they get worried when I haven’t been in in a few weeks, and greet me with enthusiasm when I do show up. I’ve been told I could get a job there, since I clearly know where things are stocked 🙂 All that bunch needs to be a full-fledged trope is a pot-bellied stove, a cracker barrel, and an old dog.

            • Same in my old one. And I was one of the “guys” because I waited outside the store for it to open, with my coffee and doughnut. We discussed our current projects and workarounds. that was when I rebuilt the Victorian before the last one (which was the basket case.)

              • SheSellsSeashells

                I poke my head into the hardware store with reasonable frequency, in my father’s company and otherwise. My FATHER, however…the last time I went to Lowe’s alone, the cashier smiled at me and caroled “Tell your Dad hi for us!”

      • sabrinachase

        Neither have I, and *especially* not at a Scottish ball where every. single. one. of the dashing gentlemen begging me to tell them more about the fullerene research I’d been doing was wearing a kilt. My ball dress wasn’t fluffy or pink, but I *was* wearing a ball dress. I thought it was funny at the time–which was before Firefly–and I did purely appreciate Kayley’s scene when I saw it.

        • Free-range Oyster

          Thanks, now I’m bingeing on Dervish, Natalie McMaster, and Seven Nations again. 🙂 If anyone wants to join me, here’s a link to my Pandora station for that sort of thing. Though if I don’t change stations soon I’m going to end up dancing one man jigs around the kitchen again…

    • One of the best ‘wrenches’ I ever knew was a tiny slip of a girl young woman; she could get up into the hellhole of a Huey helicopter – while the cargo hook was installed.

    • Patrick Chester

      Kaylee is at a cotillion, being viciously snubbed for not being part of the glitterati, then joins a conversation about spacecraft. Shortly afterward she’s surrounded by attentive guys.

      Then of the guys tries to invite her to dance, but gets shot down by the other guys who want to hear her keep talking about spacecraft. 😀

    • That had the silver fox fellow defending her quite gracefully, I believe?

      It doesn’t usually happen that nicely, but dang what an ideal.

    • I want to have adventures but not get dirty. Leaves and burrs are okay, and scrapes, and bruises. But not dirt.

      • Bugs for me. D: Dirt washes. Bugs stick their allergenic germy spit in you.

      • So *that’s* where it’s coming from. I swear, every (little, at least at first) job I start I say to myself, “this will be a nice, clean, quick job.”

        Every time I come out the other side looking like something leafy fished out of the used oil drum. I just knew someone, somewhere had to be wishing all the dirt away, *I* just wish it didn’t all converge on me! *chuckle*

      • Dirt, sweat and bugs I don’t mind. The thing I always hated about adventuring (read: Boy Scout camping) was being cold and wet.

    • “Shindig” one of my favorite episodes. I was watched the whole series over the weekend.

    • I always assumed that the cool old guy who rescued her from the snotty bitches talked to her for a few minutes, then made some introductions. 😉

  6. Freemasonry, according to the predominate theory, started as an exercise in tolerance. One swore an oath of brotherhood regardless of religion of one’s brothers. and in the face of the major churches from whom you hid everything. A break in secrecy could lead to deaths. And since the religious wars are so barbaric, lets swear to defend widows and orphans. They still primarily use their money to run children’s hospitals. [By the way, if the ‘Game of Thrones’ is really an uncensored retelling of the wars of the roses, where is the Freemason analog?]

    Perhaps we need a tolerance game for today. Swear not to destroy each other’s lives over thoughtless jests or comments.

    Nah, it is too important what we call Bruce/Caitlin not to destroy our opponent utterly until his dust blows away….

    • grrm likely didn’t LIKE that part, so kept it out. Narrative, doncha know.

    • Actually to the best of my knowledge the free-masons started as unguilded masons who banded together because the guilds didn’t like them.

    • MadRocketSci

      I’ve heard that Mozart might have been a freemason of some sort, and that in his era the secret society was also set against arbitrary feudal authority.

      I’ve also heard that Kipling was a freemason, and I think he did mention the oaths of religious tolerance and the explicit friendship among people whose societies were each trying to kill the other.

      The more I hear about it, the more curious I become.

  7. I’ll never forget having lunch with a group of very blue state minded co-workers shortly after Reagan passed, and in the course of the conversation one of them said something mildly complementary about him, but immediately before muttered “of course he was a terrible president etc. etc.”. It was as close as I’d ever seen an east coast rank and file progressive come to crossing themselves.

  8. This is pretty close to my personal philosophy:

    1) I’m not bothering anyone.
    2) It’s none of your business.
    3) Leave me alone.

    Teach your children (and pretty much anyone who will listen) that if they’re not bothering anyone, then no one has the right to tell them what they should think or do. And that thinking any thoughts they like is allowed, so long as they’re not bothering anyone else (unless of course they are assisting someone [who has requested it] in keeping that person from being bothered by others). And lastly, that they should question any assumptions that underlie their thoughts and beliefs, on a regular basis.

    • First you have to teach them rational judgement about what “bothering” or “hurting” involves.

      The @#$#W@ who zip down my residential area road doing 45 will be very loud about how they’re not “bothering” or “hurting” anyone, even when they’re so loud and scary that my three year old runs inside crying about the big scary car going to get him.

      Basically, you gotta have enough forethought to see possibilities, and recognize other humans as having all the same rights.

      A whole lot of folks think they follow your personal philosophy– when they really just don’t want anybody to be allowed to do something that makes them feel bad.

      • Yeah, teaching them what “bothering” means is part of the whole teaching schtick. And the folks you talk about in your last sentence aren’t remotely following my philosophy. The whole “don’t want anybody to be allowed” concept makes it automatically the antithesis of what I said. “Not bothering anyone” has to include not infringing on their rights to do whatever they want so long as they don’t bother me or others.

        BTW, a spike strip rolled across the road after 11 PM (with no fingerprints on it, of course) might go a long way to mitigating your problem…

        • It’s two in the afternoon when they’re going about double the speed limit– and nearly triple the “sane person who owns the vehicle they’re driving” speed.

          Plus, people here work at all hours, and if they had a blow-out they’d take out the geek across the road’s car.

          • Perhaps the geek across the road would go halfsies on the spike strip…

            • Judging by how his cars keep inching further out into the road, I think he may be taking a slightly more direct approach. 😀

              Between our two families, there’s a half-dozen kids six and under. The other three neighbors with kids have another half dozen, and the three grandparents with visiting grandkids are good for several more. (I’m not sure who’s family adn who’s friends)

              And these people just thunder down the road, to another blind road…probably because the two main roads nearby are 30 MPH, and some people actually follow it.

              • Then getting everyone in the neighborhood to buy into getting an RF Safe Stop might not be outside the realm of possibility…

                • No blessed way will my husband go along with basically DDOSing someone’s car. For many reasons.

                  How about the police do their job?

                  • My mom made a hobby of noting makes and license plate numbers every night when the party house people parked in our yard or drove over it. Then she would call the police and give them the list. Every night it happened. For months. Eventually the police started coming over and citing people.

                    Like the good Lord pointed out in the parable of the widow and the judge, sometimes persistence works.

                    • Working at it.

                      I think they might be worried about the (legal) pot-grow down the road, or the illegals– don’t want to be accused of targeting.

                      But we are a “Community Watch” area, so there’s that, and they have been driving around more in the last few weeks. *Sigh*

                      Poor SOBs are understaffed and morale is way down.

                    • ” Eventually the police started coming over and citing people.”

                      If you really want the police to show up, tell them you are going to shoot the next person that parks in your lawn. They will arrive at record speed.

                  • Professor Badness

                    I should think that applying for a speed bump from the city would be more economical? And longer lasting.
                    Or a speed hump. It’s bigger and allows slightly higher speed, but will still mess you up if going too fast.

                    • What I’m trying to do now is find a way to suggest speed traps– there’s a nice little dead-end past the end of our road, and the speeds these folks are doing it would pay for itself almost instantly.

                      There road that intersects with did manage to get a speed-hump installed.

                      They’ve replaced the wooden fences on either side of the road about a half-dozen times that I can tell, because people still take it at 45.

                      Oh, and half of the area with really horrible speeding? School zone. With elementary kids. and a ton of after-school type programs, because they have a really NICE field that they’ll let groups use.
                      (Yes, we do live in a ridiculously good area, even if we’re in walking distance of highly shady ones. ‘s why there are so many families with kids on this street, way out of proportion to the area.)

                    • Professor Badness

                      Oy! I feel for you. We have the same problem on my street, and people have actually been killed here! But, still nothing from law enforcement.

                    • So what exactly is the solution when your biggest speeding problem is the police, themselves?

                      It was somewhat comical when a sheriff’s deputy missed a corner on the highway and the state patrol charged him with reckless driving. (they estimated he was doing 80-85 in a 55; I estimate he had to be doing considerably faster than that, considering how far, uphill, his rather low-slung and maneuverable patrol car managed to travel). Oh, the sheriff’s office and the state patrol don’t tend to get along all that well in this county. 😉

                    • kenashimame

                      Each speed hump/bump which an emergency vehicle has to cross adds about a minute to their response time. (plus wear and tear on the vehicles) Something to keep in mind when you lobby for speed bumps.

                      The neighborhood association where I live wanted to get a speed hump put on our street, but Tucson Fire lobbied against it; and the speed humps which have been put in our neighborhood have notches about the width of an ambulance’s wheelbase.

                    • So that’s what those notches are for! *makes a note*

                  • I’m just offering you options…

              • FlyingMike

                Park one of these out on the curb

                http://www.armyjeeps.net/Ferret-0715/index.htm

                If that doesn’t work, man the turrent and rotate to track as they roll by…

            • Patrick Chester

              I’m thinking turrets.

              (Why yes, I’ve been using the Fallout 4 settlement system quite a bit, why did you ask?)

              • Funny – I was thinking speed radar activated claymore.

                Perhaps setting a speed radar activated … device under a man person-hole cover, with a determination that the result must have been from a natural gas explosion triggered by the vibrations of the vehicle travelling at excessive speed.

                In the town where I was born
                Lived a man who sailed to sea
                And he told us of his life
                In the land of submarines

                [Oops]
                … neighborhood streets were paved with bricks. No matter how carefully laid those will discourage speeding like you wouldn’t believe. (Especially after a driver’s replaced a few broken axles.)

                • Guy I worked with lived in New Orleans where the neighborhood families fought the city to stop them from fixing the, quite likely, worst still paved but very, very, very (and I mean it, really) rough and rutted street in the Metro area.
                  Their excuse was it would just encourage folks to drive faster.
                  Nature’s speed bumps. It was amazing how rough, ridged and rutted it was yet had little in the way of patches … just lots of deformed blacktop.

        • You know, and I know, that they’re just about totally opposite.
          But they don’t realize they are. 😦

  9. I don’t watch the news TV, but it’s sometimes going when I pass and I’m beginning to realize just how much we get gaslighted, all the time.

  10. Now I fully see why Vox’s claim that you’re not a “real American” because you were born Portuguese irritates you so much, stupid as his claim is.

    • It’s a bit of silly-buggery with definitions. For example, I’m not a real Washingtonian (For this definition of real), but I am a good one. Because even though populism gives me the grue, I can support my friends & neighbours in same.

      It’s tricky to tease this kind of thing out with Mr. Day because he’s playing a very different game than is Mrs. Hoyt.

      Myself, I don’t worry about real this or that, except when I can use it has an amusing stick with which to beat the kind of people who imagine themselves to be Trufen.

      But I do care very much about being a Good (i.e. virtuous) American, mom, librarian, etc.

      And that’s where I’d spend my ammunition, were it needed.

  11. Synchronistically, this appeared today at NRO gangblog The Corner:

    Will California’s Leftist K-12 Curriculum Go National?
    By Stanley Kurtz — June 1, 2016

    California is on the verge of approving a new and sharply left-leaning K-12 curriculum framework for history and social sciences. The move has national implications, since textbooks retooled to fit California’s changing history frameworks are often used much more widely.

    California’s current curriculum is already biased toward modern liberalism, but the new framework takes several giant steps further to the left. On immigration, it is anti-assimilationist; on family and sexuality, it is radically anti-traditionalist; on terrorism, it tends to “blame America first;” on the 1960s, it highlights and implicitly lauds the most radical “black, brown, red, and yellow power movements;” on politics, it paints a halo over progressives while perpetrating a hit job on conservatives; on economics, it elevates Keynesian liberalism and ignores everything else; on military history, it is silent or slyly antagonistic; on contemporary politics, it reads like an anti-globalization protest pamphlet.

    Put the proposed new California history-social science framework together with the College Board’s leftist Advanced Placement history curriculum, and K-12 education in this country could soon be a near-exclusively leftist affair.

    Would you like to know why a vast new generation of Americans is infatuated with socialism? They’ve been drinking in leftist ideas since long before college. Now, between the new Advanced Placement curriculum and California’s leftist gambit, the space for more traditional approaches to American history and civics may soon be reduced to insignificance.

    RTWT

    • Didn’t I see this in a Far Side cartoon? Oh, wait, in that it was a cookbook, Recipes for Disaster.

    • Of course, because CA schools are doing so well and rates so highly, and they spend the most p-er-student in the country!

    • When I moved to Virginia, I very nearly didn’t get into any of the advanced High school class. The school counsellor could see from my transcript that I had gone to school in California. And the knew what California schools were like.

  12. That’s why we sent our kids to parochial Schools, until we moved to San Jose. Then we went into the Fremont Union High School District, which hadn’t been corrupted yet.

  13. How do you get people to unthink? The key step, the one fought for and pounded on for 200+ years now by every ‘progressive’ educator, is the age-segregated graded classroom. America had a fine tradition of mixed-age one-room schools, church schools and ad hoc tutoring (how Jefferson, for one, was educated) that produced millions of literate, numerate people with some tiny fraction of the inputs in time and money. Except for slaves and the truly impoverished, early 19th century Americans were typically far better educated than the products of our colleges. For them, the Federalist Papers were published in the newspaper; they made The Last of the Mohicans, all but beyond the reading comprehension skills of a typical college student, a gigantic bestseller. Check out the State of the Union addresses from back then, compare with the insulting drivel we get today – it is to weep.

    Think I’m overstating it? Unless you can divide kids from all their natural loyalties – to older and younger siblings and neighbors, for example – it’s impossible to teach them that the most very important thing is staying with your group. So you create an arbitrary group – a graded classroom – and make the kids stay in it regardless of if they already know what is being taught or are completely uninterested in it. Every day, hour after hour, year after year, bell after bell, the kid learns that anything he wants or is interested in, anything he can do already, is unimportant – dwarfed by the need to ‘perform at grade level’, to not be a disruption, to pass the tests the school wants him to pass.

    As our host points out, in that environment, having a thought, a real, independent thought, can never be seen as other than a threat. It gets beaten out of him.

    The compulsory graded classroom is the key, as there will always be some teachers and administrators who are decent people who might otherwise undo the ‘good’ the school is designed to do. As long as the age-segregated group is the identifying unit (“What grade are you in?” is the first question asked when a kid meets another kid for the first time) the magic of unthinking gets enforced.

    Yet, we are so enured that we can’t imagine doing it any other way – even though it has been done some other way in every place and time throughout history!

    • > ‘perform at grade level’

      I got set back three grades when we moved out of my first school district. The new school’s policy was to “keep the age groups together.”

      I couldn’t see doing the same make-work again, while the school got the idea I had a bad attitude…

  14. CombatMissionary

    If coming home to find your four- and six-year-old children singing Airborne Ranger cadences while the older ones read Tolkien is any indication of my kids’ inability to conform, Dear Wife and I are off to a good start at fighting Unthink!

  15. Memetic programming is accomplished by using Pavlovian feedback to reinforce intended thought patterns and punish unintended thought patterns. What’s changed in modern times is the use of omnipresent media tools to achieve very high repetition and simultaneously crowd out quiet alone time where independent reasoning occurs. This is a new phenomenon for our species and the future impact is unknown because we are the guinea pigs.

  16. This is scary stuff.
    http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/
    Especially when describes things like Soviet books “immediately translated” and used as guidebooks. For education and management of society. Something the Soviets were known for doing so WELL(sarc).

  17. Hmmmm…It’s not just that there’s a dichotomy of “be free to believe whatever you want” vs. the Authoritarian thought police. There is. But that is only half of that story.

    There is also the distinction between the ideas that correspond to reality (or truth if you will) and unreality. Because ideas have consequences. This Venn diagram of the set of those who are willing to allow people to think and speak about anything and those who are in fact correct about what they believe appears to me to be the cause of much of the ( unavoidable ) friction of those opposing the SJWs.

    You know, the ones on the Venn diagram who are part of the overlapping set of those who want to control what everyone thinks and says and are in fact wrong about nearly everything they believe.

    Reminds me of an old Persian proverb I ran across when I was the yard-ape’s age:

    He who knows, and knows that he knows, is wise; follow him.
    He who knows, but knows not that he knows, is asleep; wake him.
    He knows not but knows that he knows not, is a child; teach him
    He who knows not, and knows not that he knows not is a fool; shun him.

  18. And this be law, I will maintain, until my dying day, sir,
    That whatsoever king may reign, still I’ll be the Vicar of Bray, sir.

  19. I believe what you’re trying to describe is called “educated incapacity”.

    http://www.hudson.org/research/2219-the-expert-and-educated-incapacity

  20. I’ve given it a day and have yet to see anybody raising the obvious question of whether you mean un-think — a process of blocking, precluding or otherwise obstructing rational thought — or you mean UN-think — a pattern of thought directed, encouraged and informed by the United Nations.

    The distinction is, of course, essentially academic as in all practicality it is of the level of whether zebras are white with black stripes or black with white stripes.

  21. I was just reading about one of those cultish guys. This Brother Geno (later Father Geno) set up as an Italian mystic and stigmatist in the 1970’s, copying off Padre Pio but without any of his virtues. He finally got caught after his order documented tons of stealing money, sexual misconduct, abusive cult behavior, etc.

    Anyway, what brought this to mind was that he founded an order of sisters. Obviously nobody higher up was paying enough attention, because they had rules like being forbidden to read any spiritual reading except Father Geno’s books. Then they were told as novices, “Don’t think. The Devil can use that,” and taught to constantly mouthe the Rosary prayers in order to prevent badthought. (Needless to say, they were discouraged from actually meditating about the Mysteries of the Rosary! Because thinking is the whole point!)

    When the order was shut down, the nuns had to go through deprogramming and get psychological help provided by the Church, because they’d been so dehumanized. Some of these poor kids testified that they’d even forgotten their own names and the names of family members under this constant pressure not to think. (Whereas normally nuns are taught to develop a rich inner life that puts even us lifelong introverts to shame.)

    So yes, there are some very wicked people out there, and they will do anything to keep you from thinking for yourself.

  22. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Let’s dispel once and for all with this fiction that political violence isn’t Democratic. Political violence is exactly Democratic. Majority rules without the willingness to stick to previously made agreements mean no protection for minorities. Whether confederate veterans lynching former slaves, or modern professional activists voicing grievance, it is just angry people making their votes heard.