Monday, September 9, 2013

Stop Telling People They Are Distracted Because They Don't Agree With You


Over the past few months there have been so many "breaking news" stories all over the world, that it's been hard for me to even keep track sometimes.  I consider myself to be an avid news and current events reader/watcher, but I don't, can't, and don't expect to know everything. Not only do I read and watch the news, I try to spread it as well.

I don't have an internet connection at home, so most of my news sharing and even blog posting is done when I have a some free time at work (It pays to know and do you job very well. It gives you time to do things you ACTUALLY care about!). I'm confined to a few hours at work and maybe if I go somewhere with a wi-fi connection, to be "connected" to the news stream that is the world. I'm also a young man with young man "priorities." I love sports, video games, movies, books, hanging out with friends. Believe it or not, most of my hobbies don't even involve news, current events, or politics. So how and why do I know what I know, say what I say, and do what I do?

 It's called balance.

Before I make my point, I have to say that I can not stand willfully ignorant people. Scratch that. I can not stand willfully ignorant people who like to have an opinion and think their opinion is a mental nugget from God itself! I understand that some people just don't care about things that other people think they should care about and vice versa. But, there is obviously a difference between someone who is ignorant with and without an opinion about the scenario that they are ignorant to. Remember this thought.

Wake Up People!

I'm not going to sit here and act like I'm this almighty changer of minds. If I was, I wouldn't be writing for free on a Blogspot page while I'm at work with nothing to do. I'm just saying that the closer and closer I get to getting back into my dream of running a podcast network, I'm seeing the tactics that other people are using to bring attention to today's problems that are EXTREMELY counter-productive. My goal is to uplift and motivate the generation that is disinterested the most in the information that I immerse myself in. So, why would I want to annoy that demographic? I'm talking to the trolls, conspiracy theorists, alarmists, fundamentalists and whatever other "ist" that annoys the hell out of people who don't seem to "get" what is going on or understand their message. You are the people who are willfully ignorant with an opinion that makes my skin crawl with disgust.

We can agree that there are too many people who don't understand or care to know the world around them, but what is pushing them away even more going to do to "wake them up." What you make up in knowing facts about 9/11 or bible verses that barely relate to modern times, you lack in understanding of how to make a convincing argument that is actually going to get people to stop and think about what you are actually saying, and maybe act upon the new information received. Some people don't like Mr.-know-it-all's. Everyone hate an annoying one.

Maybe The Problem Is You

Quick anecdote.

When I had my podcast up and running last year, the Trayvon Martin incident was one of the first topics I "touched on." I had no idea or foresight to know that this case was going to be as big as it was. Honestly, I was going to continue to cover the highlights, but didn't have the time to completely get into all the details. My friends at Axiom Amnesia had a completely different take. Not only did they dedicate most of the year leading up to the case talking about the case, but they also purchased the media kit that had ALL the preliminary evidence and compiled it into a virtual database. I'm talking about 911 calls, initial witness testimony, witness history, names, EVERYTHANG! They also added to it as the case was going on and even profiled the jurors. These guys had everything you needed to know about the case, whether you thought Zimmerman was innocent or not, at the click of a mouse!

When the verdict of the Trayvon Martin case came out, I was pissed. I was upset with the world. I couldn't believe that George Zimmerman got away with what he did with all the evidence that was available and the overall weakness of their case. I couldn't believe that the case had turned from George Zimmerman being tried for some form of murder to  Rachel Jeantel's lack of understanding the "proper" English language, (Even though she spoke like 2 or 3 others on top of English) among other things. I went on Facebook and other media outlets and saw the most ignorant and hateful comments, tweets and status updates based off of NO FACTS. This took me from upset to ENRAGED! I started blasting out pro-Trayvon posts on Facebook and tried to shut down anyone who didn't agree with me. This didn't make me feel any better. In fact, all those stupid ass people just made me more upset that people could be so ignorant. So what am I to do? I had to come up with another way of presenting my information. I had to figure out a way to not only get people to actually look at and understand facts, but also, try and convince them of my viewpoint.

To make their point, they used bullshit talking points, they used bullshit racial patterns, they blamed rap, they just made up things. Seriously, this was the devolution of debate happening right before my eyes. How can people seriously feel comfortable having an opinion without know any facts about what they are talking about? I just wanted to yell at people and say: "WAKE UP!" or "YOU'RE BEING DISTRACTED!" But honestly though, does that ever work? When you tell someone to wake up, or tell them they are distracted, or use some bullshit Matrix reference, do you think people are actually going to be like: "Oh wow, what have I been doing all this time?"

To drive the main point home, how can someone wake up from a sleep they don't want or "need" to wake up from? How can someone be distracted from something they care nothing about? If they are "awake" or "paying attention," why are they sleep or distracted if they don't care about your self proclaimed "problem with the world?' Either way it seems like your digging yourself into a conversational hole that people are glad to put you in and then bury you to shut you up.

What I Would Like To Do

I'm guilty of the above mentioned annoying thing that people do to make a point. Like I said, I'm not trying to be on a high-horse. I would, however, like to take the high ground. Here at The Pennymon Doctrine, I don't want to discount or shoot down someones thoughts or ideas just because I don't agree. To the contrary, I actually welcome people who disagree with me more than those who don't! I want to know the other side of any argument so I can either come up with better points to make or understand where that person is coming and maybe adapt my way of thinking because again, I don't know everything. But, it's hard and damn near impossible to spread any type of understanding when people don't know the facts. Instead of telling people that they are "distracted" or "sleep," why not show them facts and have a discussion about that?

For instance, people are blowing up news feeds across social media about U.S. intervention in Syria. For one thing, most people don't even know where Syria is. That might help in the justification for or against intervention. Another thing is, people don't know the history of Syria or why they are having a civil war in the first place. That also might help in any justification. People also don't care one way or another because they are just fed up with all the political bickering that they don't even understand. The latter of which is most important because everyone has something to say about politics one way or another and facts just help make any argument.

Politics is a touchy subject. Most people's ideology comes from their surroundings and the people they've grown up with. Without showing those people facts and without them ever hearing another side of the coin, those very people get stuck in their ways and thus become "distracted" and "sleep." But are they? Or do they just not have all the information they need to actually have or give an educated opinion?

Earlier, I wrote that even though I am a news junkie, I have other interests and what keeps me grounded is balance. Finding out the facts of the Trayvon Martin case doesn't take all day. Understanding the history and politics of what is going on in Syria doesn't take that long either. If you want people to follow you, you might want to know what you want them to follow. If you want to keep people's interest in something you deem important, you have to give them all the information they need to come to the conclusion themselves. As a wanna-be arbiter of news and current events, I want to give out all the facts and then give you my conclusion based out of all those facts and then let you decide what conclusion you eventually come to. Consequently, with facts on both of our sides, a healthy, informative, educated debate can and usually will result.

I truly believe that people care about the goings-on in the world, but feel as though their opinion doesn't count, matter, or they are "too far behind" to understand or give an opinion. For those types of people, I say welcome to The Pennymon Doctrine. Lets find out what is going on in the world together. One of these days we are going to be left in charge. If we don't understand what is going on now, no matter what your political leanings may be, we are going to be doomed and duped into following the same path that a good number of us disagree with. I don't think those who don't know are "distracted, or "sheeple," or whatever anyone who is too lazy to relay facts may call you. I think that you just don't want to be bothered with the back and forth. To that, I agree with you. Instead of the back and forth, why don't we have a debate that progresses?

If you don't know something, but have an opinion, find out the facts and then come to a conclusion. It takes maybe a few hours of your life, but you are able to more effectively convey your ideas. If you don't want to know the facts and still spew your opinion, (1)  you are extremely annoying and I'm going to try my hardest to give you a crash course in facts so we can actually discuss something, and (2) you are the reason why people are "distracted!"

No one wants to hear fools talk... unless you're a Rush Limbaugh fan.

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