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Ten things I realized in 2002 December 29, 2016

Posted by obesedude in : Questions , trackback

I originally wrote this on 1/1/2003. Eerily, it still applies.

When it comes to politics most Americans can’t think for themselves.

I won’t say all Americans can’t think for themselves but I think this is true for most people. Just because a politician says something is so doesn’t make it so. Whatever happened to people getting the facts for themselves and then making their own opinion? There is nothing wrong with listening to another’s opinion or even agreeing with it but if you base your reasoning on what another person says, without properly knowing the facts that is just foolish.

Mainstream news media outlets are useless

I thought journalism is supposed to be objective but apparently this isn’t the creed many news stations follow. Everyone has a motive now. It’s no longer just keeping the public informed rather it is keeping the public informed on selected issues and only from one perspective. It’s like everything has become OP-ED. Too often people are getting half truths and that isn’t right.

Oh, and for those who feel those half truths are truths think again. Turn to page two of most major newspapers. In the bottom right hand corner you will find retractions and corrections of news events that were reported inaccurately. Why don’t television news shows or networks do the same thing? It is because even though they are seen as news they are technically considered entertainment and with entertainment one isn’t suppose to take it literally. So, for those who think they are informed because they watch CNN of FOXNEWS on television or on the internet you are one of the people I mention above.

Social issues are more important than economic issues.

If you want to improve society improve social problems not the economic ones first. Working to alleviate social problems isn’t ignoring economic ones because too often economic problems are the result of social problems. For instance, poor people are more likely to die from leading causes of death (i.e. heart disease, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, etc) then people of a higher economic status. Usually people would suggest give poor people more money and improve their education this way they can prevent such diseases from happening. That is an idea but probably will fail. If you want to change the health disparity you have to change the socioeconomic differences present in society. In other words the differences in treatment, living conditions and other areas of life between people of different socioeconomic groups have to be eliminated.

Check out Paul Farmer’s Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues; you might find it to be an interesting read.

Apparently everyone is right.

Hey, I hate to disappoint everyone but with so many different opinions on any given issue everyone can’t be right. Just because you took two minutes to look at CNN to form your opinion doesn’t mean you are right either. This isn’t limited to certain people either. I go to UPenn which is an Ivy League College but people here can’t admit they are ever wrong (and occasionally they are. Trust me I have witnessed this happen plenty of times). So just because you are getting a “better” education doesn’t mean you know everything. There is nothing wrong with being humble and admitting you may be wrong from time to time.

Word of wisdom: When debating someone be able to argue for and against your point. Not only will you be able to anticipate how others will argue against you but you will also be better informed on the issue. That’s not a bad thing.

People are only aware of political parties and therefore only can have one of two political viewpoints.

I have some shocking news for many of you. There are other political parties then the Democratic and Republican parties. And you know that means? That means there are more then two political arguments for any one issue (and even if you only choose to acknowledge the two party system there are more than two political viewpoints in any given party). You don’t have to have a polar opinion you could be somewhere in the middle. Also, whatever political party you affiliate yourself with you don’t have to agree with its entire national platform or even their leaders. For example, I am a Republican but I don’t agree with the death penalty and I sometimes scratch my head for how some Republican leaders were ever elected.

Another word of wisdom: when arguing an issue, argue the merits of it. The issue being a Democratic or Republican isn’t a merit.

There are a lot of people who are in constant fear of terrorism

I am amazed by how many people who think they will be a victim of a terrorist act. September 11, 2001, was a tragic day but to assume you are in more danger now then before is quite silly. I don’t know if there will be another act of terrorism but to think that there is an increased likelihood of one happening because of September 11, 2001, is foolish thinking.

The majority will always oppress the minority.

I should make an 8th point here that when someone mentions minority they automatically think of race when minority doesn’t mean race. It means that in a given population with two or more groups the smaller group is the minority. That means if you have an unpopular opinion on a given issue you are part of the minority (see you learn something new everyday).

As I was saying, the majority will always suppress the minority. I don’t think it’s always on purpose but the majority can’t understand how it feels to be in the minority. The best they can do is try to reason out how it would feel if the situation was reversed. That is admirable but unless you a minority you cannot truly understand how it feels to be in the minority. As a result the majority’s viewpoint of the minority cannot always be right and hence do not always know what is in the best interests of the minority.

This works both ways. Minorities can’t always understand what the majority feels either. I only discuss the vice versa because the majority is usually in the position of power but there are always exceptions (i.e. income level).

The power hour of television is 5:00pm-6:00pm, Mondays-Fridays on ESPN.

Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption are two of the best shows on television. What is sweet about it is they are back to back so it only takes up one recording slot on my VCR. I then watch the tape on Saturday morning and I have to say it is a great way to start your weekend!

Football is the best sport around.

This isn’t a truth but more of an opinion. Football, and I am taking professional football, is sweet! With only one game a week, sixteen games a year and sudden death overtime pro-football has to be the most competitive sport right now. I didn’t include college football because the ranking system is always in question and with the current bowl situation half of 1-A football teams go to a bowl game. That’s not really competitive.

The cup is half full and not half empty.

Things are great but they can always be improved. The United States maybe the greatest country in the world but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. You don’t stay on top by being idle but by constantly finding ways to improve yourself and I mean in an absolute way not relative fashion. That means improving society but not at the expense of keeping others down.


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