A major catalyst which has propelled our society into the perpetually rising shepard tone cycle of new hysterias is undoubtedly the crowded mental state which most people operate in. The human mind has never had to process as much incoming information as is demanded of it today. In a way, it is hard to blame the masses for outsourcing their thinking to others in a desperate effort to free up some thinking capacity for the things immediately present in life. But this has come at a great cost.
Do I say any of this as though I am immaculate of such behavior? Of course not. We have all, at some point or another, relinquished our guard when it has been convenient or demands have been too great. It is incredibly exhausting to be at constant alertness, hyperanalyzing the things you are being told about. And so people are unsurprisingly lulled into a sense that they are adequately informed by trusting the group consensus. Queue manufactured panics. Luckily, there are measures which can be taken to keep oneself out of this trap.
My own recovery to mental equilibrium began when I stopped watching broadcast television in my highschool years. It wasn’t some principled decision, I was just sick of the commercials. And it was just a terrible delivery medium for entertainment anyway, where there was no control over what came through other than to change the channel. At that time, I was also an avid consumer of video game entertainment, mass media news sites such as cnn.com, popsci.com as well as other normie outlets, and of commercial non-free computer software.
A year later, I had started using adblockers on my browsers. Gootube and other sites suddenly became so much more spartan. I was better able to focus on what was being read and explored without autoplay garbage and interactive prompts getting in the way. I’d also made maneuvers to part ways with the early social sites that the public had only just begun to flirt with. Which was easy for me to do since I made little use of them to begin with.
Some sour experiences lead me to drop REEddit and the news of Snowden’s leaks had me migrating away from mainstream sites, engines, and other tech as I describe in my parallel journey of technological awakening. My hatred of all things advertising compelled me to ditch any clothing that bore branded logos. And, certainly by then, my trust in anything corporate news plummeted, though not being lofty to begin with. I had at least seen what manipulations Faux News had been able to exert on my family members.
I’d become more selective about what documentaries I watched and, in the process, came across works such as How Big Oil Conquered the World and Loose Change 9/11. I found myself actually taking the time to explore things more critically. I also deemphasized video and got more into reading, picking up books including; Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy Of The Mass Media, George Orwell’s 1984, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, and some science fiction series.
By the time the scamdemic rolled around, I was already far outside the mass media bubble. I had only heard about its events through proxy and overhearing conversations. I naively thought it would be just another normie media health scare that would pass in a matter of weeks. The voices and communities I was already engaging had largely already migrated away from centralized platforms so I didn’t even notice the onslaught of bannings so many voices experienced so early amidst that hysteria. To my clean baseline perspective, it looked so bizarre to see people robotically reanacting “social distancing” platitudes all at once.
I had done such an effective job at cleansing media propaganda from my mental space that it has truly been, and continues to be, an experience of looking into a zoo exhibit from the outside. Like a space alien observing the antics of the dominant bipedal ape species of Earth. And that is the point one should strive for. To be able to look on with little stake in the ongoings of a demonstrably insane world. Make sure that your thoughts can operate in an enclave secure from the wailing of outside scaremongering and unattached, to the extent possible, from your own biases. The truth can be uncomfortable. And you can only realize certain truths once you become comfortable exploring the uncomfortable.