examine how you come to think you know things

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I had to learn it the hard way. Everyone has to learn it the hard way. If you won't learn it, you are not just living in a merely agreed-upon reality, instead of reality, but tearing down our world simply by what you ONLY call it.

Psychopaths know they can rule your mind by use of your information sources. Night of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I get a call from a friend who's telling me he thinks he's just seen a president of the future. Not the nominee. Someone else, and I should try to catch a replay of it.

86 had a tv. We used it for playing rented movies and 86's beloved very early morning fishing shows. I'd long since forgotten there was any tv on that tv, but 86 thought we could find it. He found it. We watched it. Very presidential and by a guy with dark skin and a weird name. We were duly impressed.

A few years later, I saw a clip on the complicated system of pipes of Andrea Mitchell waxing fangirl over it, and using the exact same words my friend had used to tell me about this future president. Those were the very first words the rest of the country had heard after the historic moment Nosbaracktu had first hit the national stage. My friend had heard the speech and Andrea and picked up the phone like a damn automaton to repeat the message verbatim.

It rattled me. It rattled me like all the other times I had heard lines directly from mainstream sources coming out of his mouth, and others' mouths... and I'd left the chain unbroken.

It harked me back to when I realized I was making the socially-appropriate noises and expressions whenever just about anyone was under discussion — before I realized I had absolutely NO idea of who most of them were! Just some names of people, places or things were frown material and others not. I just and only knew who I was expected to revile and who I was expected to admire or at least tolerate.

I didn't know anything about any of it, but I was perfectly at home in company I'd been supposing DID know everything about all of it.

Guess what. They didn't know either.

Bunch of NPCs with advanced degrees.

And we all pitied or reviled the plainspoken bubbas who don't get it.

No. Dudes. WE don't get it. All we know is what psychopaths tell us.

pipe up any time....