Tag Archives: 2018

It Takes a Village…

It Takes a Village…

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

Mrs. Cog and I live at the end of a dead end private dirt road off of a dead end state dirt road off of a paved road out in the middle of nowhere. The two combined dirt roads are a little more than a mile long and the paved road is five plus miles from the center of the local gas station/grocery store/tourist stop huddled just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.

We think of our place as a slice of heaven. Others might think of it as isolated at best and the last place they’d want to live at worst. Needless to say, there is not a lot of traffic passing in front of our home. We get the post man six days a week, the UPS man when we order something from civilization and the FedEx man once in a blue moon along with the occasional curious local checking out what’s going on up our road.

So when there is a knock on our front door, it is an extremely rare event. There was that lady a few months back who was lost and looking for someone we had never heard of. She didn’t even have a street address, so we shrugged our shoulders and sent her on her way. Then there is the neighbor from down the road who stops by every few months to see if the damn Yankees have died and are stinking up the place.

You get the picture! Continue reading It Takes a Village…

Shadows

Shadows

by

Cognitive Dissonance

 

Elevation changes the way the sun and atmosphere interact. In the visible spectrum, colors and contrast appear to be especially clear and sharp, at least to this set of eyes. It is one of the joys I experience living at 3,000 feet. Not so high that it causes shortness of breath, but high enough so humidity levels in general are lower and the air is clearer.

The last few days up here on the mountain have been a joy to behold. Very low humidity, clear skies and temps in the mid 70's are a dream come true. Two evenings ago I decided to partake of the front porch rocking chair and enjoy the setting sun and scenery. It was spectacular.

Anyone who has followed me for a few years knows I enjoy the interplay of light and shadow. It is one of the reasons the fall and winter months are so special to me, particularly up here on the mountain where the low humidity and elevation seem to energize the contrast.

While the spring and summer seasons have their own special magic, there are less days where it all comes together to produce the dazzling contrast I love so much. The other day, especially the evening, was one of those glorious days. Continue reading Shadows

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

 

 

As originally posted on Project Syndicate

 

One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. There’s just one problem: it’s not true, and while few people remember the "gold clause cases" of the 1930s, that episode holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

LOS ANGELES – One of the most pervasive myths about the United States is that the federal government has never defaulted on its debts. Every time the debt ceiling is debated in Congress, politicians and journalists dust off a common trope: the US doesn’t stiff its creditors.

There’s just one problem: it’s not true. There was a time, decades ago, when the US behaved more like a “banana republic” than an advanced economy, restructuring debts unilaterally and retroactively. And, while few people remember this critical period in economic history, it holds valuable lessons for leaders today.

Continue reading Learning from America’s Forgotten Default

Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

By Caitlin Johnstone

As Originally Posted on Medium.com on August 21, 2017

 

While researching the subject of propaganda for an article I will eventually write, I stumbled upon this little gem by Caitlin Johnstone on Medium.com. I have been following Caitlin for several months now, but this article predates my awareness of her. It's a short but powerful read. When you are finished, I strongly urge you to pop over to her website and sign up to be notified of her future articles. She's a keeper. - Cognitive Dissonance

 

A duck floats past two fish, looks down and says “Morning boys! How’s the water?” The fish swim on for a bit, then one of them turns to the other and says, “What the fuck is water?”

Corporatist propaganda is to western civilization what water is to fish. Our culture is saturated in it; it informs so many levels of our worldview and most of us never even examine any of them. It informs all aspects of culture, from our beliefs about what’s going on in the world to our understanding of history to what issues we think we’re supposed to care about on a given day to what opinions we think we’re allowed to choose from. People think they know what’s going on in their society, why their country fought this or that war, how their nation’s government and economy operate, when really they don’t know any of those things. All their most basic assumptions about their world, their culture, and even who they are as individuals is fully pervaded by mass media propaganda narratives. Continue reading Propaganda, Human Consciousness, And The Future Of Civilization

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

By

Cognitive Dissonance

 

 

The other night, Mrs. Cog and I streamed a movie about an obviously intelligent man (some might say brilliant) who constantly got himself into, and out of, tight spots and life threatening situations. The show was well written and entirely plausible, believable even. In fact, it reminded me of some people I know…and maybe even a little bit of me.

At one point near the end, Mrs. Cog turned to me and quipped, “For such a smart person, he’s really quite stupid”. I quickly rose to the characters defense, claiming it wasn’t stupidity that compelled him to do stupid things, but his huge outsized ego that drove him into and out of trouble at every turn.

But my answer didn’t sit well with me, similar to a late night meal that sits in the belly rather than digesting. You just know there’s going to be trouble if you don’t promptly address it.

Of course Mrs. Cog was correct; this smart man was consistently doing stupid things. And as Forrest Gump famously said in the movie by the same name…”stupid is as stupid does”. Ultimately we are measured by our actions and not our intent, desire or intelligence. Regardless of our reason, if we’re doing stupid things we can rightfully be classified as stupid. Continue reading Stupid Is As Stupid Does