So what happened? Did we give up on the website? Nothing has been posted here since May!
Well to be honest, a little. Yeah. The Facebook and Instagram pages cover a lot of the day to day farm fun stuff and entries on the website here are a little more time consuming and labour intensive but where it does come in handy is when I (we) need to put something out there that is a little bit more detailed.
That’s right folks, I’ve been mulling over an idea for a while that could use some consideration and input and I figured “What better place to do that than here?” Plus I’m sure the tens of people who follow us here including our moms and the surprisingly high number of people who wander in trying to learn about actual alchemy will be itching for an update so…
I’ve been thinking about the polarization of people on most big issues today. Now in fairness, a lot of these opinions come from folks’ social media so there is a bit of a slant there (I haven’t come across too many people in life who would carry on an entire conversation in what could be considered all CAPS, but in any case). Topics in this arena can range from significant, like birth control, gay rights and the mental wellness of the fella running what is arguably the most powerful country on earth, to objectively outrageous. Looking your way flat-earthers and anti-vaxxers. And it is fundamentally important to debate these things. In fact that’s how any major social movement has ever gotten off the ground. The issue here and what I perceive as the real problem is this:
You cannot beat someone into agreeing with you. No accord has ever been reached this way. Many wars have been started, but that’s about it.
Of course in 2019 this isn’t a physical confrontation. No one is standing over a creationist with a black eye yelling “It’s monkeys you ignorant dick! We came from monkeys!” but there are a lot of people doing something that is verbally very similar.
Let’s chat about the simpler topics here. People who believe the earth is flat or that they should not vaccinate their kids. All over the internet, they’ve become the butt of jokes because what they believe is, to most of us, unthinkable.
Consider for a moment, the standpoint of people who are in these camps. Are they just nuts? Yeah, maybe some. But in any group of a hundred people you’ll find three crazy ones (he said, using a completely made-up statistic) so let’s rule out those. Why then would people who have jobs and families and good heads on their shoulders outside of that issue believe what is to us wildly unbelievable?
Easy. Too damn much information.
There was a time very very recently when the information people received came from two or three news sources which for the sake of this discussion we will assume were researched and credible (the reality of that can be debated at another time in another forum). This meant people knew what to believe. There was an article in the newspaper that we can vaccinate against this or that, people watched the moon landing on TV, it was relatively easy to decide what to believe.
But now there are so many sources of information online and “proof” and “facts” that contradict each other directly that it isn’t a massive stretch mentally to see how some folks changed their perspective to “It’s only real if I can see it.” Think about that for a sec. Why do you KNOW the world is round or that vaccination really works? Well, because we’ve seen pictures of earth from all angles and those diseases don’t exist anymore. Cool, I just watched a very real-looking Iron Man punch an alien somewhere in space last night so those pictures could be fake and I don’t know that all those diseases ever really existed. What else ya got?
I think it’s important here to clarify I am making these arguments to illustrate a point about communication. I believe the world is round and that you should probably vaccinate your kids despite the point of view of a pornstar/comedian. But the fact is if you consider why a person thinks what they think, you are more likely to empathize and THAT is really the only way to change hearts and minds. Not by yelling at each other across the table, but by being on the same side of the table, addressing the disagreement and how to move past it. There are very few people who will object to a respectful discussion about points of view but most of us will bristle if that discussion starts with “Well, you’re an idiot because…”
I think the bullet point here is that the internet can be used for a lot of really great things, but debate is not one of them. Really have a think before you post something that’s 100% black and white or before you respond to someone else who has. Understand most of life exists in the grey and ask yourself what you are trying to accomplish. If it’s changing someone’s mind, consider moving to their side of the table and engaging in a real discussion. If it’s just stirring the pot, keep it to yourself. You’re not fucking helping.
Good luck out there friends. Thanks as always for visiting.