Speaking Of Paradigm Shift…

I’ve posted before about my theory that we (i.e. all humans) are in a period of paradigm shift–defined as a time when cultures’ previous world-views are undergoing profound change. The result of that shift is that people who see the world through previous lenses and those who have adopted new ways of understanding reality cannot communicate.

Just one example: People who see the world as it is and as it is emerging understand that humans are globally interdependent; folks wedded to an older paradigm cling tightly to nationalism, exclusion and slogans like “America First.”

Remarks made by the pastor who conducts Trump’s weekly bible study (and boy, would I like to be a fly on the wall in one of those!) are an excellent illustration of the wide gap–the abyss, really–between old and new realities.

According to the Intercept

The minister who hosts a weekly bible study session for President Trump’s Cabinet has an opinion about the origins of the coronavirus. According to Ralph Drollinger, it’s just another form of God’s wrath in response to an increasingly progressive nation.

“Relative to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, this is not God’s abandonment wrath nor His cataclysmic wrath, rather it is sowing and reaping wrath,” Drollinger wrote in a series of posts. “A biblically astute evaluation of the situation strongly suggests that America and other countries of the world are reaping what China has sown due to their leaders’ recklessness and lack of candor and transparency.”

Drollinger didn’t leave it at that; he also blamed the “religion of environmentalism” and people who express a “proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality,” and claimed that such persons have  infiltrated “high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry” and “are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.”

Granted, Drollinger’s worldview–like that of Mike Pence–is hardly representative of today’s  American society. (Trump, as best I can tell, doesn’t have a worldview;  he has only a Trumpview.) Drollinger, Pence, DeVos and most others in the administration–along with the cult that supports them– are extreme examples of the eras when humans explained everything they didn’t understand or couldn’t control as “God’s will.”

America’s mainstream has been inching toward a very different approach, one that respects science, empirical evidence and human agency. It recognizes that there is still much that we don’t know, much that we cannot answer or control (see: pandemics), but has confidence that with additional study and information, humans will eventually be able to answer the unanswered questions and control more of our common destiny.

The current Coronavirus pandemic may speed up the shift from reflexive attribution of everything we fail to understand to this or that deity, and toward adoption of a very different cultural and intellectual framework.

I thought about that possibility when I read a New Yorker article about Estonia, of all places. Estonia is evidently coping with the pandemic admirably.

Estonia may be the nation best prepared for the consequences of the pandemic, both economically and socially. As my colleague Nathan Heller has written, its economy is bound to tech, its government is digital, and most services in the country either are or can be provided electronically—in fact, it’s nearly impossible to overstate the extent of Estonian digitization. People vote online and use digital prescriptions; a single piece of I.D. securely stores each Estonian’s personal information, including health, tax, and police records; one can even establish residency and begin paying taxes in the country digitally—effectively immigrating online. Estonians say that only three kinds of interaction with the state require a person’s physical presence: marriage, the transfer of property, and divorce. In some cases, births had to be registered in person, but this requirement has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ninety-nine per cent of households have broadband Internet connections, and the education system is a world leader in developing and using electronic technologies. In other words, the prospect of having to work, study, and shop online may not require the sort of readjustment in Estonia as many people face elsewhere.

I don’t mean to suggest that digitizing society is a “new worldview.” it isn’t. But it is evidence of a society that accepts change and educates for it. And acceptance of and adaptation to change definitely is a very different approach to life than that adopted by people like the Reverend and other Trump supporters, characterized by resentment of change, blaming bad fortune on the  “other,” and insisting that bigotry is “God’s will.”

Transitions are always bumpy, but the sooner Americans abandon the Trumper’s paradigm, the better.


  1. This all has an creepy echo of the early years of the AIDS crisis. An incompetent and disinterested government, largely populated by Church folk who saw the whole thing as gods will – getting rid of THOSE people. Our current situation feels too familiar for comfort.

  2. Are those weekly Bible study classes voluntary or mandatory? Is attendance taken and are they tested on whatever lessons they may have learned which can be put to political advantage for Trump’s unending presidential campaign? Is a puzzlement!

    “Drollinger, Pence, DeVos and most others in the administration–along with the cult that supports them– are extreme examples of the eras when humans explained everything they didn’t understand or couldn’t control as “God’s will.”

    I thought the current “era” or Paradigm we are struggling to survive was brought about by President Obama. It has been widely circulated for many generations that God gave man “free will”; beginning with Adam and Eve and their choice in the Garden of Eden. It appears to me that blaming Gods will for the evils and disasters throughout history is simply casting blame away from human failures. We are working through a major “…Paradigm Shift” at this time bearing the title Covid-19; forced to face an unseen virus proving to be stronger than all of man’s current knowledge of medical science and any creation by man from the industrial age.

    “Transitions are always bumpy, but the sooner Americans abandon the Trumper’s paradigm, the better.”

    Read your Bibles if that is your source of comfort or turn on Sunday morning religious services on TV, send for Peter Popoff’s free Miracle Water as a cure-all or turn to the Internet for information on the constantly shifting and changing situation with Covid-19. My faith is in Dr. Fauci (no longer Dr. Birx), the CDC and W.H.O.; I depend on the Internet throughout my days but I do still pray.

  3. One sentence says it all: “when humans explained everything they didn’t understand or couldn’t control as “God’s will.”

    Only lazy people refer to a book describing the myths of a tribe of Bronze Age Bedouins to interpret what is happening three thousand years later. It’s easy to do, and a lot cheaper than getting a decent education.

  4. Whatever Trump and his base cannot control is readily dismissed either as a hoax, fake and now a new moniker: lamestream. In a time of uncertainty, does it not give you some comfort we can predict how the current administration is admonished to react. Loyalty to the chorus line is higher priority than science of a global pandemic. There is a glimmer of hope among a few exceptions.

  5. I have noticed that God’s will only goes to the punishment of the homosexuals and their friends, but when a tornado hits Oklahoma, there’s not a single mention of God’s wrath to punish the bigotry of the evangelical Christians. God apparently is equally wrathful to all, but still only really pissed off about the gays.

  6. the above words and ideals correct,i listen to the trumpers all hammmer out the ideology and half baked ideas,and whatevers. standing with a room full of trumpers and watching them,and listening is not for the faint of heart.. i back off when encountered by some, obvioulsly,they are the armed ones. Sheila didnt mention that.. being on a rig site in the middle of nowhere,is home to some of the most blaintant talk. working in the oil fields during the boom in NoDak, and hiding out in a skid shack,,when the weather made it impossibe to drive away..this talk was long before trump. ive been in and out of texas alot since 1980 and my work ran me through alot of bible belt.. the courtesy and smile compliment of god..from there its a downhill run on how the world works and why.. im outgoing in alot of ways,but being raised in less than a white enviroment,keeps me looking down the road,before opening mouth..like infiltrating a enemy as a spy.. i look at who and why, we are at this crossroad today..the propaganda and cheap rethoric from those deemed clean and honest,speaking of goverment as if its your enemy..when the cards are held now by the clean and honest joesph goebbels and his buddy hitler, we still stand on what was,but we hold the word Democracy and freedom for all, not in a war time sense,but as our Nation. We slept at the ballot box, and we disregared the ones who control the media,and pulpit.. we are more aware now,more than ever, of what was changed to come to this day.. the rules and laws,courts,political asperations,and wall streets fight to overturn our democracy for plutocracy.. we reconize the rich,are now using their buddies clout in washDC for their needs,over the majority..untill we throw some of that back at the god almighties,they will never recognise the change,and how it will eventfully distroy the world they want to believe exists.. that change,will be their own undoing en masse.. start the talk, point out how the oligarchs have wrapped the system around their finger, and point out what has changed and,,why….. being someones whore, isnt a way of life,its the manipulation you are apart of, and it doesnt include our democray…
    three men came into the truckstop yesterday,asking her if the truckstop sold bullets..
    do we have a new issue now?
    washdapaws,best wishes..

  7. jack,

    “standing with a room full of trumpers and watching them,and listening is not for the faint of heart.. i back off when encountered by some, obvioulsly,they are the armed ones. Sheila didnt mention that.”

    That’s called reality. Will we ever ORGANIZE IN TIME? Not at the rate we’re going. That’s for sure.

  8. Religion has been peddling fear to the masses for generations. Why?

    Because it works; fear of the unknown is a great manipulative tool. All you have to do is get people to look beyond the present moment, and BAM, fear, and anxiety abound.

    Our government and media use the same thing to get the masses to conform. Remember the peddling of “Evil Doers.”

    That con allowed our government to rush into several oil and heroine wars in the Middle East. Even today, for some reason, we are guarding oil wells in Northern Syria. We are “protecting them” from the Syrians, Kurds, and the Russians. Lol

    The problem with these “doom peddlers” and “professors of God’s will” is they always come from a place of these acts are happening to others. They don’t happen to the chosen ones or the people who send checks to the peddlers of doom.

    The whole scam is riddled with hypocrisy, but you can certainly see how and why it works on many people in this country. Luckily for Trump, he is a chosen one so must be defended at all cost. LOL

    The Cult of Religion.

    What I find interesting is there are scientists around the world working to tracking the COVID-19 virus, but they exclude China’s scientists and intelligence community. Therefore, they’ve already assumed that the virus emanated from Wuhan.

    The problem is if they exclude China’s research, then tracking is incomplete. There are scientists in both China and Japan who started their virus tracking efforts, and they all point to a military lab in Ft. Detrick. The scientists were working on the Ebola virus and then had a contamination leak. This occurred in August 2019, and the CDC swiftly closed the lab.

    God’s will or human error?

    And why in the blessed world is the USA military still manufacturing bioweapons? They’re inhumane.


  9. patmcc, you spoke of the creepy echo of the AIDS crisis.

    NYC and Cuba were both afflicted with the AIDS epidemic over the same three-decade period. They have approximately the same population. The AIDS death toll in Cuba was 2,500; the toll in NYC was 78,000. Was this god’s will, or did one practice better science?

    With the 2019 coronavirus are we learning anything from the better epidemic-response science being practiced in Estonia, Singapore and China?

    What we learn is that in the US there is little private-sector profit to be made in epidemic preparedness. Even if we have repeated back-to-back epidemics, the Congress will remain focused on funding for the Space Force.

    We also learn that it is impossible to effectively fight an epidemic with a for-profit healthcare system. A number of states are working in the direction of socialized healthcare. The paradigm shift will come from the states.

  10. Patmcc,
    This all has an creepy echo of the early years of the AIDS crisis.

    Quite right, and it had not occurred to me nor have I read it anywhere else. Five stars!!!

  11. This past week I watched a program on Nat Geo with Neil degrasse Tyson, it featured Bill Nye, The Science Guy.

    Nye said in so many words the only way to defeat the Bronze Age Mythology of creationism, is to teach science in school. He said science must be taught as entertainment to catch the attention of young people but also teach the facts about our wonderful universe. Science demands facts. This does not mean mistakes cannot be made because all the facts may not be known. Science because of what it is corrects itself.

    Religious Bronze Age Mythology cannot correct itself. Even though our geology has proven there was no world wide flood, the bible thumper’s then have invoke the supernatural. Believe me I have met these people, they also question our moon landings.

    The answer to teaching science in public school was the “creation” of voucher schools and the funding of these schools through tax dollars.

  12. Monotonous,

    “The answer to teaching science in public school was the “creation” of voucher schools and the funding of these schools through tax dollars.”

    So how do you effectively respond to the above problem? It isn’t going to be Bernie Sanders.

  13. Once again religion comes to the rescue of sanity. Everyone on this blog today states that premise in their own way. There is no greater gap between societies than that of our pathetic, religion-based governance and Estonia’s fact-based society. The wretches DeVos, Trump, Pence, et.al., have NO idea how to govern, only corrupt. It’s what our “god-fearing” populace got elected.

    Now we are paying the ultimate price for our folly. EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES DIES, and now he is touching all of us with his utter incompetence, his psychopathy and his drooling acolytes. There is no better proof that God does not exist than the scourge and the plague of Donald J. Trump.

  14. Marv, >>> Monotonous, “The answer to teaching science in public school was the “creation” of voucher schools and the funding of these schools through tax dollars.”

    So how do you effectively respond to the above problem? It isn’t going to be Bernie Sanders.

    Marv, I do not believe there is one answer. The fear of the bible thumper’s that a secular education undermined their supernatural myths brought up the voucher schools. The thumper’s knew they were losing control.

    I would just throw out the hypothesis the thumper’s realized they were losing with the advent of the space program. The space program brought about an explosion of science (facts). Radio astronomy, the Hubble Space Telescope, etc. Concurrent were discoveries and expansion in earth science, molecular DNA testing, i.e., plate tectonics.

    The emphasis on STEM in schools may be a big assist in promoting science. Science demands verifiable proof, not mythology.

  15. ML,

    Agree on all fronts… From direct experience, the biggest impediment to teaching and learning science is CHURCH DOGMA that is allowed to abuse the minds of children. You have to experience to believe it. I saw this as a form of child abuse. From my 12 years of teaching science in Colorado and Texas, I’d say that about 10% – 12% of the children are adversely affected by their pastors and churches.

  16. Monotonous,

    “Marv, I do not believe there is one answer. The fear of the bible thumper’s that a secular education undermined their supernatural myths brought up the voucher schools. The thumper’s knew they were losing control.”

    Right on. I’m in full agreement. Thus, our only chance, at this late date, is an ACCURATE ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS to be used as a guide for the application of PRE-EMPTIVE TREATMENT by a new ENTITY, before all is lost.

  17. Religion was never about God. Faith, maybe. Religion is about control. It’s the ultimate authoritarianism – entitlement to close your eyes and have all of the answers come out of your mouth from the greatest authority of all times.

    That’s why Trump was an adapter of the pose. He personally believes that he personally is the greatest personal authority of all times. Pence has always believed that either he or his wife, it’s hard to tell, and maybe Trump too, somehow he’s surrounded by, the greatest authorities of all time.

    It is inconceivable to them that they are just a pack of bumbling idiots who happen to be around when people who don’t believe in knowledge were desperate for someone to blindly follow because the world was contaminated with a virus called thinking which has no regard for their authority.

  18. Estonia is our future and with AI doing the dog work it appears we will have lots of leisure time. In time science will supplant a religion based on the unknown as the unknown becomes known for what it is, a fabrication based on primitive fear, and thus unleashed, humanity will be on its own, free to write its own ticket with new codes of ethics, economic arrangements etc. I have no clear idea of what that new society will look like, but I do know that it will be markedly different from the self-imprisoning one we have today (self-imprisoned by far more mores and folkways than our favorite whipping boy, i.e., religion). All of the foregoing, of course, depends upon our survival as a species in this day and age of tin horn dictators and wannabes, pandemics etc.

    Strange that Sheila today gave us an Estonian look at tomorrow since when I awakened I lay there and (in unknowing Estonian fashion and in view of self-imprisoning doctrines other than religion such as policy cover for crime, stare decisis, socialism for the rich etc.) was ready to chuck the lot and come up with new treatment of old ideas. Among other such thoughts it occurred to me that (and this may seem far out by today’s standards) Trump should be shorn of his policy defense and indicted for negligent homicide and those who helped him indicted as accomplices; that he and his accomplices should be similarly shorn of their policy and other such Nuremberg defenses and that 330 million Americans join in a class action lawsuit for civil damages against all such defendants for gross negligence in office directly leading to their false imprisonment, violation of their constitutional right to travel, work, interact etc. Can’t be done? No retroactive application? Wrong. Change the rules.

    I concede that making such drastic changes from common law, statutory law and constitutional law may seem to be utterly impossible, especially when such changes if made are to be applied to newly dubbed but past wrongdoings, but such changes do fit the concept of remedial legislation, and we are witnessing such affronts by way of Trump’s grab of power via rules and regs in any event. He has long since made or caused to be made “legislation” in violation of the Separation of Powers doctrine.

    So, far out random thinking? Probably, but someone somehow has to put a muzzle on this demented genius and his merry band of greed mongers before, as Tom Lehrer (for a different reason) predicted: “We will all go together when we go.”

  19. M.L. I would point out that Bill Nye “the Science Guy” is a mechanical engineer. He has no science background.

  20. All these negative comments about religion are disappointing. Sure, there has been a lot of bad that has been done in the name of religion. But, on the whole, religion does a lot of good. The vast majority of people are guided by their religion to be more moral, more ethical, to treat people better. Without religion those people would be left to their own moral compass, unaided by perception of an outside force that that expected them to be better.

    If Donald Trump started looking outside his own (broken) moral compass to religion for guidance he undoubtedly would be a better, more moral, more ethical, more empathetic person than he is today. (Seriously, could religion make him any worse?) Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Of course, I don’t believe D.T. is actually studying the bible or cares one whit about religion. It’s just a con he’s running to dupe religious people that he’s one of them.

  21. Uh, Paul…. One must be well-steeped in science to be a mechanical engineer. EVERY engineering curriculum includes extensive physics and chemistry as part of the basis for everything else.

  22. Like many other entertainers today Bill Nye is and wants to be an influencer. In his case he wants his influence to promote the return of human knowledge as the most important influence in our thinking. To do that he has to know science, table stakes for becoming an engineer, but he also has to entertain, especially young people.

    Given all of the entertainers in our world today who merely say and do and wear whatever they have to in order to influence wealth redistribution up towards them, I’d say Nye is a pretty solid asset to society.

  23. Paul – thanks for adding balance to the stomping of religion in some of the entries. Wonder if much evil has been done in the name of revolutions for the people?

  24. Religion always has been a useful tool for the corrupt and should not be conflated with faith.

    BTW science and math are fun, or they can be. The problem is most of those who teach those subjects in grades K-12 don’t know enough about them to make them fun. They are one step ahead of their students and wouldn’t be that far if not for the answers in the back of their texts.

  25. Trump’s supporters are trying to inform us that the Renaissance was not a 16th century historical event, but a work in progress that defies completion. Because change is so wrenching for so many, that work will continue to defy completion until we can convince the most conservative among us that change works in their favor if they choose to adapt to it. That notion gets to the root of human nature and explains why many would foolishly like to make America great AGAIN. Our greatest intellects have not cracked that nut, and no amount of pragmatism or cause-effect demonstrations seem to make a dent in the resistance.

    But change marches inexorably ahead and waits for no one, thereby making the resistors even more out of tune and more radical and more ineffective. Paradigm shifts can be cataclysmic enough to alter many opinions, but troglodytes with power, like our current president, will always be supported in their populism by people like Drollinger who seek self-advantage. Sometimes it is tempting to believe that a thorough cleansing of the gene pool, such as might ensue from a pandemic, could offer a solution. Or could, at least, cause many to question their values.

    Unlike me, the righteous believe that God will clean up the environment and that they have no responsibility. Given the newly clean air in China and the blue canals in Venice, maybe they are right. God works in mysterious ways.

  26. Marv.
    time for some deep converastions,and back when we had local radio, i was in los angeles,during the latter vietnam days.at the time,klos.kmet were the center of our music scene,and local djs,had the sense to just mention local and statewide protests gearing up. as to the national scene over vietnam,nixon and such other issues….this was one of the best vehicles to stimulate the masses..they even had every half hour free updates on concerts up and down calif,,ads for free…support the music scene,and energize the people..
    today we hide behind a social curtain,and over our heads laws and silence that has degenerated the masses into a puddle of water.. your play here, i see using social media as a working system to clog up the people who have decided that our voice be silenced,and unheard.. sending mass e mails to canidates who have decided we are now paying for another 2 trillion. to bailout their well thought out failures,and giveaways that now have caused a pandemic,and spreading ignorance in the process..in a overall view of why,we are now here,and what wall street has taken from us… like i mentioned,my assesment of sen john hoeven as a below status of used car sales person,is not likely to get me a reply,and i do write sincerely and to my blue collar working points, he takes 4/5 months to answer anything. im sure his staff does the dirty work, BUT, its that staff that gets hammered,and they read the reason why..not all of them work a republican field.and some are only there for experience.. but with the virus demanding time off the street, and orgs wanting money,it time to reassess the way to speak with a hammer,and not a straw broom… flooding the offices with demands for accountability and known issues before the people, would scare them to at least take a look,and see how close novemeber is…this is all we have gained since social media,and im sure NoDak will never have the stomach like the Standing Rock Rez had against a pipeline…(that alone told a story,how local goverment and corp America used a private org like tiger-swan,eric princes new named black opps,to monitor the people,i was made contact with these people as a citizen,they are blaintant assholes from the word go, because the can carry weapon anywhere, and be reinforced by local authorities.).. ignorance prevails here,useless minds, govern by a arm chair in our electorate.. id make the trip, but like my e mails include, from various orgs,just type in a zip code,, who ia have repeatedly contacted via e mail…i dont face and twit,please inform me other than a zip code, im land locked,and need a daye in the very near future to react,im on the road,i can,and will travel to,said meet,,so and sos time and place to be there.. i never in 10 years even from parties i have given cash donations to, answered one request,or even acknowledges my question… i recently spoke with a ACLU person who wanted to know why i didnt donate this year,,, seems they havent a clue either, because i dont face or twit,and privacy issues are a mainstay,supposivly, i cant get a active lawyers address who helped me on a case some 28 years ago. i contacted the NoDak and SoDak ACLU offices,twice a years over 10 years,ive yet to recieve any reply or a address so i may send this man a gift,and encouragement.. my privacy is mine, and in doing so, ive have become totally invisable,and unheard.. i however voice my issues face to face,and get to witness some reality checks…far more satisfaction.. Marv, pawn faces your pawn,,your move.

  27. So if one was to agree with Scripture, which, this minister having his weekly Bible study with Trump, should, then he should not be talking about environmentalism being a dirty word! But obviously, Drollinger is an ignorant apostate, someone religious in name only! In Genesis chapter 2 and verse 15, it states man was supposed to take care of the garden and cultivate it, to take care of it.

    So, the POTUS minister, whose name contains the word droll, is completely antithetical toward Scripture! So what do we have here? It’s the greater, or the latter Sanhedrin. They made up things that were not part of the Mosaic law, or even the Abrahamic law covenant. The Sanhedrin (Pharisees and Sadducees) put undue burden upon the Israelites by adopting counterfeit teachings and dogma along with pursuing self-aggrandizement. The same thing we see today. Religious apostates that are attached to a powerful liar all seeking their riches and self-aggrandizement.

    The earth is the only home we have, and if one were to believe Scripture, we were supposed to manage the planet. And, Scripture shows how mankind was supposed to dispose of waste, grow the food, exercise authority over the other life on the planet, taking care of it, but greed could not be kept at bay, greed controls conduct. When you look at Mike Pence and Betsy DeVos, all you see are empty eyes. There is no empathy, there is no concern, there is no love, only self-serving belief. It’s like listening to puppets, it’s someone else’s voice and somebody else is moving the lips. Climate change, the lake level is over the brand-new government fishing pier where I live, PCBs are bubbling up from long buried secret dumps, mounds of asbestos covered with clay to keep it from contaminating all of the local communities. Extinctions, out-of-control weather patterns, toxic waste dumping, air pollution, water pollution, land pollution! Mankind is responsible for all of it. And it will bring about his demise.

    I just find it fascinating that these idiots go against their beliefs, they don’t believe their beliefs! That in itself is going to create a catastrophe for them that they could never have imagined. I just hope I’m around long enough to see it, it would give me great pleasure, even if it was during my dying breath. Anyway, that’s my take right now, and I’ll leave it with this, the religious aspect of this whole scenario is going to be crushed! Because people recognize the hypocrisy religious hierarchy, and, they will burn it to the ground! They have to, because every war in history was started by a religious aspect, and eventually, secular authorities will get wise to it along with the populations of those authoritarian regimes!

  28. Gerald
    theres a flick THX1138 by geo,lucas,his first full lenth film… robert duval,,today reality, how AI masters the thoughts,based, Orwells 1984

  29. Larry,

    Or should I say Capt. nice, as in very very nice!

    Man do I wish I could draw, LOL! One picture, I’m sure folks would rather see one picture, than try to read one of my comments, LOL yikes!

  30. Brainwash mongers; you know who you are…maybe.

    Brainwash results are null–they fail–when dealing with the general public who are free to move around and think around. I once was part of a military unit tasked to influence/direct/change/mold the minds of a finite public–Hawaii. We couldn’t do it, not in the six-year time period allotted, and we had every media outlet in the state helping us.

    Our end report concluded that brainwashing’s only hope for success is through constant, consistent application over at least five generations cradle to grave. We cited B.F. Skinner’s behavioral psychology and his Skinner box experiments to strengthen even that assertion. Skinner claimed that if you give him a baby and let him keep it in a Skinner box for a few years, he could train that child to be anything–baker, boilermaker, preacher, spy–that you desired. And brainwashing–actually Skinner’s “Operant Conditioning”–we thought could be achieved, if we worked with imprisoned people, people in a box, so to speak, Patty Hearst, for instance…but we noted that if you can put people in a box, you already have control and don’t need to waste effort attempting that which you have already achieved.

    We also noted that mass behavior sometimes appears to be led by some sort of operant conditioning, but in reality it is coincidence that you observed. That phenomenon occurs when the attempt at operant conditioning (brainwashing) just happens to coincide with mass behavior that is happening anyway, or is about to happen, and the masses choose the wannabe brainwasher as their leader, because they appear to be on the same path. The best way to get the masses to behave the way you want is to adopt the way of the masses.

    I, personally, noted that psychwashing can be achieved. Psychwashing goes undercover inside people’s feelings and stays away from their thought processes as avidly as a spy avoids detection. As soon as an individual becomes aware of the psychwasher’s presence, the psychwasher is outed, exposed, and all the spy work inside the mark’s psyche is spoiled.

    There is one element of society that has a direct opportunity to brainwash a few individuals–parents. Parents normally have a child under their guidance for 18 years, and they do try. They read the “literature”, go to classes, watch Oprah and Dr. Phil, read their Bible, listen to their preacher, and still fail to brainwash their children.

    If brainwashing were so easy and common as conspiracy hacks think, scientists would never get a dime for DNA research, and consumer poling would tell you nothing you did not already know.

  31. jack,

    ” …..this is all we have gained since social media,and im sure NoDak will never have the stomach like the Standing Rock Rez had against a pipeline…”

    “Marv, pawn faces your pawn,,your move.”

    You’re the only one who understands, that at this point, I’m the only person in a position who can make the NEXT MOVE; It’s P.E.I.S. [PEACE] SYSTEMS.

    My longtime companion, who passed ten years ago, lived among the Sioux for over twenty-five years. During the first hour of our first meeting in ’92, I told her that one day we would have to stand up and fight and because of her long experience ministering to the Sioux that I knew she wouldn’t stop me.

    We need to remember who was here first. They were WARRIORS, not CIVIC COWARDS.

  32. jack,

    “As in the past, war and other modes of conflict in the information age will continue to bear resemblances to the game of chess. But such conflicts will increasingly take on characteristics of the “double-blind” chess variant KRIEGSSPIEL and the very different Japanese game GO. If chess or kriegsspiel was played so that one’s own side has sight of both his and his opponent’s pieces, but the opponent can see only his own pieces, then we would have an analogy for “cyberwar.” For an analogy for social and other types of “netwar,” we would play GO so that, again, one’s own side sees all pieces but the opponent sees only his pieces.”

    “In chess, each side has a king and five other types of specialized pieces. Each piece, including the king, had a different “value” and a different ability to move. Each side lines up its pieces in assigned positions on opposite sides of the game board. Thus the two sides face off across a “front line.” Then, each side maneuvers in ways that are generally designed to fight for control of the boards center, to shield one’s valuable pieces from being taken, to use combinations of pieces selectively to threaten and capture the opponent’s pieces, and ultimately to achieve checkmate (decapitation) of the one-and-only king. Warfare before World War II was often like this and, indeed, frequently continued to retain this linear flow up through the Persian Gulf War.”

    “The Advent of Netwar” by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt [National Defense Research Institute/Prepared for the Office of Secretary of Defense (RAND, Santa Monica, CA, 1996) p. 103.

    P.I.E.S [PEACE] Systems, developed by The Political Epidemiology Institute, UNBEATABLE STRATEGIES, for the past twenty years, have been influenced by GO, not by CHESS.

  33. Larry,

    Absolutely! The mining of data that has been done through social media was a gold mine to those who wanted to steer individuals in a particular direction. They’ve realized the direction certain individuals want to go and use them to reach whatever Pinnacle we are trying to reach! The Pinnacle of power I guess would be an appropriate term. You don’t have to deliver on anything, you just have to agree with them that you will move in the direction that they are already leaning towards in the first place. That way, you gain the power without giving up much.

    After all, what are folks going to do if they don’t get there desires delivered to them on a silver platter? They’ve just given enough to alleviate the hunger pangs to a certain extent.

    Listening to Trump’s ignorant and rambling presser today, made me want to stab myself in the eye, lol! because people want to believe something already, he can stand up there and claim he’s never said something that he is quoted to have said. Even if it’s on tape, he still denies it.

    He stood up there and accused hospitals of theft, and it was just aw inspiring! Without any proof, without any probability, he just threw it out there!

    That tells me, there’s something else afoot with him. Like I said yesterday, in reality or psychologically or any other ology, this is the bizarro world, this is uncharted probably even for Nazi Germany!

  34. Okay Marv, LOL! Now I’ve got to try out something else. I’ve never even heard of those variants. But I would bet I’ll be playing them tomorrow.

  35. OK – Let’s get this straight – god is pissed off – we have Trump, Pence, and DeVos leading this country – this a her wake up call – we are all in this together – the unity of mankind is stated in the very first chapter of the very first book of the Christian bible – Trump, Pence, and DeVos need to repent — or be replaced

    Has anyone noticed that Trump persists in his hatred of “others” – Let’s ban travel from China – it’s the fault of THOSE Chinese; Let’s ban travel from Europe – it’s the fault of THOSE Europeans; Let’s put a quarantine around New York – it’s the fault of THOSE New Yorkers infecting Florida — I am just surprised Trump didn’t suggest to build a wall around New York – a great wall, the really great wall, the greatest wall in the world — oh, that’s right, he wanted the billions to bail out the Trump hotels.

    Patmcc – so true, so sad, but so true

    JoAnn – Peter Popoff – I still remember James Randi’s exposure of him as a con artist on the Johnny Carson Show (and also when I saw Randi at a Southern California Skeptics gathering). Yet there Popoff is again, bilking people with his “cures”.

    Pascal – a small point – it is a “folk history” of a tribe of Bronze Age nomads

    Peggy – 8)>

    Todd – nice conspiracy theory – Ebola is a Filoviridae virus; SARS-CoV-2 is a Coronaviridae – they look different, they behave differently, and just are not the same. No virologist would start with Ebola to create a Coronavirus.

    Paul – Bill Nye is not a “scientist”; I am. We have had discussions before. Bill, as Pete has pointed out, is a media/educator/personality and understands the science behind his engineering degree and has a respect for the scientific community and the scientific process. That makes him an able spokesperson that I believe is respected for his public advocacy by most of us in the “scientific community”.

  36. John,

    “Okay Marv, LOL! Now I’ve got to try out something else. I’ve never even heard of those variants. But I would bet I’ll be playing them tomorrow.”

    There is little time left. I’m much older than you. I still remember PEARL HARBOR. We should have known better and let ourselves be subject to a “sneak” attack. What will our excuse be this EASTER if Trump follows through on his threat?

  37. We need to take a poll in the U.S.: How many Americans believe there will still be a Presidential election in November 2020? In that way, we can, at least, divide the FOOLS from the IDIOTS.

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