How Google Made You Stupid
No offense. It’s just that I have to see your posts every day on a variety of subjects — from world affairs, politics, special interest and human rights to the banality that is celebrity — today.
I’m not an expert on anything. Maybe music…but I’ve been in music university my whole life, 37 years and counting and I still don’t feel like an expert. Just an avid enthusiast who has the fortune of imparting what I learned, on others, from time to time. I still have to do the research, put in the effort, the hours upon hours of filtering, re-listening, being open minded, subjective and occasionally stoic in my resolve when it comes to certain genres and/or artists.
I always tell people that music is completely subjective. What you like is of no consequence no more than what I like is-to others. If we’re lucky and the universe brings us together; we can share a common thought in regards to what sounds good. These are moments we should cherish because they don’t represent the whole of life. We aren’t meant to — nor should we agree on everything.
Google is not an expert, on anything. It’s a machine built on algorithms, designed to factor in world trends, advertising, your personal habits, your location and a smidge (smudge?) of Google’s own agenda in regards to how you see and/or understand the world.
Type in “gun control” for instance and even though the NRA has hundreds of millions of dollars to throw at adsense and their SEO (search engine optimization) for those of you not in the mediaspeak… and you won’t find them anywhere in the first few pages. What you will find is a media narrative, explaining why gun control is so important. And, that’s where most of you stop.
I know this because of the content most (sorry to generalize) of you expound. The exact same narrative with almost no or, little deviation from that sensationalist headline that got you started. “Gun control, we need, now!” and it always comes within hours after a major event when a shooting happens. The anger is real. I see it. The fear, while I’m not sure founded, plays out in my news feed with each re-post of a meme, video or journalist pushing the gory details in our face. The problem with all this is — we’re missing substance.
You’re angry. I get that. It’s a powerful emotion, when used well, can move mountains. The thing is, you can’t hold onto an emotion like this and let it fizzle away simply because the expiry date has passed. What is the expiry date? It used to be weeks for a mass shooting. Then it moved to a week, then days and now you can sum it up in 24 to 48 hours before moving on.
The Las Vegas massacre, the worst in American History (if we discount the brutal murders of Indigenous at the hands of the government) played out and literally, within 72 hours we were moving on. Not to say that we forgot or that it wasn’t still fresh in our minds or that you couldn’t find something in the media outlets about it — it’s just that we started moving on. Almost as if we had seen this play out before and our ability to accept what we were witnessing slowly turned to indifference. Today we want gun control. Tomorrow we want cute puppy memes.
If you really want gun control and believe this will stop the loss of innocent life — it should be your mission. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 352 days a year. But who has time for that?
Get angry in the moment — let everyone know how pissed off you are and eventually, we’ll get that gun control…
Only we wont. If the government really believed that was the answer, they would act on the will of the people. Just think if even a quarter of the over 325 million people in the USA rose up and made it their mission to stop mass murders by introducing sweeping and stringent gun control, they would, could be, like Australia or Japan.
Here’s a little truth (and while I’m not an expert, I have done an incredible amount of research on this exact topic over the last 13 years) and it’s a pill that most will have trouble swallowing: gun control will never work in the United States.
There, I said it. While Australia has seen success (pop: 24 million) and Japan as well (pop: 127 million) they aren’t the States. The US has and will continue to rely on war(s) that they contribute to or participate in to drive their economy. Guns are part of the American culture. It’s written into their constitution. So exactly where and how does a country this big and with the gun ownership they have implement sweeping reform?
Roughly 1/3 of Americans own a gun. That’s not entirely true. Truth be known, it’s hard to gauge how many do. Stats say there are enough guns in the United States for every single person to own one, twice. Polls however indicate that maybe 40% of Americans have a gun in the house.
The only real answer is one that nobody in a democratic nation should want or even ask for. You want to eliminate the risk of another mass murder by gun? You bring in the military, go door to door and confiscate them all.
The time for changing the rules on how Americans purchase guns and what kind they can buy has passed. The best guess is that there are close to half a billion guns floating around. Personally, I think it’s way higher if you factor in all the guns smuggled by highly organized gang activity and the past hundred years of collecting by enthusiasts.
What’s your answer? Do you know what the question is? It’s not enough to get upset as your moral compass demands you acknowledge the tragedy playing out on the screen. If you truly cared, your moral outrage would last for more than a few days. It would become a calling — your mission in life. Then again, you would have to know the starting point and, the end game.
Not so easy, is it?
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t embrace violence like we do. As you drop down your 15 or 20 dollars at the theater to watch your favorite Marvel movie, it’s important to know that kids are also watching these movies and that the PG banner allows an extraordinary amount of violence for child consumption. It’s a serious fucking epidemic.
The Continuing Rise of Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies, 1985 to 2015
Abbreviations: PG-13 - : parental guidance for children under age 13 years R - : restricted to age 17 years and older…
How about your Xbox, Playstation and any other number of platforms out there where kids can immerse themselves in virtual worlds and execute virtual people at will. You think this has an effect on the mind of a pre teen and how they perceive death and compassion? You’re goddam right it does.
Violence is all around us. We are becoming increasingly desensitized to its effects and mass murders like Columbine or Sandy Hook which played out for months in our psyches now have a shelf life of mere days (Orlando, Las Vegas) and our only answer to the mind fuck we’ve all been given is to take the guns away, from ourselves.
I completely understand why you feel the way you do. Why you are compelled to share with all of your network about your feelings on gun control and how we need to be protected from the monsters in the world. That’s why I think Google makes you stupid. It now parrots the mainstream narrative and it’s mostly controlled, contrived and convoluted. (much like my alliteration)
I’m going out on a limb and stating for the record that you haven’t done your research. You haven’t dug past page two on your google search. You watched the news, the images of kids being marched out of a school with law enforcement all around and the rising death count attached to it hit a nerve. It’s simply too close to home and you won’t tolerate that you or those you love may be next and you want a solution — now.
Sorry to break it to you. There is no solution, sans all out martial law and the revocation of your rights in the democrat nation that you live in. Would you give up your civil liberties to feel a little safer at night? Would taking guns away from every private citizen accomplish this? It may be a temporary fix but certainly not a solution to the ever growing problem of violence in our society.
Now, you can’t expect me to come at you with this and not have something resembling a solution. And yes, I may have hinted at it a few paragraphs up.
So here it is, in point form and directed at Americans in particular:
- Stop glorifying violence
- Stop sensationalizing that violence and making celebrities out of the lunatics
- Stop your wars in countries you have no business being
- Stop your support of the genocide in Israel
- Stop supporting regimes like Saudi Arabia
- Stop allowing children to access violence in movies and video games
- Stop Stop Stop normalizing murder
- Legalize drugs (wipe out organized crime)
- Spend money on mental health and budget for trained psychologists and behaviorists in all schools so we can recognize the tell tale signs of a killer in the making
- Stop making violence a for profit proposition
In the immortal words of the Beatles — All you need is love.