What Tesla Really Taught Us

A mass in movement resists change of direction. So does the world oppose a new idea. It takes time to make up the minds to its value and importance. Ignorance, prejudice and inertia or the old retard its early progress. It is discredited by insincere exponents and selfish exploiters. It is attacked and condemned by its enemies. Eventually, though, all barriers are thrown down, and it spreads like fire.

So wrote Nikola Tesla. He, better than anyone, knew how the entrenched responded to new ideas. Sometimes it is not only old ideas that die hard. New ideas, regardless how flawed they are, can also spread like fire by those who know how to control the microphone: Control the conversation. Cast opponents has doubters or uneducated. Pretend “everyone” agrees and that there “is no debate.” Create a narrative.

These, however, are the red flags of irrationality, extremists, special interests and propagandists. They prey on people’s tendency to trust “authority,” or the appearance of such. Get enough people on the television saying the same thing — even if it’s only really one side and scripted — and soon people start to unconsciously believe it. Sophisticated brainwashing it is, or is it all that sophisticated? It truly is surprising how many are lulled into a state of cognitive dissonance: Believing something that is completely contrary to another thing, one you believe true (or is true).

These are important considerations in our time. Not only because we are entering another political season, but the overload of information encourages people not to think deeply on any and all issues. Funny how too much or too little information can lead to the same state. At least everyone can have a voice, but not every voice is thoughtful and reasoned. So who can lead an awakening against those who wish to stamp out Truth?

You. Detecting nonsense should be a primary skill we all wield. And in the end — perhaps not today or tomorrow — Truth will prevail.

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Categories: Books, Critical Thinking | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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