Who Killed Granny?

There seems to be this strange notion or behavioral currency in subconscious circulation in society these days that those are good citizens that have low or near-zero pretensions to self-determination and individual sovereignty.

And yet, in fact, it is the conscious and aware individual with a wholesome amount of discernment and self-reliance that has what it takes to contribute to society.

It may sound paradoxical but it is true.

In the same way as there is no intellectual progress (and mental and emotional development possible) without freedom of expression, there is no “greater good” possible without individual freedom of choice.

Ballooning collectivism, and its instruments of propaganda, censorship, and entrenched bureaucracy poses a greater threat to grandma, in the final analysis, than the germs of Little Red Riding Hood or the fangs of the big bad wolf.

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Attention Quarantined

You become what you agree to attend to.

And your freedom turns on it.

Literally.

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Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.

William James

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The way Social Media can in effect anti-socialize us and Smart technologies dumb us down is the way that our capacity for discerning attention is under great threat in the Black Hole Glut of the Attention (=Distraction) Economy.

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And it all happens when we have no distinct idea about who we actually are and what we actually stand for.

Absent clarity of intent and intuitive self-reliance we’re bound to forfeit our agency and to defer to what (ever) is being curated for us.

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Free will then is not exempt from causes and conditions but is rather the flexible coordination of attention, intention and emotion in skillful action. That’s what it means to be free from a psychological and phenomenological perspective.

Evan Thompson

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Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it:

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ATTENTION

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Down by the bay I

kept in mind

at once

the tips of all the rushleaves

and so

came to know

balance’s cost and true:

somewhere though in the whole field

is the one

tip

I will someday lose out of mind

and fall through.

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