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  • By Lt. Tim McMillan

Why It's Not The Media's Fault.

One of the biggest problems we face in the modern era isn’t the information provided to us. Rather the main issue is the lack of thirst for truth and knowledge that plagues so many individuals. There has never been a time in history when a virtual limitless trove of information is literally at our fingertips, and yet we choose not to seek it.

Now don’t let yourself feel like we’ve failed as human beings. The times we face now are unprecedented. We only fail as people when we discover our deficiencies and then fail to work to correct them. There has never been a time in history in which individuals can confirm their pre-existing perceptions of “truth” effortlessly. All one needs to do is stick to tight-knit informational circles that already share similar personality, cultural and behavioral norms.

The power of perception in human consciousness is one of the most formidable forces in the known universe. Ultimately, it is the strange dance between consciousness and perception that create our entire sense of reality. Human beings are fundamentally designed to seek understandings in their environment. The brain hates confusion, and it will try to eradicate it any chance it gets. This is the reason that if you stare a cloud long enough you will begin to see familiar shapes or animals, or it is the entire basis behind why camouflage works.

The damaging effects of lacking the desire to expand one’s wisdom is the creation of a chaotic existence in which multiple truths can exist simultaneously. There is the presence of absolute truth which is supported by facts and can be substantiated by anyone’s perception that examines it. Then there are distorted facts, that contain just enough absolute truth, to allow one to justify their ability to confirm it with shallow or no insight.

This creates the truths that we want, not the truths that actually exist. See, absolute truth at its fundamental nature will not always be convenient nor pleasant. Absolute truth may force one to reexamine or dismiss their entire preconceived notion of something. The idea that the world can be a mysterious and confusing place creates psychological chaos and therefore it is easier just to confirm one's preconceived truth and ignore any other semblance of contradiction to that ideal.

Ultimately, that is why we, in totality, fail to seek truth and knowledge. Because we do not desire it. We only want confirmation and the satisfaction of knowing we are right. Intrinsically all media organizations are a business. We are their consumer. Our inability to desire to seek truth and knowledge simply facilitates the media into providing us with the exact service we want. To compete with the diverse personalities that exist in the world, any one media organization simply has to ensure that they provide a particular product with a broad yet characteristic appeal. In essence, news organizations have become like restaurants. They each serve a different type of “food” to draw in the consumer to sit down and enjoy. Sure you might be able to get a pizza at an Italian restaurant and a steakhouse, but there will exist a difference in quality, care and taste depending on which restaurant you order the pizza from.

Ultimately, that is why I say it is not the media is not to blame for our problems. Because media is a producer, we are the consumer. They merely give us what we quintessentially want. If you happen not to like the information one media outlet is sharing, make no mistake, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a broad consumer base. Rather, it means you have happened to find yourself in a “BBQ restaurant” when you’re craving “seafood.”

Perfect example, you ever notice that when someone is blaming the media for a perpetrating a problem in the country, that the one who is saying that seems to believe that everyone else is blind to the “real truth” and being led to the water and made to drink. I have to consider, so what makes this person so confident they know the “real truth.” How many times if you ask someone how they formed their counter truth do you think that person says from personal experience, or diverse research using valid and reliable sources?

If you want to change the world, you must desire the truth above all else. If you want to desire the truth, you must have the humility to accept the frailty of human perception. You must accept that in countless times in one’s life, their perception will be wrong. When the stakes are as high as life and death, the soldier doesn’t entrust his or her life in the hands of their own perception. Do that, and that “bush” might end up shooting and killing you.

It’s that simple. Have the humility that you may be wrong, and a willingness not to accept being wrong. That will ignite the desire to discover the truth and knowledge. They can never enslave truth and knowledge. They can never take truth and knowledge away from you. They can never make you pay for truth and knowledge. The more truth and knowledge one gains, the more powerful they become.

Ultimately, it is only of truth and knowledge that the world can indeed change for the better.

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