JP: Conspiracy Theorists?

OP: Is anyone else starting to feel like Facebook is mostly conspiracy theorists looking for someone to argue with?

me: I think that we’re using the platform to learn how to talk nicely to each other (reflective listening, curious questions, etc), especially when there’s a difference in viewpoints.

OP: Do you think that’s actually happening? That people are learning how to do that on here? I always feel like people just get defensive and even stronger on whatever point they started with. And then the trolling and the bullying… it’s hard to watch!

me @OP: I would agree with your assessment. People are falling back on their old communication styles based on various factors like unhealed trauma, childhood dynamics, etc.

However, if one has some space to hold space for another person’s perspective, then this current FB dialogue serves as an invaluable arena to learn how to hone one’s ability to take care of their own triggers and be present for another person.

Unfortunately, as you witness, not many people are in the awareness to use the dialogues as such.

So, we have be the change we want to see, and be able do the difficult work to put aside our ego and hold some space for someone with a differing opinion.iewpoints.

OP: I think that’s true. Even on Facebook, sometimes people will argue in the moment, but then go away and think about it a little bit more later. Sometimes it is useful to have thee discussions when there can be some compassion and intelligent points. But with conspiracy theorists? There’s no reasoning with someone who is insisting on refusing to listen to reason.

me @OP: Could it be said that statements that might invoke the label of “conspiracy”, would be statements that one feels shocked to believe are true, given one’s current knowledge of how the world operates?

Frequently when we receive such a shock that we cannot hold and integrate without strong judgement, then we may want to persuade the other to believe what we believe.

Could it be said that the shock and inability to hold/integrate another’s view, is the ego operating in full force?

I wonder if someone can persuade someone else to come over to their way of thinking by reason? Do smokers, alcoholics, gamblers, etc change their thinking and behaviour upon presentation of what one feels is very rationale, intelligent, and reasonable?

Eg “If you’d just stop smoking, you’d be healthier, won’t die from cancer, won’t leave your young children without a parent, would be able to save money for the apartment, etc.”

I think that these conversations are not so much intended for us to persuade another person who has a whole lifetime of different experiences/traumas/emotional coping/education-research/etc, to come to our side of what we believe is a rationale worldview.

These conversations might be catalysts for us to see how we are triggered, why we are triggered, question what is revealed in this triggering, and then perhaps, to some small degree, be able to hold space for the other’s perspective, with some reflective listening and respectful questions.

In that way, we are transformed, we grow in tolerance, openness, understanding, compassion, and connection with our society.

me @OP: A further, perhaps even more important aspect, is that we can use these FB conversations to grow spiritually, to grow wiser and more self-directed.

Gigi Young says it quite eloquently in this video (I’m applying it to FB conversations, but I believe she’s talking about the current times in general).

21:13-22:10 of the video:
“It’s up to the individual in society to develop their personality, to develop their spirit to the point that we are not so fragile as individuals that we demand the world change for us. We understand that we are strong and we allow others to be. And we become the eye of the storm. We don’t try to change everybody and everything so that we’re okay.

We become a force in the world and we develop our own gravity. And people can say whatever they like. Because you are who you are and you are doing your thing. Okay? That is where we have to get to as spiritual beings, as human beings. Is that we don’t look to the external world to define us. And we allow people to be. And that allows for a free society okay? it’s very very very important.”

KK: Trump Supports Black Music

I find it fascinating that people are so attached to thinking that Trump is evil incarnate that they get angry when you point out that he’s done something good. Why not be happy when the President of the US does something good? Is this what they call “cognitive dissonance?”

One of several ways that Trump has helped black people (as well as white, brown and yellow people) is by putting The Music Modernization Act into law, which makes it possible for songwriters to be properly compensated for their work.

Other ways he’s helped black people is by shortening prison sentences for those who have demonstrated good behaviour for non-violent crimes (see link below); by increasing funding to black universities and extending their contracts so they don’t have to reapply for funding every year; and by introducing Opportunity Zones — tax cuts for businesses who invest in distressed parts of the US.

I’m curious, what have Democratics done to improve the lives of black people besides backing the Black Lives Matter movement (run by “trained Marxists – link below) and whose donations go to the Democratic Party? Please share anything good that the Democrats have done for blacks. I’m open to hearing about good things that Democrats have done as well.

Passing the most sweeping reform to copyright law in decades

Kevin: It’s a good bill, but Trump only signed it. Three different Republican legislators each had separate bills addressing separate aspects, which were combined into the final bill.

Presidents are supposed to sign bills the house passes. They get credit/blame for initiatives they launch.

The bill’s not perfect, of course. The pre-1972 royalties are great, but artists affected have largely died and/or sold their rights, but there’s little legislation could do about that.

Both major parties are part of the problem. You want to see change with real potential, look at what Maine did.

OP: thanks for the info. It was positive anyway, that he signed it, along with some of the other positive bills I’ve shared in this thread.

Kevin: Well, signing’s the job. Anything that becomes law only does so with his signature. Essentially, it’s the role of king, something early US lawmakers carried over since they were used to royalty. There’s an old line to that effect that “the Americans replaced King George with King George Washington”.

OP @Kevin: yes. And the point is that all of these good things have been done for blacks under Trump’s administration. What did Obama do that was better?

Under Trump’s administration, the policeman who killed George Floyd was also charged with murder and actions have been taken to reform the police force. So why are people still protesting, shooting people and burning things down like angry brats? Maybe because the force behind them doesn’t care about blacks or Americans, and instead wants America to suffer without police protection at the hands of the angry mob. Divide and conquer. Install the new technocracy ruled by the 1%.

Kevin: Hardly angry brats and hardly a fair characterization of events. Peaceful protests were hit by police rioting. Even where there were provocateurs, the response was insane and indefensible. People on their porches shot at — indefensible. Journalists beaten, arrested, and shot at — indefensible. Medical teams attacked and shot at — indefensible. You may not know anyone who lost their eye, but trust me, no sane person could think it was deserved.

It was the protests that spurred the arrests of Chauvin and the others, never mind the citizen journalism of recording the events.

Speaking of divide and conquer, you’re falling for that tactic. Why bring up Obama? Much as the US political duopoly wants you to believe that choice is limited to combo D or combo R, it’s not. Obama stood against equal marriage, as did Trump. Obama put in a Republican healthcare plan (created by Mitt Romney), which the Republicans made a show of opposing. Trump is the 1%.

And while most are watching the circus, a few aren’t settling. Maine not only brought in electoral reform through citizen initiative, they overruled their government with a two-thirds citizen veto vote. The duopoly does a good job of keeping that off the radar.

OP @Kevin: You’re right. Angry brats is quite the right way to describe this. I think domestic terrorism is more accurate. Watch this video of the looting of store after store on Rodeo Drive in LA.

Kevin @OP: that’s not protesting. You see signs in their hands? The only one with a sign there is throwing herself in front of looters. I’m no fan of the looting, but the police sparked it with their rioting.

You want to see domestic terrorism, look at this.

Kevin: And this is what you get for being a citizen journalist — blinded in one eye.

People are being shot, blinded, and maimed but your chief concern is shoes? Really?

me @Kevin: Could you say a little more about your statement “Much as the US political duopoly wants you to believe that choice is limited to combo D or combo R, it’s not.”?

Kevin @me: no one is required to vote for one of those two parties.

me @Kevin: That’s true. Is it highly probable that the independent/other party that one casts their vote for (if one votes at all), won’t get elected?

Kevin @me: Maine brought in ranked-choice voting. You could list thirty candidates before one of the big two. Your vote would only count for that big two candidate if your other choices didn’t make it. That gives others a chance to come up.

Elsewhere, not so much because the two major parties game things against anyone else coming up. But there are exceptions. Think of Bernie Sanders.

me @Kevin: Ranked choice voting? First time I heard about. Thanks for letting me know. Does it work like this?

OP: I agree. It’s not protesting. But they’re getting away with it because BLM are demanding to defund the police and the good police who could protect the people are beginning to abandon them, leaving them to suffer at the hands of the angry mob. I believe that’s exactly what the 1% and the emerging technocracy want.

Kevin @me: that’s about it.

me @Kevin: Sounds like a good voting system. Maybe it will gain more traction.

Kevin @OP: no, they’re getting away with it because of police rioting. The bad police, including bad management, are the problem here. They start rioting then act shocked that looting comes up. Have you seen the statements from police who’ve stood up against police abuses? They’ve been subject to constant abuses, with multiple suicides resulting. The good police are being chased out and driven to suicide by the bad ones, not protesters.

What the 1% wants is blind trust in the status quo, what their wealth is built on. BLM and other protesters are challenging that — not every one of them well, but they’ve been doing more for the people than most police forces.

Again, shooting innocent people is wrong. Blinding innocent people is wrong. Attacking people on their own property is wrong. This shouldn’t have to be said.

And again, human lives are worth more than shoes.

Kevin @me: it works for a single role like president. There are better systems for MPs or congresspeople, like STV. In our current system, 30-40% of votes count towards electing someone. In RCV-type systems, that goes up to 51%. In STV systems, it goes up to 85-95% of votes counting.

OP @Kevin: yes, sadly there seem to are infiltrators/provacatures in the police and that’s a problem. Police have been seen setting fire to their own cars, for example. This is war, after all, so the tactics are covert.

BLM challenging the 1%? That would surprise me since they funded by the 1%? George Soros, Apple, Cisco. Amazon is pro BLM. You can see in their advertising that they are all supporting BLM. I’d be interested in hearing how you think BLM is challenging the 1%. Can you give me some examples of how they’re doing that?

Kevin @OP: the status quo, quiet consumers, is what the 1% want. This is the opposite. They don’t want people re-thinking their brands so they have to change them. They don’t want the power structures built around their hegemony to come down.

Companies have been shamed into acting and making statements. Do you remember active efforts at inclusion on Apple or Amazon’s part before?

Trump’s part of the 1% and actively angry about BLM and the protests. Others spoke up against the protests and were caught in their own words. You don’t think the 1% wants to rename E* Pies, do you?

The problem in the police isn’t just the occasional provocateur, it’s a culture of special privilege that comes with enforcing the will of the rich. Generally within the law, not that law is unbiased, but often enough outside of it too. Which isn’t everywhere, but some cities have ugly police cultures, especially in the US.

That advertising you’re seeing? That’s a sign BLM and the protests are hurting the 1%. They weren’t looking for an excuse to spend a fortune re-branding, be embarrassed about hiring practices, or the like.

OP @Kevin: thanks for your comments. You have an interesting take on this. I don’t share your viewpoint but it makes for a valuable debate.

Kevin @OP: I’m always interested in hearing varied takes, but I’ve got to say, I hate debate. Reducing things to two sides is a control mechanism, a distraction technique that gets people limiting their own options to column A or column B and fighting over it. I prefer conversation anyday.

Leave the idea of debate behind and you’ll hear everything you’re not meant to.

me @Kevin: Here’s some interesting thoughts on how to get from debate to dialogue:

“- Can listen and behave without imposing your own values and assumptions on others.
– Can engage in self-reflection. The ability to move beyond one’s own biases.
– Can communicate without being argumentative and competitive.
– Can reach shared outcomes without manipulating or wearing down others with compelling evidence.
– Can be curious about the other person. Seeks solutions that work across shared interests.”