Thursday, October 24, 2013


October 23, 2013. My cooking class is an interesting mix of young and old that has taught me and reminded me more about group-think and the collective effect of disinformation. The young are certain of their truths - or so they say. The old are equally corrupted by disinformation.

One girl, from Venezuela (Isabella), was aghast that I had spoken admiration for the populist Chavez: she said it was his fault that Venezuela had limited choices of food (for her upper class family, was left unsaid). I asked which was worse: limited choices but all eat or 45,000,000 living in poverty in America trying to find anything to eat. She was unsure!

When our teacher had an emergency and had to leave, the topic turned to Cuba. Again I expressed admiration. Isabella had not been there but she knew of women who had jumped into shark infested waters with their babies in their arms to try to swim to freedom! I said that the people in Cuba were happy - she was aghast at the idea.  So I posted to my video notes (which the class has the URL for) an international chart of "the happiness index": Cuba is #11, USA #105)

But as we often note: facts don't matter to the conservatives. We went on to medical care and a 62 year old NYer said how wait times in socialized medicine countries are so bad. I disagreed and just posted a comparison chart showing US the worst.

Maria said that her town, St Something of something in Mexico was the #1 tourist destination in the world. I said it was Paris. She wanted to bet.  Fine with me, write it down. Oh, no. Her opinion was based on some writer in some magazine. So I posted the actual tourist visits. France was #1 at 88 million. #2 was 33 million. Mexico wasn't on the list of the top 10.

Etc etc   Half-baked ideas espoused as carved in stone truths from collective-think by "students" who meander through life not thinking.  It's the same everywhere!

Were we like that?  No, we challenged the societal "truths": if it was "generally known" I think we considered it suspect.

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