The title of this post is the antithesis of the title of this blog. There is a growing epidemic of sick memories. No memory is highly preferable to sick memory. There is an article titled “Trolls for Trump” by Andrew Marantz in the October 31, 2016 issue of the “New Yorker.” The subtitle of the article is “How the alt-right spreads fringe ideas to the mainstream.” The article details how this works and how dangerous it is. Take Donald Trump and multiple him hundreds of thousands of times, perhaps even millions of times.
They can be found on the internet, the radio, and cable. Unfortunately they affect legitimate news media.
Their content is based solely on beliefs, many of which are racist, misogynist, and move into facism, although not labeled as such. There is virtually no evidence although some might be fabricated. But rarely are there attempts to fabricate evidence. As it all hinges on beliefs, and the more absolute, the more strongly expressed, the better. They condemn what they call political correctness, which in other quarters is regarded as common decency.
They deny any evidence that contradicts their beliefs, much as Trump denies direct evidence that he did and said certain things. Imaginary conspiracies rage that must be thwarted. When frustrated or stymied, then the system is rigged, just at Trump has already condemned the election. It is useful to note that Trump declared that the Republican nomination process was rigged, but he won. So one might conclude that it was rigged in his favor.
There is no way to argue with these people or to debunk what they say. Evidence is irrelevant in the alternative universe they have created.
Let me remind you how memory works. Memory is a system for time travel. We use it to consult the past to decide upon courses of action for the future. We never have direct access to reality. What we perceive has already happened and is stored in intermediate memory stages. From this information we construct models of reality, which we use to guide our behavior. As we learn we refine our models of the external world. This is based on experience derived from external data. In a way we are all scientists developing our models of the world based on our personal experience and what we find in transactive memory, which is information derived from our fellow humans and technology.
This lunatic fringe’s memories are sick because they just construct an artificial reality that is never checked against or modified by information from other sources. The only thing of interest is more stuff that supports their beliefs. There is no role for critical thinking and logic. Hence these are sick memories, and these sick memories threaten our society and the progress of all societies.
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