Mac: Very well said. This sentence, "Derision of challenging and troubling ideas is a core defense mechanism.", stood out for me. In the face of a modern age, with an endless cascade of information, to assimilate, or challenge, it becomes an easy out, to draw broad conclusions, either casting too critical an eye at unconventional life, or, becoming naively accepting of it. I try to keep an open mind, especially for events where I was not present, and must rely on a media source for information.
Mac: Fwiw, in terms of public events, the one that still has me thinking, is the JFK killing - Mostly because Oswald was then killed, in a highly secure environment (the basement of Dallas Police HQ), by Jack Ruby, who then died on the eve of his second trial, four years later, at 55. Perhaps it was exactly how the govt. said it was, but too many questions, for my liking. Seerdope Reply: To me the (mythical/hypothetical rational, impartial) jury is still out on the JFK assassination. It has so many undisclosed facts, mistruths, destroyed or missing data, convenient subsequent "deaths", agenda's build on agendas (on many sides of the question), whitewashes, etc. For me, 9/11 has similar problems (though I am not equating frameworks or magnitude.) . To me other issues such as the undisclosed, hidden full backroom story and agendas of how and why the US and others have gotten involved in, instigated, and/or prolonged major wars is deeply problematic and troubling (Spanish American war, Philippine American war, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Central America, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan, Lybia, ISIS, etc. Eisenhower's caution about the military/industrial complex is as valid if not more so today than in 1960 when he left office with those words. I would expand it to the military/industrial/financial. So much lays beneath the surface that should be uncovered. Other issues, while fairly well documented still need much more to be uncovered (and the public to wake up to it) such as "regulatory capture" (when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, advances the commercial or special concerns of interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating), the revolving door between government and high paying private sector jobs and influence, the power and influence of of Investment banks, the substantial science supporting global warming and the vast and far reaching costs and disruption of its current and unfolding impacts over the next century agra-business's influence on public (non)nutrition AMA and FDA (at times) perverse influence and roadblocks to the pursuit of a healthy life the obstacles to deep, constructive reform to primary and secondary education (including and not limited to teachers unions, text book publishers, etc) the perverse and cozy healthcare / insurance complex Medicare solvency advances in brain science in the past 10 years concentration of power in governments, corporations and high wealth individuals/families pervasive influence of cognitive biases and irrational / anti-science bias growing divergence of income distribution There are so many issues that need fuller investigation, disclosure and understanding. Given limited time and resources, to me its a question of choosing one's battles, identifying which areas of disclosure and changes will make a substantive difference. And that is at the cost of less focus on really perverse, messed-up, clearly corrupt, black (yet still fascinating and intriguing) events and processes. To me, the JFK assassination (as well as Kennedy's and brothers' at least in part questionable behind the scenes actions and agendas) are fascinating -- having lived through that era and through the implications of those events -- and clearly somethings are still quite rotten and smelly. However, will getting to the bottom of that provide as much fuel for positive change and reform as, for example, helping to provide greater insight into, and actions to help mitigate and adapt to, the vast tsunami of disruption that global climate change that is unfolding? Or does real change really begin (and end) with individual change. Is that the more effective pursuit -- even if it means foregoing worthy public inquiry outlined above?