TV Commercials Can Ruin Your Life and Health

TV Commercials Can Ruin Your Life and Health

The question for me was, could TV actually teach? I knew it could, because I knew 3-year-olds who sang beer commercials!
– Joan Ganz Cooney, American television producer, one of the founders of Sesame Workshop, home of Sesame Street (b. 1929)

[DISCLOSURE: The purpose for this article is to make readers aware of the effects of following life and health advice offered by TV commercials. These are science based facts, not opinions. The science part is left out to make it easier to read.]

Children, adolescents, even adults learn about life and life skills by watching television. As odd as that may sound, they have few other convenient sources for information they need. Today’s parents literally know almost nothing about parenting and the needs of children other than food, clothing and shelter.

For most of human history children learned about life from their parents and neighbours as they worked and played alongside their parents in fields and workshops. Today children are separated from their parents for almost all of their waking day, leaving surrogates to do the job of teaching them about life.

TV fills that role magnificently as it seeks to mold the minds of children to become devoted consumers of particular products as they get old enough to spend money. The prime objective of programming is to entertain people long enough that they will stay around for the next set of commercials.

But what are television commercials teaching? Is it worthwhile life advice? No. Do parents realize that they have turned the job of teaching almost everything their children learn over to pathological commercial interests who want people to follow what they teach with the same devotion as people give to their religions or their preferred political party? Again, no.

First, I want you to think about all the TV programs you know. Which among them has role models you believe children should follow? Of course we need buffoons to laugh at and actors to play conflicted characters for drama. Would you change lives with any of them?

As you think about the TV programs you know, one that would interest kids, adolescents or poorly educated adults, can you think of any you would like to represent life in your home or workplace? Even one? I can’t.

TV news is filled with violence and perversion. Shows that emphasize personalities tend to have them conflicting among themselves. Comedies show people with personality problems, social problems, even mental illnesses (never identified as such). Dramas (mostly soaps) show people with lives that no one would want to emulate.

Commercials are where real life teaching takes place. Commercials pay the freight for programming. And they are often better produced. Their messages are meant to be taken literally, also to create a long term following. That’s why you see the same commercials repeated over and over. And over. And over. As a hypnotist would do when putting a volunteer into a trance. The rule of thumb in TV advertising is feed the same message to people ten times or more and they will believe it. Anything.

Let’s set aside anything to do with political or religious advertising as it is filled with so much brain twisting propaganda and distortions of truth that networks and stations should be required to flash warning signs before and after them. Networks don’t bother big advertisers because there is too much income at risk.

Let’s begin our look at commercials for personal care at the top. Hair care companies may have done the most and best research about hair care than any commercial product manufacturer. But their products only heal what other products have broken. In fact, most hair would be best treated with a simple soap wash every few days. The hair of a person who eats a healthy diet will look good so long as the natural elements of hair are not stripped away by chemicals. Wash, rinse with clear water, then leave the hair alone for a few days, other than brushing.

Any commercials to do with mouth care are deceptive, if not outright harmful. I have not seen one teeth brushing commercial in decades that shows a person brushing their teeth in a way that would avoid cavities. On the contrary, the ones I have seen would promote cavities and sensitive teeth. Neither is necessary, but both keep other industries like dentistry and teeth cleaners alive and flourishing.

The mouth (along with the skin) is a secondary part of the body’s immune system. After the major immune system component in the gut, the mouth is the first line of defense against attack by diseases. Kill all microbes in your mouth and you destroy one component of your immune system. Wash your body with soap thoroughly in a daily shower and you will decimate another part. Take doctor-prescribed antibiotics and you will destroy the major component of your immune system. That’s what these products you see advertised do. The advertisers make fortunes on your devotion to their somewhat or totally harmful products. Your doctor will come to know you intimately from your frequent visits.

Skin care products are a travesty against good skin health. To begin, cosmetics for women produce a look that studies have shown men do not prefer over the look of no cosmetics. Men know that cosmetics mean “fake” and act accordingly. Women who claim that they make themselves up to make themselves feel better have self esteem issues. Are they trying to compete for attention with other women or attract them?

Clothing fashions are another issue of brainwashing. A man or woman who believes that he or she performs better at work because they look better is a victim of effective advertising and self deception. Most bosses look at job performance before apparel. Should you be known for your good looks or your job skills?

Teeth whitening was originally used by movie actors to make them stand out from other actors on set. Teeth whitening, like fashion and cosmetics, was an industry founded by people who wanted to sell something that people did not need, except to impress others. Generally speaking, those with real talent and skill do not subscribe to that kind of fake.

People who whiten their teeth to look better in real life do indeed stand out. They stand out as being needy, prepared to do anything to get attention. Anyone who chooses a life mate based on white teeth, fashionable clothing, beautiful makeup, type of footwear or kind of car driven is bound for breakup when the fake wears off. Yet that is what TV commercials teach in North America, where the divorce rate is now well over 50% and a majority of kids in school classrooms live in single parent households.

Generally speaking, if you depend on TV commercials or programs to tell you how to live your life you will live a troubled life. And probably in debt.

When you think about buying something you have seen advertised on TV, remember that the choice is yours. Will the long term disadvantage of harm to you outweight the short term benefits? Of this you may be certain, the advertiser always wins. The advertiser has no obligation to benefit you, only to make you believe that you will benefit from the product. What will you believe?

You may think that what you have just read is opinion by one person. It’s not. I don’t care what you do or wear or how you live your life. That is your business not mine. I don’t have time or interest in meddling in your life.

I do take an interest in helping people to think about choices they make, what effects those choices have on themselves and on others. If you “dress for success” to impress others, you will have bought into the model that industry leaders want. You will be a follower, not a leader. A consumer, not an independent innovator.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about inexpensive solutions to major social problems. If you have hear the word “sheeple” you understand that what you have read above is indeed a social issue.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

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Taliban-Style Sharia Almost Became Law in Canada

Taliban-Style Sharia Almost Became Law in Canada

Islam wishes to destroy all States and Governments anywhere in the face of the earth which are opposed to the ideology and program of Islam…If the Muslim Party commands adequate resources, it will eliminate un-Islamic governments and establish the power of Islamic governments in their stead.”
Abul Ala Maudoodi, Sunni Pakistani, father of modern Political Islam and the Jamaat-e-Islami political party (1903-1979)

Wait, it gets worse before it gets better.

A few years ago (2003), Islamists in Canada boldly attempted to get Ontario (Canada’s most heavily populated province) to pass laws allowing provincial laws to be set aside and Sharia law to apply to all Muslims in the province who were charged with offences against the law. They almost succeeded.

Canada takes pride in its many cultures that have found places within its communities, even proclaiming itself officially “multicultural” in an effort to encourage its various cultural groups to make themselves at home in their new country. In some parts of the country, its First Nations (Canada’s term for its aboriginal Indians) people had persuaded governments to allow First Nations youth who had been charged under the law to be tried and sentenced in native-operated courts rather than provincial courts.

The thinking behind allowing these native courts to become legal was that First Nations youth would have more respect for First Nations courts and would take their sentencing (that better fit the culture they had grown up with) more seriously, thus lowering the recidivism rate. The program was more successful than many expected. The radical program worked.

Muslims are those who follow Islam, aspire to follow the teachings of their Prophet, Muhammed, and the holy Qur’an, which the Prophet committed to print. Muhammed was the Messenger who brought the Word of God (Arabic: Allah) directly to the people, though the Prophet himself was not considered (did not consider himself) a deity.

Islamists have politicized the religion, wanting to make every state in which Muslims are in a majority into a legal Islamic State. Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and Mauritania are examples of nations that have officially declared themselves Islamic Republics.

The biggest problem with Islamic States, as pointed out by Tarek Fatah in his book Chasing A Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, is that no Islamic State in history has ever succeeded in terms of being peaceful and embracing respect and human rights for its people. The concept of an Islamic State did not begin with Muhammed (in fact he discouraged it, never set up any mechanism for it, didn’t want his family members to be part of one), but immediately after his death when rulers known as Caliphs became, effectively, dictators.

Islamists point to what they call the Golden Age of the Islamic State, which supposedly comprised the years of the first four Caliphs (known as the Rightly Guided Caliphs) after the death of the Prophet in 632 CE. Islamists do not mention this, but it is a fact that Islam in those days was a tribal religion (with all the primitive brutality that entails). The first Caliph died of natural causes two years after becoming the ruler and religious leader of Muslims. However, the next three were all murdered by other tribal leaders who wanted supreme power. This is the period that Islamists point to as the ideal period to follow for Islamic States. Muslims killing Muslims, or enslaving them, was a way of life.

This was what Canadian Islamists wanted to launch in Ontario in 2003. Canadian governments, not wanting to offend Muslims, considered adopting Sharia for their Muslim citizens, as they had cut slack for their First Nations people. Islamists gained greater purchase in Ontario when Premier Dalton McGuinty appointed former attorney-general Marion Boyd to study the issue and make recommendations to the Legislature. Boyd shocked many (not the Islamists, who were ecstatic) when she recommended that “Muslim principles” be allowed to hold sway for Ontario Muslims in place of the Family Law Act. She didn’t use the word Sharia.

After consultation with many Muslim leaders and groups, Premier McGuinty’s Liberal government dropped the whole idea. Here are some examples of what Ontario missed out on by avoiding adopting Sharia law:

(1) The Head of an Islamic State cannot be punished under Islam’s Hudhood (Islamic criminal and family) laws that govern acts of murder, rape, and thievery. [Law #914 C in volume three of the Codified Islamic Law] How long would it have taken for a criminal Muslim leader to claim immunity from prosecution because of his religious beliefs?

(2) If the husband’s body is covered with pus and blood, and if the wife licks and drinks it, her obligations to her husband will still not be fulfilled (as a female must be totally committed to her husband by Islamic law). [from Imam Ghazali’s classic Ihya ulum al-din] I had trouble even writing that for others to read.

These are but two components of Sharia law. Can an ordinary human like Imam Ghazali create Sharia law? Alas, every part of Sharia law was written by ordinary humans who made no claim that they received guidance directly from Allah.

In fact, there are five different versions of Sharia codified laws, written by five different imams [Imam Abu-Hanifa (699-767), Imam Jaffer Sadiq (702-765), Imam Shafi’i (767-820), Imam Malik (712-795), Imam Hanbal (778-855)]. As you can see, Imam Ghazali is not one of them. His laws were added later, as were the laws created by other imams of their respective times.

The compilations of the sayings of Prophet Muhammed, which are considered by Muslims to be as important as the Qur’an itself, were complied over 200 years after the death of the Prophet. Who could be certain of the accuracy of word of mouth after 200 years?

Imams, over the years, perverted the words of the Qur’an to encompass polygamy, wife-beating, men’s right to have concubines, and slavery, via Sharia. Many of those slaves were Muslims, often black-skinned ones from Africa, as slavery existed in the Islamic heartland long before Europeans adopted the practice. The Qur’an explicitly forbids slavery and strongly advocates equality of all Muslims. However, imams wrote Sharia law. The Qur’an forbids suicide and murder as well, but Sharia finds a way around these as well.

What about Muslims who disagree with Sharia, who oppose or who ignore the imams who hold the power of Sharia? Anyone who even disagrees with such an imam could be declared an apostate, banished (a few lucky ones) or killed (most, as Islam has traditionally detested those who “lost their faith”). Using officially sanctioned Sharia law, imams and ayatollahs literally hold the power of life and death over their subjects, with the official legal system of the state holding less important status.

Let’s not forget those women who were raped or who committed adultery. Adulterers were often stoned to death (a penalty exacted even today in some cases in Pakistan and Iran, even when the accusations cannot be proven). Under Sharia law, a woman who is raped must provide five eye witnesses who will testify in court against the accused or the case will never go to trial. How many instances of rape do you think have five eye witnesses?

Most people reading this will have enough knowledge of examples of inequality of women in Islamic States that I need not go into detail. It’s the same for girls. Recall that when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan it eliminated all education for girls and forced all woman to wear burkas. The theory behind burkas is that women should not show any parts of their body that men could find titillating. Science has proven that the more of a woman’s body that is hidden, the more titillating men find them. That evidence means nothing to Islamists. Let’s not get started on the subject of female circumcision for girls in some Islamic states.

These are the kinds of situations that come with Sharia. Not all at once. But remember, even in a democratic country like Canada, Islamists have great experience and expertise in propaganda, in dirty-trick debating and in destroying the reputations of enemies, enough to put advertising executives to shame.

This is what Ontario avoided. Islamists still live and work in Ontario, in Canada, indeed in every democratic country in the world. Though no Islamic state in history has ever been successful, Islamists continue to fight for Islamic states around the world. Moreover, the kind of states they want are like those of the Middle East in the 7th and 8th centuries. Like where the leaders were assassinated and enemies were slaughtered or beheaded. That’s the Golden Age of Islam the Islamists want.

Let’s take particular note that millions of good Muslims around the world must try to live in the same countries where their perverted and mentally unbalanced (often brainwashed) Islamist neighbours make life miserable for decent Muslims. And let’s remember that Christianity and other religions have histories no less tragic or violent than Islam.

If the 21st Century is to be better than previous centuries in humanist terms, we must be prepared to keep governance out of the hands of extremists, be they religious extremists or political extremists. We have seen what has happened in the past when leaders who base their popularity on fear in their followers have been allowed to take over. Inevitably, in the past, many have suffered and many have died.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to know what their children need to learn beyond what is taught in school (and in most homes).
Learn more at http://billallin.com

Wars Are for Making Money or Gaining Power

Wars Are for Making Money or Gaining Power

‘All the reasons which made the initiation of physical force evil make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.’
Ayn Rand, Russian-American writer and philosopher (1905 – 1982)

No doubt the pivotal word in Ms. Rand’s quote is “moral.” Every leader who proposes war–who advocates violence of any kind to others–does so on moral grounds. “It’s the right thing to do under the circumstances before we have big problems.” Moral response to offensive physical force always has a religious connection. Seldom is the more secular ethics explanation (excuse) given for revenge.

Islamists–not Muslims, but former Muslims who perverted the words of the Prophet and the Qu’ran to something political and violent–claim that everything and everyone they don’t like is a threat to Islam or an insult to the Prophet. Few (if any) of such claims are valid references to the Qu’ran, most are concocted lies designed to deceive the innocent (who never check the facts) into committing acts of violence, including suicide bombing and killing that solidifies membership in such perverse groups as the Taliban or Al Qaeda.

Former US President George W. Bush went to war with Afghanistan and received support from American people and the governments and militaries of many countries by claiming that revenge was necessary after the events of 9/11. The undercurrent of his revenge speeches always pitted Islam against Christianity in the USA. Though both the Taliban and Al Qaeda have continued and flourished since the war began, not a single act of violence is known to have occurred since September 11, 2001 on US soil. Precautions were taken to prevent them, which could easily have been done without beginning a war. Will Mr. Bush’s oil investor friends profit when a pipeline is run over Afghan soil from oil-rich former Soviet states to the sea from where it may be shipped to any part of the world? Certainly.

President Bush also took his country to war with Iraq (with less support than for Afghanistan) by claiming it was morally right to attack a country that had Weapons of Mass Destruction (which the US had sold to Iraq, but which Iraq had used up in its war with Iran). He claimed that it was the moral duty of Americans and any right thinking people of other countries to eliminate the repressive regime of Saddam Hussain (remember the Axis of Evil?). He could have made that claim about any Arab country, as we are now learning, but most of the others do not have huge oil reserves underground.

Though the Tutsis and the Hutus of Rwanda had lived together in tense harmony since the departure of German imperialists, the minority Tutsis ran the government while the majority Hutus were considered (by the Tutsis and the Germans before them) inferior and incapable of being employed in government service. Hutu leaders pleaded moral outrage at the prejudice against their people. When war between the two began, it was brutally violent. It turned into a genocide because the Tutsis did not have the power to fight back with equal measure. The Tutsis eventually gained allies and weapons sufficient to bring the war to a close in a stalemate. It was the moral claim by the Hutus of prejudice and repression by the Tutsis that fired up what became the genocide. Nearly a million people died, countless survivors will never get over the emotional scars.

A more recent example of genocide happened in Kosovo where the Christian Serbs were morally outraged at the Muslim Albanians for [insert the excuse that suits you, the Serbs used many, none of which were valid–it was a religious war and everyone knew it except the Serb fighters].

Americans still claim that everyone in their country would be speaking German if the US had not entered the Second World War in 1941. As unsupportable as this claim is–such language migrations have never happened successfully in history–it was moral infuriation of Americans against Hitler that resulted in the declaration of war. World domination would not succeed any better for Hitler, if he had been left to his own plans, than it had for the British with its empire that encompassed nearly one-quarter of the land mass of the planet, or the Roman Empire or the empires of any self-appointed world emperor because military domination requires far more cash than any country can produce no matter how many allies it might have. (Big empires cost too much to support–see the history of the USSR.) But the fear of Hitler brought moral rectitude into play until enough countries destroyed Hitler and his Nazis.

Since its creation Israel has received enormous financial help from the US. Conspiracy theorists claim this happened because of the huge influence Jewish industrialists and media barons have over the US government. While this theory is largely unsupportable (no one claimed the Jews were taking over the US when they controlled the garment industry, for example), it continues to exist for reasons that are mostly based on religious prejudice. The US supports Israel due to guilt over its not taking action against the Nazi genocide of Jews, which results in millions of deaths in Europe. Guilt always has a religious (moral) base.

While many people die and more suffer in any war, on both sides, a few always become rich (or richer). Those few always lead the charge of moral outrage against the enemy they intend to plunder. While Germany and Japan lost the Second World War and neither had any oil to speak of, both were physically destroyed in war and rebuilt later into economic giants as a result of investments and loans from wealthy people in the “winning” countries.

In today’s world, those with money have power. While this has been the case throughout human history, it is more true today when rich people can buy influence over elected decision makers. The wealthy don’t need to hold power when they can buy it.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want their children to grow and develop in all ways necessary, not just intellectually and physically. Social problems in our cities (and the taxes they cause) demonstrate the urgent need for change.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

How True Is What We Believe?

How True Is What We Believe?

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all others because you were born in it.
– 

George Bernard Shaw, Irish writer, Nobel laureate (1856-1950)While I like Shaw’s quotation, I would alter that last part a little. We may believe that our country is superior to all others because we have been told that. What we believe is what we think and what we think we believe is true. If we believe something is true, we accept it as true and valid. Yet our belief is based on what we have been told by others.

Once we think something, we believe it. “If I think something and have no questions about it or doubts, it must be true.” If we believe it’s true, we will believe it as fact.

Once we believe something, our conviction is hard to shake. One example might be cars. Some people will go through their entire lives owning few cars that are not Fords. They believe in Ford cars. “GMs are crap.” Other people devote themselves so much to General Motors cars that they wouldn’t be caught dead owning a Ford. That devotion might be based on their experience. But more than likely it’s based on what their fathers believed about GM and Ford cars. Seldom does either group have any hard evidence that their car of choice is the best, though they will tend to accept the advertising of their preferred choice as more true than the advertising of other manufacturers.

For many years my wife and I owned a couple of coffee shops. We believed our coffee was the best. The owner of the company that supplied our system’s coffee also supplied coffee to coffee shop franchises that competed with ours. He told us once, in confidence, that ours was better than the others, even giving some evidence to support the claim. A few years later he denied both the evidence and the claim that our brand was superior. (He even denied the additive that was proven to make coffee addictive.)

Our customers were so devoted to our coffee that they would not buy coffee in other coffee shops. Customers in competitors’ shops were equally convinced that their favourite brand was best. Over a period of years, several of the original stores closed. The customers all transferred their loyalties to their new favourite shops and coffee brands, without hesitation. Their new brand was best, because they drank it (though they would never admit that as their reason).

Because they believed something, it must be true. People don’t think of their beliefs that way, but when you argue them to a fine point, they hold fast that their beliefs are true even without supporting evidence.

Advertising depends heavily not on persuading people that the advertised product is better not based on evidence, but on persuading them that the product is best because they have heard the advertising so often they have come to believe it. In the advertising industry it is accepted among big advertising agencies that a person who receives the same advertising message ten times or more will believe it. Big industries spend fortunes on advertising to deliver the exact same message to your television screen a few dozen times each evening or day. The most bought products tend to be those that are advertised most heavily. People believe what they have been told. Told often.

I have had people tell me that when they want to buy a product they know nothing about, they ask people who already own that product which brand and quality level they prefer. “I would rather take the word of someone who has experienced a product,” they say. They will take someone’s word about a product, even the word of a stranger who has experience with the product or at least an opinion, rather than do some research themselves to learn tested and proven facts about it. They believe something about the product because they have been told.

People tend to vote for candidates in elections that either belong to parties they have always voted for or that have the strongest presentations in the community. The latter means television advertising or lawn signs. The more signs people see, the more they believe that the candidate must have great support. They vote for the candidate they believe will win because they equate numbers of yard signs with popularity. Most voters know very little or nothing about the political persuasions of the candidates they vote for. When their candidate is elected, then later helps pass laws they believe are bad, they simply justify it by claiming that “politicians are all crooks.”

We each like to believe that we have chosen, as adults, the best religion to belong to. In fact, most belong to the same religion (or lack thereof) as adults as they were introduced to by their parents when they were children. When people change to a different religion than the one they were brought up in, it is usually the one in which they find greatest acceptance by others of that religion. Religion is a social association, so attending service with friendly people is a very persuasive factor.

Many people around the world wonder how terrorist organizations manage to persuade individuals to commit suicide as they kill many others in events such as suicide bombings. Studies of suicide bombers suggest that most of them came, alone, from small rural settings to the city to find work. They don’t find work or friends, but they do find a few people who welcome them into their small religious community. That social acceptance begins the process of brainwashing that eventually shows itself in suicide bombing. The bombers believe that the religious beliefs of the sect must be best because they have been accepted where no one else would welcome them. Eventually they believe what they are told about what will happen to them–how they will be welcomed in heaven–when they kill the enemy.

Suicide bombers do not make the connection that life here on earth, in the present, is good because it hasn’t been for them. Except in one case where they were accepted by a group and promised something greater in the afterlife. [I have often wondered how those lonely country boys would fare in heaven if they were “given” 72 virgins. When you think about it, not only does it not make sense, it is totally unrealistic. In fact, dangerous. Virgins know nothing and can be clumsy or insensitive.]

This tendency to believe what we have been told is worldwide. Politicians, religious leaders and advertisers depend on it. If people are told something often enough, most people will believe it. No matter how wrong it seems and how unsupported it may be. Do you suppose that US troops are still looking for those “Weapons of Mass Destruction” they heard so often that Saddam had in Iraq? The believers never thought that someone else would benefit from a lie that was told so often. Told by those who would benefit. And it worked.

The only way to change a society that depends on the gullibility of its people is to teach the children to ask questions, to doubt, to wonder, to investigate, to think. It would not be hard to effect such change. It would be cheap, almost without cost. But it would require people who care to urge those who create curriculum for schools to change the way kids are taught. Today most kids learn to not think, only to obey and believe.

Our kids need to learn differently. Your kids and mine. The people who one day will decide our living arrangements when we are too old to do for ourselves. If we want them to think of us instead of themselves first, we will have to teach that now. Most kids today learn that they are the most important people they will ever know.

Remaining quiet and letting others decide for us is what got us where we are now. What our parents did, which was to trust that someone who cares would do the right thing. So, how do you think that worked out?

Bill Allin is the author of Turning it Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for people who want things to change for the better. Social problems depend on our doing nothing, were created because we let others make decisions for us. This book shows a path for change without great cost or revolution.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

http://billallin.com

Love and Happiness: Good Advertising Words, Not Real Emotions

Love and Happiness: Good Advertising Words, Not Real Emotions

Oh, threats of hell and hopes of paradise!
One thing at least is certain — this life flies;
One thing is certain, and the rest is lies;
The flower that once has blown forever dies.
Omar Khayyam, Persian polymath, poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, and physician (1048-1131)

Love, happiness. Nice words. What does “nice” mean? Well, “positive.” Except sometimes, such as when “What a nice outfit!” hides enough sarcasm to drown a rat.

How about the other words? Love. What does love mean? Again, it’s positive, of that we can be certain. But is it? How positive would you consider love to be if a man love

What does the word “love” even mean? A wife and husband may love each other, but their love always differs one from the other. In fact, on close examination, every case of love is different from every other. The word usually takes more space in dictionaries than any other word in the English language.

What is happiness? Most people have an idea, until you try to pin them down to words to describe it. The first dictionary I checked had this as its first meaning: “state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” The dictionary uses a description that isn’t definite. Characterized by a range of emotions. A range?

I submit that love and happiness are not emotions at all. Religions use words such as “God” and “mother” to elicit warm feelings in their followers. Advertisers use “love” and “happiness” to arouse similar feelings, which people then associate with their product or service.

“Love” and “happiness” are advertising

I know, I am presenting good ideas in a coarse manner. I want you to understand how you are manipulated into believing things by comforting words that give you warm feelings but that have virtually no verifiable meaning.

In religion, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic concept of what God (presented as male) will do for you is what a devoted mother would do. If you are old enough to have left the home of your mother, no problem, as God will look after you. All you have to do is to believe, to have faith that God is with you always.

I’m not saying there is no God. There is, I have experienced God and have sufficient evidence that I could convince any jury in a court of law. But I have evidence of God, whereas most religions have no evidence that is irrefutable. I don’t look for followers of my religious ideas because I have no intention of profiting from their donations. Religions do. Advertisers and advertising agencies do. They are professionals and they are good at what they do.

You need to know when you are being swindled, hoodwinked. If you don’t, it will cost you money and emotional energy,

I won’t ask you to believe what I have said, because of what I have learned over many years in sociology and education. Learn for yourself. As I said, I don’t want to make money off you or convince you of anything you can learn for yourself.

So, learn it. Then you will see how easily people around you are manipulated into thinking and believing what certain experts want them to believe.

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to understand all the ways children need to develop, not just the limited amount they learn in school. If you know kids with problems, you know kids who have not developed in all ways. They can be fixed, but it’s better to prevent them from having problems in the first place by knowing what they need. The book tells you how.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com They believe what they are told to believe. The more often they are told they should believe a message, the more likely they are to believe it. Now you know why the same commercials appear so often on television on the same night, for example. Tell people something often enough and a certain percentage of them will believe it as fact. Even if the message is an outright lie. and entertainment lingo that mean little, but that make people feel good and want to buy products or watch movies. Have doubts? Watch a few television commercials and see how many have people who are obviously “happy” or “in love.” Broad smiles that make people look beautiful as well as happy are so common in advertising today that it’s impossible to land a gig in a magazine ad or a television spot unless you have perfect pre-whitened teeth you are prepared to show off in a big grin the way women used to show off certain parts of their bodies to sell product. a part of your life. The science that studies these sorts of things is sociology. The people who use their knowledge and skills to twist minds–including those behind the leaders of major political parties–are essentially propagandists and brainwashers. They understand human nature and take advantage of those who don’t. Even the dictionary won’t pin itself down to a meaning we can all latch onto.s his neighbour’s young son? Don’t stalkers love the movie stars or ex-lovers they follow around everywhere? How can we love if we don’t know for certain what the word means? We do know that most of the time we like hearing it when others tell us they love us. It’s a warm fuzzy with no substance behind it. Love and Happiness: Good Advertising Words, Not Real Emotions

Oh, threats of hell and hopes of paradise!
One thing at least is certain — this life flies;
One thing is certain, and the rest is lies;
The flower that once has blown forever dies.
Omar Khayyam, Persian polymath, poet, mathematician, philosopher, astronomer, and physician (1048-1131)

Love, happiness. Nice words. What does “nice” mean? Well, “positive.” Except sometimes, such as when “What a nice outfit!” hides enough sarcasm to drown a rat.

How about the other words? Love. What does love mean? Again, it’s positive, of that we can be certain. But is it? How positive would you consider love to be if a man love

 

s his neighbour’s young son? Don’t stalkers love the movie stars or ex-lovers they follow around everywhere?What does the word “love” even mean? A wife and husband may love each other, but their love always differs one from the other. In fact, on close examination, every case of love is different from every other. The word usually takes more space in dictionaries than any other word in the English language.

How can we love if we don’t know for certain what the word means? We do know that most of the time we like hearing it when others tell us they love us. It’s a warm fuzzy with no substance behind it.What is happiness? Most people have an idea, until you try to pin them down to words to describe it. The first dictionary I checked had this as its first meaning: “state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.” The dictionary uses a description that isn’t definite. Characterized by a range of emotions. A range?

 

Even the dictionary won’t pin itself down to a meaning we can all latch onto.I submit that love and happiness are not emotions at all. Religions use words such as “God” and “mother” to elicit warm feelings in their followers. Advertisers use “love” and “happiness” to arouse similar feelings, which people then associate with their product or service.

“Love” and “happiness” are advertising

 

and entertainment lingo that mean little, but that make people feel good and want to buy products or watch movies. Have doubts? Watch a few television commercials and see how many have people who are obviously “happy” or “in love.” Broad smiles that make people look beautiful as well as happy are so common in advertising today that it’s impossible to land a gig in a magazine ad or a television spot unless you have perfect pre-whitened teeth you are prepared to show off in a big grin the way women used to show off certain parts of their bodies to sell product.I know, I am presenting good ideas in a coarse manner. I want you to understand how you are manipulated into believing things by comforting words that give you warm feelings but that have virtually no verifiable meaning.

In religion, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic concept of what God (presented as male) will do for you is what a devoted mother would do. If you are old enough to have left the home of your mother, no problem, as God will look after you. All you have to do is to believe, to have faith that God is with you always.

I’m not saying there is no God. There is, I have experienced God and have sufficient evidence that I could convince any jury in a court of law. But I have evidence of God, whereas most religions have no evidence that is irrefutable. I don’t look for followers of my religious ideas because I have no intention of profiting from their donations. Religions do. Advertisers and advertising agencies do. They are professionals and they are good at what they do.

You need to know when you are being swindled, hoodwinked. If you don’t, it will cost you money and emotional energy,

a part of your life. The science that studies these sorts of things is sociology. The people who use their knowledge and skills to twist minds–including those behind the leaders of major political parties–are essentially propagandists and brainwashers. They understand human nature and take advantage of those who don’t.I won’t ask you to believe what I have said, because of what I have learned over many years in sociology and education. Learn for yourself. As I said, I don’t want to make money off you or convince you of anything you can learn for yourself.

So, learn it. Then you will see how easily people around you are manipulated into thinking and believing what certain experts want them to believe.

 

They believe what they are told to believe. The more often they are told they should believe a message, the more likely they are to believe it. Now you know why the same commercials appear so often on television on the same night, for example. Tell people something often enough and a certain percentage of them will believe it as fact. Even if the message is an outright lie.Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for parents and teachers who want to understand all the ways children need to develop, not just the limited amount they learn in school. If you know kids with problems, you know kids who have not developed in all ways. They can be fixed, but it’s better to prevent them from having problems in the first place by knowing what they need. The book tells you how.
Learn more at

http://billallin.com

Homo Stupidus: Our Present, Former Or Future Selves?

Homo Stupidus: Our Present, Former Or Future Selves?

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.
– Charles Mackay, Scottish author, poet, songwriter (1814-1889)

Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?
– Kelvin Throop III, fictional science fiction character

One of my greatest pleasures in writing has come from the thought that
perhaps my work might annoy someone of comfortably pretentious position.
Then comes the saddening realization that such people rarely read.
– John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian economist (1908-2006)

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.
– Albert Einstein, physicist and genius (1879-1955)

Man stands in his own shadow and wonders why it is dark.
– Ancient Zen saying

Quite different quotations. Quite different authors from quite different parts of the world and very different periods of time. Yet in the final analysis their messages bear great similarities.

The scientific name for our species, homo sapiens (“thinking man”: the ‘s’ at the end is for both the singular and the plural of this term), was devised by men who think. A large majority of us have no idea of the term’s meaning. Most could care less what it means. Why? Because they do not burden themselves with such inconveniences as thinking.

Any thinking required to be done in their lives is done for them and provided by television, advertising, their employers, their parents or spouses, sometimes their children.

Those who define our species think. Even they can’t be trusted however. With rare exceptions they all consider humans the most intelligent species on the planet. None have considered who devised the rules for the evaluation, whether the “winners” might be biased in their own favour, or whether the definition applied to every one of their species or just to a limited few. None consulted any other species for their opinions on the matter. They couldn’t because we can’t communicate with any of them.

We consider any other species of living thing that cannot speak our kind of language to be inferior, despite the fact that we cannot communicate with more than a couple other species ourselves and only with them in a very basic and inadequate manner. For 50 years we have been searching for extra-terrestrial intelligent beings, yet even SETI scientists believe that most beings more intelligent than ourselves would avoid us once they learned a bit about us.

We consider ourselves the epitome of development of living beings, despite that fact that most humans are capable of doing virtually nothing that any other animal on earth can do. Other than eat, poop and reproduce. Or that any plant can do, as every green plant creates oxygen we use to survive. Until very recently, with genetic engineering and nanotechnology, we created nothing, we only transformed what already existed.

In North America, barely six percent of us read more than three books per year. And that’s generous because most people who don’t read won’t admit it to researchers. Many of the people who do read several books a year read on topics related to their occupations or about vocations they aspire to enter one day. Check the records of any public library to see how few people actually check out books they can read free, how many books the “readers” check out and what kinds of books they read. With the exception of students and others doing research papers, most nonfiction books collect dust on library shelves. Nonfiction means learning something new, whereas fiction allows readers to escape into other lives and places. For many of us, studying something new is verboten once we leave school.

In most countries that hold democratic elections, barely half of eligible voters cast ballots, often less. Exceptions include votes on hot button issues, elections where voters want to get rid of the old guard and constituencies where voting is compulsory. Why so few votes cast when everyone enjoys this right? In many cases people who do not vote claim that “They’re all the same” or “It won’t make any difference anyway.” Ask those people what names they would expect to see on the ballots and what the candidates stand for and you rarely get an answer that makes sense.

Those of us who vote elect governments based on promises, usually promises of prosperity and more jobs. Both of these are extremely difficult for government to do and impossible to do without raising taxes, which voters don’t like. Even though we know our government will never keep their promises, we continue to hope and vote accordingly.

The more “progressive” the democracy, the more debt load individual free citizens carry. In many cases, people pay twice the price of a big ticket item they buy due to interest rates on money they borrowed to buy it. A shocking number of people owe debts to credit card companies they cannot possibly ever repay because they can barely afford the minimum monthly payment.

But they look good. They drive the right cars. They live in the right neighbourhoods and belong to the right organizations.

Unless you work in your own home, look around you on the way to work and think about what is going on in the heads of the people making the same daily trek you are. Spend a bit of time watching people in the supermarket where you shop to see if what they are doing makes sense to you. Seriously, but take your time because stupid behaviour doesn’t happen quickly. Watch people drive around the parking lot in a mall looking for the closest entrance, then walk for hours when they get inside. Compare what you see to what you would observe when watching an ant colony or a bee hive before you decide which species is the smartest.

Listen to conversations of people around you, no matter where they may take place. See how many of them involve any subject other than the weather or something they saw or could see on television. The most popular television stations in North America are the weather channels. Yet it’s rare to see someone with an umbrella on a rainy day and common to see people with light shoes and no hats walking on snowy sidewalks in blowing weather.

Think about the people you have met over the past month. Have any of them asked you even one question that was not work related that would help them to learn something new? Intelligent thinking people ask questions.

That’s the way it is today. What was it like in the past? Many people tend to believe that the world they live in is getting worse as they get older. It’s not. They simply have not studied history enough to know that people were just as stupid, as violent, as careless and as ignorant of what they should know about life in the past as they are today. In fact, likely mores so than today. At least today we have more education worldwide to give us a basis on which to think.

Do conditions today predict anything for the future? In the past diseases and wars kept population levels down. Both of these factors are more limited today than at any time in the past. China, with the largest population in the world, limiting its population indicates that it will change its own future. If other countries take their future survival and health seriously–few do at present–the world may reach sustainable and manageable levels of population, pollution and resource management. Odds are that a massive die-off of people, perhaps related somehow to a failure of electronic technology on a global scale causing stock market crashes, less likely due to disease, will cause us to come together as nation members of one world community to take it’s future seriously.

A massive shock of some sort is necessary to bring people around to thinking of the future in global terms rather than of their own present desires and pleasures. As uncontrolled as our world is at present, the shock is a certainty though its nature is in doubt.

Until that shock happens, we don’t have enough “thinking men” among us to effect real and lasting change. The shock might come from our atmosphere and our water. As we debate global warming and climate change–who cares if the global temperature rises by half a degree in 50 years?–our industries continue to pour thousands of poisons into our air and our water. While we call them “greenhouse gases.” That’s the air we breathe and the water that keeps us alive. Darwin’s claim that the most adaptable will survive crises will be tested. Check out the kinds of poisons industries are subjecting us and our children to.

Can we teach more of our people to think? Ask the teachers. They are the ones saddled with the impossible task of teaching children to think while working under such hobbling conditions most teachers could never make it happen. Our education systems are designed to produce consumers and employees, and they do it well. Ask any child why he or she should stay in school and get a good education and the answer will almost always be “to get a good job.” Never “to have a better life.” Jobs mean income to buy stuff our industries produce.

Real change can only happen in schools and homes. Real change in homes will be tough because we do not teach young people what they need to know to be good parents.

Education is the answer. Now, do you remember the question?

Bill Allin is the author of Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for teachers and parents who want to effect real change in homes and schools so their children will be able to adapt to what life will throw at them in the future.
Learn more at http://billallin.com

The Value of Power

The Value of PowerWhile that may seem like a strange title, think about it. What is power? When people seek power or have power, what is it they seek or have?http://billallin.com

 

How do we know if we have or lack power?

I believe I have distilled the concept down to something manageable. Power is a potential.

Power is the potential to hurt others of our own kind. Wealth, in itself, does not bestow power directly. Yet we all know and reluctantly accept that those with money can commit crimes–can hurt others in some way–and buy their way out of punishment.

Sometimes that potential is realized. Hitler had power that he used. He killed, maimed and otherwise harmed millions of people. For that Hitler will forever be considered one of the most vile devils humankind has produced.

To have power as potential and not use it is one thing. To have power you use is quite another. Using power is socially unacceptable. Having power you don’t use might get you anything you desire.

Does a president or prime minister of a country have power? Perhaps just the mention of the name George W. Bush would be sufficient to answer that question. The man started a war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives (many from his own military) and destroyed untold numbers of families based on a lie. The war itself has even harmed American citizens who never left their own country, whether they believed the lie or not. If nothing else, they will pay taxes for the rest of their lives to cover loans made to pay for the war. And the quality of their health care will be reduced because the money will not be there to pay for something better from the public purse.

Power is the potential to be physical. It’s not really intellectual in nature. It’s the potential for sheer, overwhelming might.

Those with power can never be intellectually satisfied. They can never be satisfied in any way. What could Hitler do, for example, after he had exercised his power over so many of his own people and the people of countries he conquered, other than to keep going? Once power is exercised, it may not be stopped. President Bush (the second) was stopped only because the US constitution insists that one person may only hold the top job in the country for two terms. We might wonder what he might have done if his term had not ended. Iran would almost certainly be next on his attack agenda. Then North Korea?

Those who are intellectually satisfied have no need for power. Intellectual satisfaction itself is a form of potential. Those who are intellectually satisfied have the potential to move on to greater and more challenging thoughts, projects and ventures.

Does Donald Trump have power or is he intellectually satisfied? I suspect he would say he is intellectually satisfied because he can accomplish new business ventures repeatedly. I would maintain that Donald Trump has power, but not intellectual satisfaction. He has the money to buy his way out of trouble, but success in business should not be equated with intellectual satisfaction. Trump, like Hitler, is driven to continue his business conquests. Donald Trump is a warrior with power, even though he doesn’t use guns.

I am reminded of a program currently on television, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? I know there are children in grade five who are intellectually more satisfied than Donald Trump. Not that they are smarter than Trump. They have more intellectual potential than Trump, thus can be excited and enthusiastic about life.

As life objectives, we can strive for power–with its potential to hurt others physically– or we can strive for intellectual satisfaction–with its potential to benefit humankind and give the users satisfaction unimaginable to those with power.

While the better choice may seem obvious to you, an intelligent reader, I submit that as societies we tend to put greater emphasis on power than on intellectual prowess. “Get a good education so you can get a good job” is the mantra chanted by so many parents to their children.

And it’s working. Children are getting education that will make them good employees, good followers of prescribed business and human resources plans. Much evidence suggests that children are not gaining intellectual satisfaction in school or in the jobs they hold as adults. In fact, away from their jobs, where they have considerable expertise, many adults are stupid, so much so that a grade ten dropout may have a more rounded education in life experiences. Donald Trump likely pays someone to change a washer in a leaky tap, something a grade ten dropout could do.

Those who do not strive for either power or intellectual satisfaction become human puppets. They dangle on strings pulled by others. When no one pulls their strings, they hang limp and useless. When they get laid off from a job, for example, they seek another employer to tell them what to do and pay them to do it. Few attempt to use their intellect to become self employed entrepreneurs. Ironically, the post modern world is primed and ready for entrepreneurs, but they can’t be found.

We don’t teach children the value of independence, of entrepreneurship, of intellectual satisfaction. As a result, we don’t find many adults with these values.

We make our choices, as parents, as teachers, as neighbours and as citizens, and we live with the consequences. We should not wonder, then, that people follow those with power, even if those people have evil intent.

We get as adults what we teach to children. If we teach the value of power, we get followers and power seekers.

We don’t really know yet what we might get if we taught the values of intellectual satisfaction. A few schools teach this, but they are rare, they are considered “different,” out of the mainstream.

These few schools tend to produce children who become adult geniuses. The kids are not necessarily born with genius, they have intellectual opportunities offered to them constantly as they respond with delight at their own intellectual satisfaction. They grow intellectually without feeling the need for power, the need for potential to hurt others.

Our children are not our future, as such. They are our potential for the future we would like our societies, our countries, our communities and our families to have. The potential becomes reality only based on what we teach our children.

Teach right. Teach good. Teach peace. Teach often.

Bill Allin
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a guidebook for teachers, parents, anyone who wants to know when and what to teach children so that they grow to become independent and well balanced adults who have the ability to achieve intellectual satisfaction.
Learn more at