[Rant From Episode 104 Of The Ignorance Equation- By Nick Katsouros]
Ah Remember reality? I mean reality before Reality TV, Virtual Reality, and our own Personal Realities became the Reality we live in. 10 years ago I worked with a Muslim guy named Jimmy, during a conversation Jimmy revealed to me his belief that God had turned his back on the black man for leaving Israel, which he says is in Africa. When I told Jimmy Israel was not in Africa it is actually in South West Asia he debated the issue endlessly. So being the pigheaded punk rocker that I am, I went and got an atlas and came back the next day armed with “The Facts”. Little did I know facts have little to nothing to do with Jimmy’s belief system. So as I opened the page I had marked, showed him Africa and then pointed out Asia and the country of Israel inside its borders, his flippant reply was- who made that map. Whatta you mean I responded, well who made that map…man made that map and man is evil, so I don’t believe your map- I believe Israel is in Africa
This was probably the first time in my life and I had heard an otherwise rational human being straight up say fuck facts I know better than maps, geographers, and historians. And the problem was since he didn’t believe in the inherent nature of facts there was no way for me to prove him wrong. Yes, wrong! Israel IS in Asia and to believe otherwise is not an opinion, it’s not a religious belief, it’s a delusion and worst it’s a negation of fact, the only thing that keeps the Earth turning on its axis and the cosmic order of the universe from descending into fucking chaos. And why…
Because when you say facts are meaningless, you change the whole trajectory of human progress. Let me give you a little example.
In the 1960’s America was involved in a little drama with Russia called the space race. Kennedy had promised America would beat Russia to the moon by the end of the decade and every patriotic American lined up behind Kennedy and said let’s kick some Russian ass! And because we will agree that space travel was possible and more importantly the right thing to do on July 20th, 1969 Neil Armstrong took one small step for mankind.
Now imagine if you will that instead of 99 percent of Americans agreeing on the reality that space travel was possible and correct, 10 percent of people (lets say the Evangelicals) screamed if we go to the moon and try to escape Earth’s atmosphere God will punish us and bring about the apocalypse causing hysteria in the Christian community prompting the churches to encourage their congregation to write their congressmen and protest the launch. Now imagine if another 10 percent (let’s say tea party types) didn’t even believe the moon existed, and because of their intense hatred for President Kennedy they believed that the moon was just a giant hologram in the sky created by our government to trick us into believing outer space exist so we would all feel small and helpless and remain passive and easy to control so they hit the streets and protested the launch, and now let’s imagine another 10 percent of Americans let’s say fiscal conservatives said we don’t have the money to go to the moon, we need to build up our military and unless you are going to the moon to turn it into the fucking death star to destroy our enemies from above we will defund and filibust any legislation going towards space exploration, and finally let’s say another 10 of people, this time far left liberals were outraged by the fact only white men were leading the Apollo mission, excluding black people, Latinos and women from space travel and lets also imagine some of the more radical feminists were pissed off at the phallic shape of our rockets…with all this working against us do you really think we would have made it to the moon? Or built the transcontinental railroad, or cured polio? This is why facts matter, because facts are the glue that holds together progress- and just like the Tower of Babel fell because no one could understand anything the guy next to them was saying, so shall America fall is we do not all start agreeing on the inherent correctness of facts and the universally accepted definitions of words.
This game we constantly play in this country where we say crazy bullshit things and ask the guy next to us to disprove it will be our undoing. You can’t disprove a negative. If I walked up to you and say you should give me 50 bucks because my brain waves are set to a certain frequency that cloaks the Earth to our alien enemies and keeps us safe, and you call me crazy, I don’t win the argument just because I say…well do you see any space aliens? Then prove my brain waves don’t keep away the space invaders.
Yet this is what we do constantly now, I think Obama’s birth certificate is fake…prove it’s not. I think those 20 kids in Newtown are alive and well and hidden in a bunker somewhere prove they aren’t, I believe Kanye West has talent prove he doesn’t…OK, I might give you that one. The point is, just like Chris Hayes always says, knowledge is trust base, you don’t actually know there’re 50 states, no one has driven to all 50 states and vetted their constitutions, you accept the fact there are 50 states because someone you trusted told you so and you believed them…the question we need to ask ourselves, if we no longer trust the government, the media, the schools or our leaders facts- then how can we really have any knowledge, and maybe keeping us faithless and clueless is the real conspiracy.