Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Black Lives Matter - A Letter to John Langford

Hi John – long time no see. I do believe that FB is a great place to catch up with old friends from around the globe and that for the purposes of argument; it is best done in person. Our World however is dangerously polarized – on opposite sides of politics, ideas, strategies and war. It is so disabling an affliction to a civilized human culture that we have become dysfunctionally capable - capable of actually electing public officials, and then and there bestowing upon them influence over policy and of the future, when they don't even believe in Science for Christ sake – lest I include virtues like common sense or constitutional law. 

In science, there is the “Negative Feedback Loop” – whereas the Positive Feedback Loop tends to lead to instability via exponential growth, oscillation or chaotic behavior - negative feedback generally promotes stability. Negative feedback tends to promote a settling to equilibrium and reduces the effects of perturbations. Negative feedback loops in which just the right amount of correction is applied with optimum timing, can be very stable, accurate, and responsive. Negative feedback is widely used in mechanical and electronic engineering, but it also occurs naturally within living organisms and can be seen in many other fields from chemistry and economics to physical systems such as the climate (wp).”

So – if you are a FOX person, as an example, and that is all you listen to or watch, and you never entertain any new idea or intellectually ponder the other side of an argument, idea or issue – and wouldn't be caught dead in a room with someone watching CNN – you then become naturally polarized to the RIGHT because your own ideas are constantly being reinforced (positive feedback). So too if you only read and love the New York Times – you tend to reinforce what you already believe and to feign the entertainment of an opposing opinion. 

It is a perilous reality given that the news these days hardly fits the name – and certainly, no longer occupies the lofty ideals for which the freedom of the press was established. When a black and gay CNN news anchor can announce to his worldwide audience that he personally fears being murdered by a police officer when stopped by the same – a fear that is irrational, unreasoned, and unsupported by facts in existence anywhere in the entire universe - it sets in motion another step to the LEFT, and toward the pole – by people who believe it to be true. Though the argument has no merit whatsoever, it was said. And though void of facts, the inaccurate and irresponsible utterance made by a person of influence, in an influential pulpit - supports through positive feedback some people’s notion that his fear is warranted. And from there, the weakest minded of the lot, can act out in the most vile and uncivilized ways.

I would encourage you to express your opinion wherever necessary and do so for the purpose of winning the mind of whom you write to or speak - wielding not your brawn, nor fist, nor weapon, but the mere weight of evidence. Only through negative feedback can ordinary thinking human beings find the vast and tranquil landscape of the MIDDLE GROUND. It is a place of monumental importance for the preservation of a society that is corner-stoned on the foundation of freedom and liberty for all. “And whose foot shall be the measure from which all others are cut or stretched?”

I will end with another quote from Thomas Jefferson which I put to memory some thirty years ago. “When I hear a man express an opinion which is not mine, I say to myself he has a right to his opinion, as I to mine. Why should I question it? And shall I become Don Quixote to bring all men by force of agreement to one opinion? No – if he wants information, he will ask it - and I will give it in measure terms. But if he chooses to believe his own story, and shows a desire to dispute the fact with me, I will hear him and say nothing.