There are so many interesting things in this documentary to comment on, but I’ll focus on one — nuance.
If we are having a disagreement and our position is the one that lacks nuance… stop. If we find ourselves believing with conviction that something is definitely true or completely false, perfectly good or obviously evil… stop. If we find ourselves getting upset when someone doesn’t agree with us… stop.
We need to stop and re-evaluate everything that happened in our lives to arrive at that place. Re-evaluate everything we think we know and why we think we know it.
Reality is rarely absolute. We are likely a victim of propaganda and our own egos are to blame. I know that word triggers many of us to feel insulted or assume it only applies to everyone else, “If I believe it then it can’t be propaganda, because I’m so smart and informed” — and that’s the point — ego. We need to take some accountability for our own intellectual laziness. It took me a long time to find these convictions in my own mind and root them out. It’s work that never ends.
Self-awareness and self-reflection are skills humanity is losing because we have lost the ability to sit quietly and think. The opposite of meditation — using our minds, not clearing them. Skills require practice. We should make an effort to challenge ourselves. Make a conscious effort to burst out of our ideological bubbles and allow new ideas enough space and time to be thought about carefully rather than casually dismissed because they make us feel uncomfortable.
That feeling shouldn’t be a trigger for rejection, it should be a trigger for engagement. That feeling is how we are manipulated. It is the reason the manipulation works. Once a technique is learned it will never go away, even if the social media companies do. If we continue to allow ourselves to be slaves to that trigger, we have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Conquering that trigger is the only path to liberation and we can start today.