one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Mind binding

The practice of foot binding in China is terrible. But we're doing a similar thing now in America which I call "mind binding." Mind binding is putting blinders on your kids, and in your own life, to only see a very narrow spectrum in the marketplace of ideas. Worse than just political naivete, this extends to *everything* and leads to people getting offended by simple posts about Chilean minders getting iPods.

A friend of mine, Haley Pogue, lives in Los Angeles and works at a theater. She gets to attend all sorts of great film functions, including Q&A sessions with filmmakers. I happened to see this tweet:
"Don't you think it deserves the NC-17 because of how real it is? Because it's so ... real?" - stupidest question at 'Blue Valentine' Q&A

It occurred to me that this person likely practices mind binding, and lives in a world where blood never exits the body when a bullet pierces the skin, where bad guys gently roll out of cars when they flip end-for-end and America's Funniest Home videos is equal to Faces of Death. In short, they are too scared by reality so they create a smaller, safer, cuter version of their own.

It is a form of selective ignorance exacerbated by the ability to now filter every piece of information you receive through the computer sorting system the rest of us call The Internet. For mind binders, this is a Wild West Web, and they endeavor not to explore new ideas, but to lock in ONLY the items they feel are true, or real, or fit their world view.

Like ignorance, this is one of the greatest threats to human progress ever.

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