I wonder how many people are seriously getting so lazy these days that they no longer bother themselves with actually taking the time to question what is told to them by the media or whatever source they find to be flavour of the month?
It is incredible in this day and age how fast information and communication passes between us, and the floods of information which we all absorb every day through social media, the internet, radio, television and and newspapers.
There is no shortage of information, and we are asked to process far more than we are prepared to take in.
Subsequently many of us form views and opinions while knowing very little about the issues involved.
People will regurgitate snippets and soundbites and swear they are the gospel truth, just because of where they heard or saw the information. Very little of independent analysis takes place. Indeed for many of us, we neither have the inclination nor the time to delve further into the issues.
What evolves from this situation is a pack or tribe mentality, too many of us follow each other like a flock of sheep going Baaaa.
Take for example the behaviour of groups of people on facebook or twitter….as soon as something contentious comes up, a number of people with a specific agenda all start making a noise, and they get more people making a noise, and as the numbers build up, before we know it everyone seems to be jumping on the same bandwagon, and witch hunts begin.
An ideal example of how damaging this sort of behaviour can be, was after the breaking of the Saville scandal,certain other people found themselves on a list of names who might be implicated in similar activities…without as much as a by your leave, these people found themselves accused and by spread of this accusation on wenbsites and social media, assumed and pronounced guilty by a large number of people.
These accusers had no information to go on, other than the misinformation they were receiving, and the names of some individuals.
One such individual to be named was Lord McAlpine…and he was ripped into by a large number of people on the basis of hearsay, and what turned out to be mistaken identity. Can you imagine what torture that man must have been put through??
Has that served to make people pause? Not a chance…as more and more names come up as being arrested on suspicion of wrongdoing, they are immediately guilty in the eyes of the masses.
I have no idea who is guilty or who is not? But I always apply the maxim of innocent until proven guilty.
Only when such evidence has been tested in a court of law can we say if someone has committed an offence.
Now take this example and place it into the sphere of how we receive other news and information, and form snap judgements.
The number of ill informed comments I read in response to issues on facebook and twitter on the independence debate are frankly staggering. The vast majority appear to come from the anti independence brigade, but lets not kid ourselves, there are an amount on the Independence side too.
How is this occurring?
Quite simply it is a case of people regurgitating bits of information as gospel truth, without taking their time to question if it is indeed correct. As long as something seems to support their particular ideological or tribal stance, they accept it without question.
Because of this the likes of the Unionist newspapers can get misinformation out to the gullible who only read the headline and move onto the sports or fashion pages without any further thought. The idea has been planted and the newspaper headline maker has succeeded in their objective.
We have been walking blindfold into a world where perception and image rules over fact, and many have suspended their mental faculties in the process.
It is because of this state of affairs that the likes of the BBC can get away with their Pravda/Fox propaganda. It is also a world where THE ACCUSED is found Guilty by merely being accused. No verifiable evidence is required.
Try Googling Salmond Accused….and see how many entries you get! And look at who propagates these headlines.
The main users of this Guilt by perception are the usual anti independence newspapers…although it really should be Copyrite the Scotsman.
and bang to form ….The Scotsman was at it again today.. only this time with another favourite word regarding Independence, or should I really say Separation? ….The word being WARNING.
“Independence: Energy warning over ‘smaller economy”
“AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would face a “greater challenge” to keep the lights on than the rest of the UK because of its smaller economy, energy experts have warned.
Scotland’s energy sector would be gripped by a series of crises with higher electricity bills and the country’s share of North Sea oil subject to years of legal wrangling, it was claimed. The stark warning about the threat to energy supplies in an independent Scotland were made in a series of research papers by the David Hume Institute at the University of Edinburgh.
Peter McGregor and Kim Swales, who are economics professors at Strathclyde University, said Scotland would have an economy less able to trade electricity, smaller storage space and more restrictive systems for electricity generation.”
Really good eh?? Now hands up….how many people think that this is Bad news? It must be Bad must it not? What with experts and such saying this.
And just look at the words they use… Crisis, (not one but a whole load of!), HIGHER BILLS!, Legal wrangling, Stark Warning ( OHH Ohh….this must be really bad!), THREAT, Less Able, Smaller, RESTRICTIVE.
YIKES I am pishing my pants!!
But wait…..shall we see what the evidence is? Lets…just for fun.
“The paper published today for the David Hume Institute outlines the opportunity that an independent Scotland would have to use money generated from the EU Emissions Trading Scheme to fund energy efficiency measures.
As the paper’s authors make clear, “recycling the EU Emissions Trading Scheme levy towards energy efficiency would provide significant resource to deliver energy efficiency programmes. Adopting this approach would allow government to direct such programmes much more clearly, while at the same time using a funding stream which would allow [Energy Company Obligation] to be reduced or eliminated, so reducing bills.”
Meanwhile the document also confirms that the rest of the UK would still need low-carbon electricity purchased from Scotland after independence, stating that “the ‘rest of the UK’ would still be required to meet EU climate change targets which would, in turn, require electricity from low carbon sources to be purchased from other countries should Scotland become independent.”
The paper also warns of the costs attached to Westminster’s determination to pursue a new generation of nuclear energy, making clear that “a high level of subsidy – comparable to that currently required for offshore wind power – will be needed to enable nuclear generation to meet its costs, and the UK Government’s intention is that this subsidy will come from an additional levy on consumers’ bills.”
The paper itself can be found here……and what the Scotsman has done with this substatial report, is pounce on the only possible negative they could find…and Blow it up to extreme!
Scotland would be in a very strong position to significantly Lower our energy bills, not the reverse.
After all…we haven’t got a shortage of it, have we??
But check your facts folks, don’t just take my word for it.