Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What you see

What you see is what you are.     ??

That is NOT what we want to hear.  If it's true, it's a problem.

It means we have to decide what we're going to watch... or not watch... and what we're going to let our kids watch... and what kind of video games ...  nuts.

Can't I watch violent stuff without becoming violent?  Of course I can.

But does it shape my thinking in any way?  Of course it does.

Observational learning is the addition to thought processes by what we see portrayed.  Kids do it.  Teens do it.  Adults do it.  Old folks do it too.  It's not a new idea, but perhaps newly acknowledged in some respects.   Patterns and contexts we see are added to our thinking, to our view of things.

So now comes the problem of free speech and free press.  With our newscasts, we sensationalize the worst in human behavior.  Destructive behavior becomes a world-wide story; perhaps the mentally fractured fellow that shot up a school.  Did you know that the Sandy Hook shooter was attempting to surpass the Norwegian mass killer's body count?

News is portrayed for revenue, not for objectivity or for benefit to the citizenry.  News agencies compete for viewers, and revenue decides which stories are told and how they are portrayed.  Is there a threshold beyond which harm is likely?  Of course.
On television this season, an example
of perhaps what might be considered
beyond a reasonable threshold.
Should we put this in our own
or our children's minds?  Is
there risk in doing so?
Ratings protect children to some degree, and they imply that adults are immune or can choose wisely.  Neither is true, as we all know from personal experience.
So we sensationalize the violence in our world.  We tell the detailed stories of deviant and violent behavior; then others latch on and consider what it might be like.  To kill innocent people.  Because we popularize it with our news.  And our video games.  And our television drama.  Like 'The Following', a new series this season about a serial killer who builds a network of serial killers.  It's a popular show, but the question of what such portrayals feed into our society remains unexamined.

We've recognized that some violent behaviors are at least in part a result of mental dysfunction.  We've also recognized that they wouldn't have thought of it unless the behavioral type were in some manner illustrated for them.

It's an ancient idea; some things should not be publicly detailed.  For every reasonable crowd who listens and is informed, there's a taint left behind in each individual.  You're aware of it sometimes when at the end of a show, you feel soiled somehow.  Some will watch and perhaps be inspired, even titillated by the story.  How do you balance that one?

On a list of things that perhaps shouldn't be publicly detailed /fictionalized /sensationalized:
Xxxx and xxx
Xxxxxx xxxxxxx

Know what I mean?

Oh, and xxxxxx on the internet, perhaps as well.
“Where the mind goes, the man follows.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”

Noel Jones, in “The Battle for the Mind” states that, "Once a man accepts the world’s thoughts and puts them into practice, it becomes the character and core of who he is.  He is giving someone else control of his mind and destiny.  Adopting the mannerisms of the crowd, he is no longer an original, but a copy.  You are not in control of your own mind, you are being controlled -- according to the definition of conformed -- by something or someone else.  That means you are living a masquerade; you have picked up and copied the world’s mannerisms, speech, expressions, and style.  Those have become embedded in your mind; you are conformed to the world’s behaviors and standards."

We begin to understand why Paul would suggest we should focus 'on things above...'.  It's practical advice which he explains at length. With the religion removed, it makes sense. You are what you see, what you focus on, what you give your attention to.