One of those pieces of web writing, by someone about whom you know nothing, that hits you directly amidships. I don’t even remember how I found it.
I wrote these principles after reflecting on the content of contemporary newspapers and broadcast media and why that content disquieted me. I saw that I was not disturbed so much by what was written or said as I was by what is not. The tacit assumptions underlying most popular content reflect a worldview that is orthogonal to reality in many ways. By reflecting this skewed weltanschauung, the media reinforces and propagates it.The outlined principles divide up alarmingly well into “stuff I recognize as generally true about the way Americans think” and “stuff I just now realized I think.” Damn.
I call this worldview the American Cargo Cult, after the real New Guinea cargo cults that arose after the second world war.
Certainty is strength, doubt is weaknessI’m doing it a disservice by quoting chunks outside of the author’s elegant outline format. Read the original.Admitting alternatives is undermining one’s own belief.Your opinion matters as much as anyone else’s
Changing one’s mind means one has wasted the time spent holding the prior opinion.When a person has studied a topic, he has no more real knowledge than you do, just a hidden agenda.
You can succeed by emulating the purported behavior of successful peopleThis is the key to the cargo cult. To enjoy the success of another, just mimic the rituals he claims to follow.
Your idol gets the blame if things don’t work out, not you.
If it’s good for you, it’s goodSociety is everyone else.Good intentions sufficeYou can always apologize.There is no long termDon’t miss an opportunity.
There will be justiceBad people get punished.
You, however, will be forgiven.