Going Forward

This is going to be my first post in nearly a month. Happy New Year, by the way. A good amount to unpack:

I didn’t anticipate necessarily to take this long of a break, I honestly feel that the best way to make something out of nothing is to just put as many swings up as possible and sooner or later your bound to find something that sticks. I have been trying to do that for about 9 months now and every day looking to talk about what’s going on and my perspective as a fairly normal 22 year old college senior as I see the world. I enjoy reading and writing so I thought that putting my own brand online in a time where so much has been going on was a good idea and I could gain the opportunity to discuss, debate, and sometimes even argue different ideas and topics going on around us.

I don’t regret that decision in the slightest. I am proud of the work that I have done to this date and truly feel that the over 150,000+ words that I have typed over 167 posts are a genuine representation of who I am and what I believe. I won’t apologize for that. Is it perfect? Not at all and I am always trying to be the best version of myself in giving a reasonable, rational, and objective understanding of what I am looking to talk about and comment on the day.

In one of my first posts I discussed how I feel that someone’s personal brand online is really the only way to get an understanding of who a person is on the internet and as we continue to press forward with our lives in an age that technology becomes more and more of a necessity I think this will largely remain true.

Malcolm Gladwell discusses in his book “Talking With Strangers” about our human tendency to default to truth. That is to believe someone at face value and put trust into what they say. I generally do this in my everyday life. The problem is online this is extremely difficult to do. Watching someone read off a script on TV makes this also extremely difficult to do. Overall everything we pretty much do in general nowadays is making this harder and harder to do.

But we have to do it. If not we can’t function as humans, as Gladwell argues. The internet has provided a new challenge to illustrate this and I want to combat that as much as possible.

LinkedIn is where people try to be “professional” and act all buttoned up, Instagram/Facebook is where people try to show how great their lives are, Twitter is where people try to show off their sense of humor and witty remarks, TikTok is where they dance, and Snapchat is where people show how fun they are.

Everyone knows that these are not a real representation of reality and we are often told that as well. All too much we see think pieces about how social media is ruining everyone’s psyche and people need to get offline. Yes, I agree with that but it’s hard to do so when we basically have been forced inside since March. But that’s besides the point.

In order to put trust in someone or something there needs to be accountability attached.

I have been attempting to use this outlet and my social media accounts to try and be myself. I put my name on all of it. It’s difficult to convey real messages on sites that only allow quick posts or small numbers of words so I turned to this. ThoughtLess Magazine. This blog is for the most part things that interest me, what I like to talk about, what I believe in, and usually why that is the case. I want to be accountable for what is said on here.

And this isn’t me going after everyone and all my friends/people I follow either. It’s no one’s fault that social media in many respects is extremely superficial and sometimes hard to actually take people seriously.

You can repost as many instagram slideshows to your story as you want, but it’s not changing anyone’s mind.

Nor is this me saying that I will change anyone’s mind on here either. I hope I can at least present people with ideas and supporting evidence of fact, reason, and understanding as to why I came to that conclusion. It’s not easy to do over the internet, but the more words that can be written to support and explain it I think is the better. I try to have everyone who reads this at least finish with the understanding that I did the research to come up with a valid opinion or conclusion.

So this gets to why I have taken a break over the past few weeks. Besides just taking a quick “vacation” to refresh my mind and focus on other things, I also wanted to go back and look at some of my work and how it has progressed throughout the 9 months. I wanted to see what I have done well and what I haven’t done as good. What worked and what didn’t. Just basic stuff to really take an introspective walk through the Magazine and myself.

One of the points that I kept going back to was that I felt I wasn’t necessarily learning as much as I had been at the beginning. To me, I think I started to get in too deep with what was happening on the news and how headlines were driving a lot of stories. This isn’t me saying that I was completely wrong or misled in these areas, but I think I could have done a better job explaining all the sides. Again, that doesn’t mean that I change my stance in much, or really any, of what I said but it does offer me the reminder that I need to be sure to have a more open approach in looking at every story. I’ve said repeatedly that I try to stay away from promoting conspiracy theories and want to be a rational, objective commenter.

This drives into my next point in that I became very news dependent. Obviously, it is much easier to talk about just what is going on and responses or reactions to things we see in the news. Just because of the nature of this year, this largely spanned the politics and coronavirus. For better or worse, these are 2 highly politicized subjects of conversation that I enjoy conversing over. I like questioning those in charge and pointing out hypocrisies and inconsistencies. People making decisions deserve to be questioned and held to a higher standard. This is especially the case when I feel they act patronizing and often express disregard for those who disagree with them. I still like to follow the news but I don’t think this is particularly the best way for me to constantly utilize this platform I created for myself going forward.

I want to talk about things that I thoroughly enjoy and want to understand more. Whether that’s technology, business, cryptocurrency, entrepreneurs, Pokemon cards that I’ve recently gotten into, or anything else that I can think of. When I try to have at least 1 post per day when I am fully engaged on this site, I came to understand that focussing just on what the news media is talking about for that day is the path of least resistance.

I know that because some of the work I am most proud of on this site have not much anything to do with mainstream politics or news events. So I will try to have a more creative flair to this page.

And just to pivot back real quick as I try to move on, of course what happened last week at the Capitol was disgusting. It has no place in society and a functioning country doesn’t engage in behavior like that. Seeing a confederate flag walking through the Senate building is appalling. Seeing the outward displays of hatred, anti-semitism, and bigotry that some people in that mob were expressing was gross. After speaking out against many of the riots and looting that happened this summer, I shouldn’t feel like anyone would question what my stance on the events that happened on January 6 were. I have always been against violence regardless of who they are or what they stand for.

I want to think and reflect on this and the reactions because it’s a good time to look in the mirror.

In general, I also am still so confused as to why there was basically no security at that building. The building that was literally occupied by the most powerful people in this country was breached in what felt like 3 minutes. It’s puzzling and an extreme oversight by someone. I’m not sure who is responsible for that but it will never make sense to me how unprepared they were.

I also won’t apologize for having questions about how this election was administered. I knew and said throughout my post election writing that the chances of anything being overturned was extremely unlikely. I wish I was more explicit in my writing that I thought after the Texas law suit with SCOTUS was dismissed that I’d thought Trump should’ve conceded. It was an absolute pipe dream thinking that January 6 would ever do anything to alter the November 3 results and I never pretended that Pence and the congress would yield these monumental decisions that Trump wanted. Remember, I did say on November 9 that I was completely against faithless electors for the electoral college and that’s basically what Trump was trying to accomplish. It’s sad that he misled people in that way.

I still think we should want an answer to many of these election questions and the processes that were in place that led to much of this confusion/questioning. I’m not sure if it’ll have to be a state or federal court that renders these decisions but overall it should be challenged and defended by each side. That is for the future of this country and how we operate our government with trust in our elections.

Again, by no means do I think that anything can alter what happened in the 2020 election, but for the sake of our country we should want to restore trust into the electoral process. The damage is done, it’s time to move on.

This is not me saying to move on and pretend like nothing happened. I think what’s best is that we all realize that this is the position we are in. People acted out of hand and have to pay the consequences. To the fullest extent. That’s the people that broke the law. We have to figure out a way to function without constantly pointing fingers and demonizing or generalizing one side or the other. We have to get back to working with common and agreed upon facts. We have to restore integrity and honesty into our institutions. The best way to do that is to debate and try to reason. Calling for a debate is not calling for violence. We have to realize that our leaders are failing us, from both parties, consistently.

I’m not really sure how that happens but I can only control what I can control. I try talk to people I disagree with often and try to hear them out as they also listen to me. We may not come to 100% common ground but a mutual understanding is better than nothing. No one person can change the world and the best way to actually change the world is to change yourself.

To me, that means treat people fairly and with decency. Try to have empathy and ask questions. Listen and also don’t be scared to give your perspective. I don’t think we can live in a prosperous environment where 50% of people are terrified of getting cancelled for either offending someone or even asking a basic question. I’m not saying we live in that now but there are instances where it feels like that.

The censorship that we have seen in the last week alone scares me. I think the thing I’m most consistent about is my belief in freedom of speech. I understand Twitter is a private company and can largely do what they please, even if I have objections to that, but even these past few decisions I think is too far for anyone to agree with. When 4 or 5 companies hold the keys to basically the entire internet as a whole, it becomes a difficult path to navigate if they will excommunicate you because they disagree with your opinions. Now, I’m a small fish and don’t envision myself getting hardcore censored for anything I say generally because I also don’t try to be too controversial, but still.

If they have shown they will censor those they don’t agree with, then it can only snowball into something much worse. It will be fascinating to see how the market responds and adapts to these new challenges.

We’ll see what happens when Joe Biden is sworn into office in 9 days and I genuinely hope that he succeeds in his mission to unite and heal the country. I root for the country first and foremost so it’s not like I don’t want him and his administration to succeed. I hope we can can take reasonable actions to get people rowing in the same direction and ease tensions. I’m not sure if it will work, but that will ultimately be up for voters to decide. I think it would be best for the winning side to also look introspectively and understand that regular people disagree with them, too. Policy-wise, that’s ok, it doesn’t make someone a bigot. Anyone can disagree with policy. But the insinuation that all “dissenters” are evil, deranged people is not going to turn many heads.

Maybe people haven’t fully understood me, but I am not a Republican or Democrat. Last I checked I was a registered independent in the state of Massachusetts. I also voted for Hillary in 2016 and Trump in 2020. I try to put country first. I’m pretty sure the strongest thing that ever came to an endorsement from me on this site anyways was my writing about the Unity2020 party that I still believe could have blown out Trump or Biden if given a fair shot. But, I digress. I guess someone can correct me if I’m wrong.

So with that I will hang em up for today and continue to work towards bettering and challenging myself going forward.

I never want to find myself acting complacent.

Cheers.

@jacklesser_ ||| @thoughtless44

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