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Dyed All Hues

Thinker and Experimenter,

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To what extent has everything become a popularity contest in the world?

My observation of America is as follows:

Many experts of their fields aren't recognized for their expertise/work like Diane Kelly making an obscure discovery of a taboo subject, but celebrity fashion, politician hair styles, Darwin Award worthy deaths, extremism, and the "perfect" --fill in the blank-- is always on the latest tabloids. I want to learn more about different parts of the world and how they function. Is it like a rat race for fame? Hopefully they seem less superficial.

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    Jun 21 2012: Maybe it's not so much that subjects are just cases of popularity, and that popularity is what all things revolve around, but more so that popularity is a simple factor just like anything else. Popularity is like an extension of communication itself. First comes communication and then comes the degree of communication-how popular is it? the things people talk about have, of course, steered the world to a degree as we have moved to and from philosophies like Romanticism and even styles of thinking like Science. Popularity is powerful, but not the center of attention. It's like the saying "only as strong as the weakest link". If there were no subject to be spoken of, it wouldn't matter how much we wanted to talk about it, it wouldn't happen!
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      Jun 21 2012: Well in that case, I am specifically looking for the weakest links to American pop culture. Why do we stick to these popular subjects that seem superficial? How does society change this superficiality?

      I feel education is important, and well equipped knowledgeable parents.
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        Jun 21 2012: I've been thinking a lot about this and wrote an essay on Tim O' Briens' book The Things They Carried. In the book he claims that A: the truths are contradictory and B: a true war story can never birth a moral axiom. I illustrated the essay with perspective: the glass is neither half empty nor half full, yet both at the same time. The truths are contradictory depending on your perspective. This even goes back to Hegel- the truth is a synthesis of the thesis and antithesis (the to opposing perspectives),
        The point I like best, though, was that a Vietnam soldier, for example, could burn down a village and feel terrible about this-he knows no truth beyond his anecdotal experience! A politician may see that act as completely necessary, saying "we are stopping communism, so it is justified."
        But really, how can we be sure it is either? This two opposing truths cannot coexist.. can they?
        Another example would be how a veteran may say "you don't know war until you've fought" and I feel they have a good idea, but aren't completely correct. I think it is more like: we, non-soldiers, don't know war from the perspective of a soldier, until we've fought, but we still know it as statistics and so forth.
        Yes, there is a difference here, but only in genuine but limited experience, and wide-ranged but dry knowledge and stats.
        The perspective of war we take on depends. Even the synthesis is a position, really. The reason why so many people believe the same thing, or think the same thing about subjects so popular like wars is because of the Media. There are only so many news channels reporting it how they wish and that is all the truth we, non-soldiers, receive. What can we know or think? TV can illustrate the war as intended in 30 minutes all across America. There is no default perspective (the war really IS this way, any other way is not the true way to see it) but we flock to common positions because we have common sources of information.

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