“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed – and hence clamorous to be led to safety – by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” H.L. Mencken.
By Mike Cronin
Too many things in our lives these days aren’t what they seem, or don’t live up to their hype. Do you think the cable or broadcast news shows give you the facts and truly inform you about current events, or do they give you only the facts, and the occasional lie, they want you to have? Do you think our schools teach accurate history lessons, or are they more concerned with having you memorize dates of prominent events while ignoring the real lessons from the past? Our politicians and appointed officials always have our best interests at heart, right? No? How about our preachers and priests, lawyers and cops, insurance companies and hospitals?
If you are like me, you suspect you are not being given the whole story. You have learned not to trust most of the “information” that comes into our lives in a constant torrent of noise, propaganda, and hyperbole. I like to call this constant barrage “the feed.” The purpose of this website is to help us discern fact from fiction, to extract truth from its bodyguard of lies. It is to learn to filter “the feed” and build a more accurate understanding of the world around us.
My name is Mike Cronin. I am a retired Air Force officer, husband, and father. During the latter years of my service time, I worked in intelligence and information operations. My duties required me to research geopolitics, philosophy, history, and more. At times, my team had to research, analyze, synthesize, and draft, edit, and finalize briefings, articles, and papers equivalent in scope to a college term paper every night. In some aspects, it was very much like running a small news operation. I also have a master’s degree in strategic communication from Seton Hall University. My intent in writing this blog is to use the knowledge and skill acquired during that time to provide insight and learn with you in order to spread more understanding reduce the confusion of modern life.
One of the first aspects of “the feed” we must learn to discern is bias. Every journalist, author, talk show host, professor, preacher, etc., has a bias. Professional journalists purport to be objective as possible in reporting the facts of the day, but they have their own perspectives, shaped by their experiences and their educations, that affect what and how they report the news. Likewise, scientists attempt to conduct “blind” experiments in order to remove bias from the results. Such testing is a hallmark of the scientific method. Despite the precautions of journalists, scientists, and other professionals, some bias is still likely to creep into the final product. Bias is a lens through which people look at the world. Some folks’ lenses are pretty warped, others’ are fairly clear. Many don’t realize they have a bias, or what that bias is. At Filter the Feed, I recognize my biases, and I state them to you, so that you may apply that filter when you read or listen to what I have to say. I am biased for individualism, reason, liberty, freedom, open markets, capitalism (laissez faire economics), and limited (but not zero) government. I am biased against the misuse of the coercive power of government, or the promise of salvation, or the authority of the lectern, or any other unethical tactics to achieve ends that could not have been obtained through reasoned argument or ethical persuasion.