The revolution of logic and reason must talk to the other side of the brain

Forrest Johnson

It may be time for an old fashioned revolt of the masses.

An uprising for a sustainable planet and an educated populace that doesn’t fear the boogeyman and doesn’t form its opinions in the vacuum of intransigent thought will begin soon.

This action is supported in part by the National Union of Friendly Americans (NUFA), the Independent League of Open-Minded Sorts of People, the Levity Council and the North Shore Good Neighbors.
Those who are concerned about an armed insurrection need not worry. There will be no populace carrying torches in the night, no storming the castle with pitchforks and clubs in order to assuage illogical fears. We have no fears of that sort. We are people who believe that logic and reason can carry the day no matter that we use a different part of the brain than do many of our confused brothers and sisters. We realize that cognitive dissonance has hindered the thought patterns of many Americans who cling to romantic notions of freedom and liberty as they support philosophies of intolerance and discontent.

As Northland Reader resident M.D. Gary Kohls has discussed amply, the theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by altering existing cognitions, adding new ones to create a consistent belief system, or alternatively by reducing the importance of any one of the dissonant elements.
In other words, ignore facts because they don’t fit with beliefs.
Minnesotans will have ample opportunity to shed those notions this November as ballot issues that restrict freedoms and civil rights are voted upon.

The odd thought process that our confused brothers and sisters embrace allow them to shout freedom while they vote to restrict freedom at the same time. It is truly ironic. I’m not quite sure how to point that out other than to engage in conversations where hollow philosophies about freedom and liberty and individual rights as envisioned in the Bill of Rights can be allowed to crash headfirst into each other.

Yes, people suffering from cognitive dissonance will instinctively pull back into their shells and put the blame for a collapsing society on someone else’s shoulders but eventually they will have to poke their heads into the light.

We should be there to greet them in this melodious cacophony of life on this planet, that wonderful blue-green ball of limited resources and limitless thought.

We like to believe in the motto of the North Shore Good Neighbors, “Learning more can’t hurt.”

There is much to question about a society that believes that less thought is more, no matter if it’s in terms of education spending, protection of the environment, funding for shared public and social infrastructure or just plain old thinking about what makes everything tick.

There is much to question about a society that allows hideous amounts of sodium and sugar to fatten our population under the guise of the free market and freedom to choose. There is no longer any doubt that you are what you eat and think and our health care crisis certainly reflect the cost of chronic diseases that will make it impossible to lower the cost of the system one cent until we realize that a single payer, cost-regulated solution is the only way out.

Along with healthier foods and a little more physical activity once in a while.

Since when does a free and civil society bathing in the free market allow a chemical like dimethylpolysiloxane enter our food chain? According to the authors of the book “Eat this not that!” the “silicone-based antifoaming agent is added to fried foods to keep the oil from turning frothy. You’ll also find it in a range of products from shampoos to silly putty.”   

We are doomed to obesity and inactivity in a world that prays at the altar of convenience, driven by an industrial food system and the odd freedoms of the internet and hand-held technology. Praying to the free market to anchor a democracy is the ultimate notion of blasphemy for a free society.

As long as I’m on food, junk food leads to junk thoughts. The freedom to choose disappears when high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt foods light up the pleasure centers of our brains. A recent Scripps Research Institute study followed the lives of rats when they were given “unfettered access to cheesecake, frosting, bacon, and other fatty high-calorie processed foods. Not surprisingly, the rats quickly became obese. They ate compulsively and continuously, even ignoring electric shocks applied to their feet in the presence of food.” The rats had to eat more and more fat, sugar and salt to feel rewarded.

“They lose control,” study co-author Paul Kerry said. “This is the hallmark of addiction.”     
Any society that allows its food to be made very similar to cocaine is in the midst of a tidal wave of cognitive dissonance. I argue that much political thought, or lack of it, is also suffering from the disorder.

How can one discuss health care or education in the grip of such a disorder?

We aren’t about to stop trying.

The uprising of “Learning more can’t hurt” is underway. Our society is at risk if we don’t get the revolt of thought going soon.