It’s 6:51 on the 26th of September and I thought I would write a little something before my morning walk. I was doing a little bit of research on the new Apple Operating System iOS 7. Apparently it is causing nausea and dizziness, and from what I have read about exposure to wireless and cellular I am not terribly surprised. Interestingly, on the same page there is an ad for an article with a man and woman smiling widely, and the title is “The Top 5 Ways You Can Know if you are Getting Cancer.” Over the past three or four years there are these tendencies to come up with these numbers – Top 5 of this, Top 10 of that, 3 Ways to Do this etc. What I feel that we are doing in this regard is that we are simplifying things to make it easier for people to understand important things. I reflect on this in a totally different way due to the fact that I have in my life some young people. I have my grandchildren and great grandchildren in England, and closer to me physically is Wolfgang, my friend Alexandra’s son who is now two.
It is incredible to see how much a young mind is taking in and how sophisticated that is to see. At the other end of things, for adults, we’re dumbing down people’s intellect in ways because we’re making it so simple to get news in incomplete or inaccurate ways. Let’s go to something physical here as an example. A few weeks ago after a rain in Waiheke Island, I slipped on some mud. I hurt my left shoulder, and I had to stop doing weight training (that I do keep muscle mass on as most of us should in one way or another) for a while. As a result, my body lost a bit of strength. The point I’m making is that if we don’t exercise what we have, we atrophy. We all feel it in different ways. Mental exercise is no different. If we keep getting things dumbed down, then our mental capabilities will atrophy as well. Sometimes I get biased against this – it does turn me off when I see the top ‘whatevers’ of anything because when there is a complex subject, which most are (especially cancer), the reality of that is that we need to go deeper into the subject to understand it more fully rather than blurting out a few tips and calling it helpful, because some may take this and think they have the whole picture when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth. Martin Luther King once said “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” and I find this relevant in the case that one may feel empowered by incomplete and often incorrect words written by online and print publications worldwide.
Concerning this Top 5 ad for cancer, I would advise all those that can to eat well, take into our bodies that which will add to our health, and keep our bodies strong, but would I put out an article saying ‘Top 5 ways to prevent cancer?” No, I wouldn’t, because cancer is complex and has to do with other things like history, emotional and spiritual state, environmental toxicity and genetic factors. Numbered blocks of information are making us less mentally adept. When we need to know something, we should give it the time and mental effort to delve deeper than a metaphorical toe in the water of understanding.