The Platform


Everyone knows about the Dark Ages in the Early Middle Ages. Science was based more on smoke and mirrors at that time rather than hard facts. Plus, the Catholic Church had a lot of say as to what was deemed “right” and socially acceptable. Depending on the gravity of the opposition, some were put in jail for having a different perspective or going against the beliefs of the Catholic Church.

The Academy of Science thought the world was flat around that time and those who opposed that theory were looked down upon and chastised for being so uninformed. If it was deemed to be an outrageous claim that went against the scientific beliefs of the church, the Catholic Church also got involved with squelching the “heretics” as well.

Scientists like Galileo were brought up against charges and were arrested for heresy. The church had its own official Holy Office of Heresy which adjudicated over people who went against their scientific doctrine and Church orthodoxy. It took the Church over 300 years to admit Galileo was right: The Sun does not revolve around the Earth, the Earth revolves around the Sun. It did not matter that Galileo had some excellent insights about how the planets spun around the Earth, his thoughts would weaken the Church’s influence on society, and he was deemed a threat to the Church’s power.

Today, when someone questions “the science,” they are not only chastised but they are also banished from speaking their perspective. Many colleges, instead of welcoming differing perspectives to broaden the insights of those attending, make up excuses for why someone cannot speak on campus. They are ridiculed, and every attempt is made to stifle their perspective so that others do not pick up on their skepticism and start demanding answers. You would think higher education would encourage differing perspectives to be heard. Instead, a very narrow, one-perspective approach is the norm.

That is a very unhealthy environment when it comes to broadening perspectives by challenging ideas, concepts, and theories that may not be accurate. Instead of encouraging people to challenge a perspective and put forth a different vision, many public schools as well as colleges and universities want students to accept one perspective or be ostracized for not conforming to what they are “selling” as the truth.

Indoctrination or education? Sounds more like a lockstep indoctrination approach to me.

Skepticism and entertaining counter-perspectives is a healthy tool to actually strengthen decisions and make those scientific claims by others either stronger and accepted as fact or discounting them to a point where new information and perspectives lead to a more accurate conclusion.

We cannot have everyone thinking about political and scientific issues the same way. That leads to very weak as well as inaccurate decisions. As General George S. Patton once said, “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.” Patton wanted his subordinates to challenge the status quo and use their own ingenuity to reach an objective. If you have never read up on his approach to leadership, you should.

Some would say today is worse than the Dark Ages. They claim we are moving into the Dumb Ages. People are given false information, and few seem to question the accuracy of that information.

The media is no longer the seeker of truth. Today, many of them are partisan cheerleaders for one set of values and ideas and lack the courage to question political and scientific issues.

That lack of urgency to seek out the truth speaks volumes as to the poor education journalists are getting. Investigative journalists who had an objective view and only wanted to seek the truth have been replaced by shallow-minded, partisan minions who act more like giddy cheerleaders for certain political values.

The sad part is that they believe they are getting away with this lack of integrity. Most people are questioning what they are hearing in a news broadcast when it sounds different from what they are seeing with their own eyes. Wide shifts in viewership are evidence that many are not buying into the hype anymore.

We need to shatter this framework of pseudo-education that does not encourage the pursuit of the truth in both public schools and higher education.

Hopefully, in this new year of 2023, we will start to see a real pursuit of the truth and not more theatrics and giddy cheerleading by those who come off as the ShamWow Guy (or girl) of journalism.

James Carlini is a strategist for mission critical networks, technology, and intelligent infrastructure. Since 1986, he has been president of Carlini and Associates. Besides being an author, keynote speaker, and strategic consultant on large mission critical networks including the planning and design for the Chicago 911 center, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading floor networks, and the international network for GLOBEX, he has served as an adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University.