— Bill Bonner
— Kurt Vonnegut
— Henry David Thoreau
— Harry Browne From “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World: A Handbook for Personal Liberty” P. 5
A typical example of a trap is, ‘It would be selfish to be concerned with your own freedom; you must think of others first.’ Or ‘The kind of freedom you want is immoral,’ or ‘The government is more powerful that you are,’ or ‘You have to accept the will of the majority.’
There are probably hundreds of such traps, but I’ve reduced those I’ve seen to fourteen basic types.
It’s very easy to get caught in a trap. The truisms are repeated so often they can be take for granted. And that can lead to acting upon the suggestions implied in them — resulting in wasted time, fighting inappropriate battles, and attempting to do the impossible.
Traps can lead you to accept restrictions upon your life that have nothing to do with you. … [They] are assumptions that are accepted without challenge. As long as they go unchallenged, they can keep you enslaved. That’s why it is important that we challenge them…. I think you will find that most of them have no more substance than ancient cliches such as ‘The world is flat.’
The 14 Traps:
- The Identity Traps
- The Intellectual and Emotional Traps
- The Morality Trap
- The Unselfishness Trap
- The Group Traps
- The Government Trap
- The Despair Trap
- The Rights Trap
- The Utopia Trap
- The Burning-Issue Trap
- The Previous Investment Trap
- The Box Trap
- The Certainty Trap
— Chinese Zen master Sen-ts’an
— Bill Bonner
Our hands shook as we put on our glasses. Our knees cracked as we stooped to wonder: Is there any Truth in public affairs?
What we came to understand is that, often, there is none.
Ignorance is one of our charms here at the Diary. Not that we are more ignorant than others; we just take it more seriously.
We appreciate it. And since we are so chummy with ignorance, we see it everywhere. In every headline. Every public announcement. Every speech on the floor of the Senate… and every crackpot comment from every halfwit voter in the empire.
If something happened in your backyard yesterday, in broad daylight, you might know something about it. Or if you tell us about your life… about your people and how they live…
We will listen with both ears.
But give us the unemployment rate. Tell us why Rome fell. Explain the Virgin Birth…
Go ahead. We need a laugh.
You already know our Iron Law of Truth: Any event or idea loses its real meaning by the square of the distance from it, the size of it, and the time elapsed after it.
By the time you read about it in the paper, there is hardly a trace of truth left.
“Stop watching the news,” says our friend Rolf Dobelli — “News is to the mind what sugar is to the body… The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don’t really concern our lives and don’t require thinking.”
Before we know it, our brains have rotted out.
The more thoughtful pieces of news pretend to tell you something important. But often, the real information content is low, misleading, or false.”