Communication is critical to many things. Understanding each other can reduce tensions, preserve peace, and benefits all parties. Without good communications, disorder – even chaos – can result.
Poor communications can be deadly. Let’s think about that. And the causes of poor communication.
This is, of course, related to lies – failure to tell the truth. Is it right to consider it a lie only when the untruth is uttered knowing it is untrue? Or even when the person thinks it is true? Even if they don’t bother to check? With government goons, I think that most of the untruths they tell ARE lies: they know they are not true. Ditto for many corporate slugs. But normal people? Should we give them the benefit of the doubt? Can we afford to do so? (We are discussing the tactics of statists and government shills and goons in a series of commentaries – one tactic is actually lying.)
But more than misinformation and outright lies hinder us communicating. Especially on vital matters. Inability to communicate is a major problem. Whether written or spoken. People are unable to communicate for many, many reasons. Some of these are so serious that we, as a community and society, spend a lot of money trying to overcome this inability. Consider what we do for deaf and blind people. Consider what we try to do to prevent (and cure) illiteracy.
Unfortunately, much of that time and effort – that money – is wasted. Rather than teaching skills necessary to live, we find the money is wasted on activism and propaganda.
Consider this article which I tried to read a few days ago, on a phone app called “NewsBreak.” The headline was interesting – clickbait, no doubt, but still worth a few seconds. “Biden Government Now Coming After Millions of Retiree Benefits in the U.S.“
As I said, I tried to read it. Written by a certain “Mara Rev Resma” and published by the “East County Gazette,” it was virtually unreadable. And completely unintelligible – even to someone used to having to translate Pakistani, Nigerian, and Australian English.
I know very little about Ms. Resma. Or her publication – though it seems to be a “reputable” mainstream news source, located in the San Diego area of Southern California. Her resume on the article says that she is a graduate with a BA in “Communications” from the Cebu College of the University of the Philippines. She appears to be a regular staff member of the Gazette.
And clearly, something is wrong. The University of the Philippines is (again) a “reputable” and “respected” institute of higher education. English is commonly spoken both on their campuses (it appears to be the primary language of the institution) and in the Philippines. I have known and spoken with many Filipinos for more than 40 years, including many recently. Their use of English is pretty close to American standard, with a “delightful” accent in some people’s opinion. They know grammar and vocabulary well. Sadly, Ms. Resma does not. Someone’s time and money has been wasted.
But while Ms. Resma’s situation is bad, we see hundreds of examples of very poor communications skills (speaking and writing) among Americans. No, not just immigrants – and indeed most immigrants (at least those who are not border jumpers) are fluent and try very hard to speak and write standard English – and do well at it. And not just people whose language at home in their youth is something other than English. I know many people from Spanish-speaking and Dineh (Navajo) and Lakota (Sioux) homes and backgrounds who are fluent in both their family’s language and standard American English. And I even know a few people who are Cajun, and North-Dakotan, and even from Brooklyn! Most can and do speak understandable English – and write it.
But fewer and fewer, particularly (but not limited to) younger generations – do NOT.
And when it comes to hearing (and understanding) and reading (and comprehending) English? We literally have millions and millions of Americans – some sixth and seventh and eighth or more generation Americans – who are functionally illiterate. They are unable to communicate effectively and safely. And as a result, we have growing disorder in our society. In our communities – even in our families.
However, the problem is not just the illiterate. It is people who fail to communicate because they do not accept common definitions – understanding – of what words mean. And how to use them. Again I cite Ms. Resma. She seems to be trying to communicate her ideas – but she knows not the words she needs, and uses words that are nonsensical.
As do millions of Americans. Including many in positions of authority and power – not just in government but in business.
Think about these things, as we continue to explore liberty in 2021.