Young people are at a major disadvantage when it comes to parsing the world around them because they have not yet seen the cycles of public opinion.
The Memory Hole. A story comes out that could damage the Left; they scramble and come up with a plausible reason to what “could be” happening, then insist on it as truth because they like it. While cracks appear in the narrative, their audience — who are just catching up with events — quickly shout down the opposition. Within a week, stories and water cooler discussion abandon the matter, and inside of a pay period it is forgotten.
Theory and Studies. A theory is advanced, or a study published, which contains radical conclusions. On the basis of a few data points, the herd throws out the many previous facts which indicate the contrary. A decade later, studies are retracted or disproven, and opinion shifts back.
The latest example of the latter involves the practice of flossing teeth, which has now fallen into official disfavor:
Itâ€™s one of the most universal recommendations in all of public health: floss daily to prevent gum disease and cavities.
…But all this could change following an investigation by Associated Press (AP). Last year journalists from the agency asked the departments of health and human services and agriculture in the US for their evidence that flossing works.
Since then, the US government has quietly dropped the recommendation, admitting that there is no scientific evidence to prove the benefits. And now the NHS is set to review their own guidelines.
First the study comes out, making careers for all those who were involved, who now get promoted or their own research labs; next, the media, which loves a contrarian narrative more than anything else because it implicitly rejects realism, bangs the tin drum for awhile; finally, people chatter about it on treadmills, at water coolers and on social media. The herd burps, and concludes it has reached a conclusion.
This “trickle-down” process of information provides the guts for the most advanced mental control mechanism ever. The media is desperate for product, and people need something to talk about, and think that if they know things (“it’s got electrolytes”) they are smart, and this makes them feel good. The hive buzzes warmly because it has disproven the idea of doing things the realistic way yet again, and has some new fascination to pursue with which to distract itself.
And yet, common sense rears its ugly head. How is removing decomposing food bits from between one’s teeth, where cavities are most likely to occur, in any way ineffective? The Left screams about how we are all being forced to buy expensive corporate products like dental floss, and the Right talks about the loss of autonomy caused by centralized dentistry. We wait the next decade, when we can return to common sense in this detail, and to fight for it in the ten thousand other inversions that will have been established by that time.