Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Revisionism and cyoa


Most people are aware of various historical revisionism by past Empires such as Rome, and by old and modern governments. They are so aware of this that the phrase, “history is written by the victors” is fairly commonly quoted.

The modern equivalent can be encompassed in the acronym “cyoa” --“cover your own ass”, or for paper pusher types, “cyoawpw” --“cover your own ass with paper work”.

It is well known that there were a few Roman scholars who “wrote their histories”. An interesting write-up on this can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_historiography

Cyoa just refers to the larger issue of making sure documentation supports what you say.

For purposes of this missive, I am referring to how individuals “cyoa”.

Often historical revisionism is needed by those who wish to convey to others the opposite of what actually happened. Most of the time this is simple things, kinda like a “white lie”, but sometimes much more sinister in nature, often related to something to do with power, money and greed.

Often it is very insidious in nature, combining elements of truth in order to make it more plausible in case any should question the story further.

Historical revisionism is, of course, a story based on lies, of things that did not actually happen, or things that happened in a different way, so mixing in elements of truth makes it much more realistic and palatable. Those who do it based on complete lies are often, but not by all, found suspicious at the very least, and found to be untrustworthy at most.

Those who do such things must, as a basic instinct, be heavily invested in such things, and the maxim that if one is intrinsically one kind/type of person, then all else must be considered within that light, holds true.

Thinking people, of a considerate nature, will often give others the benefit of the doubt, even when empirical evidence contradicts it. As long as “most” of what they do seems to appear positive, or, is something that promotes their own self-interests, most people are willing to forgive a few errant mistakes, or errant judgments.

This is fine to my thinking as most people do make mistakes, some more often than others, so forgiveness should be always strongly considered as a first response. It is a “good thing”.

However, if one is privy to a continued string of evidence, then it becomes a necessity to re-evaluate the person based upon this epiphanous-type thinking and do a little investigative work, depending upon its relative importance, of course.

I have been unfortunate enough in life to come across a few people heavily invested in the facades they wish others to see about them.

I once knew a guy, whom I had considered a friend and to be a decent sort, who turned out to have invented almost everything he had said to me, and others around us. He even joined with me in volunteering at our neighborhood food pantry, shared his computer tech skills with that Church, and was always exceedingly polite.

In retrospect, just how “good” he showed us to be should have sent warning signs to me, but I have never actually considered myself to be much good at divining human nature. People have fooled me often, I am too trusting by nature, and I prefer to see the good in people and need to be shown several times before I can see that someone is not.

I think most people are likes this, in the regard that they want to see that people are mostly good.

I also think it is healthy to have some degree of suspicion, and life has shown me that it is a necessity because to not be can too often result in real losses, in material things, physically and/or mentally.

As well, it is easier, though still difficult, of course, to see this in people we can see and talk to face-to-face…much harder on the net…with alts used in virtual worlds, anonymous commenters, those who use proxies, and others who seem to take some thrills in causing confusion and issues.

Anything that is written on the net can be edited, modified, or changed to say something other than what was originally, or truthfully, said. If you do not get a screenshot, expect that you will have a much harder to impossible way to prove up something. Even screenshots are prone to denials as being edited… and, as in real life, many things are simply not provable in ways that will unequivocally convince everyone.

So, how does one deal with a concerted attempt to revise history, to change what actually happened, to fool people?

The short answer is, they can't… there are simply too many ways on the net to dismiss, derail, or lie about true matters.

When a person has invested themselves in revisionism, there are all sorts of ways they can cover it on the net.

We can, however, snip at it a bit, and at the very least show enough evidence to lend some support to others who may find it of enough value to give it some consideration, and perhaps do their own investigations.

The problem with such things, is trying to maintain some integrity while at the same time knowing that to deal with such things will push you towards the same kind of lowlife mentality those invested in revisionism do. This is the difficult part, in my opinion.

Sometimes, in order to get the truth out, one must delve a little bit into the lowlife type of mentality.

Such things as making fun of those who try to hide the truth, or, showing them to be simpletons, and/or simple shills with motives and agendas. But if one considers this and does it in ways that are carefully considered, one can still maintain some modicum of integrity, all, of course, depending upon how low one goes.

We have the ultimate choice in how we deal with problems in life.

One can know certain things to be the truth, but then others will see other truths, and the thread throughout it all is apathy and self-interest.

This is commonly known by Police when investigating accidents. They can interview three witnesses and get three different views on how things occurred. They then have to take other clues, make a fuller picture of events, and come to conclusions relevant enough to file their reports.

Much of this cannot be overcome, even if one wishes to drop to their level, but adding in the desire to see things clearly and then wishing to maintain some integrity and moral high ground, the whole thing becomes mostly an exercise in futility. It then becomes more than most are willing to do…I get this.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, attempting to continue the fight to remain an honest broker of information, attempting to elevate oneself above the trivial fray, attempting to do one’s part to expose revisionism and all its negativity, is really all we can do.

Apathy and self-interest rule the day…and one must see this clearly, and sometimes it can even be used as part of the exposé. Always keep in mind that any time the few have exposed the deviances of others or society, it always DOES have an impact. This may not be seen clearly, or only somewhat seen, but positive things ARE good, and never go out of style.

If one keeps in mind that they need to try to keep the high road, stick to as much of being “real” as one can be, remain steadfast and keep as much integrity as one can…if it is only just one other who notices, the day has been a good one, and you can be proud of this accomplishment.

Yes, when one decides to stand up, it often comes with issues from those who wish to keep eyes closed. So you must understand this first, and clearly...do it anyway if you have the fortitude to do so...do not do it if you cannot stand the ridicule and nonsense from those who would oppose being revealed for what they truly are, you will only feel embarrassment, or worse.

One should also keep foremost in mind that revisionists, especially those with agendas, and most especially with financial agendas, can be compared to car thieves who are successful. In that, they are smart in certain ways, but, not really smart, if you get my meaning. Negative revisionists and car thieves can get away with it, in some regards, because they are good at it...sometimes they receive no punishments, most often they do. This can be, as with car thieves, incarceration...and with negative revisionists, having to deal with issues they would not have had to deal with if they simply were honest.

Always keep in mind that you have the high road in such things, THEY do not.

A couple of my favorite quotes should round this out nicely, I think-))

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. --Pastor Niemoller

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. --Edmund Burke

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