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Ron Patton | August 20, 2018
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There is an old saying that applies to what is happening today in shadow of abuses of power, whether it be in government or religion – if we don’t see it or if it doesn’t affect us, we can all pretend it is not there.

Impunity is defined as an exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action. We are seeing this happening in our corrupt system.

State impunity is at the root of the problem with government corruption.

With the revelations of more child abuses from Catholic priests, we are now seeing rampant impunity within religious hierarchies.

Catholic bishops in Pennsylvania played a significant role in hiding the widespread sexual abuse of minors by more than 300 Catholic priests across the state, according to the results of a grand jury investigation released this week.

While past investigations of abuse in the Catholic Church centered on individual priests, this latest report highlighted how much the bishops knew about the abusive behavior and the great lengths they went to help cover it up.

The deeply disturbing 887-page report identifies more than 1,000 victims who were abused by priests in the dioceses of Scranton, Allentown, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Erie and Pittsburgh. The report says there are likely thousands more who didn’t come forward.

Bishops’ simply ignored the reports.

While we can discuss how hideous and profane these crimes are, I want to focus on something even more disturbing.

Something called, hypocognition.

Over the past decades, social science has cataloged numerous knowledge gaps in the human mind. Many of us suffer from selective hearing and selective thinking. We are complacent about what we know and oblivious to what we miss. This is a condition known as hypocognition. It is a condition that is being exploited by social media and various other media outlets in order to give them justification for binding certain types of media from speaking against state oligarchies and their proclivities.

If you don’t know that hypocognition is, then you just experienced it.

Hypocognition, a term introduced to modern behavioral science by anthropologist Robert Levy, means the lack of a linguistic or cognitive representation for an object, category, or idea.

It means that when you are introduced to a new concept that you are unaware of – you tend to think it is unimportant or you reject it.

There is a story that best describes what I am talking about.

In the 1800’s there was an entrepreneur named Frederic Tudor who sailed to the island of Martinique. He had on board his ship, ice that he harvested from frozen Massachusetts rivers. He had this idea that he could sell ice to the people on the tropical Island. The only problem is they had never seen ice. They had never experienced a cold drink, never tasted a pint of ice cream and had no idea what refrigeration was.

So the people didn’t buy it. It all melted away in the Caribbean heat.

So what we learn from this is that often, human fate rests not on what people know but what they fail to know.

All of us are hypocognitive of the numerous concepts that elude our awareness.

Hypocognition is about the absence of things. It is hard to recognize precisely because it is invisible.

There is plenty of information that our media excludes or finds a way to exclude it is ignored because of what can be called impossible criteria or because an editor sees to it that a particular item is ignored for a more sensational item that can jar an emotional complacent response.

This adds to the idea that if you don’t see it then you can assume it is not there. If it is not reported in a mainstream framework then it must be a conspiracy theory.

This is a very dangerous way of rendering a population ignorant.

It’s a strange world of Orwellian newspeak we are now living in. Social media and the mainstream media are now in the business of creating what can be called an information famine or the deprivation of critical concepts poses a great perceptual disadvantage for all of us.

The media is successfully taking advantage of hypocognition.

And who do they use to push hypocognition?


Experts who are confined by their own expertise.

Experts who overuse the constricted set of concepts and rigid thinking within their own profession while neglecting a broader array of equally valid concepts.

Society is now being herded in echo chambers of thought control and anti-critical thinking. Without the ability to examine an issue impartially and completely there is little hope of maintaining liberty and freedom, as history repeatedly demonstrates.

The mainstream media has created many buzzwords that also spin hypocognition and the negation of critical thinking.

We see the label “alt” being applied more and more frequently as an adjective for sentiments that supposedly do not fit in with the accepted status quo.

Alt-Media. Alt-Right. Alt-Left. Alt-News – Alt is a buzzword provided by the media in order to diminish its value and most of the time, it is pejorative that means extremist.

When the mainstream uses the term, “alt” what they are indicating is that whatever has Alt in front of it is either fake or extremist and should not be trusted. Using Alt is their way of saying that the mainstream media is always a safe space and that what they say are truth and fact.

Usually, things that are reported and are considered alt ideas are too complex and controversial to be believed and therefore, they should be avoided or even discredited because they are not part of the mainstream narrative.

Most “Alt” stories are not even extreme at all. Alt is just another way of saying “off limits.”

This is a fraudulent ploy by the media in order to spin hypocognitive bias.

Of course, the bad boy of all of the hypocognitive terms is conspiracy theory – or conspiracy theorist.

This term is so over-used that it really is devoid of any practical meaning. If you were to examine it at face value, though, it describes a person who is looking to understand injustices in our world and is willing to look at uncomfortable facts in search of negative influence… of which there is plenty in our world today.

However, ‘conspiracy theorist’ has literally become a derogatory term that is attributed to anyone who refuses to accept mainstream narratives at face value. It doesn’t matter that there is overwhelming evidence to indicate that mainstream media does not value objectivity or report on important issues thoroughly or truthfully.

Hypocognition must be addressed in the public dialogue and it also should include the discussion of environmental framing.

Frames include semantic roles, relations between roles, and relations to other frames.

For example, if I say the word “Doctor:” there are many things that come to mind that we think about. Things like health care, drugs, scalpels, things like that.

However, the frames that are being regenerated in the media are Nazi, Racist, Fascist, and they are being coupled with Right-wing, Christian, Nationalist, and Populist, without the difficult part of defining clearly what they mean and how using them generates a divisive dialogue.

All of our knowledge makes use of frames, and every word is defined through the frames it neurally activates. All thinking and talking involve “framing.” And since frames come in systems, a single word typically activates not only its defining frame but also much of the system its defining frame is in.

In other words, word associations are forced into the dialogue and soon a scapegoat is created where Hate speech and hate thought crimes are then created.

Hate speech is a term that is used by politicians and tyrants in order to silence an idea.

After all, what could more dangerous than hate? Hateful speech is recognized as what we don’t like – or we know it when we hear it. The choice is to walk away from it and ignore it – but to take uncomfortable speech or controversial speech and label it as hate speech breeds hypocognition.

It is fascinating to watch how people use this term so freely as if speech itself can be criminal. American society is founded on the idea of freedom of speech and self-expression, which at its core is the recognition that as human beings we do not and never will all see the world in the same way.

It is an acknowledgment of the fact that different people have different ideas about how the world is and should be. However, just saying or declaring something is hate speech is now the basis for discrimination.

The term, “hate speech” is one of the most loaded and ambiguous terms in the political lexicon.

Outright censorship and draconian speech codes have long been a staple of Third World authoritarian regimes. But Western democracies and in particular the United States where we all claim that the First Amendment is supposed to reign supreme have always prided themselves on protecting free speech.

Yet because of the creeping reach of political correctness, one can now be put in prison, lose a job, be kicked out of school or be otherwise censored simply for uttering an unpopular opinion.

George Orwell said in his novel, 1984, that the policing of speech leads to the policing of thought. Hate crimes and hate speech suppose intent on the part of the “perpetrator” that may or may not have any basis in reality. What is often mere criticism or disapproval is labeled “hatred” and thus made worthy of punishment. Such a perspective demands that one think only nice thoughts about others. But when it did it become law that we have to like everyone?

While bigotry is indeed unpleasant, it is not in and of itself a crime.

Here in the United States, leftists often decry what they see as censorship emanating from the right, when in fact most of the true silencing of speech has come from within their own ranks. These days, liberal-dominated universities and colleges are one of the major promulgators of speech codes and draconian punishments for hate speech.

It seems that putting forward a political or religious viewpoint on campus that is considered politically incorrect is now grounds for persecution and possible expulsion.

When George Orwell wrote “1984,” his dystopian vision of a future society governed by totalitarianism, it was the excesses of communism he had in mind. Orwell’s novel foreshadowed the current movement toward thought control. Except that today’s “thought crimes” are called hate speech and hate crimes.

When I hear of groups that decry fascism and turn to violence and use fascist tactics to enforce their view, I wonder if they are aware of a term called domestic terrorism?

Terrorism defined is simply the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.

What are the aims of these violent groups we hear about? Their aims are political and therefore can be defined as terrorists. Yet they thrive in this country using free speech as their crutch when violent behavior and assault is not covered by the First Amendment.

When I speak of hypocogition, I also need to point out that extremist framing is not just the product of radical groups that wish to exclude certain things from the zeitgeist.

We know that social engineering is also at play and cognitive liberty is being violated.

Many ideological framing or informational framing operations have direct connections to the emotional regions of the brain. Emotions are an inescapable part of normal thought.

We know that you cannot be rational without emotions. Without emotion, you would not know what to want, since like and not-like would be meaningless to you. When there is neither like nor not-like, nor any judgment of the emotional reactions of others, you cannot make rational decisions.

However, over emotional framing and using emotional response as fact eliminates critical thinking structures and have been spun as fact in the media framework.

They are not fact—they are emotional responses and are there to get you to react emotionally and accept the framework and put it into policy.

Emotional responses in the media are often couched in identity politics and therefore are least likely to be factual.

The repetition of ideological language will strengthen the circuits for that ideology in a hearer’s brain. And since language that is repeated very often becomes “normally used” language, ideological language repeated often enough can become “normal language” but still activate that ideology unconsciously in the brains of citizens—and journalists.

Hitler coined the term “the big lie” to describe a lie that “the great masses of the people” will fall for precisely because of how bold and monstrous the lie is.

A known falsehood is stated and repeated and treated as if it is self-evidently true, in hopes of swaying the course of an argument in a direction that takes the big lie for granted rather than critically questioning it or ignoring it.

Edward Bernays, the father of American propaganda once said:

“Thinking critically means making reasoned judgments that are logical and well thought out. It is a way of thinking in which one doesn’t simply accept all arguments and conclusions to which one is exposed without questioning the arguments and conclusions. It requires curiosity, skepticism and humility.

People who use critical thinking are the ones who say things such as, “How do you know that?” “Is this conclusion based on evidence or gut feelings?” and “Are there alternative possibilities when given new pieces of information?”

“Hypocognition” in my opinion, is a big word that can mean famine of critical thinking or knowledge excluded because it certainly reveals the ugly truth.

Hypocognition is the lack of ideas we need. We are suffering from massive hypocognition. It is intimately tied up with other issue areas: economics, energy, food, health, trade, and security.

In these overlap areas, our citizens as well as our leaders, policymakers, and journalists simply lack frames that capture the reality of the situation.

Hypocognition is a very dangerous thing today.

Written by Ron Patton

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