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“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.” - Bertrand Russell

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In the last couple of decades there has been an unprecedented shift in the way people formulate their perceptions and what, very often, they choose to expose themselves to. For many, it appears reality has lost its importance and can almost be considered as something separate and distinct from what goes on in their day-to-day lives.  People’s grasp of reality has been replaced by a mishmash of contrived perceptions  in which they’ve become increasingly selective about what shapes their reality. From this 'pick and mix' many now consciously choose what to accept or omit from their perception of what is around them.

This tailor-made dreamworld people have created for themselves did not come about  in a vacuum. It has, in fact, been actively promoted and encouraged from a whole host of quarters, from politicians eager to promote their self-serving agendas to the advertising strategist trying to turn a useless product into the next new must-have accessory. As people strive for happiness and contentment in a world where the usual aspirations it promotes usually lead to increasing levels of anxiety – there becomes a need to preserve their sanity. Instead of having to experience the despair and despondency many associate with confronting the realities around them, people are instead encouraged to withdraw as it is much easier to focus on the picture they themselves have painted than what is actually outside. This withdrawal  from reality is often presented by the mass media as simply part of a lifestyle choice – a necessary prerequisite for maintaining a healthy and optimistic outlook on life.

The masses have been convinced that their wellbeing relies on maintaining this bubble world. In many ways the new fashion of ‘political correctness’ exemplifies this concept, where certain terminology and any views associated with it can simply be dismissed out  of hand. The increasingly selective and biased nature of the mainstream media also serves to maintain this bubble, which often goes beyond omitting certain news or being disingenuous with the truth. Some of the most important issues of our day are often presented in such a distorted and, at times, contradictory format that it makes people switch off; instilling the belief that such matters are far too complex for them to even think of voicing a valid opinion.

The culmination of these forces encourages people to retreat from the real to a synthetic world. Within this fake world everything can be carefully choreographed to reaffirm any predetermined perception.  The resultant effect is a creeping indifference amongst the masses towards the issues of their day. It hands those in positions of power or authority a blank cheque through the absence of people’s appetite to scrutinise or to be critical of the status quo. And eventually, when the masses do decide to creep out of their shells, they will find a wholly unrecognisable reality – completely out of touch and at odds with the needs of humanity. 

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