Ideas are the genesis of all deeds and all movements throughout history. Some ideas (like mixing hazelnuts and chocolate) are great, some (like head cheese...warning: only click on the link if you have a strong stomach) are terrible. What I want to explore is what it takes for a bad idea to gain support and general acceptance.
|'J' and 'K' flashy-thingying a |
guy (off screen).
Having lived in the former USSR, I discussed the Holocaust with several older folks who had been there when it all took place. One older gentleman told me that, for him, it took consistent bombardment from the propaganda machine to comply. This bácsi (Hungarian for old guy) told me that every Jew he knew was a terrific person. So when all the antisemitic sentiments of the Nazi party began broadcasting over the airwaves, he dismissed it. Several weeks later, he started to assume that the only good Jews were the ones he knew, because the rest of them were vermin. Looking back, he was embarrassed that he did nothing to stop the persecution of the Hungarian Jews in his village. He realized that most everyone loved their neighbors and friends who were Jews, but like he had done, assumed that all the rest were scoundrels.
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Think about that for a minute.
|Look how frightened the computer |
is of the number 2000.
Folks withdrew money, some closed accounts they had maintained throughout their adult lives. Others built bunkers and loaded up on survival gear. All of this, and for what? Why? Because they heard it was coming and that it would be bad. Hindsight is 20/20, but with a little critical thinking, foresight can also be near 20/20.
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|Las Vegas Wedding Chapel|
-------Story continues below-------
Although it is common for college students to engage in promiscuous activities, this situation was a particularly ridiculous idea because of all the ways in which they justified their actions. The students could just have done whatever they wanted to do, without the sham marriage and two days later, nothing would have been different. But they spent a lot of time and money trying to trick the system. The end result is they were dismissed from the school for violating the code of conduct they swore to uphold and all the justification they could devise was meaningless.
Good rule of thumb: if one has an idea that requires an abundance of maneuvering around laws or ethics, it probably isn't a good idea. A solid idea should stand on its own merit.
|This is planking... this is it.|
Along those same lines... the whole YouTube craze where people try to do something ridiculous in order to get views. Some of the worst involve pogo sticks on treadmills or anything else that can result in broken bones and/or death. All for hits on a video sharing website.
Without going into a discussion, it is also worth noting: reality TV, the Tickle Me Elmo insanity, Furbies and mannequins with nipples.
What others are out there?