Book Review: Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy | #SmartReads

MaximumAchievement.jpg

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
June 14, 2017

“It always seems impossible until it is done.”
– Nelson Mandela

“A man is literally what he thinks, his character being the complete sum of all his thoughts.”
– James Allen

Given the penchant of self-help books guaranteeing everything under the sun, “Never judge a book by its cover” was the first thing that came to mind upon seeing the cover of this book.  Thankfully though, this book was not merely a ghost in a shell.

Maximum Achievement by Brian Tracy is a rather unique approach to create a road to success.

Drawing from a wide-array of fields such as philosophy, psychology, history, metaphysics, and more, Tracy fuses the insights learned through experience and research into this treasure trove of information.  All of this is aimed for individuals to become active in their own self-mastery.

The insights within this book are varying, but critical.  These insights covered spanned an individual’s relationships, mindset, critical decision making, and even interactions with children.  The book features a lot more than that too.

In fact, some of the tips suggested in this book remind me of Neurolinguistic Programming [NLP] books, given the nature of the topic, which is focusing your thoughts into creating new habits, in order to bring about profound individual change.  The loose comparison is mentioned to serve as a reference for those that might have read books on NLP.

The one thing that the author homes in on, and does so aptly, is the importance of having a sound mindset.  As the author alludes to often, with proper mindset anything can be achieved.

In fact, in a sentiment that calls to mind the timeless quote by Yoda, “Do or do not, there is no try,” the author states:

“A major turning point in your thinking comes when you change your language from “whether” to “how.”  When you start thinking about how you are going to accomplish something you want, and you simultaneously refuse to consider whether it’s possible or not, your entire mentality begins to change.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Is it really that simple?  Henry Ford seemed to think so when he intimated, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

A strong mindset is crucial.  In fact, maintaining a keen mindset is everything.  Maintaining a proper mindset should be a key focus of individuals, since creating negative habits can happen a lot quicker than one realizes.  Tracy soberingly notes:

“The most dangerous habits you can form…are mental habits.  Because of the fact that whatever you think about continually you create in your life, your negative or self-limiting thoughts hurt you more than anything else you can engage in.”[2][Bold Emphasis Added]

This is something attentive individuals will notice when being mindful of their surroundings and thoughts.  Not only has this happened to me, but I have witness it happen to family, friends and acquaintances.   Such is the power of the human mind, and as such it should be carefully and thoughtfully employed.

Whether we become our own worst enemies, or we become our best friends is up to us.  The great thing is that we hold the key to the doorway of change.

Maximum Achievement is a terrific read in its totality, made all the more relevant by how high-speed our lives have become, as well as how easy it is for people to get distracted and create poor habits.  Complement this book with Getting Things Done by David Allen, and you will undoubtedly have a great foundation from which to proceed into a better and more rewarding future.  Stay focused, stay productive, and do not be dissuaded by any obstacles that might arise.

______________________________________________________________
Footnotes:

[1] Brian Tracy, Maximum Achievement, p. 88.
[2] Ibid., p. 91
___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Advertisements

Book Review: The Art Of Description by Mark Doty | #SmartReads

TheArtOfDescription

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
June 20, 2017

The Art Of Description is a very refreshing no frills examination of the many ways description can be employed in writing.

Unorthodox in its approach, subtle, and yet quite insightful, Doty not only brings about compelling analysis of a  smattering of writing styles, but also urges the reader to master their individual skill of observation.

On this, Doty cogently writes:

“To some degree, the art of description is the art of perception; what is required, in order to say what you see, is enhanced attention to that looking and the more you look, the more information you get….The resulting visual journey can feel intricate indeed; it makes us see the world before us as composed not of discrete things that don’t touch, but as a continuous realm of interconnected lines.

To be better at description, we have to work at attentiveness.”[1]

Beyond such insight, the author incisively samples the writing of individuals such as Blake, Pound, Swenson, Shelley, Ginsberg, Cummings, et al, thoughtfully ruminating upon particular gems that these writers have left for individuals to glean upon.  Sampling such range in writing allows the reader to see a wider range of styles, each offering a varying, yet exquisite taste, all of which helps solidify the writer’s repertoire.

Another point the Doty centers upon is what can be learned from poetry.  Echoing the actions of Benjamin Franklin, who once used poetry to expand his vocabulary and writing prowess, the author notes:

“Poetry’s project is to use every aspect of language to its maximum effectiveness, finding within it nuances and powers we otherwise could not hear.  So the poet needs to be a supreme handler of the figurative speech we all use every day, employing language’s tendency to connect like and disparate things to the richest possible effects.  In poetry, figuration is at its most sophisticated; condensed, alive with meaning, pointing in multiple directions at once….It’s one of the poet’s primary tools for conveying the texture of experience, and for inquiring into experience in search for meaning.”[2]

Such an examination aids the reader  in gaining a deeper understanding of the depth and precision that may be employed when writing poetry.  Coming to terms with this, one is also able to thoughtfully approach the art of writing from a more mindful perspective that allows individuals a much wider latitude from which to compose a piece.

At another juncture, Doty shares a sentiment that calls to mind Edgar Allen Poe’s wondrous definition of poetry when he said, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.”  The author beautifully observes that:

“Every achieved poem inscribes a perceptual signature in the world.”[3]

Just as the creative ventures of artists from time immemorial echo into the present, so will the poems of the present echo into the future, continuously leaving dashes of beauty with their very essence.

The Art Of Description is a discerning read in its entirety, that is experienced in its approach, and shrewd in its execution.  If you’re seeking a new writing path that will not only be novel, but will also teach you how to create your very own path, or perhaps even finetune your old one, then begin right here.

___________________________________________________________
Footnotes:

[1] Mark Doty, The Art Of Description, p. 72.
[2] Ibid., p. 76.
[3] Ibid., p. 21.
___________________________________________________________
If you find value in this information, please share it.  This article is free and open source.  All individuals have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, inquirer, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Breakaway Guide To Censorship, Disinformation, Logical Fallacies & More

logic3
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 18, 2017

As a preamble, let me preface this with a big thanks of appreciation to all of those individuals who have contributed to the crucial information provided below and who have sought to make it available to everyone.

Now, in order to learn how to navigate through the nefarious web of deception created these days within all types of media, there will be five distinct articles cited at length that outline information that’s quite vital for incisive individuals to know so they can become self-sufficient in their ability to discern the truth from veritable smoke screens.  It is suggested these are studied regularly until they are learned given how important and efficient they are.

Logical Fallacies will be the first tool addressed.  This is because logic is arguably one of the most important – if not the most important – tool an individual will have at their disposal in order to maneuver through their everyday life more efficiently, especially when dealing with the daily nonsense that the establishment and mainstream media espouses.  For those seeking additional information on Logic, please read 13 Great Reasons To Study Logic, and Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.

We will commence by citing a piece that was shared earlier this year.

In Logical Fallacies Employed In Every Day Life, we shared:

What is a logical fallacy?

A logical fallacy is a flaw in reasoning. Strong arguments are void of logical fallacies, whilst arguments that are weak tend to use logical fallacies to appear stronger than they are. They’re like tricks or illusions of thought, and they’re often very sneakily used by politicians, media, and others to fool people. Below follow some of the more common fallacies.

Strawman
Misrepresenting Someone’s Argument To Make It Easier To Attack
By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone’s argument, it’s much easier to prevent your own position as being reasonable, but this is kind of dishonest and serves to undermine honest rational debate.
Example: After will said we should put more money into health and education, Warren responded by saying he was surprised that Will hates our country so much that he wants to leave it defenseless by cutting military spending.

Slippery Slope
Asserting That If We Allow A to happen, then Z will consequently happen too, therefore A should not happen.
The problem with this reasoning is that it avoids engaging with the issue at hand, and instead shifts attention to extreme hypotheticals. Because no proof is presented to show that such extreme hypotheticals will in fact occur, this fallacy has the form of an appeal to emotion fallacy by leveraging fear. In effect the argument at hand is unfairly tainted by unsubstantiated conjecture.
Example: Colin Closet asserts that if we allow same-sex couples to marry, then the next thing we know we’ll be allowing people to marry their parents, their cars and even monkeys.

False Cause
Presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.
Example
: Pointing to a fancy chart, a Senator shows how temperatures have been rising over the past few centuries, whilst at the same time the numbers of terrorist attacks have been increasing; thus global warming causes terrorism. [Don’t believe me? Look it up – an actual senator that said this.]

Ad Hominem
Attacking your opponent’s character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine their argument.
Example: After Sally presents an eloquent and compelling case for a more equitable taxation system, Sam asks the audience whether we should believe anything from a woman who isn’t married, was once arrested, and smells a bit weird.

Special Pleading
Moving the goalposts to create exceptions when a claim is shown to be false.
Example: Edward Johns claimed to be psychic, but when his ‘abilities’ were tested under proper scientific conditions, they magically disappeared. Edward explained this saying that one had to have faith in his abilities for them to work.

Loaded Question
Asking a question that has an assumption built into it so that it can’t be answered without appearing guilty.
Example: Grace and Helen were both romantically interested in Brad. One day, with Brad sitting within earshot, Grace asked in an inquisitive tone whether Helen was having any problems with a fungal infection.

The Gambler’s Fallacy
Believing that ‘runs’ occur to statistically independent phenomena such as roulette wheel spins.
Example: Red had come up six times in a row on the roulette wheel, so Greg knew that it was close to certain that black would be next up. Suffering an economic form of natural selection with this thinking, he soon lost all of his savings.

Bandwagon
Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do something as an attempted form of validation.
Example: Shamus pointed a drunken finger at Sean and asked him to explain how so many people could believe in leprechauns if they’re only a silly old superstition. Sean, however, had had a few too many Guinness himself and fell off his chair.

Black-Or-White
Where two alternative states are presented as the only possibilities, when in fact more possibilities exist.
Example: Whilst rallying support for his plan to fundamentally undermine citizens’ rights, the Supreme Leader told the people they were either on his side, or on the side of the enemy. [Note: George Bush did this by the way…]

Begging The Questions
A circular argument in which the conclusion is included in the premise.
Example: The word of Zorbo the Great is flawless and perfect. We know this because it says so in The Great and Infallible Book of Zorbo’s Best and Most Truest Things that are Definitely True and Should Not Ever Be Questioned.

Appeal To Authority
Using the opinion or position of an authority figure, or institution of authority, in place of an actual argument.
Example: When an individual states that vaccines are safe just because doctors say so, even though countless studies can be cited to eviscerate the ‘safety’ argument.

Appeal To Nature
Making the argument that because something is ‘natural’ it is therefore valid, justified, inevitable, good, or ideal.
Example: The medicine man rolled into town on his bandwagon offering various natural remedies, such as very special plain water. He said that it was only natural that people should be wary of ‘artificial’ medicines such as antibiotics. The converse is also true, which could be in a way called Appeal To Technology/Science.

Composition / Division
Assuming that what’s true about one part of something has to be applied to all, or other, parts of it.
Example: Daniel was a precocious child and had a liking for logic. He reasoned that atoms are invisible, and that he was made of atoms and therefore invisible too. Unfortunately, despite his thinky skills, he lost the game of hide and go seek.

Anecdotal
Using personal experience or an isolated example instead of a valid argument.
Example: Jason said that that was all cool and everything, but his grandfather smoked, like, 30 cigarettes a day and lived until 97 – so don’t believe everything you read about meta analyses of sound studies showing proven causal relationships.

Appeal To Emotion
Manipulating an emotional response in place of a valid or compelling argument.
Example: Luke didn’t want to eat his sheep’s brains with chopped liver and brussels sprouts, but his father told him to think about the poor, starving children in a third world country who weren’t fortunate enough to have any food at all.

The Fallacy Fallacy
Presuming that because a claim has been poorly argued, or a fallacy has been made, that it is necessarily wrong.
Example: Recognizing that Amanda had committed a fallacy in arguing that we should eat healthy food because a nutritionist said it was popular, Alyse said we should therefore eat bacon double cheeseburgers every day.

Tu Quoque
Avoiding having to engage with criticism by turning it back on the accuser – answering criticism with criticism.
Example: The blue candidate accused the red candidate of committing the tu quoque fallacy. The red candidate responded by accusing the blue candidate of the same, after which ensued an hour of back and forth criticism with not much progress.

Personal Incredulity
Saying that because one finds something difficult to understand that it’s therefore not true.
Example: Kirk drew a picture of a fish and a human and with effusive disdain asked Richard if he really thought we were stupid enough to believe that a fish somehow turned into a human through just, like, random things happening over time.

Burden Of Proof
Saying that the burden of proof lies not with the person making the claim, but with someone else to disprove.
Examples: Bertrand declares that a teapot is, at this very moment, in orbit around the Sun between the Earth and Mars, and that because no one can prove him wrong his claim is therefore a valid one.

Ambiguity
Using double meanings or ambiguities of language to mislead or misrepresent the truth.
Example: When the judge asked the defendant why he hadn’t paid his parking fines, he said that he shouldn’t have to pay them because the sign said ‘Fine for parking here’ and so he naturally presumed that it would be fine to park there.

No True Scotsman
Making what could be called an appeal to purity as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws of an argument.
Example: Angus declares that Scotsmen do not put sugar on their porridge, to which Lachlan points out that he is a Scotsman and puts sugar on his porridge. Furious, like atrue Scot, Angus yells that no true Scotsman sugars his porridge.

Genetic
Judging something good or bad on the basis of where it comes from, or from whom it comes.
Example: Accused on the 6 o’clock news of corruption and taking bribes, the senator said that we should all be very wary of the things we hear in the media, because we all know how very unreliable the media can be.

The Texas Sharpshooter
Cherry-picking data clusters to suit an argument, or finding a pattern to fit a presumption.
Example: The makers of Sugarette Candy Drinks point to research showing that of the five countries where Sugarette drinks sell the most units, three of them are in the top ten healthiest countries on Earth, therefore Sugarette drinks are healthy.

Middle Ground
Saying that a compromise, or middle point, between two extremes is the truth.
Example: Holly said that vaccinations are safe, but her scientifically well-read friend Caleb said that this claim was untrue because there were dozens of studies proving otherwise. Their friend Alice offered a compromise that vaccinations are sometimes safe.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Next we will proceed by citing various ways truth if often suppressed.  Many of these techniques are seen nigh daily, which is why its important to remain cognizant of them.

In Thirteen Techniques For Truth Suppression, David Martin of [BrassCheck.com] writes:

Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party.

  1. Dummy up. If it’s not reported, if it’s not news, it didn’t happen.
  2. Wax indignant. This is also known as the “how dare you?” gambit.
  3. Characterize the charges as “rumors” or, better yet, “wild rumors.” If, in spite of the news blackout, the public is still able to learn about the suspicious facts, it can only be through “rumors.”
  4. Knock down straw men. Deal only with the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Even better, create your own straw men. Make up wild rumors and give them lead play when you appear to debunk all the charges, real and fanciful alike.
  5. Call the skeptics names like “conspiracy theorist,” “nut,” “ranter,” “kook,” “crackpot,” and of course, “rumor monger.” You must then carefully avoid fair and open debate with any of the people you have thus maligned.
  6. Impugn motives. Attempt to marginalize the critics by suggesting strongly that they are not really interested in the truth but are simply pursuing a partisan political agenda or are out to make money.
  7. Invoke authority. Here the controlled press and the sham opposition can be very useful.
  8. Dismiss the charges as “old news.”
  9. Come half-clean. This is also known as “confession and avoidance” or “taking the limited hang-out route.” This way, you create the impression of candor and honesty while you admit only to relatively harmless, less-than-criminal “mistakes.” This stratagem often requires the embrace of a fall-back position quite different from the one originally taken.
  10. Characterize the crimes as impossibly complex and the truth as ultimately unknowable.
  11. Reason backward, using the deductive method with a vengeance. With thoroughly rigorous deduction, troublesome evidence is irrelevant. For example: We have a completely free press. If they know of evidence that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing they would have reported it. They haven’t reported it, so there was no prior knowledge by the BATF. Another variation on this theme involves the likelihood of a conspiracy leaker and a press that would report it.
  12. Require the skeptics to solve the crime completely.
  13. Change the subject. This technique includes creating and/or reporting a distraction.

______________________________________________________________________________

Tackling the fundamentals in Disinformation – How It Works, Brandon Smith [Alt-Market.com] writes:

There was a time, not too long ago (relatively speaking), that governments and the groups of elites that controlled them did not find it necessary to conscript themselves into wars of disinformation.

Propaganda was relatively straightforward. The lies were much simpler. The control of information flow was easily directed. Rules were enforced with the threat of property confiscation and execution for anyone who strayed from the rigid socio-political structure. Those who had theological, metaphysical or scientific information outside of the conventional and scripted collective world view were tortured and slaughtered. The elites kept the information to themselves, and removed its remnants from mainstream recognition, sometimes for centuries before it was rediscovered.

With the advent of anti-feudalism, and most importantly the success of the American Revolution, elitists were no longer able to dominate information with the edge of a blade or the barrel of a gun. The establishment of Republics, with their philosophy of open government and rule by the people, compelled Aristocratic minorities to plot more subtle ways of obstructing the truth and thus maintaining their hold over the world without exposing themselves to retribution from the masses. Thus, the complex art of disinformation was born.

The technique, the “magic” of the lie, was refined and perfected. The mechanics of the human mind and the human soul became an endless obsession for the establishment.

The goal was malicious, but socially radical; instead of expending the impossible energy needed to dictate the very form and existence of the truth, they would allow it to drift, obscured in a fog of contrived data. They would wrap the truth in a Gordian Knot of misdirection and fabrication so elaborate that they felt certain the majority of people would surrender, giving up long before they ever finished unraveling the deceit. The goal was not to destroy the truth, but to hide it in plain sight.

In modern times, and with carefully engineered methods, this goal has for the most part been accomplished. However, these methods also have inherent weaknesses. Lies are fragile. They require constant attentiveness to keep them alive. The exposure of a single truth can rip through an ocean of lies, evaporating it instantly.

In this article, we will examine the methods used to fertilize and promote the growth of disinformation, as well as how to identify the roots of disinformation and effectively cut them, starving out the entire system of fallacies once and for all.

Media Disinformation Methods

The mainstream media, once tasked with the job of investigating government corruption and keeping elitists in line, has now become nothing more than a public relations firm for corrupt officials and their Globalist handlers. The days of the legitimate “investigative reporter” are long gone (if they ever existed at all), and journalism itself has deteriorated into a rancid pool of so called “TV Editorialists” who treat their own baseless opinions as supported fact.

The elitist co-opting of news has been going on in one form or another since the invention of the printing press. However, the first methods of media disinformation truly came to fruition under the supervision of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who believed the truth was “subjective” and open to his personal interpretation.

Some of the main tactics used by the mainstream media to mislead the masses are as follows:

Lie Big, Retract Quietly: Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out.

Unconfirmed Or Controlled Sources As Fact: Cable news venues often cite information from “unnamed” sources, government sources that have an obvious bias or agenda, or “expert” sources without providing an alternative “expert” view. The information provided by these sources is usually backed by nothing more than blind faith.

Calculated Omission: Otherwise known as “cherry picking” data. One simple piece of information or root item of truth can derail an entire disinfo news story, so instead of trying to gloss over it, they simply pretend as if it doesn’t exist. When the fact is omitted, the lie can appear entirely rational. This tactic is also used extensively when disinformation agents and crooked journalists engage in open debate.

Distraction, And The Manufacture Of Relevance: Sometimes the truth wells up into the public awareness regardless of what the media does to bury it. When this occurs their only recourse is to attempt to change the public’s focus and thereby distract them from the truth they were so close to grasping. The media accomplishes this by “over-reporting” on a subject that has nothing to do with the more important issues at hand. Ironically, the media can take an unimportant story, and by reporting on it ad nauseum, cause many Americans to assume that because the media won’t shut-up about it, it must be important!

Dishonest Debate Tactics: Sometimes, men who actually are concerned with the average American’s pursuit of honesty and legitimate fact-driven information break through and appear on T.V. However, rarely are they allowed to share their views or insights without having to fight through a wall of carefully crafted deceit and propaganda. Because the media know they will lose credibility if they do not allow guests with opposing viewpoints every once in a while, they set up and choreograph specialized T.V. debates in highly restrictive environments which put the guest on the defensive, and make it difficult for them to clearly convey their ideas or facts.

TV pundits are often trained in what are commonly called “Alinsky Tactics.” Saul Alinsky was a moral relativist, and champion of the lie as a tool for the “greater good”; essentially, a modern day Machiavelli. His “Rules for Radicals” were supposedly meant for grassroots activists who opposed the establishment and emphasized the use of any means necessary to defeat one’s political opposition. But is it truly possible to defeat an establishment built on lies, by use of even more elaborate lies, and by sacrificing one’s ethics? In reality, his strategies are the perfect format for corrupt institutions and governments to dissuade dissent from the masses. Today, Alinsky’s rules are used more often by the establishment than by its opposition.
Alinsky’s Strategy: Win At Any Cost, Even If You Have To Lie

Alinsky’s tactics have been adopted by governments and disinformation specialists across the world, but they are most visible in TV debate. While Alinsky sermonized about the need for confrontation in society, his debate tactics are actually designed to circumvent real and honest confrontation of opposing ideas with slippery tricks and diversions. Alinsky’s tactics, and their modern usage, can be summarized as follows:

1) Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.

We see this tactic in many forms. For example, projecting your own movement as mainstream, and your opponent’s as fringe. Convincing your opponent that his fight is a futile one. Your opposition may act differently, or even hesitate to act at all, based on their perception of your power. How often have we heard this line: “The government has predator drones. There is nothing the people can do now…” This is a projection of exaggerated invincibility designed to elicit apathy from the masses.

2) Never go outside the experience of your people, and whenever possible, go outside of the experience of the enemy.

Don’t get drawn into a debate about a subject you do not know as well as or better than your opposition. If possible, draw them into such a situation instead. Go off on tangents. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty in your opposition. This is commonly used against unwitting interviewees on cable news shows whose positions are set up to be skewered. The target is blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address. In television and radio, this also serves to waste broadcast time to prevent the target from expressing his own position.

3) Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules.

The objective is to target the opponent’s credibility and reputation by accusations of hypocrisy. If the tactician can catch his opponent in even the smallest misstep, it creates an opening for further attacks, and distracts away from the broader moral question.

4) Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.

“Ron Paul is a crackpot.” “Gold bugs are crazy.” “Constitutionalists are fringe extremists.” Baseless ridicule is almost impossible to counter because it is meant to be irrational. It infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage. It also works as a pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

5) A good tactic is one that your people enjoy.

The popularization of the term “Teabaggers” is a classic example; it caught on by itself because people seem to think it’s clever, and enjoy saying it. Keeping your talking points simple and fun helps your side stay motivated, and helps your tactics spread autonomously, without instruction or encouragement.

6) A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.

See rule No. 5. Don’t become old news. If you keep your tactics fresh, it’s easier to keep your people active. Not all disinformation agents are paid. The “useful idiots” have to be motivated by other means. Mainstream disinformation often changes gear from one method to the next and then back again.

7) Keep the pressure on with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.

Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. Never give the target a chance to rest, regroup, recover or re-strategize. Take advantage of current events and twist their implications to support your position. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

8) The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.

This goes hand in hand with Rule No. 1. Perception is reality. Allow your opposition to expend all of its energy in expectation of an insurmountable scenario. The dire possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.

9) The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition.

The objective of this pressure is to force the opposition to react and make the mistakes that are necessary for the ultimate success of the campaign.

10) If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside.

As grassroots activism tools, Alinsky tactics have historically been used (for example, by labor movements or covert operations specialists) to force the opposition to react with violence against activists, which leads to popular sympathy for the activists’ cause. Today, false (or co-opted) grassroots movements and revolutions use this technique in debate as well as in planned street actions and rebellions (look at Syria for a recent example).

11) The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.

Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. Today, this is often used offensively against legitimate activists, such as the opponents of the Federal Reserve. Complain that your opponent is merely “pointing out the problems.” Demand that they offer not just “a solution”, but THE solution. Obviously, no one person has “the” solution. When he fails to produce the miracle you requested, dismiss his entire argument and all the facts he has presented as pointless.

12) Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it.

Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. The target’s supporters will expose themselves. Go after individual people, not organizations or institutions. People hurt faster than institutions.

The next time you view an MSM debate, watch the pundits carefully, you will likely see many if not all of the strategies above used on some unsuspecting individual attempting to tell the truth.
Internet Disinformation Methods

Internet trolls, also known as “paid posters” or “paid bloggers,” are increasingly and openly being employed by private corporations as well governments, often for marketing purposes and for “public relations” (Obama is notorious for this practice). Internet “trolling” is indeed a fast growing industry.

Trolls use a wide variety of strategies, some of which are unique to the internet, here are just a few:

  1. Make outrageous comments designed to distract or frustrate: An Alinsky tactic used to make people emotional, although less effective because of the impersonal nature of the Web.
  2. Pose as a supporter of the truth, then make comments that discredit the movement: We have seen this even on our own forums — trolls pose as supporters of the Liberty Movement, then post long, incoherent diatribes so as to appear either racist or insane. The key to this tactic is to make references to common Liberty Movement arguments while at the same time babbling nonsense, so as to make those otherwise valid arguments seem ludicrous by association. In extreme cases, these “Trojan Horse Trolls” have been known to make posts which incite violence — a technique obviously intended to solidify the false assertions of the think tank propagandists like the SPLC, which purports that Constitutionalists should be feared as potential domestic terrorists.
  3. Dominate Discussions: Trolls often interject themselves into productive Web discussions in order to throw them off course and frustrate the people involved.
  4. Prewritten Responses: Many trolls are supplied with a list or database with pre-planned talking points designed as generalized and deceptive responses to honest arguments. When they post, their words feel strangely plastic and well rehearsed.
  5. False Association: This works hand in hand with item No. 2, by invoking the stereotypes established by the “Trojan Horse Troll.” For example: calling those against the Federal Reserve “conspiracy theorists” or “lunatics”; deliberately associating anti-globalist movements with racists and homegrown terrorists, because of the inherent negative connotations; and using false associations to provoke biases and dissuade people from examining the evidence objectively.
  6. False Moderation: Pretending to be the “voice of reason” in an argument with obvious and defined sides in an attempt to move people away from what is clearly true into a “grey area” where the truth becomes “relative.”
  7. Straw Man Arguments: A very common technique. The troll will accuse his opposition of subscribing to a certain point of view, even if he does not, and then attacks that point of view. Or, the troll will put words in the mouth of his opposition, and then rebut those specific words.

Sometimes, these strategies are used by average people with serious personality issues. However, if you see someone using these tactics often, or using many of them at the same time, you may be dealing with a paid internet troll.

Stopping Disinformation

The best way to disarm disinformation agents is to know their methods inside and out. This gives us the ability to point out exactly what they are doing in detail the moment they try to do it. Immediately exposing a disinformation tactic as it is being used is highly destructive to the person utilizing it. It makes them look foolish, dishonest and weak for even making the attempt. Internet trolls most especially do not know how to handle their methods being deconstructed right in front of their eyes and usually fold and run from debate when it occurs.

The truth is precious. It is sad that there are so many in our society who have lost respect for it; people who have traded in their conscience and their soul for temporary financial comfort while sacrificing the stability and balance of the rest of the country in the process.

The human psyche breathes on the air of truth. Without it, humanity cannot survive. Without it, the species will collapse, starving from lack of intellectual and emotional sustenance.

Disinformation does not only threaten our insight into the workings of our world; it makes us vulnerable to fear, misunderstanding, and doubt: all things that lead to destruction. It can drive good people to commit terrible atrocities against others, or even against themselves. Without a concerted and organized effort to diffuse mass-produced lies, the future will look bleak indeed.

__________________________________________________________________________________

Knowing how disinformation works, now we will take a gander at 25 Rules Of Disinformation that were written by H. Michael Sweeney, although we found them personally at WashingtonsBlog.com:

Preface: This handy set of rules covers most of the games which disinformation artists play on the Internet (and offline). When you know the tricks, you’ll be able to spot the games. Even if you’ve read this list before, you might be surprised at how useful it is to brush up on these tricks.

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

  1. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
  2. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.
  3. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
  4. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
  5. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
  6. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
  7. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
  8. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
  9. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
  10. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
  11. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
  12. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
  13. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
  14. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
  15. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
  16. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
  17. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
  18. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
  19. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
  20. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
  21. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
  22. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
  23. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
  24. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.

_______________________________________________________________________________

Now to anchor all of the above information, we will cite How To Spot – And Defeat – Disruption On The Internet which comes from WashingtonsBlog.com:

We’ve seen a number of tactics come and go over the years.  Here are the ones we see a lot of currently.

  1. Start a partisan divide-and-conquer fight or otherwise push emotional buttons to sow discord and ensure that cooperation is thwarted.   Get people fighting against each other instead of the corrupt powers-that-be.  Use baseless caricatures to rile everyone up.  For example,  start a religious war whenever possible using stereotypes like “all Jews are selfish”, “all Christians are crazy” or “all Muslims are terrorists”.  Accuse the author of being a gay, pro-abortion limp-wristed wimp  or being a fundamentalist pro-war hick when the discussion has nothing to do with abortion, sexuality, religion, war or region.  Appeal to people’s basest prejudices and biases. And – as Sweeney explains – push the author into a defensive posture:

Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule … Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

  1. Pretend it’s hopeless because we’ll be squashed if we try.  For example, every time a whistleblower leaks information, say “he’s going to be bumped off”.   If people talk about protesting, organizing, boycotting, shareholder activism, spreading the real facts, moving our money or taking other constructive action, write things to scare and discourage people, say something like  “we don’t have any chance because they have drones and they’ll just kill us if we try”,  or “Americans are too stupid, lazy and greedy, so they’ll never help out.”  Encourage people to be apathetic instead of trying to change things.
  2. Demand complete, fool-proof and guaranteed solutions to the problems being discussed.   For example, if a reporter breaks the story that the big banks conspired to rig a market, ask “given that people are selfish and that no regulation can close all possible loopholes … how are you going to change human nature?”, and pretend that it’s not worth talking about the details of the market manipulation.  This discourages people from reporting on and publicizing the corruption, fraud and other real problems.  And it ensures that not enough people will spread the facts so that the majority know what’s really going on.
  3. Suggest extreme, over-the-top, counter-productive solutions which will hurt more than help, or which are wholly disproportionate to what is being discussed.   For example, if the discussion is whether or not to break up the big banks or to go back on the gold standard, say that everyone over 30  should be killed because they are sell-outs and irredeemable, or that all of the banks should be bombed. This discredits the attempt to spread the facts and to organize, and is simply the web method of the provocateur.
  4. Pretend that alternative media – such as blogs written by the top experts in their fields, without any middleman – are untrustworthy or are motivated solely by money (for example, use the derogatory term “blogspam” for any blog posting, pretending that there is no original or insightful reporting, but that the person is simply doing it for ad revenue).
  5. Coordinate with a couple of others to “shout down” reasonable comments.  This is especially effective when the posters launch an avalanche of comments in quick succession … the original, reasonable comment gets lost or attacked so much that it is largely lost.
  6. Use an army of sock puppets.  You can either hire low-wage workers in India or other developing countries to “astroturf” or – if you work for the government – you can use hire military personnel and subcontractors to monitor social media and “correct” information which you don’t like (and see this), or use software which allows you to quickly create and alternate between numerous false identities, each with their own internet address.
  7. Censor social media, so that the hardest-hitting information is buried. If you can’t censor it, set up “free speech zones” to push dissent into dank, dark corners where no one will see it.
  8. When the powers-that-be cut corners and take criminally reckless gambles with our lives and our livelihoods, protect them by pretending that the inevitable result – nuclear accidents, financial crisesterrorist attacks or other disasters – were “unforeseeable” and that “no could have known”.
  9. Protect the rich and powerful by labeling any allegations of criminal activity as being a “conspiracy theory”.  For example, when Goldman gets caught rigging markets, label the accusations as mere conspiracies.

The following 4 tactics from Sweeney are also still commonly used …

  1. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
  2. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
  3. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
  4. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
  5. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.

Postscript:  Over a number of years, we’ve found that the most effective way to fight disruption and disinformation is to link to a post such as this one which rounds up disruption techniques, and then to cite the disinfo technique you think is being used.

Specifically, we’ve found the following format to be highly effective in educating people in a non-confrontational manner about what the disrupting person is doing:

Good Number 1!

Or:

Thanks for that textbook example of Number 7!

(include the link so people can see what you’re referring to.)

The reason this is effective is that other readers will learn about the specific disruption tactic being used … in context, like seeing wildlife while holding a wildlife guide, so that one learns what it looks like “in the field”.   At the same time, you come across as humorous and light-hearted instead of heavy-handed or overly-intense.

__________________________________________________________________________________

The above amalgamation of tools, techniques, tips, and data points should not only be able to help individuals ascertain the modus operandi used against them regarding censorship, disinformation, deception et al. but also assist in what to do in response to them where applicable.

Be it a newcomer, or an old timer, this information will serve as an excellent foundation for those looking to learn the ways that the establishment casts its nefarious webs, or perhaps serve as a review to those that have been doing this for a long time.

Make sure to review it from time to time in order to make sure it’s not forgotten.

___________________________________________________________

Suggested resources reviewed below for those seeking ideas to self-teach and become autodidacts:

7 Phenomenal Books For Homeschoolers, Self-Directed Learners & Autodidacts
13 Great Reasons To Study Logic
Open Source Education – Examples
What’s An Elite Education?  Famous Teacher Explains
Socratic Logic V3.1 by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Trivium – The Liberal Arts Of Grammar & Rhetoric by Sister Miriam Joseph Ph.D.
How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
Philosophy 101 – An Introduction To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology by Peter Kreeft Ph.D.
The Complete Workbook For Arguments – A Complete Course In Critical Thinking [2nd Ed.] by David R. Morrow & Anthony Weston
The Imaginative Argument – A Practical Manifesto For Writers by Frank L. Cioffi
Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

The following books reviewed below cover the disturbing issues within the public schooling system:

Rotten To The Common Core by Dr. Joseph P. Farrell Ph.D.& Gary Lawrence
Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
A Different Kind Of Teacher – Solving The Crisis Of American Schooling by John Taylor Gatto
Weapons Of Mass Instruction by John Taylor Gatto
Drilling Through The Core, by Sandra Stotsky & Contributors

Related Links:

The True Purpose Of Modern Schooling
How A Generation Lots Its Culture by Professor Patrick Deneen
Underground History Of American Education With John Taylor Gatto
The Pathological Methodology Of Forced Schooling
Charlotte Iserbyt – The Secret History Of Western Education [Full Documentary]
Against School – How Public Education Cripples Our Kids & Why
Lessons From IKEA Founder & MIT Admissions Director
What Is Education?  Elite Curriculum

___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source.  All individuals are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: Sherlock Holmes – The Complete Novels & Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle

A Veritable Critical Thinking Continuum Wrapped Up In Fiction

SherlockHolmes

TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 20, 2017

Ironically, it was through the most serendipitous of circumstances that this novel was suggested to me.  Following a lengthy discourse with my economics professor a long time ago in which I asked what he thought was the best way to learn logic, he, in his classic fashion, suggests not a textbook, but Sherlock Holmes!  At the time, thought it was a joke myself.  Interestingly enough, he wasn’t joking.

Here, now, many years later, the adventures of Sherlock Holmes were the way that yours truly was introduced to logic, and great fiction to boot, too.

Arthur Conan Doyle’s magnum opus, Sherlock Holmes, features characters that are rather unique but very believable; the setting is always top-tier and authentic, the mysteries abound, and there’s puzzles wrapped in enigmas all woven into phenomenal fiction as well.  This is one of the great reasons rereading this series is so easy and serves as a fictional fall back for reading, especially when a lot of modern fiction is quite lacking.

In more modern times, there have been great mystery writers, and many imitators in countless ways, but none has truly come close to creating a fun, readable, witty, critical thinking, logical, and intriguing series in the way that Arthur Conan Doyle did when the Sherlock Holmes series.  Those who attempt to follow in the author’s footsteps fall quite short, even when the authors have a template of what worked in the past.  This is why, after my third reading of this series, it’s still a great as ever, and nothing really compares.  And what’s more, there’s always something to learn from it, too.

Let’s boil it down.  Great fiction is great, because it allows wonder, and sparks the imagination like nothing else.  Sherlock Holmes definitely creates an auspicious and believable adventure upon which any curious mind would love to venture.

This fictional series does way more than that though.  If it had only sparked imagination, it would have been a really good, or even great series.  But even so, it offers so much more.  Sherlock Holmes is a veritable crashcourse into how to critically think and employ logic, wrapped up in a fantastic fictional package that is as timeless as it is robust.

For me, this book falls within what Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren referred to as the top tier of books.  As the authors note in their landmark How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading:

“Of the few thousand such books there is a much smaller number – here the number is probably less than a hundred – that cannot be exhausted by even the very best reading you can manage.  How do you recognize this?  Again it is rather mysterious, but when you have closed the book after reading analytically to the best of your ability, and place it back on the shelf, you have a sneaking suspicion that there is more there than you got….In fact, you cannot put your finger on it, but you know it is there.  You find that you cannot forget the book, that you keep thinking about it and your reaction to it.  Finally, you return to it.  And remarkable things happen.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Furthermore, the authors elucidate:

“…if the book belongs to the highest class – the very small number of inexhaustible books – you discover on returning that the book seems to have grown with you.  You see new things in it – whole new sets of new things – that you did not see before.  Your previous understanding of the book is not invalidated; it is just as true as it ever was, and in the same ways that it was true before.  But now it is true in still other ways, too.”[2] [Bold Emphasis Added]

For me, this book – all of its fictional stories – accomplishes all of the above and more.

Sure, there are many other books that offer many life lessons, and the classics are riddled with them. However, none teach the individual the foundation for critical thinking and logic like Sherlock Holmes does.  This is why this stands above and beyond countless other books when it comes to those two crucial points for me personally.

If you homeschool, if you’re an autodidact, a self-directed learner, or simply someone that wants to read a great book, then read this.  You will not regret it.

__________________________________________________
Footnotes:

[1] Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren, How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading, p. 333.
[2] Ibid., p. 333.
__________________________________________________

This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
__________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

 

Book Review: How To Read A Book – The Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren

howtoread

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 8, 2017

“A man is known by the books he reads.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Read not to contradict and confuse; nor to believe and take for granted; nor to find talk and discourse; but to weigh and consider.”
– Francis Bacon

This particular book is a book that helps you think better, shaper, more incisively.

At the behest of the author of Socratic Logic [review here], Peter Kreeft PhD, the following book was recommended.   Holding Kreeft’s opinion in high respect – and after doing some research into the book – getting this book seemed to be more than a safe bet.  In fact, it was much more than that.

How To Read A BookThe Classic Guide To Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren is a phenomenal book in various ways.  Not only does it ‘teach’ the reader how to read different kinds of books – by reading proactively, by rather reactively – but it also provides essential tools for the synthesis of other great – and more meaningful – pieces of literature.  However, it also features much more than that.

As a caveat, the authors make the distinction in the fact different type of genres should be read in different ways.  To say it another way, poetry, plays or even fiction will be ready drastically different from nonfiction books.  This is something that’s not taught to individuals for the most part, and sometimes we miss out because of it.

Adler and Van Doren cover an extensive set of tools for reader’s to learn and implement – if they so choose – in order to maximize one’s understanding of the information held within books.  The book features a wide ranging set of suggestions that build on themselves throughout the chapters that help the reader navigate all the way from the basics to the more advanced.

Without a doubt, the authors show the lengths to which proper reading can be taken too, as well as the depth that can be gathered by undertaking their advice.  As an avid reader and researcher, the information within the pages of this book have helped me considerably not only in pushing myself as a reader, but in understanding – and even merging – the depth and scope of information that is stated, as well as sifting out deeper implications when information isn’t obvious.

Furthermore, covered within How To Read A Book are topics such as inspectional reading, systematic skimming, problems in comprehension, ‘x-raying’ a book, coming to terms with the author, criticizing a book fairly, reading aids, how to read practical books, how to read imaginative literature, suggestion for reading stories, plays and poems, how to read history, how to read philosophy as well as much, much more.

Particularly of interest to me related to the above point was the topic of syntopical reading, which is what the authors call ‘The Fourth Level Of Learning’..  In laymen terms, syntopical reading is the ability to essentially synthesize information from various sources.  Since synthesizing information is a process carried out [or attempted too] on nigh a daily basis by myself, the information for me in this particular section was quite noteworthy.  Admittedly, some of it was already being done by me since one learns how to streamline various components of one’s learning when done long enough, but the book still offered more than plenty in this and many other areas.

A book like How To Read A Book should be an integral component in everyone’s education, and that is no overstatement.  In an age where cognitive decline of education continues unabated, it’s those that push themselves into the realm of self-teaching or autodidacticism that will breakaway from the pack.

This book should function as a foundational piece in a school curriculum, because, after all, a large part of what individuals learn comes via reading.

All of the suggestions in this book seep into most if not all books [or reading] in some way shape or form.  When carried out, this undoubtedly filters into an individuals’ everyday lives proportional to how much its concepts are used.  It’s sure helped me in such a fashion.  There really isn’t too many books out there that urge the reader to go beyond the conventional baseline understanding of data within books, but this book is certainly one of those precious few.

Appreciatively, the authors also make it a point to strive for a greater education as individuals, to seek to further one’s education beyond the bounds of modern schooling.  Mind you, schooling and education are not the same thing, which is an important distinction because what society gets in America nowadays – given that we have strewn away from classical education – is barely a facsimile of schooling, and in no way shape or form the true education of times past.  Authors like award winning teacher John Taylor Gatto’s in his landmark Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, Dr. Joseph P Farrell & Gary Lawrence’s Rotten To The Common Core , and Charlotte Iserbyt, who served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, in her The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America outline the deliberate dumbing down of America quite saliently, and these authors by far are not even the only ones talking about it.

In any case, at the end of the book the authors also thankfully feature a set of the greatest books of all time, and after having read the list it’s hard to disagree.  Having read perhaps a dozen or so of them, out of the more-than-one-hundred books recommended, it’s definitely something that’s worth considering.

Furthermore, the authors postulate that there exists specific books which fall into the category of what they call ‘Great books’, such as The Illiad, The Odyssey, Organon, The Republic, Paradise Lost, The Divine Comedy, et al.

The authors also postulate that only 1% of the millions of book out there – if not less – fall within this category of ‘Great Books’.  What makes this particular category of great books so unique?  That the gems of knowledge contained within these books and growth the reader will attain will not only be extensive, given the depth and immensity of the concepts within the book, but these books will teach you the most about reading and about life.  Moreover, regardless of how many times one reads these books, they are so profound and demanding of the reader that one will always learn something from them.

If you appreciate books, reading, classical education, or are striving to demand more from yourself or even plan on building a home-schooling curriculum, GET THIS BOOK!  This book really is for everyone.  Educated minds have great foundations, and this book helps lay those foundations in an ironclad manner.