Logic: how to introduce it and improve mush-minds

Logic: how to introduce it and improve mush-minds

by Jon Rappoport

February 25, 2016

“One of the most successful forms of mind control is inducing confusion. In education, this means avoiding details and substituting generalities. It means never teaching logic.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)

Note: I include a very simple and basic logic-course starter in my collection, The Matrix Revealed. I present a long audio section, “Analyzing Information in the Age of Disinformation,” in my collection, Power Outside The Matrix.

Modern propaganda, PR, and advertising use non-logic to sell their ideas and products. They rely on nudging people into making associations between images and ideas and feelings. X=Y. A summer afternoon in a pasture equals a pill for arthritis. Three men in suits shaking hands in a boardroom equals making money in the stock market, if you use broker A. Citizen safety equals men-in-black policemen driving Pentagon armored vehicles down a city street. A brand of SUV packed with giggling kids equals a happy warm family forever.

Associations, equivalences. Join two ideas together that don’t belong together.

Non-logic. Anti-logic.

This gives rise to the notion: “Information is merely an opportunity to make any associations I want to. There’s no reason to analyze information.”

Read an entire article? Absurd. Much easier to look at the headline and play an aimless riff on it. Stimulate the flow of adrenaline. React. Feel better. Feel deprived. Feel entitled. Whatever floats your boat.

IQ plummets? Who cares?

Who would want to teach logic to students? What a waste of time. The purpose of education these days is injecting values and slogans and attitudes; associating those values with attractive images. For that, you don’t need a mind. You only need mush that can be shaped.

And after what passes for a high school education, the mush is there. It has no clues about processes of thought.

Nevertheless, just suppose a teacher wanted to go where no one has gone for a hundred years or so. How would he start? Where would he start?

At the bottom.

Take a newspaper article about politics. Have the students read it. Then ask them: what does the first paragraph state? What is it saying?

You may be surprised at the variety of opinion.

“It says Martians will be here soon.”

“It says President Obama was born in Hawaii.”

“It says cooking rice is easy.”

“It says I’m triggered and vulnerable.”

Carry on a discussion for as long as it takes, until most of the students know what the first paragraph actually states. This may be a half-hour, a week, a month. Who knows?

Repeat the process with each paragraph of the article. If that takes a year, so be it, because you can’t move further until students understand the text. I know that is a mystical and esoteric notion, but accept it on an experimental basis.

Next step: ask the students whether the author of the article is trying to make an overall point. Ask them what that point is.

“His point is he doesn’t like working-class people.”

“He loves cats.”

“He wants everybody to move to Mars.”

“He’s political.”

“He’s asking us to give money to Marco Rubio.”

Your work is cut out for you. Keep going until the fog clears. Have the students read the article over and over until most of them see the actual point the author is trying to make.

Then—how did the author try to convince you his point was correct?

Then—did you see a hole in his attempt to convince you? A gap? A wrong move?

This is the general sequence of steps. Basically, you’re sticking the students’ noses in the text. Again and again. You’re focusing them on specifics. You’re showing them the difference between their own opinions and random associations and what the author is saying.

You’re doing the one thing they’ve avoided doing. You’re standing in for every incompetent teacher they’ve ever had. You’re reversing years of desultory derangement in classrooms.

You’re making students more intelligent. That’s a very tall order. It takes commitment. If you don’t have it, get out of the business.


the matrix revealed


Consider a subject I’ve been writing about lately: the Zika virus.

Here is a progression which, if followed, leads you to interesting places:

Researchers are saying: “the Zika virus causes a birth defect.” What does that statement mean?

How must causation be established? What are the rules?

Have the rules been followed?

That simple group of questions takes you to the conclusion that there is no evidence for Zika as the cause of the birth defect—if you proceed in a straight line, allowing no distractions, such as pronouncements from public-health agencies and governments.

I could teach a four-year logic course using Zika.

During that time, I would introduce a few dozen false and vague generalities, opinions, and diversions that have been deployed to keep people from walking that straight line. These logical flaws are often utilized in arguments, in order to cook the books.

Mainstream news is a wonderful source for non-logic.

And it also leads you to propaganda, when you realize that all nonsense can’t be an accident.

It also leads you to a course on journalism: how it’s usually done; how it can be done. Investigative reporting is an opportunity to be relentless. Following down a major story to its roots is an illuminating experience. You end up building an alternative structure that parallels and supersedes the official structure. Your archeological mission unearths a city that no one knew was there.

In order to accomplish this, you have to be willing to deal with details, one by one. Examine them, see where they came from, determine whether they’re relevant, whether they’re obfuscating the main event, whether they’re false, whether they were placed there to lead you away from the truth.

Logic is one system you can count on. It helps you tell the difference between what you know and what you don’t know.

Logic topples authority when authority is wrong.

It mitigates aimless and random personal attacks and accusations. It offers a perspective through which dubious sources of information can be viewed.

Logic isn’t the ultimate ground of existence. It’s a tool that can be used to assess the validity and probability of a formal argument.

It isn’t an answer. It’s a way of arriving at answer.

It shows you the difference between an assumption based on belief and a purported fact, which is either true or false.

Logic allows you to move inside an overly complex argument that has been promoted to hide the truth. Once inside, you can give the argument a haircut and see its essence.


power outside the matrix


In a world flooded with information and disinformation, logic isn’t the be-all and end-all. But without it, you’re floundering in the ocean. You’re swimming inside holes and gaps, instead of being able to see the holes and gaps.

The interesting thing is: once people actually know what an author is saying; once they know what conclusion he’s reaching; once they know how he’s getting there; they can see the flaws and the omissions and the insupportable inferences.

They can see the line of reasoning, from beginning to end.

The lights go on.

A heretofore mysterious territory comes into focus.

The differences between fact, lie, assumption, argument, polemic, and propaganda emerge and the mind begins to breathe.

Perhaps for the first time.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.

9 comments on “Logic: how to introduce it and improve mush-minds

  1. SamAdamsGhost says:

    Thanks Jon. I sure needed to read this article today. (By the way, I have all of your Matrix series, including your logic course.) This morning I tried to present some research findings about harmful symptoms that one of my elderly relatives is experiencing who’s taking statin drugs. I was actually excited to be able to share this information with them. Maybe it would encourage them to look into this for themselves. Maybe they would seek out the opinion of a more wholistic, independent minded M.D.
    Nope, . . no dice. They reacted emotionally, – saw the list of statin drug symptoms as somehow a criticism of them, as a ‘personal attack’ of their health habits. Huh ? There’s definitely no logic operating in this case.

    I’ve presented evidence and used logical arguments to make a point with people in the past. Often I’ve been met with criticism for ‘always trying to be right’. Or some will say, – ‘Oh, you think you’re so smart.’ All I had done was present lots of evidence to support a well constructed, logical argument. Amazingly, many people seem to consider this ‘elitist’ today. It’s alarming and discouraging to run into this.

    My hope is with young people, under 30 years old. Most of them haven’t been equipped to think after years in public ‘schools’. The vast majority of them are unable to even recognize the value of logic and aren’t willing to do difficult intellectual work that challenges their core beliefs. However, there are a few young people who haven’t had curiosity and creativity and the desire to learn completely stripped away from them. They’re perfect candidates to learn these critical thinking skills. Teach enough people these skills and the mass brainwashing crumbles.

    • burrado says:

      How do we even survive this mass hysteria? I know almost exactly what you’re talking about, but in my case, I’ve all but given up trying to talk like you did. This is nowhere near as thought out as what you described, but this reminds me of the time many years ago when I naively believed I could simply rush in and show my retired physician dad an alternative view on the cause and cure of cancer and have any kind of positive response. His response: I don’t want to see that. His response wasn’t physical, but I could almost feel the violence beneath that terse remark. I haven’t had a logical conversation with my dad ever since. Beyond painful. But this also just reminded me of another time when I dared tell my mom that I wanted to go on a mission for Christ. She literally fell apart before my eyes as I’ve never seen her fall apart before or since.

      • SamAdamsGhost says:

        @burrado – I know exactly what you mean. Long time professionals are the worst – – (especially doctors). Many (the vast majority ?) of them won’t even entertain the possibility of looking at alternative viewpoints regarding their field of ‘expertise’. It seems that many people would rather be impoverished, sick, or dead – – – than be wrong.

        I’ve spoken to a few young people – late teens to mid-20s – who are more open. During a discussion about higher education, one young fellow asked me “How can you tell what’s true & what’s wrong ? How do you wade through the b.s. ?” I mentioned that there are methods for doing this that go back thousands of years. Our conversation then got into the Trivium, and sound reasoning.

    • Frances Gollahon says:

      Sam, don’t start by telling…it makes people feel stupid or slapped in the face. Get their minds in gear by asking questions and getting deep into what they want to have happen. Then present your information, maybe in little bites. Like fishing, you’ve got to set the hook first before you can reel them in.

      • SamAdamsGhost says:

        Thanks Frances, youre probably right.
        My personal attitude is I really don’t care about being ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. I’m just interested in what works. And if someone has a better way, “Fantastic ! Please show me !” is my approach.

        One time I actually said to a family member (regarding a practical physical skill) –
        ” Would you be open to considering looking at another way of doing this, that might produce better results ? ” He answered No. — This guy is all about appearing to never be wrong. I stopped right there. Logic would be of no use.
        Going no further on that subject saved time, frustration, and pointless friction. We changed the subject & had perfectly fine discussions on other topics,

  2. davidgaskill says:

    The article the students should read should be by Paul Krugman.

  3. SamAdamsGhost says:

    Logic is needed more today than ever. There actually seems to be an atmosphere of ‘anti-logic’ out there, with many people verbally attacking those who attempt to bring evidence and sound reasoning into a serious conversation.

    “Oh, you always have to be right.” and “You think you’re so smart . . . ” are typical ad hominem attacks that you get when presenting facts and applying logic to those who have neither of these.

    Young people below the age of 30 are my source for some hope. They haven’t been equipped by their ‘education’ to actually think – – but much of the financial & social burden will be put on their shoulders in the future. They’ll have plenty of motivation for seeing through all the lies & propaganda. We need many more of them to take Jon’s course and others like it.

  4. Wally says:

    “Your archaeological mission unearths a city that no one knew was there.” Thanx Jon.

    Are there any journalists left?

  5. D and J Oldfield says:

    DEAR JON, WHAT A GREAT HIT. WE ARE HOMESCHOOLING actually UNSCHOOLING OUR CHILDREN. THANKS FOR THIS ARTICLE ON LOGIC WE WILL INCORPORATE IT INTO THEIR SUBJECT WE CALL “MU-ZEN” [ AWARENESS ETC. ]

    WE WIIL PASS IT ON TO OUR LARGE ACTIVE GROUP OF HOMESCHOOLERS IN FAR NORTH QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

    THANKS , JON , YOU ARE A CHAMPION.

    KIND REGARDS david , jocelyn , isaac , araH OLDFIELD😊

    >

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