Too Many Bad Movies And TV Shows
There are three primary ways we learn things. Auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Most people use a combination of these methods, but one is usually dominant. Personally, I am a heavily visual thinker and learner with a photographic memory that got me through the dreaded California Bar Exam. As a visual/kinesthetic learner, it is difficult for me to grasp something if I cannot visualize it.
In order to visualize something new, visual learners typically compare the new data to things we already know. We search our brain databases for analogous situations, combing through the places we have been, the people we have known, the books we have read and movies we have seen. Once a match is made, the new information can be added with ease.
Nowhere is this simple psychological concept of learning more apparent than in the inane arguments the reichers offer to justify their king's wiretapping of American citizens' telephones. The newspapers who leaked the story, according to them, are undermining the war on terror because now the "terrorists" know the government's strategy. On another blog, a reicher commented that "[w]e're dealing with an enemy that moves swiftly and silently (which is why these wiretaps were done in the first place), and now that the enemy knows what's going on, they're going to shift their tactics so that it is harder for us to catch them. Nice work."
I am sure many of you have read similar arguments.
To enter into the action hero fantasyland in which this guy lives, you have to believe that the people who masterminded 9/11 believed that their phone lines were secure, spoke openly about their plans, are now shocked to find out that the government might be listening in on their phone calls and, as we speak, are "swiftly" moving and finding new means of communication. I personally find it hard to believe that the "terrorists" who our CIA trained to dodge and defeat the Russians would be so naive to believe their phone calls are secure. Then again, I don't watch Alias or 24.
Well, I watched Alias once. Stopping in for a visit to friends on a Sunday night, I found them glued to the television, following Sydney's dogged pursuit of standard Hollywood evildoers. It was the most predictable, cliche, wannabe James Bond bunch of crap I have seen in a long time, but they loved it. And it is no wonder they are among those who believe it is okay that the behemoth government wiretap our phones to catch "terrorists". That tactic worked for Sydney. And it probably worked for Jack Whatever His Name Is in 24 too. And what's good for Sydney and Jack is good for America.
If you watch any American action movie or tv show, you will learn that all evildoers are smart enough to implement schemes to take over the world, but are stupid enough to discuss the details of their plans without regard to being overheard. You will also discover that all good-doers are pure of heart, honest, trustworthy and selfless. Die Hard, Mission Impossible, Alias, 24, Zorro, all James Bond films, and the list goes on. Villain says something that is overheard by the characteristically selfless hero who wants nothing more than to protect the world from the evildoers' dastardly scheme. Sound familiar?
For those of us who live in that damn reality-based community, our government is trying to convince us that "terrorists" in America move so quickly that police should not be required to get a warrant, but move slowly enough to be eavesdropped upon. Also, we are supposed to believe that warrantless wiretapping of 250 million people yields results. Even if one percent of Americans (25,000) falls within the definition of "terrorist", the random wiretapping of phone lines is not a wise use of resources. If there is time to narrow the scope of the investigation and focus on a target, there is time to get a FISA warrant.
The government's so-called "war on terror" has been a comic failure and surrendering more of our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties is not going to reverse that. The reality-based community conceptualizes the principles and liberties of the Constitution. The others conceptualize fiction and fantasy they glean from too many bad movies and television shows.