Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Should we stop only social media from manipulating our brain?

How about the addictive news and food industries?

Some features on social media allegedly are constructed such that they make us addicted to more and more. Politicians have gone on record suggesting that this manipulation must stop, be outlawed and punished.

I second the idea. But why stop there? The news also tries to make us addicted. News shows that keep the viewers hanging until after the commercials. They may spread out news over hours claiming to have ‘updates’ all the time. This besides the high-pitched drama that they present to us, playing on our fears; and flooding us with heartbreaks to hook us on sentimentality. This all on top of pure dishonesty, the media lying to us (besides unavoidably be biased) and people in the news trying to fool us (besides unavoidably be biased).

Of course, much media bias comes from media consumers, who pay for/pay attention to/seek out bad (fake, biased, bad taste, sensational) reporting or naively fall for hoaxes and conspiracy theories, partly because we’re bored. And who’re not used to taking an honest look in the mirror and just speak truth.

And why look no further than these manipulations?

How about foods that contain stuff to make us addicted: high salt, high sugar, cacao, hot pepper, etc. How come that is still legal? I’m serious. How does anyone have the right to push junk by making us addicted?

Also white rice, white pasta, and white bread hook us because their lack of fibers leaves us unsatisfied so that we need to overeat of these junk foods to have any resemblance of fake satiety, which quickly wears off, pushing us to eat again (while robbing us of our appetite for real foods).

Restaurants that make their food too salty so that patrons will order more (junk/poisonous) drinks on which they make most of their profits.

(I won’t advocate stopping all fake competitions because then I’ll lose too many readers. But know that meaningful contests pit us against our present selves, inspire us to improve ourselves constantly. Everyone then can win. But playing people against each other, competing with others (preferably with added chauvinism or nationalism) is destructive — but the hype sells big-time.

And there is a world of difference between fiction that teaches or moves us vs chemicals, fake escapist ‘art,’ ‘erotica,’ ‘sexy’ clothing, make-up, perfumes, and medical procedures,  meant to entice, upset or addict us, and remove us from reality and real relationships, closeness, intimacy, romance, and sexuality.)

If we see how big pharma and the weapon and the fossil fuel industry have no regard for human life or a sustaining planet, only for profit, we also can’t wait for food producers to shape up on their own accord. We need laws to end these manipulations of our physiques before our sickened bodies end us.

Oh, and for the skeptics: Not all information and influence are manipulative. There are such things as honest knowledge, real food, worthwhile endeavors, real closeness, and true fulfillment of genuine needs.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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