Toxic Intelligence Can Lead You To Poorly Informed Decisions

3 terrible assumptions that invisibly influence your choices.


Kaia Tingley

2 years ago | 6 min read

The media who tells you who to vote for, who is projected to win the election, and even what those folks will probably do with their power once elected…

ALL of them are using corrupted data and some REALLY terrible rules of intelligence.

Most of us are either too busy, too stressed, or too interested in other things to truly understand how completely the wool is being pulled over our proverbial eyes.

But there is no doubt that a comprehensive effort to trick and distract the world’s population is heavily underway. Just turn on the TV.

This goes beyond the US. Look at what’s happening in Minsk. What’s happening with COVID in France and SpainAzerbaijan and Armenia. So much fighting! So many old systems trying vainly to hold onto power.

At least there’s a little spot of bright hope in Bolivia. Maybe the people there are just more awake than the rest of us globally? I”m crossing my fingers.

The crises of the modern world verify what indigenous cultures have always known: that all phenomena are inextricably interconnected. Nothing is truly compartmentalized, no matter how much we pretend.

We all sense that something is… off

We might realize that a certain amount of manipulation of public opinion is taking place. We might suspect that foreign interests and behind-the-scenes finaglings are happening.

But we aren’t really able to pay as much attention to this as we might like to, because we are all busy putting food on the table, trying to take care of our health, and reading posts online.

I’ll draw on a geeky database example to illustrate this point.

Some data is out of date, while other data is not formatted consistently based on numerous source systems, particular data does not properly match across reports, and more. Now our reporting teams and end-users are in a position where they need to run manual processes to “fix the data” on a regular basis. However, writing custom reports with “bad data” is time and resource draining, yielding reports that will never be accurate. MSSQL Tips

People are passionate about fixing things

But it’s not just the data and intelligence that are bad.

The data being collected by pollsters, think-tanks, and non-profits is very likely to be corrupted. It might be biased, incomplete, out of date, or unethical. It might just be inaccurate, but not treated as such.

A timely example of this can be found in the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) spreadsheets sent to election commissioners complaining of people who are dead supposedly casting ballots in supposedly egregious cases of voter fraud.

Guess what. John Johnson, the poor guy, is NOT dead. And his vote should count. If only his parents had been a little more imaginative when giving him his name, right?

Bad data. Bad report. Bad intelligence.

It’s also not just the problems created by the algorithms and our disparate filter bubbles.

Putting A.I. and the algorithm in charge of filtering our worldview is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. Because bots and artificial intelligence are incapable of either wisdom or context.

More detail on this in the links below if you happen to be curious and want to dig into this modern debacle. It’s a rabbit hole.

The big and rather hidden problem is that the very rules we DON’T see are the ones messing everything up. The assumptions we make about how things have to work are not necessarily true.

Here are 3 of these invisible rules.

The rules of our system are based on some pretty terrible ideas. Ideas I believe most of us would veto if we could see them more clearly. These rules are very effectively obfuscated by the media.

Maybe we should take a closer look at them? Just a thought.

TERRIBLE IDEA #1 Massive Amounts of Defense Spending


Sean Youra put it, there were no questions in the presidential debate about the US Defense Budget, or where it was going to come from. Why not?

We never even question the idea that it’s all good to spend the lions share of our federal budget on “defense spending” in the form of weapons, military bases, munitions, and what 

Caitlin Johnstone calls the propagation of the Capitalist Imperialist Empire.

Image from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

The amount of money allocated to “defend” the USA from the rest of the global community is truly staggering. Especially among people who pretend to care about the national deficit.

Taken to a personal level, this would be like claiming you couldn’t afford food, housing, or new shoes, but regularly spending 2 to 3x your annual income on ammunition and a membership at the shooting range.

Would you approve of this if you could really see what’s going on? Probably not. Who does this benefit? Follow the money.

TERRIBLE IDEA #2: GDP Used as an Indicator of Overall Well-Being:

Ben Le Fort breaks down the specifics of this in his excellent article below. Not only does GDP fail to take in the value of nature or the environment, but it also completely misses much of the digital economy. Both of these things are incredibly important to consider when making the rules of modern data interpretation.

Yet day after day, we hear all about the GDP, the rise and fall of the Dow Jones, and other incomprehensible numbers thrown around by analysts who we might assume are smarter than us average folk.

Guess what. Those analysts aren’t smarter. Not about this at least.

You’d probably get a better assessment of overall well-being if you go and ask a child, or an elder how they are doing in their day-to-day world. GDP is a measurement that truly measures nothing that the average person values.

TERRIBLE IDEA #3: Jobs and Unemployment Numbers Treated as the Gospel of Capitalism. And the Mythical Necessity of Constant Economic Growth and Continued “Development.”

Continuous linear development and transactional thinking in a world where everything else is based on circles and cycles and relationships are bound to cause a problem.

It’s as if inhaling were seen as good and exhaling was seen as bad. This doesn’t compute for the maintenance of actual life.

Yet the media continues to report on things like economic development, the growth of the economy, and how many poor souls are shackled to jobs where they exchange all their time for money, most of which doesn’t even go into their own pockets or communities as markers of progress and growth.

This growth is like a tumor. Out of control, and robbing the rest of the global body of resources we need to survive. 

Local Futures illustrates what we could stand to learn from indigenous peoples the world over in this piece below.

The crises of the modern world verify what indigenous cultures have always known: that all phenomena are inextricably interconnected. As the Amazon — one of the most vital organs of the Earth — is razed to fuel the global economy, a virus borne of disrupted ecosystems assaults the lungs of human beings. And as economic policies are enacted in Washington, Brussels or Beijing, people are uprooted and ecosystems destroyed thousands of miles away. — 

Local Futures

We need to change the rules, not just fix the data.

Otherwise, nothing is going to make any sense.

Maybe I’ve ventured into the realms of spirit a few too many times. But this I do know for sure. The indigenous wisdom that we are all interconnected is spot on. It’s a truth that I can feel in my bones.

If you look around you and pay just a bit of attention, you may start to feel this truth as well.

It’s not a coincidence that all the old systems are breaking down at once. And there is a rising set of values that many of us would like to see happening right on time as well.

Love. Equality. Peace. Health. Happiness. Abundance. Joy.

Look at all the corporate D&I (diversity and inclusion) initiatives. Look at the growing ranks of feminists of all stripes, colors, and homelands. Look at the continued presence of non-violent protests, no matter what agitators try to do to mess this up.

Look at queer liberation, the evolution of the environmental movement, and the rise of the gift economy in the face of economic and biospheric collapse.

The increasingly transparent absurdity of efforts to suppress the truth is also a telling sign that the old ways are dying.

Did you see the US debates?

Fear. Division. Hatred. Violence. Hierarchy. Power. Scarcity.

These are the old narrative. Can’t you feel them slipping away? I can. Thank heavens! The more absurd the better.

Maybe we’ll be able to actually find Waldo if all the camouflage simply falls away, leaving the real culprit obvious and without cover. HINT — he’s probably not hiding out on Hunter Biden’s laptop, no matter how unsavory that particular nepotism happens to be.

More and more people are lifting their eyes from the maelstrom of nonsense we call politics and the media and choosing instead to look into the eyes of the people around them, find forgiveness in their hearts, and begin to do the work of reconstructing society in a better way.

We just won’t hear about it through the media. These FACTS don’t fit into their narrative. And they don’t keep people imprisoned in their minds like the old story of fear and division so effectively do.

So which lens will you choose to use?

The lens of love, or the lens of fear?

Ultimately this choice is the only one you can control.

Choose wisely.


Created by

Kaia Tingley







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