Tag Archives: Horror

Creeping Horror

Here’s a fun little test to either help internalize the creeping horror or introduce someone new to the mind virus.

The first step is to find a moderately obscure topic you would know far more about than your average English grad would. It can be anything: something related to your career, a hobby you’re deep into, your religion, an academic area you’ve studied extensively, or even pastel ponies. Choose something of which you have a deep knowledge.

You must avoid anything your average SWPL “knowledge-worker” would know; so avoid things related to coffee, indie music, HBO, pretentious literature, etc. (Alright, pastel ponies might not work). Also make sure to avoid anything overly subjective or too mainstream.

Having chosen your topic, look for articles in the mainstream news on the topic. Try the big ones: CNN, the NYT, the Washington Post, or, in Canada, the CBC. Having found a few articles from a few different sources read them.

Notice every time they are inaccurate, make a factual mistake, leave out something important, make a logical fallacy, write something that doesn’t make sense, or otherwise distort reality.

Having done this, think on the fact that every other topic covered by the media has errors to the same extent, except you don’t notice because you don’t know more about that topic than your average J-school graduate.

Then consider how you, and most everybody else, becomes informed about things they don’t know of.

This is where the horror sets in.

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To let the horror creep in more, look to your career. Remember that obscure regulation nobody outside your particular occupation or industry would know of, the one that: made society worse, was borderline insane, the government had no business being in, allowed a person/company to rob the taxpayer, made your job more miserable than it should be, and/or was just pointless busywork to employ bureaucrats?

You probably never talked of it to anyone other than possibly the occasional rant to a friend or two or some co-workers.

Now think on the fact that there are thousands of other occupations and industries you are not employed in and where you would not be able to know that obscure regulation.

Give it a few minutes for the horror to dawn.

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