Do look up… and inside

photo credits: cottonbro from Pexels

That was my thought the minute I finished watching this controversial film, which is finally more real than reality itself: do look up (for curiosity/observation/optimism reasons) and inside (for self-reflection, self-awareness, and alone, critical thinking time).

That thought kept me up at night thinking how naive we are to trust fake news, know-it-alls, political interpretations in scientific findings, simplistic explanations for complicated matters, and irrelevant people that seek popularity through their well-catered self-branding, their brainwashing techniques that are often based on pseudo-science research, which is finally more popular, as it is popularly — therefore easily — digested.

There will be the ones that will judge the film with the entertainment factor in mind only. It is certainly NOT an entertaining movie. It can cause feelings of discomfort, even boredom in some cases. Some would say it is too much, that it is exaggerating. Yes! Things do have to be exaggerated to start being irritating. This irritation could cause some kind of reaction, some kind of awakeness… hopefully.

I chose to keep away from this superficial critique as I got really angry while watching it. Angry with me, with the people that surround me, with some choices and compromises I have made in life. It really got me thinking how far from democracy and freedom we tend to fly when we are so influenced by mass psychology, which is so closely connected with fascism and authoritarianism.

“Fear of revolt, as well as fear of sexuality, were thus anchored in the ‘character structure’ of the masses (the majority). This influenced the irrationality of the ‘people’ and allowed (irrational) ‘populistic’ ideology to flourish” Wilhelm Reich argued in his book, The Mass Psychology of Fascism, only to result in his conclusion: “Love, work and knowledge are the well-springs of our life. They should also govern it”

“Don’t look up” is a MUST-WATCH. It is especially urgent to watch it and process it along with students in language classes, in history classes, in any kind of class by teachers that have realized the dangers of the rise of a simplistic way of thinking. By teachers that will support research and will help kids to always choose science over parascience, paranoia, and propaganda. For the last 2 years, I have been a strong advocate of the importance of implementing alternative and scientific teaching methods in schools, and the need to connect these methods with their practical use in our everyday lives; how to make decisions, the way we communicate, what we believe, the choices we make… “There are always choices. You just got to choose the right one” as it is mentioned in the film.

In science and life, our variables are mainly 3: the independent variable (what I change), the dependent variable (what I observe), and the controlled variable (what I keep the same). The problem is to decide what is in need of change, what requires close attention, and what I have to keep untouched. The problem is in decision-making. Who will teach me how to do it? And most importantly how?

By questioning often and answering freely, by looking at the big picture only, by trial and error, by leading the way to wisdom and maturity, finally… by looking up and inside. Always!

  • Further recommendations to read:

https://theconversation.com/simple-thinking-in-a-complex-world-is-a-recipe-for-disaster-69718

https://www.lifescied.org/doi/10.1187/cbe.14-01-0002

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