The Politics of Perception

With the steady draining of population from rural areas to large towns and cities, it only takes one generation to become acclimated to the new urban environment and only one beyond that for grandchildren to be divorced from the quaint anecdotes of grandparents who once lived on farms or in small rural towns; even moreso, if grandparents die before grandchildren reach school age.

So the individual’s perception of the world shrinks – and an increasing number of souls are living in cities that are essentially urban islands in a sparsely populated landscape. These urban islanders travel from one island to another with the intervening countryside lost to the small screen of the iPad, iPhone/cellphone or laptop. To all intents and purposes, the countryside ceases to exist in the traveling individual’s perception.

 Urban islanders gather news from television stations, radio stations and newspapers all located within those same urban islands. The drivers of social media mostly live in urban islands and so their narrative aligns with other urban islanders. The spaces between urban islands become an even more vacuous void if those urban islands have never been visited in person.

 Such a detachment has happened before – when folks lived in forests and spent generations without experiencing an overview of their surrounds from a treeless hill, crag or cliff. To them, the Earth was flat.

 

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