"How do we know if famines killed millions when the Bolsheviks took over Russia?" Or discerning wheat from chaff in a digital world.

I have a friend with whom I frequently debate social theories and political ideas. We entertain the notion that what we are practicing is philosophy and we are sticking to it. Often our ideas lay in opposite camps. That’s putting it mildly at times. Our conversations have changed both of our opinions about certain matters and caused us, I believe, to deepen our search for an agreement if nothing else. This agreement is crucial to the success of any group, be it a family or a town or a federally led nation. The debates get heated sometimes and that’s important too. Partially so that I can practice restraint and learn to focus my passion into well formed argument without all the yelling and carrying on.

He has these conversations with lots of people and I give him credit for that, one person recently hit him with the idea that everything commonly expressed about the repressive nature of the communist governments of the world is vastly exaggerated and mostly exists as propaganda. It occurred to him that this would be difficult to truly personally verify even with usage of the internet. There exists so much misinformation that to really get a quality first hand source that can be verified as authentic would be a seemingly impossible task and that by simply accepting on face value the notion of Stalin’s communist atrocities he himself was doing what he accuses people who accept the reported news of climate science. The lesson here being that without realizing it, we can all be hypocrites. Our opinions are formed by the information we experience in life and they can be changed and influenced all the time. It’s important to challenge your own beliefs every now and then. If they hold water then it should be a reaffirming experience, but we shouldn’t be afraid to discover that we have new values or beliefs. That’s growth, and that things that exhibit life on Earth also exhibit signs of growth is a fairly undeniable fact. Don’t let that say too much about life though. You don’t want to get me started on my opinions about free-will.