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Being subtly brainwashed?

  1. Sep 2, 2011 #1
    Do you ever get the feeling that you've been subtly brainwashed into thinking certain things? Did you ever make any important decisions in your life based on notions that you *thought* were you those but when you gave them a harder thought, you realised that you were doing something *wrong* or maybe unnecessary?

    When I say brainwashed, it can be by anything. Be it TV or friends/family. Or maybe you were kept in some kind of facility for a few years...

    I feel like I got stuck in some very horrible scheme that led me to believe that I can't be happy where I am now. A combination of a good bunch of people I was (or still am but they're much fewer now...) close going elsewhere and *looking* much happier than they were before (or maybe that's something they want to project?), TV shows/films and the internet. (specifically: college websites)

    Then, on the other hand, I'm well acquainted with certain foreigners who, have similar reasons to mine for having left their country to come here. It's a vicious cycle.

    That's just one thing. I'll post of more as I think of them.

    It's unnerving.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2011 #2
    I think you're describing influence, not brainwashing. And that's everywhere at many degrees of seriousness, from harmless advertisements to concerned relatives to cruel and sick people. I would even guess that we all attempt influence at minor levels for mostly innocuous reasons.
  4. Sep 2, 2011 #3
    It must be the fluoride in your water.
  5. Sep 2, 2011 #4
    How do you explain the fact that after all those years of brain washing, I still have a dirty mind?
  6. Sep 2, 2011 #5
    They've been using dirty water???
  7. Sep 2, 2011 #6
    You could use a good book on thinking rationally.

    Check: http://huntingthesnark.com/ [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  8. Sep 2, 2011 #7


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    It's not always a bad thing.

    When my daughter was a baby, I was *so* into being a mom. I've never experienced anything like that before or since. Before she was born I had this notion that when she napped, I could review quantum or E&M...HA! what a foolish idea that was! I didn't realize, once you're in "mommy mode", absolutely nothing else matters except that baby - your every thought is permeated with parenting.

    And the thing is, it's entirely very very pleasant. Sounds weird, but it is.

    I was in the intense, emotional state of mind for several years. It kind of faded when she started school. It never fully goes away, of course.
  9. Sep 2, 2011 #8


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    The words of a great mom. :approve:

    Children area full time job.

    As for being brainwashed - by what? I pretty much ignore advertisements in any form of media. I've been more or less skeptical/critical since I can remember.

    I'm very particular about the beer and whisky with which I wash my brain. :biggrin:
  10. Sep 2, 2011 #9
    After a while it just doesn't matter, though. :rofl:
  11. Sep 2, 2011 #10


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    Yeah - it does.
  12. Sep 2, 2011 #11
    The knowledgeable man learns something new every day,
    The wise man forgets something new every day.
  13. Sep 2, 2011 #12


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    Sounds intriguing to me. I'm a foreigner in Argentina since more than 5 years although I don't have the slightest feeling I've been brainwashed nor influenced to go here.
    I'm curious in what country you are now and from where you were.
  14. Sep 3, 2011 #13
    All the time. I'm continually astonished by the volume of beliefs and values we are pressured to adopt simply because everyone else seems to subscribe to them.
  15. Sep 3, 2011 #14
    Maybe you're lucky? From what I gather, not every mother gets that amazing rush. You sound like a great mum. :)
    (and a little like mine but I suppose most mothers sound like that when talking about their children!)

    For a second I thought you were *reading her* (!) E&M and quantum mechanics, instead of bedtime stories or something. :rofl:

    As have I, good sir.

    Sounds interesting. Elaborate?

    I'm from the distant lands of Mauritius (don't quote me, I will remove this - get paranoid about privacy). We're a former British colony and ever since I can remember, there's been this notion that anybody who's studied in England (and recently, I've started hearing the same about the US/Aus), has done something god-like. "If it's not a British education, then it's hardly any kind of education at all!" That kind of mentality. Hell, our current educational system is very closely based to the English way of doing things.

    What I was getting at was stuff like this: "Why do we think Cambridge, Oxford, MIT, Harvard and Princeton are so great?" Even when I had no clue of university study was like, I had always heard of many of these names and all the grandeur associated with them and I guess, this is sort of what "wired" my brain into thinking they were all that jazz. After talking to a few people who've gone to such universities, talked to people who went to "no-name" universities and looking at courses I'm interested in from both types, I really don't see that I'd be losing much. Maybe I'm wrong or maybe I'm seeing what I want to see but I don't think I'm wrong. If I am, anyone, feel free to prove me otherwise.

    Argentina? Sounds nice. Why there, of all places? SEE! THERE, I TOLD YOU! If you had said Australia or France the question probably wouldn't have even sprung to mind! Anyway, how do you find your Physics program there? Where are you from?

    Anyway, something that I intend to do, hopefully in the near future, is to go backpacking in Europe.

    I'm hardly ever surprised any more. Generally, I either disregard the norms or find a way around them. That is of course, assuming I have something against them. ;)
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  16. Sep 3, 2011 #15


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    Not much about which to elaborate. I was being somewhat facetious.

    I think many cultures are like that.

    Such named schools often have reputations beyond reality, probably because they have been around for so long, and the reputation is due to the accomplishments of certain successful alumni. Certainly there are some great academics and graduates, but it's the people, not the institution, that creates the environment. Those academics and graduates would probably do as well at other not so popular institutions. Ultimately, education is the responsibility of oneself, although it helps to have good/great teachers.

    Argentina has some good universities, and a reasonably good nuclear energy program.

    Definitely do so.

    It is important to find one's own path.
  17. Sep 3, 2011 #16
    Something I've observed in other developing countries as well.
    But going such named schools doesn't necessarily equate to getting good teaching. I find that teaching quality, anywhere, is just really hit and miss.

    Also, what I was trying to say is that there are people (whether alumni, the institution themselves or the media) who lead you to believe that these schools are so great. That you really would be doing something very wrong if you didn't end up there.

    I might be wrong but all of them teaching solely in Spanish, right?

  18. Sep 3, 2011 #17


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    Marketing is brainwashing. Stay on-topic, repeat your message in as many ways as possible, and pretty soon, people start coming around. If you tell people that their laundry has to smell "fresh" and they believe it, they will buy your chemically-scented laundry products. If you tell people that their toilet paper has to be "soft" you can sell them on that, too. Some of the "soft" toilet tissue costs 4x as much as regular single-ply tissues like Scott, and take up a whole bunch more space. Even worse, if you are not on a public sewer system and you use these "soft" tissues held together with chemical size instead of starch, you'll have to pay to have your septic tank pumped out every year or two, because that tissue doesn't degrade in the tank and blocks the baffles. Stupid.
  19. Sep 3, 2011 #18
    I use double ply so I suppose I've been brain-washed. But if they're selling 'soft', they had me at hello.
  20. Sep 3, 2011 #19


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    Ah I see. I understand your feeling. I don't have a simple answer to as why I'm in this country now. The most sincere one would be that right after finishing high school I felt the need of a big change in my life, a challenge in some way. I also wanted to learn Spanish and being from Canada/France, Spain wouldn't have been what I was looking for.

    About universities here, as far as I know they only teach in Spanish although I know that they are graduate students from Europe in my university. They either speak in English or Spanish with the professors/researchers; but the courses are taught in Spanish. I might be wrong on that, but I don't think so.
    I haven't been into any European or American university so I can't really compare the undergraduate physics programs with Argentina's. I'd say it's very similar to any undergrad physics program in Europe/North America from the feeling I get from the Internet.
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