Information Wars (the Fish or the Tank)

David Smith
5 min readAug 29, 2021


The pandemic. Meh. The internet. Meh. Opinions. Meh.

I have been inundated as of late regarding the sentiment that I am not qualified to have an opinion. It’s cute. It’s not new. What is new is the medium in which it is being delivered.

When you wanted someone to know something when I was a child, we passed notes, or “accidentally” told the rumor mill what you wanted to have known. The dissemination of this information was enthusiastically shared.

Some time, since my days in school and me wasting my life on non-fulfilling endeavors 24 years hence, the game has changed.

If you’re Gen-X you know it. If you’re after Gen-X you’ve heard us complain about it. If you’re after that, this is just how it is for you.

I was used to talking to people. Chatting. Shootin’ the crap. Saying the most absurd things and laughing it off. We don’t laugh ideas off anymore, as a society. Every word has to be specifically chosen, every punctuation mark perfectly placed and then, if you’ve done this, your qualifications are then questioned.

It is expected of you today dear Gen-X, to finally bow down to authority. If you don’t, your younglings will make sure to remind you why you are not playing along with the current paradigm, and thus . . . wrong.

You cannot fight it. Our generation is getting weaker. Our generation is getting older. We are falling behind in those things that the world is built on (don’t get me talking about how flimsy those thing are). The tidal wave of the next Gen-whatever is on it’s way.

I fear for the future. Truly. This pandemic was the catalyst needed to forward the motives of “science” towards compliance. Yes, there’s a mask debate. Yes, there’s a vaccine debate. Yes, there is much debate. The fear is that our freedoms are being washed away with talk of vaccine passports and the like. But it’s not what we should be fearful of.

This is not a conspiracy theory here. I took a tally of my social media contacts. I am in a special point of view, because I do not follow the status quo just for the sake of it. The majority of the people I know do. Why? Some truly believe it. Others . . . well, rely on the people who truly believe it. If you stand against vaccines, or masks, you are ostracized. I am not against either, this is just an example.

The real issue that irks me is the cute memes that state no one we know are qualified to comment on this subject, of masks, of vaccines, of pandemics, of getting back to work, of everything. Think about it. You, nor anyone you know are qualified to say anything contrary to whatever “the man” says.

That’s a dire situation to be in. I will be silenced for sharing my beliefs regarding peoples rights. You will be to. You will lose friends, you will lose job opportunities, you will lose money.

I think this has happened before in our history. What I am wondering is how long will it be before we have come full circle again to the “free thinking” stage of society.

I write about the human experience. There isn’t anything really more important than that, and so in that sense I am a philosopher. Scientists write about the universe, and to them there is nothing more important. Looking at an aquarium it’s the difference between you studying the happy little life the fish lead, or the reason why the water allows the little fish to have a happy little life.

Truth has changed. Every generation brings their own truth and thus this focus on the true truth is absurd. A good parent does not tell a child’s monsters are not real, a good parents gives that child a sword to slay them. A husband dealing with his demented wife of 50 years does not tell her she is wrong, but let’s her live the world she is in, as his last gift. But out there in the wild? The wilds of the internet? No.

You have one reality. You best believe it.

Meh. Like I said.

You can do only a few things to combat this. Surround yourself around “like-minded” people. The status quo will point and belittle but you’ll be in your own little fishy tank. And likely happy.

The human experience is precarious. On the same day it can be the most unbelievable mind blowing experience and subsequently the worst most agonizing hell imaginable. We all choose to sail it where we want. Other’s are on the same rocky sea telling you of the storms, the rocky shores, the prevailing winds. What captain has the ego to believe he knows how to traverse the seas better than another captain?

In order to win in this war, you need to just wave and keep sailing. What that means is that if you are smart you need to keep your mouth quiet and mind your own business.

If you’re not smart, this isn’t for you. You’re busy trying to make a reality you don’t understand and you’ll be busy minding everyone else’s business.

I see a breaking point coming up. The internet will make a shift to something we will all look back at and say, “those were the good ol’ days”. Our love of ones and zeroes will fade and we will get back to the game of loving each other again. We will again feel like we can voice an opinion.

There will be a generation ahead, that will have to deal with the aftermath of this war. Was the efforts of trying to convince the world they are wrong worth it? Will we feel infantile when we look back as what we wrote to that stranger whose story we did not know.

The internet has brought us together, but unnaturally. There’s no tone of voice, subtle glances, shoulder shrugs. Just raw uncompromising words, words that we redefine when we need and insist others are using wrong to suit ourselves accordingly. The age of the cell phone has passed. The computer age is graduating high school and looking forward for something more.

We struggle to use the contents of the fish tank to make a fish. And only the qualified are qualified to ultimately fail at this. Humanist? Be patient. You’ve seen this before.



David Smith

Disgruntled uneducated intellectual and philosopher unimpressed with the current paradigm. A non-authoritative authority on the status quo & it’s inadequacies.