Hello, {first_name}

I've been thinking a lot about how much we don't know. I've never sat down and tested if the sky is actually blue. Sure, I see it, but I also see inferior mirages on a hot summer's day, and I know the road isn't really wavy. We live each day under the presumptions other people have told us, never actually testing what we perceive because, naturally, we are trustful creatures. Unfortunately, these past few years, I can't really find a reason to trust anything I can't test. Which, during a pandemic is very little. Still, I know that I like to breathe, and to see the sun set over water. I like pink clouds, and I like when my code compiles. I like knowing my work actually works, and through that I've found enough satisfaction to survive while maintaining a very suspicious attitude to anything I hear presented in the news (or by anyone for that matter).

You really shouldn't trust the news--especially if you're American. American journalistic programs, based on my personal experiences in one, are no longer designed to teach students how to find the truth. They preach how future journalists should lie and abuse their privilege as trusted sources for the "greater good".

As any freshman ethics class student knows, the definition of the "greater good" is as convoluted as it comes. So you can imagine the stress I feel seeing this country rip itself apart in an emotional rampage, fueled with questionable stories and obfuscated data. Is there a solution? Not unless we can go back to an environment devoid of this whole interconnectedness. Populations need separation and intellectual diversity to survive. Let me be clear, what that population looks like, who they love, and what genitalia they have don't matter. It's because our culture's homogenization of thought into two camps across this country (or more if you don't care about fitting in anywhere) is a sign of a sure path to extinction. Not as a species, but as a society. A society won't last this divided with itself, and being completely disrespectful to the core of any healthy debate doesn't help.

The American experiment was designed to foster intellectual diversity. You can see it in our strong free speech laws, our core belief in religious tolerance. It is the very fact that people are nothing more than ideas which have shaped the past 200 years of American development, and the side effects of human advancement, rights, and freedom the world over. Paltry plays to reduce us all to superficial identitarian categories puts that self-evident truth in jeopardy. And, for anyone who disagrees with me: When's the last time you only defined yourself through superficial characteristics? Sex, gender, race, sexual orientation? Why, if you are not only defined by superficial categories, do you think other people should be?

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