81. What Did We Learn from 2020?

2020 is finally over! As we start the new year, now is the time to take stock of all the lessons this year has taught us.


Here’s a transcript of our conversation:

Brittany: Hi, Connor.

Connor: Hey, Brittany.

Brittany: So as the new year begins and we say goodbye to the wretched 2020, I thought we could maybe sit and talk about the lessons we’ve learned this year because so much has happened, and I know I like to do this in my personal life, just kinda sit and reflect on everything that’s happened and, you know, lessons I’ve learned and things to improve on. And I think all of us can admit that 2020 has been a very hard year for a lot of people. People and the world has just changed so much. there’s almost too many lessons, honestly, to be learned from this year, So to jump into one, to kick us off, I think one huge lesson that we have learned and something that we’ve spoken on in past episodes is that you should never be too eager to give up liberty for security. And that is something that’s always happening, that’s gonna always be a battle that we’re dealing with, government, and, you know, the people. But this year, I don’t think we were prepared for how quickly that was gonna escalate. And I know a lot of you, in fact, I would say that most of our younger listeners or all of them were not born during nine 11, which was what, how many years ago? Almost 20 years ago.

Connor: Yeah. Almost 20.

Brittany: Yeah. That’s nuts. But, you know, for people like you and I, Connor, we saw this happen already. We’ve kind of been through this before. So this was a really important lesson to be reminded of because in January nobody could have predicted how bad Covid was gonna get. We didn’t, we knew it was in China. We didn’t know it was gonna happen. And then our lives changed. You know, stores were closed and schools were closed, and churches were closed, and life seemed to just completely stop. but one thing that was everywhere was fear. And you and I, Connor have talked about this. You’ve written a book about this, fear can be used and is used by governments a lot to get people to give up their freedoms and exchange what they believe, exchange it for what they believe is security or safety. And again, we’ve talked about this so many times because it’s that important. And history has shown us over and over again that, you know, every time we give up any of our freedoms, it becomes extremely hard and sometimes impossible to ever get those freedoms back. And during covid, and, we’re still seeing this, we saw a lot of freedoms last to mask mandates. And I’m not saying it’s not good of you to wear a mask when you go out, but, you know, we’re all for freedom here, and I don’t think we should be mandated to wear them. I don’t think businesses should be closed, you know, forced to close down. And we were told this would be for our own good, you know, for our own safety. We had to, beat the virus to stay healthy. But now, instead of just dealing with the pandemic, you know, we’re dealing with massive economic problems because so many businesses had to close and people couldn’t put food on their tables. So if there’s one thing that I would really want our listeners to take away from 2020, it would be to remember to, you know, guard our precious liberties, because they won’t take them away all at once. It’s not like one day we’re gonna wake up and they’re gone. It’s gonna happen very slowly and gradually. and, that happened this year, or it’s been happening for 10 years, really, they’ve been building on it. so there’s never a good reason ever to give up your liberty for security. So that is my top lesson I want our listeners to learn.

Connor: That’s great. a related one that, I’m thinking of is that in 2020, I think we all learned, or increasingly learned that there are no experts.

Brittany: Ah, yeah.

Connor: And what I mean by that is there are a ton of experts who are quite often wrong. We’ve talked in a past episode about like failed predictions, right? Like, people who are always doom and gloom, and this horrible thing is gonna happen and the polar ice caps are gonna melt by this year and all these things, and they always end up being wrong. You know, remember how this thing started in, in 2020, right? Two weeks to flatten the curve. That’s right. That’s what we were all told. That was kind of the social contract, if you will, that we all made the agreement, that people kind of said, all right, here we go, we’ll put up with this for two weeks. You know, initially, the CD said, don’t use masks. Then they said, do Dr. Fauci, the same thing. No, you know, masks don’t work. Oh, now they’re gotta be managed. Yeah, they do. Yeah. You know, people claiming that mask mandates help. And then it turns out they don’t, people claiming that Sweden, was, going to, you know, they were killing people, that their, laid back approach of, herd immunity where they were just letting people go about their lives normally, and then kind of quarantining or, or, you know, helping the high-risk people narrowly like, that’s horrible. All these people are gonna die when in fact, you know, Sweden has been doing far better than most Yeah. With lockdowns. And so these experts, right? Like, and they’re always coming out. In fact, someone was compiling, I saw on Twitter all these examples over throughout 2020 of the top experts saying, you know, the hospitals are gonna be overwhelmed. We’re gonna have these outbreaks. We’re gonna have X number of deaths. You know, and time and time and time again, they are wrong. And, it’s very much kind of the boy who cried wolf, right? Like, if you don’t know that story, you and your parents can go talk about it. But, the idea is, if the boy continues to lie, the villagers should catch on pretty quickly and stop listening to the boy that there’s a wolf that’s coming, right? You need to understand that people who are consistently wrong should not be listened to. And that I think is where we as the public can really improve, is trying to understand that all these experts, you know, it’s not to say they’re evil. It’s not to say they’re all malicious. They’re all trying to deceive us. I’m not suggesting that the point is that, you know, if, we’re saying shut down the economy, or, you know, restrict people’s freedoms based on what the experts are telling us, the science is, directing our decisions. Well, look, these people are humans. They make mistakes. Some of them are corrupt. Some of them are intentionally trying to exert power and do bad things. But, you know, these people can be wrong. And if they’re wrong, what are, the problems with, you know, increase in depression, you know, and even suicide and losing jobs and livelihoods being lost, the growing dependency on welfare because people, you know, and stimulus checks because people are struggling. These have long-term implications. And if we’re making those decisions based on the recommendations of experts, that is a lot of trust to place in the hands of people who are so, so often wrong. And, a related lesson to learn from 2020 is that the media, the media broadly speaking, is so corrupt. Yeah. They’re not trying to inform us. They are not trying to educate. Right? Think of what happened. First. It was, look at all these deaths. People are dying. It’s awful. You know, flatten the curve, stay at home. And then when the death rate just stayed very low, right? Did you notice this, Brittany? They stopped talking about the death rates. Suddenly it was the case number,

Brittany: The cases. Yep. And that was when testing was going up. You have to remember. So of course, case numbers are going to go up cause more people are getting tested.

Connor: We’ve tested 10 times. The number of people. We’re not gonna mention that fact. We’re just gonna say, oh my gosh, there’s so many cases happening, right? The media, going back to your point, Brittany, is they sell fear. They understand that they make money from advertisers. The more eyeballs that watch their videos, the more people that click on their link and go to their website. And so, fear is very addictive. And so they want us coming back to their website, watching their programs, getting the latest news, being gripped, you know, waiting on their every word for what Dr. Fauci or whoever’s gonna say next. And so they’re not interested in, calmly and rationally saying, oh, well actually, if you compare the statistics if you look at Sweden, if you look at the death rate, if you look at the, you know, overall fatal, if you, if you do some investigative reporting and you see that the hospital ICU, intensive care units are, not actually overwhelmed like people are claiming, right? We don’t have any of that because that would calm people down that would help resolve the situation. And those in power don’t want things to be calm. They like the state that we are in because we are easily manipulated and controlled. And so, just like one lesson is that there are no experts. The other lesson is that the media doesn’t care. they’ll quote whatever quote-unquote expert that they can get to self-fear and, keep you watching their program. And so we need to understand that the media is not there to educate and inform, they are there to entertain and addict us to their program so that we keep, you know, enriching them. That is quite a different goal than educating us. So I think that’s another important lesson.

Brittany: That’s a good one. so my, this one is a little less, well, it still has to do with covid. I think most of my lessons this year have to do with covid, but not as policy-oriented. I think one lesson to really remember and take away from this year is how much we need people. And I know I’m an extrovert. I don’t know, what are you, Connor? You could go either way.

Connor: I, call myself, an extroverted introvert. Okay? And my heart of hearts, I just wanna be left alone. But, I’m also like a little bit extrovert. Maybe explain what those words mean really quickly.

Brittany: So extroverted is, you get your energy from being around a lot of other people you like, being social. There’s more to it than this. This is just kind of a base-level explanation, but so you like being around people, and being around people energizes you. And you could hang out with people. You could go to like several parties in a week, or hang out with multiple people, for multiple days. Introverts get their energy from being alone. So even if they, do that doesn’t mean they don’t like other people, but maybe they go to a party and they have to go home and they have to be alone for a couple of days before they can go be around people again, I am not like that. I could be around people always and be fine. And so for me, quarantine has been really hard because I’m used to being a very social person. But it has reminded me how important people are just to life to the human condition due to the human experience. So that’s one thing that I think I’m gonna remember more moving forward, is one, to just take, not take anything for granted, right? To be very grateful for, everything we had before covid, and everything we have now. But, you know, remembering the old world, or what do I call it? The before times. The before times.

Connor: The before times. I, think, like you, right? So many of these things are based on, you know, what has happened during Covid, as we think of 2020. Like, that’s really what so much of it boils down to. But, another lesson is that, you need to watch out for sleight of hand, right? If you understand how magic works, magic works.

Brittany: No, I have a good friend, he’s a magician actually, so

Connor: Okay, He’s an expert at this.

Brittany: He’s an expert.

Connor: So, magicians, they want to distract you while maybe they’re, you know, they’re holding their left hand out, right? And they want you to look at their left hand while their right hand is kind of slowly, you know, doing something else that they don’t want you to notice because they’re setting up the illusion. And so that’s called sleight of hand. They’re, kind of like distracting you and, making their hand kind of, you know, not the focus so that they can get away with doing something. And it’s that way going back to the media, right? or even,  politicians and government. When everyone’s attention is on one thing, then you need to start thinking, okay, what are we not seeing right now? Right? Like, if everyone is worried about Covid and everyone is focused on, you know, mask mandates and on lockdowns and everything else, what else is happening? What is the government doing? What is Congress passing? What’s happening in the economy? What is the Federal Reserve doing? You know what I mean? Like, and, so throughout time throughout the years, we’ve seen instances like this when everyone’s focused on something else, and then something else just kind of quietly moves forward. Yep. I think of, you know, we’ve talked about the creature from Jeko Island, the Federal Reserve at past episodes. Like that’s a great example, right? The way that happened is everyone was focused on Christmas, no one was paying any attention. And Congress quietly, you know, enacted that law and, cemented the future ruin of the economic system. it’s another reason why if you have, if you’re a company if you run a company and you have bad news that you have to make public, maybe you’re legally required to, or you just have to, you always do it on Friday afternoon,

Brittany: So no one’s paying attention always,

Connor: Right? Cause everyone is paying attention to the weekend they’re thinking about date night with their spouse, or what are we gonna do with the kids, or what’s the adventure, right? then is the time to release bad news. And so, to me, one lesson is, again, everyone’s focus on something, but what are the other things that we can be paying attention to? And the lesson for us is to not let ourselves be so distracted. You know? Yes, we need to pay attention to all the bad stuff happening and the mask mandates and, whatnot. I’m not saying to ignore it, but, that’s almost kind of a red flag that, when everyone is thinking about, you know, one particular thing, then, that means far fewer people in the media, right? They’re not paying attention to some of that other stuff that’s quietly happening.

Brittany: Yeah. I think another, lesson, and this one was really important to me, is the need for competition. The need for options. And this ties into free speech, and I’ll explain how. So we’ve seen Twitter and even Facebook do a lot of censorship. And we’ve talked about this also in past episodes, that they’re private companies. That they are allowed to do that. They’re not, you know, they’re not in the constitution. They are, or free speech does not apply to these private companies. But that being said, we’ve seen a lot of censorship and that’s kind of, well, I think it’s very scary, but one thing that is, it’s really brought the need for up to the public is that we need more social media platforms. There’s no competition for Facebook and Twitter. They are the only game in town. And maybe instead of getting the government involved in social media and regulating, you know, what we need are more options. And there’s a couple, what are some, there’s a few that are popping up. I wanna say parlor, that’s a thing, right?

Connor: Yeah. Parlors become pretty popular. recently, I think me, we, m e w e is another one that has come out. I haven’t really jumped onto those points.

Brittany: Me either. And I should, cuz I, need to practice what I preach. But, well, one thing that I do think is cool is that at least there’s some happening, there’s something moving in that, but with, and I don’t wanna call it free speech because it, is a private company, but with people being censored on these platforms, I think it is important that we have, you know, more competition and more options for people to go to. So I think that’s a good lesson to take out of this year too.

Connor: I think that’s right. And you know, though we’re kind of winding down in this, particular episode, perhaps it’s a prompt for you as a family to reflect on, you know, what the lessons are that you’re taking away, from this year. A lot has happened in this year, it feels like, there’s that new show on Netflix a few months back called, the Flores Lava. Have you seen this, Brittany? No,

Brittany: But I, is that what it sounds like? Is it like when you used to play as a kid?

Connor: yeah, yeah, exactly. So they have this kinda, this obstacle course and you can’t touch the ground and you have to jump from, obstacle to obstacle and it’s kind of fun and silly, right? And, but, that’s what it feels like to me. Like there’s no sure foundation like 20, if I were to describe 2020, there’s no solid foundation that we can like reliably, you know, be grounded upon and say, okay, I’m gonna take the next step in my life. And then the next step, and then the, cause it feels like the rugs being pulled out from under you, right? It feels like the floor is lava. Like you can’t touch it. It’s always moving, you know, it’s unpredictable. And, so here’s to hope, and perhaps the 2021 is a little bit more of a stable foundation for all of us. But I think even with those, instances, those circumstances where there’s a lot of unpredictability where things are always changing when a lot of negative things are happening, I think it’s also an opportunity for us to look at the, you know, the silver linings. They are always out there, right? Where there are challenges, there are also opportunities, where there are negative things happening. There are opportunities to serve and help start a business even fulfilling a problem that’s happening. you know, a lot of companies right now in 2020 have been thriving, right? Because maybe like zoom, you know, as, one example, right? Like, because all of a sudden people can’t, or I imagine having a nationwide lockdown to this degree like 40 years ago, right? Or 20 years ago, even 10 years ago.

Brittany: 10 years ago,

Connor: Yeah. right? Like we, just wouldn’t ve been able to still have all these meetings and communicate and, engage in business and stuff to the same degree. So even when bad things are happening, it’s, important for us to not just like eor, right? Like, oh, ho ho, you know, kinda, woes me. but how can we look at the positive side? How can we actually try and improve our lives and improve the lives of others? So maybe as a family, a little exercise, take some time. Think of the lessons you guys have learned and how it’s gonna motivate and help you guys improve as a family, and as individuals in the year ahead. Here’s to an awesome 2021. We really appreciate you spending some of your 2020 with us. Brittany, we’ve had a lot of fun on this episode. It’s been a pleasure to do it so far with you. And until next time, will talk to you later.

Brittany: Talk to you later.

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