When the Ottoman Turks sent 40,000 of their best soldiers, including their elite Janissaries, to Malta to dislodge the Knights of the Order of St. John so they would have smooth passage to Western Europe, they were confident that victory would be in their hands within days.
The Janissaries were used to strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. These whirling dervishes of the battlefield, dressed in white, scimitars glinting in the sunlight, were created and trained to never turn their back on their enemy. It was kill or be killed. They lived up to their reputation and struck fear into their enemies. Some of them, however, were not intimidated by them.
The creation of the Turks, this elite force was made up of the children of Christians, taken at age seven, and then only the strongest and best were incorporated into the brotherhood. These boys were eventually sexually compromised and encouraged to be homosexual, while discouraged from marriage and family. On retirement, should they live through the battles, they were pensioned into a comfortable lifestyle. The Janissaries were not abolished until 1826 when they revolted against plans to reorganize them along European military lines. Most of the Janissaries were killed in the violent repression of their revolt.
It is amazing the amount of comment on Facebook. A lot of people, including this author, have their own blog — a place where they can comment, hoping the rest of the world will find the words and be influenced by them.
Behind this underlying activity is a belief that people will listen to us; that we are some kind of authority worthy of being listened to. In a few number of cases, that is true. The rest of us are hacks. The word “hack” has many meanings and here I apply the word thus: “a writer who is paid to write low-quality, quickly put-together articles or books.” Except that with the internet, most hacks are no longer paid. They merely write.
My concern here, however, is not so much with the quality of the writing, but with the way writing takes place and what writers hope to achieve. We all write as if we are an authority on something. This is important. If we are not an authority, why would anyone in their right mind read our writings?
But here’s the interesting “influencing” psychology. There are two types of personalities. On the one hand there are those who find their moral standards within themselves. By this, I do not mean theologically being God, making the standards. They just look inside themselves and act accordingly. They do not need anyone to tell them what is right or wrong action. They are inner-directed. When you say to them, “In my opinion . . .” they respond, “I don’t care about your opinion.”