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"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up."

Arthur Koestler 

Entries in Propaganda (95)

Thursday
Feb232017

What Is the Job of the Media? 

Here is the answer to the question posed in the title.

 

Of course Ms Brzezinski misspoke—but there is such a thing as a Freudian Slip. Or maybe she was channeling her father:

 

 

Noam Chomsky tells us how it works:

Wednesday
Feb152017

Why Trump Will Win: MeetUp

This may seem an odd contention but the general opposition to Trump in the media and social media, and especially those positions like immigration where the majority support him, will increase his popularity and his electabliity. 

Meetup, the app that lets people of similar interests meet, has gone crazy

"For almost 15 years, Meetup has served as an organizing platform for a wide range of political parties and movements, welcoming everyone from the Howard Deaniacs to the Tea Party. 'We’re vital plumbing for democracy,' we always said. Before today, our company had never taken a partisan stance. It’s not a decision we take lightly.”

...

So Heiferman and his team literally stopped Meetup in its tracks - paused operations - to gather for a hackathon. The effort resulted in 1,000 new Meetup Groups under the hashtag #Resist. It announced the new groups to their 30 million members. And it partnered with organizations including Planned Parenthood, the Anti-Defamation League, Amnesty International, the Human Rights Campaign, the Women’s March, and many others who are contributing to a library of ideas for making change.

While it is doubtful that Meetup's customer base is similar to the US population which voted 45% for Trump, there is enough overlap that this is a very poor business decision. Let's just piss off at least 25% of our customers! One has to really wonder about the business acumen of social media companies as this is not the only company who is acting stupidly. 

Firefox forced its CEO to resign because he was a Christian. They would deny this, but what they did is force him to resign because he was against same-sex marriage. What did he do? He started a new browser company called Brave

Reddit is banning conservatives, both explicitly by banning threads and subgroups, but also by shadow banning. Shadow banning is designed to keep "trolls" from posting nonsense. What it does is let the troll post, but no one but the troll sees the post. This is a fine tool from keeping out the jerks, but will it be used to keep conservative thought off Reddit? I would not be surprised. There is no alternative to Reddit right now, but one is in the works. 

FaceBook is already banning fake news. At this point, except in Germany where being anti-immigration is enough to be considered fake, FaceBook seems to have a light hand. A whistleblower inside FaceBook alleged that FaceBook was burying conservative stories in What's Trending through manual manipulation of data. There is no way for a customer of FaceBook to know what is being done behind the scenes. It can only get worse. There is no real alternative to FaceBook at this time. 

Wikipedia is an interesting product that is starting to go bad. I was an editor for a while before I was banned from editing a few years ago. I was not even editing anything controversial, and my editing was to make the entry more neutral in a few historical areas having to do with church history. You would think that they would want someone with a degree in history and work towards a masters degree with an emphasis on church history—but no. There is now an alternative to Wikipedia called Infogalactic. I am supporting this effort and may become an editor. 

Twitter is also using a form of shadow banning along with direct banning of conservatives. Here is how Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, describes what happened to him in a blog post called Freedom of Speech Is an Illusion

Here’s a fresh example (today) of how Twitter throttles back my free speech when it doesn’t fit their political views. This only happens for Trump-related content, as far as I can tell. I haven’t seen an exception yet. Notice the referenced tweet shows as “unavailable” but it actually is available when users click the link. Twitter does this trick so my followers will think the link is gone and they won’t bother to click. This Twitter censorship method is well-documented by others. 

The clever thing about Twitter’s approach is that they randomize it so everyone sees my content sometimes, but no one sees the good stuff all of the time. That creates the illusion that it might be a fluke, a temporary bug, or just a perceptual thing. Best of all, it makes people like me look like conspiracy nuts. This is brilliant technique for mind control. It took me about a year to see this as a real thing. I thought everyone that was yapping about it was in deep conspiracy theory mode too. Most of you reading this post will think the same about me.

There have been too many complaints about this for it not to have some validity. There is an alternative to Twitter called Gab. I am on Gab. Gab is having some growing pains and is not dealing with trolls strongly enough, maybe because of Gab's actual commitment to free speech. There may be a waiting line as they do not want to overwhelm their servers. 

So how does this help Trump? 

It will drive those who are not Trump supporters into his arms. I am not a Trump supporter. But yet over and over again, I am saying to myself: "That is not fair." "What a biased use of pejorative words." "I want a neutral ground on social media." I was watching CNN on a tv at a restaurant and I could not help almost constantly shaking my head in shock. 

The media and social media are going to drive away their own customers and new platforms will develop. This will drive opinion to the ends of the spectrum as it will make mass media and social media giant echo chambers of pre-established dogma. 

Are the thought leaders of media and social media really that dumb? 

Yes, they are. 

Tuesday
Feb072017

Really Dumb Superbowl Ads

Last time I checked the purpose of a Superbowl ad was to increase sales for your business. A Superbowl Ad costs millions, so lets do an ad that hurts our business said no one ever. But yet that is exactly what two ads did. 

The first begins with a stereotypical beer customer insulting the founder of Budweiser as he enters America. Of course, most of those who Budweiser is parodying do not oppose immigration, they oppose illegal immigration. There is a certain subset that those oppose all immigration, but it is small, 10% maybe. But even at 10%, why would Budweiser want to alienate that many potential beer drinkers? Not also the founder of Budweiser nodding at a black man, no stereotype was left unaired. 

Here is the ad: 

(Budweiser is doubling down and is buying extensive YouTube presence for these ads.) 

The second ad is for 84 Lumber. It is even worse as it highlights illegal immigration. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when this ad was pitched. It is like 84 Lumber does not actually know who its customers are. A big problem in the contractor and subcontractor area is the hiring of illegal aliens. If you are a contractor, and a potential customer of 84 Lumber, you may have just been underbid by a competitor who uses illegal labor. Your supplier favoring these illegal acts might influence which supplier you chose. Notice also the stereotype of women and children as illegals. 

I wonder how the "let's insult half of our customers" ploy is going to work for them? 

Friday
Jan272017

How Propaganda Works

The post as it appeared in Facebook
The original photo.
Besides filling out the double chin to massive proportions, the skin tone was changed to a pasty whitish pink along with a contrast adjustment to make the skin look reptilian. This is not going to stop.

 

Thanks to the No Agenda Podcast for pointing this out. As I have said many times, never forget that you are being played. 

Thursday
Jan262017

A CIA Without Columns

This speech apparently made the departing head of the CIA mad as Trump brought his own people with him to make sure the president had a friendly crowd. There are two ways of looking at this. The first is that at least Trump has the right enemies. The other is that this will harm the effectiveness of Trump as his government will war against itself. Here is an excerpt from his speech. 

Just so there is no question that Trump was on hostile territory, let me remind you how InfoGalactic defines 5th column. 

fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group—such as a nation or a besieged city—from within, usually in favor of an enemy group or nation. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Forces gathered in secret can mobilize openly to assist an external attack. This term is also extended to organized actions by military personnel. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force.

A CIA without a fifth column—now that would be an accomplishment.