Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mass Media Is Good for Propaganda -- Not the Truth

The Honolulu Star-Bulletin is running its usual letter of the day distortion that “despite the Bush Administration’s War on Terror, this country is not any safer than it was before 9/11” -- when any historian would be amazed that there indeed, hasn’t been another terrorist attack in the US in all that time.

Now with the Akaka-Case ready to move into full-blown manipulation and distortion, virtually nothing one reads in the daily newspapers now can be taken at face value, and the papers probably won’t recover their credibility after the elections are over. It’s just time for an inferior mode of information to pass into history -- as they would’ve done five years ago, but got one more bailout to continue its ragtag existence into oblivion and embarrassment.

It used to be argued that we needed two newspapers to ensure the integrity of the news but since the sources are identical and the methodology for fact-checking identical, it doesn’t matter if there is just one newspaper or ten -- if they’re all doing the same thing, in the same way. That is not diversity or choice but merely the same thing done ten times. So they come to believe that simply more is better -- rather than that better is something else entirely.

Thus, their solution to inflation is that there should be more inflation! That is, everybody should now demand to be paid more for the same or less work -- BECAUSE of inflation, without realizing, that is the CAUSE of inflation. In their world, nothing is connected to anything else; everything is arbitrary, and just wishful thinking makes it so -- and just saying anything they want and repeating it over and over again makes it true.

Maybe a hundred years ago, that was the best one could expect -- in a world in which information (news) was scarce. Now, one is far better off not relying on tainted sources of these types -- that the most astute consumers and processors of information have long recognized is manipulated and distorted to serve the purposes of people who either can’t tell the difference or deliberately want to mislead. It doesn’t really matter; one has to move on -- to better sources.

That brings us back to the original sources -- before the Age of Mass Media. A lot of people haven’t even learned that way of thinking because they grew up in the Age of Mass Media -- and have never learned anything else.

Before the Age of Mass Media, there were those who actually discovered the truth for themselves -- and shared it with others, including the mass media -- without intending to distort and manipulate the truth of anything. They were just interested in the truth -- and not manipulating the truth.

So people are kind of shocked when I just walk up to them, hand them my flyers and advise them to make up their own minds about how to vote in the coming elections. People seem to like and appreciate the difference.

4 Comments:

At August 18, 2006 6:52 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The unfortunate thing about the media, is that manipulation and deception have come to be regarded as their whole reason for being -- rather than the discovery and discussion of truth, which is the only worthwhile, meaningful human activity.

If one just speaks/writes the simple, straightforward, direct truth, these people are blown away -- and have no defenses for such an onslaught of reality.

 
At August 18, 2006 7:02 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

They’re probably consulting media experts right now, asking, “How can we fake authenticity and sincerity?”

 
At August 18, 2006 7:43 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

When people are not truly authentic, “political correctness” takes on huge significance for them, because they don’t have natural instincts and judgment in such matters -- and have to be told by experts what is proper and not, “creating” a need for mass media.

One of the great things about campaigning is that one actually meets and gets to know people -- if one allows oneself to, beyond, “Hi, how are you?” -- without caring or expecting a response from the other. For many people, especially bureaucrats, technocrats and the countless fragmented specialists, that’s all they know -- that the world is always divided into two sides -- rather than the whole picture.

When one can see the whole picture, he can put aside the argument that is the problem. That is the evolution of information processing beyond the presentation of the two sides of the argument. Old media is trapped in the idea that there must be an argument in order to generate any interest. Tht is what they call “drama” or “dysfunction.”

Healthy people look for solutions and not problems to be transfixed by. Certain personalities are drawn to certain occupations. Some like to argue endlessly -- and can’t understand why all their personal relationships are so contentious and destructive. Even if there are no problems, they would create one.

That the editors of the newspapers find such dysfunctional individuals fascinting representatives of society is a nightmare that should not be shared but treated for its antisocial and hostile impulses.

 
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