Sunday, October 22, 2017

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias is an inevitable byproduct of being immersed in the collective products of mass media. The author of Can Theatre Change Your Mind? describes anecdotally how deep it runs in some people, and does correctly attributes the entertainment industry as a vector for propaganda that reinforces confirmation bias.  He also mentions the belief, as I've noted elsewhere numerous times, that people almost always believe the influences of propaganda is a condition that plagues others, but never themselves.  They already know the truth, thank you very much, and cannot be told otherwise.

The author then expresses dismay that his theatrical counter-propaganda, which of course he fails to see as just another form of propaganda, does not have the desired effect of changing anyone's mind.  In my experience, theatrical people tend to have a conceit that, for some reason, their medium is not just another form of entertainment.  This supposed exception is usually based on the fact that the performers are in the same room as the audience.  Yet, if this were the case, one would expect musical performances to sway people into chasing their beliefs, and experience has shown this is not the case.  Recorded music probably carries more weight, since one can actually focus on what is being said--but once again, it is mainly an avenue to reinforce existing believes i.e. confirmation bias (even if it all boils down to "fuck the system").  The snake always devours its own tail.

I will give the author credit for mentioning that counter-propaganda might be useful for confronting those who have committed horrific deeds in confronting the reality of their crimes, but for the passive observer the weight is simply not there.

Perhaps, actually talking to people, as opposed to talking at them, would have the desired impact?  Unfortunately, despite an attempt to converse with people after a theatrical presentation (which is, after-all, just another part of a night out), that route does not seem to occur to the author.  Likely, this is due to his own confirmation biases, which sees the theatre as something more than something to do with one's free-time.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Conformity

A nonconformist will often find realization of nonconformist desires by forcing others to conform.  Thus do rebels become dictators.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Manipulation

See This Is How Manipulation Is Used in Today’s Product Design for a summary of techniques used to push sales.  These same techniques could be used for political campaigns and other forms of propaganda.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Seldom Defeat

Defeat is seldom more assured than when self-inflicted. But then what of martyrdom?

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Dying Days of Liberalism

Suggested reading: The Dying Days of Liberalism:How Orthodoxy, Professionalism, and Unresponsive Politics Finally Doomed a 19th-century Project

I think decadence is ultimately killing political liberalism.  However, social liberalism is still kicking, but its time will come.  It has become too reactive in terms of economics for anything else.  Economic insecurity is the bane of social justice.

At the same time, ravaged by the same decadence, social conservatism appears to be largely extinct.  Political conservatism is still a force, but will meet its final reckoning as well.  It's reactionary impulses cause it to ignore basic economic realities.  Economic insecurity is the bane of tradition.

Donald Trump, a thoroughly decadent public figure, embodies this overall downward trajectory.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Emotional Spin

John Robb offers The Race to Weaponize Empathy to discuss emotional spin as applied to the news (beyond typical marketing).  "[People] see all facts within a social context and that context is identified by the emotional context attached to that fact."  In a fragmented society, people go to a news source to find out how to feel about a particular fact.  Hence, the uproar over "fake news" as the elite do not approve of those particular feelings.

The thought police have become the emotion police, which is much more difficult to control than simple access to information. (Hence, the desperation.  The result?  More fake news.)

But what about outright lies?

Monday, January 09, 2017

Broken

Being no fan of political parties, I enjoy mocking the losers (and winners, too).  As was true four years ago, I find it is more entertaining (to me) to do so in song:

More

If you lose to Donald Trump, you really deserve nothing but mockery.  How anyone can take Democrats for anything but corrupt and incompetent is telling.  For people who told everyone how "smart" they are, they really are not. I also find celebrity arrogance telling. They do not seem to understand their condemnation is an endorsement. I suppose it is all one can expect from people who surround themselves with lackeys and sycophants.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Images

An images may comprise/contain multiple symbols, thus making it something different than the sum of its parts.  Relationships are cause and effect.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sand

Consciousness is more than a heap of sand.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Back At It

It's been awhile since I've lasted posted but I will be getting back at it soon.  After changing jobs, which may or may not be related (since I am less disgruntled), I have been busy with my new sound lately, which combines punk with jazz themes, which I call "Punk Jazz" (which is really neither).  I've been releasing a song (or more if different versions are involved) a week or so since September, which is pretty darn prolific for me.  The adapters for my guitar pedals broke, so I could no longer produce my usual nonsense, and I actually tried playing for once.

Here's a sample:

In general, the vocals are my first or second attempt at writing the song lyrics, which is sort of like scat but not with the skill.  I really do not have the finger dexterity to do better with stringed instruments, and drums are just too fucking loud (and most drummers are insane), so I produce percussion effects on a synth (which is more about timing than skill).  I can write real music if I try, but it would sound much better if skilled musicians played the parts.  I know how to play multiple instruments, but I am certainly no master at anything.  I have learned DIY for sound engineering.  I suppose I am a song writer and engineer more than anything.

Lately I've had more fun with music than the printed word, but I am beginning to run out of steam (after writing and producing an album's worth of songs in about 8 weeks--the time was better spent than paying much attention to the elections anyway).

Hear more at Drunk And Armed.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Broken

Everything is Broken is one of the better written explanation concerning the massive security contained within pretty much every computing devise, but fails to mention the one method that will protect your data on your computing: pulling the plug.  If you are not connected, you can't be hacked.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Political Nihilism

"Here is the ultimatum of our camp. What can be smashed must be smashed; whatever will stand the blow is sound, what flies into smithereens is rubbish; at any rate, hit out right and left, no harm will or can come of it."

-Dmitri Pisarev
Russian Nihilis
Link

Friday, June 10, 2016

Chinese Propaganda

After a long hiatus...

China says its propaganda just isn’t strong enough caught my eye.  It seems that not enough people in China are believing whatever the Communist Party is pushing these days. I find it amusing that a country that has embraced capitalism (albeit state controlled) is still pushing Marxism at its universities. It is interesting that China had one of the few governments left standing that still refers to "propaganda" when elsewhere the term has a negative context.  I also noted the article said nothing about the impact of so many Chinese being educated abroad.  Does this mean, when their efforts fail, they will prevent students from going to foreign colleges and universities (which was the case right after the Tienanmen Square movement was crushed).