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).

Monday, February 22, 2016

Wither

     An old cliché states "truth is subjective."  Along with greater truth, individual verities must be determined.  At some degree, definitions are externally supplied. The individual must reconcile conflicts between inner and outer values for any hope in finding a place in the larger scheme of existence.  Nobody can do everything.  Powerlessness must be acknowledged and dealt with accordingly.  Most would rather turn a blind eye.  Lacking context, information may be manipulated to ensnare those unwilling or unable to determine its uses.  Gains and loses must be appropriately assessed for accurate conclusions regarding content.  Forced reliance upon interpreters must be resisted on every plane. A mouthpiece for vested interests will always affirm its world view to Maximum Advantage in all Things.  Education does not necessarily equate with intelligence.[1]  Uniformity atrophies the mind.  Discourse is a path to truth ignored when parroting talking heads.  Absent meaninglessness, anything inherently divisive is controlled.  Certain statements are discouraged by stakeholders with something to lose.  An objectionable or even repugnant notion may stimulate thought far greater than the comfortable or agreeable.  Unless overused, agitation techniques employed by propaganda can be very effective.  Excepting fanatics, agitprop campaign failures inoculate against eternal application.  Truth may only be stretched so far.  One must question oneself, or be content with fear and ignorance.  Unfortunately, academia is among the worst places to look for guidance.  Cloistered, pretentious and even parasitic, academia is dogmatic to the extreme of stupidity. Generalization is frowned upon and esteemed less than compartmentalized specialization.   Doctorates are all products.  Linkages remain unseen or are ignored.  The results are incorrect or incomplete notions.  Big money has invaded academic circles, thereby directing its course and encouraging ignorance beyond the unprofitable.  The arrogance is also sickening: academia digs its own grave.  If not for the tragedy of crushing student debt, their increasing irrelevance would be amusing—an indentured servant served less time.



[1] GWB is an easy example.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

One Learns Nothing

One learns nothing by digesting prepackaged data, but the prevalent anti-intellectualism masquerades stagnation as some sort of paradigm shift.  Commercial interests push this mental model as a means to keep consumers passive within a technological bubble.  This bubble, when it does break, will be orders of magnitude worse than simple economic meltdowns as it will be more than a disruption—it will destroy any remaining goodwill toward centralized systems.

Friday, January 01, 2016

Shopping

To suggest we go shopping in response to a national crisis inspires nothing. This nothingness allows societal apathy a foothold. Culture stagnates. The end result is decadence unto civilizational nihilism.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Die

RE: The huge, unexpected ethical question that self-driving cars will have to tackle.  The occupants of the car should die first.  They chose to ride in a self-driving car, so they should have to suffer the consequences of its failure.  As far as how to chose between the occupants of the car (as in who is sacrificed by its failure if there is a choice regarding impact location to the vehicle): the owner(s).

Monday, October 26, 2015

Risk

Risk can always be an opportunity for a sociopath.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Snake Oil

Key member of Swedish Academy of Sciences calls for immediate suspension of the “Nobel Prize for Economics”:
The Prize in contravention of the spirit of Nobel’s will Can contribute to increased corruption. Multiple independent research shows that those who study economics are more prone to corruption. And the behavior seems to be an effect of education. A price that risk contribute to increased corruption in the world is in conflict with the spirit of Nobel’s will, writes political science professor Bo Rothstein. 
[...] 
It is also problematic in light of Sweden distributes one of the world’s most prestigious scientific awards in the subject, namely the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, in everyday speech the Nobel Prize in economics. The price was not found in Alfred Nobel’s original testament of 1895 but were added by a donation from Sweden Riksbank in 1968. Responsible party for the dividend is the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Three more points:
  • What else can one expect from a traveling medicine show pedaling snake oil?
  • Of course it is corrupt, but there are different flavors, including intellectual.
  • An ideology masquerading as a science is inherently corrupt--why else would it need to parasitically attach itself to Nobel's legacy?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Is It Art?

Russia’s Propaganda Trolls become a power in cyberspace:
With the exposure of the Internet Research Center, it also appears that Russia is drawing on disinformation techniques used during the Soviet Union. One Russian propaganda scholar has referred to it as less of an information war as much as a war on information (“A Russian TV Insider Describes a Modern Propaganda Machine“). 
Regardless of the view, such activities have been successful in helping to oust governments or influence public behavior. This should be very telling, especially considering ongoing efforts between the two governments to try to gain mutual understanding on cyber security issues. One area that highlights this challenge is how security should be addressed in cyberspace.
Yes, but is it art?  If it is not art, how really effective is it?

Also, is the above an example of how writing about propaganda is (always) itself propaganda?

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Thought

Thought is not necessarily thinking.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Final Solutions

Final solutions are for failures.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

'Drain Bamage'

Rarefied air causes brain damage.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Narcissists

Sentiment may regard the removal of the human animal from nature as a positive development. Narcissists are always sentimental.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Maybe?

If alienation is a normal response to civilization and society, is it still alienation?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States:
Praise Allah, for soon every American city shall be plagued with disaster and hardship,” al-Zawahiri said in the video, which includes several minutes of footage of young, masked al-Qaeda militants casually sipping beverages as they thumb through the latest issues of Time and U.S. News And World Report. “The infidels have brought this pain and destruction upon themselves through their arrogance and callousness. Soon, the United States will watch in horror as its bridges crumble, its desperate citizens suffer in want of medicine and paying employment, and its once vast riches are reduced to naught. The righteous warriors among our ranks must now unite, get comfortable, and look on from afar at the calamity unfolding in the West.”

“We vow that we will not cease sitting around and laughing it up until America is reduced to rubble,” he continued.
We have met the enemy, and it is us.

2 Questions:
  • Why is The Onion now a source of real commentary?
  • Why is no one else saying the obvious?

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Foul Mouth

A foul mouth may hide a keen mind.