You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Media’ category.

media

Professional entertainers cannot be the end of your disatification with the system.  Organize, agitate, and make a difference with people who share the same beliefs.  It is the only way to change society.

 

 

neo_liberalism  Much has happened in the world in the past few months. Especially since November 8, when the “left” or the “progressives” in the USA and indeed the world have been crapping their pants about some orange skinned person with homunculus like hands winning the seat of most powerful person in the world. While as concerning as this is to me (it really is), what has been more concerning to me has been how the Democratic Party and it’s supporters have been acting even before the election and their actions since. What I mean by that is, what difference does it make if Trump is in power if the alternative to him is no different or perhaps worse in some ways.

Enter Caitlin Johnstone into my radar a few weeks ago. Not only is she saying everything I have been noticing going on with the progressive side of the USA, but she does it with style and a flair that is beyond my writing skills. Her voice needs to be amplified by people who feel that the left has been co-opted by the neo-liberals in a drive to make the choice between neo-liberal and ultra-neo-liberal.

Here are some excerpts of what I love about her:

Caitlin Johnstone on the corporate media:

  “It’s been a trippy last few days, and if you’ve been listening to mainstream media it’s even trippier because everything’s on fire and we’re all about to die. In real life though, the world is still turning, the sun is still shining, and Republicans are just doing a somewhat milder version of the same idiotic dance they’ve always done. We’re essentially getting the same anti-science, anti-environment, pro-billionaire schtick we would’ve gotten had any other Republican won the presidency, minus the wars and predatory trade deals that the neocons love.

  This is hardly the goose-stepping, minority-incinerating dystopian apocalypse that the establishment media was promising us in the event of a Trump win. They’re still trying to paint it as though their alarmist prophecies have come true, but they have not. Sure it’s weird and stupid and kind of uncomfortable, but we are unquestionably living in a safer world than we would have been under a President Clinton. This is important for progressives to notice, because by cranking up the alarmism to eleven and freaking out about literally everything Donald Trump says and does, the neoliberal establishment is setting us up for their next move”

This safer world being talk about is because the No-Fly-Zone in Syria is something Candidate Clinton routinely said she would impose. In debates even.

Caitlin Johnstone on the Democratic Party’s refusal to own up to their betrayal of Sanders and refusal to change:

  “To this day, the elites of the Democratic party are doing everything they can to avoid addressing the DNC’s brazen assault on American democracy the way everyone knows they should. In any sort of functional democratic political system this outrageous scandal would have been met with unequivocal condemnation from the top to the bottom, with the President personally overseeing a complete overhaul of the Committee and all the party’s leaders apologizing profusely to the American people and doing everything they could to make it better, including a complete re-do of the primary under close, stringent oversight. Instead they’re babbling about Russian hackers and trying desperately to get the average American to care about Kremlin operatives more than they care about having to work three jobs to make ends meet in the Walmart economy.”

Caitlin Johnstone on just how awesome Tulsi Gabbard is:

  “Gabbard somehow refrained from unleashing the torrent of shrieking, profanity-laced vitriol I definitely would have blasted him with had I been in her shoes, maintained her composure without batting an eye, and patiently explained why Tapper is stupid and wrong about everything. She swatted aside the limp pundit’s feeble protestations as she finally spoke of her findings in Syria, the people’s unbelievable suffering at the hands of the terrorist insurgents, their confusion as to why the United States is backing terrorist factions, and the fact that she did not meet a single person who believed that there were moderate rebels in Syria. It’s definitely worth a watch; here’s a hyperlink if you missed it the first time.”

On why Obama doesn’t deserve special credit for commuting Chelsey Manning’s sentence:

  “In terms of what’s left of his legacy, all that Obama gets from me is one less thing to hate him for. When I’m going to bed at night, there will be one less thing on my extremely long list of evil things that he has done for me to rage about. He’s still the guy who got Chelsea Manning tortured and nearly killed. He’s still the guy who chose to let her rot in isolation long after the United Nations special rapporteur on torture Juan E. Mendez stated unequivocally that Manning’s treatment was “cruel, inhuman and degrading” and after 295 legal scholars signed a letter declaring that she was being “detained under degrading and inhumane conditions that are illegal and immoral.” He’s still the guy who left her in that hell hole after not one but two suicide attempts. He’s still the guy who promised to protect whistleblowers and have the most transparent administration in history, then went on to prosecute more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined. The man is evil, and his ceasing to inflict more evil in this one particular area does not change that. He’s probably only doing it to bait Assange out of political asylum anyway.”

And finally Caitlin Johnstone on what I consider to be the actual problem, the neo-liberal takeover of the progressive parties in western democracies:

  “The Democrats had taken a severe beating starting with the neoliberal establishment’s evisceration of Jimmy Carter back in the late seventies and early eighties, but Bill Clinton figured out that you can still rake in big bucks from the donor class and give them everything they want in exchange as long as you pay lip service to the things the political left cares about. Under Slick Willy’s leadership, the so-called New Democrats took on the mantra of “fiscally conservative, socially liberal,” which was another way of saying they don’t care what you do in your bedroom or what color your skin is, as long as you help them crush you to death with the Walmart economy and sell your life blood to Wall Street.”

I hope these paragraphs that I have shared has encouraged you to give Caitlin a visit. She’s currently talking about how to retake the Democratic Party and why it’s important to attack the neo-liberals on the left rather than on the right. I hope you find her as awesome as I do!

 

 

 

 

How many people are well-read enough to see what is happening? The assault on journalism and journalistic values in the name of bloody acquiescence to power grinds onward. A excerpt from Robert Fisk’s article “We Do Not Live in a “Post Truth” World, We Live in a World of Lies and We Always Have.”

“Today, you can not only deny history – the Armenian and Jewish Holocausts, Anne Frank’s diary, the gas chambers of Auschwitz – you can also tell fibs, big or small, about almost anything which annoys you. The Middle East, with our journalistic help, is deep in the same false world. Every dictator is now fighting “terrorism” – along with the US, Nato, the EU, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran, the entire Arab Gulf (minus Yemen, for rather embarrassing reasons), China, Japan, Australia and – who knows? – Greenland as well.

But justice is not on the menu. This is a word which few politicians, statesmen, even journalists, any longer use. Neither Trump nor Clinton, nor the Brexiteers, have talked about justice. I’m not talking about justice for victims of “terror”, or Brits who think they’ve been cheated by the EU, but real justice for entire nations, for peoples, for the Middle East, even – dare I mention them? – for Palestinians. They do not live in a “post-truth” world. They’ve been living among other people’s lies for decades.

The only effect of last year’s political earthquakes is that we shall feel less guilty in repeating all these lies. They have now – like war – become normal, a “diversity of perspectives”, part of a familiar, fraudulent world in which untruthfulness has acquired a “weird authenticity”.

Trump is Hitler. Trump is Jesus. National suicide is reincarnation. We may not yet have understood this. But there are many in the Middle East who will understand us. Maybe they’ll have the last laugh.”

Check your sources, use some of your time to evaluate the merit of an argument being made in the media, as a citizen it is your duty to inform yourself to the best of your ability as to how the world works and how to change it toward the better.

 

Author dudes, screen write dudes… Hell! Dudes of the creative class – watch and learn an important lesson that you’ve been missing well, since forever.

rey1 rey2 rey3

Females beautifully ‘ruining’ Star Wars one movie at a time. :)

 

H/T to Rey Walker for the animated gifs.

One Star Wars movie with a female lead?  Unacceptable – but two?  The male tears are flowing strong and fast on the comment section of the Rogue One trailer.  Of course, someone had to make it official, so here a few updated movie posters featuring the sentiments of dudes who feel keenly unrepresented in Star Wars media.

 

rg1 rg2 rg3 rg4 rg5 rg6 rg7 rg8

Which leads us to perhaps the most prescient tweet in the twitterverse…

bra

From Counterpunch:

 

“Jill Stein, the Green Party’s nominee for president, has been the sudden target of attacks from all corners of online media since the official end of Bernie Sanders’ campaign at the Democratic National Convention. Outlets like the Washington Post, New York Magazine and Gizmodo have assaulted Stein by using out-of-context quotes to assail her, wrongly, for being anti-vaccination and anti-WiFi, which is a code for being “anti-science.” This allows us a unique opportunity to confirm the structural role of the media as hypothesized by Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman in Manufacturing Consent: that the media is a propaganda arm for the elite and powerful, and is used to condition us to accept the bounds of socio-political discourse as set by the ruling class. It also shows us the desperate need we have for an alternative media culture to counteract mainstream discourse.

The attack on Stein (and not, conveniently, on Gary Johnson), is linked to the need by the elite to de-legitimize A.) critics of neoliberal policies and B.) potential alternatives to the political status-quo. Trump and Clinton have had and will have no discussion about thirty years of neoliberalism and austerity. Sanders gave a voice to those within the Democrats who were willing to question, but since his defeat momentum on the left has shifted to Stein and the Green Party. It is, granted, still early, but the outpouring of support means there is a possibility the left could begin to regroup outside the Democratic Party. Real success for Stein could mean a permanent presence on the national stage for the left, to which a president Clinton or Trump would have to answer and which would be able to build an entirely different ideological discourse in the United States.”

The treatment of Jill Stein should be an interesting application of the propaganda model.  What we’ve seen during the election cycle confirms much of what Herman and Chomsky hypothesized – issues that affect the public are not being discussed, there is an acceptable line of questions, answers, and responses that are allowed in the media – the rest are swept to the margins and actively ignored.

Is there any wonder left as to why the American people look so dimly on their Congressional representatives?  They are supposed to speak for the people, yet strangely enough, once elected other interests seem to take precedence.

You can read about the Propaganda Model of Herman and Chomsky here.

cogntivebiasDon’t feel bad about this, we are all in the same boat when it comes to making bad decisions or being unduly influenced.  The science behind advertising and persuasion has come a long ways, and knowing how they manipulate you and the rest of the public is valuable knowledge.  James Garvey lists three of the ways we are vulnerable to persuasion the Representative Heuristic, the Availability Heuristic, and the Anchoring Effect.  Before we can discuss these systems though a brief overview of how we think and the short cutting our brain does that makes life generally go well but not always thoughtfully.

[…] by distinguishing between two kind of thinking:fast, automatic, intuitive thinking and slow, reflective, rational thinking.  You can imagine that these two kinds of mental activities are the work of two parts of your mind, two systems that swing into different kinds of action to accomplish different tasks.  The part that is responsible for first kind of thinking is called system 1 or the Automatic System, and the part the engages in slower, more careful thought is called system 2 of the Reflective System. 

     System 1 operates quickly and automatically,  This feels instinctive and intuitive, and it requires no effort on your part.  System 1 is in charge when you orient yourself to a sudden sound, wince involuntarily when you see something that disgusts you, read anger in the lines on someone’s face, and recognize written words in your native tongue – it all just clicks fluently and automatically, without you thinking about it at all. 

   The work of System 2, the Reflective system, takes effort, an act of deliberate concentration on your part.  Your deliberative efforts are limited and cannot be sustained for very long without degradation, a phenomenon called ego depletion.   System 2’s work is voluntary, slower that your gut reactions, and associated with the experience of choice and agency. 

[…]

   The two systems interact with each other in a number of surprising ways,  System 1 typically engages in a kind of constant monitoring, throwing up a series of impressions and feelings that System 2 might endorse, ignore, check, focus on, act upon, or simply go along with.  Much of the time System 2 is in a low power state, aroused only when the Automatic system encounters something it cannot handle. 

[…]

  Our mental resources are therefore limited.  It is an effort to bring System 2 into play, and it can be overloaded by trying to do too much.  So evolution has taught us a number of shortcuts, rules of thumb or heuristics, which conserve our mental energies and serve us well most of the time.

[…]

  But it also means that we go wrong in systematic, predictable ways – we are constitutionally susceptible to cognitive biases, and in turn, we can be nudged.

[…]

   We use shortcuts to arrive at judgments too.  […] It’s a large part of the theoretical framework behind contemporary persuasion, and it’s already shaping our world and changing our lives. 

 

   Consider this description of Steve. 

   ‘Steve is very shy and withdrawn, invariably helpful, but with little interest in people, or in the world of reality.  A meek and tidy soul, he has a need for order and structure, and a passion for detail’

   What do you think Steve does for a living?  Is he more likely to be a farmer, salesman, airline pilot, librarian, or physician?  Once you have an answer to that question , ask yourself what job he is least likely to have.

[…]

    Very many people, including me when I first read that description , conclude that Steve is most likely a librarian – how could this shy guy like that possibly be a salesman? – and in coming to this conclusion we make use of what Kahneman and Tversky call the representativeness heuristic.   We let our automatic faculties rip and take a short cut to an answer.  If one slows down and thinks about it, though, there are a lot more farmers than librarians in the world.  That’s extremely pertinent information if you are trying to guess which job on a list is most likely for anybody, and it should lead us to conclude that it’s most likely Steve is a farmer, maybe a shy and withdrawn farmer, but still a farmer.  The probability that Steve is a librarian is instead assessed by the extent to which the description of Steve matches up with or is representative of stereotype of a librarian we have in our heads. 

[…]

  We do this entirely automatically, and it has an effect on a host of judgments – how likely we think politicians are to be good leaders, how likely a new business is to succeed, and how likely our doctor is to be competent. 

[…]

   People who understand persuasion will take care to fit the right stereotype and make it easier for us to come to conclusions about them automatically. 

 

A second set of biases result from what Kahneman and Tversky call the availability heuristic.  When we think about how likely some even is, we’re affected by how readily examples come to mind. 

[…]

brain   We are likely to over-estimate the number of wayward politicians, shark attacks and meltdowns at nuclear plants because we can probably easily recall instance of such things.  The problem is that how easily we can recall something has less to do with how likely or common or worrying an occurrence is and more to do with what we happen to have heard about in the news recently and how striking that news was to us.  The news you choose to watch therefore has a lot of power over you,  The stories it repeats reinforce your susceptibility to the availability effect. 

[…]

   We over-react at first, then under-react as time goes on.  […]  Because of its salience, we think homicide is more common that suicide, but it isn’t.  In fact, Americans are more likely to take their own lives than be murdered or die in a car crash, but because murder and car accidents are more newsworthy, dramatic and available that suicide, we concern ourselves more with home alarm systems and airbags than the signs of depression. 

   A final kind of bias identified by Kahneman and Tversky, perhaps the most interesting and difficult to accept of the three, is called the anchoring effect.  When people first think about a number and try to estimate an unknown quality, the initial number affect their guess, anchors it – the estimate they make tends to stay near by.  Again, the rule of thumb in play isn’t too bad a guide, and we use it all the time.  What’s the population of Pittsburgh? If you don’t know, but you do know that Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania, and it has about 1.5 million people in it, you might feel able to guess about Pittsburgh.  It’s certainly smaller than Philadelphia – maybe it’s half the size, so perhaps Pittsburgh has a population of few than 750,000,  Maybe 600,000?

    anchoringThere are two very weird facts about this familiar process of guessing a quantity,  First we tend to undercook the adjustments we make from the original guess.  Once we have a number and begin adjusting in the direction we think is right, we tend to stay too close to the anchor, possibly because once we find ourselves in uncertainty, we can’t think of a good raise to carry on, so we play it safe and stop too soon.  Pittsburgh is smaller that Philadelphia, so we adjust downwards, but how far downwards?  In fact, this example we stayed much too close to the anchor, as we usually do.  Just 300,000 people live in Pittsburgh.

    Second, it doesn’t matter where the first figure comes from, it will still anchor our estimates, even it has nothing at all to do with the domain in question.  According to at least one understanding of what’s going on in such cases, sometimes System 2 is in charge, finding what it hopes to be a reasonable anchor and adjusting off it to estimate an unknown quantity.  But sometimes System 1 gets hooked on an anchor and freely associates, without our conscious control, and the cascade of associations ends up affecting our later estimate, whether it’s reasonable or not. 

   Tversky and Kahneman illustrated this second kind of anchoring with a rigged roulette wheel – it showed numbers from 0 to 100 but it actually stopped on either 10 or 65.  They spun the wheel and asked a group of students to write the number down, and then answer two questions.

   ‘Is the percentage of African nations among the UN members larger or smaller than the number you just wrote?’

  ‘What is your best guess of the percentage of African nations in the UN?’ 

    The average guess of those who saw the number 10 was 25 percent.  The average guess of those who saw the number 65 was 45 percent.  A roulette wheel is not a particularly informative thing if you’re trying to work out how many African nations are members of the UN, but still, those who saw the high number guessed higher than those that saw the low number.  Even ludicrous anchors have an effect on us”

-James Garvey.  The Persuaders pp. 55 – 66

 

Yeah, so being wary of your System 1 answers is probably a good thing.  Bad news for the anchoring effect, as even when you’re told about it, it still works on you. :/

hindsight

 

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Contact Info

Need to send me email? I have a infrequently monitored email account. Reach me at : arbourist at outlook dot com.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 330 other followers

Progressive Bloggers

Categories

February 2017
M T W T F S S
« Jan    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  

Archives

Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

Revive the Second Wave

gender-critical sex-negative intersectional radical feminism

Trans Animal Farm

The Trans Trend is Orwellian

Princess Henry of Wales

Priestess Belisama

miss guts.

just a girl on a journey

Thomas Clynchon

The future is female

writing by renee

Trigger warning: feminism, women's rights

RANCOM!

Happily Retired

twanzphobic since forever

• • • • it's mocktacular! • • • •

Godless Cranium

Random musings of a godless heathen

freer lives

A socialist critique of the transgender phenomenon

Centering Women

A radical feminist page made for women only

radicalkitten

radical Elemental feminism

yumicpcake

A fine WordPress.com site

Feminist Twitches

Gender, Culture, Food, and Travel

RANCOM!

Happily Retired

Madam Nomad

Notes on the Journey

A Radical TransFeminist

when I said "fuck the patriarchy", I didn't mean it literally

Women's Space

Re-Member the Past, Seize Today, Dream the Future

The Colour of Pomegranates

Screaming into the Void

Finally, A Feminism 101 Blog

Frequently Answered Questions

Cloak Unfurled

Life is a journey. Let us meet at the intersection and share a story.

gendercriticaldad

Fallout from my Peak Trans

Dead of Winter

Bitter Cold Truth from a Bisexual, Gender Critical, Almost Conservative Catholic

RADICAL THOUGHTCRIME

feminist heresy in an age of gender worship

Women’s Liberation Radio News

WLRN: A Radical Feminist Media Collective

UVic Womyn's Centre

bring back the women's centre

Joys of Joel

The Poetry of My Life through My Writings and Journeys

Sex and Gender

A Beginner's Guide

Coalition of the Brave

A Voice against the Darkness

Root Veg

dig deeper

TERF is a slur

Documenting the abuse, harassment and misogyny of transgender identity politics

Revolting Europe

On Europe, the left, labour and social movements

OffGuardian

because facts really should be sacred

shrikecentral

The Killer Songbird

a rain and a gale

Feminism, mental health and stickin' it to the man

Wolf Woman of the Northern Woods

radical feminism - female liberation from male domination.

~Burning Woman~

This WordPress.com site is for thoughts from "the other side"

Alicen Grey

hello, loveling.

%d bloggers like this: