The Information Age: Blessing and / or Curse?

This is a real-life example of one of the really disturbing and I feel deadly kinks in society, and some thoughts on things we can do to get better. I had originally wanted to just point out the importance of information and a well-informed citizenry but the current environment kept sucking me deeper into the mudslinging muck.

********

The opposition…anyone with contrary views…is “evil” and “the enemy” and sure to wreak violence and destruction on our way of life. The media is all fake save one outlet, science is fake, expert global reports are fake, the world is fake. Victims are aggressors, liars and destroyers of good, honest people. Welcome to fall 2018, midterms circus.

Time to shine a bright spotlight on information overload and starvation, and information integrity or lack thereof. Mis and dis-information abounds. Gullible throngs who know no better or choose to ignore the obvious in deference to blindly following and buying blatant lies. Maybe that’s a really high-charged political cheap shot. While I’m at it, here’s another: not too many of those sheeple / minions / deplorables (there, got the name-calling out of the way) will bother reading this so there’s little chance of offending anyone of any importance (assumption: sheeple can’t / don’t read! Gee, this is really fun!)

Polarization surrounding emotionally charged issues is at an epidemic level, fueled largely by lousy, inaccurate, sometimes intentionally inflammatory messages. Sorry, not sorry for yet another political statement, and I’m not quite done….a major contributor to polarization and inflammation is the Instigator in Chief and the administration that seized power in 2016. OK, I’ll try really hard to crawl out of this political cesspool and stay out. A secret: some of that ranting was intentional, to make a point.

I remember a philosophy of Che Guevara’s, from way back in college (!). To control a society, control the education system and what people are taught, and the media…what people are continuously told. History has proven that to be a standard ploy from the fascist playbook. And that playbook is being run to perfection here in the twenty-teens both domestically and internationally.

Social media like Facebook and Twitter, and a profusion of bloggers….truth in that old saying “if it’s on the internet it must be true.” It’s a Propaganda War. Foreign governments are involved in US elections, and it’s not just Russia. The US populace is incredibly gullible and uninformed, and we’re terminally susceptible to all that propaganda.

Stakes are high. Our adversaries know that a divided society is weak and sick, easy prey for a hungry pack of wolves. That’s why I feel so strongly that our social ills will take us down before all the “thing” issues. I’d rather stay away from getting too political. But dadgum, it’s hard. “Blood Boiling, Counting to Ten” was a blog, modified and included here as an example of polarized spin doctor stuff. OK, call it propaganda. I lean hard to the left, and my prejudices are obvious now and then. Just to make a point, I’m intentionally letting my personal views slant the universal issue of simultaneous information fest and famine. So I’m begging forgiveness in advance.

The core issues are the pressing need for a better informed citizenry, and information integrity. It’s just my opinion, along with bunches of other libtard snowflakes, that right-leaning conservative media is one heck of a lot more tilted than the left-leaning mainstream media that is flamed as fake news. MSM reports current affairs it is those current affairs that are inflammatory and negative. Facts are facts. If you feel otherwise, and especially if you have high blood pressure or heart problems, please just skip this. Better yet, try to ignore the bias and look for the non-partisan good in the next section.

Blood Boiling, Counting to 10

…three different languages didn’t work, I must need a fourth.

I just saw a Trump / White House-connected Facebook post targeting recruits to join forces against “fake news”. And the recent story about Sinclair chain news anchors being required to read a prepared piece railing against “fake news” in wording direct from the Trump playbook. “Progressive snowflake libtards” everywhere are feeling the same pain I do over these overt attacks against independent media, free press, freedom of speech…a.k.a our First Amendment rights….and they’re are downright scary. And there are several state bills making peaceful protests illegal. It’s the 1st Amendment for good reason, and it’s under serious, continuous attack. Kinda like Mojo: we may not know our freedoms are disappearing until they’re gone.

Sane people are dumbfounded that so many can freely buy into the steady stream of blatant, easy to debunk, lies. To most conscious and breathing people around the world the US president is a notorious lie-peddler, the premier purveyor of mis / disinformation and outright stupid flaming falsehoods that are too easy to debunk. His, and our, domestic and international integrity is pretty much flushed down the toilet and people who want to know the truth are hard-pressed to find it.

Trust No One….it’s our current reality, will it become our legacy?

This attack on the vital democratic foundations of an independent press / free speech, and free thought along with an independent judiciary including the FBI….“wow”. The most sophisticated intelligence community in the world is ignored, choosing instead to spew made up stuff and Fox sound bytes …he’s a really smart guy, you know. The smartest. Anything negative about him is lies and fake news, and he tries to insult and bully his way through undeniably true but unflattering information and kill the messengers in the process. He’s getting away with it, his base loves it and the Repub cohort has (so far) protected him! Mutts licking the hand, showing unconditional adoration to a cruel master, even through all the beatings.

End of Rant, What Now?

OK, that was an over-the-top example of the bile-dripping polarization that’s out there in abundance. See disclaimer at the beginning of “Count to 10”. Regardless whether I feel that way, it’s an example, OK? The very serious point: there’s growing noise about our democratic system being a completely corrupt failure. Won’t go into the why’s and what for’s here, it is what it is. The big question: can either party clean up its act enough to be considered worth keeping around? Or is it time for a third party? My opinion, shared by a growing number: We the People deserve better choices in representation, and We the People demand real representation for our votes.

We the People need to get OUR act together to stop this madness. There’s no Lone Ranger on his or her way. How can we identify those candidates that stand for what we need? They’re too busy slinging mud to have any ad $$$ and time left for real talking points! Now THAT would be some cool campaign reform: outlaw negative attack ads. Do not allow spin doctoring of an opponent’s positions. Demand truth in advertising!

Something a whole lot more in our control: gather and disseminate real information.  Questions du Jour:

How can the general population get the information needed to make quality decisions? What Can WE Do, Here and Now?

Salting the Idea Mine

Real information is a powerful lever: valid sources, clear messages, meaningful subject matter builds knowledge, understanding, awareness, involvement. The right people cannot refuse to do something. But what about the hard core “other side”? Cut ‘em loose, minimize losses, refuse to engage in mindless fight-provoking pissing matches. There will be no winners, only losers. The “other side” has chosen to be on the wrong side of history, arguing is a waste of energy. There’s plenty to do without them, plenty of good people to cover their absence. Choose our battles wisely.

ACTION: collaborate on building an anonymous information clearinghouse, a closed group FB page? A source of real information that is snowballed out via individual social networks. Discuss elsewhere, just gather information, clarifying and validation when needed. Collaborating contributors all have different favorite sources, so leverage strength in numbers. When sharing, tag with the mantra “share if you care” (or whatever) to encourage broad dissemination.

Also, serve as hub / point of entry to various progressive movements / organizations, featuring only valid players! Have contact information available and occasionally promote them.

I’ve been obsessed with the notion of building “Caring Communities”, leveraging human development to grow the Greater Good and build a sustainable future. Grand Visions die hard, and CC hasn’t gone away. But baby steps are more in order…right-size the grand notion to something like Citizens with Conscience. We need a healthy heart and soul before we can truly care about one another, and we’re running in quicksand in that respect. Sure, there are plenty of good souls out there, but as a whole humanity pretty much sucks.

A community with conscience requires shared values and ethics, strong and healthy norms…human mojo. That’s my real passion. But we also must be well-informed so we can make intelligent decisions, have civil and meaningful dialogue with others, get more involved in making a difference. The human mojo thing will take some serious work, but improving our information base is just busy work. So here’s the latest….

ACTION: create a network of sources and individuals serving as a behind-the-scenes watchdog / information-sharing group. BIG objective: grow and support peaceful resistance through a guerilla organization that can withstand the really nasty assault that would be sure to come if the group had a high profile and was “found out” by the Bad Guys.

This sounds highly subversive, cloak and dagger. Serious point: it’s a good idea to be very careful in publicly espousing crazy goals and values! Email and PM’s may be a good idea? Shared google docs?

 Mojo Group Goals

  • Shine a bright and constant spotlight on the political and private sector power base. If they won’t volunteer transparency, we can help see through the bull;
  • Hold policy shapers and decision makers immediately, publicly, loudly accountable to truly represent their constituents / the general public rather than special interests and big business;
  • Increase social, political, environmental, economic awareness and commitment to change;
  • Skip the Spin! Let the quality and integrity of the information and its sources stand on their own merit;
  • Disseminate credible information to group members, to share via their personal channels.
  • Become a credible one-stop portal for quality information;
  • Promote good news as well as “gotcha” news; identify and call out fake bullshit and develop counterpoints to share. Not another Snopes, just a focused source of independent, fact-intensive validation.

That’s a Wrap

The core issue has no slant, no bias: we have a pressing need for a better informed citizenry, and information integrity. We need credible sources of factual information. We need a much better informed population that pays attention to those credible facts. We need objective, non-partisan, open-minded and grown up discussion and we need to rediscover the awesome power of coming to mutually agreeable conclusions. We especially need to be allowed to come to our own conclusions without spin doctors brainwashing and gaslighting us.

Pipe dream, or high potential? One man’s “vision” is delusional, need a compelling case to change! Imagination, innovation, creativity, passion….we used to be pretty good at it. Let’s try it again.

The Frog’s Pot is Near Boiling

Global warming…a crisis that is one critical example of a real need for information flow. Copy, paste, share or issue your own manifesto…it’s tipping point time and doing nothing is not an option!

Last night I heard an in-depth report on the new dire warning released on the status of global warming. This is not sky-is-falling or conjecture or “maybe” stuff. IT IS OUR GUARANTEED FUTURE, AND IT’S NOT A FIFTY YEAR PROPOSITION. At stake is sustainability of life on earth, survival of our species. The need for significant and across the board action is NOW. Much of the world is on board, the US is not. We’re headed with breakneck speed in the wrong direction, with special interests and their bribe money securing dangerous deregulations and incentives for the fossil fuel industry, and buying the sabotage of alternative energy’s ability to compete with the fossils’ monopoly on providing for our energy needs.

We cannot wait to dump Trump and his gang in 2020, we must neuter the madmen in the midterms.

Global warming should be THE hot button that triggers a massive midterm progressive wave. Or blue if that’s the only game in town, although the democrats’ non-platform is not exactly impressive. But the media and the public are so totally diverted that this species-ending threat is getting no attention. There is no clear, compelling case being made for immediate action, no message that targets everyday people…voters…who need to wake up NOW. We need to-the-point, simple, fact-filled and credible, no-holds-barred and rightfully scary quick-hitters specifically targeting the concerns of key groups of voters, especially new or non-voters. Examples:

  1. Parents and grandparents need to see a clear picture of the dismal life, if any, their kids and grandkids will have;
  2. Young people need to understand the drastic, life-threatening changes they will experience in the prime of their lives;
  3. Caring, thinking, feeling human beings who want to see the human race continue still need to fully understand the clear and present danger, and need to wake up and fully engage in the battle.

But WHO is going to champion this? No time to wait. The task of crafting and delivering the right urgent message NOW is daunting, the challenges and barriers of doing so are overwhelming. There are deniers who will not change, there are self-serving people in power who have been deafened by the roar of money and special interests. Forget about them. Data clearly shows that broad involvement is the remedy—a huge army of untapped potential voters will easily sweep them away…IF we are energized and organized and vote.

This is not open for discussion and analysis. Deniers, save your breath. Sane people don’t have time to mess with you, you are irrelevant. The frog’s pot is bubbling, it won’t be long before it boils. We need to jump out. If we don’t act now, starting with the midterms, nothing else will matter.

More Info? Search: new UN study on global warming

Good background article…  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report

What YOU can do….https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/climate-change-what-you-can-do-campaigning-installing-insulation-solar-panels

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s