how to think vs What to think...

Discussion in 'Media' started by gslack, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. gslack
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    gslack Senior Member

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    A few thousand years ago we had to rely on our ability to think critically every second of every day just to survive. In fact up until a few decades ago we had to rely on critical thinking 1000x more than we do today.

    The reasons for this are quite simple really. First we don't need to think critically for ourselves anymore, modern society and technology have taken the comprehension out of the process and given us ready made styles of thinking and prepared processes of thought. For instance how many of us really know how the data exists in our computer when we aren't messing with it? I have setup my own linux router and firewall my entire home and office network but I have no clue how a silicon wafer can be more accurate with numbers than even the most gifted mathematicians. And thankfully I don't have to understand this to use a PC.... But then again that is the problem isn't it...

    We have the magic idiot box in the corner which gives us this new streamlined process of what to think and never mind the the how. I am as guilty as anyone of this, and hold myself no higher than any other. However I do see the problem inherent with this technological modern life. If an ability is not used, it will eventually disappear.

    200 years ago you couldn't go to a town anywhere and not find at least one blacksmith. Today you are hard pressed to find a proper welder much less a forge man. When the old west was explored and settled here in the US, all the houses were built by the occupants and their neighbors. Today most of them are purchased as a kit which is stuck together like a Lego set and almost none of them are built by the occupants themselves. Hell most people can't even patch their own roof anymore. Sure we have gained a lot but at what cost?

    Today we have a set and streamlined version of nearly everything for nearly every body. And the Media is no exception. You want a socialistic everybody is the same kind of news reporting? Well then turn on Democracy NOW!. You want a not quite so obvious socialistic news with a bit more flash and theater? Well then turn on MSNBC. How about a call to your patriotic American side? Well then FOX news is your channel.

    All of these are designed to fill a niche and very little else. All of them tend to report the news but each has its own little twist added to it. They call themselves news and or fair and balanced or whatever. But the reality is they are designed to tell things how they want you to believe them. Its a show not unlike a theater production or movie. They have a script, and they play the parts assigned to them.

    Ever notice how if you watch FOX news the majority of the commercials you see will be business and finance based? Or how about if you watch MSNBC the vast majority of ads will be based on "things" to purchase to become more or better or socially conscious or environmental awareness types of products? This is not a random occurrence or a luck of the draw kind of thing by any measure. It is deliberate and contrived to appeal to their audience base or niche.

    if you wanted to sell your new windmill or solar panel technology would you even bother going to FOX networks for day to day advertising? No I doubt it, you would most likely go to MSNBC or something along those lines. And if you were wanting to get to a market investor for your new investment bank you would go straight to FOX first. That is the reality of media and PR these days.

    Nowadays, every marketing and PR rep has read the works of Bernays either directly or indirectly through his training and education in the field. Bernays was the original master of PR and he wrote books about how to manipulate masses in a manner and scale no one had thought of before. Bernays was a nephew of Freud and used his studies on human psychology and psychiatry to create his methods. And those methods can be seen as soon as we turn on the magic box.

    I know we all like to think the talking media heads are just simply like-minded individuals speaking their mind. But in reality although they may actually believe what say, the fact is they are being used to sell an ideology to the masses. And as far as I am concerned, if the process or reasoning is flawed, than the end result is just as flawed if not more so.

    A popular phrase for today has been "the ends justify the means".. Well I think its a twisted way to excuse the bad in what someone does. Hitler felt the ends would justify his means, but today we see him as a monster, not the visionary he had hoped for. And thank god for that. Too bad it took a terrible thing like the holocaust for us to realize the reality in that kind of thinking. But it seems today we are once again ready to excuse everything in favor of the hope we have in the end result.

    And those hopes are what the major media out there prey on. if your hope is a return to the "old ways" and simpler times, well those times are gone and never coming back. if your hope is a social utopia where there is no poor or homeless and all are equally wealthy or acceptable in a earth friendly environment, then you better wake up and realize thats not coming through legislation ever. No matter what your hopes are, legislated or mandated social changes are face-value and placating nonsense to appease you and keep you in a stupor while they do whatever they want.

    Do you think its a coincidence that every single president since JFK has been on this or that end of the political spectrum, only to turn into a centrist soon after elected? Or that Democrats filibustered civil rights legislation for 57 days only to become the party associated with minorities and poor? How about the the fact the religious right has sided with the side in favor of capitalism when the very nature of their own scripture prohibits greed? These conflicted ideologies vs realities are illogical and completely dumbfounding but today no one seems to notice these things.

    The simple reason is, we have ready made, prefab thought structures and processes handed to us rather than looking objectively and thinking critically on things ourselves. We have knowledge without discipline and it shows in every aspect. The media is one of the major causes of this. look at it objectively and you can see the break down of our critical thinking abilities getting worse as we relied more on the media of the time. Once it was radio telling us, then it was TV, now the Internet. Thankfully the Internet was a wild wild west scenario for so long and the community is now nearly impossible to control. And that is the only thing we have left to get and share real information. it is still loaded down with a lot of garbage but at least we can see the alternative and learn the process as we browse.

    These things mirror political ideologies. For example there is a long time senator, who was the son of a lifetime senator, who has lobbied his entire career for a certain area of up and coming business and technology. He is also a major investor in a business which will rely on legislation and resulting taxation on the new technology and business. Now he effects directly upon the legislation which will make billions for an industry he holds a great deal of investment in. And the whole time he preaches for the restriction these legislations will impose on al of us, he lives as if he is somehow outside those restrictions. Well if you were thinking this man a scumbag and needed to be brought up on charges, I would agree with you... And BTW, this mans is Al Gore..... Something to think about....

    This has gotten much longer than I intended, and I will end with this thought. The next time you are watching your idiot box, think on what you see and hear objectively as if you were new to the thing for a few minutes and then decide how much of what I said here is BS and how much is truth....
     
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  2. Baruch Menachem
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    Baruch Menachem '

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    My
    Eyes
    Glazed
    Over



    We make our own choices. If we give over the job of thinking to the idiot box... we deserve what we get. The next species along will do better, I am sure. But it is our choice.

    Love this strip.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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  4. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    We as a people, we Americans have always done stupid shit---without the idiot box: prohibition, civil war over state's rights to own and trade slaves in the new territories--we reelect people based on mythological shit as opposed to reality : Reagan balancing a budget or down sizing government...

    :eusa_whistle:


    but your point is taken.
     
  5. gslack
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    gslack Senior Member

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    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  6. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I declare this topic interesting, but I am way too sleepy to think at all right now. I shall return.
     
  7. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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  8. gslack
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    gslack Senior Member

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    First, I misunderstood you? WTH are you talking about? Either you didn't read the OP fully OR you you didn't understand it. This shows in your responses to it. They are vague and your interpretations of it are off...

    And what kind of answer is that? Its not an answer at all but an avoidance. If this is just you wanting to argue a specific point or a feeling you have about what I meant then please point it out to me and I will clarify it, but saying I misunderstood you with no explanation is just silly...

    Second, cartoons... You mentioned you collected political cartoons of the time.. Well those are cartoons, and not reporting of news or a factual account but an entertainment aside from the reporting. We have them today as well. I remember one when Reagan was in office, showed him with sagging cheeks touching his coat lapels and sticking a knife in the back of Oliver North. Now I didn't take that as a factual account but rather an artists rendition of it in a humorous form. I didn't remember anything like that happening. Oliver North got screwed for sure but there was no knifing. And I am sure the cartoons of that time were similar.

    Sure they had pundits back then and each newspaper may have had its favorite candidates or ideologies but it wasn't as blatant as it is today. Also a written word back then was taken at face value. Most took it or left it and went on about their daily lives. There was no visual or aural stimulation to drive the reports home, and people didn't spend most of their free time reading the same 1-3 page paper over and again.

    Come on man its not the same thing and its ignorant to claim it is...

    Third, I think you are just wanting to argue now and the reasons do not matter. Either my mentioning of FOX news or MSNBC upset you, and you can't make a real argument against it so you try and play a semantical and vague opposition.

    Dude, seriously make a valid argument with a clear point and I will try and accommodate you. But so far all you have done is insult me and nay say.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010
  9. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    "Human beings will be happier — not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie — but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That’s my utopia." Kurt Vonnegut

    There a bit of wisdom along with a great deal of un-wisdom contained in that OP. Media reflects the values and ideas of society, too often people act as if media were a separate entity that operated in a vacuum. Americans love stuff, check out the incredible sums wal-mart makes selling cheap stuff. And I think all media is conservative and corporate as they pay the bills. Anyone watch the Masters yesterday? I watched the end as I wanted to see 60 Minutes, some of our best TV. Golf became a sort of soap opera of life, but people loved it and the cheering was amazing. The dumb questions asked Tiger were a bit weird, but again he brings out the viewers who are the buyers. Odd but I cannot remember a single ad? I do remember seeing car ads for various companies at some point, but I am a 'buy American' so they have no impact. Anyway, interesting topic I'd suggest a perusal of the following books sometime.

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Culture-Make-Believe-Derrick-Jensen/dp/1931498571/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8]Amazon.com: The Culture of Make Believe (9781931498579): Derrick Jensen: Books[/ame]
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Joyless-Economy-Psychology-Human-Satisfaction/dp/0195073479/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8]Amazon.com: The Joyless Economy: The Psychology of Human Satisfaction (9780195073478): Tibor Scitovsky: Books[/ame]


    "Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally, just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences." Lewis Mumford
     
  10. gslack
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    gslack Senior Member

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    Thanks for the fair and honest post...

    However, I do not agree with media being a mirror of society. I feel thats a cop-out and save azz tactic of the media. Heres an example of why I feel that way...

    A great number of people will watch a fire or go and look at an accident. So it is the nature of some to do that. Does that make it okay for someone to profit off these unfortunate events and more directly the nature of some people to want to watch them? And that is the point in reality....

    We all have a bad side or aspects that are not as civilized as we would like. The correct and socially responsible thing to do is to purge ourselves of the attractors of those elements. But the media plays on them and then tells us its our fault because its what we like to watch.

    I like good looking naked women but I see the problem if all good looking women walked around naked all day. So is it my fault when they use half dressed women to sell a product or is it theirs? That is what media does in a nutshell they appeal to the bad aspects of our nature and then blame us for it....
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2010

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