Author Topic: What can we believe?  (Read 108 times)

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Offline SirJohn

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What can we believe?
« on: November 18, 2017, 11:54:22 am »
So we now know that not only are Russians trolling through social media on behalf of Trump and in efforts at splitting amerians apart, they're everywhere else, too. They're accused of helping the Brexit side in the UK, of fanning the flames in Catalonia, and now in trying to turn Latvian's against the Canadian and NATO troops that are there to deter Russian aggression. Does anyone think other governments don't do this on some scale? I mean, it'd be hard to hide such a thing if it was a democratic nation, but the Chinese are a very internet and computer intensive bunch, and the North Koreans are pretty active too.

And those are just the government actors.

For those who thought the internet would expose a whole new world of information sources what we seem to be getting is a world of swamps and very little idea where the navigable land is. The only on-line resources we can, to some extent, trust, are those with the resources and will to check out the stories they tell us to try and ensure there's some truth in them. And these are pretty much the same media sources we've been watching on TV or reading in paper form for decades. I mean, are there ANY legitimately reliable on-line sites for information not affiliated with one of the known media organizations?

The democratization of information seems to have failed, and instead of enlightening us is dumbing us down.

http://nationalpost.com/news/canada/russian-fake-news-campaign-against-canadian-troops-in-latvia-includes-propaganda-about-litter-luxury-apartments

http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/13/europe/catalonia-russia-connection-referendum/index.html
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

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Offline MH

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 03:30:56 pm »
I don't know if it has failed.  Anyway it's too early to tell still.  I would wait until about 2026.

Offline TimG

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 04:02:55 pm »
The benefits from empowering individuals without the need for media filters far exceed any harms.

We don't abandon cars because terrorists use them as weapons.
Free speech is the freedom to lie.

Offline Omni

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 05:23:47 pm »
I bet a lot of republicans would love to slap a muzzle trump.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 05:57:29 pm »

The democratization of information seems to have failed, and instead of enlightening us is dumbing us down.

I argued over ten years ago that the internet provides us with too much information. People mostly aren’t equipped to navigate it all, so they double down on what they want to believe and dig in. I claimed that this would lead to even deeper partisan divisions, but it has become so much worse than I imagined. In my naïveté, I never imagined a state actor taking advantage of this and intentionally sowing discord in this environment. It seems so obvious now. Why wouldn’t Russia use this to their advantage, namely by destabilizing the political and economic relationships within and between the nations that keep them in check.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 07:52:43 pm »
The benefits from empowering individuals without the need for media filters far exceed any harms.

We don't abandon cars because terrorists use them as weapons.
Free speech is the freedom to lie.

What are these benefits? This isn't comparable with people using cars as weapons. They do that a couple of times a  year. The steady drumbeat of divisive, dishonest, deceitful, professionally delivered information on the internet is continuous.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline Rue

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 01:18:59 pm »
The social media no doubt speedens up the ability to send disinformation and certainly enables larger volumes to be spread at times. However the social media is still not as wide spread as some of you think. Its still not a reality in the fourth world or much of the third world for mainstream people. It is true cheap cell phones seem to be making their way now everywhere and a huge vehicle in political uprisings and events and the ability to mobilize people politically, BUT cell phone still requires a degree of technological literacy and for the masses in India or Africa or Asia or rural areas across the world living at subsistence levels, it might not be as wide spread as people think.

Prior to social media in the absence of information, rumours spread by word  of mouth. Now they are still rumours but spread by technology.

The point is, whether we have faster ways of spreading information or not, what does remain the culminating factor is WHO CONTROLS that info. Power comes from the control over the dissemination of information whether its technological or not.

You can exploit silence and no technology as much as you can technology to control people. So I still think its crucial we ask and investigate who is controlling the info flow and what kind of info flows are there because social net is huge yes and shrunk the world, but tyranical behaviour hasn't really increased. For that matter we think terrorism is new but its just recycled behaviour we once called barbaric, i.e., something Vikings or Mongols did. "Barbarians" we called them because they had beards. They still do. Not much has changed. The barbarians or terrorists still don't shave.

Hang on a second, Justin Trudeau can't grow a beard. Leave him out of my analogy.
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Offline MH

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Re: What can we believe?
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2017, 08:40:38 am »
I argued over ten years ago that the internet provides us with too much information. People mostly aren’t equipped to navigate it all, so they double down on what they want to believe and dig in.

I remember reading the objections of an upper-class lady to the creation of libraries in England, in centuries past.  "The people will learn things".  The 'too much information' thing happens naturally, and maybe the paradigm is best exemplified in Adam eating the apple.  The shit that guy learned with one bite...

And that's what human curiosity and technology do to us: provide us with a succession of Pandora's Boxes.  Literally nothing can be done to stop it.  Mitigating it is the best we can do, however technology always jumps up and cuts the legs out from under conventional wisdom, and tradition.  eg. Trump.

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I claimed that this would lead to even deeper partisan divisions, but it has become so much worse than I imagined. In my naïveté, I never imagined a state actor taking advantage of this and intentionally sowing discord in this environment. It seems so obvious now. Why wouldn’t Russia use this to their advantage, namely by destabilizing the political and economic relationships within and between the nations that keep them in check.

Agreed.  The new challenge will either destroy the idea of countries and create the vaunted new world order, or will end it all for us in an environmental wasteland, or nuclearly devastated wasteland.