Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Logic? we haz that

The reason I read the UK press is that usually the UKGuardian gives the leftwing bias, and the UK Telegraph gives the mildly right wing bias.

Then I check Rush, Mother Jones, and Coast to coast to see what the fringes are hearing.

For Philippine news, I check the Manila Bulletin for the business community's opinion then the Inquirer for the educated progressive community's opinion...the press, like the country, is run by the elites: the opinion of the ordinary people can mainly be found here in the local language press or talk radio. Just find out what Erap or old lefty bishop Cruz are saying and you will get a good idea of real popular opinion.

One expects press bias: One does not expect the intelligencia to swallow obviously biased propaganda without thinking about it (although some wag once noted: There is nothing too absurd that an educated person won't believe it).

StrategyPage's Information warfare essay today is about propaganda: the history of propaganda back to ancient Rome, how governments manipulate the press, and how to spot propaganda and logical errors.

Ancient leaders understood propaganda and spin. Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great controlled what version of events was distributed as official, or even unofficial, news. And in ancient Egypt, where a permanent record of government achievements was painted or carved into the walls of government structures, archeologists have only recently discovered that many of those official records were subject to a lot of spin. Many of those ancient records, it turned out, were lies, told in order to influence public opinion
Yup. And one problem with "history" is that often the historical lies are believed. A lot of folks thought Ramses II won the battle of Kadesh before they deciphered the Hittite's version of the battle (and of course, now they believe the Hittites...uh, maybe they were spinning too?)

the article then goes on to say:

Here’s a list of the most common, and successful, techniques currently in use. If you spend any time at all consuming mass media, you will find these techniques familiar. That in itself is scary, but you decide.

go read the whole  thing: they list 22 ways on how to spin the news.

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