|May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)|
|Contents||Bulletin||Scripting in shell and Perl||Network troubleshooting||History||Humor|
|Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few||Recommended Books||Recommended Links||Doublespeak|
|Patterns of Propaganda||Corporate bullshit||Gaslighting||Demeaning||Projection|
|The importance of controlling the narrative||Five Points Verbal Response Test||Rules of Verbal Self Defense||Socratic Questions||Never complain about your boss in office|
|Six ways to say 'No' and mean it||Seven Typical Corporate Email Errors||The Art of Positive Criticism||Minimize office gossip||Psychopaths in Movies|
|Communication with Corporate Psychopaths||Communication with Micromanagers||Quotes||Humor||Etc|
|Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike
the other way.
While being an accomplished, natural liars, psychopaths are masters of creating an artificial reality including the most sophisticated forms such as gaslighting. They use the language for creation of artificial reality, as an instrument of social control.
Creation of artificial reality is commonly associated with the word "propaganda". In propaganda we usually distinguish two type: hard and soft. Hard or dark propaganda is what people commonly call lie. "Soft propaganda" is more insidious than “hard propaganda” as it deliberately avoid telling open lie, but at the same time distorting the reality sometimes even more effectively but providing only selected information. It is a lie by information withholding. In the hands of a skillful propagandist, “soft propaganda” creates an impressionistic aura of bleakness and evil on attacked person, that affects the target and the other people on a subconscious level. To counter their efforts you need to study the basics of propaganda. See also Doublespeak
A British judge noted at Berezovsky trial that such people lie through their teeth and keep on lying, even after they get caught red handed.
“…..I found Mr. Berezovsky an unimpressive, and inherently unreliable, witness, who regarded truth as a transitory, flexible concept, which could be moulded to suit his current purposes. At times the evidence which he gave was deliberately dishonest; sometimes he was clearly making his evidence up as he went along in response to the perceived difficulty in answering the questions in a manner consistent with his case; at other times, I gained the impression that he was not necessarily being deliberately dishonest, but had deluded himself into believing his own version of events. On occasions he tried to avoid answering questions by making long and irrelevant speeches, or by professing to have forgotten facts which he had been happy to record in his pleadings or witness statements. He embroidered or supplemented statements in his witness statements, or directly contradicted them. He departed from his own previous oral evidence, sometimes within minutes of having given it. When the evidence presented problems, Mr. Berezovsky simply changed his case so as to distance himself from statements and in witness statements which he had signed or approved, blaming the “interpretation” of his lawyers, as if this somehow diminished his pleadings and witness statements. "
It's not just that these people are liars; they are liars who feel no shame or remorse. They are, in effect, psychopathic liars. Which automatically makes them very skillful propagandists.Propaganda is a set of the messages intended to influence the opinions without giving the opponents any opportunity to rebut the idea. It is involved manipulation of ideas to influence the behavior. So, it presents ideas selectively. Propaganda is related to advertising. Like advertizing it includes a deliberate dissemination of frequently false, but "plausible" description of events and consumer products. The propagandist seeks to alter the way people understand an issue in favor of himself or the interest group he represents. The main types of propaganda techniques used are Bandwagon, Testimonial, Transfer, Repetition and Emotional words (Propaganda - Wikipedia)
Children are most vulnerable to different types of propaganda techniques. They cannot reason to decide whether a message is propaganda or not. They are highly fascinated by media and influenced by the behavior of their peers. They assimilate propaganda promiscuously.
The West from the very beginning skillfully dictated the way the world will look at the crisis in Ukraine. Moreover, old anti-Russian propaganda which created the image of "eternal evil" out of Russia helped greatly in this brainwashing. Putin does not know how to run a smart and clever "soft" propaganda campaign. And even prestigious news agencies are now amenable to "political activism", because there is no time for good journalism, says Czech media analyst Irena Rysankova.
Many spoke and wrote about the information war, which accompanies the Ukrainian crisis from the very beginning - with demonstrations on the square, during the annexation of the Crimea, the war in the Donbass, the fall of the Malaysian flight MH17 - and still being played. What weapons and how successful the opponents are using in this war?
For simplicity I will call one side Pro-European and the other Pro-Russian. "Pro-European" definitely has or used to have an advantage. Their method "injecting of news" and the wording of news articles was such that it was clear - there are consultants. Moreover, it was this side which began informing the public new event, such as about MH17, at all levels.
"Pro-Russian" side was actually forces into defense from the very beginning and can only refute the new and new speculations about the events that none of the readers has the ability to reliably check. they also defined the vocabulary for description of events, while taking advantage of the fact that simple and less educated users of the media, and according to statistics those are the majority still perceive Russia as evil. More specifically, this is due to the invasion of the occupation forces in 1968 in Czechoslovakia and later in Afghanistan. Just Russia in the minds of many is still identified with the Soviet Union, and due to this is viewed from the same position, as during the cold war.
In propaganda campaign of "Pro-European" forces that were active event before the key events, which served simply as a trigger, were creatively used all the tools for the management of public opinion. Every time they defined the agenda (agenda setting) that was imposed on the other side. Violent actions (fire on protesters on the Maydan, the plane crash, the shooting of the "convoy of refugees") were used to inject emotions into initially rational thinking about the conflict. this was they frame the information perception (framing) in terms of our pre-existing attitude to the parties. This way the polarization without regard to the facts is achieved: who is good and who is evil ("They only wanted to join the EU", "They wanted to stand in their way to freedom", "They shoot again on our children"). This way the coverage turned into the game of "good" and "bad" guys. Facts are never analyzed independently and impartially, because they always created the circumstances which prevented this. I think that in no way we can talk in information about Ukraine in terms of "people's struggle". On Maydan there were not "the people", but political activists and militants. As well as mercenaries. A naive public intellectuals who joined them, very quickly disappeared after the first blood was shed. Professionalism dictates that, rather, the event were orche4strated by a good consultants.
Russia is losing and will continue to lose. Neither the Kremlin nor the Lubyanka, most likely, have not read the basic labor American Professor from Harvard Gina Sharpe, even though it was first published in 1973 under the title "the Politics of nonviolent action". His main book "From dictatorship to democracy" was released 20 years later in response to the popular uprising in Bangkok and was published in Russian in 1993, after the collapse of the USSR, when the candidate Yegor Gaidar as Prime Minister was rejected, Yeltsin came to power, the putschists made a move against him and civil war could well start, which would finally erased from the face of the earth "the evil Empire". Then it didn't work out, but still even in Russia color revolution scenario got pretty far. In Ukrainian the book "From dictatorship to democracy" was translated in 2004 in connection with the Orange revolution.
After centuries of use "hard power" Russia does not understand how to use "soft power", does not speak of non-governmental diplomacy, you need it to support financial and organizational. Russia is not able to involve themselves in support of stars in pop culture, universities and charitable foundations, commercial companies and non-governmental organizations. Russia had and still has the major drawback - its reputation inherited from days of the USSR, although this is the country in which the majority of European countries exported goods or collaborated in large projects. Thanks to Russian gas we have light, warmth, we travel by car. But for many in Europe they are still "those Russians" of August 1968, the invaders, drunk from vodka. And many of the "new Russians" reinforce the Soviet stereotype. They defiantly proud of his wealth, and so manifestly disregard the law. So we should not be too surprised.
Already in the winter and after the collapse of Viktor Yanukovych Czech blogosphere, or the field of "alternative" media, began to protest that information about the "Maydan" in the Czech Republic is manipulates and that the coverage is Pro-Ukrainian and selective. For example, we can talk about the suppression of information about the aggressiveness of protesters on the Maydan and the focus of the news on police brutality. Whether these claims to Czech media fair?
Partly were and still are. But this is just a problem with the progress of information war, which Russia loses. There are several reasons for bias in the direction of Maydan then they new Kiev government. First, it is Maydan declarations about the liberation from the clutches of the Russian bear and the adoption of European rules, and secondly, the preponderance of professionally prepared Pro-Maydan information, which the media simply replayed. In such situation there is huge demand for news coverage and those who provide the news stream can correct the event or their view on the event as they wish. None of the current journalists want to be engaged in a truly independent "dirt-digging" investigative journalism. In fact, today it is impossible. Sooner or later you will need some research material, sooner or later you will need professional information back office. And then you have the embedded journalists.
Moreover, today the media has no time to think: electronic online world is faster then anything else and the ability to sigh the issue to print at midnight is now a sweet dream about which was only can have nostalgia. I always joke that Karel Capek today would have had no chances at all. Publishing houses want cheap labor, that is, pipeline employees who toss news without too much thinking. Bloggers, as a rule, are either analysts themselves or those who are interested in in the subject for some reason and who understands it. That is, they are not objective. Even respected Agency now send to the frontline hired local people, about professional past and views of which they have little information. Thus, under the guise of top military journalism often we see the work of local journalists, which were hired by agencies.
But lately, we can see some changes. Even mainstream media begin to think about the ethics of their work. Perhaps because some BBC reporters have already begun to publish information about Ukraine, which is not exactly fit "revolutionary enthusiasm" meme: the neofascists of the Right sector, corrupt oligarchs, unscrupulousness members of the government.
In addition, Ukraine government go over the top in this information war. The manner in which President Poroshenko and the Prime Minister Yatsenyuk spread is now simply despicable. The Declaration about the elimination of the Russian convoy, not supported by any evidence, photographs or other materials, and other excesses of the last days show that the information war starts to get out of control, and the Ukrainian government propaganda machine is faltering. If the Ukrainian troops destroyed the Russian convoy, would there no single photo? why they did not show us the corpses, their military ID and uniforms? The serial number of weapons they have had? In is impossible not to notice complete incompetence here. I remember Saakashvili claimed that Russia used in Georgia ballistic missiles "Point". But the evidence of the damage they caused was very badly staged. But in the Czech Republic, Russia priori is guilty or, at least, suspicious. Our indignation about what "those Russians" (more precisely, the Brezhnev of the USSR) did, is passed from one generation after another - to those who do not remember the Prague spring of 1968, not to mention the previous years.
Today it is difficult to determine who is right and who is lying. if the known liar lies again when he said that his opponent is lying. Can he at this time speak the truth? How to find out when the during war, of course, the first victim is truth?
The problem arises when facts themselves incriminated the liars, as happened with the leaked photos downed Malaysian Boeing. Round, smoothly bent in the tin holes with a diameter of 30 mm give to those who are familiar with missiles "BUK", understanding that the plane was shot down but by the rocket but the cockpit was pulverized with guns of the fighters. There were two fighters. Today there are only to answer the question, whose to whom they belong and who gave them the order to shoot.
Both Russia, calling for the unification of the "Russian world", and the EU and the US, referring to the European and Western values, according to some opinions, have polar sympathies: on the one hand citizens fighting the Donbas and the Crimea, and on the other, the rest of Ukraine, mainly Western. Which party do you think the more intensely promoted this propaganda? And with what implications? How to respond to the claim that Russian TV using hostile nationalist programs (for example show Dmitry Kiselev) sparked a civil war in the Donbass?
How can we measure the level of sympathy? with "Applause meter" ? The number of casualties on each side? I don't think the war in the Donbass unleashed by some shows with anchors/talking heads known for their nationalism, such as Dugin or Kiselev on Russian side, or Poroshenko fifth channel and youths from the Right sector on the other side. Propaganda is directed to strengthening of the morale of the combatants. Soldiers who are poorly paid, need to know that they are fighting, and dying for just cause. If there are two warring parties, it is clear that each side produce corresponding stream of propaganda. Both sides try to justify the right to kill fighters from the other. On both sides historians, myth-makers and ideologues work on such a justification. But we must not forget that "the war for Ukraine" is actually an economic war. For displacement from the Ukrainian market of Russia and for a new economic world order. In other words this is struggle is for gas and oil, coal and steel. All those resources are the cornerstone of both the European Union and the Russian power. Ukraine (rather, consultants that support Ukrainian side) have better propaganda. As Europe and the United States have always been more receptive to the stories of the victims of Russian expansion. That means that from the very beginning the emotional advantage was on the side of smaller Ukraine abused by a larger, more powerful neighbor.
Shooing down of MH17 is a new milestone in the crisis. What cant you say about this event? Who presented the more convincing evidence? Which side of the conflict behaved more honestly? And how to evaluate the Russian, Czech and Western media?
- The basic rule of journalism is fair comment must be preceded by a message that will be facts, not guesswork. The statements that the plane was shot down by Pro-Russian militia, appeared too quickly. The culprit was appointed earlier than it was revealed what exactly was the plane that was shot down.. The name of the air traffic controller, who was the first to report that shot down the plane, now is hidden by the Ukrainian secret service (SBU). In this case, neither party behave honestly form the very beginning. The plane crashed in the area of military action, that is a given. Perhaps we ought to ask the question about what experts had learned from black boxes, and why suddenly everyone is silent about their content. And why around this story suddenly there was silence. Downed aircraft perfectly fit the image of the "bad Russians" and "criminal separatists". Czech, and most importantly, the Western media gladly sat down to write the comments.
- With what media and PR reputation Russia coma out of the Ukrainian crisis? The scientist Veronica Suchava-Salminen wrote that the Arsenal of the Russian "soft power" virtually destroyed. Does Russia have a chance in the coming years to cause at least some sympathy in the Western public? Conversely, can we say that the Russian public opinion hostility to the US and the West increased to the maximum?
The question is How important for Russia's is Western public opinion, or she stopped being interested in it long ago? Russia is able to pursue the classical "hard" propaganda. It never has the arsenal of soft power. Putin is an example of courage and determination, on horseback, fishing, tigers, nuclear submarine... "Soft" propaganda is not very well done by Russians. They don't have it, and most importantly, they have no such tradition, although Putin is advised by U.S. PR Agency. Soft power should be carried out systematically, carefully, with knowledge of psychology. Russian propaganda relies on force. The United States, despite all its problems, seem to the outside world to be the promised land. Russia, despite many successes, still looks cold dark Empire. But on the other hand, Russia Today is an excellent start. The broadcast goes 24 hours a day in English, Russian, Arabic and Spanish. Audience of those channels is over 1 billion people.
Speaking about the Russian media, of course, impossible to suppose that in the country there is pluralism in the Western sense. What Putin has done over the years of his reign with the Russian media? What rules do they work, what to speak and write without problems, and what is hard, what can be harassment?
Do you really mean there is pluralism in Western media? And if it exist can you explain in what particular form? The West has reached the stage when (as a Russia) you can write on the Internet to whatever you want, but that nobody reads. And if somebody read, they often do not believe and do not follow blindly. Russians may also, like you, travel freely, if they have the means. They can do business and become bankrupt, can go to Church, can watch satellite TV and use censored words on the Internet. So what? Is this a sign of citizen participation in the actual governance in the country, as implies by the word democracy? Active readers and strong, authoritarian media, which we knew 30 years ago, has been replaced by indifference on the one hand and cynicism of managed media with another. And in general, trolling and viral marketing changed the game and made everything suspicious. Today can be anywhere - and we, in Russia - successfully manipulate the opinion of anybody. Without the ability to defend themselves.
Russian media world is a special subject. Yes, undoubtedly, for the most part it is not "anti-Putin", but, by the way, why would it be so? Putin after a drunken Yeltsin, the first defender of Russian pride, power, before his arrival decaying, country. Putin knows how to be creative with the media. And with those who intrude into his private life, he is able to quickly deal, which confirmed the tabloid edition of "Moskovsky Korrespondent", which was closed after publishing an article about the fact that Putin to marry a gymnast. Newspaper is unprofitable, said its owner. On the other hand, in addition to state television, Putin has created public television, albeit without concession fees, as nobody willing to pay them in Russia. But with a guarantee of independence. By the way, today Russia Today is one of the best news channels in the world, on the level of CNN and BBC. Russia is a country, which at a cursory glance it is difficult to understand. It is a mixture of almost anarchic democracy and the rule of hard, sometimes very hard hand. Democracy should not always mean freedom. Putin himself said about managed democracy, and this to some extent overlaps with the essay by Fareed Zakariya "Illiberal democracy", published in the journal Foreign Affairs in early 1998.
Indeed, the Kremlin primarily controls the heads of state media and agencies. The head of the new Agency "Russia today", for example, was the former head of channel Russia Today. However, the Kremlin has no impact on diverse media stream that exist in Russia and never will. This, probably, is unfortunate. In old days at least it was clear that information published by any newspaper can't be one hundred percent false. Now there is no such assurance. Money, lies and manipulation become a global weapon of mass destruction of this civilization.
It will destroy America, and Russia. No one will believe anyone. Yes, this is the situation we are already face.
Moscow ExileApril 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm ...marknesop
Enter wailing and gnashing of teeth, Elder of the Guardian, who takes today as her theme to denigrate the Evil Empire "Why Spring in Moscow is Utter Hell".
To save myself time, I can no better sum up my feelings than repeat what commentator Beckow (often accused of being an FSB hireling if I remember rightly) has posted at the foot of Elder's tirade against the Russians and their spring:
"A classical soft propaganda piece. Ms. Elder managed to work into the article Putin, corruption, wars (maybe those pesky Russians only prevailed because of the weather?), army maneuvers, lots of mud, and the words "utter hell" linked with Russia. All that is missing is a silly dry cleaning story.
The article could be a test case of how to write a demonizing article about an enemy by mostly using weather allusions. If Russia annoys Ms. Elder so much why is she staying there? In all big cities, those who want to find squalor, potholes, and lots of mud, will find it. It is there, it is pretty much everywhere. There are mud hills behind Rio beaches, swamps in Tokyo, smelly compost heaps in Berlin, steaming sewers in New York. The world can be a very dirty, unpleasant place. But why go so far to look for it? Why obsess about it?"
And immediately following Bescow's comment there comes one from a well known Russophobic commentator to any Guardian article on Russia and the Russians, "anotherusernametaken", who states:
"Outside of war zones I don't think there is anywhere on the planet I'd like to visit less than Russia."
Well, Mr "anotherusernametaken", thank you for informing us of your dislike of Russia; howevever, I'm quite sure your absence from that monstrous region will not be much grieved by its inhabitants.
Enjoy your life in Misty Albion, where it'll probably be pissing it down with rain right now and will continue to do so throughout spring and summer and autumn and winter, with maybe a 4 mm deposit of snow added in December, which will no doubt bring Heathrow and the rest of the UK to a grinding halt.I am ashamed, a bit, of the tiny thrill of guilty pleasure I get from telling you that it reached 60 degrees Fahrenheit here in Victoria during the Easter weekend, and stayed warm and T-shirt-sunny all the 4-day weekend.yalensis
But that turned out to be short-lived, as today it went back to the glowering gloom typical of this time of year in this region. Still not cold, though, and we had very little real cold all winter.
Maybe Miriam would like to come for a visit. We have really good dry cleaners.Beckow's comment about the Elder piece being a "classic of soft propaganda" is right on target. "Soft propaganda" is more insidious than "hard propaganda" in a way. In the hands of a master, "soft propaganda" uses literary devices to create an impressionistic aura (of bleakness and evil) that affects the reader on a subconscious level. Having said that, Elder is not very good at either hard or soft propaganda, because she is simply not a very good writer.
This systematic distortion of information makes human societies characteristically self-deceptive, with people disposed to believe they are living up to their ideals, particularly when they are not. The existing schematic dissonance is usually subconscious, due to the misleading nature of words, so society stumbles smugly along while at odds with itself, its environment and its equally stupid neighbors. In fact, the only really effective control of development comes not from inside but from physical limitations (what cannot be done) and competition with other groups which are also out of touch with themselves.
In general, internal criticism is of limited value as a control mechanism for growth and development of a social system. There usually tend to be few, if any, effective critics within any organization. When not dismissed out of hand as a crank or an outsider, anyone with valid criticism is made an outsider, as ostracism is a common reward for honesty, accuracy and integrity. Thus, criticism without power is largely wasted, producing little but woe for the bewildered critic himself.
Perhaps there are so few effective critics because anyone with any brains at all quickly finds that most human organizations just are not set up for effective criticism. The basic working assumption is that everything is just fine. Outside criticism is deflected and internal feedback is supposed to be positive reinforcement from "Yes men" promoting their careers by corrupting the mighty. At best, criticism has a place on the fringe, where cranks and comics can be tolerated as amusing diversions.The resistance of organizations to criticism is inherent in the human condition. Criticism is invariably disruptive, since group spirit, if nothing else, is disrupted when unrecognized problems are made explicit. Such disturbances are unwelcome to those in power. While a critic may think he is performing a service by calling attention to an obvious problem, he is often treated as if he caused it. Actually, critics should be considered society's early warning systems, sensing symptoms of problems before
Business marketing and politics often overlap in election campaigns. Someone vying for office is essentially trying to sell himself to voters. "When you are campaigning, you're like the businessman who has a limited responsibility, a limited set of people to whom you owe something," said Alan Wolfe, director of the Boisi Center for Religion and American Public Life at Boston College and author of "Moral Freedom: The Search for Virtue in a World of Choice" (W. W. Norton).
But, increasingly, because of the fund-raising involved in running for national office, "you have to be in an almost permanent campaign mode," said David Gergen, now a professor of public service at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, who was an adviser to four presidents. "In politics, you fall into the trap of short-termism. You do whatever it takes to keep the headlines up today." This short-term thinking is not dissimilar to what causes some businesses to make poor decisions in trying to bolster stock prices or earnings reports.
"The trap of the permanent campaign is that you diminish statesmanship," Professor Gergen said. "Statesmen rise above the daily concern and look to the long haul."
BUT it's difficult to affect the long haul if you find yourself voted out of office. For that reason, Dick Morris, a former adviser to Mr. Clinton and the author of "Off with Their Heads: Traitors, Crooks and Obstructionists in American Politics, Media and Business" (Regan Books, 2003), said he thinks that "using polling and all of the tools of an election to help you govern is a good thing."
"It gets the president to be very aggressive in figuring out what he can do in an active way really to help the country," he added. "The motivation is to govern well so he can get elected."
Even if President Bush has to campaign constantly and, as a result, selectively uses information to sell his message, we still expect him to tell the truth. "If they decided to lie to make the case stronger that's simply unethical," said Mr. Gilman, who was a senior official at the United States Office of Government Ethics from 1988 to 2001. Mr. Gilman said he hopes that the president "got one bad piece of intelligence and the rest was correct."
Some political analysts say President Bush crossed a line in selectively using information by pointing to British intelligence to make an argument, when American intelligence doubted the claim. "As in all marketing, when you go too far, it creates a small cloud over you about credibility," Professor Gergen said.
There's more at stake when President Bush selectively uses information than when a business executive tries to move a product. The president's role clearly distinguishes his unique moral responsibility. As an executive, you don't order young men and women to give up their lives for a cause.
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