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 Post subject: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:42 pm 
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Repetition normalizes. Saying something over and over again may not make it true, but repeating falsehoods over and over again eventually makes the falsehoods themselves become normal. And it is tempting to let the repetition normalize what is happening.

Either Donald Trump lies, or he literally does not remember what he said 3 days ago. On Saturday that he never encouraged House Republicans to vote for an immigration bill, despite tweeting such an encouragement three days earlier.

Image
Here's what the President tweeted 3 days earlier:

Image

Donald Trump's version of the Truth exists in a the semi-permeable membrane that exists around the President. Trump rallies, Trump Country Clubs, sycophants and Fox News have the easiest time passing through the membrane. His truth floats within that bubble, safe from the demostrable reality outside.

At least in your own head, do not let this become normal.

Idle thought: I wonder how many thousands of his Twitter followers gave a ❤ to both messages?

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:58 pm 
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MeDotOrg wrote:
Idle thought: I wonder how many thousands of his Twitter followers gave a ❤ to both messages?


Many or most? We're so used to getting information in disconnected and rapid sound bites from our politicians (and I would say our news as well) that we never bother to piece it together and connect the dots as it were.

I'm guessing not many of his followers are paying attention. I'm not his follower, so I wouldn't know.

All I do know is that most of us don't know what end is up in any given hour on any given day because we're pummeled with reports that more resemble an ADHD random thought salad--day in and day out, 24/7 and not many of us can keep up with it, read it, hear it, categorize it, and assimilate information because it flies at us in chaotic and fast paced ways.

I don't even know where we stand environmentally any more. I don't know what's going on with health care or the opioid crisis. I was all over those issues like white on rice. I barely know if immigrant children and parents are actually being reunited, incarcerated, detained or deported. I've totally lost the narrative because of contradicting reports that jerk me around nearly to the point of TBI.

You urge us to resist the pressure to normalize his lies, his contradictions and such, however, I hope I'm not the only one admitting that resistance fatigue started to kick in quite some time ago.

And what is there to do about it?

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:57 pm 
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There is a lot of information that comes at us faster than ever it seems. But the demand to drink from that fire hose is fabricated. I don't think the information age is special when it comes to practising critical thinking. The urge to react with emotion or to be First! to reply to something with the response that gets the most likes all play into making it less informative. But one has the ability to turn the volume down on those impulses, take the time to fact check. I think it requires more of a conscious effort than it may have before the 24 hour news cycle, but it can't be so overwhelming and still have a plug that can be pulled without some complicity.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:11 am 
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honor will you name news sources that you believe are reputable and accurate?

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:19 am 
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Trump knows to avoid the truth when a good lie will suffice. Trump is the embodiment of all things Republican.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:01 am 
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Trump knows full well what this sort of contradictory lying will result in. You are actually spelling out the strategy and its result within your two posts above:

Jersey Girl wrote:
All I do know is that most of us don't know what end is up in any given hour on any given day because we're pummeled with reports that more resemble an ADHD random thought salad--day in and day out, 24/7 and not many of us can keep up with it, read it, hear it, categorize it, and assimilate information because it flies at us in chaotic and fast paced ways.

I don't even know where we stand environmentally any more. I don't know what's going on with health care or the opioid crisis. I was all over those issues like white on rice. I barely know if immigrant children and parents are actually being reunited, incarcerated, detained or deported. I've totally lost the narrative because of contradicting reports that jerk me around nearly to the point of TBI.

You urge us to resist the pressure to normalize his lies, his contradictions and such, however, I hope I'm not the only one admitting that resistance fatigue started to kick in quite some time ago.


The planned result is to get the folks in the crossfire asking questions like this:

Quote:
honor will you name news sources that you believe are reputable and accurate?


And that's the aim.

Divide and conquer through lies and subterfuge.

If a person can get enough good people starting to doubt every organization that could check questionable ambitions and actions by bombarding and confusing the senses with a constant barrage of lies, then that person neuters and dismantles all barriers to those ambitions.


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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:31 am 
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canpakes wrote:

The planned result is to get the folks in the crossfire asking questions like this:

Quote:
honor will you name news sources that you believe are reputable and accurate?


And that's the aim.

Divide and conquer through lies and subterfuge.

If a person can get enough good people starting to doubt every organization that could check questionable ambitions and actions by bombarding and confusing the senses with a constant barrage of lies, then that person neuters and dismantles all barriers to those ambitions.


cp the question that I posed to honor has nothing to do with Trump or politics. It has to do with contradictory reports, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies from the news media.

ETA: If you'd like to answer the same question that I posed to honor, I'd be interested in your reply to it.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:34 am 
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honorentheos wrote:
There is a lot of information that comes at us faster than ever it seems. But the demand to drink from that fire hose is fabricated.


Yup. People don't spray us with information as we walk down the street. We choose to receive it, and we are perfectly able to make rational choices in that aspect of our lives. What is more, we have an obligation as responsible citizens to make those choices carefully.

Here's how I do it:

1. I get none of my news from television: the pressure on competing channels to follow a story with pictures and 'dramatic' events is just too great. And of course boring factual analysis from an expert talking head - who may even refer to numbers and show charts (like, uncool!) - will get viewers switching channels in a heartbeat. One gets a highly distorted view of the world that way. Luckily, I live in a country where a rich tradition of public radio broadcasting has survived quite well. I listen selectively to that.

2. I read one serious newspaper critically every day; I pay a subscription because I want it to continue in existence. I don't agree with everything I read there, but it does separate fact and comment fairly well, and I can easily cross-check with other papers if I feel the need.

3. I subscribe to a political and cultural weekly review, and also look at the Economist every week.

4. On US affairs, apart from the above sources, I follow links I see on this board - especially the ones from people I disagree with.

All those are acts of choice. Earlier this year I was in the States for a while and, just to share the experience of so many Americans, I deliberately chose to seek out Fox News (slightly to the horror of my US colleagues when I told them.) But no-one made me watch it, and the minute I clicked on the power button of the remote control, it went away (which was nice ...).

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:15 am 
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This is the same moron who said he wouldn't sign a bill unless he was given a line-item- veto, which was deemed illegal/unconstitutional during the Clinton administration.


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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:10 am 
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Chap wrote:
honorentheos wrote:
There is a lot of information that comes at us faster than ever it seems. But the demand to drink from that fire hose is fabricated.


Yup. People don't spray us with information as we walk down the street. We choose to receive it, and we are perfectly able to make rational choices in that aspect of our lives. What is more, we have an obligation as responsible citizens to make those choices carefully.

Here's how I do it:

1. I get none of my news from television: the pressure on competing channels to follow a story with pictures and 'dramatic' events is just too great. And of course boring factual analysis from an expert talking head - who may even refer to numbers and show charts (like, uncool!) - will get viewers switching channels in a heartbeat. One gets a highly distorted view of the world that way. Luckily, I live in a country where a rich tradition of public radio broadcasting has survived quite well. I listen selectively to that.

2. I read one serious newspaper critically every day; I pay a subscription because I want it to continue in existence. I don't agree with everything I read there, but it does separate fact and comment fairly well, and I can easily cross-check with other papers if I feel the need.

3. I subscribe to a political and cultural weekly review, and also look at the Economist every week.

4. On US affairs, apart from the above sources, I follow links I see on this board - especially the ones from people I disagree with.

All those are acts of choice. Earlier this year I was in the States for a while and, just to share the experience of so many Americans, I deliberately chose to seek out Fox News (slightly to the horror of my US colleagues when I told them.) But no-one made me watch it, and the minute I clicked on the power button of the remote control, it went away (which was nice ...).

A lot of good advice here.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:51 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
honor will you name news sources that you believe are reputable and accurate?

Jersey Girl, I don't approach the issue from this angle. While I have a few sources I read regularly, when it comes to sorting through issues I begin with the assumption that I have a bias, the reporting source has a bias, and any counter-reports have biases. So my job is to be as aware of those biases as possible when attempting to determine what is going on with the underlying story.

As Chap noted, I don't think television is a good source for information, either. The 24 hour news cycle is built on selling advertising time, and creating drama is much more effective for doing that than is reporting. That includes everyone from Sean Hannity to John Oliver. Odds are, if you are feeling stressed by the news you're getting it from sources that rely on that stress to keep you coming back to see how the drama unfolds knowing it never does resolve. My one guilty pleasure when it comes to television analysis is a short segment on Fridays on the PBS News Hour usually between Mark Shields and David Brooks. I'll typically catch it online over the weekend. That's not to say they are 100% accurate or reputable. It's generally civil, though, and provides details related to the week's political news I might not pick up elsewhere. For example - https://www.pbs.org/video/shields-brooks-1530306951/

To specifically answer your question, I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal though I am not politically aligned with their normal reporting. I find it a good place to pick up the thread on many stories. I also subscribed to The Atlantic because it's a pleasure to read and the stories are on topics with more of a shelf life than whatever is going on that particular day. I look forward to my quarterly The American Scholar for similar reasons. I have links to Reason.com for the libertarian perspective on topics, I check Fox News and CNN to get their perspectives on any given story, and listen to our local NPR station which includes reporting by the BBC most mornings and evenings while commuting to work. I've found the English webpage for Al Jazeera is eye opening given their headline stories are rarely even back page stories in the US and yet so meaningful. I don't read it on a schedule but do check in over lunch from time to time.

But I don't think any of the sources I typically read are bias-free nor inherently trustworthy. A reporter I've found to be reliable in the past may be tilted by a bias on a different story and present the facts in a lopsided manner for example.

I don't think there is a short cut to applying critical thinking exercises. When presented with a story, I think one has to explicitly take inventory of one's own inherent biases, what one's emotional reaction to the story may have been and examine why those emotions occurred. One has to seek out sources that represent the opposing view and make a good-faith effort to understanding their position and the strengths of their argument as well as their weaknesses and blind spots. If there is a story on Donald Trump, I'm going to read what Fox News has to say about it almost every single time because they are his propaganda arm. And if anyone is going to present the upside to whatever he is doing it will be Fox News. I'll read sources that are critical to see what their arguments are. And then I'll check sources. Does the story reference a government report? It has to be available online. Are there polling results being reported on? or is the story based on an original article or study? It's usually a good idea to find out more about the original sources. Does the story rely on an assumed expert's information? It's good to check that expert out and what they've published.

The term media diet is so appropriate, IMO, because it takes on the same qualities as physical eating habits. Consuming everything put in front of us, gorging on what appeals to one's appetites, and relying on the equivalent of media fast food makes us bloated and sick. Being an informed, selective, and above all disciplined consumer is necessary to have good media "health".

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:35 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
cp the question that I posed to honor has nothing to do with Trump or politics. It has to do with contradictory reports, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies from the news media.

ETA: If you'd like to answer the same question that I posed to honor, I'd be interested in your reply to it.

Just being opinionated, but the question does relate to Trump, inasmuch as he has repeatedly and publicly stoked distrust of virtually all media sources, save one or two that he actively promotes because they serve as his mouthpiece. That constant campaign is a reason why folks are asking the question that you are above.

I have a family member that discounts incidents like what MdO has shown in the opening post, on the premise that because the two tweets are completely contradictory that ‘the mainstream media’ has fabricated one or both tweets. Matters not that one could simply read the feed for themselves and see both tweets within it - the end result of purposeful deception by Trump and Co. leads plenty of his supporters to repackage Trump’s dishonesty as the MSM’s ‘deception’, followed by their loud proclamations on their Facebook page of same and repeating of asinine or fabricated memes and actual non-truths.

Chap and Honor have given good responses and I cannot improve on either (especially with generally eschewing broadcast/cable sources), other than to say that a reader will still need to engage their sensibilities to some extent regardless of the news source, to help process that news within the context of their own experience.


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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:42 am 
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Trump made it into office because he was willing to tell the biggest, most racist lies about his predecessor for the longest period of time. The ignorant racists and the economically insecure loved it. He gave people an excuse to hate. He realized the bonding power of hate, how it can be manipulated, added to and expanded. Extremists seem inevitably to reach for that weapon at some point.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 10:53 am 
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Maksutov wrote:
Trump made it into office because he was willing to tell the biggest, most racist lies about his predecessor for the longest period of time. The ignorant racists and the economically insecure loved it. He gave people an excuse to hate. He realized the bonding power of hate, how it can be manipulated, added to and expanded. Extremists seem inevitably to reach for that weapon at some point.


The fact that Trump was a Birther should have disqualified him from anyone’s serious consideration. It was bad enough when in the shadows Lee Atwater was telling racist lies to win W the Republican nomination. Trump sat on national television telling vicious, racist lies about the sitting president. Reality broke when he won the Republican nomination. It was already a broken party; on that day it walked off the map.


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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:31 am 
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Maksutov wrote:
Trump made it into office because he was willing to tell the biggest, most racist lies about his predecessor for the longest period of time. The ignorant racists and the economically insecure loved it. He gave people an excuse to hate. He realized the bonding power of hate, how it can be manipulated, added to and expanded. Extremists seem inevitably to reach for that weapon at some point.

Apart from the necessary absurdity of your hyperbole here, your conclusion is certainly applicable to the Dem/Lib strategy of today....and for them, the "some point" is desperation in the throes of their party's demise from the inside out.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:43 am 
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honorentheos wrote:
I don't think there is a short cut to applying critical thinking exercises.


Er, yes.

And if someone were to respond, "AwferChristsakes!! I'm just asking you for a news source I can trust! Cantcher answer a simple direct question", then all one can say is that this approach is exactly what creates today's 'news silos', in which people demand (and are given) a news source which will simply and consistently tell them stuff that they feel comfortable with. That way Breitbart lies.

There is perhaps one useful test you can apply to a news source to see if it is worth your serious attention: If you read one of its articles, do you sometimes have the sense afterwards that in some respects the world is a more complicated place than you thought it was? That's a good sign. If on the other hand all you ever get is the sense that what you thought already is bang on the button, be cautious.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:48 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:

To specifically answer your question, I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal though I am not politically aligned with their normal reporting. I find it a good place to pick up the thread on many stories. I also subscribed to The Atlantic because it's a pleasure to read and the stories are on topics with more of a shelf life than whatever is going on that particular day. I look forward to my quarterly The American Scholar for similar reasons. I have links to Reason.com for the libertarian perspective on topics, I check Fox News and CNN to get their perspectives on any given story, and listen to our local NPR station which includes reporting by the BBC most mornings and evenings while commuting to work. I've found the English webpage for Al Jazeera is eye opening given their headline stories are rarely even back page stories in the US and yet so meaningful. I don't read it on a schedule but do check in over lunch from time to time.

But I don't think any of the sources I typically read are bias-free nor inherently trustworthy. A reporter I've found to be reliable in the past may be tilted by a bias on a different story and present the facts in a lopsided manner for example.



Honor I'm just going to reply to the above portion of your post because that's what I was looking for. Let me get a couple of things out of the way first. As I've said here many times, I don't watch television at all. The only thing I do with the TV is dust it and use it to watch DVD/BluRay. On any given day, I spend time in the morning and afternoon, starting with a few websites, choose what I want to follow and make comparisions on other websites and articles about it. If it involves a speech or other televised event, I'll watch it in full on video and when the situation warrants, I read transcripts. For example, I often use CNN as a sort of bulletin board or sticky notes for what's being reported on and then, as I said, I check other sources and do that over time as I maintain interested and time permits.

Now, since you mentioned NPR I'll share why I asked the question. I'd been following a story over a long period of time--it's been years. It's in the news right now. Last night, I checked on what NPR had to say about it and I noticed for the first time ever, that NPR's report was inaccurate. It's a mistruth that has been perpetuated for years and I was surprised that NPR was perpetuating that same mistruth about the story in question when all they had to do was source court documents which are readily available (hell, it's readily available on wiki for that matter) in order to be accurate. I was disappointed to see that.

That's why I posed the question to you. I wanted to see what news resources you (and others) follow to make comparisons on that one story, because the story and the way it's being reported has the power to influence parental decisions made on behalf of their children.

It had nothing to do with Trump.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:16 pm 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Now, since you mentioned NPR I'll share why I asked the question...That's why I posed the question to you. I wanted to see what news resources you (and others) follow to make comparisons on that one story, because the story and the way it's being reported has the power to influence parental decisions made on behalf of their children.

It had nothing to do with Trump.

I'm not sure what to make of your comment, Jersey Girl. The above reads like you intended to find out what sources I referenced for you to use a certain story as a benchmark for assessing how accurate they are compared to your own knowledge. While I get the impulse, it seems to miss the point that no source is 100% reliable ever, on everything, and there is no shortcut to applying critical thinking. It seems risky to assert that your own understanding of a particular story is the measure one should use to accept or write off a source carte blanche on all subjects.

I am curious what the story is you use as your benchmark if you wouldn't mind sharing it and the link to the NPR story that is perpetuating a common untruth for the sake of example. And sourced comments being better than implied sources.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:43 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
Now, since you mentioned NPR I'll share why I asked the question...That's why I posed the question to you. I wanted to see what news resources you (and others) follow to make comparisons on that one story, because the story and the way it's being reported has the power to influence parental decisions made on behalf of their children.

It had nothing to do with Trump.

I'm not sure what to make of your comment, Jersey Girl. The above reads like you intended to find out what sources I referenced for you to use a certain story as a benchmark for assessing how accurate they are compared to your own knowledge. While I get the impulse, it seems to miss the point that no source is 100% reliable ever, on everything, and there is no shortcut to applying critical thinking. It seems risky to assert that your own understanding of a particular story is the measure one should use to accept or write off a source carte blanche on all subjects.


You're making too much of it, that's what. I was hoping to compile a list of sources that I may have not examined, for my own interest in comparing them and with consideration to making a new thread topic on it. It's a simple as that. It doesn't miss the point that no source is 100% reliable, it in fact, makes the point. I'm having conversations on the side here, so I might have not made myself clear.

Quote:
I am curious what the story is you use as your benchmark if you wouldn't mind sharing it and the link to the NPR story that is perpetuating a common untruth for the sake of example. And sourced comments being better than implied sources.


When I get done with a few tasks here at home, let me just go ahead and make a new topic thread for it, because the topic has the potential to derail this thread. In terms of influence on parental decision making, it's along the lines how how the antivax myths are perpetuated and that was my main interest in the ongoing story.

Let me get done here and I'll create a new thread, though I doubt there will be much real interest in it.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:35 pm 
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honorentheos wrote:
There is a lot of information that comes at us faster than ever it seems. But the demand to drink from that fire hose is fabricated. I don't think the information age is special when it comes to practising critical thinking. The urge to react with emotion or to be First! to reply to something with the response that gets the most likes all play into making it less informative. But one has the ability to turn the volume down on those impulses, take the time to fact check. I think it requires more of a conscious effort than it may have before the 24 hour news cycle, but it can't be so overwhelming and still have a plug that can be pulled without some complicity.

I agree that information comes at us faster and more furiously than ever.

Quote:
The urge to react with emotion or to be First! to reply to something with the response that gets the most likes all play into making it less informative. But one has the ability to turn the volume down on those impulses, take the time to fact check.

Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you're conflating 2 problems:

  1. The fact that we live an avalanche of media noise.
  2. Donald Trumps lies all the time
It seems to me that one of the things the Trump administration does is to rely on the amount of white noise they make. It is important to point out the lies Donald Trump says, even if they are now common. As far as fact checking, I'm not sure if that is related. The 2 tweets speak for themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Resisting the pressure to normalize
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 7:24 pm 
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MeDotOrg wrote:
honorentheos wrote:
The urge to react with emotion or to be First! to reply to something with the response that gets the most likes all play into making it less informative. But one has the ability to turn the volume down on those impulses, take the time to fact check.

Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you're conflating 2 problems:

  1. The fact that we live an avalanche of media noise.
  2. Donald Trumps lies all the time
It seems to me that one of the things the Trump administration does is to rely on the amount of white noise they make. It is important to point out the lies Donald Trump says, even if they are now common. As far as fact checking, I'm not sure if that is related. The 2 tweets speak for themselves.

I'm not sure we've ever had a President who was so prolific in their lies. But history is replete with periods of time in the US when the news was practically a war of competing lies. The period of US colonialism around the turn of the 19th to the 20th Century was championed by so-called yellow journalism where outright lies made up the headlines that sold papers, made fortunes and led the US into war with Spain while we were butchering the peoples of the Philippines fighting for their independence in that period's version of the Vietnam War. One could argue that had the reporting then been the same as what the American people saw on their TV's during the Tet Offensive and throughout the rest of the war we may not have stuck around.

I certainly believe that right wing media has changed the information landscape for the worse and made it what it is today. But I don't think that I'm conflating anything when I argue that for all of the issues today it's not something so unheard of that we have descended into a truly post-truth world. A person CAN live with their heads buried in such a world, and from any political position at that. But the world didn't change such that we're talking about needing a new paradigm to figure ____ out. Anyone who thinks the news should come to them pre-chewed so they don't have to work is naïve. BUT, and this it the second part of my post quoted above, I do think that the tendency to jump to conclusions while fishing for a like in social media culture is a habit that contributes to someone neglecting to apply basic critical thinking skills. One can't get lit up with outrage over the last Fox News or HuffPo headline and also maintain perspective. And if one's peer group has their pitchforks out and is charging over a hill, or one is engaged in mortal Facebook comment combat with their cranky dittohead uncle it's going to be even more tempting to follow along rather than pause to assess the facts first.

I can't stand what Trump has done to the country. But I also view what he's doing as an extension of what was going on elsewhere before him. And I firmly believe that things aren't so bad that one can't keep their feet on the ground or shelter from the media onslaught.

_________________
The world is always full of the sound of waves..but who knows the heart of the sea, a hundred feet down? Who knows it's depth?
~ Eiji Yoshikawa


Last edited by honorentheos on Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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