Jump to content

Welcome to FutureTimeline.forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

The Future of False Conciousness

False Consciousness Fox News Trump Brexit Tax Policy Health Care Reform Global Warming Denial Media Class

  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#41
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Here's Why the Republican Party Has Abandoned Reality

 

https://www.alternet...andoned-reality

 

Extract:

 

(Alternet) If what they (corporate special interests) want isn’t popular, they’re going to look for ways to get politicians elected without having to talk about these issues. Toward this end, they have purchased media bullhorns and they’ve developed a story about good and evil to tell people.

 

We all know this story.

 

If you are a conservative, you are a good defender of capitalism. If you are a liberal, you are an evil socialist who is trying to destroy the country.

 

Whether or not this is true does not matter to them. What matters is whether they can get politicians elected.

 

This is why the Republican Party has detached from reality. Corporate special interest legislation is not popular with people, so corporate special interests have to create a different reality: one in which corruption is good (today we call it “business friendly” or “free” markets) and one in which democracy is bad (people should not interfere with corruption).


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#42
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

A Yale psychiatrist explains how loyalty Trump is predicated on emotional patterns the majority of us grow out of by age five

 

https://www.alternet...us-grow-out-age

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Monday to heap praise upon his ally Roger Stone, who continues to maintain his refusal to flip—even as Trump’s former fixer, Michael Cohen, who once said he’d take a bullet for the president, begged federal prosecutors to not serve jail time.

 

Stone might be Trump’s most famous supporter—but there are millions of Americans who refuse to abandon the president regardless of the chaotic news cycle. A poll conducted over the summer found that many Trump supporters trust the President more than their own friends and family.

 

Raw Story spoke with Yale psychiatry professor Bandy X. Lee on why the president’s supporters show such undying devotion to a man who’s repeatedly reneged on promises and whose tumultuous first term has been filled with shake-ups.

 

Raw Story: In your opinion, what are the emotions driving Donald Trump’s base?

 

Bandy X. Lee: The sense of grandiose omnipotence that he displays seems especially appealing to his emotionally-needy followers. No matter what the world says, he fights back against criticism, continues to lie in the face of truth, and above all is still president. What matters is that he is winning, not whether he is honest or law-abiding. This may seem puzzling to the rest of us, but when you are overcome with feelings of powerlessness, this type of cartoonish, exaggerated force is often more important than true ability. This is the more primitive morality, as we call it, of “might makes right,” which in normal development you grow out of by age five.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#43
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

'Donald Trump isn’t an aberration': Paul Krugman reveals how the GOP's 'moral rot' laid the groundwork for Trumpism

 

https://www.alternet...-moral-rot-laid

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) With the death of President George H.W. Bush, many conservatives and former Republicans are nostalgic for the old days of the party and bemoan the dark turn the GOP has taken under President Donald Trump. But as economist Paul Krugman argued Monday, the groundwork for Trumpism had been laid long before his rise.

 

Trump's habit of denying reality and spinning baseless conspiracy theories that fit his preferred vision of the world is a direct outgrowth of the GOP's denial of climate change science, according to Krugman.

 

"Donald Trump isn’t an aberration, he’s the culmination of where his party has been going for years," he wrote.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#44
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Republicans have become their own caricature of postmodernism

 

https://theweek.com/...e-postmodernism

 

Introduction:

 

(The Week) For decades, suspicion of pointy-headed elites in the academy has been a staple of conservative rhetoric, and none more so than postmodernist philosophers and literary critics. By conservative lights, inscrutable scribblers, usually French, were undermining American society by putting out incomprehensible treatises arguing there is no such thing as truth, no opinion is any better than any other, and so on. "The end result is that there can be no more truth or goodness and no need or even ability to make tough choices," wrote Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind.

 

The conservative view was always about three-fourths caricature — while postmodern writers did have valuable insights in many areas, and were not entirely the gleeful anti-moralists conservatives made them out to be, it is fair to say that Derrida, Foucault, Adorno, and so on were more concerned with pointing out ever more elaborate ways that contemporary society is bad than doing anything about it.

 

But if there is any political faction that behaves like the most hysterically exaggerated caricature of postmodernism, it is the current Republican Party. If you want an example of a political party whose worldview has become almost entirely socially constructed — divorced from any empirical referent whatsoever — and whose political argumentation is a load of cynical gobbledygook, look no further.

 

The actual contents of postmodern ideas are a matter of dispute, as they must be for any movement whose members spend half their time blasting salvos of $10 words at each other. Nevertheless, there is a reasonably clear through-line: Postmodernism is a movement that undermined traditional notions of Enlightenment rationality, the idea of absolute truth or morality as things that can stand outside of human discourses and history, the metaphysical "I" of Descartes, and so on; arguing instead for a more contingent version of these concepts as inherently produced and shaped by human society.

 

Now, as Richard Rorty would say, all that does not mean one cannot demonstrate the falsity of empirical claims (his beef was with metaphysics, not science). 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#45
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Starspawn found this on the internet:

 

Why Is this Happening?

 

https://www.nbcnews....ript-ncna943701

 

Introduction:

(Think) How can you be sure that the things you know are true… are actually true? We have access to more information than any humans in history but we can't process it on our own. In fact, almost all of what we know comes from others. We come to rely on people and institutions to tell us what to believe and not to believe. And it turns out there are huge, consequential differences in how Americans form those relationships, relationships which serve as the building blocks for how we shape our own views of the world. So what happens when someone tries to manipulate that trust? If you ask David Roberts, you need only look at the current conservative movement to get your answer.

 

DAVID ROBERTS: All these little lies serve a purpose, like telling people that the caravan is a threat. Telling them that they had the biggest inauguration crowd, ever. Just all these constant little lies are conditioning, they're meant to sort of condition their followers to just go along with whatever they say. And once you've got that then it's like off to the autocratic races.

 

CHRIS HAYES: Hello, and welcome to "Why Is This Happening?" with me, your host Chris Hayes.

 

In 2012, I published a book, it was my first book. It was called "The Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy." And it was a book that was about a few different strands. One of the big ones, broadly, was the crisis of authority in American life. That was the kind of pitch sentence that I would go around to publishers and say, "I want to write a book about the crisis of authority in American life." And it had started when I looked at his polling data that showed that Americans trust in their pillar institutions had declined over a period of time, and were at all time lows in around 2010, 2009, when I started thinking about writing the book.

So this was across the board like: higher education, media, the legal system, medicine. In fact, military and police were really the only thing that a majority of Americans had a lot of trust in.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#46
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Market bubbles and sonic attacks: Mass hysterias will never go away

 

https://theconversat...r-go-away-87493

 

Introduction:

(The Conversation) Ancient and quaint seem the days of witch crazes, demon scares and tulip maniasInstances of mass hysteria may strike you as rare events in modern advanced societies. But such outbreaks are products of their times. They’re still around today, just in different guises.

 

Aided and abetted by its status as an internet meme, the myth of an evil, supernatural Slenderman has been panicking adolescents since 2009, even culminating in an attempted murder by proxy. If it’s easy to brush this off as a case of impressionable teens with too much internet access, then what of otherwise rational late 20th-century American adults participating in suicide cults, Puerto Rico’s mythical cattle-killing Chupacabra monster, the “irrational exuberance” of the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, or the seemingly insane rush to make bad real estate investments in the latter 2000s?

 

A diplomatic dustup between the U.S. and Cuba may be the latest well-publicized case of collective delusion. In 2017, the U.S. State Department claimed its diplomats in Havana were subjected to “sonic attacks” that produced a range of physical symptoms including hearing loss, headaches and dizziness. Consequently, the federal government pulled out most of its embassy staff and sent packing most Cuban diplomats stationed in the U.S.

 

Although medical exams have identified unusual physical conditions in some diplomats, those exams lacked proper experimental controls and fall well short of providing evidence for any sort of sonic attack. There remains no demonstrably valid evidence that diplomats were subjected to sonic attacks at the American embassy in Havana – and a good deal of evidence has now been amassed suggestive of the contrary. The latest culprit to be fingered is the chirping of crickets or cicadas – in conjunction with mass hysteria.

file-20171214-27555-13p9e4c.jpg?ixlib=rb

One of the most famous mass delusions in America led to the Salem witch trials in 17th-century Massachusetts.

 Joseph E. Baker, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#47
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Can the Trump cult be deprogrammed? Here’s what this mind control expert says

 

https://www.alternet...ol-expert-says/

 

Conclusion:

 

(Alternet) (Question) How do you explain the deep and unflappable devotion of Trump’s supporters? Trump’s policies are literally hurting most of his own supporters. Yet, instead of turning on him, they double down and appear to love him even more.

 

(Answer) There are multiple overlapping constituencies of people who are following Trump. But the most devoted Trump supporters are people involved with religious cult groups or following leaders who they believe are apostles or prophets. These people are so programmed to fear Satan and evil spirits that they are disconnected from their own critical thinking and from their own consciences. This involves not just New Apostolic Reformation groups and Christian megachurches, but also Opus Dei and members of the Family. The latter was profiled in a recent Netflix series.

 

These Trump supporters practice apocalyptic thinking. They see the world in all-or-nothing terms, good versus evil. They think Trump is a sinner — but so are we all. And like God used King Cyrus in the Bible, these people believe that God is using Trump. So while they may not like or respect Trump personally, these Trump supporters are part of a belief system which tells them that Donald Trump is doing God’s will. Therefore, they are going to do whatever Trump says to do.

 

(Question) Are Trump’s supporters damaged people? The social psychology literature suggests that authoritarianism is tied to some type of emotional harm that occurs during childhood. These authoritarians then seek out a father figure for protection, or as a substitute for how their caregivers hurt or abused them when they were children.

 

(Answer) I’m very familiar with that theory. I don’t think it holds up universally. It’s a version of blaming the victim. That theory suggests that people are defective and therefore they can be manipulated, as opposed to understanding that our minds are a type of learning machine and therefore we as human beings can learn the wrong things. Our reality-testing strategies can be subverted, especially with sleep deprivation and information control.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#48
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

 

https://theconversat...orldview-127168

 

Introduction:

 

(The Conversation) Something is rotten in the state of American political life. The U.S. (among other nations) is increasingly characterized by highly polarized, informationally insulated ideological communities occupying their own factual universes.

 

Within the conservative political blogosphere, global warming is either a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other geographic or online communities, vaccinesfluoridated water and genetically modified foods are known to be dangerous. Right-wing media outlets paint a detailed picture of how Donald Trump is the victim of a fabricated conspiracy.

 

None of that is correct, though. The reality of human-caused global warming is settled science. The alleged link between vaccines and autism has been debunked as conclusively as anything in the history of epidemiology. It’s easy to find authoritative refutations of Donald Trump’s self-exculpatory claims regarding Ukraine and many other issues.

Yet many well-educated people sincerely deny evidence-based conclusions on these matters.

 

In theory, resolving factual disputes should be relatively easy: Just present evidence of a strong expert consensus. This approach succeeds most of the time, when the issue is, say, the atomic weight of hydrogen.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#49
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

I have not read any of the books discussed below by David Michaels, but they sound interesting and very much related to the theme of this thread.

 

 

Truth Decay: When Uncertainty is Weaponized

 

https://www.nature.c...586-020-00273-4

 

Introduction:

 

(Nature) In 2017, US presidential strategist Kellyanne Conway coined the phrase “alternative facts” to defend false claims about the size of the crowd at Donald Trump’s inauguration. Numerous commentators lamented that we were entering a new era of Orwellian doublethink.

 

These are indeed upside-down times, as epidemiologist and former safety regulator David Michaels demonstrates in his excoriating account of the corporate denial industry, The Triumph of Doubt. Unwelcome news is automatically rebranded fake news. Inconvenient evidence from independent sources — say, about climate breakdown and fossil fuels, or air pollution and diesel emissions — is labelled junk science and countered with rigged studies claiming to be sound.

 

But it would be wrong to see truth decay solely as the preserve of today’s populist politicians. Normalizing the production of alternative facts is a project long in the making.

 

Consultancy firms that specialize in defending products from tobacco to industrial chemicals that harm the public and the environment have made a profession of undermining truth for decades. They hire mercenary scientists to fulfil a crucial role as accessories to their misrepresentations.

 

Denial machine

 

Michaels was among the first scientists to identify this denial machine, in his 2008 book Doubt is Their Product. His latest work combines an authoritative synthesis of research on the denial machine published since then with his own new insights gleaned from battles to control the toxic effects of a range of substances. He takes on per- and polyfluoroalkyls, widely used in non-stick coatings, textiles and firefighting foams; the harmful effects of alcohol and sugar; the disputed role of the ubiquitous glyphosate-based pesticides in cancer; and the deadly epidemic of addiction to prescribed opioid painkillers. In each case, Michaels records how the relevant industry has used a toolbox of methods to downplay the risks of its products, spreading disinformation here, hiding evidence of harm there, undermining authorities — all tactics from the tobacco industry’s playbook.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#50
starspawn0

starspawn0

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,920 posts

Another paragraph from that article:
 

A human being’s very sense of self is intimately tied up with his or her identity group’s status and beliefs. Unsurprisingly, then, people respond automatically and defensively to information that threatens their ideological worldview. We respond with rationalization and selective assessment of evidence – that is, we engage in “confirmation bias,” giving credit to expert testimony we like and find reasons to reject the rest.


A similar phenomenon underpins belief in religion -- intelligent people believing in Bronze-Age myths.  They do this to fit in with the community; to comfort themselves in the face of their own mortality; and to comfort themselves that they will see people they knew who died, again.

It's also the phenomenon at play when particular sports stars are proved to be creeps. I've read variations on this story template a few times: famous male sports star x is accused by a woman y of groping her, raping her, or harassing her. Fans attack y on social media, some even send death threats. "Red pill" articles spike in popularity; articles about how women are fundamentally dishonest also spike. But there is a simpler truth -- woman y was probably telling the truth, and x is not the perfect being fans seem to need to believe.



#51
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Study Suggests Twitter Bots Have 'Substantial Impact' on Spreading Climate Misinformation

 

https://www.commondr...-misinformation

 

Extract:

 

(Common Creams) A new analysis of 6.5 million tweets from the days before and after U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to ditch the Paris agreement in June 2017 suggests that automated Twitter bots are substantially contributing to the spread of online misinformation about the climate crisis.

 

…More broadly, the (Brown University) study adds, "these findings suggest a substantial impact of mechanized bots in amplifying denialist messages about climate change, including support for Trump's withdrawal from the Paris agreement."

 

"The Brown University study wasn't able to identify any individuals or groups behind the battalion of Twitter bots, nor ascertain the level of influence they have had around the often fraught climate debate," the Guardian noted. "However, a number of suspected bots that have consistently disparaged climate science and activists have large numbers of followers on Twitter."

 

Cognitive scientist John Cook, who has studied online climate misinformation, told the Guardian that bots are "dangerous and potentially influential" because previous research has shown "not just that misinformation is convincing to people but that just the mere existence of misinformation in social networks can cause people to trust accurate information less or disengage from the facts."

 

…"Focused attention is needed to prevent information technology from undermining public trust in political institutions, in the media, and in the existence of objective reality itself," the…(Bulletin of Atomic Scientists) added. "Cyber-enabled information warfare is a threat to the common good. Deception campaigns—and leaders intent on blurring the line between fact and politically motivated fantasy—are a profound threat to effective democracies, reducing their ability to address nuclear weapons, climate change, and other existential dangers."


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#52
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Out-of-context photos are a powerful low-tech form of misinformation

 

https://theconversat...ormation-129959

 

Introduction:

 

(The Conversation) When you think of visual misinformation, maybe you think of deepfakes – videos that appear real but have actually been created using powerful video editing algorithms. The creators edit celebrities into pornographic movies, and they can put words into the mouths of people who never said them.

 

But the majority of visual misinformation that people are exposed to involves much simpler forms of deception. One common technique involves recycling legitimate old photographs and videos and presenting them as evidence of recent events.

 

For example, Turning Point USA, a conservative group with over 1.5 million followers on Facebook, posted a photo of a ransacked grocery store with the caption “YUP! #SocialismSucks.” In reality, the empty supermarket shelves have nothing to do with socialism; the photo was taken in Japan after a major earthquake in 2011.

 

In another instance, after a global warming protest in London’s Hyde Park in 2019, photos began circulating as proof that the protesters had left the area covered in trash. In reality, some of the photos were from Mumbai, India, and others came from a completely different event in the park.

 

I’m a cognitive psychologist who studies how people learn correct and incorrect information from the world around them. Psychological research demonstrates that these out-of-context photographs can be a particularly potent form of misinformation. And unlike deepfakes, they are incredibly simple to create.

 

This was brought home to me by a book that a neighbor gave me to read.  The thesis of the book was that land use planning regulations resulted in economic decline.  To illustrate the point, the book included a photo showing an undeveloped lot in a coastal area of California.  The caption indicated that development had been stopped by land use regulations.  Moreover, it implied that development in the surrounding area had also stagnated.  I happened to live near the site in question, so I paid a visit.   The photo had been shot from an angle to highlight the lack of development on the lot.  Just beyond the area shown in the photo was a thriving commercial district full of tourists and tourist related commercial enterprises.   In this way, I concluded that the photo promoted mis-information. I pointed that out to my neighbor. She then paid the site a visit and reported back to me that she agreed with my conclusion. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#53
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

I've mentioned before how the coronavirus is part of a perfect storm of things going wrong.  This thread has been dedicated to exploring how people, especially in the United States, form and maintain a view of the world that to the rest of us is clearly at variance with the real world. Sadly and predictably that alternative reality is now affecting how many perceive the coronavirus threat.  This article gives us a glimpse into the media cocoon in which they surround themselves:

 

Even After Trump Declared a National Emergency, Some Talk Radio Hosts Weren’t Convinced

 

https://www.propubli...erent-convinced

 

Introduction:

(ProPublica) More than 160 million Americans have been urged to stay home in what the World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic. Nonessential businesses and schools in states like New York, Illinois and California have shuttered. In parts of the country, coronavirus patients are flooding hospitals.

 

Yet listeners of Mark Levin’s syndicated radio program heard on March 16 that much of the furor is a politically motivated overreaction. “I don’t want to be part of the hype machine,” Levin said. One of the country’s most-listened-to talk radio hosts, Levin averages 11 million listeners a week, according to the trade publication Talkers. “People on TV who lied to you about Russia and the Ukraine and so forth, trashing the president, using this as another opportunity to hype and dramatize their agenda.”

 

Also discussed are radio talk show hosts Mike Gallagher, Wendy Bell, Joe “Pags” Pagliarulo, John Muir, George Noory, and Alex Jones.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#54
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,208 posts

Speaking of nonsense being put forth by conservative radio talk show hosts:

 

Rush Limbaugh argues that medical experts are just part of the ‘Deep State’

 

https://www.alternet...the-deep-state/

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) Far-right talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, like President Donald Trump, has been a frequent source of nonsense during the coronavirus crisis: on his February 24 show, he equated COVID-19 with “the common cold.” And on Friday, the 69-year-old Limbaugh argued that health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) cannot be trusted because they are part of “the Deep State” and have an anti-Trump agenda.

 

In audio that Media Matters has posted on its website, embedded above, Limbaugh can be heard on Friday telling listeners, “We’ve talked about the Deep State all these years since Trump was elected — the Trump-Russia collusion, the FBI — well, the Deep State extends very deeply. And the American people did not elect a bunch of health experts that we don’t know. We didn’t elect a president to defer to a bunch of health experts that we don’t know.”

 

Limbaugh added, “And how do we know they’re even health experts? Well, they wear white lab coats, and they’ve been in the job for a while — and they’re at the CDC, and they’re at the NIH…. But has there been any job assessment for them? They’re just assumed to be the best because they’re in government. But these are all kinds of things that I’ve been questioning.”

 

Limbaugh, who lives in South Florida, went on to criticize social distancing measures in that part of the U.S.

 

“I’ve been watching people routinely accept whatever the authorities say,” Limbaugh told listeners. “Where I live, the local town government is driving around town, trying to spot people violating the social distancing ordinances. And when they see it, they publish it on their web site: ‘This is very troublesome. We at the town are very troubled by groups of people congregating, violating the social distancing.’ Well, what do you think people are going to do? People are not just going to sit around here and stop living.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: False Consciousness, Fox News, Trump, Brexit, Tax Policy, Health Care Reform, Global Warming, Denial, Media, Class

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users