I thought this was funny, calling Minaj a “medical expert”
I think one of the other important factors here is recognizing where the propaganda is coming from. We have gotten very used to the idea of top-down “astro-turfed” propaganda coming from any number of moneyed special interests. This I believe was the most notorious form of propaganda during the formerly-centralized network media paradigm.
But now that we are in the age of decentralized social media, we have new forms of propaganda to deal with. The top-down variety still exists, of course, as we’ve seen in things like GamerGate, which was a deliberate effort to radicalize impressionable young men in gaming communities. But now we have a new form as well, which in many ways is far more difficult to penetrate — the autopoieticaly self-reinforcing peer-to-peer propaganda, which in many ways is more of a self sustaining, inexhaustible “bottom-up” propaganda model. We commonly see this type both on the right (Qanon) and, to a different extent, on the left (Wokism).
My favorite metaphor for this sort of propaganda model comes from observing ant colonies. Ants communicate with each other by leaving a pheromone trail that other ants follow. The more ants who follow a given trail, the stronger the trail becomes, and then even more ants begin to follow it.
But sometimes a group of ants loses the scent trail, in which case they simply begin following each other in a loop, over and over again until they eventually exhaust themselves and die. This is known as an “ant mill”, or sometimes a “death spiral”. It is very difficult to break this spiral, because every ant is biologically programmed to follow the ants around it, and there is no way to convince any individual ant that they have separated themselves from the rest of the colony.
I see something very similar with how information moves in Zone 7 due to these social media platforms. We have so thoroughly delegitimized our notions of genuine “leadership” in politics, media, academics, etc., and have so inflated ourselves with a false sense of moral and intellectual superiority (Dunning-Kruger), that we now have enormous pockets of people who have “lost the scent” and are now only following each other, around and around and around again. Largely because our flat, postmodern social media platforms have a) lowered the overall center of gravity of our online discourse by convincing every persona at every altitude that their views are just as “true” as anyone else’s, b) eliminated all mechanisms of enfoldment and informational curation, c) creating new algorithmic “scent trails” from our behavioral metadata, and d) disrupted the previous autopoietic (i.e. self-organizing) safeguards that prevented too many ants from totally losing track of the colony.
In the end, I don’t think we are very dissimilar from our insectoid brothers and ancestors