Information Warfare Education, Propaganda, and How to Tell the Difference

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#21

Everyone of us is on a death path from this physical world. Rather than focusing on people’s paths and patterns maybe we should focus on people. An outreach of love and honest human connection is the pheromone that needs to rearrange our relationships.

When we try to find consensus through our intellect we become barbaric in defense of our own perceptions. We need to annul or push away our personal perceptions in an effort to embrace the spirit of love and connection, especially with those we vehemently disagree with.

A love-virus needs to spread throughout the digital connections as a method of healing.

https://the-spiritual-quest.com/2019/10/01/the-healing-method/


#22

This seems very integral.


#23

Agreed again! I am a big fan of both forgiveness and loving-kindness practices. And of course, our loving-kindness needs to be delivered with discernment and skillful means, which is where the intellect comes in. But putting an awakened heart and an illuminated mind together? That’s the secret sauce right there.

And clearly there is a demand building in our culture for more wholesome engagement, as evidenced by the popularity of programs like Ted Lasso. I see this as a very natural counter-response to the deep cynicism we’ve been immersed in for so long.

We at Integral Life even created a platform for our members to practice this loving-kindness in an ongoing way, called Mirror. You can check it out here:

All that said, one important component of “integral loving-kindness” is the capacity to extend our most authentic heart to each other, and within that space, having the discernment to let each other know how we are being partial in our views, actions, beliefs, etc. And to recognize that, even within a space of unconditional love, we can still address our conditional concerns. We can love and fight at the same time. Anyone in a long-term committed relationship knows that already :slight_smile:

And again, all of this is sage advice when it comes to our personal interactions with each other, and managing our own sphere of relationships. But if you are walking down the street and see someone kicking puppies, the appropriate response in that moment is not to say “I love you”, but to immediately stop that person from kicking any more puppies.

It reminds me of this passage from Ken Wilber:

“The one thing that worries me is that when green slips into its more, shall we say, platitudinous side, the hyper-sensitive, over-the-top caring side, a response that is already circulating Martin Luther King’s statement: ‘The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’

But, you see, that statement is wrong on almost every count… in this case, I believe his heart was clouding his head. Real violence is almost always ended by stronger violence in saner hands. When you meet a Hitler in this world, the correct, noble, ethical, spiritual response is: get a gun and blow his brains out. We ended Auschwitz, not with love, caring dialogue, sensitivity training, and sweet thoughts, but with superior fire power, period. So it is with real violence in the real world—much of it stems from red, and red can only be forcefully contained until it develops its own internal amber constraints. Civilization, for the most part, does not produce barbarism, but curbs it.*

*Green’s basic problem is that the injunction to not have violence in your heart is confused with not using violence in the real world—at which point green begins to contribute to the problem, not the solution. This is yet another variation on the sad fact that green— and without doubt the MGM and boomeritis—have been complicit in the rise of insurrectionist violence around the world. Of course we should not harbor hate in our hearts; and of course, when you meet Nazis—you should kill them real hard.”


#24

I wanted to reply to this in a way that could convey my thinking on this. I recorded this to answer the question are we in the enlightenment space?


#25


#26

Solo Inner work is fraught with opportunities for deluding ourselves.


#27

Who else goes inside with you to insure you’re not deluding yourself? The first place of truthful integrity is inside with ourselves.

Here is the rule 1. Always be truthful and honest with yourself.


#28

Agree completely that being truthful with yourself is critical. Very intimate relationships where we share our inner thinking with well adjusted friends is also critical.

We all suffer from blindspots (or psychosies at the extremes) with ourselves. Its best to assume our ego is never more than 1 step behind and just might be managing our on self assessment.


#29

This is interesting - Often people have completely inaccurate and scientifically disproven ideas about ant colonies and hierarchy and rulership.
The queen of an ant colony doesn’t “rule” in any definition of how it’s defined in dictionaries.
There is actually no “ruler” in an ant colony. Many humans have difficulty understanding how this can work - but it does.
The lesson being our paradigm that we as humans choose to operate in isn’t “reality”.
from Terminix.com:
Queen ants can produce millions of eggs in their lifetime. However, being in charge of supplying successive generations of “subjects” is where the queen’s authority ends. She doesn’t make decisions for the colony. In fact, beyond the grooming and feeding she receives from other ants, the queen ant enjoys no real special treatment or authority.

Basically the Queen is a “breeder”. The “nest” is a collective where each does member not need to be told or forced what to do, but they just do it.
It’s essentially an Integral Organization.


#30

A quick example of the sort of blatant top-down propaganda that I absolutely loathe, but has become painfully common these days.

On September 17th, just a few days ago, Trump sent a letter to the Georgia Secretary of State asking him to “decertify” the 2020 election results (as if there was any mechanism for that). Again, this was sent just a few days ago, which in itself is absurd.

But in his letter, Trump links to his alleged evidence — from a site known as the Georgia Star News. So what is the Georgia Star News? It is a site designed to look like any other ordinary newspaper website, but is actually part of a constellation of sites that launched immediately after Trump lost the 2020 election, purposely created to manufacture an illusion of legitimacy so they can perpetuate the false narrative that Trump actually won the election. And here he is, using this astro-turfed, blatantly pro-Trump propaganda mill as “evidence” that the 2020 results should be “decertified”.

If this isn’t “information warfare”, then I am not sure what is.


#31

I’m curious if you believe there are any “action steps” that can be taken towards a kind of “solution” in light of this conclusion? (that many media manufacture the illusion of legitimacy)
My own personal observation and approach is to recognize that every piece of media has some kind of agenda behind it. Sometimes these agendas are easily seen, sometimes hidden. My conclusion is that there is no “legitimate authority” - such authority is always just an illusion. It’s just a matter of how flagrant they are in their deception.
Then there are the stories where the agendas are multilayered, as in this story:

As in the famous DUNE series, “Plots within plots within plots.”


#32

I’m not sure how to address this from a systemic point of view, especially since people are very uncomfortable with corporations like Google “ranking” information and gatekeeping web traffic. But I continue to think that we need a neutral, peer-reviewed, third-party process in order to better curate the overall ecosystem.

On an individual level, the very least we can do is to personally vet every single source we come across, in order to determine a) the site’s overall bias, and b) the site’s overall truthfulness. A bit of bias if fine, I think, as long as the truthfulness remains high. We can compensate for bias, but it’s much harder to compensate for lack of truthfulness, or how a steady stream of disinformation pollutes the rest of our informational terrain, since it is designed to reinforce and anchor our confirmation biases.

I always suggest people start with something like MediaBiasFactCheck.com. It’s not perfect or comprehensive, but is a solid place to start.


#33

Completely agree.

I think systemically we’ll probably have to go through cycles of publishing freedom and publishing “throttling”. 1995(ish)-2015(ish) was a period of complete and utter freedom to publish virtually anything for whatever reason and even illegal distribution was completely out of anyone’s central control. Now I think we’re in a period of throttling that freedom. I think it’s going to be messy and I don’t know how many cycles humanity will need before we get it “right”.
I have no idea how quickly the current throttling of publishing freedom will happen, how deep it will go, and how long we will be there. I also don’t know what the “ideal” would look like.


#34

Excellent point @corey-devos. I agree completely that this is Info Wars all over again.

In the private for public companies, it is mandatory to have annual independent audits. Would you be opposed to mandatory independent 3rd party election audits? If not, what would be your concern in having an audit?


#35

You mean Independent like France or Germany or the UN?
Could you define or describe what you mean by “independent”?


#36

I agree completely that everyone has the responsibility to understand to their ability systematic implications of decisions, elections, and legality. Not just populist “I like” / “I don’t like” but actually understanding systematically the implications beyond a black box’ish hand wave.

Seems quite simple actually. Either free “public commons” like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Locals,Trumpbook, TicTok, Instagram publicly share their “proprietary ranking/blocking” and “monetization” algorithms or they lose their Section 230 protections. I don’t think anyone thinks that these free “public commons” are not actively selecting, promoting, blocking in order to “monetize” their efforts.
TV, newspaper, magazine publications have to publicly share what is required in order to advertise with them and also the difference between “opinion” and “reporting” articles.
When say the NYTimes erroneously publishes an “opinion” piece without labeling, they are quickly facing a lawsuit.
I’m absolutely all for everyone being able to monetize their works as long as they make their efforts transparent.


#37

I like the idea of independent 3rd-party review for a great many things, from elections to redistricting to police brutality to media curation to Supreme Court nominations. I think we’ve reached the point where we’ve become so polarized, we need to find a way to shift more power toward “true neutral” apolitical observers. The question, of course, is how to constitute those 3rd party observers and ensure they are truly impartial.

This may be why I am slowly warming up to the idea of an artificially intelligent philosopher king :wink:


#38

Isn’t that KW? :slight_smile:

I don’t know how to accomplish it, but I would love to see a coalition style political party system. Say the Social Democrats, Tea Party, Independents, Libertarians, to go along with the Big Two.


#39

This is why podcasting and platforms such as this one are becoming popular; to help us vet sources. Provided there is honest integrity to open dialog and not just arguing with those arguing, or spinning political nonsense like it has some deep significant meaning in life.

If we are in an echo chamber, of ants all circling in confidence exclusively supporting our own views, we risk being unable to respectfully understand an opposite view. When we only surf to confirm our own opinions we risk deluding ourselves.

Meaning our own comprehension can suffer. And among those reading and tracking these dialogs, we risk losing our own credibility.

Through the rational thoughts and contributions of us all we can pose the right questions to expand the comprehension of us all. Let’s all use deliberation and reflection as it speaks a lot louder than a hundred posts or replies. ~ Peace :slight_smile:


#40

Yeah, I am a big fan of moving to a parliamentarian system. Problem is, our two-party-only system is not a political choice in the LL, it’s an inevitable product of the first-past-the-post system in the LR. Which is why my own three-point plan to save democracy looks something like:

  1. Repeal the 1929 Reapportionment Act and implement the Wyoming rule. Electoral college is now fixed, without need for a constitutional convention (which I promise you, you do not want to happen with the people who are currently at the table).

  2. Ranked choice (or similar) voting in all 50 states. Now the spoiler effect is eliminated, and the “regression to the mean” two-party problem is fixed. We cannot even begin to talk about viable third parties until First Past the Post is gone for good.

  3. Reinstate the draft, and convert it to a mandatory National Guard/Peace-Corp like service for all 18-20 year olds. Attach free college/trade schools to the other side. Restore a healthy martial nationalism in this country, while also putting poor kids, rich kids, white kids, black kids, etc. together in service of something greater than themselves. Train all Americans to use and respect firearms. This helps restore healthy nationalism, while also producing more healthy progressives in the long run, simply by getting people out of their home towns and exposing them to other perspectives. (Seriously, it’s crazy how effective that is.)