Moral Panic of 2017

Moral Panic of 2017
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People are overlooking the obvious reasons for the chaos in America.


America, the early adopters in social media and alternate news sources, is on the forefront of social reform.  Just as the printing press caused an upheaval and revolutions in many societies, the internet is causing the same throughout the world.  First felt in America.


The revolution is that people are turning away from corporate media which for 100 years had been feeding and filtering information to the public.  The same filtering mechanisms had been overturned by the printing press when religious organizations then, 1000 years old, had been undermined by simple thoughts reproduced by a mechanical device.


The same chaos can be observed by simply poking an ant-hill.  Although there is no real threat, the ants scurry about madly.  In our case, the new flat-information societies, created by free information, will have profound effects on corporate media reducing their social influences.  This change is causing a social panic as people scurry about looking for a specific threat when the actual threats are benign and non-tangible.


Hopefully, this explanation helps your anxiety a bit.  The world is not falling apart.

In the meantime, my fellow Americans, grab the popcorn and watch our society go through this change for progress and for good.  On the other side, we will see a society which is much calmer and not so vulnerable to the spin-up and whims of our government or political corporations.

As for the rest of the world . . . get ready.  Your turn is coming.



Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 17, 2017 - 11:52am
That didn’t help but thanks for trying.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 12:42pm
More beer then, Jeffrey?
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 12:56pm
Actually, Jeffrey, there is a case where this same chaos was very deadly.
The printing press, in the 18th century, created a new public taste and revolution for liberty and freedom.  The French revolution was exactly this where this chaos and moral panic removed the heads of many people.  Old ideas needed to die.  The new French government, in the end, was different than the oligarchy of the former as socialism became the result.
I am not weighing the advantages of a socialistic government over an oligarchy.  Yet we see today that very few oligarchies exist now where 300 years ago, they were plentiful.  It is power to the people.  That is the trend.  Now we see democracies more prevalent than socialistic governments.  
However, nobody can argue that the printing press should have been banned or never invented.  Having information, the public eventually chooses correctly for the benefit of civilization.  The trend is for individualism.  This is what freely available information drives.  Less corporate control.  Less government control.
These are good things.
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 17, 2017 - 12:57pm
@William Stockton:
”More beer then, Jeffrey?”
Thank you but I no longer drink.  
Jeffrey Kelly Added Oct 17, 2017 - 1:02pm
“In the meantime, my fellow Americans,”
Now, do you mean all Americans or just the ones that salute mom, apple pie and the flag?
“grab the popcorn and watch our society go through this change for progress and for good.”
Has it been four years yet?
I see no progress on the horizon, only a divisive president who tweets his way into trouble time and again.
“On the other side, we will see a society which is much calmer and not so vulnerable to the spin-up and whims of our government or political corporations.”
Calmer?  You mean a society where everyone blindly follows Trump and Trumpism?  I guess that is calmer, authoritarian governments keep their populace in line.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 1:18pm
Jeffrey, Trump is the result of people throwing out the old guards of society.  Can you not see this?  People wanted an outsider. 
The other side wanted to keep society trending as it had with legacy politics and legacy social controls.
Trump, himself, is not the phenomena.  I wish I could say this in some more convincing manner.  Trump is merely a player, like the rest of us, in these inevitable social changes. 
He won't be our president forever.  What will remain after he is long gone is a new society built on something other than corporate media or massive political machines controlling information for public consumption . . . for the benefit of the political machines rather than for the benefit of the individual.
Flying Junior Added Oct 17, 2017 - 1:21pm
Are you willing to share some of your go-to places for alternative news?
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 1:49pm
FJ, the big changes to my information sources have become listening to individuals rather than news organizations.
I am choosing individuals who are willing to logically review arguments from both sides.
For example: 
Dave Rubin (youtube).  He is a liberal who interviews people from both sides of the political arguments.
I also like Jordan Peterson & Gad Saad.  Who are also a liberal academics . . . professors.
These youtube sources help me to see the bigger picture in politics and form a more rational view.
By the way . . . I am a social conservative (not religious).
I skim the major news organizations for the daily stuff.  Although, I have to be careful.  These bastards are always looking for ways to sway politically be twisting the facts with their opinions.
Flying Junior Added Oct 17, 2017 - 1:54pm
Thank you
Mike Haluska Added Oct 17, 2017 - 2:02pm
Stockton - nice article.  It seems that with the faster pace of TV, the rush to get the "scoop" results in carelessness and lack of objective editorial review.  It doesn't seem to matter if a story is wrong because the viewership ratings go up either way.
President Trump has thrown another "monkey wrench" into the establishment news by going around the mainstream media via Twitter.  Throw in watchdogs like "Project Veritas" and it's no wonder the mainstream media is in a state of panic and denial.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 2:14pm
Yes Mike.  As in most industries, credibility is everything.  As these media sources incorrectly report, credibility suffers.  Consequently, the people will tune them out and MSM becomes irrelevant.
Unfortunately, MSM sources and channels are well embedded still.  As they double (and triple) down on the fear and control tacts, this creates more disarray in society.  This is a real but temporary threat.
We can only hope the MSM's demise comes more quickly than those people who will never choose to listen/watch to an alternative.
opher goodwin Added Oct 17, 2017 - 2:18pm
William - Surely choosing who to believe is nothing more than a political choice? All sources have a bias. Most people select the one that fits their mindset. There is no unbiased objective truth.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 2:26pm
See opher, this is where you are wrong.  People are swayed by information which they involuntarily select.  People are not mindless drones which the cult-left would love to assume.  Yes, there is selective bias but it is not absolute as you pronounce.
The difference is that the large corporations no longer have the power to control involuntary information.  With free information, people are exposed to new ideas and voluntarily choose.  Eventually, the tide changes for public opinion once free information becomes more readily available.
Dave Volek Added Oct 17, 2017 - 2:56pm
Nice analysis and great fielding of the comments. We are in a transition of some kind for sure.
To me, this transition is an extension of 1848. That year, there were many protests in European cities when the fruits of the industrial revolution had proven not to benefit the lower classes. With these protests, the oligarchies had to give up some of their wealth and control.
opher goodwin Added Oct 17, 2017 - 3:17pm
William - psychology might argue with you on that one. I think people gravitate towards views that reinforce their own. It is quite clear from the Brexit and Trump elections that people are easily manipulated. The Russians were very persuasive and the FBI intervention was probably crucial. 
The world is full of false news, manufactured news, manipulated news and fake news. How on earth can anybody discern what is real from what is biased. Most people are sheep. There is a bias to everything.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 3:47pm
Opher, so you think people are mindless drones that are programmed with initial data, objectives, and missions and then that's it.  
If you believe that, you would have to ignore at least half of history.
You are under some premise that humans are stupid and irrational.  There is much of this.  However, to believe this entirely, again, you would have to be ignoring most of history and certainly ignoring the progress we humans have enjoyed, to date, driven by individuals selecting what they want instead of a government or authority selecting for them.
The bias in humans is rooted in a reluctance for change.  As we get older, this bias becomes much, much worse because we are less resilient to change.  So you might want to only speak for us older people because the youth now have much less bias and willing to look at alternative facts.  Your arguments for immovable bias is rooted in your own bias from age.
As a whole, people, especially youth, want truth more than they want things to stay the same.  This is the reason society and progress move so much slower than we ever predict (2001 Space Odyssey for example).  The containers of old ideas actually have to die.  
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 3:53pm
With these protests, the oligarchies had to give up some of their wealth and control.
Yes Dave.  I agree.  This is the natural progression in that individualism is the best method to actually spread the wealth.  Individual power equates directly to monetary gains. 
I wish socialists would just understand this one very important fact.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 17, 2017 - 4:00pm
opher - your comment:
"All sources have a bias. Most people select the one that fits their mindset. There is no unbiased objective truth."
has validity, but that doesn't excuse a professional journalist (an extinct species in the Mainstream Media) from exercising restraint and reporting verifiable facts - not opinion or rumors.  The past 9 months since President Trump has been in office have seen an unprecedented increase in "unnamed source" stories which never get proven correct. 
There is very little news presented and almost all opinion by the mainstream media.  I have no problem with anyone expressing their opinions, but don't wear the mantle of objective journalist while you're doing it.  People on the Left complain about Fox News, but all they ever watch is the opinion shows.  Fox News has news programs that are "fair and balanced" but the Left sees them as "biased" because they're nothing like the "news" on ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, PBS, TBS, etc.
opher goodwin Added Oct 17, 2017 - 4:06pm
William - I wish you were right. In my experience people are very susceptible to manipulation and history is a clear example of this - the rise of Hitler and Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao are clear examples. People are won over by emotion and not logic.
Propaganda is a very effective tool.
I don't think we're mindless drones. I do think we are tribal and herd together in like-minded groups. We reinforce our own prejudices.
I have great faith in young minds. I worked with them long enough. But one only has to look how easy it has been to hook them on celebrity, fashion, consumerism and mindless entertainment to see how easy it is to manipulate people. Advertising works on us all. That's why they pay big money for it.
opher goodwin Added Oct 17, 2017 - 4:08pm
Mike - Fox news is owned by who?
You must be joking if you think that Rupert Murdock is unbiased.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 4:09pm
Propaganda is a very effective tool.
Propaganda requires a controlled narrative both exclusively in content without opposition and controlling the delivery channels.
All of these methods for propaganda are dying.  We should welcome the change.
Donna Added Oct 17, 2017 - 4:37pm
I hit the like button.
Not sure if i agree or not, just know i do not like the current pres.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 5:31pm
Donna, thank you for the vote.  I did vote your last article as well.
Someone said that Trump is like your mom making you wear your brother's used underwear.  Skidmarks and all.  She forgot to do the laundry that week.
Which would you hate more?  Your mom or your brother?  Both would be offensive bastards.
Surely his bombastic personality is off-putting for some.  Others, like myself, see Trump as the product and remedy for necessary changes.
An incredulous personality, in your face, making the people address the issues of the day rather than burying them in political nonsense as had been done for so, so long.
opher goodwin Added Oct 17, 2017 - 6:36pm
William - I am very skeptical about this uncontrolled change. Nobody has any idea who is controlling the news, where it is coming from and what the bias is. We just saw that with the Russian influence with Trump's election and the same with the American influence on Brexit. It only takes small movements in voting to create big change.
opher goodwin Added Oct 17, 2017 - 6:52pm
And a Johnophobe! Shriek, horror. In fact I'm against any fool who supports violence, barbarity, aggressive, abuse, paedophilia, slavery, war, FGM or torture.
George N Romey Added Oct 17, 2017 - 8:18pm
William good article. Still I’m not sure Americans are ready to accept the systematic change needed to fight the Derp State. I’m not sure Trump is that leader.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 9:21pm
Thanks, George.  Yes, I think you are correct.
Americans were not ready.  The change is happening although.  Most people's anxiety meters are pegged.  We see a change and we are picking up pheromones from each other signaling a threat from somewhere or something.   Yet we cant put a finger on what that threat actually is.  It certainly doesn't help that we have the MSM behemoth inflaming society in order to maintain relevancy.
This article is my take on the situation.
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 10:59pm
LOL John.  Do you really think the democratic party will ever put up a white male for a candidate again?  Since you are sitting on some dirt-pile in NewZealand, you'd, of course, be clueless.
The next round we will see intersectionality in all its gory glory.
Dark, female, lesbian . . . 
William Stockton Added Oct 17, 2017 - 11:14pm
. . . The left will imagine that Trump couldn't touch her in a debate lest he becomes a sexist, racist, and homophobe all at once. This will be their tactic to disarm Trump. It has nothing to do with being the right person for the job. They couldn't care less now about socialism.  It is only about political power -- this is their only value.

The left has no policies anymore. It is now a cult. You simply are out of touch with American politics.
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 2:22am
MJ, You are most likely right and I would have no idea about the crap that is going down now all over the world.
Exciting for sure.  Perhaps dangerous.  People have the common sense to be worried.  
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 2:48am
opher, "Nobody has any idea who is controlling the news, where it is coming from and what the bias is."
Yes, you do.  If it is coming from any corporate news outlet, you know the bias and it is always slanting or omitting critical facts for political messaging.
"We just saw that with the Russian influence with Trump's election and the same with the American influence on Brexit."
The Russians did not influence the American election.  These accusations have been going on for a year now and have been under investigation by top agencies.  Nothing.
I can't speak for Brexit but the only attempted influence from America came from Obama.  He failed.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 4:00am
William - the internet is one great uncontrolled mass of fake news, biased information and real stuff. Nobody knows for sure where it comes from.
There is a great deal of evidence of the Russian involvement in the election of Trump. They bought adverts on facebook, hacked sites and fed false information.
Neil Lock Added Oct 18, 2017 - 4:10am
Nice article, William. Yes, big changes along these lines are beginning to happen. And a good thing, too. But the forces opposed to change are still very strong. They've had everything their way for decades at least, and they aren't going to give it up without a fight - and probably a lot of unnecessary suffering for all of us.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 5:21am
John G - I read what facebook said about uncovering hundreds of thousands of Russian targeted adverts. There is plenty of evidence.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 5:39am
John G - and you believe that??? Wow!!
George N Romey Added Oct 18, 2017 - 6:53am
What Russia may have or have not done is nothing more than what superpowers have been doing for years. Yawn and move on. I agree the Deep State won't go down easily.  Expect total chaos and death, likely some kind of global war.
Simply Jews Added Oct 18, 2017 - 9:21am
@William: as a natural born pessimist, I have to say that I am afraid your optimism might be a bit premature. If, instead of being stuck between, for example, Fox New and CNN, we'll find ourselves between (for example again) Breitbart and Counterpunch, it is quite hard to talk about progress in the media.
As for choosing the people we like: oh well, I have known very likeable commies and very likeable ultra-rightwingers. A conundrum here...
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 9:58am
Simply, These news agencies are dying.  Take a look again at their business model.  Dressing up some guy or girl in a suit or dress to announce the news is not needed anymore.  There was a time this model was useful for the public as TV, radio, and the printed text was a citizens only source. 
Today, all three of those previous sources are antiquated in comparison to the internet.
The other difference is that we don't need a big production to deliver the news.  Any person with a camera and a keyboard can deliver the news.
Bottom line, we will never find ourselves between two media conglomerates (as you claim).  Those days are long gone.  Those old media powerhouses are crumbling and along with their demise ends their corruption and political influence.  These media sources were the priests of politics either blessing or condemning policies and people for political gain.
Simply Jews Added Oct 18, 2017 - 10:04am
William - Oh yes, I agree with that part of your thesis. It is the coming alternative that bothers me.
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 10:13am
Simply, organized news media is dead.  There is nothing coming after it.  You will get your news from raw news feeds.  If you want an opinion on the news, there will be (and are) sources for that too . . . in any flavor you want.  That's it.  I don't see how you can fear this.
Simply Jews Added Oct 18, 2017 - 10:21am
William, it is not exactly a fear, it is just that the already existing flavors bother me. Never mind, as I mentioned, I am a pessimist.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 18, 2017 - 11:04am
opher - your statement:
"Mike - Fox news is owned by who?
You must be joking if you think that Rupert Murdock is unbiased."
begs the question:
Do you have reading comprehension problems?  Does Rupert Murdoch have a political position?  Of course!  That doesn't invalidate the fact that the NEWS (NOT OPINION) portion of Fox News does a good job of staying balanced.  You ought to be concerned that EVERY OTHER NEW CHANNEL is an outright far left owned propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.  The Mainstream Media should just consolidate under the name "PRAVDA".
George N Romey Added Oct 18, 2017 - 12:34pm
News now happens in real time. It’s a local person with an IPhone that gets the scoop and uploads it to YouTube. The entire news model is becoming irrelevant. Anyone can be a reporter now. 
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 12:42pm
Mike - well compared to the extreme right-wing stance of Fox everything else, including Atilla the Hun, would appear to have a left slant.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 12:43pm
George - but that real-time news is then skewed and given a slant by a host of others. Who can trust anything?
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 12:55pm
opher, if you cant see a skew in any report of the news, I'd say you need to hone your critical reasoning skills.
I can look at fox news report or cnn news reports and see both sides skewing.  I certainly can distinguish between someone's opinion and them stating facts.  It is harder to know if they are purposely leaving out information in deception (CNN, MSNBC, etc)
The understanding by any reasonable person is that everyone is skewing the world to fit their focus range.  
Trust?  Really?
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 1:01pm
William - I fear you are right. People all feel the world is skewed away from what they believe. You like Fox because it reflects your right-wing bias. Fox is incredibly right-wing.
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 1:13pm
opher.  Are you kidding?  I barely watch foxnews.  I skim it.  There are so many left pundits there saying the same crap as the other outlets I can barely stomach the self-righteous moral handwringing.
Here are some leftys you would enjoy on foxnews:
Juan Williams, Bob Beckel, Andrea Tanteros, Julie Roginsky
You will never find a right-wing newscaster on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc.  But I get it.  You never watch Fox.  Your bias is an ironclad bubble.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 1:26pm
Murdoch is no friend of mine William. I have to put up with the bias of his newspapers. What I have seen of Fox is more of the same.
Donna Added Oct 18, 2017 - 1:48pm
William, aren't all of the major stations owned by 1-3 major money players? Fox included? See i find all to be liars..One used to be able to trust them , to be honest and report the truth, now it is a free for all, and NOW is when you think they would be as honest as possible.
See to me, if you have a President calling all of you out, as liars, then show the world it is not true..None have instead, they all attempt to put out what they think we want to see or hear. 
They have corrupted themselves..
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 2:04pm
Donna - all of them are interested in footfall not truth. It's a bunch of sharks.
Donna Added Oct 18, 2017 - 3:45pm
John G- Then isn't the point proven, if 90% is owned by 6 corps. How will we ever expect the truth? All seem to be, either all Clinton, or all nothing..Fox is the only one that reports about Trump with out an all out attack. Now i do not like the man, but if you are doing Your job, which is to inform us, then do it properly.I believe that the more lies all spread, the more power we give to the wrong ones..I honestly don't watch the news, haven't in years, i find it to all be BS..I live here, it is pretty easy to see the big picture, and figure it out for one self, with out them..
Katharine Otto Added Oct 18, 2017 - 3:51pm
Good article, good assessment, and a relief.  There's a lot to like about the interactive properties of the internet.  I don't think it will completely replace MSM, but it may force it to become more honest. 
I don't have a television and get most of my info from print media, including newspapers, periodicals, books, and whatever strikes my interest.  I'm eclectic in my choices but always want to know "how the enemy thinks," so don't rely exclusively on those who support my point of view.
As a long-term thinker, I believe Trump is the natural consequence of a trend in the US that had become too rigid.  He's a game-changer and tradition-breaker that scares insiders, but we're finding he needs to learn to work with Congress if he wants to get anything done.  
Advantages to the internet is that it's getting more people involved in world events, it's giving kids relevant reasons to learn to read, teaching everyone how to communicate with people around the world, and prompting free sharing of ideas, without violence.  
Katharine Otto Added Oct 18, 2017 - 3:57pm
I believe control is the problem, not the solution.  We are already overly controlled, and resentment is brewing at every level of society.  I like the freedom of the internet, the fact that people can spread information, misinformation, and distortions.  Why?  Filtering through all that information teaches individuals critical thinking and analysis, such that they begin to form a unique world view.  
Sloppy reporting began long before Trump was elected.  I suspect the primary problem with TV news is that the reporters are young, inexperienced, and don't have enough background to know what questions to ask.  Newspapers aren't much better, from what I've seen lately.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 18, 2017 - 4:01pm
Thank you.  Who doesn't try to influence elections?  This hullabaloo about the Russians and Trump seems like a way to divert attention from more important things.
Dino Manalis Added Oct 18, 2017 - 5:14pm
There's too much disarray at home and abroad, I can't just blame social media and alternative news sources, most of them are owned by corporations too.  We need policymakers who strive for peace and stability at home and abroad, while foreign regimes need to balance stability; human rights; and democratic reforms without destabilizing their countries.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 6:28pm
Katharine - it is not control of the people that is the problem; it is control of the corporations. They are getting away with murder.
opher goodwin Added Oct 18, 2017 - 6:48pm
Coming from a brainwashed nutcase like you that's worrying - not.
wsucram15 Added Oct 18, 2017 - 7:04pm
I dont think the world is falling apart.  I do think that there is a problem (cant answer what it is -but its there) and until everyone calms down and works wont get solved.
This will just change subject matter over and over and over and over and over..
William Stockton Added Oct 18, 2017 - 11:11pm
Katherine, "We are already overly controlled, and resentment is brewing at every level of society."
I agree.  This control has been happening for some time and growing.
There was a noticeable acceleration of this social control occurring sometime around 2008.  People were still experimenting with alternative media while the mainstream media was ramping up social controls.  People couldn't keep up on the latest morality commandments laid down by the priests of politics.
The 2016 election put alternative media on the fast track as people moved to new sources, frustrated that they could never absolve their guilt . . . never meet all the new social rules. 
Now we see these same moral rule-bringers turning on their own kind.  Nobody can ever measure up for a simple reason . . . we feel safer with people we know.  People that are more like ourselves.
Billy Roper Added Oct 19, 2017 - 12:04pm
Unity and diversity are antonyms. That's why America is polarizing at dividing, edging towards civil war. Watch Gainesville today, and Shelbyville next weekend, and the rest of the U.S. on Nov. 4th.
Katharine Otto Added Oct 19, 2017 - 12:21pm
The government and corporations exist to support each other, to the detriment of the individual.  That's why grass roots movements fizzle:  individuals don't have the time or money to fight transgressions, especially when same are marketed as "progress."  "How dare you deny those pipeline builders jobs?" 
Look at what happened to the Standing Rock Sioux when Trump, the A C of E, local and state police and federal judges, ganged up on the Keystone XL protesters.  The land affected by all these pipelines is private, initially, and either undermined, run over, or eminent-domained away.  The pipeline is vulnerable to leaks at any point, and it's to help a Canadian company ship oil to Texas refineries for processing and export.  What part of this deal is good for individuals living along its path?
Katharine Otto Added Oct 19, 2017 - 12:27pm
Another potential advantage of the interactive internet is that individuals can communicate good ideas to each other, ultimately putting pressure on the government to change.
For instance, one of my pet peeves is Daylight Savings Time.  It is unnecessary, expensive, confusing, and a waste of everybody's time and money.  It doesn't change when the sun rises and sets.  Children either go to school in the dark or come home in the dark, even with DST.  If Congress could just abolish Daylight Savings Time this session, it would accomplish wonders.  It's a completely non-partison issue.  We all deserve a stable clock.
opher goodwin Added Oct 19, 2017 - 1:25pm
Katharine - I can't see much good about building an oil pipeline through Indian reservations. This economy first, growth mantra is crap. It should be people and nature first.
Bill Kamps Added Oct 19, 2017 - 3:48pm
Katherine, very funny explanation for DST:
Media has always been a filter of news, and a biased reporter of the news.  Going back to the 60s we knew nothing of JFK's affairs, why they killed Marylin Monroe, why we were really in Viet Nam, how LBJ amassed his fortune, how Teddy killed that poor girl when he  was drunk driving in Mass.  All these things and many more were kept from us "for the good of the country".
These days its tough to filter the news so they bombard us with fake facts, or confusing news.  For most any subject you can find credible evidence on multiple sides of the issue that contradict each other.  Even videos of an event need to be questioned for the possibility of  photo shopping it.
opher goodwin Added Oct 19, 2017 - 4:29pm
Bill - this barrage of fake news is what the problem is. Many people on WB feel mainstream news is a con but are quite happy to buy into a brand of news on the web that they swear is unbiased and accurate. No news is unbiased or accurate. They are fooling themselves.
opher goodwin Added Oct 19, 2017 - 4:41pm
What - like you do John????
opher goodwin Added Oct 19, 2017 - 7:04pm
No John - you don't read more than me. You merely tune in to a narrow extreme view.
I'm interested in listening to other views and weighing things up but I turn off immediately those views are coated with arrogance and abuse.
I don't mind debating with people who think differently. That's fine with me. It doesn't make them morons.
My old man worked for newspaper in charge of a reporters office. I know how the process works and where they get their reports and it's nothing like you stereotype.
You have such little understanding and a big mouth.
Edgeucation Newmedia Added Oct 19, 2017 - 9:28pm
An Interesting perspective. I also believe that the world isn't falling apart, of course one wouldn't know that if they watch the bad news mainstream media. 
Don Added Oct 19, 2017 - 10:21pm
Fake news has become so obviously fake that we may not have to worry about people being mislead anymore.
opher goodwin Added Oct 20, 2017 - 4:16am
John g - you are like a record stuck in the groove - what is this stupidity about tone policing? Did you make that up?
I know it works like that. I sat in the office where the news came in. I saw how it was done. My old man had the inside news on what was going down. He also explained to me the editorial bias and what didn't get reported. I saw it from the inside. It hasn't changed - just got more technological.
opher goodwin Added Oct 20, 2017 - 4:17am
Don - too many people are taken in by fake news or dubious internet sources. Every news has bias. There isn't anything other than fake news.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 20, 2017 - 8:38am
'Manufacturing Consent'
Great stuff. A must.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 20, 2017 - 8:44am
fake news or dubious internet sources.
The problem is that these "dubious" sources often dig deeper than the dullphonie wants. You might see that very often so-called conspiracy theories have, seen over longer periods of time, a logic in it that makes them more plausible than the mass media daily average shit that does concentrate on EVENTS and not on REASONS and CAUSES for events ;-)
Look for the connecting line. Once again a simply question helps: Who profits now, or might profit at a later time of a today's event ? And does it fit into an agenda when looking at former events ?
Stone-Eater Added Oct 20, 2017 - 8:51am
We have N-TV here, a German news channel. Headline was "Russia sells oil to the Taliban !!!" adding a pic of somewhere in Afghanistan and a statement by an anonymous Taliban source....
Thing is on the net I've seen a report in which the proof was given that the pic showing these oil trucks in Afghanistan was actually an old pic of a Pakistani harbor which showed trucks waiting to be loaded....
N-TV belongs to one of the big channels here in Europe, and they often broadcast WWII documentaries where Russia is shown as the big evil. So that fits too.
Stone-Eater Added Oct 20, 2017 - 8:55am
BTW2: Russia fought the Taliban which were more or less a NATO creation against Russia. And now, suddenly they are best friends ?
Those Taliban which almost stopped the drug trade from Afghanistan to the West when they changed camp ? LOL
wsucram15 Added Oct 20, 2017 - 12:19pm
I dont agree with a good bit of the rhetoric on this site only because I take what is reported and research it further. Look for the origin source, etc..  If its innuendo, its interesting..but at some point you have to say ok, I need the documentation or enough proof for this story to have substance.  
Now Im not talking about Russia..none of us knows what happened and I have said myself if anything happened at all, it was financial and thats only because my old data (before Presidency and current media) points that way.
The major stations including your local stations are owned by huge organizations and the data that comes out of them can be controlled, this is not the "free press", it is limited press but the best we have.
You have to find the investigative sources other than cable news media-like the stations rely on, believe it or not..twitter is pretty good right now.  True story There are only a dozen or so left of reliable journalistic sources but your media, except  for random stories come from the investigative sources.
no reason to panic..we have no clue what is really what is happening until it happens.
William Stockton Added Oct 20, 2017 - 1:07pm
Good points Jeanne
William Stockton Added Oct 20, 2017 - 2:04pm
Jeanne, Here is the difference between logical activism and empathy-driven pathology:
Logical activism says, "Build more ramps so people in wheelchairs have access to buildings"
Pathological moral empathy says, "People with functioning legs have an unfair advantage in society.  These people are bigots against people in wheelchairs."
The moral panic we see today is due to people unable to cope with these impossible moral impositions.  Alternative media provides people a venue for more reasonable activism other than the moral pathology of the cult-left.  
Bill Kamps Added Oct 20, 2017 - 2:54pm
William, reminds me of the wheel chair ramp that had to be installed in the local golf driving range because entrances have to be ADA accessible.  If there ever are any wheel chair golfers, Im sure the attendant could bring the balls down to the guy.  What's next? outlawing ladders because they are prejudicial against people in wheel chairs?
Stone-Eater Added Oct 21, 2017 - 5:33am
outlawing ladders because they are prejudicial against people in wheel chairs?
Eileen de Bruin Added Oct 21, 2017 - 10:34am
William, this is a great thread and shows a wonderful and historical perspective.
The only issue which is now singularly contemporary - i.e.: it wasn't an issue a thousand years' ago - is that the technology and the drivers have brought the forestation and wild animal and insect species to the brink of disappearing.  The planet - which will always go on - will not be able to sustain the human race so we will die out. That, indeed, is the only difference in the changing phases of information dissemination and so on.
The contemporary issue, therefore, is that now we need to act upon our historical mindsets and do something a bit quicker than awaiting another thousand years for sufficient evolution to sort the gaps. Time is running out. 
That is, unless you take the view that we will disappear in our current form and evolve into other beings. . . .stick insects perhaps...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:40am
A little bit on behavioural psychology.   These days, more than ever, we are bombarded by huge amounts of information.   It is estimated that we see around 2000-3000 advertising messages every day.
If our conscious mind paid attention to it all, we could not cope.  We would end up gibbering wrecks in a darkened room.
We therefore operate perceptual defence.  This basically means that we only pay attention to some things.   For example, these might be things which strengthen a particular belief that we hold.  Other things which might weaken that belief we probably would not pay attention to.
We also only pay attention to things which we consider important to us.   So, for example, we might not pay attention to advertising messages about baked beans because, frankly, we don't care enough about baked beans to think about them.   But we might pay attention to messages about beer because beer is important to us (well to me anyway..)
We also seek opportunities to pigeonhole information in a variety of ways.   So if, for example, we see two bright points of light coming towards us on a road, our brain says "car" and ceases to pay attention.  It finds it difficult to see it as anything else even when more information makes it plain that they are two motorbikes.  The brain resists spending more effort on evaluation having once made its classification decision.
We also operate scripts... where we can go through quite complicated series of actions without consciously thinking about them.   For example, I might say to the table "let's go" and stand up.   It is actually quite difficult not to stand up yourself and be half out the door before wondering where it is you are going.
Now smart operators know all of this and use it when trying to manipulate us.   So do those trying to promote some sort of ideology.   Often they will seek to prove some small point and then use this urge we have to pigeonholing to extrapolate the idea that their whole ideology is correct.
For example, in his law suit, the Holocaust denier David Irving said that outhouses known to be food stores at Auschwitz had higher concentrations of Zyklon B residue in the brickwork than did the "alleged" gas chambers.    This proves he said, that these were not gas chambers.   Zyklon B was used as an insecticide as well as an agent of mass murder.
Those inclined to want to deny the Holocaust seized on this point.
Of course the reason for the observed phenomena was that it takes a lot lower concentration of  Zyklon B to kill a human than it does to kill a cockroach.
So, knowing the ways that our minds work, what can we do about it in this age of hyperinformation... and disinformation?   Dunno.   Maybe just try to be a little less dogmatic?  Think about the things which really matter to us and really evaluate them fully whilst being conscious of our tendency to cut corners...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:42am
I guess you are not a wheelchair user then Bill?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 21, 2017 - 11:47am
Other causes of panic in today's first world:  Status anxiety.
Modern media gives us every opportunity to compare ourselves, and our perceived success in life, with thousands of other people.  These people, of course, only post an edited version of their life.  So this naturally makes us feel bad.
We are also told, according to modern accepted norms, that we can be whatever we want to be, achieve whatever we want to achieve, if we just try hard enough.  So if you haven't achieved what you want you are a failure... a loser.   
This is, of course, a load of bollocks and needs to be challenged more often.   The price that our fellow humans are paying is simply too high to just stand by and watch
Eileen de Bruin Added Oct 22, 2017 - 4:33am
Robin, you make a lot of sense; your writing is very clear.  The comparison ethics and our being made to feel a failure unless....xxxxx... is indeed used by the marketing psychologists to hit us where it hurts!
What is wrong with us just being?  Just observing, watching, smiling, walking, talking...? Being calm and grounded would be nice instead of rushing around like a disturbed ant hill...
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 22, 2017 - 5:14am
Philosophy suggests a number of ways to deal with status anxiety.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, is to set your own frame of reference.   So if, for example, someone tells you that they are earning a million dollars a year (must be some sort of banker or other criminal to be doing this IMHO), then don't reflect on how much more that is than you.   Instead tell yourself that you are much better at playing the guitar, or have produced more beautiful and happier children etc.
The second is to tell yourself that you are part of something much bigger and that this is what really matters.   This is one reason why many are drawn to some sort of religion  "I may not have much success in this life but...."   Alternatively you can learn to appreciate nature or art in some form.
But possibly the most effective is to remember that 100 years from now we will all be dead and no-one will care one fig for how much you earned.   And then just relax... feel the sunshine and the rain....
My own way of coping is by singing and learning to play a melodeon.   I have started far to late in life to be really good at this.   But I tell myself that that is not the important point... its the self expression and communication with fellow men that really matters.
Of course it would help a lot if I had an enormous bank account and house... oh and a Maserati in the garage... and....
George N Romey Added Oct 22, 2017 - 3:52pm
Remember being an average person was acceptable for years.  Ward and June Cleaver were totally acceptable as Ozzie and Harriet.  Then the 1980s struck and being average meant you were a loser.  You had to be rich, cutthroat and stylish.  Ward Cleaver got replaced by JR Ewing June Cleaver by Alexis Colby.  Over the past 30 plus years its only gotten worse.  LinkedIn tells you that average people can't get decent jobs.  Everyone has to be a superstar but if we are all superstars then isn't superstar just average.
What this has led to is a uncivil, rude, rough and greedy society.  Its all about the self and nothing about the neighbor.  We practice self gratification through voyeurism on social media.  We pretend the banal and boring (like us having bunch) is some kind of star studded gala. 
One reason we have some much division and unhappiness is that we are losing the ability to reach out and connect to others in a personal way.  Having 10,000 on friends on FB and all kinds of likes on LI yet we are so lonely and detached.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 22, 2017 - 5:58pm
Oh I don't know George, I think status anxiety has always been a bit of a problem.   Certainly the 1980's made things much worse.
One problem, I think, is choice.   We are taught that choice is good.   But actually it leads to anxiety.
In feudal times if you were a peasant, life really sucked.  It was nasty, brutish and short.    But you could do absolutely nothing about it.   So you did not worry so much.   Now, if you are a peasant... it's your fault.   You didn't make the right choices.   Didn't work hard enough or smart enough.   You loser!
Benjamin Goldstein Added Oct 23, 2017 - 2:10pm
I may write a piece on moral panic at some time. If not Autumn will suspend me with the words 'You know it is against the rules to publish boring articles on god-forsaken Germany all the time'.
SEF: I think n-tv belongs to Bertelsmann. They also own a lot of American publishing ventures like 'Random House'. I'm not surprised if they air documentaries on how Hitler's victims of the WWII (the Russians) are the evil ones. Owner Liz Mohn is a close friend of Angela Merkel. They are utterly depraved.
Tamara Wilhite Added Oct 23, 2017 - 6:11pm
Someone asked me why I wasn't hysterically afraid of Trump after the comparisons of him to Hitler, Stalin, other evils. I said it was because the same accusations had been leveled at every conservative candidate and particularly the Republican Presidents for years.
Liberals are freaking out because they've silenced so many moderate and conservative voices in the public sphere, reinforcing the thought bubble and letting them drift further to the left.
They believe their propaganda that all conservatives are just crazy, stupid, evil or at best ignorant and their leaders are evil incarnate.
Paranoid hysteria as a political tactic is old. I hope you're right that it is getting old with liberals because the violent liberal mobs beating people in the name of love for daring try to speak is destroying any legitimacy of classic liberalism as an ideology for a generation.
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 24, 2017 - 4:11am
I think Tamara, that however much the man himself might be a buffoon, the office he occupies carries considerable weight (although his behaviour is doing a lot to degrade that office).
When he fails to crack down on racist actions, such as in Carolina, he is, to all intents and purposes, sending a message that they are OK.  This emboldens the perpetrators.   Civil unrest will result, as will increasing divisions in society.
Internationally he seems to be leading the USA in the opposite direction to the rest of the world, dragging the country back to the 19th century.   He speaks before engaging his brain, annoying allies around the world.   He also offers his supporters things which cannot be delivered (Mexico will pay for the wall...).
I am currently reading "Hubris" the story of Hitler's rise to power.  There are many parallels.   Hitler defined his new idea of a nation (making Germany great again) by those who were excluded from it, rather than from some shining idea of what it stood for.   Trump is similar.  He talks about making the country "great again" without any real definition of what that means.   Instead he is creating an implied list of those who should be excluded:  Muslims, socialists, black people etc etc.
I am sure that he will not go as far as Hitler, but he does have the capacity to cause a lot of damage to the USA and the rest of the world.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 24, 2017 - 11:23am
Robin - based on your statement:
"We are taught that choice is good.   But actually it leads to anxiety."
you have revealed yourself as the quintessential Statist.  I'm certain you materialized right out of a copy of "1984"!
Mike Haluska Added Oct 24, 2017 - 11:28am
Stockton - great post!  Your statement:
"Pathological moral empathy says, "People with functioning legs have an unfair advantage in society.  These people are bigots against people in wheelchairs."
can be followed up with Pathological moral empathy's solution:
"Amputate the legs of those with functional legs to make everyone equal"
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 24, 2017 - 12:27pm
No Mike.   Just pointing out the truth.   Choice can well cause distress and anxiety .   Although it is also a good thing in many other ways so long as one person's exercise of choice does not negatively affect someone else.
What is a statist by the way?   Are you against states?   Are you an anarchist?
Have you ever read up about the commons dilemma.   It does fit many of the issues that we discuss here:  gun control, climate change etc etc.
The premise is that of the commons... and area of grazing land which all commoners have the right to graze their animals upon.     If everyone exercises restraint and limits the degree to which their animals graze, then the common provides and excellent resource in perpetuity.   If, on the other hand, someone allows their animals to graze without restraint... and others follow, then the commons become overgrazed and essentially useless for everyone.
Many human situations fit this model.
Your approach, that humans should do whatever they want without regard to others  (e.g. drive large polluting cars, carry guns etc etc) is akin to the inconsiderate animal owner.   This has recently, I fear, become the dominant attitude in America.   Hence the current panic.
Mike Haluska Added Oct 24, 2017 - 3:55pm
Robin - your statement:
"Choice can well cause distress and anxiety ."
begs the question:
What action do humans take regarding the direction of their lives is there that doesn't cause "distress and anxiety"?  Only people who are afraid to take responsibility for their own lives and people who think they "know what is best for the rest of us" would trade freedom of choice for false security.  
Robin the red breasted songster Added Oct 29, 2017 - 2:27pm
Very true.   However many live their lives in a state of false security.   Many assume that their employer will look after them if they are loyal, for example.  You should always have two jobs.   One is the one you are doing.   The other is preparing for the one that you are going to do next.
However, freedom of choice can and should be sensibly negotiated against the greater benefits of co-operation with fellow humans.   It's called civilisation.
Eileen de Bruin Added Oct 30, 2017 - 9:00am
I am not sure that we can speak anymore for the many, or if we ever could. The latter I can now see from this historical distance...and the huge changes after the Second World War in the UK. Yes, the many were speaking out, by taking action, yes, from the Workers' Educational Party....a co-ordinated onslaught of education throughout the cities and towns and access to higher education (Open University came from this) and they all went for fundamental change.
The distance is the overviewer, but the Orwellian statement is correct, as in the past being controlled and the future being shaped by the super powers.
The real news, however, including in the US is not reported upon. You are not furnished with the poverty and degradation of the US people who cannot get access to basic health care and which is not only life shortening, but degrades life quality. There are millions without the basic care we might expect from a wealthy country. The news focuses on the political agendas whose drivers are industry...mainly the war industry whose manipulation of the masses implies enemies from abroad or terrorism or a Mexican. You do not even see this as a problem because you are born what you are right, and if you don't amount to much (materialistically speaking) well, then, that is what you deserve.  This cultural brainwashing makes all of the outrageous behaviour of your own political elite and the outstandingly badly managed home affairs not even an issue.
Our news programmes are just huge propaganda avenues telling us who we need to fear. We seem to have let slip by the fact that we are not even scrutinising the real basic facts that this lack of sharing in a country’s wealth, is creating a mass of muppets who are then available for insecure work and slave wages at such franchises as MacD or wherever.  Masses for the work, keep them dumb fed and accepting of the status quo (and make sure that they know the "enemies" to to focus their discontent upon.
The real news is that we are all being directed to anything but the important, and fundamental, truths.
The BBC has long moved away from a balanced focus, and is now just an arm of the politically elite, just like your broadcasters in the US.
The political elite, including the Clintons, manufacture those aspects to present to the people, in order to keep the people focused on external “enemies”.The enemy within, however, is your Uncle Sam or a baby doll or a cute puppy, which is treated like a wonderful pet and constantly pampered!
The Media is just a huge arm of the elite, including Rupert Murdoch and his ilk, Clintons and Blairs and their ilk, to manipulate the masses to allow the status quo to keep on. We are being directed by mad and greedy and wealthy (materially) beyond all comprehension-people and their interests (war, oil, war, food industry, war, war and its machines) include making sure that we hate the enemies without!
Just when are we all going to wake up, en masse, I mean?
Or should we just accept things as they are, become wise to the real drivers and absorb wisdom, experience and the realisation that we are here to learn anyway?
William Stockton Added Oct 30, 2017 - 9:49am
I agree, Eileen.  Although, people are waking up.  Hollywierd is in chaos right now.  Everyone is calling out everyone with sex offenses.
Holy cow.  I have never seen anything like it.   Moral panache-panic.
If Hollyweird burns down, that whole elite hierarchy burns as well.  
Eileen de Bruin Added Oct 31, 2017 - 6:02am
William, yes!  If this is the age of Kali....where materialism is reaching its peak...then the next stage is implosion!
Perhaps it will all begin in Hollyweird!  It is happening over here, too, in the elite political all seems to be merging and emerging.  Watch this space folks! But, Kevin Spacey?  Ach, we be all fallible and more so if we are in the public eye. 
Perhaps it is time for Adam to spit out his apple.
Eileen de Bruin Added Nov 1, 2017 - 4:36am
William, your original essay includes:
The same chaos can be observed by simply poking an ant-hill.  Although there is no real threat, the ants scurry about madly.  
This has been playing on my mind - and this is the reason for it:
The legends about Siddharta (later Gotama) include a childhood anecdote.  In order to keep his son from the world (they were a rich family of the ruling order), to protect him from its ills and knowledge of suffering and death and ugliness etc., his Father made sure that Siddharta was always protected.  One day, it was the ceremonial ploughing of the fields which was attended by many, including S and his Father.  His Father had left S in the care of his nurses, under the shade of a rose-apple tree.
The nurses, however, went off to watch the ploughing and the child was alone.  He looked at the field which was being ploughed and saw that the young grass had been torn up and that the insects and their eggs in those shoots, had been destroyed.  the young boy gazed at the carnage and felt a strange sorrow, as though it were his own relatives that had been killed.
This relates to the connection to all suffering.  His recognition and absorption then led to a feeling of pure joy - the reflections - the true connection to life - had raised it up.
Well, ok, this laddie became the Buddha.  But your take on the ant hill and its effects or potential lack thereof made me think about this, do you see?
Robin the red breasted songster Added Nov 1, 2017 - 5:07am
Well here it will soon be wassailing season.  This is where we go door to door wishing everyone health and success in the year ahead.  We also provide "entertainment" in the form of a play and several songs.   This is the fourth year we have been doing it.  Last year we had over 500 performers involved altogether.
I think that this sort of local action does a lot to promote a feeling of community and reduce the feelings of moral panic.   It is something real that is not controlled by the Man (tm) and does not carry corporate branding.  It's also a lot of fun.  I recommend it.

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