The information age, make or break?

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In all my reading of history books, I have made an observation. Humanity has gotten better as information has become more prevalent. Meaning, the speed with which information flows can be correlated to improvements in the quality of life of the average Joe. Also, its becoming harder and harder to hide crimes against humanity.

So cut to today… We’re battling disinformation and that has been REALLY tough. But we’re also addressing things that have been hiding behind denials for generations; and that’s a VERY good thing.

So I have come to the conclusion. If we can survive the disinformation, the information age may be the greatest advancement in human rights in all of history.

What do ya’ll think?
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: The information age, make or break?

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I think the jury is still out. Before the Internet age, when information moved more slowly, it was also generally more reliable because publishing information was not free. People were therefore unlikely to spread lies just on a whim. Now that has changed. Teenagers get on 4chan and make up ridiculous things that now spiral into world-wide conspiracies because there is no cost to spreading the misinformation, neither financial, reputational, nor criminal.
98+ recreational uses of firearms
1 defensive use
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Re: The information age, make or break?

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CDF good article. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around all of it. We have seen the manipulation for decades with Madison Ave. and the invention of Radio then TV. It has been even longer in our election politics back into the early 1800s. I can't say information was more reliable because it wasn't free. Two quick examples, the explosion of the USS Maine in Cuba and the sinking of the Lusitania. Both led us into war but had the truth been known we might not have gone to war. The USS Maine exploded due to a fire in coal bunker right next to the forward black power magazine. But the Hearst newspapers had already been hyping war sums against Spain. The Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat. But the Lusitania was carrying war munitions in violation of the Geneva Convention on Wars so it was legal.

It isn't just the misinformation but the withholding of information. Another war Vietnam the Golf of Tonkin attack leading to the expansion of the war. Later release of the Pentagon Papers should that it didn't happen the way it was portrayed by our government to the press. don't forget the Mobile Bio warfare labs in Iraq.

Just some examples of how the government and the press have spread the lies and disinformation. No wonder why people don't believe what the government spokesperson tells them, even when it is the truth.

In the past ages, before the mass media, the lies spread were of a more local nature involving just a few people. With the invention of the telegraph and cheaper newsprint the lies could be spread almost nationwide. What we are seeing now is just an acceleration of the same process.

What we have now is an electronic version of the game we played back in elementary school. This was where the teacher had the class get into a big circle. The teacher would the whisper a phrase to one student who would then whisper it to another til it went all around the room. What usually came out was nothing like the original.

There is cost to spreading the misinformation it can be monetary to those people or companies the misinformation is about or cost in peoples lives as in the misinformation about COVID. Unfortunately it is rarely a cost to those that spread the misinformation.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: The information age, make or break?

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Eris wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 4:31 pm I think the jury is still out. Before the Internet age, when information moved more slowly, it was also generally more reliable because publishing information was not free. People were therefore unlikely to spread lies just on a whim. Now that has changed. Teenagers get on 4chan and make up ridiculous things that now spiral into world-wide conspiracies because there is no cost to spreading the misinformation, neither financial, reputational, nor criminal.
I agree. Hideo Kojima pictured this singularity occuring 20 years ago in his breakthrough game, Metal Gear Solid 2, Sons of Liberty. Controversial in 2001, and released just weeks after 9/11.

The game explores digital communications, where context is thrown out the window, disinformation runs rampant, and has an antagonist, a dangerous autocrat, who seeks to exploit it.

The most profound moment in gaming.

"Scientists had to make thousands of calculations to create the (atomic bomb) and determine its effects… Computers and atomic bombs, both products of World War II, grew up together.“

Information Age: People, information, and Technology exhibition- National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institute.

https://youtu.be/jIYBod0ge3Y
Last edited by DiamondDawg on Tue Dec 07, 2021 7:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The information age, make or break?

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Once upon a time, when we wanted more information on a subject we'd go to a library and research it or ask a librarian. Now people go to the internet and we all know the results. In the past if we were sitting in a waiting room, we'd pull out a book and read, now people pull our their mobile phones and call someone or check e-mail or surf the web.
Merchants of attention have learned that nothing adheres us to their traps like emotion, and that some emotions are stickier than others. The new and alluring, the surpassingly cute. The frenzied thrill at the prospect of conflict or violence. The misfortune of others. Perhaps most emblematically, the expression of our anger, rightful or hateful. All of this lights up a part of our brain that will not release us from its tyranny. Our fingertips seek it. To say that we are addicts does not capture the magnitude of what is happening.

The system is built to keep us riveted, to keep that neurochemical leak of dopamine steadily coursing, and it operates with a premium on efficiency, which is to say, the platforms optimize for performance based on empirical feedback.
Embedded in this scheme of endless distraction is a deeper logic. The system has come to understand the fundamental value of always reaffirming our points of view back to us, delivering to us a world in our image, confirmation bias as the default setting. This is the real meaning of contemporary virtuality. In the virtual space, the technology combats and corrects our frustrations with reality itself—which defies expectation and understanding, by definition.
And that media that got us addicted, tracks us because the new business model is surveillance capitalism. They don't just retain all that data on us, they customize ads to our interests and most of all they sell that data so others can sell to us and track us.
https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2019/01/15 ... ebook-data
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: The information age, make or break?

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FrontSight wrote: Tue Dec 07, 2021 6:26 pm Ya'll are killing my buzz man!
The future is uncertain, and I'm thinking about how scary it seems - It was scary to my grandfather, who told me when I was little how uncertain things were after Pearl Harbor happened, 80 years ago. He enlisted soon after that day of infamy. The era was, "Not fun," in his words.

Authoritarianism was on the march across the globe, in his day, and the important thing I remember, is he and others NEVER gave up.

They want us tired, they want us to be worn down. It's what authoritarians do - attrition.

Stay strong, you're all diamonds.

Re: The information age, make or break?

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In this day and age of democracy, the withholding of information can be considered equivalent to Disinformation.

Democracy is dependent on information and an informed electorate. There will always be people wanting to lie to get votes. That is human nature.

But I see a future where freedom of information will be sacrosanct and reasoning ability will be a respected skill or ability that all individuals strive for. This is already the case in many hacker communities. The desire for freedom or allow oneself to be slaughtered like sheep will be he impetus for sharpening reasoning and research skills. It actually doesn’t take that much work if you also make the next move...

After reasoning I imagine will be a shift in consciousness where we see ourselves as part of a greater enterprise called humanity. Decisions made from that more balanced state of mind will be even easier to do and make us less susceptible to being hoodwinked by liars and disinformation agents.
"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of non-violence to cover impotence. There is hope for a violent man to become non-violent. There is no such hope for the impotent." -Gandhi

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