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Discussion on: You are being manipulated

stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee • Edited on

When people were grumbling about a "second civil war" years ago, I told them it would never happen for two reasons:

  1. America's couches are way too comfy.
  2. You speak and act a whole lot differently when you have to look a MFer in the eye. You're not nearly as IDGAF in person as you pretend to be behind your keyboard.

The current craziness is an anomaly, and largely whipped into a froth for political gains (on both "sides" - in quotes because they both want the same thing: power). The fact that everyone has cabin fever clearly isn't helping either.

In 2016/2017, I said something else along with my dismissal of the "second civil war" theory. I advised that people turn off CNN, Fox News, etc., get in their cars, and take a road trip, across as many cities, towns, or even states as they could. What you see, when you do that, is that people from all walks of life tend to get along a lot better than ratings-chasing media want you to believe (again, obviously, this is harder to do right now, but that won't always be the case).

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John Kazer

It's still a broken system though trust people vote for the rabble rousing. Perhaps out of fear of the other side. And I guess a lot of folk don't both to vote at all.

Totally agree about the get out and visit principle. Wish it was easier to talk to people as well, these days.

stereoplegic profile image
Mike Bybee

A lot of it is fear of other (and too much time spent in echo chambers). When you gang up in groups and shout at each other, any common ground and potential inroads you have with someone on the other side gets homogenized away.

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman Author • Edited on

A civil war never seriously occurred to me. I mean surely we learned that lesson with great tragedy already. The weapons I mentioned were quips, retorts, and trite sayings. Each side of any given issue provides outrage to motivate you against the other. Then equips you with words to parry and counter attack. This manipulates users at a psychological level to keep them coming back for the next outrage and counterpoint and ad revenue. Media (social or otherwise) makes money and society loses.

"News media" has done this for a while. But social media can now make it happen in a way that's tailored to each individual and at scale.

byrro profile image
Renato Byrro

What's motivating me to think is: how did we get to this point where we're so easily manipulated? There's got to be a way to teach individuals to (truly) think for themselves, to have self conciousness and "mental defenses" against these power-seeking manipulation tactics...

I've been studying Logosophy and am very much impressed. It's not a panacea, though. Changing secular things requires a lot of effort. And time...

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman Author

The mind is a formidable organ, but many states can override the mind's intelligence. Like fear. Most of a soldier's initial training isn't about how to use equipment, but about acclimatizing them to fear, and training them to still be able to operate in its presence.

The imperative to connect with other humans is another instinct that is easily manipulated. The unscrupulous have always used it against their fellow humans. Confidence men, for example. These manipulations are big and cause obvious harm, so they are illegal. The ones that are perpetrated on social media are for pennies of ad revenue (times millions of users). And have effects that are imperceptible in one person. The scale at which they operate instead creates trends in society as a whole. Like polarization.