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Divisions within us, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge”

November 23, 2017 2 comments

This is part 7 of my series which started HERE with the Introduction and Index for the series, “On the Edge”, a perspective on our times.

Divisive Culture, Part 7 in the series “On the Edge” | Engagement – a point of view

In the days before Social Media, the majority of the news came from Mass Media, such a Television, Newspapers and Magazines … but through mass media, we are exposed only to the perspective of these media companies, especially when it comes to their opinion on the events concerned. The is a passive relationship, between the media company and the reader, as there is no conversation normally possible.

 

 

Social Media on the other hand offers us the ability to engage and project our own beliefs providing many different perspectives on the same event … some credible, some manipulative, some fake, others plain delusional – although it can be said that the divisions in society were already there …. The media, fake news and social media, opens the “sore” so to speak, creates more as well as exacerbating divisions – Social Media, particularly Facebook, seems to operate by exploiting human failings, one of the outcomes is that it dramatically polarises society for or against an issue – there are too few seeking to find something that approaches the true situation, for we must seek to find credibility in these resources and not just accept them without examination, just because they agree with our beliefs, our own confirmation bias. However social media also has a negative side … that is being exploited.

We have those perspectives from alternative media that feed into and manipulate the fears of their readership … proposing such theories that project Condemnation, conspiracy theories and blame (Like Governments who almost always blame a minority in the population) and straight out projection of personal beliefs, as always assumptions based on beliefs are dangerous ground for organisations which are meant, well hypothetically meant to factually report the news.

This is important I feel .. if you have any questions of concerns about the veracity of information you are receiving via the internet and particularly Social Media …. ask yourself the following questions ..

1. Who is writing the stories? – is the source credible .. though that is not always a guarantee of veracity to know if it is true or misinformation, designed to misinform and create divisiveness.

2. Who benefits from these stories? – does a political party or aspect of society benefit from say misinformation contained in the story .. please evaluate the story impartially, not through the primary filter of your political, social or religious beliefs.

3. Who is missing from these stories? The other side, a different perspective on the situation.

4. Verify anything that can be verified in the story, don’t share it or believe it merely because it agrees with your general beliefs or agreeing with your confirmation bias.

The whole concept of conspiracies (real or not) also feeds into our fears and powerlessness, our victim mentality – this can generate frustration and eventually anger and on occasion action to right a perceived wrong, if we don’t let it go or educate ourselves. Those that practise divisiveness and manipulation of the population have been wildly successful, since conspiracy theories, race resentment, Islamophobia, misogyny and other base bigotry, sorry emotions have a significant visceral appeal to ingrained beliefs amongst, those susceptible.

All of the above have the added advantage of diverting focus from the real and present problems in a society or culture.

Why people don’t look at peoples actions as what the true expression of who they are as people that they respect is quite beyond me .. those that vote for a certain party, because their Daddy did or they always have show a true lack of intelligent curiosity, however that comment is in itself a stereotype and hopefully will prove me wrong when people let go of these beliefs and move outside their safe beliefs and bubbles and reclaim their political power.

Social media is essentially about engagement, the creation of a relationship, the act of choosing who we wish to engage with and “disengaging” with those we don’t creates a bubble of people with like-minded beliefs … we don’ have to engage with those we don’t wish to. Hence we are not open to the opinions of others, their perspectives which may be creative and what’s more factual and therefore true – but we have little tolerance and it seems no empathy for others and their point of view or where they find themselves in the world, this choice further exacerbates divisions.

One cannot help to form the opinion that Paywalls installed by News organisations is an issue that is harming the ready availability of information and news. It may be a major reason for fake news.

Social Media

What will be the shape of society and culture in the future, this may be determined primarily by the economy at this time, but also how society relates to itself … and how we relate and engage with others.

We can look at countries that are a major influence on culture such as the USA which is or should I say was a trendsetter, a leader, now sadly it appears to be one of the most severely divided country of any …. It is hugely polarised, a country where people when they first meet after introducing themselves describe themselves, by including their Political affiliation … I found this many times in my recent trip to the USA …. This for someone from outside of America is odd and incredibly unusual. Depending on their political beliefs are people saying “beware”, it is almost setting the conversation that may come for possible conflict and blame.

Too few organisations actually just report the news … instead we have an opinion provided by the organisation, which is often the perspective from someone, they project their views (or the ownership’s views) onto us … too often that perspective is partisan, corrupt, wrong or manipulative.

Years ago, when I understood the concept of Social Media … I felt it would be a wonderful way to engage with the world, to build communities, to understand the world and to engage with Politicians to help keep them accountable. However the dark side has become ever present … along with the issue that there is no one in charge, it has become a harbinger or darkness through the worst of flawed behaviours that humans can generate.

Implications

We live in a culture that project their beliefs (in many cases uniformed, biased or bigoted ) onto others … in this way people set themselves up as a “better” person, a more moral, more aware … but we do not build a society only on morals we primarily build it on ethics … for people who criticise or attack others this doesn’t change the target of their attacks, it does change who we believe these people are who project their beliefs … they may be so empty or angry that they need to put others down to make them feel better – our western society seems largely built on ego driven desires, selfishness, ignorance and fear… this alone will mean that Twitter, Facebook and the like will thrive …. With Trolls, those broadly speaking people who wish to punish, blame and ridicule others .. all this means their anonymous behaviour in the most part ideal for Social Media as they are generally not held accountable, although that it changing.

From Neil Perkin, a current topic as below … a perspective

We live in a culture that loves to blame the victim. Women who report sexual abuse, sexual assault, and/or sexual harassment are perfect targets for those who would blame the victim. Even beyond all of the comments we could make about society working to protect the status quo of a male dominated culture there are psychological payoffs to blaming the victim. Blaming the victim helps us avoid that reality where horrible things can happen to any of us at almost any time. If we can blame the victim we can believe we have the power to avoid being a victim because we are smarter, wiser, more moral, and more careful.

Victim blaming seems to take one of two main forms with infinite variations. The first form is denial. “She is lying.” “It did not happen.” “It did not happen like that.” This provides instant comfort because the bad thing simply did not happen. The second form can be far more subtle and involves the victim being responsible for their own victimization. This blaming involves all of the wonderful suggestions such as “why was she there,” “why didn’t she just leave,” “why didn’t she just say no.” Often these also go with the high moral judgment of “I would have never.” Blaming the victim can be very seductive. However, doing so simply perpetuates and even fuels the problem.

The flaw here in that hindsight and anonymity that the internet provides is a woeful perspective, it is not in any shape reality, the unconscious, flawed behaviour of those that ridicule, blame and condemn, rarely have had the experience in question, they comment to enhance themselves – but they have no idea of the situation that confronted this person … the reality is that Condemning others does not liberate, it oppresses.

Personas

What we see generally of a “person” on social media is a persona that is created for the medium … we rarely see the person, hence although we use the internet through one of its strengths, in building relationships, sharing our thoughts and information … but it this happening? …. I would refer to this extract that discusses communities from Gizmodo.

Community

“…the price we pay for having more personal freedom is that we lose social cohesion on the larger scale. We become less committed to our neighbours and each other. If we are to survive in the global village, we must somehow find a way to recreate that sense of community.”

I can see this point, but I do wonder about the true impact of technology in all this.

The formation of collaborative groups has become easier than ever as it is the strength of the internet, for technology is so effective at bringing people together. Yet we don’t value it, for we have become disconnected from others and to some extent from ourselves… we idealise people who we have never met, hold them to impossible standards and yet fail to nurture and value our closest relationships in the house, in the street, in the community, the country we live in.

We judge … we label … we project … we dismiss … we blame others all to make ourselves feel better about ourselves and the possibility of being better at the experience of others, of that we judge. Through ignorance we do this without understanding what we are talking about …. Fear, selfishness and ignorance are in my view the main reasons in my view the world is in the state it is.

So is technology contributing more toward social fragmentation or cohesion? Do our own limitations, and the increasing mobility that the technology provides means that it is diminishes our sense of community, communication, engagement and belonging.

If we could only look behind the shut gates, the security measures and the closed doors into the hearts of mankind? – a perspective is that our lives sadly are not our own … politicians run a game of fame and attention that projects their emptiness and self-serving agenda onto the minds and lives of humankind. As millennia go by, any number of games of ideals are touted as the answer to mankind …. none have been as they all use the defunct command and control mentality … the ideology of self interest is all about “me”, a lack of compassion and empathy pervades …. hence we play a basic game of follow the leader, sadly there are too few that qualify to lead.

In my opinion, the future will eventually consider a collaborative, co-operative, a form of community consultation … leadership will come from within the group.

Belief and Religion Inspired Intolerance

Religions and Churches, have all exploited the credulity of believers not for some higher good, but to enhance themselves, their power base, influence and income.

Within these Churches, there are true holy men and women, however the trouble with any organisation, and particularly those that sets themselves up to show the way to “God” (however you perceive it) is that it is controlled by mere humans who are not perfect and along with their ego and desires they have taken opportunities through the ages to abuse people and inflict untold murder, abuse and sufferings.

Bigotry and Intolerance are learned behaviours, coming mainly ironically from a lack of education (travel is a great educator) … this lack of education and hence the resulting lack of understanding, empathy or compassion is in my view the main reason for conflict in the world.

Voltaire, had a poor opinion of the Catholic Church in France, as it was the dominant religion at the time, he said the below when he was speaking of the Church whilst he was in England ….

“If there were only one religion, then then Governments would very possibly become arbitrary, two religions and the people would cut each other’s throats, but as there are a multitude, people are happy and live in peace.”

Voltaire statement applies in my view equally to an ideology as to a religion, for they are in many regards a similar thing, an investment in the ideology itself, sadly it is my opinion that too many people become ideologues of religion rather than have faith in it, pray and do good and compassionate work.

All religions and ideologies as well, have their dogma – limiting yourself only to your bubble of beliefs in religions of ideologues, has down through the ages led to the worst in human behaviours.

Before you take what is shown on a web page in social media or elsewhere …. make sure it agrees with you innermost thoughts and values, do be curious and open to the new .. but ensure it is true … find other sources that confirm it … check its veracity. Be careful of confirmation bias.

Think, most of all think …. do not follow dogma … because dogma lessens us, betrays our full potential … don’t follow it just because it is easy … you are unique … make you own way. Steve Jobs had a beautiful empowering thought concerning this …

 

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s
life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of
other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown
out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow
your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want
to become. Everything else is secondary.”

– Steve Jobs

 

When we each create peace within us, only then can we project that peace out onto the world spreading peace and love for all us. … but is it too late for this generation for separation, division, judgement and projection has become for the many, dogma.

Dogma is just someone else’s thoughts, imposed on you, ( there is no guarantee it is right for today, or in fact ever was .. it is just accepted ) think for yourself, create your own path, your own direction, to your own bliss.

My posts are simply my perspective and are offered in the spirit of discovery, exploration and evolution – take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

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On the Edge of the Abyss – Part 5 – Media

September 1, 2015 Leave a comment

Media

This society is all about the surface of life, appealing to your desires, the quick fix .. too few of us look beneath the dogma and beliefs to find what is real.

The greatest tool for the continuation of this paradigm, well any paradigm is the media of the time … depending on the government … State, Corporate, or other – when the state and corporate merge as is the case now, freedom is truly under threat. We are in effect in a Theocracy where the word of a spiritual guide has been replaced with the word of the one percent … pursuing their agenda of control and consumption.

In society, beliefs that originate through dogma are tools for social conditioning and compliance, rather than any personal expressions of an inner realisation or an universal truth, at time in our lives comes when we can transcend this, when we no longer see that the system serves the common good, or any good, then old dogmas that are fully investigated and seen that to have no foundation … at this point they can become springboard for spiritual growth, when we strip away the layers of beliefs and dogmas to arrive at what is reality to us. For our individual reality is a convergence of many things, a compilation of beliefs, values, childhood and life experiences all create how we see and relate to what is an essentially neutral world.

When we are brought into this world we are like a blank slate … nature has by and large finished her work, then for the rest of our life it is our attitudes, values and beliefs which determine our choices, using these tools, we create our lives.

The lessons we receive whilst we are growing up and how we are nurtured and created lay the foundation for who we become.

Projecting our beliefs (by in many cases by denial, disbelief or skeptical behaviours), is a way which I would suggest the majority of us handle the world, learnt from our environment whilst growing up – for instance, the erroneous belief that there is only one right way to live, is at the root of all conflict in the world ~ Government agendas and their war machines are the single greatest factor that determines the future of the world, and the greatest cause of suffering in the world.

What initially determines our belief system is the family or nurturing environment as well as the society we live in … made up of individuals, families, communities, groups, and onwards.

A very prevalent problem in Australia is abuse within families, where their partners, physically, emotionally and verbally abuse spouses and children! This is perpetrated normally by men. It is a symptom of this, of belief systems (and the expectations that society and family places on the individual) and sometimes the abuser was abused as a child .. a cycle of violence.

The external pressures that are placed on people to “keep up with the Jones” to maintain the perception that they are successful that they are living the dream, in other words the availability or not of money… this paradigm has found a fix for that as well .. debt .. as we have found with the gross injustices that are affecting the Greek people… the oppression of Greece as been brought about by money .. debt .. In a personal environment, this debt cycle is brought about due to the easy availability of money, where the borrower “needs” to consume or purchase an product or service – we pay for money not only in money but also in our liberty.

Why would I go over old ground? Simply because in this day and age the largest purveyor and distributor of doctrine, or ideology, to establish and maintain this belief system is the media … the legacy world mass media, that shapes our beliefs and to what this society values … a fading representation of this is the desire to achieve … any country is sustained by the foundation of any society that rests on its laws, its enforcement (police & judicial) and its money.

To over identify with a belief an ideology or a religion is to act unconsciously, for then we prioritise the outcome rather than the integrity of the process. This happens in every ideology … at some point the ideology and its survival to deliver its outcome becomes the only measure, individuals within the system carry out the protocols of the ideology as good soldiers for the prospect of their own advancement within a self destructing bubble, their expedience will have no bounds.

All ideologies follow this path.

MEDIA

Defined as – All means of mass information and communication.

We would normally define Old Mass Media as the following –

(1) Broadcast media (radio, recorded music, film and television)

(2) Print media use a physical object such as a newspapers, magazine, books, pamphlet or comics

(3) Outdoor media are a form of mass media that comprises billboards, signs, or placards placed inside and outside of commercial buildings, sports stadiums, shops, and buses-Billboards (signs in tow of airplanes), blimps, skywriting, AR (Augmented Reality) Advertising. Public speaking and event organising can also be considered forms of mass media, tough sometimes to a niche market.

The essential difference between Mass / Old media and Social Media is a paradigm shift. It’s the difference between a passive and an engaged relationship.

Books themselves were one of the first forms of mass media, before Gutenberg in the 15th Century, a book in various forms have been with us for approximately 5,000 years.

Nowadays, blogs and other distribution means such as RSS feeds, can also be considered as mass media.

I think we can judge Old Mass Media, or legacy media as a passive media, for there is generally no way of the viewer to question, engage with the content being offered. Social Media on the other hand is interactive and then the consumer of the media can offer their own opinion and sometimes insight into the media platform itself …

All areas of mass media have undergone rapid consolidation over the years, now we are at a point where ownership of the majority of media assets in concentrated in the hands of a very few … although very few media organisation are truly independent, most have an agenda, liberal or otherwise, some of which are designed to be truly divisive, even fascist .. all have a place in a free society, however when the majority of the organisations are funded through the advertising dollar, there is huge grounds for corruption … by selected news that appeals to the ownership of the media outlet because of an ownership agenda, a rating decision or to appease an advertiser – truth is sacrificed like all that is of honour to the altar of money and influence, or in the worst sense raw power.

It is in this way that censorship has become very apparent .. where in this case, news is selected rather than reported, where in the case of the editors of News Corp’s newspapers all have an epiphany on the same day and striking similar opinions are expressed … in the current scenario in the USA, reporting on Bernie Sanders is not being reported in main stream media.

Commercial Media

Commercial Media wants inter-personal conflict …. because they want you to take sides … this is why there are so many Television shows that force you to take sides … reality shows that see up stressful situations that lead to conflict, in a way it seems to be the replacement for the the Gladiatorial events of old … this is only a surface view of the appeal to us .. all this to re-enforce the paradigm

Brings the lowest common denominator .. as media in all shapes races for the bottom … to look for controversy, to promote controversy .. and as often as they can to create it, peddle it .. why? Because it brings audiences … then ratings .. then money .. then?

Remembering Commercial media wants conflict and controversy .. for it brings ratings, one wonders are they covering Trump because he is a serious candidate or because he never fails to create news by offending someone, thereby creating division not collaboration, Trump’s mindset is not that of a leader but of an ego.

And like so many ideologies that have existed before—whether fascist or communist—many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it.

Events in Iraq are continuing to act as motivation and a focus of a range of terrorist related activity in the UK even though it is proven that ISIS was created by MI6 and the CIA … like Al Qaeda before them …. if you want the reason why Osama Bin Ladin was assassinated and not brought to trial, it was probably because he knew too much … he could never be put on the witness stand.

I believe the mess countries are in and hence the state of the world is in a large part due to dis-information, manipulation or censorship of truths and of course corporate influence over the content – that investment in controversy instead of policies, instead of truth is why we cannot heal …. they prefer content that is aggressive (fear) to manipulate the majority, the masses … people are so oppressed they have no empathy for anyone outside of themselves – they fear and blame minorities are other countries because they are told to – also due to the unrealistic fantasies that Media purports … that money has value (it only does because we are told it does, and therefore we believe it does) … that opportunity is just around the corner … this sets up expectations that are generally never met, Media are accountable for this, the purveyors of propaganda .. the frontline soldiers in this world wide strategy to divide and control humanity.

All actions have consequences, as countries, organisations and certainly individually we are not immune – those who do not think this are in line for a huge wakeup call.

Media – Future

 

Subscription Television and Online services, such as Netflix and others offers a disruptive opportunity … for this brings the opportunity for Netflix and others to be accountable only to their income stream, their subscribers, this should release them from the undue influence and manipulation of their content by advertisers …

more to come ..

This is still very much a work in progress … subject to addition and change .. any constructive thoughts would be welcome

A Paradigm of Control – “On the Edge” – Part 1

May 12, 2015 3 comments

Part 1 – A Paradigm of Control

A way to control us, to move us towards an external agenda has been around since before the second world war, it was refined into a process by Edward Bernays, who is noted as the father of Public Relations, and its more sinister sister, Propaganda … he combined the ideas on crowd psychology with the psychoanalytical ideas of his uncle, Sigmund Freud, into his book Propaganda (published in 1928).

We can find a resource to deconstruct the book ‘Propaganda’ (1928) by Edward Bernays, the father of Public Relations as well as the engineering of mass consent here – http://bit.ly/1kSTqDD

The concept was further explored in the four (4) part BBC documentary by Alan Curtis called “The Century of the self”(2002) – due to its importance and unavailability I went looking for an online resource, the only complete ones I can find are on Torrent sites – (Yes I know) – but it contains in my view a important perspective, as well it is a lucid and detailed analysis of our current paradigm and the mechanics of how we are controlled and manipulated to follow someone else’s agenda ..

We are not free, this is the great fear that is manipulated (in the USA and elsewhere) but we are not, we are just told we are … note if someone keeps telling me I am free or I should fight for it, I am obviously not free, in a way it’s like the short story, written by Hans Christian Anderson – Emperor’s New Clothes which can be defined as: Collective ignorance of an obvious fact, or deception, despite undeniable evidence – this also reminds me of climate change and the effect of Political influence on decision making.

Today the various aspects of control and propaganda are used by Governments, Corporations and many others to actually engineer our consent and or compliance … it is strange, for if you have tried to change an individual person’s mind, this proves almost impossible, but in the mass market using herd influences what we “like” but more, what we “fear” in all its forms are used to influence us, to, if you will, stampede us towards herd compliance – forcing us to use the emotional (the ancient limbic center of the brain), not the reasoning centers of the brain, to manufacture decisions that have been manipulated which are by and large invisibly coerced.

You might ask for examples of ploys, a very incomplete list as below.

Scarcity … We have only one left at this price or get  one before the price goes up, next week – Rare products, real-estate and all collectibles work on this premise as well.

Fear – any number of triggers, to make people fearful, normally of a minority such as a person’s ethnicity, religion, race, skin colour, financial status (the poor and the homeless ) Abortion, Sexual preference (Lesbian, Gay and the Bi-sexual)

Asylum Seekers (Australia) and Immigration in lots of places (fear) – this I do not understand, for when you think about it, we are all immigrants, our families, all came from somewhere else.

Appealing to our likes, to our vanity, to our ego, to our self-worth (or more likely) our lack of it, and to our inherent human flaws weaknesses.

Nationalism and Patriotism – This week we are hearing about Texas being fearful of being invaded … what mind would conjure that thought? Fear based certainly, mind you such fear based thoughts are a great way to divert attention away (for a number of news cycles) from real and present problems in other areas of a State or countries economy or political system.

The more educated and experienced  we are, the more likely it is that we will see through these control and influencing strategies, but sadly probably only in hindsight, rarely  in the moment.

All these triggers are used to keep us feeling anxious and unsafe, in these emotional states we are susceptible to manipulation … these states are normal these days with the manufactured uncertainty courtesy of the 0.1% … the economies are failing, job security is (and in the major part always has been) uncertain, the paradigm is failing, me I believe it has already, we are in transition, but to what? … those in control hope to be there at the right time to offer an alternative .. to take away our fears – and our liberty at the same time … but remember when they say — you will be safe, you have to ask, safe from what – from the 0.1% or their manufactured threat. We are controlled in difficult and dire times, through our fears, we would rather choose something that is safe, than what we really want – so unless we have no alternative, we will maintain the status quo. Convention, is safe, convention is the paradigm, the layers of beliefs, that has been sold to us and the generations before us  … but we are changing, convention is no longer what is safe, for now it has become a prison – a prison we can escape from sooner rather than later, if only humanity would learn from the past – but I feel confident, when we do begin to understand the lessons of the past – accept our environmental responsibility, and climate change – humanity will escape from this prison.

Control, conformity, aggression and even the path to hate come from fear … this is the most powerful trigger we have … but if you can appeal to desires, even manufactured desires (sold to them in the form of a paradigm .. “the American dream”) through this, which are led to consume or procure, you can manufacture a false happiness in the  people, which they will buy, until the dream cannot be attained, however, this manufactured happiness is primarily about material things and the surface of life, there is no attempt or ability to find actual true happiness, for this is only attainable within us – it is not possible to find happiness in the broad terms of what is important to an individual, through control, or to find tranquility, that comes from their actual meaning of life – those in power cannot “fix” this, because it is not something that can be manipulated externally – because it is different for each of us as it is not material, it is emotional, but primarily spiritual.

A primary outcome of the paradigm of control we are in, is consumption – this needs money … unless you have it to purchase or consume, you have to borrow it – debt and its obligations are another way we are controlled, for the real price of debt is freedom. The consequences of this uncontrolled consumption, is the rape of our home, and the profound environmental disaster we are already within, but have no fear, the planet will survive, but if we continue the course we are on .. we will not.

The Media’s (attempts at News) is a subject for a detailed analysis later, but due to influence of corporate power through ownership or advertising revenue (whether explicit, implied – is again fear driven) … the majority of news organisations are no longer impartial – they either totally ignore an issue or beat it up to make it seem larger than it is  … to generate fear (and ratings and revenue) … to push someone else’s agenda – as well to much of media is opinion, mostly uninformed opinion … or others spew hate and division, others infotainment – entertainment (diversion) and others meaningless rhetoric.

Propaganda:

A definition; it is information that is not impartial or balanced which is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission), misrepresentation, focusing on a negative aspect, to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded emotive messages to produce an reaction, an emotional reaction (such as a fear driven response) rather than a rational response, when the information is impartially presented.

An example of this was the alleged and fraudulently represented the “infamous” weapons of mass destruction – proposed by President Bush his administration, and the coalition of the willing that were either lied to were coerced or complicit in the lies.

Now we refer to the master of manipulation … the way our past is manipulated, how the Bible, and other “good” books are manipulated for an external agenda,(where religion itself is used as a weapon) we must defer to recent masters, such as the Nazi’s and Adolf Hitler here – but the American, Russian, English Governments are almost there, good students seem to be the European Union, and the Australian Governments (Our Prime Minister is uninformed as well as being fixed in his beliefs, a Fundamentalist close to matriculating) are along the path – remember almost all Governments use these manipulation tactics – so do many families of course.

Here are some applicable quotes …

·         It is always more difficult to fight against faith than against knowledge – Adolf Hitler and How fortunate for leaders that men do not think – Adolf Hitler

And for Iraq ..

·         Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it – Adolf Hitler

This is how we went to war in Iraq – the lie was that the Iraqi’s had “Weapons of mass destruction” – it actually turned out that the lie was the Weapon of Mass Destruction … there were no actual such weapons in Iraq. The how is just a process of observing the timeline of events, but the more important question is Why … what was the reason that Bush ( who must be judged by history as a failed President) wanted war … is it just a simple case of divert our attention from his failings, or the state of the American economy, or was it a case of just follow the money … or something else.

The days of servant leadership is over … those Presidents that have had Military experience in a war zone .. the last was George H. W. Bush, before that Jimmy Carter a link to the Military records of US Presidents is here  … in my view until one has been to war, once does not recognise the absolute waste and futility of it … it is surprising that no one since has an active war record .. they see no problem so readily going to war … obviously because they or their families won’t be part of it.

We can go back almost 2000 years to a quote about belief systems, by Lucius Seneca …  “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful” – Lucius Seneca , also Napoleon Bonaparte said “Religion is the only things that keeps the poor man from murdering the rich.”

We will talk of this another time – namely the layers of military, the influence of the Military / Industrial / Intelligence sectors, the origination and the effect of terror and of course war itself (where the basest unrestrained drives are released uncontrollably) — Heinrich Himmler ( Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Nazi German Chief of Police) said of terror –

“The best political weapon is terror. Cruelty commands respect. Men may hate us. But, we don’t ask for love; only for their fear”

Blame:

This is a integral part of any divide and rule campaign, by convincing through repeated lying (by the ignorant, too many  Politicians, the bigoted, and fundamentalists) , that the poor, that the homeless, that immigrants, that a religious Minority (the Jews in Nazi Germany), in the current case the Islamic communities are blamed and profiled and thus targeted, this is quite revealing and wrong … it distracts people from the real cause, which in the current case is a total incompetence to deal with a new reality, a change global economy, as it moves away from consumption.Another way to distract people from their lack of opportunities is to go to war, in America’s case to start a war, which they do on a regular basis … they are in severe deficit, being technically bankrupt yet they continue to sign checks that just increase the overdraft. Why? Distraction, Predatory capitalism .. something I will need to do research on and see what comparison to previous cultures in history.

Let’s see on the surface, how Propaganda is used today? The most blatant users is always Government, and hence Political parties, as will those who are trying to become part of it, for their own agenda, of course it is used by spin doctors in business, but always it is used to push an agenda!

Political Influence – Propaganda

The Tea Party was originally a grass roots movement that came as a response to the gross injustices of the Global financial meltdown … that was hi-jacked by sociopathic, power seeking manipulative souls, perhaps in hindsight this should not be a surprise … the Tea Party has become such a divisive force in the USA, it has in effect now a major force in what was the Republican party, now the resulting party is no longer a healing and governing force, in fact one might call the Tea Party itself the American Taliban …. this place where the Fundamentalist (Christian fundamentalism began in the late 19th- and early 20th-century among British and American Protestants[1][2] as a reaction to theological liberalism and cultural modernism)

Religion has been turned into a weapon ( it often is) … in this case the Christian Ideology is the weapon, it’s dogmatic immovable rhetoric, the inability to take criticism …. but for me, God only has one law – “love one another’ –  one could define the platform on which these Politicians stand as to be made of sand, the Hubris of those that would consider themselves “holy” enough to interpret God’s law (cherry picked passages of course to further an agenda) – however this Propaganda is incredibly divisive .. it has corrupted and split the Republican party, it is even more divisive than its lesser know offshot “Creationism” – truly people who believe this are not in this world, with ample evidence of animals going back tens of millions, hundreds of millions of years …. and mankind going back to its origin point in Africa up to a million years ago … in a larger context what was once the home of the free … it is hastening the devolution of the United States of America as it is being manipulated along the path of division, to militarism, fascism and at the appropriate time, ultimately tyranny.

Aspects of a Fundamentalism (no matter what the underlying religion is)

  • ·        A Tribal Mentality
  • ·        Xenophobia
  • ·        Aggression  – comes from fear
  • ·        Control and conformity – comes from fear
  • ·       The Inability to take criticism or defend their words except from unsubstantiated dogma.
  • ·       Hostility to Science and education in general
  • ·       Need to control women’s bodies
  • ·       Devolution of education

·        Blame for what is wrong with America (or any country) – a target group or groups are needed  to blame for all the ills (with Hitler it was the Jews) – this group that is blamed always an minority (and with little political power or influence), such as the poor, the homeless (a large number of which are ex: military), Lesbian, Gay and transgender communities, American Indians .. plus! –

·         Divide and conquer – religion is being used (not for the first time) as a weapon

·         Disinformation – America was not founded as a Christian country – it says so in the 1st Amendment, by John Adams in the Treaty of Tripoli – that Politicians say it is leads me to question their sanity, their ethics, intelligence – but most of all their honour and integrity.

·         Using religion to exacerbate deep ideological differences, such as those between the North and the South

·         Depersonalisation of people … seeing a person define by the colour, creed, religion or sex, using Labelling including Ethnic Profiling – it negates the concept that everyone has value, those they love, we must remember that past the external label everyone has family, everyone has desires for how they define happiness …. profiling in the case the distance of those in the middle east defines everyone as Muslims, when a large number are not … it is another way we divert attention … we blame others, when the cause is within our own society. We blame the world for 9/11 .. the cause of which was either as the 0.1% would have us believe or perhaps it was initiated within the United States, to find a scapegoat – Bush decided that cause was Iraq, which with the Global Financial Meltdown are in large part the reason for the mess we are in, for it has put us all on the path into the abyss.

The actual blame for the state of America, is not external … is within those who manipulate us … in their inability to understand the change of the paradigm, that previous strategies no longer work, in their fears (to always be anonymous, and to divert focus away from them – lest they become a target, themselves) whilst at the same time, becoming a privileged entitled elite within the world, at a cost to everyone else – manufacturing compliance for their strategy, through the media and their influence on Politicians and the political process

Remember a definition of the process of control … Much of #control is not in overt or authoritative #action but in planting seeds and mindfully #waiting ~ David Sanders #longcon

This is the status quo, and more control will come unless we change, the alternative is dramatic global change … preferably by a mass awakening .. or revolution which sadly seems more likely (as I said in my preface post) here , will just lead to more of what we have now is a generation or more, I believe what is needed is that we dramatically change our beliefs, namely that there have to be winners and losers, rich and poor, national borders for instance (no borders, no wars) – let me know what you think? If everyone has what they need, why would we need money at all?  The key to this is respect for others and their right to liberty and self determination – note , there is much confusion between liberty and freedom … we can all be free… but freedom does not confer on anyone a right to restrict the rights or freedom of someone else!

References .. Books and Publications as for the preface post, the works of Freud, Jung and Edward Bernays … Laurence Lessing, Noam Chomsky; Fundamentalism – A Very short Introduction by Malise Ruthven (Oxford University Press); Encyclopaedia Britannica, Wikipedia; plus many more – interpretation comes from these resources and my own observations.

Setting The Scene

January 6, 2012 Leave a comment

 
 

This post should really have been before the previous post, as it sets the scene for the series that I am creating, in other words the mess we are in, so let’s …

SET THE SCENE:

Change is inevitable, but it has to be the right sort of change, that builds, not change that tears down and destroys for its own sake.

How does one try and encapsulate the unenviable position we find ourselves in, with failing systems and structures surrounding us, showing us the reality of the failure of our existing way of life, which we have been party to creating with our flawed values and beliefs.

To try and find a way back to, we need to look at where we went wrong. To me I believe we are valuing the wrong things. When we should be living our life based on values and principle, so in response, perhaps we should be looking at changing what we currently value to those such as the Socrates Principles – or similar – we need to seriously look at this now, as our lives are in systemic collapse, as Gandhi and the 7 Dangers to Human Virtue shows – both of these pages are on this blog. At the moment we are fulfilling none of Socrates Principles and all of Gandhi’s 7 dangers to human virtue.

So going forward, the only way I can see a light at the end of the tunnel for human kind, is to change what we value … perhaps it is too late for the mature amongst us, but if we move quickly, perhaps we can still save the future, by changing what the next generation values.

Back to the present:

There should only be one reason for the existence of any organisation, working on the assumption, that the said organisation wants to survive. The organisation, should be focused on one simple thing, to create, nurture and continually invest in the positive experience, in other words to delight their customers with the great brand experience of their products of services.

This goal is the same, whether we are talking of the United Nations, to Governments to Legacy organisations to the local service station, as without the support of the customer, the survival of the organisation, however it is defined is doomed.

Most textbooks, offer a wonderful analysis of how companies should operate, little of which translates into how they actually do operate, as the only reason that organisations operate at all is because of relationships within it, and how it relates to the rest of the world. To me, that organisations operate at all is not because of the management structures that are in place but more often than not, in spite of them.

We see the daily disasters in the News, which are so evident of the failure of our current way of life, perhaps we should reflect on the quality of the people at the head of our countries, our public organisations and private companies, who I believe are not up to the task before them, as they continually make flawed decisions to support and maintain the status quo, when the reason we are in this structural and financial mess is because of the flawed values that brought us to this point, that is now the status quo, primarily that of the leveraged pursuit of the myth that is continuous growth, in a finite world, such a concept is a nonsense.

Categories: Change, Engagement

Marketing, Relationships and Social Media

January 3, 2012 1 comment

We begin, by addressing some basic questions and assumptions first, superficially and briefly here.

Social Media is a disruptive concept, it is essentially an engaged interactive relationship, or it should be, as well it is a Marketing and Relationship creator, nurturer and building tool, all to add to the perception of your brand.

In Marketing, you need to define exactly, what is the market for your specific product or service, then you as the provider, the seller, create and build the relationship, which generally works by providing content that engages with your market. All of this work and content, is to build a relationship, a separate entity so to speak, which is feed and nurtured by both sides, in the case of the company, at some time, a option will be provided to further build the brand relationship and give the customer the option to leverage or in fact contribute to the relationship by perhaps engaging with the Companies content, quizzes for example, this has the effect of deepening the relationship.

Note this is important: Social Media is not a direct Sales Path

1. What is the function of the Internet?

Simplistically, lets start by looking at what the Internet is good at, besides the obvious world wide connectivity issues … access to almost any type of information at any time (with some of it actually true) and the ability to allow for quick and easy access to all sorts of information, and the ability to connect with people, products and services worldwide. One thing though, the internet is just an communication platform, an enabler if you like. It facilitates spontaneous and interactive communication in real time.

Primarily where the internet has come into its own, is in its ability to form communities … and allow for the connection of family, friends, interest groups and commerce, to in fact act as the global replacement for the town square, the meeting point, the notice board, the coffee shop, where people can easily connect for a wide variety of reasons, such as to stay in contact with as well as to develop and maintain relationships with family, friends, special items of interest, education, news and their community just for brief example.

Finally, the internet is only a electronic platform, the function being that it facilitates communication. What is primarily important about the internet is not the electronics but its content and the ability to engage and communicate with others.

2. What is Social Media ?

Firstly, Social Media is a truly disruptive concept, which can markedly change how you company is viewed and interacted with in your area, or globally, depending on your footprint.

Social Media allows using the infrastructure of the internet the potential to build a relationship, which will allow (if properly setup) for social communications between at least two parties in a commercial sense. It allows for the exchange of ideas, ideologies and user generated content of a a huge number of diverse types and interests. In simple terms it provides the technology which can allow the parties to create, nurture and build a relationship, in human terms.

Very few organizations have any idea what they are doing!. The other day I was speaking to a friend of mine and he said to me … Organizations try to use Social Media as a sales path, which it isn’t, as well Social Media’s main function from a business point of view is to allow the formation and maintenance of relationships, by providing the information, tools and engaging content to build credibility, as part of the fostering the brand relationship and by this, support a relationship between the two parties. At some point, it may be possible to leverage the relationship at the choice of the customer, by requesting involvement from the customer is some form, while still investing in the relationship

Too often, for organizations Social Media is used to try and close a sale, customers on the other hand want a relationship, so this is what is wrong with most people involved with Social Media, they try to close, this is flawed, but similar with many other types of ego driven entitled relationships from adolescent boys onwards.

There is a huge amount of content to cover here .. these are some of the items that I will need to look at..

  • What Social Media is, and what social media isn’t
  • All business is relationship driven
  • How to heal the disconnect between companies and their customers
  • Social Media is not Mass Media – this is important.
  • Engagement Strategies
  • Trust is the foundation for all relationships
  • The disconnect between Companies and customers
  • Everyone in your organisation supports the brand .. in other words all employees are part of your sales effort..
  • The de-personalisation of the customers, and the flawed paradigm that underlines the MBA programs
  • Customers want a relationship, they want to be valued, they want their voice to be heard, it you don’t ..
  • I know it is an old adage, but you really want to give a customer what they want in a fair contract and great after sales service  .. if you want your company to grow and survive.
  • Listen and consult with your customers in anything that will change the customers experience of your product or service.
  • Now and more Importantly in the future as new generations come, there be a story behind your advertising strategy – to build the relationship with your customer.
  • Social Media Platforms such as Twitter, FaceBook & others, their strengths and weaknesses
  • Klout and PeerIndex .. are they needed, what function do they fill
  • The Social Media relationship paradigm +++++++

One thing you must remember however, is to ask yourself the question, why is so much of the Internet and Social Media free ?  The answer is simple, because you are the product that these platforms are leveraging, at the end of the day, they care only about how you can help them, they have little regard for you as a individual or the safety of your information, they will use and leverage your presence and your information is anyway they can, that is legal and otherwise for their own benefit … so beware.

In my view this kind of attitude is the very antithesis of what Social Media is … but there is an underlying mismatch between management styles here, as although the market segment they are working in is Social Media, they bring all the baggage from worst parts of old media and old business to this new sector, this is why it doesn’t mix well.

My view is that companies, including legacy companies from the transport and communications sector that do not embrace social media and hence change the way they relate to the customers will within 20 years be found only in history books.

The Art of Discussion and Communication

December 28, 2011 2 comments

Communication between two people indeed conveys much more than the words, it is a total experience or tone, eyes, facial expression (perhaps even complexion) posture and the total perception of the body language … Yes tone and the attention you give to the other party through your focus are not only key indicators of communication, but also the depth of your attention. If you respect the other party try involving your feelings, then you start to create a real relationship … from then on, from my experience anything is possible.

We need to invest in the discussion … and then we will have a commitment to a practical outcome,  as well as the right attitude is something I have spoken of before …. if you believe that a positive outcome will make a difference in people’s lives then you will fight with your every breath to make it so.

When I am in a meeting, I also have some insight to what is going on below the surface … but truly if you are in a discussion with someone, surely the best place to start is to understand the needs of others; what is important to the other party … as essentially this gives you a starting point .. well really an end point to know why they are in this room with you … a lot of these also comes in through the other senses in the form of cues, particularly in their response to you … that is why when I am in a meeting … I like to watch how the parties respond, I sometimes receive much more insights by this observation, than by listening to their words.

But first things first, you need to go into any meeting, any discussion in good faith that you actually want to achieve a positive outcome, not to merely take up time. I was born in Asia, when my Dad was working there. Discussion there is a true art form, it can be overly polite go on forever and decide nothing, sounds a bit like Statesmanship … which to me seems all about taking days to purposefully achieve nothing, but to say gee we have tried to achieve an understanding, when there was no intent to do this in the first place. Again these sorts of flawed strategies are there to give a perception of doing something, when there never was any intent in the first place of reaching an understanding –  you know how it looks and not how it actually is – well back to politics again.

Perhaps if we start with the point when you know what others want, what is mission critical to them, by being truthful and open (now there’s a new idea) and say, OK .. I know that this is what you want, I cannot give you that, but I can go part way there and give you this – then if the other party perceives you are being truthful as you have already built up a relationship a positive outcome, which may only be partly what each sides want will occur, it’s called a compromise … works better than brinkmanship.

Being open and approachable has always worked for me, I suggest you focus, take your ego out of gear (or at least control it), engage your feelings, and relate to the other party and seek to understand why they are talking to you, that way you will understand what it is they really want, not only what it is they say they want.

I sincerely hope you are right about Peace … peace would bring Creativity, Collaboration, Community, Co-operation, Conservation, Co-Existence, Communication & Compassion and perhaps even a meeting of the minds to establish common goals and dreams … lots of powerfully good words start with C … unfortunately a negative one as well … control .. a favourite of Governments and bureaucracies around the world.

We just need to communicate with each other and through co-operation make some decisions about what we want to create in our future … and set about changing things that don’t fit with the new paradigm we envisage.

How to build influence without seeming to

November 4, 2011 2 comments

I have watched with interest how organisations that operate in the Social Media sector .. and I have some observations about how to define your strategy

Lets start with the function of Social Media ….

Social Media is not a direct influence or sales path …. it is a tool to build a contact .. to build a relationship and ultimately to add to an experience of your brand from which you can then leverage, while you continue to add value to the overall experience.

Social Media is the Internet’s extension in this insular world to your sphere of influence … your community, your friends, and those organisations that you engage with and others you are interested in engaging with.

Social Media has been hyped up to the point where people are living their life in this cyber space instead of the real world … please take note … Social Media is not your life, and the most important people in your life, are not on Twitter!, well they shouldn’t be (if they are, it’s something to think about) – professionally speaking I believe many mature bricks and mortar organisations would be more successful especially on Facebook if they de-activated their account – their strategy is all one sided, and is all about providing the information that they believe is important, just as Mass media does – which is not how you build a relationship .. One thing, numbers of Facebook does not means that they are actually listening to you … the provider must give something to the relationship, they must engage and so receive their customers perspective … I believe they must be more open and engaged and therefore interested and note that the un-follow button on Twitter or Facebook is a heart beat away.

In the early days, very early days on Twitter, on another account I did an experiment with that exact scenario .. and then changed the nature of the feed .. the response was immediate … that feed lost a large number of followers .. and note people remember … that … if you don’t value them .. well enough said

Now lets look at how to build influence

It is built by engagement and valuing the people you connect with, but you MUST speak with your own voice and from your own values …. if you do not offer up something of yourself then what makes you different than the thousands of voices of the Internet .. that say .. buy this .. do this .. see here … your strategy must be to enhance the experience of your followers … their world expands, perhaps made somehow brighter by following you on Twitter or any other Social Media channel, in other words you provide something they want in their life.

I have seen worthy organisations who are so focused on getting their message across, without seeing the other side of the picture …. you need to involve people in your world for they will become your best agents, for if you have engaged with them, they are then part of of your brand, promoting you because they believe in your brand, remember that not only organisations have a brand, people do as well.  Also if you are speaking as the voice of a organisation, you need to follow strict protocols of how you engage … what you say .. and how you say it … if you bring your personal views of what a customer did, or how they have treated you is counter-productive and will lose you followers.

There are specific processes and strategies to interest, to engage, involve the customer / follower, after you have attracted them and perhaps converted them to buy from you, the most important thing is to retain them, the long term viability of the brand relies on it, to use that connection as a leverage to a wider audience … but so many are missing the mark here …. to start look at your own interests and those sites you follow and ask yourself, why am I interested in this information, and how do they retain my interest and how do they interest, that I want to re-tweet or share my message to my followers, my community … this is a critical point … to a large extent I choose the people I follow and likewise unless I believe the overall experience of my feed will be enhanced and will add something to my message … I will not engage … so this is how I value them by not devaluing our relationship –  and therefore I will only re-tweet a message and content that I can relate to … and I believe my “friends” for want of a better world will find of value …. basically because I do.

At the end of the day … you need to remember on thing .. this is Social Media … it is not a one way passive “relationship” as in Mass Media, it is or at least it should be a engaged interactive relationship, that values and engage with your community … to build a joint experience, and note joint means together …. do not make the mistake of seeing your followers as a means to an end .. as the equivalent of email fodder … value them, respect them and you will succeed … don’t .. well we know what happens if you don’t.

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