Jacob Rees-Mogg

Matthew

FKA Woebot
information about the world beyond what is received through the senses comes through the media and the media is owned by a vanishingly small number of self-interested individuals. making up our minds about things which, for us, only exist, in any meaningful sense, as images on a television, or as words in a newspaper or on the internet, is...

in the nicest possible way, i think your take on this is pollyannaish in the extreme. it's not an adult view of reality.
yes, i do have some faith in "normal" people's ability to make rational decisions based on stuff they experience in life itself.

i don't think, for instance, that the political reality is simply a reflection of psychological coercion.

and it's actually a more cogent explanation than a big conspiracy isn't it?
 

vimothy

yurp
I think there's some truth in both perspectives, but: it's not simply a few newspapers (whose editorial line I dislike) that constitute "the media" which influence us, its television, social media, newspapers, the universities, the arts, one another, etc, etc; and it seems a bit too convenient if the way influence works is that my ideological opponents are being manipulated and taken advantage of, whereas I am free from influence.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
because the assumption in doing that is that the sheeple are incapable of making up their own minds
No, just that people fed misinformation will make decisions that don't reflect their best interests (in the short run, or the long run, depending).

I actually think it's more patronising to pretend that the majority of people have chosen the current state of affairs in full knowledge of the fact it wouldn't benefit them. They're not that stupid!
 

luka

Active member
Staff member
I think there's some truth in both perspectives, but: it's not simply a few newspapers (whose editorial line I dislike) that constitute "the media" which influence us, its television, social media, newspapers, the universities, the arts, one another, etc, etc; and it seems a bit too convenient if the way influence works is that my ideological opponents are being manipulated and taken advantage of, whereas I am free from influence.
you've misunderstood the thrust of my model. it's broader and more non-partisan than you give it credit for.
 

luka

Active member
Staff member
in other words it also includes your liberal hegemony thesis so chill out, i've got you covered.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I think there's some truth in both perspectives, but: it's not simply a few newspapers (whose editorial line I dislike) that constitute "the media" which influence us, its television, social media, newspapers, the universities, the arts, one another, etc, etc; and it seems a bit too convenient if the way influence works is that my ideological opponents are being manipulated and taken advantage of, whereas I am free from influence.
I don't think anyone said this, to be fair. Of course you're right that everyone is influenced by hegemonic thought. It's also a scale - if you feel no anger towards your oppressor and in fact protect them, then you're at one end of that scale (societal Stockholm Syndrome).
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Reading a bit of 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' really made things clear to me, in terms of why people think irrationally, and why the media exerts such a big influence on how they view things. Without claiming that they (I should say 'we') are 'sheeple', I think it would be accurate to say that we are irrational thinkers by nature - not excluding Nobel prize winning neuroscientists.

If you're not familiar with the System 1/2 theory that Kahnemann advances, it's essentially that we are evolutionarily wired to conserve mental energy wherever possible, meaning that we rely heavily on our 'System 1', which processes thought quickly by making leaps and taking shortcuts.

In the book's first section, Kahneman describes two different ways the brain forms thoughts:

System 1:
Fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious. Examples (in order of complexity) of things system 1 can do:
see that an object is at a greater distance than another
localize the source of a specific sound
complete the phrase "war and ..."
display disgust when seeing a gruesome image
solve 2+2=?
read a text on a billboard
drive a car on an empty road
come up with a good chess move (if you're a chess master)
understand simple sentences
connect the description 'quiet and structured person with an eye for details' to a specific job
System 2: Slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious. Examples of things system 2 can do:
brace yourself before the start of a sprint
point your attention towards the clowns at the circus
point your attention towards someone at a loud party
look out for the woman with the grey hair
dig into your memory to recognize a sound
sustain a higher than normal walking rate
determine the appropriateness of a behavior in a social setting
count the number of A's in a certain text
give someone your phone number
park into a tight parking space
determine the price/quality ratio of two washing machines
determine the validity of a complex logical reasoning
solve 17*24
 

Matthew

FKA Woebot
No, just that people fed misinformation will make decisions that don't reflect their best interests (in the short run, or the long run, depending).

I actually think it's more patronising to pretend that the majority of people have chosen the current state of affairs in full knowledge of the fact it wouldn't benefit them. They're not that stupid!
it's certainly a pretty nifty mobilisation of my argument - i'll give you that :cool:

of course there is the aspect that people only buy newspapers/tune in to media etc which reflects their deep-seated opinions in the first place. that's to a large extent the way the media operates surely - to endorse people's prior attitudes/provide that succour. that's why we have these ludicrous culture wars - two tribes locked into generational antipathy.
 

Leo

Active member
the other issue, as demonstrated by hardcore trump supporters, is their pride (or whatever) often prevents them from changing course even when presented by verifiable facts that contradict their worldview. there are numerous examples:

- instead of pulling their support in light of the swamp overflowing with corruption, they will double down and become more strident than ever in their belief that trump indeed has surrounded himself with "the best people".
- they voted for trump because, among other things, he said it would be "so easy" for him to provide better healthcare at lower prices, yet when the GOP healthcare plan failed, his supporters still cheered the further dismantling of Obamacare.
- when the carrier air conditioner manufacturing plant that trump supposedly "saved" during the campaign announced this year that yeah, they actually are going to move 90% of the jobs to Mexico, his supporters still cheer loudly when he says he's bringing manufacturing jobs back.
- when trump's tariffs crushed midwestern agribusiness, lots of farmers still went to his rallies and cheered everything he says.

hopefully this is just his hardcore base, and more moderate republicans and independents who voted for him (or rather, against Clinton) in 2016 will believe they made a mistake and come out against him in the midterms and in 2020.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
it's certainly a pretty nifty mobilisation of my argument - i'll give you that :cool:

of course there is the aspect that people only buy newspapers/tune in to media etc which reflects their deep-seated opinions in the first place. that's to a large extent the way the media operates surely - to endorse people's prior attitudes/provide that succour. that's why we have these ludicrous culture wars - two tribes locked into generational antipathy.
There's no need to speculate on potential causes or individual motivations, there is no great mystery. There are reams of research going back decades on how media coverage (and PR/advertising) affects public opinion, views and attitudes.

To give just one tiny example, according to a study by Glasgow university in 2014, the majority of viewers for whom BBC news was their main source of information thought that Palestinians were occupying Israel, not the other way round.
 
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luka

Active member
Staff member
There's no need to speculate on potential causes or individual motivations, there is not great mystery. There are reams of research going back decades on how media coverage (and PR/advertising) affects public opinion, views and attitudes.

To give just one tiny example, according to a study by Glasgow university in 2014, the majority of viewers for whom BBC news was their main source of information thought that Palestinians were occupying Israel, not the other way round.
and they literally teach you this stuff in school.
 

vimothy

yurp
if you feel no anger towards your oppressor and in fact protect them, then you're at one end of that scale (societal Stockholm Syndrome).
but who is your oppressor? how do you know you've correctly identified them? you can't trust your own thoughts on the matter because theyre the product of manipulation:

they literally teach you this stuff in school.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
It's a fair question, but I think most people can at least have a bloody good go at identifying the organs through which that oppression is expressed.

Else we're back to the 'everything is possibly false consciousness' merry-go-round.
 

droid

Beast of Burden
Just to go back to inequality for a moment. Devastating thread here on domestic UK economics.

 
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