Archives for posts with tag: Fake news

Avem de a face cu două probleme.

Un președinte de academie – din păcate cea din Romania, care se face de râs. Pe sine și pe cei care l-au pus acolo.
Niște funcționari care dovedesc, pentru a nu știu câta oară, ce ajungi să faci atunci când ești conectat doar parțial la realitate. Când ‘te uiți la lume’ prin niște ochelari ‘colorați de ideologie’…

În ce fel s-a făcut de râs președintele academiei Române… a explicat Magda Gradinaru în articol.
Cu tot rangul celui care s-a făcut de pomină – chiar dacă hohotele vor veni mai târziu, din partea colegilor săi istorici – mie mi se pare că cea de a doua problemă este mult mai importantă. Și mai periculoasă….

Aurel Pop n-a făcut altceva decât ceea ce a fost învățat să facă. A urmat cursurile unei facultăți de istorie pe vremea comunismului și a pus în practică cele învățate acolo. Cum să ‘convingă’ ‘publicul țintă’ că ‘situația’ este chiar așa, și doar așa, cum consideră cineva – sau chiar el însuși, că este!
Până la urmă, președintele academiei Române se comportă ca un simplu oportunist. Se folosește de orice îi vine la îndemână pentru a ‘avansa’ catre ținta propusă.

Ce au facut inițiatorii acelei ‘propuneri de ghid pentru comunicări interne’ este mult mai grav!
Iar faptul ca i-au oferit lui Aurel Pop prilejul de a scrie ceea ce a scris este doar bomboana de pe colivă!
‘Coliva’ în sine fiind ‘amănuntul’ că inițiatorii ‘propunerii de ghid de comunicare internă’ gândesc într-un mod similar cu cel folosit de fostul absolvent al unei facultați de istorie îmbibată de ideologie comunistă. Îmbibată de o ideologie cât se poate de totalitară…

Azi avem un globalism neomarxist care urmărește, cu aceleași cuvinte ori cu altele, apropiate ca sens, scopuri similare.

Ioan Aurel Pop știe ce spune.
Avem de a face cu situația în care ‘hoțul strigă hoțul’. Doi ‘experți’ se recunosc între ei la o ‘lucrare’ și dau vina unul pe celălalt… Sau două săbii care nu încap într-o aceiași teacă!

Să fiu bine înțeles! Nu știu cât de neomarxiști – sau de ‘totalitari’, sunt respectivii funcționari. Tot ce știu este ce au făcut ei înșiși. Cu mâna lor. Au alcătuit un ghid despre cum ar trebui să vorbească între ei niște alți oameni. Niște alți oameni despre care se presupune că știu să gândească cu capetele lor!
Până la urmă, este vorba despre oamenii care asigură funcționarea Uniunii Europene…

Și atunci? Care mai este deosebirea dintre textul publicat de Ioan Aurel Pop și propunerea de ‘ghid de comunicare internă’?

The amount of fake-news targeted at someone is the best indicator for how many skeletons that person had already unveiled.
For how many skeletons that person had dug out from closets belonging to people who were accustomed with being ‘left to their own devices’.
Closets belonging to people who considered themself as being ‘above the fray’…

After ‘firing’ Trump, the President, America’s most important stake-holders, “we, the People”, are scrambling to adapt to what Trump had laid bare.

Books are being written.
Many blame Trump. And explain, in detail, what he had done while manning the Oval Office.

The G.O.P. is somewhat fractured. Some want to get over Trump, others to hide behind his still towering presence.
The Dems act like he was a mere accident. One which can, and they are hard at work attempting to do it, be ‘band-aided’ with some money. Government money, of course.

A few years ago, I had read an interesting article claiming that Trump had been made possible by the media.
Googling to find it, I stumbled upon another. Which summarizes what Trump had done to the media

I still have to find, only I’ve lost patience, an explanation for what had ‘fed’ Trump.
Trump as social phenomenon…

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.
Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth.
Politicians prospered but the jobs left and the factories closed.

Trump has made himself famous. Among others, for imparting new meaning to the concept of ‘fake-news’. And for using “alternative facts” to introduce us to an ‘alternative reality’. His…

Only his reality did have something in common with that faced by many of his fellow Americans.

Middle class incomes have shrunk 8.5 percent since 2000, after enjoying mostly steady growth during the previous decade. In 2011, the average income for the middle 60 percent of households stood at $53,042, down from $58,009 at the start of the millennium.

Suddenly, Trump’s ‘alternative’ reality – part of it, at least, has become one with that experienced by “we, the People”. By a majority of them, anyway.

What made so many people – dispirited, undoubtedly, believe that a self professed pussy grabber and proud member of the Washington establishment would solve their real-life problems… by ‘draining’ the very ‘swamp’ in which he had grown to his present stature … that’s something for other people to explain.

My point being that Trump’s behavior had very closely followed that of Goethe’s Apprentice Sorcerer. He had used his uncanny knack of playing hide-and-seek with reality to climb into the Oval Office only to be fired after one mandate.
To be the first American President who had survived two impeachments.
And the second one who had witnessed – more or less unmoved, the untimely demise of half a million Americans due to disease

But the first who had done that during a mostly peaceful mandate. Pandemic, true enough, but otherwise peaceful.

NB. The ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic, which had happened during Woodrow Wilson’s mandate, had caused the death of 675 000 Americans. Only that had occurred just after a world war, when viruses hadn’t yet been discovered and man hadn’t yet walked on the Moon.

What will happen next?

Who knows… Goethe’s poem had a relatively happy ending because a master sorcerer was at hand. Who had solved the problem with a swift gesture of his powerful wand.

No such easy solution is available now.
But one thing has become clear.

Two things, actually.
Too many dispirited people eventually become a powerful – and highly unstable, ‘Petri dish’. Where all kinds of ‘social experiments’ might ‘spontaneously’ explode.
And playing with people’s passions might take you places. But will, almost always, end up badly.

Weapons are nothing but repurposed tools. Sometimes ‘enhanced’ to fit the new goal.

Clubs had started as fruit harvesting utensils, then used for hunting purposes and eventually for bashing in the heads of those who had slept with the missus when the wielders weren’t looking. And so on…

As a tool, an implement is used to ‘put things together’. As a weapon, the same (kind of) implement is used to ‘set things apart’. An axe can be used to split wood in order to build a fire or to ‘split’ furniture during a fit of rage.
Generally speaking, a tool is used towards the ultimate goal of adding to/fine tuning a structure while a weapon is used to destroy/disable something which is meant to remain so.

Our ability to communicate was ‘the’ tool which actually transformed us into what we are today. Humans.
At least according to Humberto Maturana. His theory maintains that we’ve become self-aware social individuals through what he calls languaging.
In a nut-shell, he says that we’ve become humans – self conscious apes, by continuously expressing our thoughts towards the other members of the community. Hence simultaneously building an ‘agora’ and ‘walling in’ individual private spaces.

Yet the same ability to communicate can be used also as a weapon.
Instead of being used by individuals to mutually groom themselves, and ultimately adding to the overall resilience of the community, ‘weaponized’ communication is used to ‘downgrade’ susceptible individuals.
To lower the ability of certain individuals to contribute to the community to which they belong, to lower the ability of entire communities to hold together… or both at the same time.

History suggests that, in the longer run, democracy – as a manner of decision making, increases the survivability of the communities which use it. Simply by pooling the decision making resources of the entire community instead of relying on the mental prowess – and good will, of a single authoritarian leader.
Only for democracy to be fully functional, the individual members of the community have to be able to share, in earnest, their thoughts.
This is why Freedom of Speech has been enshrined in the First Amendment.
That’s why whenever the public discourse becomes increasingly dominated by ‘fake-news’ things start to go south.

That is why whenever people allow themselves to be split into warring parties – with no real communication between the sides except for the misinformation hurled across the divide, both sides eventually end up wondering at the destruction they had allowed the ‘communication warriors’ to inflict upon them.

As a species, I mean…

We’ve ‘invented’ mutual respect.
Based on it, we created the two institutions which allowed us to get where we are now. Democracy and free market capitalism.

I’ll make a short detour for those who are not ‘convinced’.

Democracy, the functional kind, starts from the premise that it is impossible for an individual to know everything. And that together we know much more than each of us. This being the reason for any democratic process starting with an intense discussion. Whoever has something to say, takes the stand and whoever is interested in the well being of the community pays attention. To learn where to cast their votes.

Free market capitalism starts, too, from the premise that it is impossible for an individual to know everything. That nobody, be it an individual or a group of people, might be smart enough to call all the economic shots needed for entire society to ‘feed itself’ on the long run.

These two fundamental institutions operate on the basis of mutual respect between those who live within them. The people exchange ideas and goods on the principle that the transactions are done voluntarily and in good faith. That deception is just an exception.

These two institutions made it possible for us to cooperate into building the present reality. We have developed enough technology that we are able to produce enough food for everybody.
We went to the moon
We have enough weapons to destroy the entire planet.
Each of us can communicate, almost instantly, with almost anyone on the planet.

And? What do we do in these conditions?
Although there still are many of us who are starving, we throw away food. For various reasons.
Most satellites are used (and) for military purposes.
Although we could not have ‘arrived’ if we hadn’t ‘invented’ mutual respect, we currently use information technology mainly to spread fake news and ‘consume’ pornography.

Is this really okay?
How much longer is this going to last?

Ca specie.

Am descoperit respectul reciproc.
Pe baza lui am creat cele două instituții care ne-au permis să ajungem unde suntem acum. Democrația și capitalismul de piață liberă.

Am să fac o scurtă pauză, pentru cei ce nu sunt convinși.

Democrația, cea funcțională, pleacă de la premiza că nimeni nu le știe pe toate. Dar că împreună știm mai mult mai multe decât fiecare dintre noi.
De aceea orice proces democratic începe cu o mare discuție. Cei care consideră că au ceva de spus iau cuvântul iar cei interesați cu adevărat de soarta societății în care trăiesc ascultă cu atenție. Ca să știe cu cine votează.

Capitalismul de piață cu adevărat liberă pleacă, și el, tot de la premisa că nimeni nu le știe pe toate. Că nimeni, individ sau grup de indivizi, nu e suficient de capabil să ia toate deciziile de natură economică necesare pentru ca o întreagă societate să aibă ce mânca pe termen lung.

Aceste două instituții fundamentale funcționeză pe baza respectului reciproc dintre cei care trăiesc în interiorul lor. Aceștia schimba între ei idei și bunuri după principiul că tranzacțiile se fac de bună voie și cu bună credință.
Că înșelătoria este doar o excepție.

Cooperând în cadrul acestor două institții am ajuns unde suntem acum.

Am dezvoltat suficientă tehnologie încât avem, aproape cu toții, ce să mâncăm.
Am ajuns pe lună.
Avem suficient armament încât putem distruge toată planeta.
Fiecare dintre noi poate comunica, aproape instantaneu, cu aproape oricine de pe planeta.

Ce facem în condițiile astea?

Cu toate că mai sunt semeni de-ai noștri care mor de foame, aruncăm mâncare la gunoi. Din diverse motive.
Cei mai mulți sateliți sunt folosiți (și) în scop militar.
Cu toate că am ajuns aici pe baza respectului reciproc folosim tehnologia informației preponderent pentru a răspândi fake-news și a ‘consuma’ pornografie.

O fi bine?
O mai ducem mult asa?

About half of our manufactured goods come from China. From half-way around the world. A shipping container needs about a month to arrive to Rotterdam from Shanghai. While ordering the merchandise takes some five minutes over the internet.

Shanghai is in China. A country so far away that hourly wages are a fraction of those in Europe. Or in the US. That being the reason for so many of our manufactured goods coming from there.

China is a country so far away that it took more than a month for the rest of the world to find out that a pandemic was brewing in Wuhan.
China is a country so far away that the CDC expert embedded in China’s Disease Control Agency was deemed useless by the current American Administration.

China is a country close enough for the Chinese tourists to had been a staple for the Italian hospitality industry. “5.3 million overnight stays in 2018
China is a country far enough for an “official opening ceremony” to had been “held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, a multicultural complex, in the Italian capital on Tuesday, at the presence of Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism Dario Franceschini and Chinese Minister of Culture and Tourism Luo Shugang.”

The ceremony was held because “2020 has been designated the China-Italy year of culture and tourism, as the year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Italy diplomatic ties.
“Tuesday” was the 21st of January 2020.

The same day

  • United States confirms its first case in Washington state, a man who traveled to the Wuhan area.
  • China confirms two additional deaths, a sixty-six-year-old man and a forty-eight-year-old woman
  • New cases are announced in China, including in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
  • Chinese state media raises number of confirmed cases to 291 and confirms 15 medical workers in Wuhan have been diagnosed with pneumonia.
  • Hong Kong confirms its first case, a person in their thirties.
  • Taiwan confirms its first case, a woman in her fifties.

The above timeline was ‘borrowed’ – through the Internet, of course, yet another example for how close we are of eachother, from on 3/28/2020, 12:30 GMT
Which Internet pulls us together by pooling information/data while simultaneously rips us apart by feeding us a constant stream of fake news.

We are so close together that you can send/receive almost everything (from) almost everywhere.
We are so close together that everybody who has a smart phone can see their similarly equipped buddies halfway across the world.

We’re so far apart that we still have to make up our collective mind about which comes first. The Economy or the People.
We’re so far apart that we haven’t figured out yet that there’s no such thing as a running economy without enough able bodied and mentally sane people. To produce, transport, distribute and buy the things we need.
We’re so far apart that we haven’t yet figured out that the present number of people cannot survive – let alone maintain a decent living standard, without a running economy.

So young… and yet so satisfied with himself… he must have had a strong set of beliefs on which to build such a strong self-esteem!

Let me put it another way.

Each of us needs to believe.
Would you have enough courage to go to bed at night if you weren’t absolutely convinced that the sun will come up next morning?
Furthermore, for things to work as we expect them to, enough of us must share a certain number of beliefs. For instance, would you go to work/accept payment if you weren’t more or less convinced that the money you’d get will enable you to fulfill at least some of your wishes?

Hence belief being based on a deep seated need to believe is a truism. Uttered only as a lame excuse for ‘you can’t convince a believer of anything’.

Which isn’t exactly a lie… only a half truth. A ‘fake news’, if you will!

First of all, a believer is already convinced.
Hence somebody had been able to convince him/her, at some point, of something.

Somebody had somehow convinced the aforementioned believer that the object of what was going to become belief was obvious enough to become ‘evidence’.


Let me rephrase.

‘I haven’t been able to convince a believer of what I was trying to convey to him/her. Hence it must be his/her fault.
Not mine!
Otherwise I would have to admit that what I was presenting as evidence was false, I wasn’t presenting my evidence in a believable manner or, lo and behold, both at the same time. Totally unacceptable!
Now I need to come up with a good enough reason for his/her inability to see the light!
His/her ‘need to believe’ must be the only explanation. Otherwise he/she would have accepted my evidence as being obvious….’

On the other hand, the rest of Sagan’s work cannot be dismissed.
Which proves that self-esteem is a good base on which to build a career.

The need to believe being yet another thing which cannot be dismissed!

Somebody asked, on his wall, ‘what do you like/dislike most about how people behave on Facebook?

Here’s my answer.

“Facebook presents us with huge opportunities.
For getting in touch with great ideas/very interesting people.
For con-artists to bamboozle other people’s minds.
What I like most? When people contribute. Ideas, feelings, whatever.
What I dislike? When people allow themselves to be taken advantage of.
You see, I could have said ‘I dislike people taking advantage of other people’. That goes without saying. Only telling a con-artist to clean up their act would be akin to asking a lion to stop feeding itself. That’s not gonna happen.
But we could train our minds to avoid being fooled so easily…”

An old Romanian saying posits that when God wants to punish someone, He starts by dulling their wits.

What if ‘fake news’ are a symptom of (some of the) journalists having earned the wrath of God?
Or is it the whole countries whom God wants to teach a lesson? Or two?
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