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chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1985
Location: N/A
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Thursday, April 20 2017 @ 07:48 PM CDT

Ah! I think I may have cracked the code. There was a comment on another blog that provided insight.

The topic was the revelation, brought about by admission in Alex Jones' custody battle, that his on-air persona is merely performance art. For the foreign readers, Alex Jones is a bombastic conspiracy monger who regularly launches into red-faced, outrage-filled rants on his radio show.

One of the commenters had this to say.

Does Infowars care about telling the “truth?” Probably not too much. I doubt Alex spends much time checking his sources and researching his conspiracy theories.

But everything he says expresses the underlying message that his followers expect to hear: You are being lied to, you are being controlled, you are not respected.

I think there is plenty of truth in his message, even if many of the details are wrong, and even though he acts like a maniac.


In other words, the facts and details aren't important. What matters is some validation that the world is complicated and difficult to parse, that change feels disorienting and inscrutable, and that some unknown and malevolent forces must be to blame.

While I can't condone that degree of irresponsible irrationality (nor the cynicism of knowingly stoking and profiting from it), I can certainly be sympathetic to those who are desperate for some handhold in a world where change is a constant factor and disparate information bombards them incessantly.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
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magnatone
Forum Full Member


Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 4402
Location: N/A
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Saturday, April 22 2017 @ 07:14 PM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
Ah! I think I may have cracked the code. There was a comment on another blog that provided insight.

The topic was the revelation, brought about by admission in Alex Jones' custody battle, that his on-air persona is merely performance art. For the foreign readers, Alex Jones is a bombastic conspiracy monger who regularly launches into red-faced, outrage-filled rants on his radio show.

One of the commenters had this to say.

Does Infowars care about telling the “truth?” Probably not too much. I doubt Alex spends much time checking his sources and researching his conspiracy theories.

But everything he says expresses the underlying message that his followers expect to hear: You are being lied to, you are being controlled, you are not respected.

I think there is plenty of truth in his message, even if many of the details are wrong, and even though he acts like a maniac.


In other words, the facts and details aren't important. What matters is some validation that the world is complicated and difficult to parse, that change feels disorienting and inscrutable, and that some unknown and malevolent forces must be to blame.

While I can't condone that degree of irresponsible irrationality (nor the cynicism of knowingly stoking and profiting from it), I can certainly be sympathetic to those who are desperate for some handhold in a world where change is a constant factor and disparate information bombards them incessantly.



yep!

my most recent song: "First Light (solo piano)"
Ed Hannifin
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 3483
Location: , MA USA
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 10:50 AM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
Ah! I think I may have cracked the code. There was a comment on another blog that provided insight.

The topic was the revelation, brought about by admission in Alex Jones' custody battle, that his on-air persona is merely performance art. For the foreign readers, Alex Jones is a bombastic conspiracy monger who regularly launches into red-faced, outrage-filled rants on his radio show.

One of the commenters had this to say.

Does Infowars care about telling the “truth?” Probably not too much. I doubt Alex spends much time checking his sources and researching his conspiracy theories.

But everything he says expresses the underlying message that his followers expect to hear: You are being lied to, you are being controlled, you are not respected.

I think there is plenty of truth in his message, even if many of the details are wrong, and even though he acts like a maniac.


In other words, the facts and details aren't important. What matters is some validation that the world is complicated and difficult to parse, that change feels disorienting and inscrutable, and that some unknown and malevolent forces must be to blame.

While I can't condone that degree of irresponsible irrationality (nor the cynicism of knowingly stoking and profiting from it), I can certainly be sympathetic to those who are desperate for some handhold in a world where change is a constant factor and disparate information bombards them incessantly.



Thank, chikoppi...


"We have to remember...when it's surrender that's called for, it's not surrender of your brains. It's surrender of your ego. It's a different thing." --Bruce Cockburn
Daugrin
Forum Full Member


Registered: 03/24/09
Posts: 1142
Location: , Extraverse
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 11:30 AM CDT



Sooo much hate, soooo little time, aye my friends. What of the great cultural relativists?

National Socialism working out for ya? Other peoples' money all gone?
Delusion and disinformation is all ya got over and again...

Keep hating people. Destroy those messengers. It's truly all ya got.
Macjams is the perfect platform for your life, no life but yours permitted here...

Why, here you go so more? Resist! Keep it going...

You don't write, you don't play modern music, you don't create anything, so you come here to MJ to recycle, to ensure your delusional world view is supported...musicians one and all, and the instrument of choice, the performance most necessary is- hate. Take a bow.
You guys crack me up...

Daug
MotherofMeursault
Forum Full Member


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 380
Location: , United States
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 11:43 AM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
Ah! I think I may have cracked the code. There was a comment on another blog that provided insight.

The topic was the revelation, brought about by admission in Alex Jones' custody battle, that his on-air persona is merely performance art. For the foreign readers, Alex Jones is a bombastic conspiracy monger who regularly launches into red-faced, outrage-filled rants on his radio show.

One of the commenters had this to say.

Does Infowars care about telling the “truth?” Probably not too much. I doubt Alex spends much time checking his sources and researching his conspiracy theories.

But everything he says expresses the underlying message that his followers expect to hear: You are being lied to, you are being controlled, you are not respected.

I think there is plenty of truth in his message, even if many of the details are wrong, and even though he acts like a maniac.


In other words, the facts and details aren't important. What matters is some validation that the world is complicated and difficult to parse, that change feels disorienting and inscrutable, and that some unknown and malevolent forces must be to blame.

While I can't condone that degree of irresponsible irrationality (nor the cynicism of knowingly stoking and profiting from it), I can certainly be sympathetic to those who are desperate for some handhold in a world where change is a constant factor and disparate information bombards them incessantly.




I don't think this is right.

It's all very fashionable to rail against 'fake news' and to piously insist on 'facts' in news reporting, but at best the whole thing is a straw man argument. All news media is chockablock with editorializing; that is why some people read the New York Times and some prefer the New York Post. Educated people (which includes everyone here) have no trouble at all separating the editorializing from the reported facts; and even less trouble separating trustworthy news from National Enquirer-type tabloids. Furthermore, since the 'facts' of newsworthy events are generally pooled, most reporters have access to the same set of facts; the difference lies in how they are presented to their respective audiences. In short, people consume news primarily for the editorializing, not the 'facts'.
I'm not a fan at all, but the larger "truth" of Alex Jones your commenter refers to is in his editorializing. AJ trades in pattern recognition: "The government has lied in the past, and it looked like this. Judging from what they said today about a completely different topic, chances are very high they are lying again." He's not validating his listeners' failure to address the complexity of the world, he's validating their gut feeling that they're being lied to.

To be sure, he also trades in colloidal silver and survivalist gear, which plants him firmly in tabloidland, and he's pretty nutty into the bargain. Nevertheless, there's plenty of room on the airwaves for a wide variety of worldviews. After all, Keith Olbermann is still on the air somewhere….

MoM
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1985
Location: N/A
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 01:26 PM CDT

Quote by: MotherofMeursault
I'm not a fan at all, but the larger "truth" of Alex Jones your commenter refers to is in his editorializing. AJ trades in pattern recognition: "The government has lied in the past, and it looked like this. Judging from what they said today about a completely different topic, chances are very high they are lying again." He's not validating his listeners' failure to address the complexity of the world, he's validating their gut feeling that they're being lied to.



Yeah, I think we're saying essentially the same thing.

But the details do matter. Facts do matter. If the facts are subjectively manufactured then "knowledge" ceases to be functional or useful, because cause and effect in the actual world opperates objectively. When a person acts based on false premises the outcome of their actions will not yield predictable results.

"B is true because A is true." That statement has two objective components. First, "A" is a premise that can be independently tested, which means that it is falsifiable. Second, that the formal logic demonstrating the relationship between B and A can be evaluated and determined to be more or less logically sound.

That's editorial journalism. It is a reasoned argument based on verifiable facts. Sure the argument is susceptible to biases and reasonable people can disagree about logical consistency, but if the logic or premises are shown to be false the argument does not stand.

"B is true and A is whatever I need it to be to reach that conclusion." That's not the equivalent.


“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
GET SONG FEEDBACK --> MacJams Critics Circles
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1985
Location: N/A
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 01:51 PM CDT

Quote by: Daugrin
Keep hating people. Destroy those messengers. It's truly all ya got.
Macjams is the perfect platform for your life, no life but yours permitted here...

Why, here you go so more? Resist! Keep it going...

You don't write, you don't play modern music, you don't create anything, so you come here to MJ to recycle, to ensure your delusional world view is supported...musicians one and all, and the instrument of choice, the performance most necessary is- hate. Take a bow.


You're the one who started this thread to preach your opinion. When other people participate by challenging that opinion or by voicing their own you condemn them as "haters," "shills," "delusional," or otherwise attempt to delegitimize and exclude them.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
GET SONG FEEDBACK --> MacJams Critics Circles
Ed Hannifin
Forum Full Member


Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 3483
Location: , MA USA
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 02:31 PM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
Quote by: MotherofMeursault
I'm not a fan at all, but the larger "truth" of Alex Jones your commenter refers to is in his editorializing. AJ trades in pattern recognition: "The government has lied in the past, and it looked like this. Judging from what they said today about a completely different topic, chances are very high they are lying again." He's not validating his listeners' failure to address the complexity of the world, he's validating their gut feeling that they're being lied to.



Yeah, I think we're saying essentially the same thing.

But the details do matter. Facts do matter. If the facts are subjectively manufactured then "knowledge" ceases to be functional or useful, because cause and effect in the actual world opperates objectively. When a person acts based on false premises the outcome of their actions will not yield predictable results.

"B is true because A is true." That statement has two objective components. First, "A" is a premise that can be independently tested, which means that it is falsifiable. Second, that the formal logic demonstrating the relationship between B and A can be evaluated and determined to be more or less logically sound.

That's editorial journalism. It is a reasoned argument based on verifiable facts. Sure the argument is susceptible to biases and reasonable people can disagree about logical consistency, but if the logic or premises are shown to be false the argument does not stand.

"B is true and A is whatever I need it to be to reach that conclusion." That's not the equivalent.




Thank you again...

"We have to remember...when it's surrender that's called for, it's not surrender of your brains. It's surrender of your ego. It's a different thing." --Bruce Cockburn
MotherofMeursault
Forum Full Member


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 380
Location: , United States
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 03:49 PM CDT

Quote by: chikoppi
Quote by: MotherofMeursault
I'm not a fan at all, but the larger "truth" of Alex Jones your commenter refers to is in his editorializing. AJ trades in pattern recognition: "The government has lied in the past, and it looked like this. Judging from what they said today about a completely different topic, chances are very high they are lying again." He's not validating his listeners' failure to address the complexity of the world, he's validating their gut feeling that they're being lied to.



Yeah, I think we're saying essentially the same thing.

But the details do matter. Facts do matter. If the facts are subjectively manufactured then "knowledge" ceases to be functional or useful, because cause and effect in the actual world opperates objectively. When a person acts based on false premises the outcome of their actions will not yield predictable results.

"B is true because A is true." That statement has two objective components. First, "A" is a premise that can be independently tested, which means that it is falsifiable. Second, that the formal logic demonstrating the relationship between B and A can be evaluated and determined to be more or less logically sound.

That's editorial journalism. It is a reasoned argument based on verifiable facts. Sure the argument is susceptible to biases and reasonable people can disagree about logical consistency, but if the logic or premises are shown to be false the argument does not stand.

"B is true and A is whatever I need it to be to reach that conclusion." That's not the equivalent.




Quite right.
Facts and details are indeed important, but it's often only in strictly circumscribed circumstances that the facts are even knowable. The information we're presented with by news organizations is rarely so tidy. And when the news brings us tales of various political maneuverings, there is often a lot of information but very few facts. We are forced to compare the information with our past similar experience, and pick the most likely path to 'truth'. The actions of the news organizations themselves are part of the calculus: the John Podesta emails exposing the journalists who were on board with HRC's messaging drove many to reasonably question the 'facts' those people were disseminating.
I guess the simplest way to say it is to say that news organizations are not in the fact business; they're in the infotainment business. You can glean the basic facts by consuming a variety of media; all the rest is spin.

MoM



N.B.: As a personal aside, I really wish Harold Luper were here. It was usually at about this point in the conversation that he'd drop in with a dewy-eyed and limpid, "Thank you, MoM"

 
chikoppi
Forum Full Member


Registered: 04/02/04
Posts: 1985
Location: N/A
 
Re:Shills and Astroturf: Addkisson
Sunday, April 23 2017 @ 04:57 PM CDT

Quote by: MotherofMeursault
Facts and details are indeed important, but it's often only in strictly circumscribed circumstances that the facts are even knowable. The information we're presented with by news organizations is rarely so tidy. And when the news brings us tales of various political maneuverings, there is often a lot of information but very few facts. We are forced to compare the information with our past similar experience, and pick the most likely path to 'truth'. The actions of the news organizations themselves are part of the calculus: the John Podesta emails exposing the journalists who were on board with HRC's messaging drove many to reasonably question the 'facts' those people were disseminating.
I guess the simplest way to say it is to say that news organizations are not in the fact business; they're in the infotainment business. You can glean the basic facts by consuming a variety of media; all the rest is spin.


I agree with your second point. Hyperbole, manufactured conflict, and "opinion" are cheap and all too common ratings games imported from reality TV.

However I still believe you are constructing a false equivalency.

It is one thing to report information and subsequently provide opinion or analysis. "Based on X, I conclude Y for the following reasons." The breadth and objectivity of that evidence and reasonableness of that opinion can be critically assessed.

It is another thing to provide opinion and subsequently manufacture details to legitimize it.

It actually does matter whether or not Podesta's emails contained information about a human-trafficking operation being run from a DC pizza shop. This was a detail Alex Jones forcefully and gleefully repeated with complete disregard for whether or not the statement was true. Once caught-out he tried to scrub the record of his assertions before being forced by a Texas court to publicly acknowledge it was not a factual statement.

Quote by: MotherofMeursault
N.B.: As a personal aside, I really wish Harold Luper were here. It was usually at about this point in the conversation that he'd drop in with a dewy-eyed and limpid, "Thank you, MoM"


Well I'll say it! I appreciate a reasonable exchange of ideas.

“Ya, that idea is dildos.” Skwisgaar Skwigelf
GET SONG FEEDBACK --> MacJams Critics Circles