“There can be no liberty for a community which lacks the means by which to detect lies” –Walter Lippmann
This is a public service announcement from
The Center for the Study of Applied Equivocation
In the continuing effort to bring readers the tools
that will free us from the tyranny of
cunning arguments and lying liars.
OK, that is all ridiculous of course, but anything I say, if it is well constructed, could be true or false and how would the reader know the difference? We are navigating through some deceptive times and the deceivers know there are skills that can be learned to persuade others that purposefully work around the truth, not for the truth.
The ability to form persuasive arguments that are not truthful is an ancient art currently being used by people who want your vote and your money.
“The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor; it is the one thing that cannot be learnt from others; and it is also a sign of genius, since a good metaphor implies an intuitive perception of the similarity in the dissimilar.” —Aristotle, De Poetica
The purpose of this article is to begin building the foundation of knowledge sources that can be used to help the readers make informed decisions about American politics. The goal of this writing is to make the readers self-sufficient truth-gatherers.
When constructed metaphors become the only message, the message becomes the truth, then all we are is passive followers — debt-slaves — without representation.
I just assume, for purposes of citizenship and respect for America, that we are being lied to by people who want our money and our votes. Whether or not my assumption is a clear understanding of this country, prudence dictates that we should be able to make our own, informed decisions – just in case.
The only alternatives to finding the truth for ourselves is either believing in nothing – certainly nothing for sure, or believing what other people tell us is true. Both are recipes for personal and national disaster.
Most of what we come into contact with is designed to influence us. What other reason can there be for the effort it takes to make information and pass it along? We are not doing poetry here or escape literature. We are working to pull some meaning from the chaos. We need to participate in our own futures. That is going to take some knowledge.
Consider how we get our information: http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6
Six companies decide what consumers/citizens hear, read, see, know. At the same time, public schools are designed to feed the economy. Very few American schools have critical reasoning curricula: http://www2.nau.edu/~snm3/ihp/logic/
but the majority of State schools have standardized tests.
Not exactly the foundation for informed consent.
I might be stepping into Conspiracy Theory Land, but I think those 6 corporations might talk to each other and they might talk to any number of the whores and traitors who currently darken America’s Congress. Add to the frenzy the Supreme Court decision that has recently made it possible for those 6 corporations and the whores and traitors to talk endlessly and exchange gifts without limits. There is some evidence that leads me to believe whores and traitors, and their business overlords will say anything to get what they want, and what they want most often, has very little to do with what citizens in America need. That’s just my guess.
Much of the information we struggle with during elections come to us through what is loosely defined as journalism. Part of the attachments to this article is the Handbook all “journalists” should be using when they investigate a story. Now it is the reader’s handbook. It can be useful to learn what is critically missing in a story before foolishness is taken as truth.
Much of the information we receive comes from social media – the Wild, Wild West in all its lawless and graceless wonder. There, things like hyper-epistemology and hypo-epistemology and implied consensus and constructed equivocation, rule; nothing can be taken for truth. The wilderness still and again.
In the real wilderness, when we were hunting and gathering to live, knowing when to duck was usually good enough. One mistake in the ducking department and it was all over. In our world, a similar mistake, either from our lack of understanding or our failure to check for truth, may not get us dead, but ignorance can ruin lives for decades, without the merciful finality of instant death. We just limp through life, alive – kind of – but not in charge of our lives.
To get an idea of the disconnect between the truth and what we are fed, consider the two following pieces of information:
First is an abstract from recent research that found the things we are being sold for facts have not been verified:
To check or not to check: An exploratory study on source checking by Dutch journalists
“Verifying information is one of the core activities of journalism, however recent research shows many stories derive from unchecked information from news agencies and PR material. That being said, reporters who do not use this pre-packaged material, but who instead produce original stories based on independent research, might be journalists who stay devoted to the verification of information. Therefore, this study focuses on in-depth stories that originated inside the newsroom. We expected that these kinds of stories would be checked and double-checked, because time constraints are less important and these stories are characteristic of independent, quality journalism. Contrary to this expectation, the results show that even these kinds of stories are not always vetted. The lack of time was seldom mentioned as an excuse. Our research points to avoidance mechanisms which inhibit journalists from verifying their information.”
Next, look at how information can be manufactured:
The following websites create article titles that research proves will sell. Once again, they create article titles that will sell.
GOOGLE: Headline generators: About 462,000 results (0.33 seconds)
I plugged in the information about
The Center for the Study of Applied Equivocation – a non-existent thing, and got the following usable, useful, article titles:
Results from Free Headline Generator: for
The Center for the Study of Applied Equivocation
A fictitious entity
How to uncover equivocation in political discussions so readers can find the truth for themselves
They Laughed When I Said I’d uncover equivocation in political discussions– But When I independently verified of the truth, They Begged Me for My Secret!
7 Secrets to How to uncover equivocation in political discussions so readers can find the truth for themselves
Want to help readers find the truth for themselves? Here’s How to uncover equivocation in political discussions Now!
FREE Report Reveals 5 Secrets to uncover equivocation in political discussions
New Discovery Reveals How to uncover equivocation in political discussions!
Who Else Wants to uncover equivocation in political discussions and help readers find the truth for themselves?!
It’s True: You Really Can uncover equivocation in political discussions and Here’s How…
New information resources Helps Your readers find the truth for themselves… Guaranteed!
Tests Now Show Our information resources Can Help You readers can find the truth for themselves
These are only ten of the hundreds of titles generated to write articles about NO THING.
We don’t even have to come up with our own titles, what we write about can be given to us by some formula that creates a snappy title that we can just fill in.
The created metaphor can create and drive the discussion. Give that a second to build some import or give that the time it deserves and watch this:
There’s more: MarksNotes.info receives “comments” every week from people who create blog content in the same way blog titles are created. For a few pieces of silver, I don’t even need to have an original idea or any presentation skills whatever, to be a successful blogger in America.
For now, this article will focus on the ways we can protect ourselves from constructed, but believable lies.
Here are some tools for self-defense.
By far, the most important resource to protect ourselves from cunning arguments and lying liars:
100+ Self-Education Resources for Lifelong Learners
WHAT SHOULD JOURNALISTS SHOULD BE DOING:
Verification handbook for investigative reporters
Good reporting has a method. When that tried and true method is altered or important steps in the process are just left out, the truth of the article can be questioned. The truth of an issue can’t be effectively questioned by people who don’t know what it takes to get to the truth. If the reader is interested in that level of self-sufficiency, try these sites:
Story-based inquiry: A manual for investigative journalists
Ten Steps to Investigative Reporting
RESOURCES FOR FINDING THE TRUTH:
Resources to help us learn the facts to make up our own minds
Get Your Facts Right – 6 Fact Checking Websites That Help You Know the Truth
A list of fact-checking websites
How to Fact Check
Political Fact-Checking Under Fire
A guide for journalists on how to access government information
To Catch a Liar, Ask the Right Question
How to choose your news – Damon Brown
Skills and Strategies | Fake News vs. Real News: Determining the Reliability of Sources
Critical realism on the limits to critical social science
Critical Realism and Recent Developments in Social Theory
Top 15 most popular websites:
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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
U.S. State Department
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U.S. Government Accountability Office
CIA World Factbook