Category Archives: Social Engineering

The Media’s Misuse of Language

The Epoch Times. 12/26/20

Recently in this space I wrote about the common misuse of the word “scandal” (see “Look to the Media for Greatest Scandal of Our Lifetime”). Too often people use the word to mean not something that is a scandal but something they think ought to be a scandal.

The whole point about the “scandals” of Hunter Biden before the election or Eric Swalwell after it is that they weren’t scandals—though they should have been. As oxygen is necessary for fire, so is publicity necessary for scandal, and both these scandals have been practically snuffed out, as scandals, by the media’s denying them the oxygen of publicity.

But this use, or misuse, of words is a much more general phenomenon than most people realize. In the media it is virtually epidemic. Routinely, things are stated as facts—for instance, that President Trump “lies” about election fraud—that cannot possibly be known as facts. They are only things the speaker or writer believes or wishes to be facts.

That example is easy to see, at least for anyone living outside the media’s wish-fulfilment bubble. It’s a bit harder to spot a bit of rhetorical trickery that seems to have been pioneered by the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

That slogan, when you think about it, consists of a relative term masquerading as an absolute one. To say that something—anything—“matters” is to imply an indirect object: to whom does it matter? Black lives may matter to me or to you, though I doubt even that if the slogan means, as it appears to do, that it is only the blackness of the black lives that matters.

Does the life of Clarence Thomas matter to the sloganeers equally with that of George Floyd or Michael Brown? How about that of David Dorn, the retired black police chief murdered by BLM rioters in St. Louis last June? His life didn’t matter to them.

In any case, it is utterly meaningless to say that black lives matter absolutely unless you mean that they matter to God. And that’s meaningless too, since all lives must matter to God, ex hypothesi. “There is a special Providence in the fall of a sparrow,” says Hamlet, paraphrasing the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:29. The sparrow’s color is not mentioned, either by Our Savior or by the Prince of Denmark.

But the usefulness of the Black Lives Matter slogan for raising money from virtue-signaling rich people or for turning out demonstrators to intimidate police or politicians from the disfavored political party is apparently unaffected by the fact that it is, literally, nonsense.

Of course, I might well want to conclude that it’s not nonsense if I know I can be beaten up for saying it is.

Lately we have seen the word “offensive” used in the same way, as in this headline from the Dec. 21 New York Times: “It’s 2020. Indigenous Team Names in Sports Have to Go: The Chiefs, Braves, Blackhawks and Seminoles need to follow the Cleveland baseball team in dropping their offensive names.”

As with “Black Lives Matter,” the word “offensive” here is used absolutely, as if the names were somehow offensive to the cosmos rather than to anybody in particular.

Once again we must ask, “offensive to whom”?

When it began, this agitation about “indigenous team names”—also a nonsensical shortcut for “names supposedly taken from indigenous peoples”—assumed that they were offensive to the indigenous people, better known as Indians or native Americans. But numerous polls have found that only tiny fractions of such people, far short of a majority, are actually offended by the names.

So now we are invited to assume that they are just intrinsically offensive—because the writer, (Kurt Streeter in this case), taking it on himself to speak for the absolute, thinks they are.

In the wake of the election, an even more sinister usage of this kind seems to have taken hold at the Times editorial board. “Accountability After Trump” read the Dec. 20 editorial headline. “How can America rebuild democracy’s guardrails and hold the past administration to account for its lawlessness?”

It should not be necessary to explain to people who advertise themselves as “a group of opinion journalists whose views are informed by expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values” that in that “democracy” whose “guardrails” they seek to rebuild, politicians are accountable to the voters, not to the New York Times editorial board, nor yet to their political enemies making partisan claims of “lawlessness” against them.

Particularly when it was precisely such people as these whom Mr. Trump was running against when he was elected in 2016.

But over the last four years, the Times has grown so used to making absolute statements of this kind, statements made as if ex cathedra from their self-appointed secular papacy and therefore infallibly, that they presumably don’t even know they’re doing it anymore.

Taking on themselves the role of ultimate and absolute judges of the political proprieties is by now second nature to them. “Accountable to them” means “accountable,” period.

It’s really the Trump voters, then, who are being held accountable to the Times—which could explain why the paper’s writers and editors have spent the last four years expressing their disappointment in the wrong choice, as they suppose, made by those voters in 2016. It could also explain why they keep insisting that those voters could not possibly have made the same choice in 2020.

“Democracy,” therefore, as in “democracy’s guardrails,” is another word routinely misused by the Times. For voters can have no free choice if they can be held accountable to the New York Times or anybody else for choosing wrong.

So far as the Times is concerned, either voters must accept the advice and guidance afforded them by the “expertise, research, debate and certain longstanding values” of the tiny oligarchy headquartered at 620 Eighth Avenue in New York—or they must be corrected.

James Bowman is a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. The author of “Honor: A History,” he is a movie critic for The American Spectator and the media critic for the New Criterion.

Source: The Media’s Misuse of Language Always Has a Political Purpose

Share

Big Tech and Political Manipulation | Robert Epstein | CCA II: Big Tech – YouTube

Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. This video should give you pause about using Google. Please listen. E.g. “Go Vote” reminder sent ONLY to liberal voters. Democracy is an illusion when companies like Google do what they are doing. mrossol.

In fact, they may be manipulating this post. This is the URL (the link below does not work – when all others that I post like this do??) So copy and paste this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLZaEhcPMUY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLZaEhcPMUY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLZaEhcPMUY

Share

Bret Weinstein: whatever happens, the system is broken – Unherd

Bret Weinstein: whatever happens, the system is broken

Very good thinking on what is happening in political culture. Couple excerpts… (let me know if you cannot get the interview or article)

On tech censorship:

I have a model in which many of the things that feel conspiratorial are actually a combination of phenomena: one part is emergent and one part is conscious, and the two of them work together to create something quite Soviet and bureaucratic. There’s also another possibility, which is that if one wants to do arbitrary things, if one wants to silence certain kinds of speech, and amplify other kinds of speech because they are advancing a political agenda, then they can build a system in which your antagonists are in a position to trigger algorithms.

…Until we have at least a process where we all understand what the rules are and when we are told that we have violated them after seeing what the evidence is — as well as the right to challenge it — we are in danger of being ruled by the whims of the people who run these platforms.

On Big Tech’s handling of the pandemic:

To have tech platforms with no scientific guidance deciding what is the conventional wisdom in a certain quadrant of the academy — it’s mind blowing. The fact that we know many of the things that we were told were so right — that you couldn’t challenge them — turned out to be wrong, tells you everything that you need to know about this system.

…Pretending that tech platforms are in a position to render scientific judgement about really important questions like ‘How exactly did this virus end up spreading through the world?’ They shut down perfectly reasonable lines of inquiry because they found them inconvenient. It has done everything to amplify the sense that they are teams playing with the details of other people’s lives, as if it were sport.

Share

You Will Be Re-Educated

It probably won’t get to 1976-1980 Veit Nam levels immediately, but America is on the slippery slope, and we citizens who care about this country don’t start standing up against this insidious evil, we will bear some of the blame. (a few excerpts below). mrossol

You Will Be Re-Educated

Radical agendas require clear villains to motivate their believers to act. Alex Zamalin, author of Anti-Racism: An Introduction, claims to have identified our moment’s greatest villain: “the ordinary white American who has sometimes tepidly, conditionally, equivocally, or even shamefully agreed with the unmistakable racist.” A similar tone of unmasking hidden villains pervades projects such as the New York Times’ new podcast series about schools, Nice White Parents. In one episode, reporter Chana Joffe-Walt states, “I think the only way you equalize schools is by recognizing this fact and trying wherever possible to suppress the power of white parents.

Once identified, white people are told they must “do the work” of ridding themselves of racist beliefs—even those beliefs they don’t know they have and so must be educated to see.  But to make people—especially stubborn people—“do the work” sometimes requires threats of coercion, which is why anti-racism’s reeducation efforts often flirt with authoritarian language and ideas while claiming little more than benevolent oversight of their presumably virtuous goal.

Writing in Politico, Kendi made this explicit: “To fix the original sin of racism, Americans should pass an anti-racist amendment to the U.S. Constitution that enshrines two guiding anti-racist principles: Racial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals.” The amendment would make what Kendi calls “racist ideas by public officials” unconstitutional. It would also “establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees.”

Share