Research Bibliography While Watching Video: http://altbib.com/r/192/ra/6._Critical_Thinking_To_Interpret_SPINformation_(Intro_To_SPINfo)
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Welcome friends, to Episode 6 of the Wiki World Order report: Critical Thinking To Interpret SPINformation. I’m your host, Morgan Lesko.
All information is delivered with some amount of spin. Some spin is minimal and relatively neutral, while other spin dramatically changes the meaning or significance of information, and is also known as lying. Whether the spin is consciously or unconsciously applied, it must be consciously factored into your interpretation of any source of information. Information is distinct and separate from knowledge, and all of us are in desperate need of a reliable method to scan for viruses as we process everything.
The idealized version of history that I learned as a child taught me that the media was supposed to provide public oversight on what happens in our government, a concept comlmonly known as the Fourth Estate. But just as regulators in the executive branch have been neutralized by industries with overly lubricated revolving doors, the mainstream media has been bought and paid for by the corporate-industrial complex. In fact, just six mega-corporations absolutely dominate all the news and entertainment in the country: CBS, Time Warner (with CNN), Walt Disney (with ABC), General Electric (with NBC), Viacom (with MTV and Comedy Central), and of course Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (with FOX).
Please consider that the colossal mainstream media quite literally has blood on its hands. They failed in their critical role in oversight during the marketing of multiple completely illegitimate wars, like in Iraq. Chances are, they never showed you the third building that collapsed at nearly free-fall speed on September 11th: World Trade Center Building 7. And they failed to report on how George W. Bush literally STOLE the presidential election from Al Gore in 2000.
There are plenty of excellent presentations of this kind of information, which I recommend you check out if you are interested in these topics. The first on my list is Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent, free in full on Google Video. Here’s a clip where Chomsky is discussing the atrocities in East Timor:
NOAM CHOMSKY: I mean this is way beyond just demonstrating the subservience of the media to power. I mean they have actual — they have real complicity in genocide in this case. The reason the atrocities can go on is because nobody knows about them. If anyone knew about them, there would be protests and pressure to stop them. So therefore by suppressing the facts, the media are making a major contribution to some of the — probably the worst act of genocide since the Holocaust.
NOAM CHOMSKY: There is nothing more remote from what I’m discussing, or what we have been discussing, than a conspiracy theory. If I give an analysis of say, the economics system, and I point out that General Motors tries to maximize profit and market share….that’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s an institutional analysis. It has nothing to do with conspiracy theories, and that’s precisely the sense in which we’re talking about the media. The phrase “conspiracy theory” is one of those that is constantly brought up. And I think its effect is to simply discourage institutional analysis. – Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent
I also strongly recommend checking out a recently released documentary named Psywar, by Scott Noble, free in full on YouTube:
JOHN STAUBER of PR Watch: You see a news show, you watch 60 Minutes or a Fox program, or whatever it is, you tend to give more credibility to what you’re told is journalism. If an advertisement comes on, hopefully you tend to be more skeptical of that, because obviously somebody put an awful lot of money into crafting this slick TV ad and airing it. But what you’d probably never suspect, is that that news story you just watched was also crafted by a company, given to the TV station or network with the understanding that they would put their own logos on it, identify it as real journalism, and air it.
NARRATOR: Colonel Sam Gardener would eventually chart 50 false news stories created and leaked by the Bush White House propaganda apparatus prior to and during the assault on Iraq. Foremost amongst these were the lies that led to the war in the first place. It was not bad intelligence that led to the invasion, concludes Gardener. It was an orchestrated effort that began before the war, and was meticulously planned to manipulate the public. – Psywar by Scott Noble
Finally, one of my favorite documentary films on the issue of corporate media is titled Orwell Rolls In His Grave, free in full on Google Video. Here’s a clip with Bernie Sanders:
BERNIE SANDERS: People don’t appreciate this. You know, in the last days of the Soviet Union you had dozens of newspapers, dozens of magazines, all kinds of radio and television stations. The only problem is that all of that media was controlled by the Communist party of the Soviet Union or the government of the Soviet Union. We are moving in that direction.
Fewer and fewer people vote. When polls tell us that fewer and fewer people understand the political process — What the media does is trivialize what goes on, sensationalizes it, makes it entertainment, rather than saying look, the function of the media is to educate you to live in a democracy, which is pretty serious stuff. – Orwell Rolls In His Grave
Over the past century, we have become particularly accustomed to taking the word of authority figures, while downplaying the need for critical thinking. We’ve been taught to outsource all of our critical thinking to experts. Just as with society’s rampant materialism, we have been encouraged to consume information instead of becoming active participants. As we evolve the processing of information via the wide-spread access to the internet, we are learning new ways to aggregate and hopefully distill the long tail of information…and the technologies are indeed empowering many more people, like myself, to supplement their consumption with creation.
But now that we have built the printing press of our century, we can maximize the power of this technology by reviving critical thinking to take a more methodical approach to interpret the newly found wealth of information. The goals are to reconcile all contradictions of information, constantly striving to increase our certainty regarding the who, what, where, when and why of current and historical events. Critical thinking is indeed critical.
Since the American public education system has failed to give us the skills required to actively question the media and other authority figures, we must also get back to our autodidactic roots….this means re-igniting the joy of teaching ourselves whatever topics interests us. We must come to terms with how much we really don’t know, and un-learn (or grow skepticism for) much of what we’ve been taught by others.
There are some remarkable educational concepts discouraged by our system called the Seven Liberal Arts and Sciences, made up of the trivium and the quadrivium. In its simplest form, the trivium is described as Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric: “Grammar answers the question of the Who, What, Where, and the When of a subject. Logic answers the Why of a subject. Rhetoric provides the How of a subject.” “Once a student is conversant with this three-fold procedural pattern, he is now capable of teaching himself, with minimal guidance from an instructor or facilitator, how to learn any established subject.”
I beg of you to go to PeaceRevolution.org and check out the amazing new podcast and documentation by Tragedy & Hope which goes much deeper. Here is a clip from the second episode of the Peace Revolution podcast, The Million Dollar Education / A Re-Discovery of the Lost Tools of Learning: (0:56-3:00, 0:47-3:14)
(timestamp 53:54) LISA ARBERCHESKI: Especially when you’re living in an information age, you’re inundated with information. And yet, if you don’t have a system, an operating system, of taking in that information, and thinking critically about it, deciding for yourself, then you’re really left to all of the authorities. And there are plenty of authorities out there that want to tell you how to live your life, and what to do with your money, etc.
PAUL VERGE: I would say pointing out the fallacy arguments in someone’s position, especially an authority figure, allows you to intellectually as opposed to emotionally respond to what they’re saying in a way that’s not necessarily threatening. It’s just truthful and it throws the ball back in their court, in a way where they have to either admit they are using a fallacy or change their position. Whereas they want you to respond emotionally, like a child, to get upset at the fact that they’re saying something to you or ordering you to do something.
LISA ARBERCHESKI: Right, and so you have to ask yourself am I making this decision based on good reasons and on good evidence, and logic, etc? Or am I being overwhelmed by some vivid evidence or circumstance by someone else’s advanced rhetoric?
(1:10:41) RICHARD GROVE: But the summary is that outcome-based education is in the benefit of these corporations and not in the benefit of our friends, families and ourselves, to be learning like that. Rick, what kind of example could you give the audience of the trivium method of learning versus the outcome-based education or the Prussian model of education.
RICK MALCHOW: Well, let’s say someone could teach you a song on an instrument, you know, using outcome-based education. You can be shown where to put your fingers and mechanically how to get through the song by using small portions, and then keep working, you know, one portion at a time, until the song is learned.
But you’ll learn that song faster if you use the trivium method. The trivium method is the opposite of outcome-based education. So what if you wanted to learn another song? Under outcome-based education, we would need to be taught, dependent on someone to teach and guide you through the process of learning another song. Outcome-based education creates intellectual cripples dependent on a system already in place to educate individuals on every new subject — or teaching new songs, per the example. Because the person learning never
mastered the basics, but only the outcome, and he had no way to be creative.
So and then if you were to teach the same song using the trivium method, first you would learn how to learn music, which is the knowledge or grammar portion of the trivium. Second you would learn how to use your fingers, scales, timing, etc, and this would be the understanding or logic portion. And third you would learn proper technique and expression, which would be the wisdom or rhetoric portion.
RICHARD GROVE: Right so it sounds like outcome-based education keeps you coming back for more as a customer of a teacher, instead of that teacher teaching you the one lesson that allows you to learn any other subject on your own much more expeditiously than you can with a teacher in what we know as the traditional system of education.
LISA ARBERCHESKI: Well and the tools of self-teaching enable you to move forward beyond the limits of your teachers and to become creative on your own.
RICHARD GROVE: Also allows you to save a lot of money, because if you think about it, if you learn how to read to yourself and you just get the curriculum…you can save a lot of money on a college education, and go a lot farther, and deeper, and get a truer education and have these things as a level understanding…because of the method in which you stored this information and learned this information and learned to articulate this information to others. - Peace Revolution podcast, episode 002: The Million Dollar Education / A Re-Discovery of the Lost Tools of Learning
In striving to use the trivium method while evaluating the media, I have consumed many books and an immense amount of random “documentary films” on all topics with an open and critical mind, though I have never been a big reader of random writings or blogs on conspiracies. I look at more from creators who produce quality work, and who clearly strive to offer maximum documentation and earn a record of higher historical accuracy.
As far as consistent news outlets go, now I really like the Corbett Report and Media Monarchy. Just as I am striving to do, they provide more direct documentation to mainstream sources: the same sources on which the mainstream bases their realities. Since we are working uphill against public opinion on a lot of these issues, they have learned to stick to topics with a strongly documented case, and must hone their source and evidence validation to stay ahead of their powerful and endless critics.
While adding lots of documents to my AltBib.Com research database last year, my process on Infowars.com or PrisonPlanet.com was actually to initially avoid reading the articles they wrote. Instead I just keep clicking through all the links provided throughout each alternative article, gradually finding all the new and old mainstream source articles supporting the alternative narrative.
Granted, the independent media sometimes uses hyperbolic headlines just like the rest of the American media. But at the end of this reading process, which is now second-nature to me, I usually felt the hyperbolic alternative headline was reasonably justified based on the facts confirmed by mainstream sources. Then if I am still interested I will read the full alternative analysis and do further independent research of my own.
For all documentation I find interesting or might possibly want to revisit later, I catalog it in my collaborative research database, AltBib.Com. A vast majority of this information is very mainstream, despite being considered evidence for these alternative theories. My stats page (http://AltBib.Com/stats.php) shows that at least three quarters of my documents there are from sources considered totally mainstream. Often, the smoking gun just shows up on page 23 of one prominent newspaper, instead of dominating a full news cycle for a day, week, month, year or decade.
So paradoxically, while the mainstream media has clearly failed us, I personally only feel comfortable defending alternative theories with some adequate quality and quantity of mainstream admissions and declassification of ‘evidence’ that convinces me, or of course, with adequately credible first-hand evidence (primary sources). Anything I haven’t researched myself is like window shopping for me, thinking ‘Oh, some guy thinks that? Wild, good to know some guy thinks that.’
(* Quick comedic clip from A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Season 4, Episode 7 *)
One way to help move values of truth and transparency forward is to cancel your subscriptions to publications which support the corporate-industrial complex and based on the information now accessible, have proven to pass on the lies handed down to them without critical analysis. Instead, test out completely independent, listener supported media and financially support those you find valuable.
Since I am just starting out my show here, I recommend you check out the Tragedy & Hope online magazine and community which my work complements, including amazing truly independent sources for information like The Meria Heller Show, the Corbett Report, Media Monarchy, Gnostic Media, and 8th Estate Media & Research with the 9/11 Synchronicity podcast from 2006. Now that I’ve finally found them, I can happily say they have all been broadcasting extremely close to my intended frequency for years now.
This series of my writings and online shows are more focused on WHAT I think, based on my continued research. But I do hope it also sheds ample light on HOW to think, and beg of everyone to check out the Peace Revolution podcast as well as the Tragedy & Hope online community for a more thorough discussion on self-education. As I say, please do not take my word for ANYTHING, because you can only have certainty after doing the research yourself. So if you take away anything from this series, it would be more than enough to just adopt a more critical approach to how you process the information which interests you, and to shed your fear of teaching yourself new areas of study.
I am still learning along side you, a few chapters or books ahead or behind you in my studies, depending on the topic. Being human, I won’t get everything right, but I do all the research and writing for everything I put behind my own teleprompter. And I promise to never intentionally mislead those who listen to and/or participate in this show. I do want to strongly encourage participation and constructive, documented criticism, through comments on my videos or blogs, sharing links and discussions on the Wiki World Order Facebook page, or emailing me at info~at~WikiWorldOrder.org.
Even better, create your own Wiki World Order reports, upload them to YouTube, and send them my way. Just pick a topic that interests you, do some extra research to provide evidence for your views and start writing, and try to balance the talk of problems with solutions. If your work is well thought out, and maintain an overall positive vibe, I am happy to re-post your work on WikiWorldOrder.org.
I’m also learning how to do all this video stuff along with you, as this is not my background…but the only way to learn is to start trying. First you need a microphone, which you can really get at any price point. I don’t know much yet, but I’ve just heard it’s good to stay within about six inches from your microphone so your voice dominates the background noise of your room. For sound editing I use Audacity: the free, open source software for Mac or Windows.
If you have a smart phone, there’s a good chance you can download a free or cheap app which works as a teleprompter. On my iPhone, I am using a $1 app called iPrompter. Then check this out…I went to my local hardware store to get a piece of glass…and lucked out and they gave me a scrap piece for free! Then I just cut two slots in a cardboard box at roughly a 45 degree angle, and slid the glass through. Put your box on top of a surface at an appropriate height, and throw a dark sheet over the top, sides and back. Inside the box, is a $100 HD Flip Cam on a mini-tripod. With a little trial and error, it didn’t take me long to get a workable shot through my home made teleprompter.
Depending on your room, it might be worth investing in an extra light source or two. And you can hang a cheap green sheet on a wall behind you so you can easily swap out the background to make a video more visually stimulating, adding some sugar with the medicine. I use the free trial of Adobe After Effects, then reformat my computer every month to keep using it free AND legit. And easy yet thorough tutorials on how to use After Effects can be found for free at VideoCopilot.net. There are also tools on WikiWorldOrder.org for making your own reports, including a higher quality episode template without me in it, so feel free to reuse the graphics and animations I have made (all under Creative Commons).
Some future episodes of the Wiki World Order report will be case studies in SPINformation by analyzing personal examples of the mainstream outlets I enjoy listening to most. I will look at key points where they differ with my interpretation of reality, in hopes of learning to consider more critically those outlets who might otherwise take my trust for granted.
No matter what information you regularly take in, please frequently remind yourself of the bias inherent to your preferred outlets, and do your best to drop emotional attachment to things you think you know. And even better, please BECOME your own media outlet. You can start just by really studying any topic which interests you. Then create anything to share what you’ve learned with your friends. Don’t be scared to fail, that’s the only way to learn! This process really tests your understanding and then gets you some feedback.
One of the key underlying solutions to ALL of the overwhelming problems we face is a resurgence of methodical, critical thinking. So please please please check out the Peace Revolution podcast for a more thorough discussion of the trivium and quadrivium. Our own ignorance is what enables us to remain enslaved…in the past century, chains and shackles were traded for advanced propaganda.
Democracy is not a spectator sport, it requires active participation. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the Wiki World Order report, thank you for participating, and thank you for thinking critically!
(* Quick comedic clip from A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Season 3, Episode 5 *)
You can find the full transcript with links to documentation for every episode at WikiWorldOrder.org. You can also download full quality video files and download MP3s of the audio version for each episode and all music created, all there for free on the web site.
Furthermore, every episode is also setup on AltBib.Com so you can watch each episode on the left side of the screen, while on the right side of the screen you have all the links to documentation provided in the transcript, presented by timestamps corresponding to the video (or audio). I call this my Research-Along Theater, and I’ve adopted James Corbett‘s methodology of providing detailed web-accessible documentation and my intention is to be an Open Source Intelligence media outlet.
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