In the days leading up to December 21st, 2012, I had wanted to send a bit of love to as many people that I personally know as possible. I think fondly about people constantly, but often want to ensure they know more tangibly. I considered trying to start a #LoveSurge meme of some kind, but ended up deciding to do it more subtly using the comment Facebook Like feature while also breaking out of my own “filter bubble.” Maybe it played out more as a #LikeSurge celebration of a long astrological new year.
I’ve never been too heavy a user of Facebook (FB). I mostly just post news, information, and art related to my Wiki World Order interests. I usually quickly scroll through my main feed which filter bubbles towards my ‘Close Friends’ (FB setting) and posts relevant to my interests. Then once every month or two I open up a couple dozen profiles I’m most curious about and check out their last couple months of activity for gems. And that’s pretty much it, generally using it less than a couple hours per week.
So over the course of a few long sessions, I slowly scrolled down the list of ALL my 1,300 Facebook friends and opened the vast majority of profiles (lost track of the last couple hundred since the sorting changes every page load). On each friend’s profile, my goal was to find at least one posting, photo, or something to Like…which I legitimated liked, thought was beautiful, or interesting. It was very rarely difficult to find a couple things to honestly Like within a minute, and of course, I ended up exploring some heartier profiles extra.
If nothing else, it was connective and very satisfying to do some baseline FB ‘stalking’ of all my friends at once…a massive update on hundreds of old friends’ lives I’ve completely lost touch with (except for still being FB friends). It also felt selfish but wonderful to know that each of these beautiful people would get a little notification saying that Morgan PeaceRevolution Lesko had Liked some digital thing of theirs, dramatically improving the chance of them recognizing the thoughts of Love in their specific direction.
After the experiment was as done as it was going to get, I immediately noticed changes in how Facebook’s algorithms were feeding me information. To further encourage these filter shifts, I removed all categorizations of some friends as “Close Friends.” And for at least a few weeks, the friends’ whose posts were included in my main feed were noticeably diversified. Unfortunately, the effects faded a bit over the last two months with minimal Facebook interaction.
But I recommend that anyone who uses Facebook (at all) periodically try going through as many of their FB Friends as possible. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn, and how much you can remove some filters on the information you tend to see most. Some experts making a big deal about the Internet creating filter bubbles have a kernel of truth, but it is just a tool and what matters is how we use it.
The power is in our hands to take in as broad a diversity of information as possible. Our power to use critical thinking to weigh and reason real evidence, remove contradictions, and come to more accurate conclusions. Take that, filter bubble fear-mongers.
I think the most exciting thing is real civic engagement and civic participation. And I think the tools of technology are going to aid and advance those voices in a dramatic way, and scale them. I think it’s the most dynamic and extraordinary thing that will happen in our lifetime…and it’s happening NOW.
And we saw that amplified, obviously, in the Middle East. But I think increasingly you’re going to see that not just with dictatorships overseas, but in terms of the limited engagement that exists here in America. I think people are going to have to wake up that it’s a new day and a new dawn, and technology is going to create a framework where you can’t hide, and you can’t run. And you’d better engage and listen and procure a framework of solution or you’re not going to be around a lot in terms of, you know, political life.
So I think that’s the most extraordinary thing that is happening.
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.
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
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
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
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.
(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.
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.’
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.
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 neverintentionallymislead 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!
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.
Chances are, that by now you’ve heard of the concept of “Net Neutrality“. It basically means that everyone connected to the internet should have equal access to all web sites on the internet. Right now, we are quite dependent on the internet as a society, and can currently find infinitely unique sources of information. But the big telecommunications players want to change that, just as they did with radio waves and televisions decades ago.
In the future, will you be able to rely on broadcasting your voice via universally public lanes? Will you be able to afford getting your voice heard through mainstream toll roads? We must continue to fight to maintain our net’s neutrality, and we have recently seen threats like the big Google-Verizon deal. So if you like cat videos, and you haven’t already, please go to SaveTheInternet.com NOW to sign their petition, and call your representatives in Congress to tell them to protect net neutrality.
When the internet was invented, everyone fell flat on their face they were so thrilled and the world began to do business in a different way. Now both President Bush’s Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, who I greatly respect, and President Obama’s Director of National Intelligence Admiral Blair, who I greatly respect, have labeled cybersecurity perpetrated through the internet as the number one national hazard of attack on the homeland…. So I mean it really almost makes you ask the question, “Would it have been better if we had never invented the internet, and had to use paper and pencil or whatever?” – and that’s a stupid thing to say, but it has genuine consequence. – Jay Rockefeller on CSPAN
There are some basic threats parroted by political leaders to justify centralizing command for “cybersecurity,” including claims like…
#1. Common email spam and computer viruses are a significant problem. But I argue these issues are inherit in our free internet and we will continue to combat them by downloading software patches and spam filters as needed.
#2. Hackers (or cyber-warriors, cyber-spies, cyber-terrorists, or cyber-criminals), foreign or domestic, will continue trying to hack into publicly web-accessible banking systems and the Open Government Initiative, Gov 2.0, where we see more government forms and services going online. But I argue this does not justify changing how the rest of the internet works…those services are responsible for their own security if they wish to interact on the public internet. Furthermore, as well-known computer security and cryptography expert Bruce Schneier says, “in the cryptography world, we consider open source necessary for good security; we have for decades…. For us, open source isn’t just a business model; it’s smart engineering practice.”
#3. Hackers might hack into our country’s power grid and bring down large swaths of our access to electricity and other core infrastructure. But I argue just as with highly sensitive military systems and top secret information, there is no reason that these systems should be connected to the public internet if they are so vulnerable. Such systems should be on completely separate networks using Open Source security solutions, and should not need to infringe on the free internet.
Cyber war is going on in some sense right now. … And we need this capacity in a time of war. We need the capacity for the president to say, Internet service provider, we’ve got to disconnect the American Internet from all traffic coming in from another foreign country, or we’ve got to put a patch on this part of it. The president will never take over — the government should never take over the Internet. Listen, we’ve consulted, Senator Collins and I, who are proposing this bill, with civil liberties and privacy experts. This is a matter of national security. A cyber attack on America can do as much or more damage today by incapacitating our banks, our communications, our finance, our transportation, as a conventional war attack. And the president, in catastrophic cases — not going to do it every day, not going to take it over. So I say to my friends on the Internet, relax…(LAUGHTER)… take a look at the bill. And this is something that we need to protect our country. Right now, China, the government, can disconnect parts of its Internet in a case of war. We need to have that here, too. – Joseph Lieberman on CNN, 6/20/2010
So instead of keeping critical and “vulnerable” infrastructure systems off the public internet, the solution being promoted is to give the White House a kill-switch for the web (via the big Internet Service Providers). This may only apply to emergency situations, but we also know very well that such situations can be easily manufactured by rogue elements of the corporate-industrial complex (see Episode 3 of the Wiki World Order report on False Flag attacks). It is also ridiculously difficult to transparently prove the source of sophisticated cyber attacks, so today’s cyber emergency situations can be easily manipulated.
Surely, as internet users we should keep educating each other to stay safe online, and to some extent our government will always need to spend resources on cyber defenses (ideally in fully open source processes). But similar to the War on Terror and “defensive” biological weapons research, we cannot fuel industries for yet another arms race. We do not want to design offensive cyber-weapons to be used preemptively against other countries or groups (as it appears we already are). We do not want such programs in the hands of secretive organizations like the National Security Agency. We must instead use more of our resources to work towards resolving the root causes for which such terrorism is a symptom.
Sure, very few bills will end up passing right now, so late in this session. But on September 21st, a spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told Reuters that the draft bill of the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act is “something that we hope to be able to pass before the end of the year, if we can.” So whether you like online news, games, sitcoms, soap operas, sports, cat videos, or researching the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bilderberg Group…your free access is at risk.
And remember, last year the Patriot Act was renewed under President Obama and we are still LOSING the fight to restore our Constitution and non-digital rights. So please tell your representatives in Congress to reject the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act and help defend against recent attacks on net neutrality. Tell them we should instead move any vulnerable infrastructure systems to separate, secure networks based on open source security.
We must constantly defend our internet, because it is the single biggest threat to the establishment, the Corporate-Industrial Complex. And remember…
Every time you trade cyber-privacy for cybersecurity… the NSA kills a kitten video.
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