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October 3, 2005

The Propaganda Age

-- by Dave Johnson

I'd like to coin a term for the times in which we find ourselves: The Propaganda Age.

We've lived through the Jet Age, Atomic Age, Space Age and Computer Age. We've experienced the Vietnam Era, the Depression era and the McCarthy Era.

Now we are in the Propaganda Age. Everything is marketing. Everything is PR. Everything is for effect. Everything is distraction: Look over there! Everything is misdirection: look at the left hand while the right hand picks your pocket. We’re told that things we see right in front of us are not what we see.

We live in a time when what matters -- the only thing that matters -- is what you can make people think.

Posted by Dave Johnson at October 3, 2005 9:45 AM

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Distraction, distortion, and wedge issues. Wedge issues are those fake claims, usually about some make-believe moral issue, that is calculated to get people hysterical and divide the public. These are carefully chosen to be "issues" that will turn off the more educated portion of the public, so the jackasses will attack them.

Examples: abortion, stem cell research, gay marriage, and, that idiot's delight, intelligent design. Of course scientists in their right mind aren't going to be willing to debate the virtues of intelligent design. See what I mean?

There's a website that spells out the value of using intelligent design specifically as a wedge issue; that's where I got the term. I'll dig up the URL if anyone wants it. The five year plan for using it as a wedge issue is spelled out, and of course it's working as planned. Talk about propaganda!

Posted by: MJ [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2005 10:50 AM

Some might call it The Age of Bullshit.

If it's not spin, it's PR
If it's not PR, marketing
And if none of the above
it's just plain old bullshit.

to the age
of Bullshit

Posted by: Dr. Laniac [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 4, 2005 6:27 AM

More deeply, we as a culture have too much adoration for sophistry, the he-said, she-said approach where the opposing parties go for the win instead of the truth. So what we experience daily -- just turn the TV on for evidence -- is pure cognitive bias manipulation, with no regard to what is real or important. It's effective because we a) think it is a valid method for getting the truth, and b) never let our doubt bottom out; we're willing to argue stupid topics because there's always some drooling half-wit available to provide a contrary opinion.

In other words, should dogs maul babies? Of course they should: man's best friend is only following its god-given instinct and leading the fight against these odd, underdeveloped humans, heroically risking their very lives -- as they always have since the first canine courageously saved his master from a burning fire.

See what I mean?

Posted by: secretmojo at October 11, 2005 1:42 AM

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