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Media Mistrust begins with the Medium


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https://www.ft.com/content/7b15a29e-cf7a-11e7-9dbb-291a884dd8c6

 

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[McLuhan] understood that self-selected viewing of, especially, cable TV was one of the key impacts of the electric age, and would destroy existing social structures. Neighbours would no longer necessarily share political or social attitudes. And he was humble in noting that he was only relating what was already occurring in the 1960s, rather than some far-fetched theory. 

 I remember reading about the 'Balkanization' that would occur from the effects of electronic media but this was vaguely understood at the time, and I am still unsure what the precedents are in media history.  Perhaps the best example is the splintering of Christianity that occurred with the printing press, turning Europe into a mosaic, not of cultures but of Christian sects.

Once Europe adjusted socially, by inventing pluralism and tolerance, it was set to dominate the world with the new framework.  Of course it didn't work for the non-Christians they conquered but that would come later.  

The time has come for us to take truth-telling into our own hands, and understand that politics belongs to the people - but not the loudest people.  The silent majority works both ways, and there is a large centre that is looking for a way forward.

 

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10 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

The time has come for us to take truth-telling into our own hands, and understand that politics belongs to the people - but not the loudest people.  The silent majority works both ways, and there is a large centre that is looking for a way forward.

How do we democratize the media as you say here?  In a free society, I don't see how this is possible.  There will always be louder voices. EVERY piece of media has its own biases.  The key I think is education on how to recognize these biases, and our own biases in how we choose to self-filter content & outlets, and how what media we are exposed to informs our own biases. 

We also need a huge deal of empathy, far more almost all of us possess currently, where we can can look at those outlets and journalists/pundits we vehemently disagree with and not just see them as sinister, misguided, ignorant/stupid etc but truly try to understand why people with different ideologies think differently than we do, how and why their core moral frameworks differ from ours?  Most people are good people, even *gasp* FOX News and the Trump admin are filled with people who think what they're doing is actually going to help society.  Everyone thinks they're Luke Skywalker or Batman fighting the forces of evil.  This is much different than websites purposely trying to trick people for web hits to make money (real fake news).

Michael, you're a pretty open-minded cat.  If you gave me 30 minutes a day for a week to chat with you I'm very confident I could convince you to become an far right-wing fascist sympathizer, minus the Jew-killing stuff.  A month later give me another 30 minutes a day for a week & I'm certain I could make you a Marxist commie sympathizer.  I discovered this after studying Nietzsche & it blew by mind.  If you understand his "master vs slave morality" as rightwing vs leftwing, and that neither left or right ideologies are "wrong" just opposite ways to interpret the human condition then you can empathize with people who have opposing political ideologies/views as you.

Have fun down the rabbit-hole:

https://thestuffedman.com/2013/10/15/master-slave-morality-and-you/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master–slave_morality

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11 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

How do we democratize the media as you say here?  In a free society, I don't see how this is possible. 

Well, it's already happening.  Look around you. I think the 'I Love You' virus was the McLuhanesque leprechaun winking at us from the future.

11 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

There will always be louder voices. EVERY piece of media has its own biases.  The key I think is education on how to recognize these biases 

"louder voices" - yes, but we're in another populist era now, so it will be more like how groups of voices organize

"media biases" - yes, and as per "Understanding Media" the most impactful bias is the inherent bias of the medium itself

"recognize these biases" - yes, and for us to determine what to do with them.  Objectivity still seems to be a thing there's a market for.  See the popularity of Snopes.com

11 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

1. We also need a huge deal of empathy, far more almost all of us possess currently, where we can can look at those outlets and journalists/pundits we vehemently disagree with and not just see them as sinister, misguided, ignorant/stupid etc but truly try to understand why people with different ideologies think differently than we do, how and why their core moral frameworks differ from ours? 

2. Most people are good people, even *gasp* FOX News and the Trump admin are filled with people who think what they're doing is actually going to help society.  Everyone thinks they're Luke Skywalker or Batman fighting the forces of evil.  This is much different than websites purposely trying to trick people for web hits to make money (real fake news).

1.  The system (of publics engagement) can be designed and iterated to create positive energy.  Or, maybe more realistically, we can allow it to self organize and allow institutions of positive objectivity to emerge.  The "pro-wrestling" fake fighting on Cable News satisfied a great need, ie. the need for entertainment.  Through the 1990s politics became this game.  People will soon tire of it, I think.

2. The superhero analogy is apt.

 

11 hours ago, Moonlight Graham said:

 

3. Michael, you're a pretty open-minded cat. 

4. If you gave me 30 minutes a day for a week to chat with you I'm very confident I could convince you to become an far right-wing fascist sympathizer, minus the Jew-killing stuff.  A month later give me another 30 minutes a day for a week & I'm certain I could make you a Marxist commie sympathizer. 

5. I discovered this after studying Nietzsche & it blew by mind.  If you understand his "master vs slave morality" as rightwing vs leftwing, and that neither left or right ideologies are "wrong" just opposite ways to interpret the human condition then you can empathize with people who have opposing political ideologies/views as you.

3. Meow.

4. No.  After that time you would be smoking a pipe with me.  I am a radical centrist and I melt you.

5. Nietzsche is a fun little thinker.  I read Beyond Good & Evil.  Also Derrida and the post-modernists.  Philosophy and Physics are theories, but we actually LIVE in the world they try to abstract.  This is why McLuhan is superior, in his thinking, to all of this because he builds on UofT professor Harold Innes' questions on human communication.

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Innis ... notes that his "bias" favors Canadian nationalism or (as indicated in the epigraph to this ... which he developed from his former McMaster University professor James Ten Broeke's observation, "Why do we attend to the things to which we attend.

The idea is not that somebody had a bunch of great ideas at a point in history, but that they were a product of the technology of their time.

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