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Information & disinformation; the new media & the old

These posts discuss the flow of information in our society, and how it’s changing.

The Information Age offers much to mankind, and I would like to think that we will rise to the challenges it presents. But it is vital to remember that information — in the sense of raw data — is not knowledge, that knowledge is not wisdom, and that wisdom is not foresight. But information is the first essential step to all of these.

— Sir Arthur C Clarke, interview with Nalaka Gunawardene, posted at OneWorld, 5 December 2003

Contents

Click on the title to jump to that section.

  1. The new media
  2. About propaganda and info warfare by military and intel agencies
  3. Other propaganda and information operations run against us
  4. About propaganda from the Left
  5. About propaganda from the Right
  6. Rumors and misinformation (the Internet can make us dumber)
  7. Propaganda about climate change
  8. Media Madness — rumors and errors from both the old and new media
  9. The mainstream media
  10. Tips for finding useful news with minimal time
  11. Wikileaks

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(1)  About new media

  1. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web, 7 February 2008
  2. Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis – and some lessons learned, 8 February 2008
  3. What do blogs do for America?, 26 February 2008
  4. The Internet makes us dumber: the Bakken euphoria, a case study, 15 April 2008
  5. When did “Dude” predict a recession? How severe?, 6 June 2008
  6. Making us dumber, chanting “Dude, where’s my recession?”, 3 June 2008
  7. Does reading Debkafile make us smarter, or dumber?, 15 June 2008
  8. A guide to sources of geopolitical insight on the Internet, 6 December 2008
  9. The future, always in motion and therefore difficult to see, 18 March 2009 — About Clay Shirkey’s analysis.
  10. A new news media emerges for our new world, unseen and unexpected, 9 July 2009
  11. The Raymond Davis incident shows that we’re often ignorant because we rely on the US news media. There is a solution., 18 February 2011
  12. We can learn an important lesson about ourselves from the “Three Cups of Tea” affair (part one), 26 April 2011
  13. The lessons about ourselves we can learn from the “Three Cups of Tea” affair (part two), 27 April 2011

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(2)  About propaganda and info warfare by military and intel agencies

  1. News from the Front: America’s military has mastered 4GW!, 2 September 2009
  2. 4GW at work in a community near you , 19 October 2007 — Propaganda warming us up for war with Iran.
  3. Successful info ops, but who are the targets?, 1 May 2008
  4. Recommended:  Does reading Debkafile make us smarter, or dumber?, 15 June 2008
  5. The most expensive psy-war campaign – ever!, 13 July 2008
  6. Psywar, a core skill of the US Military (used most often on us), 26 November 2008
  7. Concrete evidence of government info ops against us, but it’s OK because we are sheep, 2 December 2008
  8. Iran’s getting the bomb, or so we’re told. Can they fool us twice?, 16 February 2009
  9. How the Soviet Menace was over-hyped – and what we can learn from this, 13 October 2009
  10. Another example of war advocates working their rice bowls, 24 December 2009
  11. Think-tanks bribe journalists to promote our wars, 24 December 2009
  12. Iran will have the bomb in 5 years (again), 20 January 2010
  13. Another sad little bit of agitprop, this time from John Nagl, 28 February 2010
  14. Every day brings new advocacy for war. That’s our America., 1 November 2010
  15. The Iranian Assassination caper was a complete success!, 17 October 2011
  16. Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons, generating waves of fear in America for 20 years, 9 November 2011
  17. Using covert operations to discredit your enemies, 27 November 2011

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(3)  About propaganda and information operations run against us

  1. Successful propaganda as a characteristic of 21st century America, 1 February 2010
  2. A note about practical propaganda, 22 March 2010
  3. The similar delusions of America’s Left and Right show our common culture – and weakness, 26 March 2010
  4. Programs to reshape the American mind, run by the left and right, 2 August 2010
  5. Our leaders have made a discovery of the sort that changes the destiny of nations, 15 September 2010
  6. The easy way to rule: leading a weak people by feeding them disinformation, 13 April 2011
  7. Facts are an obstacle to the reform of America, 20 October 2011
  8. Our minds are addled, the result of skillful and expensive propaganda, 28 December 2011
  9. Understanding our political system: the how-to guide by its builders, 7 October 2012
  10. Who lies to us the most? Left or Right?, 25 February 2013
  11. We can see our true selves in the propaganda used against us, 14 May 2013
  12. A nation lit only by propaganda, 3 June 2013
  13. The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions., 24 July 2013
  14. We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today, 15 April 2014

(4)  Propaganda of the Left

Also see section 7 below, about Climate Change.

  1. More propaganda: the eco-fable of Easter Island, 4 February 2010
  2. What does Greenpeace’s “Shell” hoax tell us about America?, 22 July 2012

(5)  Propaganda of the Right

Also see the posts about guns.

  1. The facts about the 1970′s Global Cooling scare, 7 December 2009
  2. Can Obama turn America into something like Zimbabwe?, 22 February 2010
  3. Dumbest headline of the week, 1 March 2010 — Where are the good political smear artists?
  4. About the political significance of the conservatives’ health care propaganda, 23 March 2010
  5. Why Conservatives are winning: they use the WMD of political debate, 28 April 2011
  6. More use of the big lie: shifting the blame for the housing crisis, 29 December 2011
  7. Seeing the world through conservative eyes, 15 February 2014
  8. A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind, 3 March 2014
  9. The Ukraine anti-semitic flyer: a case study in propaganda, 21 April 2014
  10. Does Obama “plan to use the military against citizens”?, 30 May 2014
  11. The NRA feeds our fears, the fast track to political power in America, 29 April 2014

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(6)  Rumors and misinformation (the Internet can make us dumber)

  1. Cable Cut Fever grips the conspiracy-hungry fringes of the web , 7 February 2008
  2. Resolution of the Great Submarine Cable Crisis – and some lessons learned , 8 February 2008
  3. More rumors of war: our naval armada has sailed to Iran!, 9 August 2008 — No, it hasn’t.
  4. Update on the rumored armada sailing to Iran, 13 August 2008
  5. A US naval armada is en route to blockade Iran and start WWIII (the story gets better every day), 14 August 2008
  6. UPI reports on the multi-national armada sailing to Iran, 15 August 2008
  7. Stop the presses: no naval armada has sailed to blockade Iran!, 20 August 2008
  8. Proposed legislation prepares the way for war with Iran!, 25 August 2008
  9. Forensic analysis of propaganda: “Michelle Obama Keeps Socialist Books in the White House”, 19 February 2010
  10. We are ignorant because we enjoy being lied to.  Today we look at lies about the US debt., 8 August 2011
  11. A small incident that tells much about America – a flag gets lowered in a classroom!, 5 September 2011
  12. Facts are an obstacle to the reform of America, 20 October 2011
  13. Assassination of an important Saudi Prince! By Syria. Or Iran. Or both. Or it might be a fake story., 1 August 2012

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(7)  Propaganda about climate change 

(c)  Posts about climate change as seen by the Right:

  1. About those headlines of the past century about global cooling…, 2 November 2009
  2. The facts about the 1970′s Global Cooling scare, 7 December 2009
  3. Start of another swing of the media narrative – to global cooling?, 11 September 2013
  4. Global Cooling returns to the news, another instructive lesson about America, 25 January 2014
  5. A look into the GOP mind: untethered from reality and drifting in the wind, 3 March 2014
  6. Is the Tea Party wrong about global warming? Yes! And no., 11 May 2014
  7. Facts are the enemy of both Left and Right in our America, 12 May 2014
  8. The climate wars get exciting. Government conspiracy! Shattered warming records! Global cooling!, 1 July 2014

(d)  Posts about climate change as seen by the Left:

  1. A note on the green religion, one of the growth industries in America, 17 March 2009
  2. More attempts to control the climate science debate using smears and swarming, 19 October 2009
  3. Quote of the day – hidden history for people who rely on the mainstream media for information, 12 February 2010
  4. The hidden history of the global warming crusade, 19 February 2010
  5. A real-time example of the birth and spread of climate propaganda, 9 March 2010
  6. Lies told under the influence of the Green religion to save the world, 30 July 2010
  7. Puncturing the false picture of a scientific consensus about the causes and effects of global warming, 20 September 2010
  8. A new video about global warming, a Leftists’ wet dream pretending to be humor, 1 October 2010
  9. More about the forecast for flooded cities in the late 21st century, 16 October 2010
  10. Looking into the past for guidance about warnings of future climate apocalypses, 17 October 2010
  11. Mother Jones sounds the alarm about global warming! This time about the north pole., 10 December 2012
  12. Lessons the Left can learn from the Right when writing about climate change, 12 December 2012 — Propagandist Phil Plait
  13. Fierce words about those “wacky professional climate change deniers”, 20 January 2013 — More by propagandist Phil Plait
  14. We can see our true selves in the propaganda used against us, 14 May 2013 — Skillful inaccurate article in The Guardian
  15. A powerful story about global warming in Alaska that’s set Twitter aflame, 23 June 2013
  16. Climate lies are the tool of choice by both sides to influence your opinion. Why is that?, 11 July 2013
  17. The North Pole is now a lake! Are you afraid yet?, 3 August 2013
  18. Climate science deniers on the Left, captured for viewing, 29 September 2013
  19. A behind-the-scenes look at the making of propaganda, the kind that paints the world we see, 22 December 2013
  20. Climate change sinks the Left, while scientists unravel mysteries we must solve, 24 January 2014
  21. Watch the Left burn away more of its credibility, then wonder why the Right wins, 29 January 2014
  22. Apocalyptic thinking on the Left about climate change risks burning their credibility, 4 February 2014
  23. “Climate change is slowly but steadily cooking the world’s oceans”, 5 February 2014
  24. Four views of exciting new climate research. See the difference., 12 February 2014
  25. Why the Left is losing: another example of incompetent marketing, 26 February 2014
  26. The Left sees “Climate buffoons” and “deniers”. What do they see in the mirror?, 7 March 2014
  27. This is what defeat looks like for the Left, and perhaps also for environmentalists, 17 March 2014
  28. The Left stages a two minute hate on Nate Silver, Roger Pielke Jr (& me), 29 March 2014
  29. Facts are the enemy of both Left and Right in our America, 12 May 2014
  30. The climate wars get exciting. Government conspiracy! Shattered warming records! Global cooling!, 1 July 2014
  31. The debate about climate change takes a new form. One familiar yet disturbing., 8 August 2014
  32. Nine years after Katrina, climate activists have earned their reward. We might pay dearly for it, 2 December 2014

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(8)  Media Madness — from both the old and new media

  1. More media madness: rich fat bankers get flu vaccine while children die!, 7 November 2009
  2. Media madness #1 – their lies and ignorance make us stupid, 1 December 2009
  3. Media madness #2 – their lies and ignorance make us stupid, 4 December 2009
  4. Anatomy of a rumor, showing how the Internet can make us dumber, 11 February 2010

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(9)  About the mainstream media

  1. The media discover info ops, with outrage!, 22 April 2008
  2. Only our amnesia makes reading the newspapers bearable, 30 April 2008
  3. The myth of media pessimism about the economy, 13 June 2008
  4. “Elegy for a rubber stamp”, by Lewis Lapham, 26 August 2008
  5. “The Death of Deep Throat and the Crisis of Journalism”, 23 December 2008
  6. The media doing what it does best these days, feeding us disinformation, 18 February 2009 — About sea ice
  7. The media rolls over and plays dead for Obama, as it does for all new Presidents, 19 February 2009
  8. The magic of the mainstream media changes even the plainest words into face powder, 24 April 2009
  9. The media – a broken component of America’s machinery to observe and understand the world, 2 June 2009
  10. We’re ignorant about the world because we rely on our media for information, 3 June 2009
  11. About campaigns for high office in America – we always expect a better result from the same process, 17 June 2009
  12. The perfidy of ABC News (tentative conclusion on a breaking story), 18 June 2009
  13. Are we blind, or just incurious about important news?, 6 July 2009
  14. We know nothing because we read newspapers, 12 October 2009 — About mythical numbers
  15. Must the old media die for the new media to flourish?, 29 October 2009
  16. Clay Shirky is brilliant and American – hence often delusionally flattering, 24 November 2009
  17. Journalists, relying on anonymous government sources, attack anonymous bloggers who correct journalists’ errors, 25 July 2010
  18. Exaggerations and false predictions are good; truth is bad, 10 August 2010 — About peak oil research
  19. The Raymond Davis incident shows that we’re often ignorant because we rely on the US news media.  There is a solution., 18 February 2011
  20. How to lose an ally: updates on the Raymond Davis affair, 20 February 2011
  21. The core of the dispute with Pakistan about Raymond Davis (let’s understand it before it sparks fires with Pakistan), 25 February 2011
  22. An explanation of the US and Pakistan governments’ odd behavior in the Raymond Davis affair, 27 February 2011
  23. Important information about Libya hidden behind the veil of the US news media, 1 September 2011
  24. The Affair Assange rips off the veil concealing the face of modern journalism, 23 March 2012
  25. Journalists reporting the end of journalism as a profession, 19 March 2013

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(10)  Tips for finding useful news with minimal time

  1. A time-saving tip when reading the daily news
  2. Suggestions for your daily info diet. You are what you read!
  3. Economics can help understand events in America and the world. Here’s where to find those answers., 16 February 2010
  4. Are you reading the new journalism, or do you still wear the blinders of the old?, 7 July 2013
  5. Finding insights in the seas of information & misinformation, 24 June 2014
  6. Events in Ferguson reveal a better way to read the news, giving you more free time!, 26 November 2014

(11)  Wikileaks

  1. A major leak of government secrets – read all about it!, 9 February 2010
  2. About the Wikileaks footage of possible war crimes, 7 April 2010
  3. Afghanistan war logs: Shattering the illusion of a bloodless victory, 28 July 2010
  4. The full story of the rape charges against Julian Assange of Wikileaks, a possible covert op., 27 August 2010
  5. Update to the Wikeleaks rape story, and why it’s important, 29 August 2010 – If a covert op, it’s working
  6. New and strange developments in the prosecution of Julian Assange (Wikileaks), 1 September 2010 – New but not more enlightening.
  7. Endgame for the affair Assange: a big win for the government, 27 September 2010
  8. The US government successfully smears Wikileaks, while America sleeps, 22 October 2010
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