Friday, August 21, 2009

Keeping my Promises

Media Dogmaists and you

Or perhaps you are one of them. It is hard to say. See there is this piece of convetional wisdom that "the media" is this all encompassing urentity which controls "the masses". This is an argument that for a long time I agreed with and even advanced every so often. Then... I started to make arguments that advanced things like personal responcibility, and I started to break away from the idea of reffering to people as empty souless masses and I started to recognize them more as people. More and more the arguments for media dogmaism began to fall by the wayside further and further until now I am on the other side of the argument. The problem is that I didn't take the rest of the world with me and I can't do my outer church politics love fest when I have people still believing that we are a homogenious mass of that all think/believe the same thing and that it is the media that makes us this way. I realize now that I can describe the media's eddects in terms of my own theory, and I might either do that later as part of a larger post where I talk aobut the catholic church along with it. Still we need to do some generalized practical work, and flying off on my own little thing is appealing but I'll wait a little bit before doing so.

I need to repaint my nails. TThere are three of us again which means no more pots and pans. Don't worry that's code for something, if you were menat to know you'll know.

First a linguistic approch. THe phrase "Media control". Meida control it is one of those things oh man for now on I am spelling media as Medea because that is really cool. Medea control, is one of those concepts that we don't even question anymore. The medea gives out information, people absorb this infomation as fact and they don't form their own opinions, instead their opinions comes from the "dark part" of the medea. Reductive? No not really that is how these people believe the world works. There is this fundamental belief that other people all think diffrently and by diffrently not at all. However, in terms of people and their responces, the media controls NOTHING. Nothing at all. They do not have mind control lasers, they do not beam information directly into people's heads, they don't even force us to watch. No. What the media does is influence people's views.

Yeah that may not seem like such a big deal. However it is. I don't think there is a big fancy latin term for it. BUT it is a logical fallicy. Or I suppose more accuratly it is a rhetorical trick. Eiher way it is one of the lower of the blows. See by using the word control it adds an extra sense of urgency to the arguement that simply isn't present when we use a term like influence even though influence is the more accurate term. Control is one person asserting their will over another suplanting desires and free will. That is what control is. Control isn't a narrowing of options it is me telling you what it is you will do. Control is hot. The media no more controls what people think and believe any more than video games lead to violent behavior. You can tell you can watch yourself a little Glenn Beck Marathon and not think he is right once.

If you hadn't guessed it the video game thing is part of my next point. See this is another fallicy which does have a fancy name but I can't remember what it is. I also don't feel like looking it up. See this presupposes that you believe that the media isn't a major influence in violent behavior. If you think violent media CAUSES violent behavior see the above section. Enough on that topic. Behavior, and beliefs are two different things but they are indeed closely linked. Lots of people behave based on their beliefs, you know how that goes.

Now I'd use these two arguments to form an ideological wedge which I can then use to pry their argument open and I can begin pulling out all the garbage that they have had rammed into their heads from... you know I have no idea where it comes from.

As a brief aside the idea of media control is actually really simplistic. This is because it is so rarely challanged. I mean the only people who would stick up for the media are people in the media or drones. Drones are awesome but should generally be written up as either special cases or lost causes. You essentially have to deprogram these people which is a fascinating process, but it is also something I've never managed to successfully do. I've come close, but man it is rough going. Anyway, no forget the anyway I just sort of airdropped drones in without explaining what is going on lets get to that.

Back when nintendo was a real company we called them Nintendbots. They are the people who get violent during the coke vs. Pepsi debat, and heaven forbid you run into one of them while you are trying to talk about something real. These are the drones. People who have entirely surrendered themselves to whatever dogma happens to catch their atension. They are big, loud, kind of scary, and they will whole hearted believe just about anything no matter how utterly insane it is. These are the people that media dogmaists end up pointing at the most. They do present a tricky thing to work around. One thing that is important to do is to remeber that these people have always excisted. THere has pretty much always been an entity out there telling people what to think. The easiest and most famous example of this starts with a C and ends in atholic church. Sure sure religion blah blah blah. I am willing to say that the catholic church used religion as a convient vehicle to get its message acrost without being argued with. The media just had to develope some really interesting tools.

I think I got mos of this down and taken care of. One of the things I need to address, is something that actually came out of left field for me, and that is the unifying effect of the internet. The funny thing about this argument is that it, it, god I actually don't know where to begin because it is so perfect. So utterly perfect that you can't even begin to imagine it. The argument as presented is that the internet acts as a unifying force which allows fringe groups to gather together under one banner. I'm not sure where it came from or how but it caught me off gaurd with how utterly wrong that statement is and how utterly perfect it is for my point.

The internet here died and I forgot how much I love notpad. Then I just fixed it! Still love note pad. Anyway...

The internet as a unfying force? Are you seriouse? That is about as far away from the truth as you can possibly get in terms of what the internet does. As a communication platform, it generally is a spectacular failure on a grand scale. Take look at the evolution of blogger, which came from livejornal, and before that the personal webpage. Lets face it right now I am just a little bit better than a talking head. See you can leave a comment or something, but there is no gaurntee I'll read it. Actually FYI I get no notiication what so ever when people leave a comment so sometimes months will go by before I will see it. The communication here is nearly entirely one way. There are forums, but lets face it forums are more people shouting their opionons next to each other rather than to each other. There isn't enough of a dialouge, and even when there is, the conversation is rife with things like misinterpretation, people reading to fast, or even people no teading the entire post without thinking. Aim and other chat programs don't really do much better in this regard. Esentially communication over the internet is just like comunication in real life, it is flawed, people don't listen,there is an over excitment to express one's own views rather than to deal with the ones at hand, and actual conncetion is exceedingly rare. The internet is not a solution. It is a tool, just like the rest of "the media".

With the expetion of the drones, people cherry pick what they believe and what they don't. They form their opinions because they agree with what they hear or they see no reason to disagree with it.

This blog became ramble tastic but I enjoyed writting it, I got a better handle on what I want to say for a later date. I need to dig out my copy of philosphical investigations and really put some weight behind this.

Here's how just from memory. See there are the language games... hrm I'm gonna break this off into a new post though.

1 comment:

evan said...

We call them fanboys. I think that's what you're talking about. Xbox 360 fanboys are called Xbots. Which is better than Nintendbots.