Truth, Propaganda and the Media

Today I received a link from a correspondent in Ireland that featured this Dilbert cartoon.

I think that clearly sums up the the main thing that divides people in today’s pandemic world. There are those who still trust “the system,” including the media, the government and medical establishment, and those who don’t. Each faction has their own good reasons for their position. What can possibly bridge the divide?

Ultimately, I think it comes down to emotion. People believe what they want to believe and will hold fast to that belief until the weight of evidence becomes sufficiently dissonant to flip them. That threshold level is different for different people. We also are inclined to screen out evidence that runs counter to our preconceived notions and to add more weight to evidence that supports them, this is known as “confirmation bias.” Then there is the fact that competing interests send out messages that are designed to promote their particular agenda. This is the stuff of advertising and propaganda, and those that have a bigger megaphone tend to drown out competing messages. Thus the battle for freedom of speech continues and becomes ever more crucial.

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One response to “Truth, Propaganda and the Media

  1. Scott Adams and JP Sears love to take what right-wingers do and switch the argument around and create cartoons like the one above. Of course there is science that proves that you can’t transmit viruses over video calls, or that voting machines are safe…but Republicans demand proof or they’ll cancel the count. There are people who follow science, and can explain it to others and not just say “Um” when it’s time to step up and call stupid, stupid.

    Like

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