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You’ve been hacked: The psychology of disinformation and how to pro...

... lies travel only when people believe them. That is why most propaganda uses partial or decontextualized truths to create misconceptions or distorted priorities.

Those who professionally traffic in partial truths and disinformation—like some ideologues, political strategists, marketing experts or corporate- and state-level information warfare specialists analyze and exploit our desire to know what is real. One common and highly effective way they play us is by convincing us that only we and a small group of enlightened folks like us have the inside scoop.

Viral religions that make dubious truth claims often include a set of rules, scripts, advisories, structures and dogmas aimed at preventing defection. In other words, they outline the exact opposite of what one should do if one is actually interested in figuring out what is real.

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It’s important info, Ruth, but the Alternet article is   R  -  E  -  A  -  L         L  -  O  -  N  -  G.

I read until I felt overwhelmed by all the info and settled for quickly scanning the rest.

Evaluating it, I realized I had seen nothing about these predators picking on people whose defenses are only partly formed.

To paraphrase the author: 

To the degree that social networks serve to elicit emotion and a sense of unity that causes people to suspend disbelief, and the repetition cements the effect, get yourself out of the matrix so that you can shake off the sweet, soothing lull of the feelings and escape saturation seduction. 

  • Find silence. 
  • Trust doubt. 
  • Identify real experts and expertise. 
  • Question conventialisms—especially those with strong emotional appeal. 
  • Be wary of Familiar Truths reported by admired authorities. 
  • Deploy your capacity for critical thinking—not just when you want to denigrate outsiders and their obvious falsehoods, but rather in those times and places where you gather with people who share your values and views. 
  • Voice misgivings. 
  • Tolerate uncertainty.
  • Reject the oh-so-satisfying idea that all dissenters must be evil. 
  • Seek the company of people who don’t think like you. 
  • Listen for kernels of truth and wisdom spoken by enemies of your community. They may not be able to break out of their disinformation silos, but you, at least, can break out of yours.

Thank you, Joan, for summarizing the article. 

Find silence, or slow the electrical chaos in your brain circuits.

Trust dcubt, or build the self-trust an earlier abuser denied you opportunities to do.

. . .

Voice EVERY misgiving.

Tolerate Welcome uncertainty and invite it to visit often.


In short, do all the stuff I had to do after 12 years in Catholic schools.

I may present this article’s info as a talk in my Toastmasters club.




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