Sunday, July 12, 2015
You really need to see "Merchants of Doubt"
You may think you know the situation as far as special interest propaganda goes, but trust me on this, you really don't. I know I thought I did but it wasn't nearly as complete as this excellent documentary makes clear. Doubts, and outright lies for that matter, are a very high profit commodity, and a fundamental aspect of "amplification" in the information mutated world of Capitalism these days. From the days of the cigarette companies lying, and what the rest of corporate America learned from their success, to the fabrication of the 31+ K of scientists supposedly having evidence against climate change (which turns out to be a few cold war physicists who, not only hadn't done any actual research, but were actually motivated not by the facts but by their fear that regulation would be the slippery slope to Communism), with a quick detour through how Big Tobacco fueled the bogus turn to toxic flame retardants into furniture. You end up thinking there ought to be a new variation on the Klingon saying: "Bull Sh_t is a dish best served cold."
The thing to remember here, though, is that this is the only way for Capitalism to work. Established investment has to protect its interests or go out of existence. And the other side of the coin is that Big Government as the only counter balance becomes just as unworkable. Even if you could, some how, remove the influence of money you would still be adding layer after layer of bureaucracy to do the checking, and holding corporate feet the fire, which is of course an expense, but also a hindrance to flexible development itself. This in an information matrix that's already far too complex.
The bottom line here is that this mode of how we provide for ourselves, and make the decisions that go into running that process, has become completely inadequate to the task in an electric information environment. We desperately need to completely rethink how we ought to go about it, and we need to start that task soon.