Friday, May 5, 2017

The Age Of Misinformation

Here it is. Official recognition of the conundrum of information being both a fundamental necessity of a Democracy, but also being a commodity. And a very precious commodity at that. And wonders of irony, here we are with the ability to move, and organize information, in so many life changing ways, and yet we now cannot trust much of any of it. We cannot do that because, precious as it is, information isn't given away. It's put out there with the expectation of net gain. And that gain, you can be sure, is not meant for you.

The one quote from the linked Atlantic article below says it all (the "it" referred to here is "...There are two big problems with America’s news and information landscape: concentration of media, and new ways for the powerful to game it..." -- from the first sentence of the article J. V.)
"...What to do about it? We must realize that the market for vital information is not merely a market..."
That market is not merely a market. But it is you see because you operate inside our dominant operating system, and that one demands that everything is a commodity, of one sort or another, and every commodity has a market. And in that operating system those who have the most counters (egads, more information) get to do as they wish with the movement of same. The incentive, of course, being to do exactly that because that's what gets you even more counters. So eventually, perhaps, said holders of count might actually be able to buy their reality of choice (controlling the discussion, the questions, and even the language). Oh happy day.

And because everything else operates inside that dominant economic operating system, you are a fool if you think you can just make a rule to have it allow, and accept, something that it is fundamentally opposed to: The free movement of information.

Let's also be clear here. Not only is the free movement of information essential to having an informed electorate, it is absolutely essential to the survival of our species, and the survival of this planet as a biocompatible habitat. We have to start taking responsibility for ourselves and that means having all of the usual military jargon of "command and control;" which hinges on environmental awareness -- another way of say situational awareness, which, as everybody ought to know now, is a huge aspect of what makes any fighting force able to respond effectively to rapidly changing situations. Can you imagine a field commander having to have to worry about whether what he was being told was from a brand name he could really count on, or not?

This is part of the really big choice I've been talking about for a while now. This is part of why so much hangs in the balance. Make no mistake in any of it though. Capitalism was made obsolete a while ago. We've pushed past its use by date and now all of the things it wasn't ever designed to handle have resonated back and forth enough to start acting like a carcinogen on all the cells (us, and our social institutions); warping things into crazier and crazier, feedback loops. Helped along kind of like a microphone too close to a speaker. So now worse seems to just build on itself to take things to ever new levels of worse. And mark my words. The cycling of this will increase as well. It's electrified after all, how can it not be so until it finally explodes, or implodes, depending on your point of view.

So just think about this long and hard folks. It's not going to go away. And it is going to take you out of whatever little bit of comfort zone you may still have. No matter what.

The Age of Misinformation