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Mitch SMith


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Media and the divide of harm

That which goes between us is our media.

Colin Stokes asks us: Are we served by our media? He asks us: Are the movies we watch skewing the functions of our roles?

Here is Anne Summers aproaching the question from a broader outlook, but a narrower focus of intention:

But can we draw back further and discern broader implications?

If this is all true and that which is between us "media" is skewd from our benefit - what is the gap? What is it we are missing? We percieve harm, but what exactly is this harm?

I will lay down 2 ways to approach these questions:

1. Our world views consist of personal experience, and the report of the experience of others. That which we accept in report is assumption - untested, and yet we accept it as if seen by our own eyes. Here is one gap - can we truly separate our own experience from false artifacts in our media? If we can - are we training ourselves and our children to make thesse distinctions?

2. The deficit between Broadcast and Transactional media. In all broadcast media, there is only one active participant - the broadcaster. The reciever is entirely passive - In theatre we call this the "suspension of disbelief" - the material of the broadcast is taken as reality, and yet it is rarely tested. In transactional media, each participant mediates passivity by questioning - are we losing the art of the question?

I argue that the underlying principle goes before modern forms such as movies and internet. I argue that the absurdity of our broadcast-propagandised diet has its seeds well into the past - that it arises from an far older harm which is perpetuated in our media.

I name that harm violence. And I place it squarely at the door of the alpha male - and his ultimate form: the psychopath.

Here is Sapolski revealing the violent patriarchal culture of baboons, and the alternative matriarchal culture of baboons:

Can we learn from this?


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    Gail . 50+

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    Jan 22 2013: I can learn from this. You can learn from this. Those who do not want to learn from this will not allow themselves to.
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      Jan 22 2013: Exactly!
      One has to ask the advantage of ignorance.
      There is a robust discussion about the genesis of conspiracy theories.
      Mostly I see them as an example of tribal self-scaring.
      But one thing they demsonstrate starkly is the difference between politics and science.
      Those who take the podium of "conspiracy" are not interested in facts - only effects.
      Politics adores the untested/untestable assumption.
      One needs only look at Lord Monkton to see the arts of political deception at work.
      In this he clearly exercises gross advantage in the utilisation of existing ignorance while inflating that ignorance in the process - it is pure psychopathic artistry which deserves it's own place at the Luvre!
      So then - what is happening with media portrayals of sexual behavioural "norms"?
      Who are the perpetrators of ignorance? And why? What is the advantage of being ignorant?
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        Jan 23 2013: I think that there are two kinds of ignorance. Willful ignorance and unintended ignorance.

        Example of unintended (learned) ignorance: I learned - in school and from my parents - that I am not as "bright" as those who make major decisions affecting my life. (I would ask a question like 'why does congress do this when ...'. ) I was told it was because they lived in an intellectual realm so high that simple people like us can't understand it. I believed this. I therefore assumed that when I read something that didn't make sense, it didn't make sense because I was too stupid. It took enormous courage to accept the fact that I am not stupid. I was stunned when, as I began educating myself, I discovered how much information had been withheld from my formal education - and how much of it was OUTRIGHT lies. My self-assessment changed - as it should have long ago because I do have a high IQ and I knew my number. Until I dared challenge what I had been told was true, I just assumed that those other people must have much higher IQs because they made no sense to stupid people like me. I didn't begin educating myself until I was in my 30s, and only then did I begin to see how much of a danger I had been to myself and my society because of learned ignorance.

        Then there is willful ignorance. These are the people who hide inside a FALSE sense of security. They live fear-based lives. They are intellectually lazy as a consequence of their fears They pretend that they are powerless so that they can tell themselves that they do not have to accept responsibility for their decisions.

        Whether intentional or not, ignorance offers a FALSE sense of security. It also offers an unhappiness that becomes so commonplace in their lives that they can no longer see it in themselves.
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          Jan 24 2013: That is pretty much on the mark.

          On top of that, the discovery of the extent of brain plasticity shows us that the very notion of IQ is too broadly applied - anyone can develop "genius" so long as there is not some major injury of deformation of the brain - and even then, plasticity can go a long way.

          What i am beginning to explore is the actual physical manifestation of "assumptions".
          An assumption is at the root of an ignorance. You have identified the passive and active parts of that.They are either acquired or induced.
          From a neural network perspective, and assumption is an incomplete spatial or causal map. These maps will demonstrate their stability by what we experience as "doubt" or "un-confidence". It has to do with no exit from a stimulated network "nexus" or if the exits are more than one. That's the simplistic model - but good enough for discussing the principle.
          Usually, such unstable nexuses will trigger curiosity, but may also lead to frustration and be dulled-down.

          But there is a more intrinsic process at work. Our experiences refine our respones to various contexts in our environment - this is how we adapts so well. But these processes can only be as good as the experience - experience is essentially "local". I cannot have experience of what is happening on the other side of the mountain - it might have water running uphill and flying pigs - I cannot know, I simply assume it is the same as here. This is good enough - my assumption serves me whilever I am on this side of the mountain.
          This, in neural science, is called a "local minimum". It is the thing which is responsible for people not seeing things in plain sight. One could say that it is a nexus map which has become stable - it has an output and it has a stable single output. It can be no other way. So If I fail to see a pig that has flown over the mountain, I will continue to not see it till it hovers down and kicks me in the nuts - thus setting up a brand new map.
          There's the rub.
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        Jan 24 2013: The reason that I began educating myself in the 80s is because my "untested assumptions" kicked me in the behind, and I was forced into another reality where my previous assumptions were clearly a figment of my imagination.

        My worldview crashed. In one very startling and horrifying moment, I realized that there is no justice, equality, or freedom in my culture or in my life. Even now I am shocked that I believed that there was, having grown up in the 50s & 60s when women like me were not considered fully human and blacks were horribly treated. I knew these things, but I was so well indoctrinated (in government sponsored mandatory education) that phrases like "America is the land of the free", and (from our pledge of allegiance) "...under God, with liberty and justice for all" took precedence over what I saw all around me. I assumed that educators were being honest so I simply didn't see any conflict - until that moment when my worldview came crashing down. (I think that's what you mean by local minimum)

        My response to that was INITIALLY to raise my hand up to God and ask .... at which point, I saw all of the conflicts in what I had been taught and what I had learned on my own, and I realized that "God" was just another of those ideas without merit. That was the scariest moment. Terrifying even. But I could not unknow what I knew and fear was no longer a soothing comforter.

        I sat at my table literally dumfounded. I saw only two choices. Refuse to participate in the abomination and starve to death, or find an evidence-based worldview to replace the one that had just failed me. The 1st was emotionally compelling but a waste. The 2nd seemed beyond me - I didn't know how or where to begin. I didn't know what I didn't know.

        At that moment, a friend (who managed a book store) stopped by the house on her lunch hour. She walked in, put a book on the table, said "read this", and left. (Something not done before or since).

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        Jan 24 2013: (continued...) The book precisely answered the 2nd question. Now incomplete (nearly 30 years old), it was called "Einstein, Wittgenstein, Gertrude Stein, and Frankenstein". I read the book amazed, and when I put it down, I was INTENT on creating a worldview for myself. It would be evidence based and that meant that it would not fail me in even the more dire of circumstances.

        From that point forward, every sweep of my eye gave me much more information than I had seen before. I heard more in conversations than I had heard before. I became self-aware (eventually)

        I would say that I overcame my ignorance at the moment when I heard myself ask a question in question form. (Rather than the rhetorical, "How could that happen!!!", I asked with curiosity "How could that happen?"

        This is in part why I love Sir Robinson's TED talk about schools killing creativity. My new-found intellectual curiosity inspired me to reach ever-forward.

        For me, it took a moment of crisis. What I had believed was unbelievable.

        Humanity is walking to a crisis point. It is unavoidable - though when it hits is anyone's guess. When it does worldviews will come crashing down. I think (suspect) that THAT is unavoidable as well. For me, therein lies my hope for humanity. What seemed to work doesn't.

        Thankfully science has evolved enough to answer some of our most basic questions and it provides enough "evidence" to sustain a kinder, gentler, more empowering worldview. It's a worldview that is gaining unorganized world-wide popularity - one person at a time. It is a curiosity inspired and intent driven worldview.

        My theory is that without an intervening motivator, people will continue to find solace in their fears that blind them to the ability to perceive great wonders (regardless of the cause). They will cling to their ignorance and call it their savior, and there is no way to reach them.
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          Jan 25 2013: Cudos to you TL - for what it's worth.

          I am fixated on the harm . because the harm is what makes me cry .. sadness it the the blue of the rainbow, and i will always cry. But the harm is not blue, it is black .. it hurts and those who pretend that there is no blue and talk about "the persuit of happiness" become grey, and the harm takes them as a way to spread. This is called "depression".

          The rules .. every rule creates 3 ways - the winer, the loser and the cheat.

          Be a cheat .. winners and losers are stuck in the rule - it is the cheat who gets to change the rule.
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        Jan 25 2013: The currently accepted worldview allows cheats - and even encourages them. But there is a worldview where cheating isn't possible and the very thought is irrational.

        You and I see the harm, but if the harm becomes the best thing to hit mankind since mankind left its hunting gathering ways, then those who survive will establish a new world and a kinder, more gentle, and more empowering social system. It is that upon which I try to keep my perceptions fixated.

        Keep your eyes on the prize, my friend. There are more of us than you think. Many are in various stages of awakening - to the point where it is being talked about openly. I recently heard some important person on TV say, "You don't have to have awakened very much to know that ....." It struck me even though I don't remember who said it.

        As you don't have the ability to reach those who will not hear, your only reasonable choice is to facilitate your own evolution. It's a rather isolating experience at present, but oh - so worth it! I run into enough people from time to time to know that I am not alone. I run into them through the internet far more often than I run into them in person. But they are there - each having come into self-awareness via their own routes. The amazing thing is that each wakes up into the same understanding of how reality works - no matter where they came from.

        A better day is coming. But you have to take the LONG view to see it.
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          Jan 26 2013: It's just the nature of rules.
          The universe has no regard for them.
          We will make new social orders, but to avoid the boom/bust we will need to understand the reasons for it. Money is one, misunderstanding of human capacity is another. Our institutions are too ambitious, and largely uneccessry.
          So far it seems that we have abandoned our tribal roots too hastily - the power of the tribe needs revisiting. It could well be that institutions should not appy within the tribe, but as a method for regulating inter-tribe dynamics. A tribal structure of around 200 individuals needs very few rules .. this thing we call "freedom" - it is eroded by allowing tribes to get too big - by attempting to codify mutuality, the institutions displace our tribal mutuality and throws compassion from our considerations - discression is lost, and harm arises in the mal-adaption of our laws. It can work a whole lot better - but first we must stop making "death" a thing, death is not a thing, there is only life here.
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        Jan 26 2013: so true

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