TED Conversations

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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    Feb 6 2013: We can definitely learn from this. Can the minds cultivated in such an environment take the lesson? Is another thing.
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      Feb 6 2013: I suspect that the door is narrow - and it does not comply to common reason.
      One might gain entry through passion. Passion seems to resolve into a desire to be one's self in the light of one's community. To be a light.
      It's all very involuted, one first needs the passion, then the company of the passionate - then a kind of "click" happens.
      It is very much like the swinging-magnet toy which only needs a nudge to go off in wild gyrations and find a new resting place. For baboons, one resting place is not nice, another is harmonious. For humans there might be more than 2 of these strange attractors.
      And even if a harmonious resting place is found - what can be done about the nudges which shift back to the violence?
      Perhaps the trick is to nudge twice?
      These are very small things - the 9/11 nudge turned USA into Nazi Germany .. what's 3000 people out of 300 million? And how is it that Turkey remains relatively stable after 35,000 deaths by Kurdish terror?
      Perhaps the USA needs another nudge?

      (edit: It has occured to me that these "nudges" are external to the system ... a reasonably large meteor might do the trick - and if that doesn't work maybe another one - or a big volcano .. Yellowstone for instance .. or a big solar flare.)

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