Thursday, March 23, 2017

Monthly Archives: October 2012

What propagandists target  Now that we’ve uncovered some of the Propaganda Techniques used in the Costa Mesa election, let’s address what weakness(es) the propagandist is targeting. (Which weakness besides laziness, that is – too lazy to read, research, or think.) What is the propagandist aiming at in Costa Mesa?. An authority named Braiker said manipulators (and in our case, propagandists) exploit the ... Read More »

“You know, man, they just hate us.”  In another city and time, my friend from “the Barrio” believed that. I didn’t  I believed cops “serve and protect” all citizens. The “hatred” she saw, I thought, was anger at the crime, at the criminals; cops reacting to the deplorable living conditions they saw. But they didn’t hate any of the folks they served and ... Read More »

Using Critical Thinking  We are advised to use “critical thinking” before we vote. But exactly how do we do Critical Thinking? What Let’s start with a definition of what critical thinking means in this blog. We’ll use that of R.H. Ennis in a 1987 book about it: Critical thinking is a type of reasonable, reflective thinking that is aimed at deciding what ... Read More »

Newer Propaganda Techniques  Many of the propaganda techniques we’ve discussed were identified in the 1930’s, and have been changing and developing since. More were developed and studied, especially during the Vietnam War era. And some techniques are relatively new. One of these is called “Astroturfing.” According to Wikipedia, Astroturfing refers to “political, advertising or public relations campaigns that are designed to mask the ... Read More »

Guest Blog   Today, as a contrast to the propaganda we’ve been studying, we’re looking at a guest blog. This is a sincere appeal that involves emotions. Notice that, in spite of his obvious resentment and anger, the author presents an appeal to his neighbors rather than trying to manipulate them. So, although his point of view is clear and he does express emotion, he ... Read More »

If you can’t refute his argument, criticize his hair  Now let’s revisit ad hominem attacks, which we found were prevalent in Costa Mesa politics. This kind of propaganda diminished, but is returning. The current political ad hominem attacks contain unsupported accusations and irrelevant assertions about a person’s behavior, character, or even body habitus. Our sources are Blogs and opinion columns and letters to the editor in ... Read More »

Propaganda and labeling  Now let’s get back to propaganda in Costa Mesa’s elections. A lot of fear-mongering mailers warn Costa Mesa voters against passing the Charter and “going bankrupt like Stockton.” Is that an opinion, a fact, or just propaganda – information designed to influence (voters) through appeal to emotion instead of facts and logic? Using a broad brush This ... Read More »

Would you trust this candidate  with your checkbook? Today let’s look at the ethics that constrain persuasion. We’d like to think we’ve evolved beyond the ethics of the Middle Ages, where knights headed east to kill those who disagreed with them about religion, and the warriors from the Middle East headed west to do likewise. Both sides killed people, burned crops, destroyed villages – ... Read More »

Subliminal messages at the forum  Let’s look  past specific propaganda techniques today and at subtle, even subliminal ways to change opinions. Our lab will be the Candidates’ Forum Thursday night. This forum was well-run, ending on time and exerting strict control on speakers’ talk time. So the initial (unstated) messageat the Forum was “solid organization.” However. Loaded questions  At least five ... Read More »

Names, labels, accusations  As we move toward the end of this campaign the more-subtle propaganda techniques are giving way to the blatant and accusative. Before we examine one of these, let’s get a little background. Disloyalty Bad faith (Latin: mala fides) is double mindedness or double heartedness in duplicity, fraud, or deception; pretending to entertain one set of feelings, and acting as if influenced by ... Read More »