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    nmw 14:26:43 on 2016/05/15 Permalink
    Tags: agenda, agenda setting, agendas, , , , , , , , , mainstream, , , , , , rationalities, , , , , , ,   

    Rational Media, Alternative Media + Mainstream Agendas 

    One point about rational media that deserves particular attention is that they do not require only one standard type of rationality. I will save this point for a future date.

    Today, I would like to entertain another issue: Alternatives.

    This particular point is not about alternative rationalities, but rather the more general freedom of choice from a variety of alternatives. Whether or not a person is rational of type A (e.g. rationalising their point of view with A1, A2, A3, etc.) or rational type B (instead rationalising according to B1, B2, B3, etc.). they may both appreciate the freedom to choose from a diverse palette of products, services, etc. For example, people generally appreciate the freedom to chose among brands – for example they may have a favorite brand of beer, a favorite bicycle brand or a particular style of shoes from a particular brand name shoe designer.

    Likewise, pupils in schools may very well be encouraged to analyse arguments from different points of view. In free and democratic societies, people are encouraged to vote for candidates from a wide range of choices across the political spectrum.

    What about when we turn to search for information? Do we choose among a plethora of search engines? In the past week, how many different search engines do you remember using?

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    nmw 16:06:05 on 2016/01/20 Permalink
    Tags: abnormal, , , , , , , , , , , digital media, digitalisation, digitalization, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , mainstream, market research, , , , , , messages, , mob, mobs, , normal, , , , rumor, rumors, rumour, rumours, , smart, , , , , , , , , untrue   

    Propaganda + Subjectivity in Retard Media 

    I was recently discussing a radio program with a friend who understands media quite well – but who seemed to be „playing dumb“ during the discussion. The radio program in question was a German one – BR’s Radiosalon had broadcast a debate about privacy versus the „espionage“ tactics used by many online media giants (I used the word „espionage“ to describe the behavior of such mega-media companies’ data gathering techniques, the BR Radiosalon program was actually called „Wie soll unsere digitale Zukunft aussehen?“ )

    My friend is an acclaimed scientist with a deep understanding of statistics, research methodology, etc. I have a great deal of respect for his work, and I do not wish to ridicule him. On the contrary, the views he expressed are actually quite widespread and widely considered to be quite “normal” (I will get back to this aspect of “normal vs. abnormal” further below in this post). Indeed, these views were also discussed in the radio program.

    The point in question is whether or not people have “something to hide” (though in my opinion the more crucial issue is that most people seem to have little or nothing to show). I agree with my friend that there is little to be concerned about if / when other people collect data (indeed, I am even of the opinion that data cannot really be “owned” — the way I see it, data are always freely available to anyone or anything that can recognize them). If someone sees me and scribbles onto a notepad that my race is “caucasian”, then their racism is their problem, not mine. Whether other people check off boxes or fill in blanks has nothing to do with me — instead, it is all about their point of view, perspective, biases, prejudices, etc. I couldn’t care less if large media companies record data about me or my behavior — unless they use this data to lie about me or to propagate rumors which are untrue.

    If a larger portion of the population were more literate, more numerate, etc., then even such misinformation and propaganda would not really matter very much (cf. also this post by Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT). The other day I posted a “heatmap” graphic that was used in an article which was purported to be about how much of a webpage is commonly read. Of course it is impossible to measure whether a person actually reads something, but that did not prevent the author from pontificating profusely on the topic.

    Apparently, the vast majority of people are less interested in literacy than they are in belonging to a crowd.:

    Freud was saying that masses are bound by libidinal forces. They love each other and delegate their ideas and ideals to the chap on top. […] Hate is delegated to the others outside. — Dr. Leopold Löwental (39:50 – 40:25) in the BBC documentary “Century of the Self (Part 1): Happiness Machines”

    Belonging to a crowd is normal, not belonging is abnormal. No one wants to be abnormal, and the media propaganda machinery is based on a foundation of belonging to the crowd, riding on the bandwagon, etc.

    Today, few members of the complacent illiterate generation realize that what they perceive to be “objective” news are actually usually personalized (and therefore “subjective“) marketing messagesespecially online. People visit facebook.com quite often, but they rarely (if ever) realize that the “news” they receive via their “newsfeed” is anything but objective. Likewise, the phrase “just Google it” is commonly understood to mean that Google is also objective. If fact, nothing could be further from the truth: Google is a corporation focused on maximizing profit — and that means showing you (the Google user) links they expect you will click on, such that the corporation (Google) will be paid by advertisers (and note that the link does not even need to be an advertisement — Google will also make money by displaying the advertisements controlled by Google which are displayed on the page, i.e. the so-called “organic” link the Google user clicked on). The fact that Google is a money-printing machine is a testament to the high degree of illiteracy we continue to observe today. Most members of the complacent illiterate generation are suckered into believing some subjective marketing message is actuallynews” — and that it is what the “normal” crowd also believes, that it is true, an objective truth, etc. — many times over each and every day.

    At this point in the discussion, another friend chimed in and said “I cannot manage my daily life without my smartphone” (and the smartphone is made by the very same media conglomerates which profit from selling advertising disguised as “news”, “notifications”, etc.). Hence, the mass of men (and women, too) continue to lead lives of quiet normalcy, guided by advertising messages which cater to duping illiterate suckers into believing everything is hunky dory because they are normal (and also users of “advanced technology”).

    Note that I don’t believe either of my friends should be called a “sucker“. In my opinion, they are simply illiterate (which most people refer to with the term “digital literacy“). They seem to be cognizant of their illiteracy — and yet they nonetheless remain complacent.

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    feedwordpress 22:26:03 on 2013/06/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , mainstream, , , , ,   

    To assume that everyone is listening to you is a very condescending attitude 

    Earlier today I wrote “Great Expectations: When the Boss Talks, Subordinates Listen?” — but I think perhaps I didn’t underscore enough how a lot of people behave like bosses. The will simply “voice their opinions” and think that everyone else will sit up, pay attention and figure out the meaning.

    What you need to do is to figure me out — and I think most of my friends understand this distinction.

    On the contrary, most of people who publish articles or advertisements in the New York Times don’t. I don’t read the New York Times, because I don’t think the New York Times cares about me. I don’t search with Google, because I think Google cares more about the New York Times (and other companies) than it cares about me.

    Do you think you’re “front page news”? If so, then good for you… — but that don’t mean nothing to me. ;)

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    feedwordpress 15:28:03 on 2013/05/20 Permalink
    Tags: , , dunbars number, mainstream, , norberts number, , ,   

    Welcome to the Future: 2020 

    I wrote the Wisdom of the language about 6 and a half years ago. I think it’s time for me to give an update about what I expect to happen in the next 6 and a half years.

    As usual in my posts, I will try to focus on one thing at a time… so I will first of all try to pick out what will be the most important change between now and then.

    Today, the largest website in the world (by the number of registered users, i.e. facebook.com) follows the Wisdom of the Language. Of the top 10 websites in the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half of them do. So the Wisdom of the Language has already started becoming the way online publishing “works”, and it’s also a trend that has been increasing over the past decade, and I expect it will continue.

    In the next decade, I feel there will be a new trend that is just now on the cusp of beginning. In the early days of the web, websites and blogs were very personal, and there were only a very few sites that could be considered “mainstream”. In contrast, “mainstream media” used to be what has now become “retard media” — websites that are focused on brands / brand names. In the coming years, as the Wisdom of the Language continues to expand, it will become more and more mainstream.

    How will we notice this — what will change?

    Whereas today there are at most about a dozen websites used by… let’s say 10% of the world’s population, this number will increase. I predict that in the next years — maybe 6 years, maybe 7 years, but I will commit to saying at the latest within the next 10 years, the number of websites with a membership of registered users numbering 10% of the world’s population will increase — I predict by at least 100 times, maybe even 1000 times.

    If you do the math, then you will find that this means that on average every person will be a member (i.e., a registered user) of something like 100 websites. You might call this “Norbert’s number” (sort of like “Dunbar’s number”, only it isn’t the number of people a person is connected to, but rather it is the number of websites at which a person is a registered user). Unlike Dunbar’s number, I feel this number need not have anything to do with the mental capacity of a person. Instead, it is mainly based on social norms. Today, the social norm is that if we want to meet “everyone”, then we need to use the (or a) public website. Note that I added “a”, and I bet you didn’t see that as a problem. Increasingly, more and more websites will become “public” this way… and pretty soon it will be just as natural to be a member of many such websites, just as it was natural in the past to be a member of several social clubs, read several books and magazines, watch several TV channels, own several pairs of shoes, and so on. :)

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