I wonder what the relationship is between expression in social media and policy adjustment in state diplomatic and military operations.
Never before in history has the battle for “hearts and minds” been played through a global system linking individual minds in novel ways. However, the old prediction that cyberspace will wind up looking a lot like real space haunts the conversation.
Are we making a difference, yet?
The theme topic contributing to this post involved a “Syrian Truth – English” (Facebook) plate featuring the slogan, “This is how we used to live” accompanied by a civil enough show of peace between the religious with Bashar Assad at the center of each photo-op, and “and this is how U.S. and its allies want us to live,” with that accompanied by images of beheading, crucifixion, field executions featuring armed soldiers wearing black hoods or black headscarves.
My response to that:
When power extends to power over information, that information becomes part of the control exerted by the malignant narcissist. For a catch-all, one may use the term “totalitarian propaganda”: such information either lies by omission, for example, here, the statistics approaching 11,000 children destroyed by state-side sniper fire, bombing, and torture. In the west, we can independently investigate claims made by journalists; in autocratic environments, one is helpless before presentations of factual data and their spin. The other form of lie asserts the presence of a reality that isn’t present, which includes the “threat” of the Jews (we’re out to drown the world in chicken soup and love is more the reality).
Related from this blog: FTAC – If Information is Power, How Much Greater Must Be Power Over Information.
My partner in conversation chatypes from Pakistan.
Together, we cover quite a bit of thematic territory quickly — about information, Wahhabi Islam’s expansion (and the barbarity expressed in its name), about minority security (he is a Shiite Muslim), about Israel, about values — but we neither of us know the effect on others whom we may know or on others who may be lurking over our conversation.
We’re chatting on an open floor hosting a substantial emerging global intelligentsia: how far up the chain do our thoughts go, directly or in aggregate?
While we’re having our conversation in the quasi-public space of a pro-Syrian page, we’re also conversing separately. In that process, I noted the following to him:
This is the “back channel” conversation. The front channel may be feeding back to Syrian Truth’s wall, so we are “in it” in a sense. They’re reading about themselves, whoever they may be.
What if the political reality of a place were not manipulated by state and anti-state operations and forces?
And the chat goes on.
What are they thinking?
What is in their hearts?
What is changing?
What is not changing?
What do they believe about power?
Can they isolate or separate their own assumptive habits of mind and behaviors involving loyalties, fears, and accompanying contemptuous thoughts and hatreds and introspectively and in some helpful way — or will it be only to help themselves to what others have? — adjust their own position?
My correspondent said, “It’s world simply, you have check a lot of things.”
True, and I said, “It’s a foundering ship, no captain, not much of a map, and the sea is stormy (but its sailors are on deck in the rain making up their minds about directions). 🙂 ”
Sometimes, and this a bit tired with age and other nonsense, including immersion in conflict news, I find myself resting with the windows open and the whole place sailing along in the universe with the local wind and rain providing only immediate atmosphere against that immense ineffable space.
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