Sweet Poison: Screens, Media, Self-Defense

Time is our most precious resource. How do we justify the hours that we spend in front of a screen or speakers when it comes to “news” and information? How much is useful and how much is wasteful, or even possibly harmful?

As our time is limited, I imagine/assume that “media criticism” is severely lacking as we’re flooded with “news” and information of all types. Options: stop reading/watching/listening to news altogether, slow our intake, try turning off our TV’s more often and for longer periods of time (or turn other TV’s off), read more books with particular focuses in mind, etc. Oh, yeah, and then there’s Faceb**k “news.” I’m hearing from more people who have pulled back from FB due to it being such a time-suck and lacking any rewarding experience.

For more on that issue, I suggest checking out the documentary below, Terms and Conditions May Apply, which is about Faceb**k and G**gle’s anti-privacy business model (and hypocrisy). They want  everyone’s data, yet the people who work for those companies want their privacy. And then there’s this lovely piece of info from 2010 of Mr. Zuckerberg instant messaging a friend that the idea of people trusting him with their photos and other data makes them “dumb fucks.”


I’ve been wondering how much people read/watch/listen with the intention of using the information for some sort of action VS. reading/watching/listening without ever using the information for anything of value socially, intellectually, spiritually, or professionally to the point of emotional outburst, or micro-nervous breakdowns throughout each week without even being aware of it.

What percentage of reading/listening/watching is for learning a language, writing, cooking, travel, carpentry, electronics, career, etc VS. impulsive and masochistic reading that aggravates tension and conflict, leaving one in a dazed and confused state of helplessness or hopelessness? Perhaps flooding oneself with the insane amounts of diverse info can eventually activate a self-defense that works to overcome any harmful side-effects.

Anyhow, below are documentaries and links about how “the media” uses psychological techniques and language manipulation to sell a wide spectrum–from war to children. For documentaries on many other topics, see this link.

Examples:

Below is a recent short about media-coverage about “White Riots VS. Black Riots” and
the difference in language used to describe each:

Below is Noam Chomsky’s Propaganda and Control of the Public Mind audio,
which can also be found here.

And last (though this issue is obviously never over), is PRWatch.org’s “public relations” section, which provides updates on how people in business and politics are pushing their interests that usually have nothing to do with the “public interest.”

As usual, be careful, protect yourself, and ASK WHY. Question why people want you to watch/listen/read and believe what their pushing in your face and ears. Don’t let anyone steal your most precious resource (while they’re taking your data).

“Historically-related” references:
+ Book: Public Opinion (1921) by Walter Lippman
+ Book: Propaganda (1928) by Edward Bernays

 

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