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Memories of the 28th Century

Fighting Propaganda

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Has everything become politicized? It appears that there is no scientific information regarding climate change. Everything is either alarmist or denying everything. I realized years ago that the alarmists were alarmists and propagandists, and I found some information about the matter that was based in science, rather than in ideology, but today I looked for scientific information and found only one journal article about solar cycles, and I only found that because the authors are being attacked by the alarmists.

Just as life is change, the universe is change. Nothing remains the same for very long. When I was young, I learned about the Little Ice Age, and that it had ended about 1850, and after that the world went back toward normal temperatures. Somewhat later I learned about the Medieval Warm Period and the Roman Warm Period, and that there had been warmer and colder periods alternating for a very long time.

Then there was the matter of sea level. It has been higher and lower at different times in the past. At the height of the last Ice Age, sea level was something like nine hundred feet lower than it is now. Back then, there really was a large island just outside the Pillars of Heracles, and the island was inundated around 9000 BCE. I donít know whether there were people living there who called the place Atlantis, but it was in the right place. At the height of the Medieval Warm Period, sea level was higher, and Pisa was a seaport, but now in is well upstream.

But I donít want to write about climate change. I am looking for ways to counteract propaganda. People are all too willing to accept propaganda and marketing lies, if the lies are presented the right way. Generally, the presenters of propaganda use the old reliable techniques, regardless of what lies they are presenting. Donald Trump puts himself forward as the authority, and people who are looking for that kind of figure eat it right up. The people who throw up alarm about climate change assert scientific authority, and the people who like the approach eat it right up. I may have just convinced myself that lots of people are looking for authority figures who will tell them how to live. But then thereís that Swedish girl who is regurgitating the propaganda of others with respect to climate change, and people eat that up, even though she is not n authority figure.

Beyond methods to counteract the lies, there is the question of why science and politics went from logical argument based on facts to lies based on nothing. It wasn't a huge shift for politics, because politicians traditionally lied, but there used to be some rational argumentation. But science used to be the bastion of knowledge and actual facts, data that was not adjusted to fit the desired results.

The Scientific American blog post appears too have useful information that may be on target. That has three items that can help to overcome marketing and propaganda, and there is an item that I would add: do not stoop to the level of the other side. When dealing with politicians, I think it is better to avoid lies. Let the politicians lie all they want, but you should just use real facts. One of the suggestions in that post is to interrupt the other side with questions, and that might be an effective technique. I have used that tactic while discussing climate change, and the inability of someone to answer a perfectly reasonable question says a lot about that person.

The other link (below) is an article by the Director of the French Institut de recherche strategique de líEcole militaire (IRSEM). It was written to assist people in countering Putin's anti-European moves, so many of the suggestions are specific to that situation, but some can be transferred to other matters.

There is a good chance that I will extend or rewrite this.