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Category: Emotion

Classic media manipulation of your viewpoint – SF Chronicle had to rewrite headline and replace photo illustration

Classic media manipulation of your viewpoint – SF Chronicle had to rewrite headline and replace photo illustration

Over the span of a few days, the SF Chronicle went from a headline emphasizing “Winter Covid surge” to a new title emphasizing “the endgame”, and a new illustration, removing the fear and negativity focus. Sadly, the media always goes for fear and negativity and manages to spin good news into bad. This time they got caught at it.

Munchausen by Internet

Munchausen by Internet

This is an Internet/social media phenomena that never occurred to me: “Munchausen by Internet occurs when medically well individuals fake recognized illnesses in virtual environments, such as online support groups.”

Covid-19: The media wants to keep you scared-but it looks like things may be improving

Covid-19: The media wants to keep you scared-but it looks like things may be improving

While too early to tell, it seems that the 3rd wave of Covid-19 may have peaked, nationally, in the past week. There will continue to be regional growth areas, however, as the entire nation does not peak simultaneously. There is much good news at this point – but as the linked fear porn news item illustrates, the media’s sole purpose is to keep you in a frightened state, scared to step outside. As the new cases curve subsides, the media’s attention will focus on hospitalizations and deaths – numbers which lag the new cases peak by 1-4 weeks, typically – while hiding the new cases curve. This is effectively media propaganda intended to keep you scared.

Wild fires: Is everything a single variable problem?

Wild fires: Is everything a single variable problem?

Western state Governors are increasingly blaming climate change for western wild fires, as if the wild fires are a single variable. If only we could control the climate, we would no longer have wild land fires. Realistically, there is no magic control knob on climate that we can control and which will reduce fire danger for decades to come.

There are concrete steps that can be taken immediately to reduce the threats of future wild fires – but politicians would rather blame climate change – which they do not control – because to acknowledge there are factors which they can control is to acknowledge that their leadership has failed.

A common mistake people make is to focus on a single variable in a multiple variable problem. In this case, the focus is on one variable that cannot be controlled in the near term, while ignoring other variables that can be controlled.

Should you warn social media friends about their posting habits?

Should you warn social media friends about their posting habits?

We all have social media “friends” who spend nearly all of their online time promoting their politics, usually from the stand point of anger and outrage. Their lives appear consumed by anger and outrage to the point that the only thing they have to talk about is how awful politician X is, or political party Y is, or about how we must all support protest Z (and if we don’t agree, then we are Nazis or Marxists).

Do we want to hang out with people who are perpetually angry and outraged? Should we say something to them about how they come across online?