Author Topic: Misinfo Wars  (Read 5023 times)

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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2016, 06:51:24 pm »
Bad signal has always existed. I'd argue today there's less on a lot of subjects. Earth used to be flat, according to the official line. Giant bearded people threw lighting at you from a mountaintop in the clouds. Shit appears, to me at least, to have swung a lot more rational as time progresses. As a general trend, maybe punctuated by the adoption of dumb ideas here and there. Sacrificing virgins to the harvest lizard. Being a nazi. Wearing bell bottoms. Our species currently gets a lot more shit carried out a lot more effectively than it did when it was scrambling about in mud trying to invent fire.

There's bad signal and there's good signal. Even that shit seems, for the most part, to be entirely subjective with a side order of group consensus. I've been looking for absolute truth all my life and I still aint found anything convincing. Pick apart every statement looking for falsehoods. It's always there, a loophole, hidden in the qualifiers, backed up by the assumptions. Reality, any reality, is an opinion widely held. sure, in a metaphysical sense, there's something there (or there seems to be) and whatever the fuck it's all about, it receives our inputs and dishes out it's responses in an apparently consistent manner. We can describe this manner and it makes us all smug cos we got the answers but anything beyond that is arguable.

I like the memesphere as it is, tbh. Millions upon billions of opinions and theories and rational argument and appeals to logical fallacy and insane drivel, all flying around in the swarm of reality, looking for a host. Looking to reproduce. A Darwinesque selection process at work. They breed, they mutate, they form the broader perspective of reality, always shifting and swirling as competing stains collide. They compete in meatspace, using us a proxies. Sometimes bad ideas get killed by good ones and the individual or even the whole human race progresses a step. Other times a bad idea takes hold and shit gets fucked for a while. Maybe one day we'll have a winner. The reality tunnel to end all reality tunnels. Maybe not. Certainly some are more effective than others and I'd value the effectiveness of a meme over it's claims to truth any day of the week.
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2016, 06:58:46 pm »
Bad signal has always existed. I'd argue today there's less on a lot of subjects. Earth used to be flat, according to the official line. Giant bearded people threw lighting at you from a mountaintop in the clouds. Shit appears, to me at least, to have swung a lot more rational as time progresses. As a general trend, maybe punctuated by the adoption of dumb ideas here and there. Sacrificing virgins to the harvest lizard. Being a nazi. Wearing bell bottoms. Our species currently gets a lot more shit carried out a lot more effectively than it did when it was scrambling about in mud trying to invent fire.

There's bad signal and there's good signal. Even that shit seems, for the most part, to be entirely subjective with a side order of group consensus. I've been looking for absolute truth all my life and I still aint found anything convincing. Pick apart every statement looking for falsehoods. It's always there, a loophole, hidden in the qualifiers, backed up by the assumptions. Reality, any reality, is an opinion widely held. sure, in a metaphysical sense, there's something there (or there seems to be) and whatever the fuck it's all about, it receives our inputs and dishes out it's responses in an apparently consistent manner. We can describe this manner and it makes us all smug cos we got the answers but anything beyond that is arguable.

I like the memesphere as it is, tbh. Millions upon billions of opinions and theories and rational argument and appeals to logical fallacy and insane drivel, all flying around in the swarm of reality, looking for a host. Looking to reproduce. A Darwinesque selection process at work. They breed, they mutate, they form the broader perspective of reality, always shifting and swirling as competing stains collide. They compete in meatspace, using us a proxies. Sometimes bad ideas get killed by good ones and the individual or even the whole human race progresses a step. Other times a bad idea takes hold and shit gets fucked for a while. Maybe one day we'll have a winner. The reality tunnel to end all reality tunnels. Maybe not. Certainly some are more effective than others and I'd value the effectiveness of a meme over it's claims to truth any day of the week.

Fascinating.

Have you, by any chance, read The Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Wiener?
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2016, 07:06:02 pm »
Have you, by any chance, read The Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Wiener?

Interesting question. I'm sure there's a reason for it.
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2016, 07:35:50 pm »
Have you, by any chance, read The Human Use of Human Beings by Norbert Wiener?

Interesting question. I'm sure there's a reason for it.

If you're interested in the idea of signals or messages as organic, fluid, or essentially "living" things which are subject to the forces of entropy, then cybernetics is an appropriate field of study to immerse one's self in. I was wondering if you'd already done so.

The book reads a bit like stereo instructions but taps into a few really key ideas about the way that information works.
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2016, 07:51:29 pm »
I'm sure a lot of other books do to. Your point?
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #35 on: November 17, 2016, 08:10:58 pm »
I'm sure a lot of other books do to. Your point?

I find the major themes of specific book (and the way in which they are conveyed within it) particularly relevant to your post. I wanted to know if you'd read it. If not, I'd recommend it. If so, I'd ask whether or not you agree that it is indeed relevant.

The only point I can make now is that you haven't actually answered my question.
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #36 on: November 17, 2016, 10:25:52 pm »
I'm sure a lot of other books do to. Your point?

I find the major themes of specific book (and the way in which they are conveyed within it) particularly relevant to your post. I wanted to know if you'd read it. If not, I'd recommend it. If so, I'd ask whether or not you agree that it is indeed relevant.

The only point I can make now is that you haven't actually answered my question.

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"computation is a pattern in the spacetime arrangement of particles, and its not the particles but the pattern that really matters! Matter doesnt matter." -- Max Tegmark

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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #37 on: November 18, 2016, 12:18:37 am »
I'm sure a lot of other books do to. Your point?

I find the major themes of specific book (and the way in which they are conveyed within it) particularly relevant to your post. I wanted to know if you'd read it. If not, I'd recommend it. If so, I'd ask whether or not you agree that it is indeed relevant.

The only point I can make now is that you haven't actually answered my question.

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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #38 on: November 18, 2016, 12:32:13 am »
There's a related question to this that is bothering me. I'm heavily steeped in a tumblr social justice worldview, having read that dashboard far too many damn times over (is it a year now?) the past several months. My area is heavily rural and conservative. I live in a town burned to the ground by the Confederates, and many people in town love wearing their flag.

I spent a lot of time arguing with a man at work, who supported Trump before his candidacy, or well, trying to politely discuss it with him. I decided to avoid citing sources he didn't trust. He listed one website as his source for information, and sure as hell didn't trust Fox News. I just ended up deciding we must live in alternate universes.

....meandering meant to lead up to one question: how the FUCK can we discuss anything anymore, if we can't even figure out what the facts of reality are? The echo-chamber effect is causing our understanding of reality to bifurcate more and more. Whether or not it's true or false, we can't talk if we can't even share premises. We can't argue those premises without agreeing on more primal premises. The turtles down below are starting to crack under the pressure.

TL;DR: Misinfo/info aside, what facts can we, the people of the world, use as basis for discussion? Everything seems to depend on your party now!
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #39 on: November 18, 2016, 02:11:19 am »
how the FUCK can we discuss anything anymore, if we can't even figure out what the facts of reality are?

It's healthy to keep in mind that even news sources you trust are subject to inaccuracy. If two people in a debate can agree on this, then you at least have some common ground from which to build.

If an argument is dependent upon the information from a source of this kind, phrasing (in theory) can help. (It doesn't always help because a lot of people don't give a shit about your phrasing. These people are assholes.)

Example: A poll in the True York Times says that people voted for Dillary Clump because of a lax stance on copyright law.

There are two ways a conclusion from this information can be asserted:
  • "Clump voters are pirates and this poll proves it."
  • "If the True York Times poll is correct, there might be a strong correlation between digital piracy and people voting Clump."

The first response is subject to a criticism of "Well, the True York Times is owned by copyright lawyers, so I don't believe it." The second version circumvents this by taking for granted that the information might still be true while simultaneously admitting that it might not be.

A productive discussion with someone who holds solid convictions isn't a debate; it's an interview. The only kind of person who is open to being proven wrong is someone who understands and appreciates logic more than their own opinions. Just remember: most people don't want to be correct; they want to be right.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2016, 02:51:11 am by chinagreenelvis »
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #40 on: November 18, 2016, 04:17:36 am »
Go ye forth into the internet, and tell me what percentage of what you read is true.
Oh, it wasn't rhetorical. It was getting at the OP's point about the relative distribution of factual vs. non-factual information. Now that we live in an era where anyone can create their own guru mini-empire with nothing more than a Facebook page, I would hazard a guess that the majority of the words we read convey information that is not factual.

Obviously exact percentages are a virtual impossibility, especially when considering the subjective nature of certain kinds of truth. However, with enough time and effort, it should be possible to achieve some kind of approximation of the ratio of habitually disinformative websites and social media spheres to neutral and informative ones.

Yeah, that's what I keep saying about statistical analysis, large sample sizes, repeated samples, normal curve, blah blah blah.
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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #41 on: November 18, 2016, 04:21:44 am »
I may need to clarify more.  My idea is that there are more instances of disinformation, but it's the same disinformation.  For example, there's disinfo that says Clinton's emails show she actively prevented military assistance during the Benghazi attacks.  You see that piece, you do some fact checking, you determine it's false.

But that one piece of disinfo is being written up by two or three dozen bogus fake news sites, and it's being shared on social media thousands of times.  It's incredibly tedious, borderlining on impossible, to keep debunking the same story every time a new bogusnews.com site posts an article on it.  In addition, because so many different sites are writing it up, it give the false impression that if this many news outlets are covering it, there must be some element of truth to it.

I don't think it's accurate to say that it's the same disinformation, because where it once took some outlay of capital to put one's stupid, erroneous ideas into the public eye via a print medium, it is now yours for the price of a Facebook page. Fuck, all by myself I have how many? Most of them are relatively inactive, but a few are very popular and one has 26,000+ members. I have seen memes I created shared in unrelated groups by people I don't know.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #42 on: November 18, 2016, 04:23:25 am »
There's a related question to this that is bothering me. I'm heavily steeped in a tumblr social justice worldview, having read that dashboard far too many damn times over (is it a year now?) the past several months. My area is heavily rural and conservative. I live in a town burned to the ground by the Confederates, and many people in town love wearing their flag.

I spent a lot of time arguing with a man at work, who supported Trump before his candidacy, or well, trying to politely discuss it with him. I decided to avoid citing sources he didn't trust. He listed one website as his source for information, and sure as hell didn't trust Fox News. I just ended up deciding we must live in alternate universes.

....meandering meant to lead up to one question: how the FUCK can we discuss anything anymore, if we can't even figure out what the facts of reality are? The echo-chamber effect is causing our understanding of reality to bifurcate more and more. Whether or not it's true or false, we can't talk if we can't even share premises. We can't argue those premises without agreeing on more primal premises. The turtles down below are starting to crack under the pressure.

TL;DR: Misinfo/info aside, what facts can we, the people of the world, use as basis for discussion? Everything seems to depend on your party now!

Everything used to depend on your tribe. Party affiliation is essentially membership in a tribe. Nothing fundamental has changed.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #43 on: November 18, 2016, 04:25:54 am »
You got it.

The end result seems to be the same, but I was trying to clarify that the net balance of lies::truth was the same.  It's the signal-boosting repetition that has thrown it out of wack.

I would posit that this definition takes far too narrow a view of how one defines the proportion of fact vs. disinformation. If 30 sources claim that alkaline water is good for you for every 1 source that claims it is woo, do you consider that a 1:1 ratio?
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Misinfo Wars
« Reply #44 on: November 18, 2016, 04:31:43 am »
And thats without even taking into consideration the almost fabulous amount of completely random made-up bullshit from people whose only agenda is being crazy as fuck or capitalizing off the paranoid, like the claim that African women don't need to menstruate and only do so because of the Western diet, that rainbows are caused by deadly mind-control chemicals, that drinking distilled water will kill you, or that the color amber has quantum healing wavelengths. We live in an era where literally ANYONE, however insane or mercenary, can write an infographic or put up a webpage, and people will believe it.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.