A collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn
Knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
Where do you get your information from? What type of information is it? Who tells you what’s going on in the world? How do you know what they are telling you is “the truth?” Like most people, including me, you get information from newspapers, radio, magazines, television, and the internet.
Apart from the internet, the other forms of media have been around for years and have been known to use propaganda (information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause) many times; in fact I would say you never know when the information you are reading or watching is factual or propaganda! That’s a scary thought, isn’t it?
It might sound like I am scaremongering but that is not my intention. You see, every media outlet is owned by a government, a company or an individual; and at the heart of everything, there is the individual, with his own bias, his own political leanings, his own agenda, ready to push that out into the world. That’s not new, as everyone has their own views; unfortunately media owners and governments have a powerful platform with which to air theirs.
Newspapers, magazines, radio, and television are push media. They push the information to us and we have no control over its content, as opposed to the internet, where we pull the content we are interested in. Do you follow?
Whether we like it or not, and even if the media content providers are not attempting to brainwash (persuade completely, often through coercion) us, we are subjected to what they think we should read or should watch. Of course you are at liberty to turn it off or not buy the paper, but that’s not going to happen, is it?
We love reading all the news stories, we love watching terror on television, it’s exciting isn’t it? You get to be part of the action without having to take part in the war.
I don’t know if you remember the first gulf war in the early nineties? It was the first real war to be broadcast live across the world. A real media event! We were taken inside the action: Booom, Bang went the bombs. We saw an Iraqi target in the cross-hairs of the gun sight then, boom it went up in smoke. “Yeah!” Went the crowd, ”another damned iraqi blown to bits, we’ll show them.” Analysis followed analysis. Reporters giving different angles and views on the stories, 24/7.
But of course, these were our news stories, put together to show the glory of the western troops against the oppressor and dictator of Iraq, and you didn’t see reverse angle camera work of the iraqis in their homes just before their bodies were blown to pieces by the bombs, egged on by the viewing public at home, and in the bars shouting: “Yeah! We got ya!”
The next live main event came at the beginning of the twenty first century. Commonly known as 9/11, it was the footage that “shocked the world,” and started a whole new war (with live viewing available).
You all remember the images of two planes supposedly hijacked by terrorists and flown into the twin towers of the world trade centre. About 3,000 people died, but as far as the media were concerned, it was a godsend. Live disaster! Millions of viewers! Massive advertising revenue potentiality in the breaks!
What a story that was. Even years on, people are still talking about it. Certain governments are still using it to support their “war on terror,” which is just another excuse to kill people, if you don’t mind me saying.
Who knows what the truth really was on that fine september morning in 2001, but there has been growing evidence in the alternative media that all was not as it seemed that day; that perhaps the government had a hand in it themselves in order for them to pursue a cause in the middle east. They do say that truth is stranger than fiction; but then again what agenda is the independent media provider trying to push? He is clearly anti-government, so what’s to make us believe that what he is telling us is the truth?
Can we ever be sure that what is being told to us on tv, radio, magazines or newspapers is the truth? The clear answer is of course, no, but this doesn’t mean we should all become paranoid we are being lied to, manipulated and controlled, after all, you can turn off the tv and not read the newspapers.
To understand this more clearly, we must look behind the motivation of those who disseminate information, and remember who these people are. First, they are people with their own opinions, second, they are in business to make money, and third, they are easily manipulated by government.
Remember bad news sells more newspapers
Have you ever thought about the content that is pushed to us? There’s not much good news is there?
Maybe a little light hearted story about a fluffy kitten that was rescued from a tree after thirteen days, read by a smiling newscaster, just to make us feel or nice and warm and fuzzy inside. But you can’t imagine them putting on an hour’s programme about good news, can you? People would turn off in a second; and they certainly wouldn’t buy the newspaper. Would you?
We want doom and destruction, violence and murder, but we also want to see that someone is doing something about it; and of course there is. The government.
If there is a story about a “possible terrorists attacks” in london, there will also be police and government spokesmen telling how the government is introducing a new bill to detain “potential terrorists” for extended periods of time. If there’s a story about someone dying in a drink driving accident, there will be a policeman to tell how they are “clamping down” on drink drivers to “stop the carnage on the roads.” If there is a story about a young boy being stabbed to death by a gang, there will be government officials and police detailing on how they are “clamping down” on knives and gangs. If there is a story about heroin dealers selling to children, there will be a spokesman saying they are introducing a new bill to lock up heroin dealers for longer periods if they are convicted.
Fear followed by reassurance
That is what news media do. They make us afraid by showing us some terrible event, then make us feel better by showing what someone is doing about it. I am surprised that no one has picked up on this. This is formulaic news-casting. If you think about it closely enough you will see for yourself..
Images and news stories are used to get us to feel a specific way and that is where the control element comes in. Can you imagine how you would feel if after every story there was no one to tell you it was going to be all right? They know what they are doing in the media. These stories are designed to keep you hooked; to make you scared when the bad guys are around, but eventually the good guys win (ring any bells?). Sounds just like a hollywood movie! And that’s exactly how push media should be treated – as entertainment; nothing more.
Please think about this for a moment will you? How deeply interested are you in the topics you read about; I mean really interested in? Enough to investigate more, or just enough to discuss it with your friends, family, colleagues, or your mates down the pub? Everyone likes to talk about the stories they read or see on the news, it makes the day to day conversation more interesting, where suddenly, we can talk about terrorism in a real way, discussing the ins and outs of the potential threats to our lives: But only until the next big news story arrives.
I have even found myself becoming an armchair commentator on such subjects; subjects I have no real knowledge of, and come to think of it, no deep interest in. After all, if we actually thought we could be under attack at any time, we wouldn’t just be sitting around talking about it would we? Or would we?
You see, news is something that happens to someone else; we never really imagine that we will be involved in a terrorist attack or abducted by a serial killer, do we?
How many of you have been involved in something which was on the news, or even known anyone who was on a news story? Not many probably. News for us is like a fantasy land where the players are actors, and we are just the audience; and that’s the way we would like it to stay, thank you very much.
Entertainment provided for us in our living room, on the metro, on the plane, on the train. Press the red button, get the news in ten different windows, different stories, different angles, satellite, cable, terrestrial. Get your news here while you still can! “… And did we tell you the world’s about to end, but here’s some pictures of a nice fluffy cat rescued in a tree to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Back in a moment, after a word from our sponsor…”
All push media should come with a warning sticker: “for entertainment purposes only.”
If we believe that western papers are prejudiced, filled with propaganda, then maybe we should take a look at some other countries. At least we live in a democracy. Their media looks the same as ours, feels the same as ours, sounds the same as ours, but the content is deeply disturbing.
Governments tightly control what is published and broadcast. This is not the prejudice and bias of one man, but of a system, a system to control the minds of the people: To make them believe what is being said is “THE TRUTH;” and unfortunately, due to lack of any other outside information, they believe the truth, instead of dismissing it at best as entertainment, and at worst, brainwashing.
They believe that other countries are evil, that their country is the best in the world, that their leaders are the most righteous, that their people are the most pure, the most intelligent, the list could go on and on. This is where media gets into dangerous territory, where they are actually feeding false information to the people as truth. If you live in a country controlled by either a dictator or military junta or live in any country with a regime as opposed to a democratically elected government you can be sure your media is tainted by propaganda.
Please, what ever you do, turn it off. Don’t read the newspapers. Don’t listen to the news. Don’t watch the tv.
That sounds extreme doesn’t it? But how can you be sure that what you are being “pushed” is the truth? If we (in the west) cannot be sure we are not being fed propaganda – and we have a freely elected government, and free media – then how can you be even one percent sure your media is not only filled with lies, but information to make you feel a specific way about your own government and the other people in the world?
This is vitally important. Please listen for a moment.
You may not be interested in thinking for yourself, you may not care what is happening inside your country at the moment; you may only be interested in your wage, and your family. But if everyone just rolls over and lets someone else tell them what to believe, what sort of civilisation have we built as humans?
One of our greatest faculties is the power to question, isn’t it time to use it?
Unfortunately, getting real information is hard – even if you do want it – especially in tightly controlled regimes. The one tool that is available is often controlled and monitored by the security services, which seems to be happening in more and more countries.
The power to question
Of course, it’s the internet. Established many years ago as a tool to share information between universities, it evolved over the mid nineties as the full blown internet, which enabled people to send electronic mail to each other, create websites to share information, and sell products, amongst other things.
In the beginning it was dead slow and stop, but now with more advanced communication technology, it can be lightning quick to display content, including streaming video and audio; and the one incredible thing about it is it isn’t censored! “How can this be?” I hear you ask. Well, content is uploaded and stored and viewed in so many different countries that have so many different laws, it is impossible to control legally; but that doesn’t mean that the security services are not monitoring all traffic and websites even here in the “free” west.
Governments don’t like to lack control. They have passed laws over centuries, and have established police forces, and armies and courts and prisons to control subservient populations. They do not want to lose control, but at the moment they have. You can say anything you like in cyberspace.
For the first time in human history, the people have the power, and they know it. Never before could you criticise your king or queen and get away with it.
There are websites on every topic; free information about everything you could imagine; a million different views about the same subject; independent media, contributed to by people from all over the world; and most of the content is free. What could be better than that? Now you don’t have to listen to what they want you to hear.
No longer is the media being pushed at you, now you can “pull” exactly what you want; and if you’re not happy with the first one, you can look at another one, and another one, and you can comment on what other people have written, and you can even create the content yourselves! You can be in charge of your own newspaper. You can write your opinion and people can view it or choose not to. It’s their choice.
Worldwide campaigns can be organised in a matter of hours, and groups with common interests can share information…
Except, according to recent studies, we’re still doing it. We are addicted to it, and we can’t help ourselves. That’s right. Pornography.
I won’t lie to you, I’ve spent many hours in the past looking at it, but the more I thought about it, the more I became worried that we were using the only free medium to express opinions around the world for nothing more than cheap thrills.
Stop wasting your time looking at porn and use the internet for something that benefits others!
We’ve had our fun. There’s only so much porn we can look at in life isn’t there? Surely ten or twelve years of using the internet to jerk off (Get sexual gratification through self-stimulation) to is enough? Isn’t it time to wake up to the fact that the internet will be locked down one of these days and we won’t have done a thing to stop it happening.
“If only I hadn’t been masturbating to porn, I could have done something to save it” I hear you cry. And it will come. Do you really believe that world governments will leave something this powerful out of their control? Control is essential.
Talking of control, do you know who’s really in control of the internet? Have you any idea how the internet even works? How you get a web page that is stored 10,000 miles away on your screen in less than a few seconds? Well maybe it’s time to wake up!
Large businesses are in control. Telecommunication companies, hardware manufacturers, software developers, that’s who’s in charge. They like the idea that the customer has control because it’s good for business, no other reason. But it won’t be long before the governments of the world start forcing these companies to spy on their customers as a condition of doing business there. It has been said that one of the largest search companies in the world has agreed to bar the search of certain words like “democracy” and “freedom” from its search engine in order to do business in one undemocratic country.
You must remember that companies are not the keepers of world ethics, they are in business to make money and while a free internet serves them now, a controlled internet may suit them in the future. They will do whatever it takes to stay in business, please remember that, while you sit ogling women in various sexual positions.
Democracy without an agenda
The internet is the voice we have as a world population; where people from anywhere, of any religion, country or language can come together. Without it we are divided, living our own lives and own cultures, oblivious to what is going on anywhere else except for the information that the traditional push media and the government wish to disseminate to us. We must use the internet to include everyone in the world; to make sure everyone has a voice. The internet is the only democracy without an agenda. It is not trying to become more powerful, and it has no ideologies.
Everyone is free to say what he or she thinks; and the more views there are, the more of a balanced informed decision we can make about things.
We cannot listen to our governments or our traditional media as a source of information anymore, the information has become so contaminated, as to render it worthless. We must create our own information, about any and every topic. We must sow the seeds of doubt in the minds of those who are tightly controlled in their own countries, so they question the information they are currently receiving. We must offer the hand of friendship to all.
Whether the information is about news, politics, religion, culture, compassion, car mending, gardening or mental health, the internet is an amazing resource. It is such a pleasure to see people sharing their knowledge and wisdom without charge. Most websites are free and we should all contribute where we can, with whatever we know, and put it on the web.
It is the greatest repository of instantly accessible knowledge we have today. Let’s use it for the benefit of everyone on the planet, and keep it out of the hands of meddling governments and people whose only motivation is money.
How? By coming together as a world community, united in the love of freedom to think, say and do what you wish without interference.
The governments would say they are controlling what they need to, to help us. To keep us safe from terror, death and destruction – but they would say that, wouldn’t they? It’s their job to make us afraid, and then offer us solutions, isn’t it?
Start a website, contribute to one that already exists, comment on a news item; whatever your view, whether it’s extremist, or moderate, or even small, you all have a voice. Use it.