Friday, May 11, 2012

Logical Fallacies/Propaganda Techniques explained

Today is going to be a multipost day.
I did work on a post earlier this week, that never got up, due to the bombings in Syria.
Lots of good reading oh and viewing!!!
Below see a good little video on propaganda. Realizing I blab on about how we are manipulated.
Saying things like "shoot the messenger" or "appeal to authority" or "blame the victim"
What is an "ad hominem" Believe it or not this is stuff we should all know. Part of our critical thinking skill set.
Jan Irvin from Gnostic Media made a neat little video.
 Less then one hour.
 Doing a decent job of explaining propaganda techniques or devices & how they are used to mold your thinking and mine.

Logical Fallacies with Dr. Michael Labossiere


  1. How about this as as a philosophical technique:-

    a) promote extremist Wahabi-Salafists such as The Muslim Brotherhood
    b) alienate and marginalize moderate Muslims
    c) hype-up the 'Moozlum' threat to justify going 'Hiroshima' on all 1.4 billion of them.

    1. For anyone interested, Alan Watt discussed this 'Muslim Hiroshima' here from ~5mins in.

  2. Hey Freethinker, that's so crazy it just might work!

    Seriously for a moment, though, and back on task with the subject of Penny's post, propaganda and controlling the narrative, have a think about the term 'moderate Muslims' you used. Where did that come from and what does it mean?

    This is not a criticism of Freethinker because we all do it. I just thought it was instructive. We pick up their terms which they use to shape their narrative and their narratives are always lies designed to control out thinking and therefore our actions (or non-actions).

    These terms and catch phrases are symbols and being symbols they are packed with (false) meaning.

    1. Good to hear from you James but 'I don't know what you mean' (said the man with the shovel). I guess there are better terms to use than the hackneyed 'moderate' and 'extremist' but I'm not sure what they would be. I don't think you are saying that all Muslim factions are equally moderate or extreme.

      I'd be glad for any clues - I'm only a man with a shovel.

    2. IMO, freethinker is a nice guy/gal and respects all people understanding that most Muslims are good people.
      Referencing these good people, he used the term 'moderate Muslim' which I agree is a term coined by the propagandist swine.
      That term is used to reinforce the idea that most Muslims are of the crazed extremist variety, and that this is the presumptive condition of Muslims........therefor any others must be given a prefix...Moderate.

      On the subject of propaganda, a few months ago I finally shelled out some money for the Ed Bernays, Propaganda book because I have seen it referenced so many times online.
      DO NOT buy this book. It is propaganda of the worst kind.
      Bernays was a slime bag who helped corporate American sell us all kinds of poison.

    3. anonymous:
      Aargh. I wish you wouldn't have bought it.
      It is available at the internet archive for download for free
      I haven't read it yet, but, do have it waiting....
      The quote in my sidebar is from that book and it says it all!

    4. To james and freethinker

      We do all do it. Brian pointed something out to me that I was doing.
      when I referred to Aleppo as a city that had not rose up against Assad

      Brian asked me "what city has"?

      the light went on bright and shone right in my eyes.

      I was using the msm narrative
      NO , cities had "rose up against Assad"
      Not a one
      Areas were held hostage by terrorists and used to attack soldiers and policemen and government buildings and the media portrayed these as cities rising up
      They were nothing of the sort.

      I was happy Brian pointed out my error and it was done without my realizing it- which goes to show how easily we can be influenced by a repeated narrative

  3. Hi Freethinker, once again, I mean no criticism of you. It's just that you gave me an opportunity to point out something that most people miss and by doing so damage their own cause and advance the enemy's.

    The “Authorities” control us through the stories they tell – the narratives that accompany their often atrocious behaviour. The narratives give their meaning to what we see. Mind control, in other words. Within these narratives are names, terms and phrases that they use and repeat to change how we see something or someone without our realising it.

    For instance, “Moderate Muslims” tell us that there are many Muslims that are not “Moderate” i.e. they're 'bad'. We take this in through our conscious mind without questioning it and it lodges in our subconscious which then governs our later reactions. So we wonder at the mention of someone being "Muslim" whether they are moderate or not: good or bad. When we repeat these little 'mind bombs' we are damaging ourselves and doing the 'authorities' work for them.

    As an example, i'll take the liberty of rewording your insightful comment by changing a couple of words and notice the difference. I'll also swap the position of 'a' statement for 'b' statement simply because it reads better with the changed wording-

    From this-
    How about this as as a philosophical technique:-

    a) promote extremist Wahabi-Salafists such as The Muslim Brotherhood
    b) alienate and marginalize moderate Muslims
    c) hype-up the 'Moozlum' threat to justify going 'Hiroshima' on all 1.4 billion of them.

    to this-
    How about this as as a philosophical technique:-

    a) alienate and marginalize Muslims
    b) promote violent Wahabi-Salafists such as The Muslim Brotherhood in their place
    c) hype-up the 'Moozlum' threat to justify going 'Hiroshima' on all 1.4 billion Muslims.

    Arthur Silber has written much on this 'power of narrative'. Here's him quoting Salmon Rushdie (not one of my favourites but the quote is a good one)-

    the Salman Rushdie statement is as follows: "Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts."

    This includes changing the catch phrases and tags such as “moderate” and “extremist” that reinforce the 'authorities' narratives (mind control).

    I substituted “violent” for “extremist” because violent is descriptive and extremist is not. Violent can be contested. Someone is either violent or they are not. Extremist is vague and difficult to contest. Anybody can be tagged as 'extremist' in one way or another and then be held guilty by association with other violent people who are also tagged as extremist. So a non-violent person can be judged as violent.

    The quote above comes from Arthur's post -The Necessary Violence of the Murderous National Bully

    there are many links in this essay and I would recommend his “On Torture” and “When the Demons Come” for their own sake if anyone has time to read them.

    1. Thanks mate, I'll have a ponder on that. Oh, and I didn't think you were criticising me - but you don't have to worry about doing so; in fact I appreciate it when someone takes the trouble to set me straight.

      Did you like the tune?

  4. Penny, I think a comment of mine has gone to your spam file

  5. Here's a copy of my 'disappeared' comment with additional words. If the original turns up, Penny, could you delete it?

    Narratives are propaganda at a sophisticated level.

    Narratives are often used as platforms for defining and scoping an issue or selecting the strategic enemy that will serve the purpose of the narrating state, rather than the other elements involved in a problem set.

    Once a narrative is accepted it defines the framework of debate in the media, books are written and facts twisted to fit the postulates of the master narrative. Even wars are declared on the basis of such discourse as we have seen.

    This quote comes from an interesting article about this issue. it is entitled oddly enough-
    The power of narrative

    But even the author of this article falls into the trap of repeating the 'authorities' narrative when he uses the term '9/11' with all its associations for Americans about calling 'the authorities' for help. He did refer to it at one point as “the attack on New York” which is good but “WTC demolitions” would be much better as it is much more descriptive of what actually happened. Using descriptive terms rather than 'marketing labels' whenever possible recognises the truth of what happened. The truth is our weapon.

    Yes, I enjoyed the song, thanks Freethinker. I hadn't heard of Alex Harvey before. Which I suppose is pretty unforgivable given I'm definitely from that era :)

  6. Hey freethinker
    Hey james

    First of all, the missing comment is through
    Secondly I am not on my usual keyboard....
    Heavy duty gardening day today
    Back tomorrow
    Did either of you watch the video?
    If you did. What did you think?
    I liked it. Pretty straightforward

    1. Yes Penny, as you say a nice calm straightforward presentation. I'll keep it for future reference, thanks.

  7. An interesting interview with an young Syrian: NATO Summit and 17 Nation War Games on Syrian Border

  8. Thanks Penny. Yes i watched the video (though not much to see though!). The guy explained the fallacies in a simple straight forward way and with enough examples to keep it interesting. Very good :)

    1. Hey James:
      glad to see you back
      Oddly enough I had just been thinking about you
      where had you gotten to and all that
      Lo and behold you appear
      Like magic ;)

      I put the video up because it was straightforward, clear and under one hour
      While I have some understanding of these concepts
      Even I have learned something from it

  9. All well said James - will have to watch this video when I have the time, but really enjoyed reading the comments.

    Reminds me further to stop using the media term for that day, and instead call it the "September 11th Demolitions". I like that one, James.

  10. Thanks Slozo. i hope you are well. The video is a very good, thorough and yet fairly concise primer on false logic techniques. I'm sure it would be a good refresher, but i doubt it would have much in the way of anything new for you. :)

  11. "I was happy Brian pointed out my error and it was done without my realizing it- which goes to show how easily we can be influenced by a repeated narrative"

    Good for Brian and good for you, Penny. Yes we all affected by it. It's ubiquitous and insidious.

    We are surrounded by a sea of it and we are going to get wet. But with some awareness and some reminders from each other, we can swim in it rather than drown in it.

    1. Hey james:

      what the hell is with blogger?
      Your comment went into spam??

      It is really insidious, because usually I try to be very careful about that kind of stuff.

      I'd rather swim then drown... anyday of the week :)

  12. so academics are authorities? they are not motivated by agendas? they are not prostitutes? a thing is true, because it is, the blade shatters, or it does not, so education gives a questionable edge,

    1. Hi allan fairbairn

      I don't know if you realize this is a very old post? From the look of it no one has been hear for almost 3 years. Until today. So, I am not sure who your responses are directer at, unless you are asking me?
      So, I will answer your question, for what ever it is worth

      ' academics are authorities?" sometimes, but, most certainly not always!
      for the exact reasons you cite
      -motivated by agendas
      I could not disagree with either of those observations
      Appeal to authority annoys me to no end

      and yes, something is true because it is
      that's why I use this saying "Truth exists; only lies are invented."
      because Truth does exist, purely and simply

  13. sorry to have broken into your private authoritative discussion, evidently you don't need boatrockers, over/out

    1. Please don't apologize or feel offended, I need boatrockers always
      And hope you come back to participate :)