Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Psychology. Show all posts

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Joan Didion's 'On Morality': The Extremist Test

There's a Bob Dylan lyric in Highlands that always makes me smile: "She said, "you don't read women authors, do you?"" I typically don't. Despite what I'm sure would be Moonbeam and Steinem's insightful CNN-style psychological "analysis" to the contrary, that has less to do with the Holy Uterus than the fact (and it is a fact) that women rarely write anything I'm interested in reading. It's the same with standup comedy. I'm not all that interested in a narcissistic "female perspective." I'm not required by social law to interest myself in such things, either. Because, you know, I'm a man. Sue me. But only after you read a volume or two on middle age suicide and the male prostate.

I mercifully digress.

There is one very significant exception: Joan Didion. I bought We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, a non-fiction collection, with Orwell's. She's fantastic. Slouching Toward Bethlehem's essays/articles are on par with Mencken's, if less vitriolic and venomously entertaining! On Self-Respect and On Morality are worth finding and devouring.

Here's an excerpt from On Morality, written in 1965. That's significant, as you'll see. Crusading moral certitude isn't new. We were hatched in that fire; it's part of the American DNA and what makes us particularly susceptible to propaganda and makes this technologically amplified conflict between our moralistic ideological religions so dangerous. Didion's Lionel Trilling quote deserves its own space and I literally squealed when I saw she used the word, "agitprop!" And the last paragraph? Ooof! We need a test for those infected with the Extremist Virus. Joan Didion has it:

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Propaganda or Education; Patriot or Traitor; Riot or Protest?



 In one of many examples of how he knew the herd better than it knows itself, Edward Bernays, the man who took "propaganda" and rebranded it "public relations,"pointed out in the late 20's that whether you perceive something as "propaganda" or "education" depends upon what you've adopted to explain the world for you: your belief system; which god you worship. That's shamefully self-evident and explains why most are, almost literally, physically unable to consume "their" "news."

Whether you would have seen our 18th century mobs as "patriots" or "traitors" depended upon the same thing: chosen identity and an adopted perspective skewed by subjective "faith." Stampeding herd dynamics functioned the same in Boston and Philadelphia as in Paris, Moscow, Havana, and Berlin. The difference between these four and ours is that our founders understood and feared the mob. They attempted to straddle saddling a temporarily useful but snarling and unpredictably dangerous beast with long-term stability and "liberty." 

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

The Crowd: Mencken or LeBon?


Several times over the last few years, I'd bounced a counterargument around in my notebooks: the possibility that LeBon's character sketch of The Crowd has it backwards. The existence of a mob mentality is unquestionable, but maybe it doesn't psychologically transform an otherwise reasonable individual into a frothing barbarian. Instead, perhaps the induced hypnotic flock-state simply unleashes the domesticated savage's suppressed impulses; ones that are always boiling just beneath his thin civilized veneer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

5/19/20 - The Stalker Militia, A Hydroxy Hardon, Woke Youth

So, about that whole "in this together" thing... Topics include Trump's bizarre and supernatural hydroxychloroquine erection, quarantine and consumerist withdrawal, free-rage extremism and Michigan's armed stalkers closing the capitol, ideological bleed-over, identity politics infecting the virus, humble ignorance, a COVID-exploiting Woke Youth Recruitment video seizing the national airwaves, and what happens when I go off my gated social media reservation and why it's becoming nearly essential to completely disconnect. This one gets harsh. Beware.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

5/9/20 - Stories, Hope, and The Propaganda Paradox

Todd's adventures in leaving the house after 5-weeks, a quick review of the crappy Vaporesso Target PM-80, the supposed "wisdom" of the bewildered herd, belief and truth are mutually exclusive, atheists: leave the non-phallus swinging faithful alone, the crucial crusading distinction between religious & ideological zealots, and why the simple human need for hope probably makes us powerless against tasty propaganda.




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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

4/29/20 - Social Media Disease: A Cacophony of Nothing



Todd's merciful Bat Plague boycott continues with more spiritually uplifting content like: "F**k Subaru. I hate them and you should, too." Also, 2020's Jill Stein; Steinbeck, Salinas, and digital detox; social media "should" be regulated like radio; carnival barkers and data overload are killing democracy; the Wisdom of the People™ doesn't exist therefore populism is pandering to a screeching herd; and rejoice! The Devil's all up in ya! Can you feel him? 



--More: www.escapingthecave.com and www.toddzillax.com
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Friday, April 24, 2020

4/24/20 - Seekers, Preachers, & The Covid Reality Wars

Toddzilla delivers his overdue Message of Hope™ featuring topics like strutting stupidity, social media's performance addiction, Hobbes' inevitable civil war, the need for propaganda, and releasing our infected cattle back into the bewildered herd.  Book your children's party now! Use promo code "Leviathan Rising" to get 50% off!



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Saturday, March 28, 2020

3/28/20 - Detroit, Intellectual Distancing, The Glowing Antichrist

Can Detroit and rural Michigan bear what they say is coming? Social distancing as an apt metaphor and how it can be useful. A crisis instinctively prods a frightened herd into a closed-tribe psychology, which is nationalism. How data overload contributes to it and helps obliterate the utopian Brotherhood of Man mythology. Why many quietly want Trump to fail, whether they admit it or not.



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Monday, March 2, 2020

3/2/20 - Propaganda, Trust, Coronavirus, and You

How will the for-profit boutique/reality show/agitation news media model affect how we respond to the virus? Have a drink. Make sure it's not bleach. Includes a quick introduction to Matt Taibbi's book Hate Inc. and material from Your Undivided Attention on the reality apathy and the abandonment of trust in public institutions and each other. 

Listen to Your Undivided Attention here: https://humanetech.com/podcast/



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Saturday, February 29, 2020

2/29/20 - Authentic Courage vs. Crying With The Pack

"God will not have his work made manifest by cowards." Genuine courage is required to stand apart against the deafening conformity of the cowardly mob. Ask Andrew Sullivan! People are inherently tyrannical. Shared secular delusions: our 21st century religions. God needs the devil; Sapiens need an enemy. Lippmann, the fragility of free speech, and democracy's Achilles Heel: an ignorant "public."



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Thursday, February 27, 2020

2/27/20 - Conform Or Be Cast Out

Social validation & conformity: the evolutionary default setting. Why choosing intellectual autonomy over the herd is nearly impossible. Also, standing apart in self-reliance, the drifter, and mending holes in the firewall.



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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

2/26/20 - Social Media Disease: The Dopamine Drip

"Whoever owns social validation..." Performance addiction and how the masses have become junkies gorging on validation's dopamine stream. How various influencers, including podcasters, have monetized validation mainlining in the name of "brand building". Propaganda, validation, dopamine, and Ellul's "conditioned response." How social momentum works: Tony McAleer on Your Undivided Attention. Also, how ideological boldness is a surefire sign of a propagandee.

Listen to "Your Undivided Attention" here: https://humanetech.com/podcast/




--Don't settle for imitations! Be sure you're subscribed to an authentic Escaping The Cave feed!

Sunday, February 23, 2020

2/23/20 - "Vladdy Loves Bernie?" Or "It's The Destabilization, Dummy!"

Of course Putin's playing both sides and assisting Bernie in the Democratic primary. It's about agitation, discord, and eroding the public's already fractured belief it itself, not ideology. This is the perfect insurgent agitation storm: who in this country are more divisive than Bernie, AOC, and Trump? The Russians aren't to blame. We are. Also, why Informational Education programs aren't coming, the simple and cynical reason our for-profit media outlets and political "leadership" won't help us immunize ourselves from foreign propaganda, and Walter Lippmann on free speech and why Facebook must eventually take the fall for our unwillingness to tell truth from falsehood. Includes a quick refresher on 2016's multi-pronged disinformation/partitioning campaign as well as a recap on Jacques Ellul's agitation propaganda material regarding the unleashing of hatred. Introducing: The Rant Alert!

Listen to "Your Undivided Attention" here: https://humanetech.com/podcast/




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Friday, February 21, 2020

2/21/20 - Authenticity, The Mask, and The Beast Unleashed

On independent thought, authenticity, social momentum, and permitting redemption. Also, You're not the Elephant Whisperer, let Dumbo feed! Detecting doctrinaires, the Warm Glow of the Herd's Fellowship, manipulative monkeys dancing for their lunch, and a mask, the core, and the id walk into a bar.



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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

2/11/20 - Unimpressed Sobriety & Sanity's Touchstone

Toddzilla's latest Message of Hope formally introduces the loyal listener to Mr. Lippmann: a Man of the People! Touched on are Lippmann's "The Phantom Public", his iconoclastic thoughts on technologically pre-historic data overload, emotional detachment, objective reality, the presumed wisdom of We the People™, and democracy's fate. Have a drink first. Also, institutions and trust are dead, a defense of the "elites", and generalists vs. specialists.



* Subscribe on any podcatcher that doesn't suck.
* Also check out www.escapingthecave.com and www.christophermedia.net

Thursday, February 6, 2020

2/6/20: The Wokeflake Follies

The Iowa Boner, The Rips Heard 'Round the World, and impeachment fails. All by Wednesday. This is the alternative?



ALSO:
  • Scripture, agitation, and The Herd Mind
  • Democracy implodes without the public's consensual trust
  • The means, ends, and Salem Witches
  • Romney, Amash, Manchin, and the Principled Pit of Hell
  • Howard Dean says Democrats will challenge November's election  
* Subscribe on any podcatcher that doesn't suck.
* Also check out www.escapingthecave.com and www.christophermedia.net

Saturday, February 1, 2020

2/1/20 - Criminal Conformity & The Beautiful Mutant

"Imitation is suicide." How independent thought gets smothered in infancy, the need to belong: why standing apart from the impaired herd is not only hard, it runs against our social and evolutionary grain. Also, collective and self-delusions protecting us from unpleasant discoveries that might destroy our notions of being special, divine, or even "good."

Listen to "Your Undivided Attention" here: https://humanetech.com/podcast/



ALSO:
  • Tending to personal and commercial attachments
  • How political and marketing swine manipulate attachments via identity
  • Meditation and Buddhist philosophy as tools to disconnect
  • Blank Slatists: Beware
  • Emerson's Self-Reliance: read it. 
* Subscribe on any podcatcher that doesn't suck.
* Also check out www.escapingthecave.com and www.christophermedia.net

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

1/28/20 - The Boldness of the Herd, Political Atheism, Our Glowing Christ

The next great war: intellectual autonomy. The bold certainty of the herd, the challenges of independent thought and why seeing someone who is genuinely their own Man is so rare, the media has supplanted the church, disengaging from the ideological Holy War in favor of political atheism, and Toddzilla's Paradox: the conflict between intellectual independence and the desperate human need to belong. Still available for children's parties! Now doing bat mitzvahs!



ALSO:
  • A quick impeachment fart
  • You want an authoritarian
  • Political Vampires
  • Algorithms, Lippmann, Bernays, and You
  • Silver Spoons: A Hate Crime
  • The filthy Centrus Americanus
  • Friendship: Loyalty & Support vs. Honesty
  • Nothing can be done about climate change
  • Data Overload revisited 
* Subscribe on any podcatcher that doesn't suck.
* Also check out www.escapingthecave.com and www.christophermedia.net

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

1/15/20 - Snakes, Survival, & Sabotage: The Need to Feel Alive

Todd discusses collective human boredom in relation to the need for a sense of purpose, struggle, and the addictive rush of just feeling alive. How a dormant survival instinct comes alive during a crisis and how, absent that, we'll manufacture one just to have something to endure, battle, and survive. Also, some some predictions for the 20's. Book those children's parties now!


Also:
  • An evening with Pablo Escobar's "chemist"
  • A naked man kills a fer-de-lance
  • Men, middle age, and the power plant
  • Healthy anxiety vs. fear
  • This election won't matter
  • The tyrant is in the eye of the beholder
  • The Titan Tragedy
  • Podcasters: they're spammy and slimy.
  • ^They call that foreshadowing
* Subscribe on any podcatcher that doesn't suck.
* Also check out www.escapingthecave.com and www.christophermedia.net
* Fuck Twitter

Sunday, January 12, 2020

1/12/20: The Great Hack & The Great War of The 21st Century


After rotting in my queue for a couple of months, and one too many recommendations, I finally watched The Great Hack on Netflix. This feature-length documentary is worthwhile as a means to understand how our stolen data is not only being sold, but used to exploit the hole in our psychological firewall to manipulate and "trigger" what they call "persuadables" into a desired response or action. Or, non-action. It's essential if you're more than slightly interested in the subject. But...