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

Monday, January 18, 2021

1/18/21 - American Zapatistas, Saboteur in Chief, The Lone Boogaloo

 With troops flooding DC, Trump's term ends in two days time. Why doesn't it feel certain that it will? Was a nation of "patriots" suddenly afflicted with insurrectile dysfunction on Sunday? Is Donald Trump a foreign agent? Who cares? He performed like one. What lies at the confluence of technology & idiocracy? Also, letting escaped cultists find their way home, When Stories Attack:  factional storytelling is propaganda, and Toddzilla stalks Telegram! How did this thing make it to 100? 

https://toddzillax.substack.com

Friday, January 15, 2021

1/15/21 - Trump's Rebellion & The Need to Believe

Waiting for 2021's Inauguration Day storm to arrive, I intended this to be a quick repost of a segment from 2019's "Iceberg Ahoy!" episode but it took on a life of its own. It covers everything from QAnon and the Religious Mind's need to believe to the responsibility coming with our contemporary tech capability to our eventual (and deserved) loss of free-range free speech. But the core of the episode is this: it's the people. It's always been the people.

For Future Reference: https://toddzillax.substack.com

Monday, January 11, 2021

1/11/21 - Trump's Rebellion & The New Gatekeepers

Trump's insurrection and the religious mind: why are so many Americans committed to faith before facts? Were they rioters? Protesters? Activists? Terrorists? That's decided by propaganda's very peculiar perspective effect. Is this the end of Trumpism or the beginning of something even worse? When it comes to free speech, where's the line between "liberty and license? If people ignore free speech's responsibilities, should social media accounts be licensed? Should Silicon Valley be in the gatekeeping business? Also, what's the relationship between likability and demonization? 

 

For Future Reference: https://toddzillax.substack.com

Monday, January 4, 2021

1/4/21 - All You Need Is Doubt

Fresh off his first motivational speaking tour, Todd returns to discuss uplifting topics such as why it's not necessary to conquer a democracy when a just little doubt'll do ya. Also, it's been relatively quiet on the streets lately. Is The Trump Militia all hat and no cattle or is something else at play? How can a nation avoid inevitable conflict when each half of the country functions according to different rules of factual physics? Is there a relationship between likability, deplorability, & disinformation? What's with the December Dead Zone? And, your host's persistent sense of existential hopelessness an argument for ending all digital political "discourse." Book those children's parties now!


For Future Reference: https://toddzillax.substack.com

Sunday, November 22, 2020

11/22/20 - The Medium, The Message, & The Horizontal Bop

Todd & Brian begin with some obligatory "analysis" of Trumptown's post-election conspiracy orgy including more conversation about why both Trump and down ticket Democrats had their electoral posteriors handed to them: has the Moderate Majority finally reclaimed its place at the wheel? Or, will it again be shouted down by loudmouth extremists? Also, what's Trump's post-term role with his increasingly unstable base and how will that affect the new Resistance™ party? Is something even more dangerous than Trump coming? Around 34:00, the conversation pivots wider to "institutional terra incognito", the point at which history stops rhyming, comfortably habitual thinking, and Marshall McLuhan's classic phrase: "The medium is the message." Is the important issue our new technology or how we use it? The answer isn't simplistic; the simple act of writing provides an instructional example why! 

 

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McLuhan, Postman, and Carr: get to know them!

Sunday, November 15, 2020

11/15/20 - Demagogues & Prairie Dogs

The afterglow is now the aftermath. Essentially two episodes in one, Brian and Todd begin by reflecting on how the vibe has changed since Biden's victory speech then touch on fundamental social psychology. What happens when cognitive cliches begin breaking down and we're forced to explore unfamiliar ground? Is too many choices as bad in the political and informational marketplaces as it is on Netflix? What's the relationship between age and wisdom? Around 53:00, the conversation pivots. Why do Democrats seem to always lose even when they win? Bill Maher offered a very familiar answer! Is the Moderate Majority in danger of being surrounded and marginalized by the loudmouth extremist minority? What happens if they're forced to choose between competing demagogues in 4-year's time? Will an increasingly fragmented boutique news help social media make that possible? Book your Toddzilla Children's Party before it's too late!

 

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Monday, November 9, 2020

11/9/20: The Election Afterglow, The Moderate Majority, The Social Media Disease

The Moderate Majority spoke! Todd, Brian, and millions around the globe are relieved and indulging in the afterglow of relieved liberation and overdue hope. Enjoy it while it lasts! We discuss how the podcast's overarching topic, the Social Media Disease, is going mainstream, how both extremes were repudiated in the same election, the art of changing one's own mind, and erecting bridges: everyone's individual responsibility if we're collectively serious about The Great Coming Together. And, hey! What if we all just STFU about politics for awhile? Also, this "stop the steal" silliness and how does someone as personally vile as Donald Trump still get over 70-million votes? Oh yeah! We begin with a late eulogy for Eddie VanHalen. 

 

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Monday, November 2, 2020

11/2/20: 2020 Election: The Nero Referendum & Defending The Electoral College

Todd & Brian reflect both on where we've come from and where we're going as this electoral reality show finally ends. We explore the side effects of direct democracy's mob rule and why the Electoral College is absolutely essential. Also, how do we "rehumanize" ourselves and each other? What's the best case scenario to avoid post-election chaos and violence? Is it inevitable? How will our various factions perceive President Harris if Biden wins only to resign? What are the wider effects of our burgeoning "no compromise!" culture? Pre-election anxiety and fatigue: is it universal outside the fanatic's camp? What's the relationship between one-issue voters and Haidt's Elephant? Our media celebrities and influencers: are they simply clever fiction writers and talented performance artists? Winter: is it finally here? We'll know in a week.

 "Safeguard" documentary: https://www.amazon.com/Safeguard-Electoral-College-Trent-England/dp/B08H6KH9QV

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Monday, October 12, 2020

10/12/20 - The Whitmer Plot, Michigan's Militias, Socialism's Facade

Brian rejoins Todd just in time to discuss the plot to kidnap our governor, Michigan's militias, the psychology of extremism, and the ongoing destruction of social and governmental norms. What are these groups fighting against and do they have a legitimate point buried beneath their theatrics? Is socialism a cult destined to lead to disillusionment and a totalitarian state whose main purpose is maintaining the utopian illusion? We also discuss data overload, Manchurian Propagandists, as well as free speech and the responsibility that comes with it; when does free speech become destructive? Can we tell the difference between propaganda and information? Has propaganda become so ubiquitous that it's actually replaced objective fact without us realizing it?



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MUSIC: The Limbos & Paul Vernon

Thursday, October 1, 2020

10/1/20 - On Morality & Fanaticism; Conformist Suicide

"When we start deceiving ourselves into thinking not that we want something or need something... but that it is a moral imperative that we have it... we join the fashionable madmen, and then...the thin whine of hysteria is heard in the land, and then is when we are in bad trouble. And I suspect we are already there." -Joan Didion (1965
) 

 As a follow-up to the last episode, this trimmed and updated re-post connects Didion's fanatic test to the moral certitude manufactured by propaganda and its architects using social media as a delivery super weapon. Also, public vs. private opinion, the Cradle of Reason, how propagandees can respond to competing propagandists, and keeping the you in you. 


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Music: Yellow Candy & Paul Vernon

Monday, September 28, 2020

9/28/20 - An Invasive Species Gazes Into The Abyss

Todd & Brian discuss whether the "divine" human species is in fact both bipolar and invasive, the difficulties that come from gazing into the Abyss, and moral imperatives vs. self-righteousness: how narcissistic morality becomes naked authoritarianism. Also, where solutions to the informational anarchy crisis must begin, when the ends smother the means, how a species can summon both altruism and barbarity, and let's kill Rousseau's Noble Savage once and for all. Yes. More easy listening to help you escape the world's troubles!

 

Music: Paul Vernon and Yellow Candy

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Monday, September 21, 2020

9/21/20 - Steinbeck, Murrow, and The Social Media Disease

Continuing the Social Dilemma theme, Todd and Brian delve further into the social, psychological, and personal effects of more than a decade of social media, including meeting members of their direct families for the first time directly via Facebook. Also, Todd's argument against monetization, digital reunions and the bizarre new expectation that, somehow, everyone from every epoch of our lives now deserves a seat at our virtual table. We also discuss the failed utopian vision of "informational democracy" and the essential nature of gatekeeper, learning how to both use these platforms as tools and sabotage the Zuckorithm, as well as possible macro and micro solutions. Is this a triage situation? The show closes with a surprise appearance by Edward R. Murrow and why informational anarchy and intellectual autonomy, not climate change, is the crisis of our time. 

 

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Murrow's Text: https://www.rtdna.org/content/edward_r_murrow_s_1958_wires_lights_in_a_box_speech 

Music by Paul Vernon

 

Monday, September 14, 2020

9/14/20 - The Social Dilemma: War of the Virtual Worlds

Todd and Brian discuss The Social Dilemma, the new Netflix documentary probing the exploitative, corrosive, and polarizing effects of social media, both psychologically and socially. Also, the addictive nature of the medium, how it manipulates evolutionary psychology, the potentially dangerous side effects of performance withdrawal and how, once you escape, you become an organic organism in a digital ecosystem. We also tinker with solutions and discuss the horrific dystopia awaiting us if we fail to find them. Hint 1: It's the people. Hint 2: The tube: it's social media and Google!

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Friday, September 11, 2020

9/11/20 - The Illusion of Knowledge & Democratized Opinion 2.0

Are we creating the democratic utopia many naively envisioned at the Internet's birth? Or, are we descending into hell on Earth unleashed by informational anarchy and the freed, and anonymous, human beast? A prelude to my deep dive into Ellul's Propaganda, this episode begins with a description of the DIKW pyramid then moves on to how Plato's Illusion of Knowledge fable applies to the digital Matrix dominated by Social Media, Google, and ostentatious sophists posing as "influencers."

Also: a discussion ofDr. Elias Aboujaoude's stellar book Virtually You and a one-sided examination of the God-Devil duality lurking inside each of us. Like it? Share it!

 


The Social Dilemma: watch It! https://www.netflix.com/title/81254224

Dr. Eli: http://www.eliasaboujaoude.com

His book: https://www.amazon.com/Virtually-You-Dangerous-Powers-Personality/dp/0393340546


Thursday, September 10, 2020

9/10/20 - Cyberspace Monkeys & The Boiling Caldera

Former radio personality, psychologist, and current PR guy, The Professor joins the show as perhaps the perfect co-host discussing propaganda and hyper-connective technology's unknown effect on an oblivious public. Todd then chats about mail-in voting and the looming post-election storm, a minor kancel kultur attack and the ensuing process of deciding whether to continue a "Singing For Helen Keller" podcast, and what it's like being ahead of the curve then watching people slowly catch on. 

Thanks for your patience, subscribers and new listeners. Like it? Share it! Then prepare yourselves. ;)

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?"" For whatever reason, I typically don't with 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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