Life at № 42 by E.M. Coutinho
“… more often, we are being deliberately tricked, by people who have something to gain by manipulating us with misleading appearances. Indeed, much of America’s economy is based on providing consumers with deceptive simulations, from knockoffs and fake IDs to padded shoulders and tinted contact lenses. As a result, we find ourselves in a new kind of surroundings, in which we can no longer always rely on the evidence of our senses to tell us what is real.”
“…These fields provide a good model of contemporary society, which has become a Hobbesian world of simulators and dupes, con artists and the conned, in which people routinely manipulate appearances to get what they want. When we look behind these invented appearances, what we often find are advanced forms of art and technology that make it possible for people to present an image of themselves, and of products, situations and ideas, that tells a story.
Indeed, society is now governed by various groups that use deceptive simulations to gain and hold on to money and power. The most important of these groups can be found in business, entertainment, politics and news. And their most important tool of deception is our society’s primary simulation machine — television — which allows them to create complex simulations that can trick people, en masse. Americans, glued to their television sets, are exposed to (although not always fooled by) hundreds of these deceptive simulations in an average day, which are fabricated in an effort to falsify their view of the world and control their behavior.”
Full text: Simulation Confusion (it’s a short essay which I highly recommend. Look out for the part about news.)
In the past few days I’ve been watching documentaries on WWII and Hitler. We’ve got some interesting material because Mike did quite a bit of research on Hitler’s mannerisms, movements and speech style for the 1990 A Plot to Kill Hitler. He played a Hitler on the edge of sanity.
People are making so many comparisons of the political climate (and techniques) then and now I thought it would be interesting to revisit history.
The one unquestionable similarity we find throughout is the appeal to confusion- which is why I linked to the text above. This is fantastically disturbing because it’s an attack on the foundation of civilization. Without common agreement on, say, the meaning of words- we’re lost. Hitler knew this and even said: “As soon as one point is removed from the sphere of dogmatic certainty, the discussion may not simply result in a new and better formulation, but may easily lead to endless debates and general confusion.”
People are attempting to present the matter as “genuine valid disagreements/differences of opinion”- but of course, intentional deception is anything but. Take the example of Mrs. Clinton’s alleged illness, or the supposed involvement of Ted Cruz’s father in the Kennedy assassination, those aren’t matters of opinion. When there’s no evidence to support a position but you do anyway (and worse, for personal gain), that’s not an opinion, it’s in essence fraud.