From Orwell to Gladwell and Back
The technology of power is moving from the past’s emphasis on privacy and concealment toward more contemporary techniques of diversion, bias, misconception, and willful stupidity. The crude methods that George Orwell summed up in his image of the incinerator-chute “memory hole” are growing into more sophisticated devices for providing the public with misleading frameworks for mentally organizing (or rationalizations for simply ignoring) the overload of available facts, thus making it harder to remember or understand politically inconvenient knowledge.
We see some of the old-fashioned memory-hole techniques at work currently with Wikipedia. Read full article.
Stephen E. Arnold
Above headline by Phi Beta Iota editors. Below is original headline.
Harvard: Does the University Sell What the Customer Wants?
Consider fat and sugar. The answer is my reaction to “Sugar Industry Secretly Paid for Favorable Harvard Research.” For the moment, let’s assume that this article is spot on.
The write up informed me:
As nutrition debates raged in the 1960s, prominent Harvard nutritionists published two reviews in a top medical journal downplaying the role of sugar in coronary heart disease. Newly unearthed documents reveal what they didn’t say: A sugar industry trade group initiated and paid for the studies, examined drafts, and laid out a clear objective to protect sugar’s reputation in the public eye.
Read full post.
Further to the Phi Beta Iota comments on the mistaken limitation of OSINT to passive monitoring of web sites and such….
Prevalent approaches to countering ‘radicalisation’ ineffective, conceptually flawed
“A lack of research based on primary sources has been one of the major impediments to progress in the field of (counter-) terrorism studies… As numerous leading experts have warned, the consequences of an overreliance on secondary sources of information, such as newspapers, has led to a great amount of theorising based on a perilously small empirical foundation.”
More extracts, 2 cartoons, comment by Robert Steele below.
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