Focus on Distraction

In many so-called “advanced” economies, there exists today a “common-sense” notion of media… that is based on distraction. The basic idea, based on the work of Edward Bernays, is that we should not cater to a person’s ability to think rationally, but rather we should manipulate messages in order to address their brute forces and appeal to their basest desires, and this will therefore lead to “better” results.

I put “better” in quotes because such manipulative mechanisms are largely responsible for overflowing landfills, runaway global warming, and a long list of misery — from senseless wars to catastrophic economic crashes.

P.T. Barnum may have been right once — but today we need to update the quote often attributed to him: No longer is it true that “there’s a sucker born every minute”; Today, “there’s a sucker produced every minute”.

In many — probably most — “advanced” economies, the leading business model is to dupe consumers into buying something that is virtually worthless, but for which they will pay dearly because they are misinformed by governments, business leaders or some sort of celebrity, who are more than willing to sell their souls for a quick buck.

The top headline on the front page of the New York Times is indeed very much linked to the full two-page centerfold spread — both need each other to exist, and both are equally the result of efforts to manipulate your psyche.

This 21st Century schizoid bifurcation of media is deeply disrespectful of humanity and every human’s desire to contribute in a positive way to the world we present to our children. It is a lowly temptation to get rich quick rather than to get well soon.

You should put an end to this manipulation now. Stop consuming media made for fools! Simply refuse to read, watch, listen, etc. — stop paying attention to any media paid for by advertising.

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