You are interested in this and just want to support it to see it grow.
You are interested in this and just want to support it to see it grow.
You have all kinds of ideas, thoughts, suggestions and resources, and you want a meaningful way to contribute to this project. You'll be able to join monthly video calls to discuss and share, which gives you priority access to new insights - which you may be able to help shape. You'll also receive acknowledgements in the book for your participation, and a free digital copy.
You think that the world has gone kinda mad and see this project as essential - so you want to help it happen even faster. You will become a Beta Reader and be acknowledged as a sponsor in the book. You'll get a free hardcopy of the book and discount codes for colleagues, friends and family.
It turns out that social engineering is an information security skill, used by hackers and testers to test the security systems in companies, see how easy or difficult they are to compromise.
Didn't know that until I started reading Social Engineering today. Apparently it's about hacking the world's greatest vulnerability: People.
It's mostly useful for the propaganda project; covers much of the same ground as Robert Greene's works on seduction, power and influence. Also covers much of the same ground as NLP and neurosemantics, and the art of memetics.
But it also includes more detail on preloading people, building pretexts, and so on.
Super useful, you might say.
It did cause me to consider what it might mean to create an experiment to test a framework, given the book Social Engineering is filled with what you might call "worked examples" of deception. It's much harder in my case.
Social engineering, as defined in this book so far, is at the tactical, physical level. The work I'm pulling together is a stage before that: Beliefs and perceptions.
Though, have to say, the breakdown of the histories of communication models was timely and useful. Essentially, it goes like this:
I have dramatically oversimplified the methodology, but this is really the backbone of what it is.
Now that you've reached the end, pitch in $5 a month. It will increase the rate of production on the project, and enable the development of one of the world's most important frameworks: Metasocial propaganda and programming.
I'm working on a fun side project pulling apart tweets and written news content to illustrate patterns of construction, influence, power, rhetoric and persuasion.
More details soon.
But I'd love it if you could throw me links or examples of anything you'd like added to the mix! You can reply here or email me [email protected]
You can see the expanding Brain at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnUHRHNB8U8.
All great research projects expand like massive balloons in the beginning. This one is getting kind of ginormous.
Helping it along is my new friend Anthony Judge, who is a prolific writer and researcher in the field of meta frameworks. He's been emailing me once or twice a week with new suggestions, new papers, and ideas. It's quite nice, actually; I described it to my research pal as "The Project Has A Supervisor"; Tony asked me just yesterday what I need to further my understanding of metaframeworks, and that enabled me to think about it.
What do I need, actually?
Right now, I'm in the wilds of meta models, criteria for meta models, and other mind-bending things. I learned today that if you are modelling a social something, then it's going to me massively complicated because social elements are about the most complex things that exist. And then - here's the kicker - if you have a highly complex model but the model is capable of capturing the behaviour, do you have a model or just a copy of the behaviour? And if you have just a copy of the behaviour, what does that actually mean? My assumption right now is that it means that you can't claim that you're working with a model any more, and that it's going to impact how you represent the work.
Go think about that for a week, brainy friends!
In any case, the loosey goosey plan is to establish the foundation. This is where I found myself staring down the barrel of the exact same territory I trod through as an Honours student. A huge part of this project is going to work through the philosophy of interpretation; hermeneutics is a huge part of that, so I'll be revisiting my friends Heidegger and Gadamer.
And yet, here's one amazing thing that I learned today:
There is no definition of meta-social; not on Wikipedia, anyway. I intend to inspire the creation of that page.
And here's another amazing thing that I learned today:
The principles of meta-programming (in computer science) are massively relevant for this project. It's difficult to explain right now, because I'm not familiar enough with the model. But think of it like this:
Meta-programming is creating a program that can modify other programs.
In terms of propaganda, this is a beautiful description of deploying what we'll call (for want of another term) a program. It will:
Rewrite code without specifying data type. Which means that in People Terms, take any piece of code; for example, "discrimination"; and then let the program run. Without specifying a data type, it will apply itself to everything from race and gender to ridiculous things like "rights" of fairness.
Write a program. In People Terms, this means that (if created correctly) a set of tactics can write the conditions for the campaign to replicate itself but with another focus. In other words, it can establish the conditions, and create the behaviours required to replicate and vary itself. Kind of like a virus, eh? :)
Compilers "step outside the language completely" and transform a language by extending its own into that situation. So, in People Terms take a concept like 'ecosystem', which has a very specific meaning; if the program steps outside its own language (biology), it will extend meanings into another language (like, I dunno, marketing).
Right now there is so much going on in my head, and I haven't even really started reading. I'm still annotating, thinking, proposing ideas to myself.
My natural inclination is to jump into text analysis, but it's way too risky for a meta-level project. And here's why:
Postmodernism (and postmodernist theories) focus on the local. They don't like global narratives or meta narratives; and yet it's in the local focus that we've seen social splintering, and resultant discourses of violence (which are inherent in postmodernist theory). Right? So, the way this project must work is meta first; then, in order to illustrate the model in practice, to weave in an analysis (postmodernist, potentially) of singular pieces.
The question then becomes: What is statistical significance?
Oof, what a question. Nothing I am even close to understanding yet!!
Anyway - that's been my work so far this week! I'm doing my best not to do just this work full-time, and to also go to work and do what I have to do to grow my company, but man it's HARD.
There isn't a page defining meta-social on Wikipedia yet, but I am aiming to be the person who inspires its creation.
This morning I've spent a bit over three and a half hours going through very high-level summaries of meta- things on the Wikipedia platform. I've been doing this partly to get a sense of which ones must be included in the discussion of a meta-social propaganda framework, and also to start locating doorways into pathways of study. Along the way, I discovered that one branch leads off to the realms in which my last thesis dwelled: Interpretation, aka hermeneutics with Heidegger and Gadamer. It's unfortunate that my ex has the only copy of my thesis outside of my university's library (if, indeed, the library still has it after more about 15 years).
So what actually IS meta-social propaganda model? It is a model of social models about propaganda; but in saying social, I mean all aspects of society; perhaps, 'sociology' is better than 'social', as a referential term. So far it will encompass politics (obviously), but also cognition (and the meta-cognition theories), behaviour, power, media, relationships, meta-narratives, metaphysics, meta-communication, meta-marketing, meta-systems. It will consider reflexivity (as part of the meta-cognitive function of the model), how propaganda models have changed, and how human behaviours can be defined by the institution of meta-social propaganda as well as emerging from it.
The definition is extremely sketchy right now; Draft with a Capital D. I'm still right at the beginning of the journey, mapping the territory. I'm extremely grateful right now to the prolific writer (and academic) Anthony Judge (https://www.laetusinpraesens.org/), whose work on meta-models is extremely useful, and whose input is currently a consistent, warm, and welcoming guide. Thanks Tony! :)
The nuts and bolts of engaging in a project like this is not without its incredibly daunting cliffs and dangers, but I am par oneri: Equal to the task.
Even if what I really want to be doing right now is writing tracts about what I'm seeing in the world, instead of laying foundations. Whether we like it or not, foundations maketh the house; not the other way around.
Lynne McTaggart, investigative journalist and author of The Power of Eight, writes about how Big Tech is not only shaping your view of the world - but harvesting customers for its own pharmaceutical companies.
Lynne's article is at https://lynnemctaggart.com/when-big-brother-went-high-tech
She writes in this blog, which came out this week, about how this isn't just a problem with Google. She talks about how Amazon's own corporate interests shape what consumers in places like Wholefoods can buy. She points to her own books, consistently best-sellers at places like Wholefoods, which are no longer stocked. She believes that this is because of the book's inclusion of anti-vaccination viewpoints.
Whatever is your opinion on health and wellbeing (mainstream or otherwise) it is extremely concerning that this is taking place. It would be equally concerning if the weighting went back the other way.
Is it propaganda? Yes, it is. It's a modern tactic that threads back to the age-old tactic of selectivity. If people don't see it, it doesn't exist. They will form their views based on whatever information they have to hand.
The project I'm working on, in metasocial propaganda, will go deep into this territory. How you view the world, how your opinions are shaped, comes from the information to which you have access. Big Tech is making sure that you only see the world their way - and are removing access to alternatives at a rate of knots.
If you have any other examples or articles like this, please share with me! :)
Read Lynne's article at https://lynnemctaggart.com/when-big-brother-went-high-tech/
#propaganda #althealth #pharmaceuticals #transparency
In randomized, controlled, peer-reviewed research I’ve conducted with thousands of people, I’ve shown repeatedly that when people are undecided, I can shift their opinions on just about any topic just by changing how I filter and order the information I show them. I’ve also shown that when, in multiple searches, I show people more and more information that favors one candidate, I can shift opinions even farther. Even more disturbing, I can do these things in ways that are completely invisible to people and in ways that don’t leave paper trails for authorities to trace.
By "filtering and ordering" he means in search suggestion and in search results. His work on the Search Engine Manipulation Effect has yielded some astonishing results.
Epstein is one of the world's foremost researchers who study influence online. Focusing on Big Tech, Epstein's work is groundbreaking.
If you've never heard of it before now, then maybe there's a reason for that.
In this article, Epstein shows how it isn't the content that's the problem, it's the company that decides what you see.
When it comes to elections, might this meddling be considered treasonous?
In The Quietus's article, Welcome to Dystopia, Dorian Lynskey's 1984 Playlist, we're presented with a list of tracks and a very basic insight into why Lynskey has selected them.
Lynskey is the author of Ministry of Truth, which is a new title (which I haven't read yet, caveat warning), which apparently "looks at the culture and context of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four."
There are some good tracks in this list, go check it out.
Of interest to me, and to the Propaganda Project as a whole, is this idea of a subgenre of music identified as "George Orwave".
I'm a fan of Orwell, I won't lie. But to identify something as a wave tells us that it is transitive. A wave is something that fluctuates, moves back and forth, is in a moment of transition.
Of course, George Orwave has boundaries. According to The Quietus:
The ingenious hosts of the Yacht Rock podcast came up with “George Orwave” to describe the paranoid pop songs, such as Cheap Trick’s ‘Dream Police’ and Corey Hart’s ‘Sunglasses at Night’, that proliferated in the run-up to Orwell’s year.
Key words here: paranoid pop songs.
As a term on its own, paranoia means mental disorder. The word itself doesn't have a long history: It emerged in the mid-1800s.
If we divorce the idea of a genre of music based on Orwell's writing (which is kind of awesome, right?) and look only at the terminology, the language tells you that George Orwave:
Language is a special kind of magic. We often use it unthinkingly, because the deeper meanings of the words we use have been passed down to us. When we learn our language, we learn it symbolically; the deep meanings is not something you learn unless you look for it and go study the etymology.
However, its doesn't mean that those meanings don't exist, or that the symbols (the words) don't carry those meanings with them. Of course languages change over time, but the history persists.
A really good example of that is the fact that almost everybody you know hates work. Even Andrea Komlosy, the author of Work: The Last 1,000 Years acknowledges that much of this drills right back to the origins of the term work and from where it first emerged.
While the metasocial propaganda framework is in its infancy, a critical part of it is in language and how it is used: Etymology, semantics, neurosemantics, and usage, are all threads that this project will weave together.
In the meantime, articles like the one from the Quietus start to give you an insight into how social artefacts are being catagorised by contemporary writers in terms of the language used to explain it.
Beyond this, it's going to be a fun ride to read Lynskey's work, and learn more about how his framework has been developed, and how his analysis (and language) characterises social artefacts in Orwellian culture in order to shape a particular understanding.
Notice the red colouring over the profiles of each of these (politically Right-leaning) commentators in the photos attached to this post. Is that a new thing?
These were sent to me by my research partner, who, prior to sending them over, checked a bunch of commentators and politicians from both sides. As a dual validation, I did the same thing and went looking, in the US and in the UK (both of these people were born in the UK). It appears that Paul and Stefan have been targeted for some reason.
Are the red markings flags of "thought criminals" as they say? Are they indicators of people who may be deplatformed, or who are at risk of being deplatformed? Are they indicators of something else?
Maybe the red is a warning to stay away from these people, something you register in your subconscious mind and wish to stay away from.
Whatever it is, as far as I've been able to tell, these stripes are not:
Looking through Wikipedia's rules, guidelines and templates, I've similarly been unable to find any material that indicates when or where these ought to be used.
If you see any other pages at Wikipedia with coloured stripes in the profiles (red, blue, grey, or otherwise), please comment with links to let me know. And if you find the Wikipedia rules about use, please also let me know - maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot.
Such a good question. I began my subscriber-funded writing life with Patreon, and it's been awesome. But I've become increasingly disillusioned with the platform - and entranced by the transparency of SubscribeStar.
So here I am.
My current work is challenging politically, because it's going to blow apart the notions of propaganda that the world has been living amongst since the early 20th century.
Patreon is more likely to hide the work than to promote it.
So - here I am! You won't get anything here except the Propaganda Project work, so if you're keen to see where this goes, I'd love you to join me.