DIGGING IN THE CRATES: Reflections on Chapter 15 of, The Information: A Theory, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick

INTRODUCTION

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood is a book written in 2011 by science history author James Gleick which examines the history of information systems with a focus upon the dawn of the information age.

“One hungers for books; rereads a cherished few; begs or borrows more; waits at the library door, and perhaps, in the blink of an eye, finds oneself in a state of surfeit: too much to read” (415).

Ignorance is bliss especially if enough of those around you share the same sentiment.

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HISTORY IN 4D – THE OBJECT OF THEIR SUBJECTIVITY

“From every angle the competition gets boxed in as Doctor C indoctrinates his doctrine…” – Germaine Williams 

People are the center of any group, activity or movement in human history. Analysis that portends human behaviors don’t manifest in ideation, policy and action will always tend to hagiography.

Being objective is a dubious goal for an analyst as objectivity is a myth. The true goal should driving towards a keener understanding of how “people” express their desires for objects, subjectively, and how that shapes our world. Trying to be objective can often lead to one not being aware of when they are the subject of the topic they are studying. Objectivity is a construct, but the question is, who’s is it? What’s objective in a ‘real’ sense since it doesn’t exist? Being objective in many ways is  staying inside someone else’s predetermined lines of what’s reasonable based on a myriad of factors, sociological, cultural and even commercial.

Objectivity as a goal is similar to the economic idea that all “market participants” are “rational actors,” and therefore act within “made up” theoretical lines of analysis. Daily life deems this to not be a fact. Those who would chide you for not being “objective” tend to speak from some self determined moral, ethical, or “journalistic” high ground which they and their team decided was the foundation for objectivity.

  • Question is, what was/is the object they are hoping to define or capture with their parameter of what is considered “objective” analysis?

 

  • Question is, were you the subject of their decision?

All those terms (below) imply a ‘lack of feeling’ or personal input. I began this thread opining on “people” as the basis for any group, idea or movement. Removing the human component from analysis will either produce hero-worship or a complete miss of the target.

Science is not objective, its direction is guided. Journalism is not objective, its focus is decided. Politics are never objective, they’re based often in emotions. Laws are not objective, they are created by…people.

In the end cultivating real connections to real people offers more insight into how life works than any academic tome. This is why so much “elite” analysis fails to capture reality. They make reports on reports sitting in cubicles.

Get out in the field, whatever your field is.

Master your subject analysis to avoid becoming the object.

 

 

 

 

HISTORY IN 4D – PANOPTIC PERSUASION

 

ABSTRACT

The influential power of narrative story telling throughout human history was a topic I touched upon in the first essay of this series. In the following installments I examined how the Nazi’s methods of mass media communications directly influenced much of what we consider ‘normal’ media relations today. That was followed by an examination of the figures in American Intelligence who spearheaded bringing that style to the American controlled theaters during WWII and throughout the Cold War.

This essay will examine an example of the means by which the e-State went about gathering the data they would use to craft images and narratives that burrowed right to the heart of human cognition. Employing a mixture of advertising, marketing, and psychological warfare techniques the powers that be have raised a Tower of Babel using fiber optics from which it broadcasts its soliloquies 24 hours a day in every direction imaginable.

“The e-State is the transnational collective consisting of powerful financiers, media companies, “mainstream” elite academia, globe spanning political networks and the military industrial complex.”

Key Words: Mass Observation, Sociology, Psychology, Edward Bernays, Ministry of Information, U.K history, US history, Public relations, Public Polling, Gallup, Cold War, WWI, WWII, Mass Media Communications, Propaganda, Narrative history, Media analysis, Social analytics

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