Saturday, May 19, 2007

Establishing Credibility

The critical and essential task of any blog, is to establish and maintain credibility, and whether one chooses to be anonymous or not is a trivial matter -- so don’t let people distract your attention from the real issue here. Blogs are not simply the “disco scene” of the last century in which people go there to tell other people “what they should think of them,” with no expectation that they ever have to account for anything they say. Such venues are not only useless but undermine human interactions and communications.

Since this thread is about “critical thinking,” we need to explore it not as just a demand on teachers, but investigate the very nature of what we are talking about -- which is being critical in our distinctions, and not just generalize about all blogs being hotbeds for con-artists, abusers and manipulators. They don’t have to be.

One of the things that is helpful to curb the abuse, is to allow people to say whatever they want to say -- but they have to post it as their real identities, which is not a problem for most legitimate users. Authentic people are proud of who they are and everything they do. That is why they are who they are. Those thinking, “I’ll do what I can because nobody knows who I am,” are doomed to remain that way -- yet they still have this unfulfilled longing to be “somebody,” but don’t know how to go about it properly. It’s not by taking on the pseudonym, “World’s Greatest Guy” -- which is telling people what they want them to think, rather than exhibiting it through their words, thoughts and actions.

That’s how some blog venues have evolved and pioneered way beyond the old mainstream media‘s ability to detect fraudulent information from the authentic -- because their participants had to develop superior detection and comprehension capabilities.

The first major popular use of the Internet forums, was the stock chat boards of the late ‘90s -- that drove the development of the Worldwide Web just as they were profiting from it through these discussions -- known to most people as the “ boom.” That got a lot of the sharpest minds to migrate to the web -- as their primary activity because in doing so, they could make unprecedented money -- just in being well-informed.

But then as 2000 unveiled, the market fell and many of these formerly wildly successful people lost their fortunes -- but still remained on the web because it was their life now. Then they started to notice that something else had started to gain momentum in the widespread use of the Internet -- for political purposes, which many now turned their attention reluctantly to, and noticed the similar abuses of the new trust. These are two of the most demanding environments to evolve forums in because there’s money and power to be achieved -- and not just news and information as a leisure, entertainment activity.

So these people have to get very good at what they do -- in detecting the credible and useful information, beyond the old mass marketing “propaganda” mode. And that is, that if something becomes repeated often enough, it becomes the truth -- and of course, the ideal target would be those in the old mass media who loobyists and propagandists have “locked in” on as the most precdictable people to convince and manipulate.


At May 19, 2007 9:26 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

It’s not harassing people to establish their credibility; maybe it’s become an “accepted practice” in mainstream media, but the most critical discussion in the blogosphere is how do we establish the credibility of forums rather than letting people say whatever they want without any responsibility, accountability or credibility. The development of the blogosphere is not a random phenomenon but a process of “natural selection” -- that can evolve to higher levels of credibility and usefulness, or sink into cesspools of indifference, disinterest and extinction. There’s a reason things happen.

One should be aware that if the selection process encourages irresponsible behaviors over extremely useful ones -- then the blog will become the advantage of the con-artists, the charlatans and the propagandists -- and then the most intelligent and perceptive stop participating. The blogosphere is the huge universe of everything -- ranging from the best to the worst; many decide that the objective is to be the best, some the worst, and others, the average.

It’s one thing to prefer anonymity -- but something else, to use it to deceive and manipulate, such as when a person creates many different aliases to convince others there is an army of people supporting their viewpoint.

It is fair to single out the one or two who violate this “good faith” -- or you do grave disservice and injustice to those who are honest. That’s how government and society devolves -- we protect the guilty, dishonorable, predatory, unscrupulous -- rather than the innocent, thinking we are virtuous people in allowing them to be victimized.

A lot of people think that way: that they will allow thousands of people to be slaughtered, if they are allowed to chant “Peace” in their own corner of the world, and that’s what makes it happen. Meanwhile, people are brutalized, and liberals rationalize, “They are just exercising their First Amendment rights” -- that is more sacred than life itself.

I really don’t care to know who this person is. I just want them to know that I notice the difference in what this person is doing -- to tell us what to think about them, and everything else. “Nice guys” don’t go around trying to convince people they are nice guys. Con-artists do.

The words of the authentic ring true. I don’t have to “tell you” that my whole life has been spent in selfless service to the benefit of the rest of mankind -- and so now, it is only “fitting and fair,” that I deserve more than everybody else for my “sacrifice.” So where is the sacrifice if they’ve been meticulously keeping book all their lives on what is properly “owed” them?

This is how the blogs supplant and improve on old media -- which is not just becoming less popular but is limited in this ability to verify what is true -- not by one trained professional, but from a review of peers from every perspective of life. The demagogues/propagandists have become so skilled at manipulating traditional journalists -- that that is their preferred prey.

They ”locked in” on precisely how to manipulate well-intentioned liberal journalists -- so they can conduct whatever malice and mischief they know you will rise to their defense to ensure and legitimize.

At May 22, 2007 8:24 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Some people don’t learn anything from their public school indoctrination other than that they should “hate Republicans” and “Teachers deserve more money” -- or maybe that’s what they’re paid to do as lobbyists and propagandists for the demagogues of the world.

After a while, one notes that the words and manner are always the same, no matter how many aliases they try to deceive us with -- “TheSweetLittleOlLady”, “TheFair-mindedOne,” etc.

In the past, they’d write their hate-rants for the benefit of the letters editors who would polish them to perfection -- while suppressing the voices of reason, understanding and clarity in the community. As long as the real people in the community are not shut out to the exclusive advantage of the hate-and fear-mongers among us, I think the future is very promising and hopeful for all the people of Hawaii, and not just the Republicans.

That is what blogs now make possible. A voice for those who had no voice before. So of course, some will try to undermine it as much as it is in their power to do so -- hoping to drag down new media, just like they took down old media.

At May 22, 2007 11:25 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

I guess what is remarkable is not that people are biased, but in Hawaii, are so proud of that fact -- and think there is no harm from that -- as long as they are only biased against the politically correct people, which is the story of bigotry the world over.

The hardest thing to see is one's own bigotry -- because, everybody else does it, so why shouldn't they?

The problem with any bias, prejudice and bigotry, is that it affects all one's judgments because it's not like they can turn it off and on at will. It's instinctive and reflexive because of their conditioning -- and so one has to be aware of that conditioning (bias), and then it is corrected. Not being aware of it, or not acknowledging it, of course continues the poison in everything one does.

If one thinks there is no relationship of one thing to another, than everything becomes arbitrary, and overweight people can't understand why they are predisposed to diabetes and other health ailments, or can they see the relationship of the adverse effect of alcohol consumption to one's motor abilities.

Instead, they believe that "shit just happens" -- over and over again, and there is nothing they can do about it.

At May 24, 2007 1:40 PM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Unfortunately, a lot of people use "politics" as a cover for deception and manipulation -- as though anything is allowed in the advancement of one's own partisanship. A lot of the biblical vices have been made into modern day virtues -- such as envy, lust, greed, gluttony, rage, arrogance, and indifference -- but the awareness of this, begins to restore the integrity and trust in society.

It is not a matter of finding out what one has to do to correct this -- but simply being aware of this with clarity, simplicity and earnestness, that makes right action possible.

The wrong understanding and perception, obviously cannot result in right action beforehand. It will only result in actions that seem to be politically correct, done to deceive one into thinking what is done is genuine, to make a big show of honesty and sincerity.

Of course, people who are honest and sincere, do not spend any time protesting and promoting that impression to others. In the world of the Internet, that would be creating many aliases to convince the unwary to compliment themselves on their "authenticity" and "credibility" -- in the tell-tale manner of those who have no idea what that is about.

It makes for curious theater, probably fools few anymore, but is really an insult to the intelligence from those who have no real understanding of the concept of authentic human communications and relationship. Such people think that the only purpose of communications, is to deceive and manipulate -- even if it is not necessary to, and they lack the sensibility to gauge those circumstances also.

So they just say anything they can get away with -- really despairing that anybody ever takes them seriously, but for those who are so generous with their time and attention, they have to inevitably and invariably betray that trust.

It's a sad situation.


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