Those (most people) who rely on mainstream media and official “authorised” sources of information operate at a distinct disadvantage. Media and academia operate within a controlled environment in which information challenging official narratives is dismissed, ignored or suppressed. Consequently, we cannot rely on conventional news and information sources, if we want to understand the political economy.
Wikipedia is an invaluable resource for factual research when the subject matter isn’t contentious. Where there is heated debate between polarised camps, dirty tricks abound. Lawrence Solomon at the National Post wrote, in 2010, about how Wikipedia’s “green doctor” rewrote 5,428 climate articles. William Connolly was banned from editing climate articles on Wikipedia for six months as a result. The original National Post article has now been deleted but may be available in the WayBackMachine, meanwhile the gist and extracts are held on many websites.
Ecology of News, Information and Analysis
When exploring sources of information, analysis and ideas, we need to be aware of whether the source exhibits bias by framing information in line with their ideology or agenda. We must continuously consider cui bono? – who benefits? In time, we learn which sources are most impartial on which subjects and what are their “blindspots” – the information which threatens their position or they shy away from. Names of honest writers and relatively untainted media platforms become familiar, allowing us to take more of what they report on trust while continuing to verify new information with other independent, trusted sources.
Circles of trust develop among individuals and groups because they are based on human relationships, rather than mass manipulation – hence the sparing use of major social media platforms. Viable alternative platforms are emerging, such as BitChute and DTube, using blockchain technology to create digital circles of trust.
Together we co-create a global ecology of news, information, analysis and ideas for anyone to learn from and contribute to. The essential foundations of CoCreative Learning are the circles of trust built on human relationships within your group and many others.
Psychology has evolved from the work of Siegmund Freud on individuals into a plethora of institutions and techniques for mass manipulation. Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, wrote the book Propaganda in 1928, since when the technology and techniques for manipulating public opinion have evolved with incredible sophistication and are delivered through all institutions: media, academia, economics, politics and beyond.
Consequently, we need to go to other sources to build a narrative which accords with evidence rather than that promoted in the mainstream of society.