Tag: information

Gatekeeping: A Critical Review by Karine Barzilai-Nahon

by Karine Barzilai-Nahon Introduction Gatekeeping refers broadly to the process of controlling information as it moves through a gate or filter and is associated with exercising different types of power (e.g., selecting news, enforcing the status quo in parliamentary committees, mediating between professional and ethnic groups, brokering expert information). The literature on gatekeeping is fragmented in terms of epistemologies, theories and models, vocabularies, heuristics, and research challenges both within and between disciplines and fields. This happens because discourse on the topic of gatekeeping is conducted within each discipline, in relative isolation. In spite of an extensive literature, few comprehensive reviews…

Phantasmagoric Systems: On Konrad Becker’s Strategic Reality Dictionary

by Brian Holmes “Information is indeed ‘such stuff as dreams are made on.’ Yet it can be transmitted, recorded, analyzed and measured,” remarked Karl Deutsch in 1963, in his book The Nerves of Government. The Czech-American social scientist was the leading Cold War specialist in “models of political communication and control.” The latter half of the twentieth century saw a world-wide implementation of computerized social programming, aimed first at instilling order and paranoid regularity into the chaos that followed WWII, then increasingly, from the 1960s onward, at evoking febrile dreams from populations whose new mandate was not to labor, but…

The Politics of the Hoax

UFOs attend marginal events, or appear during episodes of upheaval, chaos and disjointedness, when inhibition is low in a population, when disorderliness rules the day, when rational resistance is belated. Then, an unveiling occurs, when a collective’s experience is most interstitial. It adopts the UFO or is made to adopt the UFO as the flag which represents an occurrence for which words are inadequate — an event that undermines everyday expectations, when beliefs are uprooted. The image of the UFO may not originate in the group, the witness, but may be a projection from without, a concealment strategy by that…

Konrad Becker Files – Intelligent Pandemonium

Decentralized Automated Information Systems with EEI (External Environment Interfaces) allow tactical initiatives, yet provide central symbol analysts with intelligence for strategic purposes using people, databases and processors as easily retrievable resources in a network. Autonomous software application systems are called “Agents” or “Demons”. The term demon is appropriate as digital demons are not directly controlled by a master program but rather invoked into actions by changes in their environment. Demons can form computational societies with autopoietic lifelike behaviors similar to insect colonies or other social systems. Just as in the traditional form, the digital demons are at once independent and…

Gossip

It is important to note that facts, in and of themselves, lead brief lives. Once described, a fact becomes hearsay. What is more, it becomes managed. This is the conspiracy of information in which we all participate.

The conflation of misinformation with disinformation has resulted in erroneous thinking…

Some disinformation campaigns are better than others. The best campaigns aim to exasperate and exhaust their audience: attrition is the key to maintaining secrecy. When one misdirects unintentionally, one remains a noble agent of truth. The conflation of misinformation with disinformation has resulted in erroneous thinking, assigning like values to two unlike terms. Misinformation seeks to misinform its intended audience — it’s content is inherently untrue. Disinformation, on the other hand, always possesses a kernel of truth, but is packaged in such a way that it may easily be discounted in the event that it comes under meaningful scrutiny. Disinformation…

Konrad Becker Files – Perception Management

There is no conceivable way of coping with the stimuli that impinge upon the senses, and with the volume and complexity of the data to analyze, without simplifying preconceptions about what to expect, what is relevant, and what is related to what. Because of limits in capacity to cope directly with the complexity of the world, the mind constructs simplified mental models of reality. It is possible to behave rationally within the confines of such a mental model of a “bounded” or limited rationality but it is not always well adapted to the requirements of the real world. Perception is…

Sleight

Bad ideas find purchase in the minds of the infirm. They are particularly appealing to the unwell — those with allergies, poor teeth, badgered immunity; those in whom the psychosoma is divided against itself, who seem always to be rejected, dogged and agitated by the natural environments in which they find themselves. If a host of these compromised specimens is made by unsavory ideas which, when in practice, accelerate the host’s decline, the disassembling ideas are proven able and should be considered battle-worthy. In this population, infected as it were, a predisposition to self-destruction will become evident. This population, though…