Saturday, December 28, 2019

A Counter-Intuitive Action

For nerdy types, that is.

Ask yourself - what am I feeling about this? - when you start seeing the "everyone agrees with us" meme starting to spread.

Sarah Hoyt brought this up on her blog today. She was concerned about the trolls that have taken up residence on her site, but it also applies to the persistent tactic Leftists use. Cass Sunstein wrote about it favorably - he called it a Nudge.

What is a Nudge? It's the cynical use of a long observed phenomenon - most people, when faced with choices, take the path of least resistance. Those wanting you to sign up for their email ads use it, by making the default choice a checked box. You have to take an action to opt out.

When given 3 choices, people generally choose the one that is intermediate - selecting the medium Coke, for example. Or, the middle-of-the-road politician, like Mitt Romney. Both major parties try to position their preferred candidate as the middle choice between extremes.

Are you finally understanding why Bernie has hung in so long? Without him, both Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg would be more easily seen to be Leftists. However, compared to Sanders, they look ALMOST normal.

By using media to initiate a Blitz of Bullshit, making a previously ridiculous idea seem to be the issue of the moment, the Left works to normalize their goals. Hence, the over-the-top painted Drag Queens in Libraries. They are MEANT to cause revulsion.

Later, when a bland Pete Buttigieg asks for your vote, you are so relieved at his seemingly normal appearance and surburan lifestyle, you accept his agenda as completely OK.

It's a concept called Moving the Overton Window. Put out a REALLY extreme idea (use the media to push it everywhere), and later, bring in a slightly-less extreme variation. By contrast, it seems to be reasonable.

All of this, sa Hoyt points out, uses the emotional part of the brain. I know, I know - most of us who gather here are not touchy-feely types. We tend to function in more-or-less rational mode on a day-to-day basis.

Unfortunately, the more logical Spockian types are particularly vulnerable to emotional appeals - IF you can bypass the rational filter by flooding it with distasteful images. That leads to revulsion, and triggers a more ancient response system to threats.

Once you actually get these unemotional types to react, they will work overtime to justify their response by explaining the rationality of that reaction. The more you point out that it is illogical, the harder they will push back.

Hence, the anti-Trump hammering down on issues/incidents that try to trigger that visceral response:

  • Pee-pee rumors.
  • "Trump admits sexual assaults" that involve no actual assault, admission, or offense, other than a very twisted interpretation of his words to a kid.
  • Headlines that insist Trump's actions will "kill children", "starve people", and put them in cages.
  • Insistence that Trump is racist, anti-gay, and abusive to women. No proof, but the meme hits all of the Left's favorite tropes.
Expect the Left to increase the pressure on your emotions.



Precisely how "Pallywood" works so well re Israel.

I wish I had the video link but...

There was a video that I used back in the days when I was teaching about the misuse of data - i.e., ANYONE making a presentation to you has an agenda, and that you can be lied to and not realize it. Specifically, this video had a picture filming out through his barred window to see a young boy bowled over by someone soldiers running past. They're not nice to him. Of course, it's presented as "Eeeeeeeevil Zionist soldiers abuse small boy".

I'd ask my students about their reactions and, universally, they were horrified at how that kid was abused. OK. I play it again... except this time I count from the start of the video where nothing happens... 1... 2... 3... 4... 5... 6... 7... 8... action begins. For eight seconds this man was filming an empty alley.

You could see the dawning. "It was a set up"! said one student (ironically that student was one of the inmates I was teaching in a local jail).

The Left has learned that they can use emotion to get around reason. But that leaves us an opening too - if we can get people emotionally roiled by their grasping they've been lied to, THEN hit them with facts.

mobius said...

Been that way forever.

Linda Fox said...

Exactly right. At least some part of the Deplorable ad budget has to be geared to tapping into those emotional areas of the brain. Reagan did it with the Bear commercial. It enabled those watching it to have a strong visual carryaway, and begin framing the debate differently. It didn't hammer people over the head - something too many Dem commercials do.

They will have their ad framework, we will have ours. Which one will be most effective will be shown in November.

Aesop said...

This is just taking Fred Silverman's Least Objectionable Program Rule, and applying it to the culture, downstream from which is found politics, rather than limiting its application solely to TV programs which succeed mainly by sucking a little less than the competition.

Now we have an entire political system based on the same concept.

Trump wasn't Shrillary, nor anything like as bad as.
Obozo wasn't McCrazy, nor anything like as bad as.
Dubbya wasn't the Gorebacle.
Your congressweasel isn't quit actually Gilligan (except in the NY 14th District).
Ad infinitum

This is how we keep electing the lesser of two evils endlessly, and pricing Actually Good completely out of the entire equation.

It's true all over the place:
We used to go to the moon; now we're happy if the rocket doesn't explode during the boost phase.
We used to build F-15s; now we build F-35s.
We used to have sub captains that could closely tail Soviet submarines under wartime conditions, 24/7; now we're happy if the female officerettes don't collide their man o' war with ponderous container freighters moving at the speed of fat people on mobility scooters at WalMart.

It's culture-wide.

Instead of Planned Obsolescence, now we have been gifted with Planned Mediocrity.
Which makes actual Idiocracy just a small jump from platform to train.