Fox News is partisan? You don't say, Carl Cameron! Too bad every other outlet is partisan, too.

I love this very late Come to Democrat Jesus headline.

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Carl Cameron has been on Fox News for how long? I wrote about him in my 2005 book OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s war on journalism…that came out in 2005. Count the years, kids. He just realizes this now?

This is nonsense. Of course he knew and was part of that machine. They cuts his checks and now he is trying to reposition himself the way Lara Logan did. Mainstream media outlets are partisan — Left or Right. There is no one here who is right by default.

So why now?

This latest partisan attempt to take on the Drudge Report may have something to do with it.

It is too complicated and busy to be a threat. It represents why the left alienate so many people and fail at any real connect. The Huffington Post was supposed to Drudge on. No dice. So was Buzzflash, which is trying to make a comeback.

The problem with the Left is their sanctimonious and long-winded narratives where they try to present themselves as a superior race out to save the little people from themselves, and no one has to pay for anything because someone has a printing press in their basement.

And their message is a real demoralizing and patronizing downer: people are so incapable and stupid, that they cannot function without government nannying in every aspect of their lives. Let’s infantilize the populace! is a shitty campaign slogan…

And, really, not all that different than Fox News, who always found other people to blame for their audience’s various real and imagined failures: the difference being that even FNC’s riff implied people were capable if other people got out of the way…but it still implied their audience would be helpless without the FNC.

So there is your choice: you are either too stupid to live unless the government puts a diaper on you…or a partisan network tells you how to put one on. Neither narrative is close to the truth — Hollywood made a huge mess of things by convincing Middle Class people that trades and hard work were bad things and that everyone should be a famous and special just for voguing.

There are no correct or productive answers coming from the communications industries: they are antiquated and should be ignored, regardless of their self-serving sway…

Fox News turning to the Left? Entering a crowded market won't change the partisan nature of Cable News.

Children of Titans of Industry follow trends, not create them.

Will Fox News go Left?

It could, and then lose its base. People on the left will stick to what they already know. They will not flock to Fox.

But it still partisan propaganda. Left or right, it doesn’t matter.

It won’t stop anyone from picking up the torch. Marketplaces dictate it.

While I wrote OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s war of journalism, I am not impressed by this turn. CNN was originally envisioned as a news network, but never took competition into its equations. MSNBC is hard left and has established its following. FNC was built to take competition as it veers right.

The FNC no longer has a strategist of Roger Ailes to guide them. Don’t expect much from the switch, other than lower ratings, and fragmented dwindling audiences…

Fake news on fake news: Don't pin it on your ideological enemies. There is plenty of blame to go around.

Fox News Channel has this agitprop on their menu:

“Black Eye: Dan Rather and the Birth of Fake News”

That title is fake news itself.

Fake news has been going on long before 1968, too, Politico.

For as long as there has been communications, there has been propaganda.

That is not a “left” or “right” invention.

It is a people invention…

Actrivism, Part Nine: Immerse yourself in wavelengths. Learn to ride in someone else's soul.

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II

Nicola Tesla was a smart man. He’s #35 on the List of People Everyone Should Know.

And I took a lot from his ideas, particularly about understanding the deepest truths of the universe by understanding energy, frequency, and vibration.

Or, riding on the wavelengths of other people and groups.

When I decided to study the ways of journalism by becoming a journalist, what I was doing was riding on the wavelengths of this collective, how the justify their beliefs about themselves and how they process the world around them.

In-groups have their own little set of arrogant ideals, and they like to fancy themselves as superior, even when they are seen as underdogs or undesirables.

Look at CBC getting haughty because Fox News didn’t air someone who has gotten a lot of free press opining about the rich and their taxes.

CBC has conducted countless interviews that never made it to air.

When you interview a lot of people to make a narrative, some do not perfectly “fit” your pattern, and you will exclude it.

I have had editors cut out people I interviewed for articles, and I never found out until after publication.

But even in j-school, when one CBC producer came to lecture us, and we were given a real-life scenario, and we had to pick and choose which interviews made it and which ones were excluded.

So let’s not pretend. I have been interviewed for stories, and I never made it in the final product.

If you do not align perfectly with a narrative, you are removed.

I wrote OutFoxed: Rupert’s war on journalism, and I recount how the FNC is careful who they air, but it is not just the FNC.

Whenever you rely on narrative, you are going to do that sort of thing to keep the mindset in place.

Once it happened to me when I was writing about women who broke the law to appease a mate. I included a young woman who murdered a perfect stranger because her boyfriend asked her to do it.

The reason I included that case was to show it wasn’t some sort of romantic notion or that every woman was duped. I wanted a textured story, but the editor lopped it off, and the nuances of the story completely changed. I was not happy.

But that is the mundane reality of the newsroom.

I bet you do the same thing on Twitter and Facebook — cherry-picking articles and propaganda posters (that is what a meme poster is, kids) that fit perfectly with your beliefs with no dissenting perspective and stories.

But you take it for granted.

I didn’t.

I wanted to ride the wavelengths of the profession.

But once I began writing books about my findings, I wanted people to be able to immerse themselves the way I did.

So I did something very subtle: I presented the facts objectively through structure, but in such a way the mimicked the mindset of those I was writing about.

I did it with all of my books. You are going inside the mindset of the profession, feeling the same rhythms and frequencies as those working in it.

But a funny thing happened.

Some reviewers didn’t get it.

One was upset that I took the same “pot shots” at FNC pundits that they took on others, while completely missing the point.

The same goes for my latest book, When Journalism was a Thing.

The mimicry of the energy, frequency, and vibration completely went over some reviewers heads.

Not everyone was clueless, mind you. A lot of people understood the point.

I remember when I was a relationships columnist with the Hamilton Spectator, and I did the same immersion with a short 600-ish word column about money.

Someone wrote in, and got it. As in, felt it.

I set up a stage. I get into character — but not a fictitious character. It is Method Research, and I am a Actrivist.

I will upload the column and response another time.

But even back then, I would reflect the frequencies of those I was writing about.

That requires not being so me-centred. It is a you-centred exercise.

This is how you deal with the emotional aspect of covering people or events.

That’s how you walk through Infinity with someone else’s heart and soul to see their perceptions and go through their motions as if they were your own.

There is no Us Versus Them. You become the Them.

Outside and inside. You are both. Above and below. Left and right.

This method is the way of the Radical Centrist. You learn by becoming, and you gain energy by allowing its essence into the very stuff of your soul to see what are the problems and the core of their cause.

By becoming part of the problem before transmuting yourself into the solution…

Piaget, Pandas, and why there is absolutely no "war" on men or boys. As usual, the National Post is afraid of women with self-respect.

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When I was in my early twenties, I had a rabbit named Trixie, given that name because I got her on Halloween (trick or treat), not because of Beatrix Potter.

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Trixie Pixie weighted 900 grams.

She was a tiny little thing, but had a heart of a lioness. I also had a red canary Ben who was free and the two were inseparable. When Ben passed away because the vet gave the wrong antibiotic twice instead of once, Trixie was very sad. I rescued another rabbit Susie, and the two also became inseparable.

Trixie had numerous operations because her jaw was too small for her teeth. She went to the University of Guelph constantly, but she lived about six years. She was loving, bossy, nosy, and very brave.

Particularly when it came to standing up to humans that rubbed her the wrong way.

There was one man who was a family friend who was not the most sensitive person in the world. He thought it was funny to make loud nonsensical noises when he saw Trixie, and tried to twist her nose repeatedly. She’d run away, I would tell him that wasn’t acceptable, he’d dismiss me as some sort of snowflake, and do it again.

But Trixie always got her revenge.

Because she knew which pair of shoes he wore and then promptly pissed in them. Only his. Never anyone else’s.

Then he’d put them on, complain they were wet, but never quite hit upon the fact that he was mucking around in rabbit urine.

And then he’d come for the next visit, where the cycle went on without deviation. I never went to hide his shoes from Trixie.

That’s what you get for intimidating a 900 gram herbivore.

Trixie was a smart little bunny. I had to euthanize her when she developed a brain tumour. I think her passing hurt me the most in the fuzzy kid division.

She had an unbelievable sense of fairness. I had been dealt a serious blow in my professional life, and one that would have been a breakthrough. I can count on one hand the number of times I have cried in my life, and that was one. I was blowing off steam on my sofa in the living room with my mother on the love seat that was in front of a ledge with potted plants on it. Trixie ran to the ledge, and promptly knocked flower pots right on my mother’s head by pushing them with her own little noggin.

What can I say? She thought mom was responsible for me getting upset and was going to level the playing field. She was a righteous little mini-lop.

She was protective of me, and I always returned the favour. I did not take kindly to people trying to abuse her, but it seemed every time I told a male — and it was always an adult male — to knock it off, they would fly off the handle, and keep doing it. I had a male relative do the same thing, and neither one of those people are in my life anymore.

They were both ill-behaved and unteachable. When someone tells you not to make loud and stupid noises and try to twist their pet’s nose, stop doing it. You are being a swine. There is no benefit in frightening a small animal. There is no benefit in bad manners that net you no rewards, but impede your social standing as you alienate people who just want you to stop annoying them and their pets.

It is not a “war” if someone tells you to stop being uncivilized. It is the inevitable byproduct of feral behaviour. I never went to these men’s houses to molest and disturb their animals.

But it wasn’t just my pets. These were the same people who belittled every one of my achievements, called me names, tried to gaslight me as they patronized me, telling me what to think regardless if I had expertise and they never heard of the subject before in their lives, and thought they had every right to tell me how to dress, dye my hair, put on my make-up, and that I should stop having a career, and do something of value, like get married and have children.

I never stood for it. I told them off, even as a kid, and then they got upset with me, calling me rude.

Excuse me, I just said, “Hello.” You made lengthy comments about a pimple on my chin. That is a deliberate attempt at establishing a pecking order by making me feel inferior to you and be too consumed with my alleged deficiencies to see what you are doing.

I am not a moron. The fact that I push back doesn’t mean there is a “war” against snowflake you.

Instead of getting your knickers in a knot, you can sign up for some etiquette lessons.

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They really are miracle workers. Bless the Brits for their centuries-long dedication to sensitivity to other people’s feelings.

They didn’t write a silly column in the National Post whining about some non-existent war on boys and men, and then try to impose a narrative about it being “ideology versus science” because it isn’t.

So what’s really going on here?

Simple: communications technology finally caught up to reality, and what was always happening suddenly could no longer be suppressed by a patriarchal news media.

IV

In Canada, men are a minority, and have been for at least thirty years. 50.4% of the population are women, and yet men are vastly over-represented in positions of power in both business and government. We have always had rigs that favoured men, and biology has zero to do with it. White men, who are even a smaller piece of that demographic pie, are even more over-represented based on the population make-up.

So here is a single minority group among a mosaic of minority groups, who are upset because the Internet finally allows us to hear what everyone around us is thinking. Stop mansplaining is not throwing a grenade; it’s feedback that the individual does not need to be treated like she is in kindergarten when she has a graduate degree and has expertise in the field under discussion.

Before, the press would either ignore the complaints, or worse, spin them to make it sound as if some lunatic fringe was spewing insanity. That is a crying shame. If people understood that in a planet of 7.4 billion people, you will have a sea of disagreement, outrage, support, and differing opinions decades ago, they wouldn’t take the peculiar stance that they are.

Fox News exploits this demographic: they target frustrated white men and then tell them nothing in their lives is their fault, which is ridiculous. Sometimes you are the architect of your own misery, and the sooner you see it, the sooner you can do something about it and get yourself out of your slump.

A big problem for men is the fairytales they have been told where there can only be The One, and if someone opposes you, that they are the Villain to be vanquished and women are just there to be saved because they are inferior to you and are made to drool all over you.

That is a fantasy.

And a horrible lie. If we reversed the gender roles, it would be no less horrific. No one should be following this destructive rigged script.

A more sensible map is that we all have hopes, dreams, and goals. We all have different life requirements. We are all flawed and make mistakes. We have rights, but also responsibilities. Life isn’t always looking for an entourage to drool all over you, nor find an inferior ditz to relieve your crude urges. People who have different ideas have the same rights as you do.

Cooperation and negotiation to coordinate our competing interests is far more profitable and liberating than some competition where it is all-or-none. A shrewd person makes alliances, and ensures that there is a balance for everyone in terms of work, risk, responsibilities, and payoffs. Jealousy, greed, laziness, and ego are very destructive forces, but they are not some static force that chains us forever to ruin our lives. We have to face our worst traits, acknowledge them, realize they manipulate our perceptions of reality, and then do something about them.

Men shouldn’t feel threatened if a woman is a visionary who is ambitious. She has every right as does he to aim high, but the second a woman does break through as a man is called on the carpet for trying to sabotage her, other men get scared and then make up a propaganda tale of there being a war on men.

No, there isn’t. There is a man person who is prime minister, just as the other two political parties have man people in charge of their party. The only party to have a woman person is the Greens and they have one seat.  The world’s most powerful players are men. That hasn’t changed. And those men have their fans and many are seen as visionaries.

There is no war just because someone calls you an asshole. You are an asshole.

That Fox News can tell bedtime stories to men who are silly enough to believe them is not a surprise. The sad thing is that those men don’t realize that the FNC gets rich by keeping them running on a hamster wheel of hate, and keeps them in a very unhappy holding pattern because that’s how they create audiences. MSNBC plays the same propaganda for losers on the left. Both sides would be wise to look inward, get off the fucking wheel, and break old habits and modify their behaviours to make them prosper.

But the National Post is playing a similar game, recruiting Jordan Peterson into their web, which I find utterly fascinating. Peterson is a psychologist by trade, and this pop psych narrative has many of his detractors unnecessarily stymied. Their counterarguments are too cerebral. They are over-thinking things and not addressing the audience that has had a spell cast on them as they have been primed by the FNC into thinking they are victims.

What’s interesting is that Peterson’s pop psych arguments do not go anywhere near the logic of Jean Piaget’s Stage Four of Cognitive Development (Piaget is Person #31 on the List of People Everyone Should Know). The Formal Operational Stage is one that many adults never attain, but you cannot be an experimental psychologist and not be in that very stage because that’s the very stage where experimental psychology depends on for its very purpose and methods.

So Peterson isn’t someone who could possibly be devoid of a Stage Four mind, yet his pop psych is clearly at Level Two and Three.

That’s quite a feat.

Journalism was never in Stage Four, and I have said that is the reason it collapsed, but Peterson made a career of intellectual regression. It is a cagey move: for one, your detractors will never reach the people who are being beguiled because they will use Stage Four Arguments, and those under the spell have been stymied by their Stage Three prison, and can’t see it.

They very well may be capable of making the leap to the Fourth Stage — but they were led to believe that they didn’t need that leap because the narratives they were told are of lower stages, and they cling on to those stories, thinking it is the answer for Winning At Life.

It is a recipe for self-destruction.

So if there is no “war” on men, why are they stuck in a slump that distorts their perceptions of reality?

The answer lies in pandas.

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Many ambitious white collar types — and even the entire profession of journalism — have the same problem, regardless of gender, race, nationality, religion, or age. They make it so far, and then they can no longer move upward in a company or career. They have the right education and experience. They are smart and even social.

Are they victims of outside forces?

No, but they are a victim of their own panda.

A panda is a term for a seemingly benign personality trait or mindset that is more destructive to you than you realize.

Such as indulging in aggressive behaviours and ignoring repeated requests to knock it off. You may feel as if you have power to thwart and emotionally upset people, but if they push back, they aren’t going to give you another inch. They can retaliate.

Do you want short-term thrills — or do you want long-term viability?

In business, being passive-aggressive can get you up so far, but then when you hit a certain level, the rules change and what what worked for you begins to work against you.

Adherence to The One Rule That Explains Everything is a losing gamble.

And if your rule is that you can bully other people and they’ll just sit and take it, you are in for the surprise of your life. There are people like me who don’t care about your gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, wealth, education, nationality, connections, fame, or political affiliation.

You pull some bullshit stunt on me, and I will unleash my righteousness on you. Fuck you.

Treat me with kindness and respect, and I will go out of my way to help you if you should ever be in need or want of it.

No war.

And we in an era right now where we have arrogance and temper tantrums where everyone is accusing everyone else of waging some “war” on them.

No, what you are experiencing is the technology that lets you hear the world’s thoughts at once.

People have agendas. They bully. They try to get things they did not earn. They try to impress people with some image. They hedge their bets on a side they think will reward them.

The fuel of arrogance is messing with a lot of minds, but that’s easily remedied with a good dose of humility.

The only problem is when you chose the medicine, it goes down very easy — but when life rams it down your throat, the cure is often more traumatic than the disease.

And it’s coming a lot sooner than people think.

It’s not a war, but reality people need to worry about.

After all, if we just give in to “biology”, remember, people sure did love to kill, rape, and pillage, and enslave other people.

And they went to watch the slaughter of gladiators, imprison foreigners to serve as their slaves, and spark wars for pure financial profit.

Eventually, people started to become civilized and learned something called empathy.

And they sublimated those biological drives into something creative and productive.

So the biology excuse is pure nincompoopity, and it’s time to go up a rung in evolution — not down…

Party Poop: No White House Christmas Party for you!

Spy magazine used to have a section called Party Poop, of the kind of celebrity candids that were extremely unflattering.

But now there is sad news that the White House has no Christmas party for the press.

But the Fox News Kids get invited to other White House parties.

Those aren’t parties: they are ways to network and get select leaks, but since the president has no use for the press, he can shut them out, more or less.

With cable propaganda outlets Left and Right duking it out, the White House is giving the FNC a huge advantage, which will most likely come in handy in 2019…

Memo to BuzzFeed: Boycotting Fox News? Sure, and people should boycott BuzzFeed News. You are propaganda on the opposite side of the same bad penny.

I never understood ideological control freaks.

They want to rig things so it is just their ideas that are acceptable, and, naturally, those ideas benefit them only.

Nice try.

We are in an Age of Propaganda, and one of the more obvious propagandists happens to be BuzzFeed.

They lack the intelligence and the experience to do the partisan manipulation covertly.

They are are on a tear on how people should “boycott” Fox News:

Fox News Isn't A Normal Media Company. We Have To Stop Treating It Like One.

Assholes: neither are you.

You are Leftish propagandists, and I have said some of it on Metafilter, but you are very patronizing Leftist propagandists with your nerdy and cringeworthy brain dead quizzes, and your creepy advertorial-esque celebrity obsessions.

You spew garbage that looks like used candy wrappers, and you want people to boycott Fox News?

They should boycott you, too.

Your publication is the worst sort of smug, worthless garbage that has no factual valid or utility.

You are not news. You are partisan bullshit.

No better than Fox News.

If only everyone would censor ideologies that are inconvenient to BuzzFeed, then the world would be just perfect, eh, fellas?

You could just puke sophistry with reckless abandon, and never be made to prove your arrogant delusions.

We need facts. The more facts we have, the more propaganda becomes obvious and silly-looking.

And we don’t have enough facts to see it…

In an Age of Propaganda, all paths are rigged in the fun house.

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Hey, hey, we are The Monkees
You know we love to please
A manufactured image
With no philosophies

We hope you’ll like our story
Although there isn’t one
That is to say there’s many
That way there is more fun

You’ve told us you like action
And games of many kinds
You like to dance, we like to sing
So let’s all lose our minds

We know it doesn’t matter
’Cause what you came to see
Is what we’d love to give you
And give it one, two, three

But it may come three, two, one, two
Or jump from nine to five
And when you see the end in sight
The beginning may arrive

For those who look for meanings
And form as they do fact
We might tell you one thing
But we’d only take it back

Not back like in a box back
Not back like in a race
Not back so we can keep it
But back in time and space

You say we’re manufactured
To that we all agree
So make your choice, and we’ll rejoice
In never being free

Hey, hey, we are The Monkees
We’ve said it all before
The money’s in, we’re made of tin
We’re here to give you more
The money’s in, we’re made of tin
We’re here to give you…

— The Monkees, “Ditty Diego—War Chant”, 1968.

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When I wrote the book OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s war on journalism, I spent an entire chapter discussing Bill O’Reilly’s program The O’Reilly Factor.

It was pure theatre and a seeming battleground.

What it actually was, in fact, was a rigged fun house, and the host was far savvier than most of his guests. He knew what he was doing and knew how to get his narrative across the noise of ideologues.

These days, that fun house goes beyond the Fox News Channel.

It spans through the entire dead profession of journalism, but also social media.

And yet there is an illusion of diverse voices.

Social media today reminds me of the Monkees’ movie Head.

The movie is brilliant as it is disturbing. It is, in essence, a movie about nothing in a literal sense.

As in, how the Monkees self-destructed and lost everything in the bargain.

The movie begins with the four jumping off a bridge, committing suicide, and then after a pastiche of fragmented and surrealist vignettes, they are jumping off the bridge, but inside of ending up in a lake, they are alive and stuck in a fish tank.

This is what social media has become: a fish tank that is now actively confining thought and thinking patterns rather than expand them.

Because everything is rigged to force a binary outcome before the binary vies for a monolithic victory.

Because everyone has to fight for attention, the rig is competitive in nature.

And as they are no overt guides, people must guess what is acceptable, but in such a way that they are at the top of a pecking order. It is the reason why there is so much sophistry.

And propaganda.

Because it has become rigged for it.

Try to break away through extreme measures, you get thrown in the fish tank where you are trapped inside, and everyone on the outside can see it.

The trick is to break the cycle, and it is not difficult to do. O’Reilly’s rigs brought him ratings and clout, but his downfall occurred outside his show when his champion and protector Roger Ailes was ousted, and he soon followed.

With so much focus on social media, it seems as if there is no alternatives, and yet there are several.

And in the coming months, a big part of Chaser will be breaking away from traditional journalism and social media to create a new form of news that never falls for rigs or propaganda…

Breaking the Cycle of the Fake Arenas: Journalism perfected it. Twitter stole their bit. And why both are con games.

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It never ceases to amaze me how naive and gullible people can be. Educated people with doctorates are no more savvy than the person who never spent a day in school.

They are being constantly tricked by pathetic ruses because they see walls where there are none.

Here is a short list of Truths for you to ponder:

1. We have 7.4 BILLION people on the planet. 

2. You will never meet 99.999% of them, meaning these are strangers to you. They do not pay your bills. They do not call to see if you are doing well. They have no idea that you actually exist. They all can live easily without you.

3. This pool of 7.4 billion people you will never know exist will not all agree with anyone on any single point. Mass agreement does not exist.

4. You do not need a single one of these 7.4 billion people to agree with you.

5. 7.4 billion people can, in fact, disagree with you, violently throw tantrums and insult you, and you can still be The Only Person In The World Who Is Right because if you base your case on observations, research, facts, experiments, and other verification techniques and they blindly follow the dictates of someone else's lie -- the results will be in your favour regardless. The number of followers or agreers is immaterial and irrelevant.

6. You do not need to waste time engaging people who blindly follow other people's decrees to be proven right. They are trying to force you to submit to their lie so they don't get inconvenienced by reality.

Got it?

Have these Truths penetrated your mind?

If you still cannot grasp it, imagine you have been attacked by a group of thugs out of the blue as you were walking to work, and somehow, you manage to escape, but not without some major internal injury. You go to the hospital to get treatment, but the doctor on call decides "it's not that bad" and the police don't believe you because you don't look as if you were assaulted and as there were no witnesses or security cameras, they decide it is less work to file in the paperwork than believe you.

Worse, someone overhears it, and then uses their smart phone to record it and posts it, saying with repulsion that you are a liar because both the police and the doctor don't believe you.

And all the posters run with this assessment uncritically, it goes viral, and 7.4 billion choose that day to all agree and then malign you.

So, did it happen?

Of course it did. Experts can be wrong, lazy, corrupt.

Or perhaps one of those attackers is the mayor's kid, and he knew where to attack you without being seen.

Now, suppose someone who sees the video starts to ask questions, and gets flayed by those naysayers, but persists. They start to do research, ask questions, and discovers that, yes, you were attacked, and helps you get to a town where the doctors are thorough and the police do their jobs.

So, did it happen more so because one other person chose to believe you by verifying what you said was true?

No, the past is the past. It happened regardless if no one believed you, one person believed you, or all 7.4 billion people believed you.

It just happened.

So 7.4 billion people turn into white noise. Mass opinion does not actually count for anything at all. It is a red herring and a misdirection. Reality operates independently of our beliefs and so does the truth.

Now, let's suppose you were vindicated, and people who threw stones at your reputation were called on the carpet and got a taste of their own vile medicine. You sued the lot of people who could have cost you your life, including the busybody who filmed your suffering and made fun of it on social media, and your case made textbooks, history, feature films, and the like.

And someone thought you had it made, and decided to say it also happened to them, even though that is a lie.

If no one believes them, is it a lie?

If one person believes it, is it a lie?

If all 7.4 billion people -- including you believed it, is it a lie?

Of course it is. The beliefs and opinions have no relevance on the veracity of the fact that someone fibbed for whatever reason(s) they had.

Egotism and insecurity has infected the information stream. We look for validation from people who in no way have any way of making a point true or false. It doesn't matter whether they are patronizing with a smile or a sneer, opinion is not relevant to a point's veracity.

If humans, as a collective, were a realistic species, they would cease to look for like-minded people to validate their beliefs.

But they got into an unnatural habit of looking for shortcuts and then once they stumble upon a script that suits their worldview, do not let go of it.

People such as Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and Nicola Tesla, for instance, were disbelieved, with Semmelweis getting committed for telling what turned out to be a fact.

Yet people fight all their lives to have other people believe them, envy them, admire them, love them, deify them, worship them...but right or wrong, lie or truth, people waste their lives looking for validation and vindication.

Even Mother Theresa ain't Mother Theresa.

But truth is truth. It doesn't need your drooling accolades to prop it up -- nor is your disdain of its existence going to make a single dent in it. Get over yourself.

It is why I never understood the Great Men goobers who think their opinions have worth. Their prattle is prattle. Their insults are meaningless. Their flocks have no minds, hearts, or souls: those suckers just hedge their bets that their leader will be The One who saves them from life.

And you cannot have one grain of respect for that cowardly lot.

Religions promised to save their followers who complied without question, but now in the West, people are walking away from the notion of a Santa God.

Right now, the News Gods are political ideology and the Internet -- and both are not going to last very long as deities.

But there was one Deity that had a relative short stint at the top: Journalism.

It managed to fool a lot of people for years, but it lost its clout, but while it had it, it could get away with it by manipulating the optics in a certain way, and for many years, the pigeons fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

II

But it wasn't a church where the cult of Journalism preached to its flock: it was an invisible gladiatorial arena. 

The most striking example of it was on the Fox News Channel and it was a simple show called The O'Reilly Factor.

The arena even had a name: The No Spin Zone.

Bill O'Reilly had real success of it for years, and I had chronicled just how he rigged the game in my book OutFoxed: Rupert Murdoch's war on journalism. I had devoted an entire chapter to how that game was played.

The idea wasn't new. Journalism's fake arena was an absolute staple that gullible people went on in the mistaken belief that they absolutely had to go to the fight they were invited to attend or else they were cowards, liars, un-American, whatever con job was needed to lure a pigeon into the arena.

Public relations firms and image consultants made a very good living training people to be able to handle themselves in these fake arenas. Publicists and agents would issue a list of demands to soften the abuse.

However, what most people didn't understand was there was no actual reason to enter the arena. It wasn't real. It wasn't innate, natural, essential, or anything of the sort.

It was a scam.

It was a way of getting mileage on the cheap. Media outlets didn't have to pay these suckers to come on their shows, studios, or newsrooms to "defend" themselves. There was no value to it. 

And worst of all, these "newsmakers" were goaded to it by being chased by scrums of reporter who stalked and chased them in public. That was symbolic to let this person know who was the predator and who was the prey -- only the prey was labelled predator by the press who then shook these people down for interviews: well, if you are right, you will subjugate yourself to our demands that you give us free fodder for our outlets. We will be hostile to you, and you will look bad regardless of what you say or do because we stick on the labels and we set the terms of engagement that are rigged against you...

However, in all of these gladiatorial games, none of these interviews had much value: a reporter could uncover someone's wrongdoing without ever speaking to that person. Ronan Farrow did not have to corner Harvey Weinstein to talk to him at all, for instance.

You find facts that both confirm and refute, and then weigh them. You do not need to demonize or deify anyone. The truth is the truth.

But people bought the hype. They thought Mike Wallace and Sam Donaldson running after people meant something. It didn't. It was just for show -- optics, really, of how the valiant reporter was hunting down The Bad Guy.

Never mind that even now, some of these alleged Good Guys use racial slurs and did untoward things to others, but even as they are being exposed, they still try to wear the Hero label with babbling how they must sacrifice themselves for the little people as not to “become a threat to the mission ....of healthy independent journalism.”

They never take off the masks of deceit.

And yet proclaim that unless you go into their rigged arenas, you are deficient.

No, you're not.

There is no logical reason to play the game, especially not on their terms.

Because there is no empirical foundation to justify the need for that fake arena.

It is as if a fox browbeat a lamb into coming into his den to prove it is brave and honest -- has nothing to hide.

The lamb has nothing to hide, but has nothing to gain, either, by becoming the fox's next meal.

What is truth is truth. What is reality is reality.

Journalism's success absolutely hinged on having the monopoly of the public narrative, and it meant being the gate-keepers of information.

But then along came the Internet as technology did not have to get journalism's blessing or approval.

And then people could bypass journalism entirely.

Donald Trump used Twitter to get his message out.

Even in Ontario, the PC Party wisely ditched not only the fake arena of journalism, but also the other fake arena of debates, winning a decisive majority without ever subjugating themselves to anyone's decrees or dictates.

You do not need to justify or explain yourself.

More and more people have hit upon this revelation: you do not have to answer to anyone in that kind of forum. It is contrived, based on no empirical foundation, and is self-serving and rigged to favour those running the arena.

But it is not the death of the gambit.

Twitter -- the troll scroll and the sewer of social media -- is trying to pick up that mantle, but not with the success many of the rage pukers are hoping it will.

III

The entire premise of Twitter has become: My insults make it so! My disapproval is the last word and final say because I called it! Nyah! Nyah!

You are not Alpha and Omega. Stop deluding yourself.

The ruse works only if the sucker you are targeting backs down.

If the person is not a sucker or fooled by games such as Got Your Nose, they can ignore you, and do, think, or say whatever they wish without your approval.

And you are left shouting into nothing as your disapproval is emasculated and proven to be impotent.

And in fact, those who rebel against the tidal wave of tweets by ignoring the bait and continuing to do and say whatever they want and need, are proven to be stronger.

Imagine being the person who is unfazed and unmoved by the old biddy outrage of millions.

They prove to be weaker than the one person who knows truth is truth and reality is reality, and opinion's meddling is worthless.

Twitter is a life sink and a time-waster. It didn't have to be, but it drifted into the ideological gutter because it cribbed from a failed industry. Well played!

Journalism failed because it played those games, and then outsmarted itself. Sooner or later, you clue in that there is a certain fun in giving the troll scrollers something to talk about.

It's like watching those helmet haired old ladies look as if someone shoved manure deep into their nostrils just because you wore a red shirt to church.

People can nag you on Twitter, and you go on living your life, not needing to validate or justify a thing.

Because whether people agree with the truth or not isn't relevant.

It is facts that show us the reality to get us to the truth that counts.

Twitter is not built to last. If more people ignore tweets (and they will because sooner or later, reality points out the obvious), it loses its appeal. It tries to intimidate, bully, and shame people into backing down.

Just ignore it and don't back down. The end. It is not as if ideologues are open-minded and reasonable people who will ever admit to being wrong, manipulative, or controlling.

If someone cannot get a gang to bully you into submission or change what you do or believe, then they will abandon it because it gives them no power, but it does wonders for the person who can stand up to brainless mobs who have more free time than common sense.

Snubbing those invitations to degrade yourself with a slap fight that will not prove a thing is liberating.

Which brings us to F.R.E.E.D.

IV

Why the old and antiquated gladiatorial arena is failing civilization is simple: it is patriarchal, binary, deceptive, antagonistic, and rarely, if ever aligns with reality. It is one of the worst ways to gather relevant information.

Even the phrase L'esprit de l'escalier is a de facto admission that even seemingly "winning" an argument is meaningless: if you can think of a rebuttal after the fact, then what is the point of a fight?

To vent? To control others? To force people to follow you? To destroy? To harm? To hide your fear?

We can always justify anger. It is not hard to wear a halo as you are chasing people around with your pitchfork. People getting chased are not going to see you as an angel, and they certainly will not see themselves as a villain based on your say-so.

We let things go, however. We don't question things. We don't do our homework by doing legwork (and no, scouring Facebook propaganda meme posters is not homework). We don't find facts that refute our theories, let alone find the ones that confirm it.

Journalism made it seem it got the facts, and in the days when print ruled, it very often did. 

Television came along and it need to hook viewers -- and its showmanship brought in a very unstable and troubling factor into its calculations: the ambush interview.

Notice, however, it was not that ambushing of television that brought us Watergate. It was print, and the reporters who did it were not resorting to using a fake gladiatorial arena.

I find it very interesting how the profession conflated fact-finding with ambush carny. The former takes work and skill, while the latter is mere smoke and mirrors.

F.R.E.E.D. is the system that has reality at its core and truth as its mandate. You can throw all sorts of words out there, but it is a very different thing to have those words have meaning and value.

Journalism was all about cruelty and sensationalism. I find it interesting that post-Trump, the industry hitched its ride on #MeToo, even while their own were being exposed, and sobbing over those people who want entry into the US without going through the regular channels, even if the situation is nothing as it is being portrayed -- and that other Western nations are having the same breakdowns because the migration of tens of millions of displaced people is overwhelming various countries who were never equipped to handle an influx of people who have no resources, skills, education, guarantors, or plan.

Many of these people need serious medical attention that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the healthcare systems aren't even equipped to handle aging populations such as the Baby Boomers.

The traditional model of fake combat has the Left screaming we must let everyone in without a plan, while the Right are screaming it cannot be done.

Who's right?

Neither side, of course. You have a series of hard, serious questions to ask. You do not just throw a temper tantrum one second after something has happened.

What is the situation? What are the resources on hand? What is the investment -- and what is the return? What are the consequences of the actions? Even well-meaning actions can be disastrous one way or another.

Say, you let people in and the economy collapses -- perhaps as a result of a flighty and impetuous strategy, or perhaps some other factor, and as a result, there is a debilitating disease outbreak and the refugees that were taken in were hit the hardest, and then they blame the policy for their woes, and it causes serious problems later on with never-ending lawsuits and "solutions" that may bankrupt the country, making it vulnerable to outsiders who will exploit it, causing further weakening.

Or, you keep people out, and they congregate near the border, and desperate and disillusioned, they become prime pickings for terrorist cells who recruit them, and there is carnage and instability to the point where personal freedoms are curtailed as a "solution."

And you can never bank on any "best case scenario" because it has yet to happen in the history of mankind.

So here we are, in 2018, where people think tantrums on Twitter can solve the world's problems.

We didn't solve problems with journalism: it was made to seem as if they were because there is always a sunny ending where the reporter swoops in and saves the day for democracy...except it didn't.

It didn't stop crime. It didn't even stop certain criminals from re-offending.

So what to do with an influx of migrants?

If you have been reading up until now and expect me to spew out some opinion off the top of my head, then you obviously haven't been paying attention.

Or were hoping I was some flighty hypocrite.

I don't know, but with F.R.E.E.D. we start to find out.

We don't "duke it out." We find facts. We don't paint people as victims, villains, heroes, or heretics. We find facts. We get information. We will most likely not like what we discover. We start to formulate plans we can begin to test.

We don't act like asses on the Troll Scroll. We don't try to shut down people who point out problems that go against our opinions. We find facts.

People will raise concerns. They are not to be dismissed. If you want to let in an influx of people and someone raises concerns about the affordability of such a massive move, you do not try to demonize them as being bigots and then hope a personal attack will make them go away so you can impose your will on them.

You find facts about costs. You find facts about people already citizens who are up the queue and how much they are going to cost you. You find facts about the resources you already have. Then you find facts on how much it will cost to bring people in.

Then you find facts on alternatives, such as sending foreign or peacekeepers to destitute nations.

And then you line up your facts and get to work.

But you also find facts about other potential issues regarding culture, assimilation, housing, healthcare, mental health, education, employment, and the like.

In other words, we do not fly by the seat of our pants. We do not try to play the propaganda card by putting out "a face" on the story: one deemed a saint and the other a sinner.

We do not use narrative.

We line up our facts.

And then the solutions begin to emerge -- the ones that have the best chance of success and consensus will present themselves.

There is no need to waste your life on Twitter, raging about things you know bupkes about.

Journalism kept trying to rig outcomes with increasing frequency, and it harmed society as new and innovative solutions that weren't obvious were suppressed.

It is time society grew up and stop acting like children who have no idea where and how money comes to pay for things.

Liberation comes from facing reality to find truths.

Not by wasting your life trying to boss people around because it will not turn your lies into truths.

That is just playing a con job, and trying to bait me into your fake arena won't change that truth -- or me...

Petty Media Fights.

I love this silly and petty meltdown piece from Vox.

The little journalists run after two authorities at a press conference, a canned event. A CNN journalist tries to ask the US President a question, but the president calls CNN "fake news", decides to ignore the question and answers one from a Fox News reporter.

Cue in mass temper tantrum because the Fox News kid asked it and "did not stand up" for the CNN kid, with all sorts of reporters in shock and Morally Outraged because reporters are supposed to stand up for one another, and CNN had done it for Fox and blah blah blah.

Oh, shut up.

First of all, a press conference is the epitome of "Fake News." It is a canned event. Authority herds the little sheep into a room, reads from a prepared script, press gives free publicity, authority may allow questions to be asked before they are deflected or bridged, and then everyone in the room reports on the same canned event where they all get the same facts.

It's like getting food from the same tainted vat. That is not news, and that we still have reporters play the same game in 2018 is really vile.

Shame on you all for going to report at a press conference. That's what Authorities are doling out to the public.

So now that journalism is no longer a thing, the lot of you all stoop to having a slap fight amongst yourselves is just silly.

No wonder the president has no respect for journalism. No one with a working brain does.

Why are you there, anyway? What is the actual point?

To say you were in the same room as two world leaders? To spew some packaged babble to the little people and think you are actually doing something?

You're not doing anything but being children who are getting cranky to the point your parents can't take you to nice places without throwing a hissy fit in public...

 

Journalism's screwy logic and how complexity is a misdirection.

This is an actual job opening for the Toronto Star:

Job description

The Toronto Star’s award-winning Editorial Design team is adding another talented Data Visualization and Editorial Designer to design and develop compelling visual narratives and amazing interactive graphics.

You are excited to providing enhanced visual storytelling and reporting for the web, as well as sourcing, cleaning, interpreting and presenting data. You will help with sourcing and keenly passionate about using the best data tools available. You have a diverse background and bring a familiarity with various data formats and associated techniques such as access-to-information requests, scraping, graphics and mapping. You also have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of news reporting, including accuracy, fairness and issues involving privacy. 

The applicant should possess strong design skills and remain current with technology and digital storytelling methods and trends, with a particular focus on mobile presentation.

Data Visualization and Editorial Designer. How cute.

Rabble also had a job opening for editor I found instructive:

Are you a Canadian news junkie who knows the keyboard is more powerful than the sword? Do you understand the power of media in making political and social change, and do you want to do something about the need for powerful alternative progressive media voices in Canada? If this sounds like you, read on.

Before it asks for this:

A passion for all the digital tools available to journalists and experience in putting them to use; and

Familiarity with Basecamp, Chartbeat, Slack, and photo-editing software. rabble's content management system is Drupal-based.

The Star and Rabble use technology for work. Not a big deal because this is 2018, but what is more instructive is the over-dependence on it. In both cases, you have two Leftist partisan publications that think technology is going to do something that critical-thinking skills cannot. Giving the laundry list of acceptable topics means Rabble has no interest in digging anywhere new: let's just stick to the talking points memos that Fox News did.

The Star wants someone to make data look a certain way, which is a sign of manipulation. The facts are not allowed to speak for themselves: so let us rig the visuals to skew them.

There is very little in terms of looking for actual skillsets that a real fact-gatherer would need. It skews in favour of letting software do the work.

And with Rabble, an alleged "alternative" news site asking for familiarity with good old Chartbeat, the same program that every mainstream publication uses with absolute obsession. I have mentioned Chartbeat numerous times here, but for those not in the know (doubtful, but let's be generous) is the data and audience tracker used to see what those dwindling news audiences are pretending to stare at on their computers so no one thinks to look at the browser's other tabs to see the real interest is in porn, games, and online gambling.

It is a real knee-slapper of an irony: when there was no Chartbeat, journalism was powerful and knew what news consumers wanted to know. Now that they can gather big data on readers to sell them to advertisers, they have completely lost their power and sway.

And it is a very strange thing: we have media outlets who chose to shut off privacy-savvy Europe rather than comply, meaning these outlets are data collecting and selling it to third parties; however, that means the facts they are presenting to readers in front of the screen is paltry to the data they are collecting behind it, so to speak.

Yet none of that data has managed to persuade news consumers to stay.

Big Data is raw facts gathered without a soul, making it not as reliable as people believe. You'd think that news outlets would have so much intelligence from their quiet collection that they would know what information their audiences seek and would be persuaded to read. No such luck.

Journalism has become overly complex with demands to know peculiar software that did nothing to stop the collapse of the profession, as well as creating ridiculous job titles that aren't doing a thing to resurrect the profession.

Why?

Because there is no core, and a core cannot be rooted in any sort of technology. You have to be able to do your job without so much as electricity. If you can do that, then you have mastery over whatever toys and trinkets are around at the time.

And journalists don't know how to do that: if they do not have a laptop in front of them, they cannot function. Technology has become a crutch and a prop. A cutting edge journalist can be dropped in the middle of a war after a natural disaster where he cannot even speak the language -- but can find the facts people need to survive.

Having computer skills does not make you a journalist, let alone a good one. This isn't to say you should be computer illiterate because skills are skills, but when the emphasis is on the toys and not on the necessary skills, you have no core, no understanding of your audience, and no future.

Toys are obsolete in a blink of an eye, and there is always something new on the market promising to make all the problems go away. I can tell you when I was in j-school, we had the advantage of having the absolute latest software, cameras, and technology on the market that most mainstream outlets didn't have. It was awe-inspiring and put students firmly ahead of the times.

Today, not a single one of those things exist, making all that training null and void.

Because reality doesn't actually work that way. You cannot let machines -- even AI machines -- do the thinking for you. AI can be fooled just like a person (and something I know as I have done it for over two decades), and you still have to give facts to the public if your job declares that's your mandate.

But the profession has two sets of data -- the ones they dole out to their audiences, and the ones they give to their advertisers or other interested parties...

And yet, neither set has managed to pull them out of their abyss...

Musings from the Tower of Babel: It is a tintinnabulation of the most impossible sort.

Welcome to Bedlam where propaganda is fact, sophistry is logic, and ideological cowardice reigns supreme. mfttob

Journalism couldn't survive in this environment.

The question is why cannot it not resurrect itself?

That is the multi-billion-dollar question.

Because in an age of partisan propaganda, it gets pulled from all sides.

Journalists have a bunker mentality, and they cannot see how they have failed because they would have to venture out of their shelters to see the reality.

They pathologically give themselves countless awards as if they were Halloween candy, and hold symposiums babbling decrees that the public -- if they will not buy their product willingly -- should be forced to invest in it anyway.

At no time do they wonder how they must change to re-engage the public.

And that is a horrendous obstacle to overcome.

But it isn't the only noise that shatters the focus.

You have partisan sites such as Townhall decree that (Left-wing) journalism is dead -- but exclude partisan Rightist outfits such as Fox News from their list, making excuses that their opinionist hosts such as Sean Hannity are exempt from scrutiny because he proffers opinion, and thus is not a journalist.

But he works on a news channel. He talks about current events. He interviews newsmakers; ergo, he is not exempt from the same criticisms, especially as their journalists and hosts all walk lockstep to the same partisan line. Nice try.

Just as CNN and the Washington Post pounce on Hannity because he isn't from the Left, Townhall defend his honour because he is from their Right. The arguing is all very convenient -- and so hopelessly wrong from both sides of that made-up linear divide.

When you are the mirror image of your enemy, you are the enemy. You are no better than those who hate because you play the same games and are fighting for the same prize. The babbling drowns out the sensibility as journalists pretend they are being informative.

And if that added noise wasn't confusing enough, through all of that sanctioned propaganda comes sophistry right into the product. It is nothing but sink or swim patriarchal dreck, such as this piece in Aeon babbling about the evils of marriage and that it should be abolished.

The binary thinking is sanctioned insanity that is akin to forcing all single people to be married. If people wish to be wed in a state-sanctioned way, they should be given the absolute freedom to do it. If people do not wish for the formality, they are free to just shack up, and if there are people such as me who love being single, then I can remain footloose and fancy-free. I do not need everybody else to be single to validate my existence.

It all comes down to meddling: forcing everyone else to walk lockstep with you because deep down, you actually are fully aware you are wrong. When you force your opinions on others and preach for marriage -- or against --your cult-like bullying is a red flag that you need numbers to prop up your shaky nonsense because you do not have facts on your side.

Your life requirements are yours alone. My life requirements are mine, and do not force me into living your fantasy -- and I will not force you into copying my playbook, either.

When we have propaganda, we lose ideological tolerance. We cannot expand or grow because we want artificial confines and false scripts to guide our passive selves. With take no risks, and we do not experiment. We just coast on static rules.

That's why journalism died, but more importantly -- why is can't resurrect. It is stuck in its own pine box, believing it is a comfort and a fortress of protection.

We need the alternative to journalism -- a place that is not beguiled by ideological partisanship and artificial lines in the sand. We need those who understand ideology is a game of logical fallacies and hypothetical constructs, and instead, seeks facts.

It is the simplest method of informing a public. Do not tell them what to think. Do not tell them how to think. Do not give them scripts that turn into props to hold them up.

Thinks facts. The more you have, the more obvious the solutions becomes.

I have been musing from this Tower of Babel for over twenty years, chronicling its cacophony and mixed messages. It is time for clarity and simplicity, and with a map of facts to get out of that maze and out into the open...

 

Associated Press, Fox News, and the Trust Issue.

Fake news is supposed to mean non-media entities parading as legitimate news, but as I shown in 2005, legitimate outlets have been spewing fake news for years. The Associated Press did just that when they mischaracterized an on-air blunder on Fox News Channel's MediaBuzz hosted by Howard Kurtz (the original story is archived here and here, while the corrected version is here and here):

Fox News inadvertently posted a graphic showing it lagged other cable news networks in trustworthiness.
It happened during a segment Sunday on "Media Buzz." Host Howard Kurtz was talking about a Monmouth University poll about whether the media regularly or occasionally report fake news.
But the graphic on the screen showed results from another question about what cable news outlets do respondents trust more. Fox News was last at 30 percent.
Kurtz realized the mistake. He said "that is not the graphic we are looking for. Hold off. Take that down, please."
The graphic was shown out of sequence. It wasn't shown "accidentally," especially as it takes time and planning to create that graphic in the first place. Kurtz discussed the graphic in question, but it wasn't supposed to come up when it did.

This wasn't a case of "gotcha." This wasn't a story at all.

Kurtz pointed out the distortion, while Left-winged partisan outlets, such as AlterNet took full advantage of the original flawed piece as did BoingBoing. Other outlets, such as the Washington Post covered the incident as did MarketWatch. Some others have been having a fit over AP's antics.

The kerfuffle is over a very flawed and melodramatic partisan study from Monmouth University that makes a huge leap in logic that "‘Fake News’ Threat to Media; Editorial Decisions, Outside Actors at Fault."

The AP story proved that fake news is a problem inside the old guard outlets. The FNC is a partisan outlet, as I chronicled in 2005, but here is a case where a bad study wasn't questioned, and then another media outlet ignored the methodological flaws of the same study and could have brought MediaBuzz to task for not scrutinizing the study. Instead they misrepresented a mundane error and polluted the information stream.

Journalism has a serious trust issue. While the Monmouth study did reveal that people do have trust issues with the news (a no-brainer observation considering that news media use has been eroding for years), how they did it, and the questions they asked leave a lot to be desired. It is like using a psychic to determine if the man whose bone is protruding out from his leg has a broken limb.

But these are the screwy times we live in. There is a profound disrespect for facts. It is all about a narrative that is used to force people to believe the same ideology you believe in -- and of course, this ideology completely benefits your backside. It is driven by folksy logic -- the belief that life is a parable where fictional patriarchal story structures are logical and natural, and drive reality.

And it's not.

You have to fight to find facts. They are raw and unprocessed. It is the reason why we need a profession that ignores the narratives to find those nuggets that show us what is really happening.

And when you have a program that takes a study for granted because they appeal to authority, and then have a wire service misrepresent the program, there can be no deep trust. Everything becomes babble, and our instincts to see truth from lies becomes dulled, and we begin to lose our way...

Dealing with reality: Your narratives, sophistry, and sanctioned insanity are your games. And no one is obliged to play them.

There is no such thing as "sacred space" or "safe space." That is not just a hypothetical construct, or even fantasy based in a patriarchal structure, but it is a xenophobic lie that propagandists love to invoke to create an Us versus Them dynamic. It is also more than drawing a line in the sand and building a wall around a group. The Left may make fun of Donald Trump, for wanting to build a wall, but theirs is an intangible one.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkP9DKnOgn0?rel=0]

So when I hear a group get upset that someone violated a "safe space" or "sacred space" by reporting on what the group has whispered among themselves, I merely shake my head, wondering if that same group realize what danger they place themselves with that sort of thinking.

Safe space or sacred space is basically prey advertising to predators where the chicken coop is, and it makes the predator's job easy.

When I was attending j-school, there was a problem with the behaviour of some of male classmates, and one of the female students decided to hold a meeting at her place with the other young women. I declined going. I knew what was going to happen: someone was going to designate herself a spy for the guys, and report back everything, violating the "safe space." I had nothing to add because if I did, I would report it to who was in charge (which I did, but nothing was done about it), and tell it to the face of the person who was hassling me (which I did as well).

The meeting was just expressing the obvious to the wrong people, and would accomplish nothing, except shatter trust and give an advantage to the group who was being abusive.

And that is precisely what happened. Someone tattled, and nothing came out of it except a lot of hurt feelings.

It is the reason why #MeToo, despite its flaw, has the right idea of making the problems public. You are out in the open, not holed up in a cage, and when you have a "safe" or "sacred" space, that is precisely what you are doing -- creating a cage to house the designated prey.

When you are out in the open, you learn to stand up for yourself and be honest. You learn to hone your strength and instincts. You depend on no one but yourself.

When you isolate yourself, you become passive. You do not learn to assess people, but make an unwarranted assumption that people allowed into the Prey Club have your back, and that's rubbish. You are close enough to have that knife stuck in your back. You never learn how to navigate out in the open where there are far more opportunities than in that artificial and restrictive cage.

Grouping based on victimhood is akin to a chicken coop -- everyone gets focussed on being prey, and not learning to spot danger. You are vulnerable to the foxes and weasels, and when you get targeted, you have no way of pushing back -- you do not know how to deal with different people, or even getting to see the variation of thoughts, beliefs, and strategies.

The Left are doing what the Right has been doing with Fox News -- it designates a group as "victims", herds them into a cage, and then repeatedly tells them how to be paranoid, afraid, and self-pitying. That cannot solve a single problem.

And it doesn't.

Because in order to create that misnamed "safe space", you have to build invisible walls that are not aligned with truth or reality. You have to use false narratives to lure people in -- a sink or swim fallacy that if you don't band together, you all are going to be devoured.

Then you have to shut down dissent or debate inside this enclave by using sophistry -- twisting arguments to justify cowering in a cage, rather than go out in the open, and be honest and truthful. I am a human being. I do not want to be confined or constricted. These rigs are destructive, and I am not going to tolerate them.

That shows strength, not weakness, but the Chicken Coop will tell you otherwise.

And when we have that coop, we have to justify an unnatural action: sticking together on some contrived pretence; so to enforce the bond, you bring in sanctioned insanity as you punish anyone who wants to be free out in the open, and sees no reason to be cooped up.

It serves another purpose: to keep the designated prey away from the labelled predators so it becomes easier to build them up as monsters.

When you are out in the open, you personalize yourself to others -- and you learn to stand up to bullies, who cannot go running into their own rabbit holes: they have to deal with you.

They have to get to know you just as you have to get to know them.

You air your grievances, negotiate, and come up with a solution that benefits you both without trampling over the other.

That is how progress is made. Not running away, but running toward.

Fox News created the coop for people on the Right who didn't reach their dreams or goals. Other news channels saw their success, and then used the same partisan formula to try to herd people on the Left who also didn't reach monster success.

Neither side can possibly win because you have two groups who see themselves as victims, citing the cage as proof of it.

No, you ran into that cage for shelter and protection without asking if the price was worth it.

It wasn't.

What you have are two groups following the same made-up rules, and then having breakdowns that not everyone is gullible enough to follow those rules.

You cannot stick the whole world in a cage. The people on the outside are far stronger and capable because they got feedback from their defeats and rewards for the persistence. They didn't give up, and their worlds expanded.

Safe space is not a place -- it is a state of mind, and when your state of mind is that the world is a playground and not a battlefield, you don't need cover to progress and grow...