Information Warfare-  Digital Tools


This post is not going to be heavy. It will be simple.  It's not explanatory though. We feel that you have enough "real" information if you want to dig deeper. 

What stops you from digging?

There will be a number of pre -suppositions. The internet is the domain of virtuality. At the extreme end of virtuality is the mirror or black reflecting white, the converse of truth or outright deception. It is an alternate universe. Many people want to hang out here, it represents a place of "safety" from reality. 

Reality is not virtual. It is real, it can be "evinced" interobjectively. You may have a perspective on it, but it's quality is realized, not potential. Politicians are constantly "selling" you their visions of a "new" reality. They often pander to your whims and predjudices, emotions and fears (this is sometimes called demagoguery). The internet is often demagogic.

The tools of information warfare hinge on speed of information delivery, the power of emotions, avatar use, misinformation, disinformation, obfustication, omission, misdirection and hierarchical control and command techniques. 

There are also a few new tools in play like "analysis paralysis" (that you are more likely to do nothing if you cannot formulate a cohesive position) - information overload.

Hijack #1: If You Control the Menu, You Control the Choices

Physical transformation. In the old days you often had to chain a recalcitrant slave up at night to stop him or her running away. There needed to be a solid effort to "control and command," using other slaveholders and societal pressure downwards. With digital media you enslave yourself and force your body to contort itself to it's new master by swishing, flicking and clicking maintaining a submissive posture to the device (bio-feedback loop).

Constant novelty. This one is clever, using the constant barrage of sights, sounds and images to lower your attention span and keep you seeking "a new hit."

There are more of course...

There is no need to explain each element. Think of TV and traditional media. You can see in the present time how the "narrative" is shaped and controlled, what information you get to see and what is withheld, obfusticated and denied (classified, national security, controlled opposition, lost that document, etc.). 

You should ask yourself questions. Questions like why would a social network need to "confirm my identity with a phone number"or passport? Doesn't it seem like stacking information sources? 

Do you think Zuckerburg is giving away his number to anyone that asks? For his security?

Questions open up the logical part of the brain. Questions are powerful. When you look at any argument or piece of information, look at who benefits and why.

This is a basic marketing question; features, advantages, benefits?

Doesn't it seem obvious that people who try to remain as private as possible would urge you to be as public as possible? 

Don't you get the value of collecting information? Social media is information delivered by you on a daily basis to people whose job it is to use that information against you in many different ways, not least of which is selling you stuff you "think" you "need."

"We notice things that are already primed in memory or repeated often..."

Simple techniques of information warfare; distraction.  This doen't need to be as extreme as false flags or connected staged events focused on duplicity. It can be the easy access to porn, peer group pressure to conform to particular ideas, the constant drama of certain "celebrities."

I work in digital media and I often tell my clients of the need for "drama" in relation to selling products (ideas). Drama is the archetypal tale or the emotional conflict.  It raises any marketing message above the dull hum or drudge of commercial messaging. It creates a story. We remember stories very well, especially if there is an emotional trigger attached. 

Story telling is important. It is how humans learn, attaching emotion to facts and learning sequential "codes." Some of those codes are valuable; don't take sweets from strangers, others are convenient slogans to cover an underlying fiction; work will set your free (sign over Auschwitz gate). 

Another thing is to watch the monsters that are shaped for your appetite. In the commercial world this will be the "Tesla caught fire" story that gets pushed while older stories like the famous Ford Pinto one get dropped from the page. It's too easy to create false enemies. Think of your childhood "gang."  You often had nothing in common except a shared fictional enemy, a street, or a football team.

Another topical element of digital is the unending series of "new" events to hold and retain your attention. The principle of "confirmation bias," where your search history targets your preferences and prejudices is another powerful tool that works in tandem with novelty. You might be familiar with it when you keep seeing ads for particular items. This is called "re-marketing" in it's commercial form, highly effective.

There are so many ways of shading, omitting and obfustication that we have highly trained specialists called judges. If you use their techniques, you will make judgements too. Depending on your ability to deduce or infer the facts, you will get closer to the truth, or what is real. Having a good grip on reality makes you less of a sucker, less often. 

It does though start with investigation.  Then laying out an argument or theory and proving that theory in relation to the facts. 

The important thing to remember is that the longer you spend on the internet, the more opportunites there are to shape your behavior. Time = locked in.

Remember the simulation is "real" when you're inside it. 

The simulation can run repeated sequences to unlock your mental code, filling you mind with jibberish. The modern version of "duck and cover."

The more choices technology gives us in nearly every domain of our lives (information, events, places to go, friends, dating, jobs) - the more we assume that our phone is always the most empowering and useful menu to pick from. Is it?