A short meditation on US propaganda and politics in the 20th century

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“Democracy is never a thing done,” MacLeish said. “Democracy is always something that a nation must be doing.”…

…Critics called MacLeish naïve: winning a war requires deception. F.D.R., to some degree, agreed. In June, 1942, he replaced the Office of Facts and Figures with the Office of War Information.

pub. 06/2017

Published in the paper edition as “The Strategy of Truth”; audio version here.

A deep dive into Trump/Russia background and history, plus believable speculation

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You’ve probably heard plenty of hushed whispers or outright panic about Russia’s information warfare against the West, but it’s seldom been put in context. We’re going to fix that in our deep dive into exactly how the Trump/Russia saga unfolded. This is one of the most consequential stories of our lifetime, and it’s not over, so get ready to bookmark this piece now.

pub. 05/2017

It’s everywhere: Advertising, propaganda, and politics

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Becoming self-aware of these mental patterns, and actively seeking to rewire them, is the foundation of cognitive therapy, i.e. Psychiatry.

Remaining unaware of these mental patterns is the foundation of Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations, i.e. Propaganda.

The biggest mistake of those who don’t use Propaganda is that they underestimate its power.

pub. 05/2017

A new era, a new type of propaganda

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“The danger of not having regulation around the sort of data you can get from Facebook and elsewhere is clear. With this, a computer can actually do psychology, it can predict and potentially control human behaviour. It’s what the scientologists try to do but much more powerful. It’s how you brainwash someone. It’s incredibly dangerous.”

pub. 02/2017

A brief overview of Russian hacking into American interests

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The United States remains seriously vulnerable to a range of cybersecurity threats from Russia. If left unchecked, Russian cyberoperations will likely continue to target American institutions, infrastructure, leaders, and citizens. According to former National Security Agency Director Michael S. Rogers, hacking attacks, including those from Russia, are costing the United States “hundreds of billions of dollars” and will lead to “truly significant, almost catastrophic failures if we don’t take action.”

pub. 02/2017

The Nazi history of the “lying media”

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During the first world war, after Germany got a thrashing in foreign newspapers for what they called the “rape of Belgium”, Allied (and especially British) newspapers earned the moniker. That set a usage pattern that holds till today: Lügenpresse refers to any medium that does not reflect the user’s own worldview, and must therefore be propagated by a hated “Other”.

pub. 11/2016