Uncategorized

(5ExQ) + (7CxA) = EEE – The formula for mass indoctrination

PROGRAMMING YOUR REALITY

(The Sabido Method with updates, stay tuned for more on Esta de Fossard)

(5ExQ) + (7CxA)=EEE – The formula for mass indoctrination (14)

Humans tend to learn values and morals from their peer group. Although these concepts are actively taught in religious and educational institutions it seems that few people have the desire or ability to put abstract theory into action and mold their behavior according to prescribed concepts of which behaviors are proper. The behavior and actions of those around them is much more influential. While many people claim to live by principles which guide their actions most will mimic the behavior of their peers. At one time this meant people would learn from family and friends the values, morals and beliefs which influenced their opinions and shaped their behavior. With the advent of television and the subsequent diminishing role of community and family peer groups have shifted from intimately known live individuals to actors portraying characters. This shift has had the effect of transferring values from scripted characters to the viewer in the same way that values were transferred from family and friends in the past. And that is precisely what the Sabido method is intended to do.

In the 1970’s Miguel Sabido, then vice president of Research at Televisa in Mexico, developed a method based on “character development and plot lines that provide the audience with a range of characters that they can engage with — some good, some not so good — and follow as they evolve and change.” [1] The intention of this method is to introduce characters in a serial drama that the viewer can identify with or relate to. Some of these characters will have positive traits, some negative. Over the course of the series situations and ideas are introduced which pose challenges to the characters and cause them to change their behavior, which the viewer will relate to and mimic. The stated goal of the Sabido Method is to portray “pro-social” behavioral changes.  Pro-social being a subjective term defined by people other than the target audience. In plain language it is intended to manipulate the target audience into changing a behavior deemed undesirable by the authors of the program. The Sabido Method has been used most notably for population control and HIV prevention in the “third world”. (1,2,3,4)

A more modern terminology for the Sabido Method is “education-entertainment”.(5) Although the Wikipedia entry gives the perception that this is an innocuous, above board technique the application of it is not so innocuous. Regardless of the intention behind its use, whether well or ill, the methodology is inherently deceptive and manipulative. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a course titled Education Entertainment for Behavior change which “examines and teaches ways in which education can be subtly but effectively worked into both new and time-honored genres of entertainment to foster positive behavior change and life improvement in both developing countries and local environments. The course develops students’ ability to understand the ingredients of successful entertainment (emotions, empathy, efficacy and empowerment) and how these ingredients can be employed to enhance social and personal health and life skills.” (6)

The formula at the top of this page, (5ExQ) + (7CxA)=EEE, is the actual formula used to create mass indoctrination programs. This is explained the John Hopkins lecture entitled “The Entertainment Education Equation”. 5E means the 5 E’s of entertainment, which are emotion, empathy, example, efficacy and enhancement. The Q is quality, because “entertainment that is engaging truly must be of the highest quality”. 7C means the 7 C’s of education, which are correct, clear, complete, concise, consistent, compelling, culturally appropriate. And A means accountability, because “It is essential to hold ourselves accountable for the changes we promote in the lives of others.” This equation can be used in serial dramas or soap operas, public service announcements, songs, puppet shows and even dance routines, and, according to the author of this program, Esta de Fossard, provides a successful platform for “social and behavior change communication for adults and social behavior development for children and adolescents”, ensuring EEE, or Excellence in Education Entertainment. (19)

Like all social engineers the people implementing these programs seem to believe they know best and that the target audience cannot be trusted with straight forward information and so must be manipulated. The World Bank has even developed a project using this method to impart financial knowledge using a soap opera in which one man shames another for being foolish and keeping cash at home.(7)

This method is based on the work of psychologist Albert Bandura and his Social Learning Theory, which is a successor of behaviorism. (8) Social Learning Theory states “People, especially children, learn from the environment and seek acceptance from society by learning through influential models. Social learning theory states that social behavior (any type of behavior that we display socially) is learned primarily by observing and imitating the actions of others. The social behavior is also influenced by being rewarded and/or punished for these actions.”(9)

The publicly stated goals of the Sabido Method are “pro-social” changes such as population reduction, HIV prevention, financial responsibility, etc. However, it  is also being used for other messages, such as environmentalism as in the notorious “behavior placement” concept. (10,11)

Below the sources for the above information is a list of further reading and viewing on this topic. You’ll see that the CDC regularly inserts the culturally accepted authorized views on health and medicine into television series. A cursory search of the internet for “Sabido Method” or “education entertainment” brings up a plethora of information not included here which suggests that almost all serial dramas on television are used for this type of purpose, ie. intending to influence behavior and beliefs through deceptive manipulation, all with the best intentions of course.

(1) Sabido Methodology – Background. http://www.populationmedia.org/what/sabido-method/
(2) Sex, Soap & Social Change – The Sabido Methodology. http://www.populationmedia.org/2007/08/09/sex-soap-social-change-the-sabido-methodology/
(3) Sabido Methodology. http://www.comminit.com/content/sabido-methodology
(4) The theory heard ’round the world. http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/theory.aspx
(5) Educational Entertainment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entertainment-Education
(6) Entertainment Education for Behavior Change. http://ocw.jhsph.edu/index.cfm/go/viewCourse/course/EntertainmentEducation/coursePage/index/
(7) The World Bank Entertainment Education Project, June 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M6y06gjdQ8
(8) Albert Bandura. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bandura
(9) Social Learning Theory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_learning_theory
(10) What Your TV Is Telling You To Do. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304364904575166581279549318.html
(11) NBC’s ‘Behavior Placement’: NBC Pushes Eco-Friendly Messages Through Shows. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/07/nbcs-behavior-placement-n_n_528701.html

Further Reading/Viewing

(12) Dr. Miguel Sabido – The Telenovela – A Motor For Social Change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_0w2LzNCc
(13) CDC – Entertainment Education. http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/2000survey.html
(14) JHSPH Entertainment Education for Behavior Change Courseware. http://ocw.jhsph.edu/courses/entertainmenteducation/lectureNotes.cfm
(15) CDC – Entertainment Education in Hollywood. http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/index.html
(16) CDC – Delivering Public Health Messages Through Popular Entertainment. CDC Speaks Directly To Audiences Through Television. http://www.cdc.gov/news/2007/07/pubhealth_tv.html
(17) Hollywood, Health and Society. http://hollywoodhealthandsociety.org/
(18) Norman Lear Center. http://blog.learcenter.org/
(19) The Entertainment Equation. http://ocw.jhsph.edu/courses/entertainmenteducation/PDFs/The_Entertainment_Education_Equation.pdf

 

 

The Opinion Algorithm

The Opinion Algorithm

The Opinion Algorithm

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.” – The Wizard of Oz

“Trotter and Le Bon concluded that the group mind does not think in the strict sense of the word. In place of thoughts it has impulses, habits and emotions. In making up its mind its first impulse is usually to follow the example of a trusted leader. This is one of the most firmly established principles of mass psychology. It operates in establishing the rising or diminishing prestige of a summer resort, in causing a run on a bank, or a panic on the stock exchange, in creating a best seller, or a box-office success.”

– Edward Bernays. Propaganda. 1928. Page 50.

Algorithm is defined as “a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps”. The existence of a pubic opinion shifting algorithm is not officially recognized, but it exists. The algorithm is sometimes referred to as the Hegelian Dialectic, and is made up of three components.

1) The existing public opinion (thesis).

2) A fabricated opposing opinion (antithesis).

3) The desired final public opinion (synthesis).

An organization wanting to influence, control and guide public opinion to a pre-determined conclusion must control the thesis and the antithesis. If this is done properly the public can be directed to accept almost any opinion as their own given enough time.

This works in the following manner. There are, within society, cultural norms accepted by most people, we will refer to them as  “established norms.”  In this example the established norm is the thesis. If an organization with the ability to disseminate information en masse desires to change this norm they can bring to the attention of the public a debate of the established norm (thesis) versus the fabricated opposing norm (antithesis), perhaps allowing a celebrity to speak on behalf of the antithesis. A public debate ensues in the media. Television shows and movies are produced with the antithesis as the backdrop, books are written arguing for and against it.

The public gets caught up in the debate and decides they stand on the issue. The organization in charge of placing this debate in public view understands that the decision reached by most people will be a compromise somewhere in between the thesis and the antithesis. And this compromise eventually becomes the new norm, the synthesis, which was the goal to begin with. The norms have now shifted from the original thesis to the synthesis, which now becomes the new thesis and a new starting point. Using this algorithm public opinion can be shifted over time to almost anything desired by anyone capable of disseminating information en masse.

The Sabido Method and Education Entertainment

The Sabido Method and Education Entertainment

or How To Manipulate Large Populations Using Media

Humans learn values and morals from their peer group. Although these are taught through religion and schooling as well, few people put abstract theory into action and mold their behavior according to prescribed concepts of which behaviors are proper. Much more influential is the behavior and actions of those around them. In the past this meant people would learn from family and friends the values, morals and beliefs which informed their opinions and shaped their behavior. With the advent of television and the subsequent degradation of community and family peer groups have shifted from  intimately known live individuals to actors portraying characters. This shift has had the effect of transferring values from scripted characters to the viewer in the same way that values were transferred from family and friends in the past. And that is precisely what the Sabido method is intended to do.

In the 1970’s Miguel Sabido, then vice president of Research at Televisa in Mexico, developed a method based on “character development and plot lines that provide the audience with a range of characters that they can engage with — some good, some not so good — and follow as they evolve and change.” [1] The intention of this method is to introduce characters in a serial drama that the viewer can identify with or relate to. Some of these characters will have positive traits, some negative. Over the course of the series situations and ideas are introduced which pose challenges to the characters and  cause them to change their behavior, which the viewer will relate to and mimic. The stated goal of the Sabido Method is to portray “pro-social” behavioral changes, pro-social being defined by people other than the target audience. In plain language it is intended to manipulate the target audience into changing a behavior deemed undesirable. The Sabido Method has been used most notably for population control and HIV prevention in the “third world”. [1,2,3,4].

A more modern terminology for the Sabido Method is “education-entertainment”.[5] Although the Wikipedia entry gives the perception that this is an innocuous, above board technique the application of it is not so innocous. Regardless of the intention behind its use, whether well or ill, the methodology is inherently deceptive and manipulative. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health offers a course titled Education Entertainment for Behavior change which “examines and teaches ways in which education can be subtly but effectively worked into both new and time-honored genres of entertainment to foster positive behavior change and life improvement in both developing countries and local environments. The course develops students’ ability to understand the ingredients of successful entertainment (emotions, empathy, efficacy and empowerment) and how these ingredients can be employed to enhance social and personal health and life skills.” [6]

Like all social engineers the Sabidists seem to believe they know best and that the target audience cannot be trusted with straight forward information and so must be manipulated. For instance, instead of laying out the pros and cons of using a bank the World Bank has developed a project using the Sabido method to impart what they consider to be sound financial knowledge, such as using a bank instead of keeping cash at home.[7]

This method is based on the work of psychologist Albert Bandura and his Social Learning Theory, which is a successor of behaviorism. [8]. Social Learning Theory states “People, especially children, learn from the environment and seek acceptance from society by learning through influential models. Social learning theory is a perspective that states that social behavior (any type of behavior that we display socially) is learned primarily by observing and imitating the actions of others. The social behavior is also influenced by being rewarded and/or punished for these actions.”[9].

The publicly stated goals of the Sabido Method are “pro-social” changes such as population reduction, HIV prevention, financial responsibility, etc. However, it seems obvious that this method is also being used for other messages such as environmentalism as in the notorious “behavior placement” concept. [10,11]. A cursory search of the internet for “Sabido Method” or “education entertainment” brings up a plethora of information not included here which suggests that almost all serial dramas on television are used for this type of purpose, ie. intending to influence behavior and beliefs through deceptive manipulation.

[1] Sabido Methodology – Background. http://www.populationmedia.org/what/sabido-method/
[2] Sex, Soap & Social Change – The Sabido Methodology. http://www.populationmedia.org/2007/08/09/sex-soap-social-change-the-sabido-methodology/
[3] Sabido Methodology. http://www.comminit.com/content/sabido-methodology
[4] The theory heard ’round the world. http://www.apa.org/monitor/oct02/theory.aspx
[5] Educational Entertainment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entertainment-Education
[6] Entertainment Education for Behavior Change. http://ocw.jhsph.edu/index.cfm/go/viewCourse/course/EntertainmentEducation/coursePage/index/
[7] The World Bank Entertainment Education Project, June 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M6y06gjdQ8
[8] Albert Bandura. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Bandura
[9] Social Learning Theory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_learning_theory
[10] What Your TV Is Telling You To Do. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304364904575166581279549318.html
[11] NBC’s ‘Behavior Placement’: NBC Pushes Eco-Friendly Messages Through Shows. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/07/nbcs-behavior-placement-n_n_528701.html

Further Reading/Viewing

Dr. Miguel Sabido – The Telenovela – A Motor For Social Change. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ_0w2LzNCc

CDC – Entertainment Education. http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/2000survey.html

JHSPH Entertainment Education for Behavior Change Courseware.  http://ocw.jhsph.edu/courses/entertainmenteducation/lectureNotes.cfm

CDC – Entertainment Education in Hollywood. http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/index.html

CDC – Delivering Public Health Messages Through Popular Entertainment.  CDC Speaks Directly To Audiences Through Television. http://www.cdc.gov/news/2007/07/pubhealth_tv.html

Hollywood, Health and Society. http://hollywoodhealthandsociety.org/

Norman Lear Center. http://blog.learcenter.org/

On the Manipulation of Subjective Reality

Preface: I realize that the concepts of objective and subjective reality have been discussed to death, but here I am presenting these concepts in a different light. I am concerned with how subjective reality can be, and is, manipulated by those that control the dissemination of information for their own benefit, and for the guidance of culture, or cultures, towards a definite end. When the word reality is used in this essay it is not meant to refer to some abstract conception of the universe or different dimensions, or whether or not what one sees through ones eyes actually exists or is simply their minds interpretation of light particles. Here reality means the truth and totality of world events, history, motives, etc. Objective reality means all data, subjective reality means the data contained in ones mind and ones interpretation of said data. 

On the Manipulation of Subjective Reality

     It’s ones perception of the world that shapes ones reality, and the absence of certain facts from ones consciousness can only result in an incomplete perception of reality. There are at least two types of reality, objective and subjective. Objective reality is concrete, a set of facts outside of any one person’s perception, that encompasses all data. Theoretically, objective reality is the absolute truth. Subjective reality is an individuals interpretation, or perception, of a small cross section of the data that constitute objective reality. It is impossible to have a complete knowledge of objective reality. In order to do so one would have to know everything. This means one can only have a subjective view of reality, shaped by the bits and pieces of objective reality that one has gathered.

Culture is “the behavior and beliefs characteristic of a certain group”. Culture can be said to be a common illusion of objective reality, a common set of myths or mythos, or a common subjective reality. It is a force that works to shape a common subjective interpretation of a selection of the data that make up objective reality. Individuals within the group each have a more refined subjective reality, generally held within the boundaries of their culture. This may be why each culture is different from the others. Having developed isolated from other cultures, they have each developed a different interpretation of the data. And having at their disposal different pieces of objective reality, they have had different data to interpret.

The mythos, defined as “the complex of beliefs, values, attitudes, etc., characteristic of a specific group or society”, determines what a group of people within a given culture consider to be normal, which means “conforming to the standard or common type”. Ones subjective reality, usually similar to the mythos of ones culture, then defines normal for this person. The mythos is constantly evolving and is guided by the most widely known data present within the culture.

Those within, outside or above the culture who have the ability to disseminate information en masse have a major influence in determining the current mythos. Therefore, those with the ability to disseminate information en masse can determine what individuals within the culture consider to be normal by regulating which bits of information make their way into our perception. In this way the subjective reality of large groups of people, (culture or mythos), can be manipulated quite easily given modern technology’s amazing capacity for reaching billions of people, and given the fact that a large percentage of the tools for disseminating information en masse are in the hands of a rather small group of people. The Department of Defense and many public relations firms call this technique perception management. [1]

We’ve all been given this common subjective reality (if you are reading this you are most likely a member of the same culture as the author) by our culture and by those who can influence culture. We share a common set of ideas, concepts, language, etc., that allows our society to function. This we generally accept as objective reality. But if ones sources of information are strictly authorized outlets, i.e. those capable of disseminating information en masse, then one can be led to believe that their subjective reality is indeed objective reality. Especially if one does not understand this concept. In fact, in that case the thought may never even occur and most within the culture might believe that it is objective reality, simply because most people agree that it is.

By independent study of pieces of objective reality (replicable scientific experiments for example) or by independent study of a multitude of other people’s subjective reality (investigative reports, books, etc), and ones own observations, one can piece together a picture of what may be a small portion of objective reality. But one is always left with their unique perception of data, subjective reality.

How does one know what’s real and what’s fake or misrepresented? There isn’t a satisfactory answer to that question, ultimately it’s up to each individual to decide. However the popular version of reality that has been created for us by our culture is not objective reality. It’s simply our perception, our interpretation, of the information that has been selectively presented to us. A good deal of data have intentionally been left out, leaving us with a provably false perception of reality.

To date, observation and compilation of gathered data have led some to the understanding that there exists a concerted effort to manipulate exactly which bits and pieces we all get. In this way the regulators of information are free to create whatever pseudo-objective reality they choose, which will most likely benefit its creators. By design it keeps some of us prisoners, physically and mentally.

Since there are, at least, trillions of bits of data and we are given only a small percentage of them, what reason do we have to believe that the mythos is indeed objective reality? So much is left out. The more facts one can gather, the easier it becomes to see that the common illusion is simply a mass, meshed, consensual subjective reality. A real life cave, a la Plato’s Republic.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perception_management

Sources of Information and the Creation of “Normal”

The Creation of Normal

“The concept of “mental health” in our society is defined largely by the extent to which an individual behaves in accord with the needs of the system and does so without showing signs of stress.”
– Ted Kaczyinski. Industrial Society and Its Future

Our subjective reality is shaped by the information we gather. If ones store of knowledge consists only of information that has been given to them by others then ones subjective reality has been shaped for them by someone else. It then follows that if ones only sources of information are authorized outlets then the authority giving the information has shaped ones subjective reality.

Where does your information come from?

Normal means conforming to the standard or common type. Whatever is most common is what is considered normal. It then follows that ones stored information determines what one believes is normal. Therefore, if ones information is passively received only from authorized outlets of information then ones conception of normal will be formed by the authority giving the information.

1. There are at least two types of reality.
1.1. Objective reality.
1.1A. Objective reality is concrete, a set of facts outside of any one persons perception, that encompasses all data.
1.1B. Objective reality is absolute truth.
1.2. Subjective reality.
1.2A. Subjective reality is an individuals interpretation, or perception, of this set of facts that exists outside the mind, and is filtered through the mind, senses and cultural           conditioning.
1.2B. Subjective reality is individual perception of the absolute truth.
1.3. It is impossible to have a complete knowledge of objective reality.
1.4. In order to do so one would have to know everything.
1.5. One can only have a subjective view of reality.
1.5A. This is shaped by the bits and pieces of objective reality one has gathered.

2. Culture is the behavior and beliefs characteristic of a certain group.
2.1. This is a common illusion of objective reality or a common set of myths (mythos).
2.2. It is a force that works to shape a common subjective interpretation of objective reality amongst its members.
2.3. This mythos determines what a group of people consider to be normal.
2.4. The mythos is constantly evolving.
2.5. The mythos is created by the most widely known information present within the culture.
2.5A. Those with the ability to disseminate information en masse determine the current mythos.
2.5B. Therefore, those who disseminate information en masse determine what is considered normal.

3. There exist at least two types of sources of information and two types of recipients of information.
3.1. Sources.
3.1A. Active sources of information include media that actively relay information, e.g. television, cinema, radio, etc, as well as schools and other organizations which actively relay information.
3.1B. Passive sources of information include media that passively relay information, e.g. books, magazines, artwork, etc.
3.1C. Both passive and active sources can fall into a sub-category.
3.1C.1. Authorized sources.
3.1C.1A. Authorized sources are sources with the ability to disseminate information en masse and official approval to do so.
3.1C.2. Unauthorized sources.
3.1C.1B. Unauthorized sources do not have the ability to disseminate information en masse, and if they somehow acquire that ability it is not with official approval
3.2. Recipients.
3.2A. Active recipients seek out information and filter information through critical thought processes and fact checking in an attempt to verify the accuracy of the information.
3.2B. Passive recipients are supplied with information and do not use a process to validate the accuracy of the information they receive.

3A. Information enters the mind in two fashions. (1)
3A.1. Actively.
3A.1A. This requires a passive source and active recipient, or an active source and active recipient.
3A.1B. This often involves critical thinking as a way to determine validity of information.
3A.2. Passively.
3A.2A. This requires an active source and a passive recipient or a passive source and passive recipient.
3A.2B. This often does little to determine the validity of the information.
3A.3. Both fashions are susceptible to invalid information.
3A.3A. An active recipient may be better able to determine the validity of the information than a passive recipient.

4. Passive recipients of information within a given culture have had their subjective reality determined for them.
4.1. This has been accepted as objective reality.
4.2. Although objective reality cannot be known, passive recipients of information can be led to believe that the subjective reality culture has created for them is actually
objective reality.
4.2A. This can be accomplished by regulating the information which is given to the passive recipients.
4.2B. The passive recipients do not understand this concept, it is not present among the information given to them.
4.2C. Their subjective reality matches that of most other passive recipients.
4.2D. This becomes normal, regardless of validity, because it is most common.
4.3. Passive recipients receive information almost exclusively from authorized sources.
4.3A. Those in charge of these sources may have a motive unknown to the passive recipient.
4.4. Subjective reality amongst passive recipients can easily be manipulated by those with the ability to disseminate and regulate information en masse.

5. Active recipients of information may be able to interpret a subjective reality of their own which may be closer to objective reality than the common subjective reality of passive recipients. 5.1. This can be accomplished in multiple fashions.
5.1A. Independent study of bits of objective reality (e.g. replicable scientific experiments).
5.1B. Independent study of a multitude of others’ subjective realities (e.g. investigative reports, book, etc.)
5.1C. Ones own observations.
5.1D. All of the above used in conjunction with critical thinking.
5.2. Active recipients often gather information from a variety of sources, sometimes excluding authorized sources.
5.3. Subjective reality amongst active recipients is much harder to manipulate.

Are you active or passive recipient of information?

(1) John Dewey.  How We Think. Chapter 1.