If you are promoting the value of loyalty, it may be that you need to promote other values at the same time, like fairness and integrity. As effective as loyalty can be in promoting other positive behaviors, Loyalty in isolation can be a dark thing.
– Angus Hildreth’s comments, Group Loyalty –
The Information Age has given us access to incredible amounts of data and opinion, but also vast numbers of Biased Reports and False Narratives… and an Uncivil Outrage that is triggered when people are unwilling to look beyond the easy facade of their Loyalty and Bias.
How culpable are politicians and the media in stirring the flames of anger? What is the role of Social Media? How do YOU know when mountains of bias are covering a more accurate truth? Here are just a few ideas that could help you to be more informed and less manipulated.
Be Cautious of Statistics
The Four M’s of Statistics – they can be Manipulated, Mismanaged, Misrepresented and Massaged by officials and other groups to promote their agendas. Does the argument still hold true if you eliminate the statistic that is propping it up?
Ignore The Ad Hominem or Personal attack
This is when a writer attacks the opposition’s intelligence, morals, education, professional qualifications, personal character or reputation with derogatory Name-Calling. This type of writer may also use The “F-Bomb” to defend or strengthen the argument with crude or profane language.
Check for ‘The Repetitive Lie’
Look for the lie, fallacy, slogan, or deceptive half-truth that is repeated over and over until people accept it without real proof or evidence. Brief phrases or slogans such as “The 1%” “Big Oil” or “Big Pharma” trigger a feeding-frenzy that is not necessarily supported by the balance of evidence.
Be wary of Guilt by Association
A writer may refute someone’s standpoint by associating them with a group, party, religion or race on the premise that everyone in that group is the same. This is also a tactic used when people are labelled as being racist, sexist, etc in an attempt to shame them.
Don’t be Taken in by Infotainment and Star Power
Infotainment is when entertainers deliberately mix facts, news, falsities and outright lies with entertainment. This includes endorsements by a well-known figure who is not an expert.
These are just a few of the more obvious tactics that suggest that the information might be biased and you are not being told ‘the rest of the story’.
As social justice advocates have come to dominate Western culture, they’ve created a situation where interlocutors are more intent on burnishing their adherence to the correct opinions than they are about discovering something new, learning the truth, or even engaging in open and reciprocal dialogue.
– Uri Harris, Quillette, January 17, 2018 –
This post was prompted by conversations I have had with basically good folks who are deeply committed to their political party (which isn’t in power). They cannot stand the leader of the elected party and say disparaging things about elected representatives of that party. They cannot think of a single positive thing that the opposing party has done – ever.
I don’t presume to think that I can say anything that would change their minds. I do think, though, that I can lend my voice to a growing movement that supports the need for civility across party lines. I don’t think this ‘shame and blame’ rhetoric from an intolerant tribe is the path to strong, cohesive communities.