Many of my friends and acquaintances in Second Life™ are liberals, socialists, and/or Democrats. I often wonder how that is possible. Communists and socialists have killed more of their citizens and become dictatorships more often than any other political system (look it up). Minorities support the Democrat Party, but it is the party promoting and clinging to separation of economic class, races, sexual orientations, religions, and even recently calling for racial segregation in K-12 schools. (Reference, reference) It was the party of the KKK and a number of famous Democrat politians have been members of the klan. How are these incongruities possible?
A basic truism is united we stand, divided we fall. Thousands of years of history show the validity of the truism. But, every place I look the Democrat party, socialists, liberal organizations, and of course anarchists and radicals are striving to dividing us. But why do so few notice? The old definition of thought control still mostly in use today is: (Merriam-Webster)
1 : the practice by a totalitarian government of attempting (as by propaganda) to prevent subversive and other undesired ideas from being received and competing in the minds of the people with the official ideology and policies
2 : the use by a group or institution of authoritarian techniques similar in nature and purpose to governmental thought control
Today’s efforts at thought control are more sophisticated and subtle. How we think of ‘authoritarian’ also probably needs to change as used in this definition. The use of the words authoritarian and totalitarian leads many, I think, to think of the older style of control, ala Tiananmen Square. Today thought control is much more sophisticated.
I suspect most people are unaware of how the media is used to condition us and control how we think. Even fewer are aware of how the Internet is being used to influence us in ways many would concede is thought control. We deal with an amazing barrage of daily conditioning and influences fitting the newer definition of thought control.
A subtle example of this is: you hear your phone ring or call tone sound and you answer. Normal. Nothing forced on you. However, it is conditioning. Consider what happened to your thoughts when the phone rang. For most of us it is a drastic change.
A marketing person can take advantage of this learned behavior in a television commercial. You almost hear a phone ring… your attention shifts from whatever you were doing to more sharply focus to decide who’s phone it is. It is a triggered behavior. In that moment there is a MUCH better chance you will notice the commercial and have cleared your thinking to analyze what is going on. It is an ideal moment to plant a thought. But, you may not even consciously notice the background ring. Yet your attention is still likely to shift on a subconscious level. The psychology used in marketing is advanced and subtle. If you are not looking for it, you may not notice it and that is the point.
We are finding more and more thought control being done via the Internet. In most cases it is a matter of repeating, coloring, biasing, or omitting information you receive in invisible ways.
Google is the world’s top search engine and it is privately owned. Google censors its content by omitting things from its search results or placing things ahead of other things in the results. See: CNN’s: Google: The reluctant censor of the Internet. Since this is about thought control consider that title. Remove the word ‘reluctant’ from the title and the tone you expect from the article changes. Being aware of where information changes to opinion is key in understanding subtle thought control. Consider how you would change your expectation of what the article is about if the word joyful were used in place of reluctant. Also, check out the Huffington Post’s articles on Google Censorship. There is no room to question whether Google censors content or not. They do and they even publish an annual list/report of the content governments have required they remove.
In November 2014 Google was taken to court for censoring search results. See: Search Results Are Free Speech: Why is Google Censoring Them? The court saw Google as a private entity entitled to free speech. They can show the results or not show some however they choose as a matter of free speech. So, there is no doubt Google has the right to show whatever THEY WANT to show in the search results page. If you review any of the case files, you’ll see there is no effort on Google’s part to deny they were/are censoring.
But, Google not only censors what we see for legal reasons, they shape the results based on our previous searches and their business interests… that’s Google’s business interests. A study in July 2015 funded in part by the YELP Data Science Team and others covers some specific Google practices in detail. You can see what YELP was complaining about just by doing a search using the phrase: coffee shop near me. The top results will likely be from Google+. YELP and others think this is ‘unfair’, never mind that they do similar things with their search results. But, since Google is NOT a publicly owned government agency fairness is NOT a consideration. The rights of Google as a private entity/citizen are all that matter.
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