Firehose of Propaganda

One thing that has become very clear to me in the last few months is that TPTB have dialed the smoke machines up to 11 trying to blanket us in a thick fog of misdirection and disinfo. It’s just an intensification of what they’ve been doing for a long time. I came across this article from cracked.com on “5 Ways to Stay Sane in an Era of Non-Stop Outrage.” It sounded like click-bait but actually offered some surprisingly sound advice. What caught my eye, though, was the advice to “Understand the ‘Firehose of Falsehoods.'” What’s that?

The “Firehose of Falsehoods” propaganda model … is a technique allegedly used effectively by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, taking advantage of the internet and social media to overwhelm the populace with a machine gun spray of false news, inflammatory accusations, and conspiracy theories. It doesn’t matter if the information conflicts, it doesn’t matter if any of it is backed by reliable sources — sheer volume is all it takes, because the average person has a limited capacity to sift through it.

Your brain is an organ, a physical mass of jelly that burns calories for energy. It can be overworked the same way that an athlete’s muscles or your drunk uncle’s liver can. Already, 90 percent or so of that energy is burned worrying about your sex life, job, bills, family, friends, pets, diet, leaky bathroom faucet, favorite sports team, and the fact that you still don’t know who PewDiePie is and you’re now afraid to ask.

The “firehose” model recognizes that at some point, most people will give up.

Now, I personally don’t think Donald Trump or his administration are carefully crafting some Putin-esque strategy…. It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s intentional, though, because the effect is exactly the same. This is how he got into office in the first place — he stuffed the information channels with bullshit so that nobody else could be heard. The media in 2017 is the perfect landscape for this.

The news treats every tweet as an official White House press release / policy statement, each one requiring a whirlwind of analysis, debunking, and snide replies from a hundred million citizens eager to fire back. Six shitstorms a day, on top of the normal flow of real news — the executive orders, Cabinet appointments, legislation, etc.

Cracked borrows the term from a RAND Corporation policy paper that fingers Russia for recently inventing this model. We know better than to single out Putin or Russia or Trump or the MSM.  And of course the phenomenon pre-dates Twitter or the internet. Propaganda firehoses are spraying us from every possible direction, aimed by Intelligence operatives at the behest of our governors. But despite RAND’s misdirection, the metaphor is apt and the description of the methods hits home.

I check the new posts on r/conspiracy about once a day. Well over 99% of it is garbage. But for those unable to recognize that, the sheer number and variety of stories being pushed on a constant basis is enough to completely overwhelm and confuse. And that is its purpose. To drown us in noise, knock us off balance, keep us disoriented and, above all, to hide the truth behind a thick, perhaps impenetrable, layer of fog. All we can hope to do is cut through it, layer by layer, hoping to find a sliver of sunshine.

8 thoughts on “Firehose of Propaganda

  1. Interesting that they have a name for this propaganda overload. Maybe this is older than internet, but this strategy became more important after the internet. People need to understand that many so called conspiracies are actually part of the conspiracy. They are the component needed to confuse and overwhelm the people that try to understand the booshit. People like Alex Jones are there to machine gun you with booshit. Once you develop a good sense of smell is much easier to dodge, but unfortunately only a very small percentage of people manage to develop a sensitive nose. In fact they already mention that 90% of energy is already burned by more mundane bullshit. We can write volumes on why people are burned by these mundane things in the first place. Why people worry about sex life , pets, family etc. These things are supposed to bring happiness not worry. They also mention a character that I assume is fake or another kind of agent (Pewdiepie).

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    1. Pewdiepie is definitely a promoted personality who was recently involved in a manufactured scandal around anti-semitism. How about this as an alternative to Firehose of Propaganda: Bukkake of Bullshit.

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      1. Since it comes from many directions, Bukkake Propaganda/Booshit is probably better. Of course, the booshit is manged by a centralized source. I like to say booshit because boo=ghost=spook.

        I should add that the quantity is not enough. They must customize the propaganda for various targets/demographics. Each demographic category has particular biases (for various reasons). They also put in place many “leaders” that appeal to various demographic categories , and these leaders are the channel through which propaganda flows. Many of the demographic categories are artificial, owing their existence to an older propaganda (political party, religion etc).

        Actually I believe the topic of propaganda or philosophy of propaganda is very important. I don’t believe I finished Propaganda by Edward Barney. In a previous post Mark mentioned Propaganda by Jacques Ellul. But in the end these books probably don’t present the true nature of propaganda (probably a lot of misdirection). The authors themselves are suspicious. A treatise on propaganda by a person who is aware of historical hoaxes would be more useful. The well known authors were aware of the hoaxes, but they are insiders trying to misdirect.

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  2. Great article. The brain is a tender instrument and needs TLC. Garbage in, garbage out. For me, my sensitive inner radar started motioning for me to turn the BS off. If one can dispassionately stand apart, watch and even laugh, it can help boost inner wellness. I focus on what’s important and understand that I am not in control of everything. When the MSM and politicos started in on the Russian BS everywhere I turned, I thought it was hilarious. So I explore what is truly real… and for me it’s not only the love I share with my family, but it’s the love I feel inside and I truly feel that the greatest of truths lie within. TPTB, through the firehouse of propaganda, bank on the notion that we will put the source of our happiness on external things. We can see all about us how true that is: as Mark says, we are more concerned over the fate of our professional sports teams, the wine we will pick for dinner, the latest celebrity scandal, Beyoncé’s pregnancy, who won best picture, and where to get our next stash of weed or opiates. For each of us who says NO, it’s a glittering drop of hope. (by the way OBama pretty much ruined that word for me, hope. That’s an example of hypnotization of the masses through catchy repetitive phrases. While people swooned, I stood up and said ‘wait a minute’, but this is old news).

    Be happy for those who are awake; be neutral but prayerful towards the poor souls who fall into the traps set by the governors. Let us light the way whenever possible and lead by example. I can’t change the world all by myself, but I can certainly on a personal level make better choices and every day endeavor to become a better person, leaving this world, hopefully, a bit better than I found it. This is what it’s all about: working on yourself. There is great satisfaction in that noble journey: the pursuit of self knowledge.

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  3. Thank Daddieuhoh. That article was funny and informative. You seem to have a knack for finding internet gems.

    It’s not just the MSM. If I see another tranny/Mandela effect/flat earth video on Youtube, I’m cutting off my junk, dashing to my DeLorean, and going out in a blaze of glory like Thelma and Louise.

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  4. It even includes mundane things like health and nutrition, with contradictory suggestions everywhere. There are so many layers it’s hard to get back to Kansas. The real tragedy is how it can separate us from friends and loved ones who get carried off by the detritus.

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    1. This is where intuition comes in handy. If we are bombarded with contradictions, sort through it the best you can and trust your gut. Just like a friend or family member of an alcoholic or addict can’t change that person unless they themselves want to change, the same applies to the friends and loved ones carried off by detritus (what a great word!) of propaganda. Hope for the best for them, and again, serve by example. Be strong in what and who you are, and let the chips fall as they may. The serenity prayer keeps me sane, but that’s me (and a few other million plus people on the planet). Cheers and Happy St. Paddy’s Day.

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