Thursday, August 17, 2017

Words Mediate Reality; Journalists Mediate the Narrative

Speaking of words and their meanings, journalists are referred to as "media" because they mediate between two realities; or, between reality and the reader or viewer.

Clearly, no one can be everywhere, see everything, and know everyone. I wouldn't even know of the existence of Donald Trump if not for the media. We can only have direct knowledge of a rather restricted range of persons and events.

So we have journalists to mediate between us and those distant persons and events. We employ these trundling mules or asses to carry messages from here to there. It requires no special skill, just rudimentary honesty and embryonic self-awareness.

In information theory there is the signal and the noise. Inevitably some noise gets into the signal (as in the game "telephone"), and journalists once prided themselves on the minimization or elimination of noise, which is related but not identical to the concept of objectivity.

If too much noise gets into the signal, then it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two. Thus, communication requires a stable medium that is resistant to entropy. Money, for example, is supposed to be a stable medium of exchange. If the government prints too much, then the result is inflation, because money loses its exchange value. It can no longer purchase as much stuff.

Yeah, I could have explained all of that better, but I slept late and the coffee hasn't yet turned over my crankshaft. In any event, these thoughts were just now provoked upon reading the following passage by Pieper:

[T]he moment a person sensitive to the use of words deliberately ceases to govern his words with a view to stating the reality of things, he automatically ceases to communicate anything.

In other words, he ceases to be a medium; or, he's still a medium, just not of reality.

There are many reasons why a person would cease mediating reality: there might be passive reasons such as stupidity, ignorance, cultural impoverishment, or tenure. There can be reasons of self-interest, for example, exaggerating or inventing stories in order to advance one's career.

Mental illness can often be a factor, ranging from distorted perception (e.g., paranoia) to, say, narcissism, in which the journalist conflates the importance of what he reports with his own self-importance.

Yeah, that never happens.

Another reason is indoctrination. It might be the most important source of journalistic noise these days, but it is surely blended with ignorance, stupidly, mental illness, narcissism, self-importance, and a self-monitoring groupthink. Add them all together, and we have... the MSM. MSNBC is all of these things, only refreshingly unmasked.

Oh, I forgot another major source of noise. I'm going to have to amend what I just said about indoctrination being the most important.

In fact, this is what really separates me from those other bloggers and commentators, and journalists from reality: without any hesitation whatsoever, I say that the source of this noise is demonic.

Or better, that this noise is evidence of demonic influences, right before our eyes. It's like the wind: we never see it, only its effects. Same with Satan: we never see him, but we surely see his effects. We know him by his fruits, so to speak. Or fruitcakes, in the case of journalists.

Let's take an extreme example, Nazism or Communism. Natural explanations of these phenomena are inevitably banal. You can take a dozen different approaches, from cultural to psychohistorical to economic and more, but they are simply inadequate to explain that level of frenzied and yet systematic sadism. What makes these ideologies so unique is the combination of creativity, which is divine, and violent sadism, which is demonic: creative depravity, or savage creativity.

Something similar is occurring in our civilization. And it's happening very fast, as last year's parody becomes this year's reality. Now they're talking about tearing down Monticello and the Washington Monument. And why not? Principles are principles, and if the principle is that Washington and Jefferson owned slaves and therefore represent unalloyed evil, why on earth would we want to honor them? QED.

But if the left is going to be consistent in applying this principle, several other venerable things will need to go. For example, Thomas Jefferson was the founder of the Democratic party, so this deeply tainted institution needs to be abolished at once. And Jesus has got to go, for he might have been the first to suggest that "all lives matter," thus revealing his racial animus and White Privilege.

Back to Pieper:

For language becomes communication the moment it expresses a link to [mediates] reality, and by the same token it ceases to be communication the moment this link is destroyed.

And it is not as if the mediated-to haven't noticed. What percentage of the public trusts the MSM to mediate reality without coloration? Fifteen percent?

Nevertheless, the incessant pounding of the message gets through; or, not so much the message as the Narrative, for the Narrative is pure noise, something superimposed on the facts before they are even facts.

Indeed, the Narrative is what journalists use in order to see facts at all. Put conversely, something that supports the Narrative is a fact, while something that fails to support it isn't seen at all, and therefore never rises to the level of fact. If you see things outside the Narrative, you're either lying or hallucinating.

Which might be the main reason Trump is so hated by the media, because he challenges the Narrative. Last weekend he did it big time, by equating Antifa and white supremacists.

Of course Trump has it all wrong, in that the far left is far more dangerous to the nation than the KKK, which is totally marginalized and has no political influence whatsoever. Nevertheless, one is not permitted to notice that banal truth, and punishment for doing so is swift and severe. "Even" Republicans aren't on board with it, which highlights the fact that they are no less immersed in the Narrative than Democrats.

In a way, Republicans are even more diabolical than Democrats. It's like a disease. We know the disease is evil. But what if the doctor is also evil, and only pretending to treat you? What I really want to say to these Republican quacks is -- pardon my French: physician fuck thyself.

When one person ceases to speak to another in the artless and spontaneous manner which characterizes genuine conversation, and begins to consciously manipulate his words, expressly ceasing to concern himself with the truth -- when, in other words, his concern is with something other than the truth -- he has, in reality, from that point on ceased to respect the other person as a partner in conversation. He has ceased to respect him as a human person....

[W]hen words lose contact with reality, they become an instrument of power.... (Pieper).

And power without truth might be the essence of the diabolical.


Gagdad Bob said...

Again, Trump actually underemphasizes left wing violence. He's too evenhanded.

julie said...

In fact, this is what separates me from those other bloggers and commentators: without any hesitation whatsoever, I say that the source of this noise is satanic.

Ringing that gong again today. In my study, from Acts 16:16:

As we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl with an oracular spirit,[f] who used to bring a large profit to her owners through her fortune-telling. 17 She began to follow Paul and us, shouting, “These people are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” 18 She did this for many days. Paul became annoyed, turned, and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” Then it came out at that moment.

In this instance, what she said was true; however, the impression she was giving to the pagan Romans around her was that the true God was some sort of new Zeus. Truth was proclaimed in such a way that people could only be led astray. In other words, Satanic.

julie said...

And agreed, Trump is being extremely evenhanded. Funny, considering that the one of the biggest fears most people had about him as president was that he wouldn't be able to constrain his emotions.

Gagdad Bob said...

The truly insane power of the Narrative: CNN: There Will Be Questions About Whether Barcelona Attack Was ‘Copycat’ of Charlottesville.

Gagdad Bob said...

If that's the first thought that occurs to you, you know that mind parasites have assumed full control of your psyche.

julie said...

They are sick almost beyond belief.

Gagdad Bob said...

That's why I say demonic. "Sickness" just doesn't cut it.

julie said...

True; poor choice of words on my part.

Gagdad Bob said...

Note that they would never suggest that the guy on Saturday was a Muslim copycat. Again, the power of narrative.

Gagdad Bob said...

Schuon says the luciferic involves rebellion against reality, while the satanic involves the inversion of reality. We certainly appear to be dealing with the latter: an upside-down pseudo-world forcing itself upon us.

julie said...

Good post at Just Thomismtoday, talking about The Gulag Archipelago and Dionysian transgression:

"And what were the police supposed to do when they came to the hospital and found the man in surgery? Wait? That would acknowledge some barrier to the reach of the Party, or some circumstance that limited the appropriateness of its actions. You can’t understand what happened until you can feel the thrill in the heart of the police barging into operating rooms or throwing over coffins as agents of irresistible power, absolute certitude, unstoppable action. They blast through any limitation of manners, sentimentality, law, morality, or religion, and every transgression serves as yet another proof of their omnipotence and the supreme value of their service to the cause."

Anonymous said...

If you were black and alone, and you met up with two groups occupying a fork in a road late at night. On the left stand a group of Antifa, and on the right, a group of KKK. Which fork, right or left, do you take? Why?

How about if you were Jewish? How about if you were a white intellectual, wearing glasses, with a stylish LA tan? How about if you were carrying a satchel of money?

"One Cosmos, Under God," a book by a certain Dr. Godwin, is recommended reading to dispel any notions that Satan or demonic influences could be a real thing. Pick up a copy.

julie said...

If you were anyone with two brain cells to zap together, you'd pull a u-turn and get the hell out of there. Both groups are vile.

Gagdad Bob said...

The difference being that blacks are the pets of white leftists, and absolutely central to their virtue signaling. Therefore, the KKK is an existential threat to them, despite the fact that the KKK is powerless. Or, the only power they have is the attention given them by the MSM, which doesn't pay attention to them because they're dangerous, but to signal their own moral superiority.

Gagdad Bob said...

Prior to Saturday -- assuming any blacks were injured -- I wonder when was the last time a black was harmed by a KKK member? Maybe it's happened, but I've never heard about it. They also hate Catholics, but Pope Francis is much more dangerous to the Church.

Gagdad Bob said...

Likewise, Al Sharpton and Barack Obama are much more dangerous to blacks.

Maxine Waters said...

Don't forget me!

Rev. Farrakhan said...

And me!

Anonymous said...

Well, Julie and Bob.

With my question, I was attempting to elicit a more experiential and personal response regarding the two groups, Antifa and KKK. If one is running on media inputs only, one loses the actual flavor of the thing in question, as discussed in the post.

I'll try another approach.

It could be said one group hates, and the other group hates hatred itself. Which group is which?

One group might take your money, and one might take your life. Which group is which?

If you had to pick between being entirely surrounded by the naked, sweating, staring members of one of these groups versus the other, what is your immediate and visceral choice? That would tell you volumes.

If Jesus were to decide if members of one group needed his ministrations more than the other, which would he pick?

I could go on. The point is, there is a rat in the woodpile, and I want to see if you can ferret it out.

Gagdad Bob said...

Antifa is far more dangerous, violent, and numerous than the KKK. Both are hate groups. Only one has any influence. Antifa is the militant wing of the Democrat-Media-Tenured Complex.

Gagdad Bob said...

And I'm lumping Antifa in with other left-wing hate groups such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, Southern Poverty Law Center, etc. All hate American ideals and wish to destroy them from within.

neal said...

I do not recall Jesus choosing amongst Zealots, Romans, Pharisees, Saducees, demoniacs, or most any existing corrupted structures at the time.
Probably not much for false choices and being herded. Not much of a joiner.

Money, no problem. Life, no problem. Go fish.

Hating hate is a double negation. Usually breaks more than gets fixed.

That never gets to the heart of the matter; just breeds like flies.

Anonymous said...

Oh well I give up. I had rated Antifa as only about 50% as odious as KKK, but really, its not an important point.

The Democrat-Media-Tenured Complex has a simpler name. It's called "America." This complex is propelling us to a great future of advanced electronics, better space-craft, better food and medicine, and better everything. It is progress. Think Elon Musk. Think Apple. Think Google.

Unite the Right, and whatever else is passing as a good thing these days on your blog, is all a tired attempt to hang on to what used to be, and will get us exactly nowhere. America has gone from white to brown majority, boo hoo. Why not just enjoy the benefits of living in these great times, whatever color you are? We have it good, from consumer goods to designer skunk which should rock your world. Capitalism is not dead, and it doesn't even have a mild fever. I don't know what you're worried about. Commies? What?

Gagdad Bob said...

New live CD of the Raspberries reunion. I rate it an 11/10, but I'm a member of the cult.

Gagdad Bob said...

Worst cover ever, though. However, liner notes by James Rosen at Fox News, also famous for being illegally spied on by the Obama White House.

Gagdad Bob said...

I don't even remember any women dressing like that in the early '70s, nor radios looking like that.

Rick said...

My favorite part:

"the far left is far more dangerous to the nation than the KKK, which is totally marginalized and has no political influence whatsoever."

What an excellent observation.

And this needs to go in the post:

"I wonder when was the last time a black was harmed by a KKK member? Maybe it's happened, but I've never heard about it."

We would have never heard the end of it.

The KKK is essentially "solved".

Gagdad Bob said...

Ironically -- apropos the anonymous comment above -- a black person would undoubtedly be in less danger if he ran into a group of KKK members than a group of young black men. By statistical orders of magnitude.

julie said...

Yes, definitely.

Along those lines, racism in leftist whitopia.

julie said...

Also, the moon is racist.

Rick said...

Good news is, I have no idea what racist means anymore.


Gagdad Bob said...

At this point, racism is simply that to which a liberal appeals when he has lost the argument. Or election.

julie said...

Rick, I just spotted your comment over at Vox's about the Sagrada Familia Cathedral; didn't notice it was you at first, but immediately thought of you because of the documentary. OMG indeed; thank God they failed in that, at least.

Rick said...

Yes, but where's the argument?
It's gone Pavlovian now. It's just a bark.

Rick said...

Ah my 5:59 comment was to Bob's.

Yes, Julie. I can't think about it for very long. The cat may be out of the bag for their next bad idea. Perhaps they were stopped by Divine Intervention this time, and that in some way it means their end is near.

Van Harvey said...

"And power without truth might be the essence of the diabolical"

Yes indeedy.

Van Harvey said...

aninnymouse said "It could be said one group hates, and the other group hates hatred itself. Which group is which?"

Oh, sorry, false assUmption. One group, the KKK's hate is based upon materially based characteristics of 'otherness', such as appearances, place of origin, preferred church, etc. Antifa's hate is based upon conceptual based 'otherness', such as 'You don't believe what I do, therefore [not that there's actually logic involved, but just for demonstration purposes] you're Evil. DIE!", which makes Antifa far more the evil and more dangerous of the two.