Propaganda analysis:
January 17, 2002 11:44 PM   Subscribe

Propaganda analysis: A very interesting page on how to recognize and avoid emotionally-charged propaganda and political rhetoric. A broader question would be, how do you go about analyzing competing truth-claims made by environmentalists and anti-environmentalists, pro- and anti-gun control activists, Moonies, socialists, libertarians and capitalists? Are there any hard and fast rules you use to choose who and what to believe in a world of name calling and information glut?
posted by hanseugene (5 comments total)
Heh. I read this page last year.

Hard+fast rules on evaluating information: Everyone is biased, consider the source, develop a critique by having a wide array of information outlets.

For instance, the WSJ is the best American paper on business. The issue on the 16th did an article on the limits of NAFTA, specifically its inherent impotence in dealing with polluters. Since fair traders and environmentalists have been saying the same thing for years there must be something to it.
posted by raaka at 2:12 AM on January 18, 2002

(Which isn't to say a wide variety of people need to hold the same opinion for something to be true, but it helps.)
posted by raaka at 2:14 AM on January 18, 2002

"It is essential in a democratic society that young people and adults learn how to think, learn how to make up their minds. They must learn how to think independently, and they must learn how to think together. They must come to conclusions, but at the same time they must recognize the right of other men to come to opposite conclusions. So far as individuals are concerned, the art of democracy is the art of thinking and discussing independently together."

Doesn't this quote from the site answer your question? Surely the whole idea is to encourage people to make up their own minds on issues like those you mention, but to equip them with the tools to do so based on information separated from propaganda? That way, you get decisions based more closely on the issue itself, not the efficiency of the techniques used by one side or another. Raaka has already made the other point I had in mind - have "a wide array of information outlets".

From a personal viewpoint, I am far more comfortable with a stance that differs from my own on any given issue if that opinion is a considered and rational one. It's the folks who don't think that bug me.

A very interesting site, thanks for the link.
posted by Gamecat at 2:36 AM on January 18, 2002

These posts are all propaganda. :)
posted by nofundy at 5:26 AM on January 18, 2002

Damn. And I thought this thread was about these guys.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:59 PM on January 18, 2002

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