Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The fake news problem

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  • Dennis Frank, in reply to David Hood,

    A fascinating analysis, eh? Seems sophisticated, even if reliant on diagnosis by computer (we know computers get things wrong often). Those visual displays of clusters of users connecting with each other on a particular meme are an excellent illustration of the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words. One of them shows Trump exhibiting more of a nexus than God - perhaps an advisor will suggest to him that he can now go one up on John Lennon (who created headlines by pointing out that the Beatles were now more popular than Christ).

    The point is that propaganda has now morphed into the mass construction of artificial social realities that become reality in the minds of those in the co-creating group, and fake news is (as the author asserts) just part of that group creative endeavour.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    the mass construction of artificial social realities that become reality in the minds of those in the co-creating group,

    Hallelujah! He is risen!
    I've been supplying to retail for 35 years. When we have a marketing issue , we tend to say :- 'What would the Roman Catholic Church do in this situation?"
    It usually gives some clue.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    It’s puzzling that this “fake news ” meme is considered novel.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/meet-real-fake-news

    Yeah I know . . . ZH

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I don't think anyone considers or has claimed propaganda to be novel,

    p.s. if you did due diligence on the zero hedge article, there were several misrepresentations in it. Possibly most ironically that they had been called a fake news site. They hadn't. They had appeared on a list of sites post fake articles, or misleading articles or clickbait. And their response was to publish an article that misrepresented what the list was about (there are other misrepresentations in the article- like that the list only targeted right-wing sites, which fall apart if people actually check).

    Tim O'Reilly recently published his thoughts on identifying made up or misleading stories https://medium.com/@timoreilly/how-i-detect-fake-news-ebe455d9d4a7#.9eis4ntz9

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    Poor phrasing on my part. It was puzzling that fake news is receiving so much attention at this time . Has something changed , or was the reportage itself more of the same?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Something has changed- the U.S. election was seen as having unprecedented amounts of fake news, in many cases created by people deliberately to earn a living from successful Facebook shares of the "news" material- if you follow the money the economic incentive is new. So discussion of fake news has increased dramatically since October

    https://www.google.co.nz/trends/explore?q=fake%20news,propaganda

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Farmer Green,

    What would the Roman Catholic Church do

    Get the inquistors in, and torture the wrongly accused till they signed a piece of paper saying it was all their for not believing?

    Or sell scraps of paper saying the purchaser is absolved of all fault and they will be at gods table, up the expensive end, supping Dom with the big guy and having a jolly fine time away from all the riff-raff?

    Yeah yeah I know francis is in charge now... window dressing.

    Its like that Fonterra brochure, bullshit comes in glossy A4 now and fakery is the new norm

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I noticed, tucked away in the newspaper, that Fidel Castro has died.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to steven crawford,

    Fidel Castro has died

    And the procession of opinions start. Sad on both counts
    As for that other "death" globalisation
    Bernand Hickey has the best analysis I've read in a long time

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to andin,

    This is the beginnings of the next Netflix blockbuster. I thought the Trump business empire would become a terrorist target. But as the artical writer says, it's more like Willy Wonkers chocolate factory.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    "On the night of the US election, the man described as "America's leading conspiracy theorist" was wrapping up a "historic" 52-hour live internet broadcast.
    "Donald J Trump. The golden toad," declared a dazed and euphoric Alex Jones, the veteran radio broadcaster, filmmaker and founder of the influential InfoWars.com.
    The broadcaster has been described as "the single most important voice in the alternative conservative media" by Roger Stone, the controversial Nixon-era political fixer and longtime Trump confidante." http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11755717

    Googling "golden toad" informs us "Males were colored a very vivid golden/orange". Okay, I get it. Onstage leaps many times his height would make excellent reality tv, but sadly we haven't seen that. Alex probably was a tad too enthusiastic when tossing down that electric kool aid in his youth.

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Dennis Frank,

    “the single most important voice in the alternative conservative media”

    Is that a recommendation?
    I could go with other adjectives, obnoxious, arseaholic, unreasoned.

    Yes all derogatory cause these arsewipes seem to to see trumps victory as permission to rubbish anyone who disagrees with them, as confirmation that any thought they have must be the truth and facts dont matter, and to blame anyone who had an opposing view for being authors of their own downfall.
    These pricks are using the suffering of others to promote themselves not alleviate the suffering, oh no...!
    Talking for a living? oh fuck. Go meditate on a mountain top

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Alex Coleman, in reply to steven crawford,

    The chances of his properties becoming targets is pretty high, I think anyone would say.

    What happens next though. Aside from his response, the wrapping up of the Trump brand with the Presidency will grow. Trump Towers and resorts will become symbols of the presidency. Freedom Towers, if you like. To stay in them will be patriotic, to shop in his stores will be a sign of defiance agin terrorism.

    If we thought the fetishising of flag lapel pins was weird, we aint seen nothing yet.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 247 posts Report Reply

  • andin, in reply to Alex Coleman,

    So the presidential protection bill will skyrocket then...Oh good

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    There will be an interesting discussion on these matters in a panel at the NZ Political Studies Assn conference at the Univ of Waikato tomorrow: "Dire Strait: New Zealand Media and the Narrowing of Political Debate", with Geoff Kemp, Julienne Molineaux, Gavin Ellis and Maria Amoudian. I will also be putting in a plug for the very excellent collection 'Don't Dream It's Over: Reimagining Journalism in Aotearoa New Zealand' (Freerange Press, 2016).

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2537 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Geoff Lealand,

    an interesting discussion on these matters

    A similar discussion has been occurring over the last several years in the free farming press . Farmers receive three or four free " newspapers" each week, paid for by the advertisers.
    It has been interesting to see the ways in which "fake news" is created.
    A very common technique is omission.
    An observation of empirical data is made, and a correlation with another data set is established .
    Then the "omission" occurs.
    It is not pointed out to the reader, who may have had no formal training in logic , that it is not possible to construct a syllogism from this evident correlation , that is not demonstrably false. The whole issue of what can be inferred, which is obviously nothing , is "left hanging " , so to speak.
    This opens the way for the reader to construct the false syllogism , which is vaguely implied from the juxtaposition of the correlated data sets.
    It obviously works a treat because the fake news just keeps coming.
    These days this technique has extended from the advertising of "useful " products, to the encouragement of "useful" memes. And that seems to work well for politicians., and others for whom persuasion provides the "daily bread".

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Attachment

    Farmers receive three or four free ” newspapers”

    Is this a recent one?
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment Attachment

    Prepare to meta your maker…
    …and in breaking ‘Fake News’ – The Chch Art Gallery’s outreach programme has had an unexpected side-effect, as the art goes out into the community, so does the community start to intrude on the art!!

    Apologies to Petrus van der Velden, Evelyn Page and Sir Antony Gormley..

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7887 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Interesting story on the Intercept regarding the provenance of the WashPo's "exposé" on Russian fake news:
    https://theintercept.com/2016/11/26/washington-post-disgracefully-promotes-a-mccarthyite-blacklist-from-a-new-hidden-and-very-shady-group/

    (a little frothy at the mouth but some good points made)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2930 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Didn't seem frothy to me, but good on you for sharing it. "As is so often the case, journalists — who constantly demand transparency from everyone else — refuse to provide even the most basic levels for themselves. When subjected to scrutiny, they reflexively adopt the language of the most secrecy-happy national security agencies: We do not comment on what we do."

    "The Post itself — now posing as a warrior against “fake news” — published an article in September that treated with great seriousness the claim that Hillary Clinton collapsed on 9/11 Day because she was poisoned by Putin. .. As is so often the case, those who mostly loudly warn of “fake news” from others are themselves the most aggressive disseminators of it."

    So there's a culture shift, from the pseudo-objective stance prevalent in the 20th century, back to the publisher's subjective prerogative that had prevailed in earlier centuries. Owners of media telling whatever stories they feel like telling. Caveat emptor. Presenting stories as news is as normal as ever...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Since the discussion veered to phosphate a page or so back, this seems a topical globalisation related article http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/11/the-desert-rock-that-feeds-the-world/508853/

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    The NZ Dairy Exporter was read by most of the family ; it was the nearest thing to a true dairy science publication. This was in the great era (1950-1975) where NZ grazing management was refined to become a “precise” science of Dry Matter , Residual Dry Matter ; cows/acre ; rotation length ; spelling intervals .
    That was the theory , but the weather was still the boss, and the traditional farmer still made constant adjustments of the above parameters to the vagaries of the season as it manifested.
    The best fertiliser was still “the eyes of the farmer” ; in fact- ” all of the senses” – was what was meant by Pliny the Elder’s observation. The farmer who walks his fields daily is hearing , smelling, seeing, touching, tasting, and he is processing all of that into the wholistic concept that is “the farm”, instantly updating as he walks, so that informed intuitive response is a constant .

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    phosphate

    In earlier times , bovine bones were dissolved in sulfuric acid to recover the phosphorus.
    It will be interesting to see what levels of production are sustainable with much reduced phosphate use.
    It has not been necessary on this farm to apply phosphorus more often than once every ten years or so, and even then , very little is needed.
    Most farms could cut back to once every five years.
    Sulfur is more production- limiting on much of NZ soils ; we, in Godzone , have got quite a bit of it.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    This was the seminal paper :- http://www.nzsap.org/system/files/proceedings/1958/ab58004.pdf

    “The ‘C’ treatment is representative of a large number of farms where a heavy stocking rate results in underfeeding during periods of slow pasture growth.
    While believed to lead to low per cow production, it is argued that, because of the greater number of animals carried per acre , returns are higher than with cows fully fed on grass.”

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    This is pure personal opinion, presented as such ; so not “fake” ?

    http://pickeringpost.com/story/is-obama-being-trumped-by-a-smarter-chess-player-/6701

    His by-line is at the top of the page :-

    "Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media."

    So if it turns out that he is utterly wrong in his conjecture , then it was just "free speech" , was it not?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

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