Visual Media, Memes, Propaganda and muh Culture War!


(Tannia Ambrye) #1

A rather important topic came up under the Infomorph Mishaps discussion. I’d like to see it continued here rather than drown out the participants who want to discuss Transhumanism issues. While there is no sharp divide between this new topic and the afore mentioned Transhumanism topic, I think it actually deserves a thread of its own.

See link for details so far.


(Kalaratiri) #2

I think it’s a rather interesting use of the Federation’s infamous “cultural victory” tactics by a nation that has been on the receiving end of them for generations.

With that generational perspective “get 'em while they’re young” seems to be the order of business, and I’ll be very interested to see what the opinions of the non-Caldari youth are towards the state in 10 years.


(Tannia Ambrye) #3

I guess if I have any problem it’s if what is being presented is factual. If it then that’s fine, as long as those facts can be pointed to in order to back up the media of choice. Using falsehoods to back up the media might work for a little while, but will eventually backfire. Particularly if people are allowed to fact check the claims, as many undoubtedly will.

I think there are plenty of facts to back up the Caldari case. Hopefully they are careful to avoideliminate any obvious, and even not so obvious, falsehoods from their narrative.


(Halcyon Ember) #4

It’s a popular notion in many theatres, many of them far more distasteful.


(Makoto Priano) #5

Gesakaarin-haani is in the right here. While she presents it on a far more militant angle than I would, it’s absolutely the case that opinion-shaping is vitally important, and this extends beyond brand- and product-management to ideological functions. As much as many of us would like to believe that the virtues of our respective ideologies are self-evident, the simple truth of the matter is that what is ‘better’ than another thing is subjective. I won’t belabor the point, as much as it’s tempting to write a treatise.

Honestly, though, it’s this media awareness that has driven ARC’s investments in the area, whether through general branding work, event-targeted educational graphics, packaging and distribution of materials that might otherwise be unengaging, or our news program.

It is not always enough to simply do the thing. One must be seen to do the thing. One must be known to do the thing.

And insofar as ‘propaganda’ and 'get ‘em while they’re young’ remarks on the topic, well, when do you think foundational beliefs are instilled? And what differentiates ‘propaganda’ from education? Because, let’s be honest, it is difficult to completely eliminate bias.


(Tannia Ambrye) #6

Thank you for your input, Ms Priano. I particularly like the statement below from you.

While nobody likes a show off, people also don’t like those whom they feel are all talk and no action. Your statement sums this up very well.

And what differentiates ‘propaganda’ from education? Because, let’s be honest, it is difficult to completely eliminate bias.

Propaganda is tricky, but generally there is the sense that it is willful dishonesty. Education may or may not entail propaganda, but, as you rightfully point out, will contain unstated biases that the educator may not even be aware of. It might not be accurate though to claim the two are the same in all situations without good cause, because having a bias does not automatically mean one is spreading propaganda.

Further, I only mentioned propaganda in the title because Ms Gesakaarin mentioned it in the post of hers that I linked, and the recent poster contests put on by the CMC and ARC. All this makes me wonder if there is a functional definition of propaganda being employed that differs from the dictionary definition?

Looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts.


(Makoto Priano) #7

There is a wide spectrum of representation that would be contested, and contended to be propaganda by those who don’t share the view. For instance. Mr. Syagrius would likely state that the Discourse piece on an intelligence agency being implicated in the Kyonoke crisis is propagandistic, because of its implication that the Federal Intelligence Office might be involved in the matter. Similarly, while the Scope has reported on FIO initiating an investigation, and the Federal Senate also initiating an investigation, it has yet to acknowledge FIO’s failure to release HfA materials, and was quite guarded in its discussion of ARC’s lawsuit; one could easily contend bias exists there. Omission, tone-conscious word choice, and other things can be important for shaping perception while not rising to falsehood or misrepresentation.

Insofar as the competitions were concerned, ARC’s venture was sparked not just by the CMC competition, but also the GalMil competition, which was of course a response to the CMC. With two competing military propaganda campaigns, we couldn’t help but promote a third way. After all, as you’ve seen, it’s easy to espouse militant viewpoints, to beat the drum to war. Few so loudly proclaim the virtues of peace and prosperity. It didn’t hurt, of course, that the CMC rules wrote in some biases belonging to certain parties, such as explicitly attempting to isolate the Ishukone Corporation and prevent representations favoring it, which is of course because of Ishukone’s efforts to serve as the State’s velvet glove.

We branded this as a ‘corporate messaging competition’ in some cases, but propaganda work is a noted pastime among independent capsuleers, so we also frequently referred to it as a propaganda competition.

Edit; oh, and a small addition! As always, depending on your dictionary, definitions will differ. For instance, one I just found has the sole definition of propaganda as, “A concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behavior of large numbers of people.” No mention of bias whatsoever.


(Tannia Ambrye) #8

Oh yes, people often refer to uncomplimentary works as propaganda. Whether the accusation is true or not depends on how fairly the work represents the balance of evidence, if it acknowledges it at all. That makes all the difference, don’t you think?

Omission, tone-conscious word choice, and other things can be important for shaping perception while not rising to falsehood or misrepresentation.

Indeed, those are important considerations. It still comes down to how the balance of evidence is represented, right?

ARC’s venture was sparked not just by the CMC competition, but also the GalMil competition1, which was of course a response to the CMC.

The GalMil and CMC competitions did catch my interest. Particularly their open admission that what they were doing was propaganda.

With two competing military propaganda campaigns, we couldn’t help but promote a third way.

I have a fondness for third and other one-off options. :blush:

We branded this as a ‘corporate messaging competition’ in some cases, but propaganda work is a noted pastime among independent capsuleers (emphasis mine)

The more I deal with other capsuleers the more strange I realize we are as a group.

As always, depending on your dictionary, definitions will differ.

Which is why I don’t depend on dictionaries as absolute authorities as they sometimes define things incorrectly. I do depend on dictionaries for general term usage but am open to alternative definitions, as per below.

It’s the term “concerted.” While it may not necessarily mean the messages are biased, it doesn’t exclude the possibility either. I see your point however.

Thank you for your time, Ms Priano. You’ve been very helpful.


(Makoto Priano) #9

My pleasure, Ms. Ambrye. You’ve my apologies for any pedantry in covering ground that had been covered before.


(Tannia Ambrye) #10

No apologies necessary, Ms Priano.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #11

The only truth in popular culture is that it exists as a reflection of the society which produces it.


(Tannia Ambrye) #12

So, popular culture is its own truth?


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #13

It is true to the values, norms, and history of the society which produces it.


(Tannia Ambrye) #14

Oh, right. So popular culture would be more an entertaining representation of said qualities than propaganda, the elements which could be incorporated into propaganda, or is popular culture a form of propaganda? I guess that’s what I’m trying to understand.

Addendum:

In a given society, where you might have several possible cultures, who’s cultural values, norms and history are typically represented in popular culture? This is the second thing I’d like to understand.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #15

Popular culture is an emergent system, and is a product of the interactions between billions if not trillions of human beings. It exists in the same way any complex system exists – you can try to deconstruct it to a base format, simple rules, but by doing so it would be like saying chess or go exists only by virtue of simple rules and not the complexity of permutations that those rules can generate.


(Tannia Ambrye) #16

Right, got it. It’s an emergent property of a complex system. So one really can’t control what that popular culture will look like, or at least not in a direct sense.

Regarding the Doki Doki Kestrel Club, do you think that this is not only promoting Caldari culture, but empowering young Achuran’s as well? Could you please address that for me? I’d ever so appreciate it.


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #17

In my present pursuit as an Educator you may consider me a perfectibilist. A perfectibilist in the Socialist sense – in which I believe all human beings are capable of rationality, reasoning, and self-development. However, true self-development of the individual can only occur within the broader context of the society of which that individual is part of and the nature of their social existence. Human nature is not fixed. It can be developed, changed, and elevated by improving the material conditions of life within society, and in so improving society – technologically, industrially, scientifically, morally, and rationally, one improves the lives of the members of that society and their fundamental human nature.

This is the core ontological basis for the Caldari conception of the existence of a Greater Good. That society and the community exist prior to the individual, and the primary role of the individual is the betterment of society at large. The intrinsic goal of pursuing the Greater Good, broadly speaking, is the creation of a more egalitarian society. True peace, prosperity, and the Greater Good of a stable social order cannot exist so long as exploitative relations arise due to the creation of differing classes receiving differential rewards of power and property due to conflicting economic interests and control of material production.

As such, the Doki Doki Kestrel Club exists to provide the empowerment through education, training, and material equipment to fight for the Greater Good.


(Tannia Ambrye) #18

So, in summary: The goal is to empower all of Caldari society through programs such as the Doki Doki Kestral Club and promoting Achuran Youth Culture. As all of Caldari society is empowered, so are Achurans even if empowering Achurans isn’t the end goal.

I hope my understanding is correct.

Thank you for your time, Ms Gesakaarin. You’ve given me and the readers much to think about. Happy upcoming YC120!


(Veikitamo Gesakaarin) #19

I seek the empowerment of all humanity through the destruction of Gallentean bourgeoisie values and anarcho-capitalist capsuleers.


(Tannia Ambrye) #20

Rawr! Happy new year, indeed!