Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Help Me Defeat Leftist Social Engineers

People generally do not like being manipulated. I believe that the more people understand how they and their neighbors are manipulated the better are the chances that the majority can mount a defense against the divisive, dissembling demagogues.

A long time ago I explained the mechanics of how social engineering works to various technical engineers I work with. Each and every one understood. More recently I wrote an entry for my Glossary in an attempt to make more concrete what I mean by social engineering. Fundamentally it can be expressed by the formula D = LR, where D is dissatisfaction, L is liberty of action, and R is resistance to the action. (For unknown reasons, the "D=LR" is the only thing missing at the link. It once was there; I can't explain why it's missing. Especially since the missing equation makes the link  almost useless without this explanation here or elsewhere.)

Social Engineering is used by those in a position to implement their plans or schemes, or defeat the plans of schemes of someone else, but who are afraid of the consequences should they try and fail. The selling of a political idea more than anything involves overcoming resistance to that idea. Pushing too hard or too fast will anger or scare the general public. When that happens, a large enough bloc of the public is more apt to revolt. Thus most politicians and their backers will only feel comfortable in forcing their plans upon the public when the resistance to the plans are suitably fractured so as not to infuriate too large a bloc.

Hold on. I fear I'm getting too deep too fast once again. Look, if you can find the patience, please try reading social engineering and come back.

What I haven't gotten done in all these years is the simplifying of the concept so that more people can understand. I'd like to break the analogy down into small soundbites that may capture the imagination of more people. At least enough people so that the discussion that might emerge would help the larger body of people be able to foil the most rotten plans and schemes proposed by our ever more arrogant (thinking they can't be stopped by puny, unorganized and ignorant rabble) power-seeking class.

Help me make myself more clear.

3 comments:

  1. We live in a sanitized world where we have hidden the ugly underpinings of what makes things tick. The PC'ers have created an alternate reality that denies the ugliness and makes what is visible easy to explain. For the same reasons, the rest of us "see through a glass darkly" and have dificulty communicating our understanding of reality. The observations of Theodore Dalrymple should be required reading for every high school student. It would alter their foundation for developing a philosophy and a worldview.
    As for dealing with the PC'ers with simple explanations for their simplified reality, I found the Noam Chomski quote below that may indicate a chink in their armor (or at least his) (from wikipedia):

    There are lots of things I don't understand -- say, the latest debates over whether neutrinos have mass or the way that Fermat's last theorem was (apparently) proven recently. But from 50 years in this game, I have learned two things: (1) I can ask friends who work in these areas to explain it to me at a level that I can understand, and they can do so, without particular difficulty; (2) if I'm interested, I can proceed to learn more so that I will come to understand it. Now Derrida, Lacan, Lyotard, Kristeva, etc. --- even Foucault, whom I knew and liked, and who was somewhat different from the rest --- write things that I also don't understand, but (1) and (2) don't hold: no one who says they do understand can explain it to me and I haven't a clue as to how to proceed to overcome my failures. That leaves one of two possibilities: (a) some new advance in intellectual life has been made, perhaps some sudden genetic mutation, which has created a form of "theory" that is beyond quantum theory, topology, etc., in depth and profundity; or (b) ... I won't spell it out.

    – Noam Chomsky

    I think I see evidence of an achilles heel there. I would like to find it.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Let me try to put into words the weakness I perceive from your Chomsky quote.

    1)He thinks very highly of himself. He has eliminated from the realm of possibilities that he is incapable of obtaining some forms of knowledge. He believes that is impossible. But since he has not come to understand ideas explained by learned friends nor from his own efforts at study, he smells a rat but he won't say that. "I won't spell it out." which translates to "I dare not spell it out." Why not?

    2) He fears being isolated by charging his friends with either lying or playing along so that they won't appear foolish. He remembers the Hans Christian Andersen tale of The Emperor's New Clothes. All the wise men of the realm claimed they saw the clothes which the swindlers proclaimed were invisible only to fools. yada, yada, yada. In the end, only the town fool asked innocently why the emperor was stark naked, and the first domino had fallen. The tittering in the crowd finally grew like so large that the swindle was revealed.

    Chomsky does not dare say that all those friends who he deemed to be wise men and maybe only pretended to try and teach him are fools or liars, and so he rather say nothing. Much like the ministers in HCA's story. From this he finds it very hard to believe that others can see what he does not himself see.

    3)This leads him to confronting the thought that he has no faith in anyone or anything but himself. Are they friends if he can't have faith in them? Worse: how could brilliant Noam have been wrong about them? He wasn't. It was they who changed. But he doesn't know why?

    4)It is because he is so filled with self-deification, that he fights what he feels being forced to confront: his own inadequacies. That's an affliction the more humble among us have less difficulty with.

    5)People who continue to deny reality must eventually topple from power.

    The ones you and I have to worry about are the O'Brians. Orwell said the inner party members are fully aware of reality. They simply make it very painful and expensive for everybody else to be able to discern reality.

    So I may have identified Chomsky's Achilles heel (as you thought was possible). And in so doing I have also identified a major threat to every outsider.

    What I still don't see is our tormentors' weaknesses.

    I suspect only that if I can reveal to a larger number of people how social engineering is used to splinter the people's resistance to the plans of the would-be rulers, I will have blunted that very power tool.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I neglected to add this.

    Noam doesn't really believe that a new breed of man, smarter than he, really exists.

    So without 1 (trustworthy but dumb, or smart and untrustworthy), 2 (ideas the great Noam can't fathom) or A (science fiction) available to him as explanations, his finds himself in the tackiest of positions: doubting all and everyone close to him so much that he can no longer be close to them.

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