Beware the Headlines of Doom

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DEFCONWarningSystem
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Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:16 pm

Whenever there is a crisis, or the hint of crisis, or even the imagination of crisis, headlines will rush to publish The End Of The World!

We saw it with North Korea. We saw it with Russia. And recently, we have seen it even with Syria.

United States To Attack Damascus! World War III! Run For The Hills!

Of course, none of that happened, and we are all still here.

The problem is partly because a great number of those reporting these really do see Doom around every corner. Especially when you’re in the business of…well…Doom.

Look at the headlines recently. How many saw Syria as the harbinger of The End? How many were proclaiming it? How many published and tweeted out every…single…detail because it was so…very…important?

It was also really good at getting you to click on their links, wasn’t it?

Some see Doom as a nice way to drive followers to their Twitter and Facebook pages. Or to their websites where nice ad revenue can be had.

I am not going to pat ourselves on the back because we didn’t Overreact ™ to the recent Syria hysteria. Honestly, we had some staff a few years ago who would have been screaming bloody murder to raise the Alert Code over it. That doesn’t mean the current staff is smarter or less prone to overreaction. It’s just different people looking at things a different way. Analysis in this field isn’t a science. It’s an art bordering on magic. So I don’t really begrudge those who popped the cork so to speak. But it devalues real GeoIntel analysis when everything is a crisis and the public loses faith. How can we ring the warning bell when so many people are ringing the bell unnecessarily?

And then there are those who thrive on the headlines. Again, those who drive an audience out of fear for the sake of audience numbers and profit. Shame on them.

To sum up all this, a gentleman named Tobias Rose-Stockwell wrote an article called This Is How Your Fear and Outrage Are Being Sold for Profit. Beautifully written, I would like to share it with you.

The story of how one metric has changed the way you see the world

One evening in late October 2014, a doctor checked his own pulse and stepped onto a subway car in New York City. He had just returned home from a brief stint volunteering overseas, and was heading to Brooklyn to meet some friends at a bowling alley. He was looking forward to this break — earlier that day he had gone for a run around the city, grabbed coffee on the High Line, and eaten at a local meatball shop. When he woke up the next day exhausted with a slight fever, he called his employer.

Within 24 hours, he would become the most most feared man in New York. His exact path through the city would be scrutinized by hundreds of people, the establishments he visited would be shuttered, and his friends and fiancée would be put into quarantine.

Dr. Craig Spencer had contracted Ebola while he was treating patients in Guinea with Doctors Without Borders. He was not contagious until long after he was put into quarantine. He followed protocol to the letter in reporting his symptoms and posed no threat to anyone around him while he was in public. He was a model patient — a fact readily shared by experts.

This did not stop a media explosion declaring an imminent apocalypse. A frenzy of clickbait and terrifying narratives emerged as every major news entity raced to capitalize on the collective Ebola panic.

The physical damage done by the disease itself was small. The hysteria, however — traveling instantly across the internet — shuttered schools, grounded flights, and terrified the nation.

Social Media exploded around the topic, reaching 6,000 tweets per second, leaving the CDC and public health officials scrambling to curtail the misinformation spreading in all directions. The fear traveled as widely as the stories reporting it. The emotional response — and the media attached to it — generated billions of impressions for the companies reporting on it.

Those billions were parlayed directly into advertising revenue. Before the hysteria had ended, millions of dollars worth of advertising real-estate attached to Ebola-related media had been bought and sold algorithmically to companies.

The terror was far more contagious than the virus itself, and had the perfect network through which to propagate — a digital ecosystem built to spread emotional fear far and wide.

I’m going to tell you a few things you probably already know

Every time you open your phone or your computer, your brain is walking onto a battleground. The aggressors are the architects of your digital world, and their weapons are the apps, news feeds, and notifications in your field of view every time you look at a screen.

They are all attempting to capture your most scarce resource — your attention — and take it hostage for money. Your captive attention is worth billions to them in advertising and subscription revenue.

To do this, they need to map the defensive lines of your brain — your willpower and desire to concentrate on other tasks — and figure out how to get through them.

You will lose this battle. You have already. The average person loses it dozens of times per day.

This might sound familiar: In an idle moment you open your phone to check the time. 19 minutes later you regain consciousness in a completely random corner of your digital world: a stranger’s photo stream, a surprising news article, a funny YouTube clip. You didn’t mean to do that. What just happened?

This is not your fault — it is by design.

The digital rabbit hole you just tumbled down is funded by advertising, aimed at you. Almost every “free” app or service you use depends on this surreptitious process of unconsciously turning your eyeballs into dollars, and they have built sophisticated methods of reliably doing it. You don’t pay money for using these platforms, but make no mistake, you are paying for them — with your time, your attention, and your perspective.

This is not a small, technical shift in the types of information you consume, the ads you see, or the apps you download.

This has actually changed how you see the world.

Real the full article at Medium

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KimPossible
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Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:15 pm

The Syrian end game is just begginging and still a very good chance the US will strike Syria at some point rather soon IMO. Its no joke, doom is right around the corner, its quite literally a mircale that it has not blown up yet in Syria.

DPRK & China are not even on my radar. I agrre that DPRK & China news is doom porn no doubt. But don't lie to people on the the seriousness of the situation in Syria.

It will literally only take the slightest push in any direction, in any way, or just ONE mistake, the US and Russia will be in direct conflict. Like I said the moment the US decides to take action again against Syria I'm leaving for the roads.
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rudemarine
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Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:53 am

KimPossible wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:15 pm
The Syrian end game is just begginging and still a very good chance the US will strike Syria at some point rather soon IMO. Its no joke, doom is right around the corner, its quite literally a mircale that it has not blown up yet in Syria.

DPRK & China are not even on my radar. I agrre that DPRK & China news is doom porn no doubt. But don't lie to people on the the seriousness of the situation in Syria.

It will literally only take the slightest push in any direction, in any way, or just ONE mistake, the US and Russia will be in direct conflict. Like I said the moment the US decides to take action again against Syria I'm leaving for the roads.
I raise a toast to you on that one. I even have a big black book that says so lol. I think it will be an attack on Iran that sets it off though, One made possible by Iran playing in Syria way too much for Israels liking. Iran will push back through Iraq, round up a lot of men there and drive into Syria on its way to little ole Israel. I do not think Russia and the U.S. will accidentally start something together in Syria without this or something like it happening first. I think there will be a naval battle in the med between the U.S. and Russia when the U.S. either attacks Iran, tries to aid Israel or bombs the Arab collation in area that comes to attack Israel but after it gets real serious the two super powers will calm it down. Before we step over the brink. If I were Trump I would always keep as many attack subs in the med as I could. Just to make sure every Russian surface ship becomes a reef the second the Russians fire on a US or Israeli asset.

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Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:00 pm

The difference is now there are a lot of dangerous components adding a great amount of danger to global stability.
we are already seeing the emergence of nuclear proliferation unseen since the 1980's.
Markets are full of fiat commodities and inflated currency/stocks.
pollution, overpopulation.
The idea that infinite growth can exist on a planet with finite recourses is Ignorance.
The only way capitalism as we know it can survive is if we begin to explore space more seriously.

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KimPossible
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:14 pm

Green wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:00 pm
explore space more seriously.
YES! There are so many flying giant rocks out there full of resources, and possibly some elements we have yet to discover that we could use to further evolve. So many many many many resources to exploit in space. Best part is when we drill and obtain these resources we won't be polluting our planet doing so.
Who cares if you pollute space its infant, just chuck whatever garbage into the sun or space on a path that won't return in earths orbit. It is a idea of my'n similar in college way back when to solve the nuclear waste problem, my idea was to launch nuclear waste into space or the sun. It would be a great way to keep nuclear power without having to bury the radioactive waste in earth poising us and the planet for thousands of years...

Edit:
But the idea is to risky, back then it was at least, rockets where not as evolved and advanced/safer as they are now.
The idea was failed because the potential of a rocket failure and the spreading of radioactive waste all over where ever it crashes/explodes mid launch.
But now a days I would feel confident in launching rockets made from today filled with nuclear waste or toxic waste.
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BygmesterFinn
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:44 pm

KimPossible wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:15 pm
The Syrian end game is just begginging and still a very good chance the US will strike Syria at some point rather soon IMO. Its no joke, doom is right around the corner, its quite literally a mircale that it has not blown up yet in Syria.

DPRK & China are not even on my radar. I agrre that DPRK & China news is doom porn no doubt. But don't lie to people on the the seriousness of the situation in Syria.

It will literally only take the slightest push in any direction, in any way, or just ONE mistake, the US and Russia will be in direct conflict. Like I said the moment the US decides to take action again against Syria I'm leaving for the roads.
You forget that Russia and the US have already been in direct conflict twice and Russia and NATO, twice (that we even know of). Neither want a war and are fully aware of the probable consequences of one. Chances are even if a spark occurs, shit wont hit the fan because the stakes are just not worth it. Without recent historical context, the stage looks set for doom; seeing how the superpower actors in the area have engaged each other over the past couple of years, however, lends to a far more timid approach.

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KimPossible
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:54 pm

Not taking chances the moment any major conflict happens in Syria such as a US strike on Syria and many many many other triggers in Syria, I am hitting the roads without a second thought with my family, war is instant almost, tensions never higher, more & more regional & global players picking sides & joining sides. You have many multiple W.M.D powers with all different goals and end games for Syria. None of its good and to many ways things can go sour real quick.
There is a war on woman! #VoteThemOut

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BygmesterFinn
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:05 pm

KimPossible wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:54 pm
Not taking chances the moment any major conflict happens in Syria such as a US strike on Syria and many many many other triggers in Syria, I am hitting the roads without a second thought with my family, war is instant almost, tensions never higher, more & more regional & global players picking sides & joining sides. You have many multiple W.M.D powers with all different goals and end games for Syria. None of its good and to many ways things can go sour real quick.
Exactly, they have interests in a proxy war. They have none in a real war. Syrias a game and itll continue to be a game. Look at the reactions of either side when direct conflict occurred between WMD superpowers; they near about shat themselves and took tons of caution and restraint in responding. The truth is, I havent seen a single case of true, genuine, Im-risking-nuclear war escalation since this war began. Also, wheres this evidence that the US wants to actually conduct strikes on Syria (not useless ones like the one last year)? Its a clusterfuck we do not want to be in and not even Trump is dumb enough to go into it. If a major war sparks in Syria, Id leave too. I just heavily heavily doubt it will ever start.

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KimPossible
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:17 pm

BygmesterFinn wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:05 pm
I havent seen a single case of true, genuine, Im-risking-nuclear war escalation since this war began.
Yes, because somehow the many many many triggers have not yet been tripped. Just a few triggers off the top of my head,
Israel
Iran
Saudi Arabia
Turkey
US/coalition & its proxys
Russia/Syria & its proxys

Those 10+ countries & groups I listed is what I consider WWIII triggers in the game, because all want different things, all of them have a really twisted line of Defense Packs, secret proxy's and much more like, Israel/US/Saudi pack, and Russia/Syria/Iran(ish) pack, Israel/Iran special hatred for each-other & both countries willingness to attack each-other if influence is found in Syria, a unclear plan for Syria in the US, and a fully planned out game by Russia to muscle the US out. No thank you to all of this, you can say all you want but there are way to many unknowns and to many triggers that could very easily be tripped causing a total meltdown of international relations & direct conflict with the powers in Syria leading to WWIII.
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KimPossible
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Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:29 pm

BygmesterFinn wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 8:05 pm
Look at the reactions of either side when direct conflict occurred between WMD superpowers; they near about shat themselves and took tons of caution and restraint in responding.
How many times can we come to the cliff of the abyss before falling down it...
People shouldn't be panic buying or scared, but at least realize there is a real problem here with Syria and to many triggers waiting to be tripped at anytime. War is relatively instant, we could hear of a conflict in Syria and in a hours time get a EAS alert on ours phones of a incoming nuclear attack or a attack in general.
There is a war on woman! #VoteThemOut

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