Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Vested Interests: The Man Who Studies the Spread of Ignorance

“Schere im Kopf” (scissors in one’s head aka self censorship)

Father of Koch Brothers Helped Build Nazi Oil Refinery, Book Says New York Times

“Ignorance is not just the not-yet-known, it’s also a political ploy, a deliberate creation by powerful agents who want you ‘not to know’.”
~ exchanging one brutalism with another / Vaclav Havel was aware that sunlight is the best disinfectant to keep characters with totalitarian tendecies on the extreme left or right ...

How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon

Agnotology is the study of wilful acts to spread confusion and deceit, usually to sell a product or win favour

In 1979, a secret memo from the tobacco industry was revealed to the public. Called the Smoking and Health Proposal, and written a decade earlier by the Brown & Williamson tobacco company, it revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”. In one of the paper’s most revealing sections, it looks at how to market cigarettes to the mass public: “Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.” The Man Who Studies the Spread of Ignorance BBC 

America’s refusal to fund and sustain its intellectual and cultural heritage means it has lost touch with its past, obliterated its understanding of the present, crushed its capacity to transform itself through self-reflection and self-criticism, and descended into a deadening provincialism. Ignorance and illiteracy come with a cost. The obsequious worship of technology, hedonism and power comes with a cost. The primacy of emotion and spectacle over wisdom and rational thought comes with a cost. And we are paying the bill The Great Forgetting Truthdig

What does a public university do when a donation to it comes with strings? This is the situation Western Carolina University finds itself in today as a $2 million donation is being given to it by a Charles Koch Foundation to establish a Center for the Study of Free Enterprise under BB&T Bank sponsored department chair Dr. Robert Lopez. Via Naked Capitalism Koch Brothers kulture grab latest donation to western Carolina University for Center of study of free enterprise despite faculty vote no

Germany is very upset that Poland has voted in a populist, Euroskeptic, anti-austerity government. Germany is also critical of the fact that the new government increased its control over public media. This is the pot calling the kettle black, since as Rose documents in detail, a great deal of reporting on state-controlled media amount to official propaganda Now it is  Poland's turn

Mr Roberts said the tightening cycle by the Anglo-Saxon central banks is already over. There will be no rate rises by the Bank of England before the downturn hits, and the next action by the Fed may be a humiliating volte-face and a rate cut.