HyperNormalization

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05 Dec 2016 09:17 #267253 by Loudzoo
HyperNormalization was created by Loudzoo
Came across a very interesting BBC documentary by Adam Curtis last night, called HyperNormalization. It's premise is that the reality presented to us by politicians, corporations and others in the public eye is almost entirely false. This probably isn't new news to most of us, but the breadth covered in the film is astonishing: Syria, cyberspace, Putin, finance, AI, Trump, Gadaffi, 911, UFOs and the Occupy movement.

The underlying theme is that reality is just too complicated for anyone to understand, let alone for politicians to control. In response, those who aspire to power create simple narratives for the populace to buy into, in order to make sense of the world, and make it easier to control. In the process of creating this new 'map' the narrative bears little, or no resemblance, to what is actually going on. Lies are built on lies, which are built on more lies.

The film is here:


it's three hours long (I wish it was longer!!)

If that is just too daunting a prospect see if the trailer whets your appetite!


The irony of course is that Adam Curtis, in squeezing 40 years of geo-politcal upheaval into 3 hours, also oversimplifies events and caricatures the various players in exactly the way that politicians and the mainstream media do! Nevertheless perhaps it is a more accurate cartoon than the one we are commonly presented with? How Baudrillard wasn't mentioned is a mystery to me, but I hope if you take the time to watch the film it makes you think!

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05 Dec 2016 17:29 #267280 by Gisteron
Replied by Gisteron on topic HyperNormalization

Loudzoo wrote: ... It's premise is that the reality presented to us by politicians, corporations and others in the public eye is almost entirely false. (Emphasis added)

This is one of the things that always impressed me about conspiracy theorists. Sure, there is lots of dishonesty all around us, and even the honest ones are probably unable to characterize every situation in sufficiently accurate detail for the public to make fair judgements of its own. But the sheer amount of people that would have to conspire together to craft a deliberately false narrative defies everything we know about how conspiracies form, persist and inevitably fail. The fact that it's all of the same people allegedly conspiring to craft a coherent and almost entirely fabricated narrative on just about every remotely important issue sure doesn't help. I'd agree that it is an astonishing number of topics, but to me this is a weakness of the case, not a strength.

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05 Dec 2016 19:12 #267288 by Kyrin Wyldstar
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05 Dec 2016 19:43 #267289 by Goken
Replied by Goken on topic HyperNormalization
Note: didn't watch the videos because I'm at work.

Well...yeah. No one even needs to know every detail of every situation. All we do everyday is summarize things. When you get home at night and your significant other asks how your day was you don't give them a verbatim play-by-play. That's not necessary. It's like when people here complain about a lack of transparency from the council. Do people really need every little detail? No, it would be pointless.

Even our own human senses don't take in and process everything around us, only select bits of it. Humans can't see ultra violet or infrared. Our ears only hear within certain frequencies. But that doesn't mean that our senses are necessarily lying to us.

Don't get me wrong, the state of the current media is laughable. The mainstream media is bought and paid for and even the "unbiased" sources are usually pretty darn biased. More and more people are getting their news from social media which is simultaneously less biased at the corporate level and way more biased on the personal level since people can post whatever they want but you only see what you agree to see so you yourself filter what you'll get.

But I don't think that any of that means that there's a conspiracy or anything, just more proof that we're all human and are, as such, prone to bias and feel a need to summarize.

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05 Dec 2016 21:43 - 05 Dec 2016 22:58 #267307 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic HyperNormalization
Yes, the producer is doing exactly the same thing... a simplified narrative of reality, but one that endeavors to explain enough to satisfy a particular audience.

But... perhaps it's the result of information technology, something like "The international SWIFT payment network was established in 1973 and domestic payment systems were developed around the world by banks working together with governments. 1 " the spread of information sharing being the emergence of a multitude of narratives to chose from.

The internet made me do it.... as I'd be happier if we all just blamed 'progress', because none of us are going to turn out backs on that!!

Everything else I saw was just trying to lay blame and by constructing a narrative which serves "to link the past, present and future which can facilitate a strong shared identity and serve to build a worldview 2 " to the extent it can create "pragmatic paradigms for action 3 ". I'd prefer to focus on accuracy and progress, then reinforcing group identity through biased constructs of history. So while "social constructs are the results of human decisions rather than objective reality, and narratives are a way to navigate and construct reality 4 " I personally try to avoid getting emotions ascribed to particular social constructs, and instead use it to drive focus.

But there is too much covered to discuss in detail, and IMO its presentation did seem to have consistent bias. The reality is things were too complex to cover in 2 and half hours. I was pulling my hair out watching it and only got to 35mins... way too distorted for my liking and when he said Iraq had US equipment during the Iran-Iraq war seemingly to make his point about suicide bombers I could watch no longer (it was the other way around, Iran had the US equipment and Iraq had the Soviet stuff), sorry for being critical. I'm just grumpy because a thunderstorm woke me up at 4am this morning :pinch:

I think we all operate with our own narrative of reality, and we share them to different extents at different levels of relationship - to the extent it might be what defines the 'closeness' of a relationship! Which is a bit of a shame, because comfort does not always equal growth - but growth does not always equal health either! I think then the measure of a healthy narrative is its accuracy where relevant but also its capacity to be open to change.

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Last edit: 05 Dec 2016 22:58 by Adder.
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05 Dec 2016 22:06 #267309 by Loudzoo
Replied by Loudzoo on topic HyperNormalization
Well not according to this Adder:

www.theguardian.com/world/2002/dec/31/iraq.politics

The US supplied Iraq with weapons if this is to be believed.

I think this problem is precisely what the film was highlighting: it is extraordinarily difficult for anyone to know what was / is really going on. Many conspiracy theories that were originally labelled as fantasy turned out to be true (no WMD's in Iraq or Libya, mass surveillance of civilians in the U.K. and US, covert regime change). Perhaps that is the biggest success of hypernormality that 'conspiracy theorist' retains such generally negative connotations?

Anyway - one reason, much closer to home, why this is so interesting to me is because it makes me question the assumptions we make about ourselves. Am I the kind of person I think I am? Are you the kind of person you think you are? Or are the narratives we tell ourselves just as inaccurate as many of the stories in this film?

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05 Dec 2016 22:08 #267310 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic HyperNormalization
It was a very complex time, but have a look at this page to see what was being fielded during the war in the air, for a snapshot of what was up against what;
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Iranian_ae...ran%E2%80%93Iraq_war

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05 Dec 2016 23:12 #267321 by Loudzoo
Replied by Loudzoo on topic HyperNormalization
Quite - the Americans (and the British, the French, the Russians) supplied both sides with weapons. That fits in with the film's narrative that the intention (of Kissinger) was to promote conflict within the Middle East and prevent the various nation-states in the Middle East working together, potentially against 'the West'.

Maybe that is a conspiracy theory, maybe it is a relatively truthful interpretation - I don't know. In any case it would seem that those facts were not widely available at the time.

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05 Dec 2016 23:40 - 05 Dec 2016 23:46 #267323 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic HyperNormalization

Loudzoo wrote: Quite - the Americans (and the British, the French, the Russians) supplied both sides with weapons. That fits in with the film's narrative that the intention (of Kissinger) was to promote conflict within the Middle East and prevent the various nation-states in the Middle East working together, potentially against 'the West'.

Maybe that is a conspiracy theory, maybe it is a relatively truthful interpretation - I don't know. In any case it would seem that those facts were not widely available at the time.


Hehe maybe, but I always just considered it part of the Cold War. Perhaps the Cold War was a conspiracy between the banks, the Kremlin and Washington. But the Soviets were seemingly trying to get control in the region just as much as the US were seemingly trying to.... and a few countries in that region were switching sides depending on the direction of the wind (money?) of local power.

I guess the main driver of US interest was the strategic importance of the Suez Canal and energy supply out of the Gulf States to the rest of the world, and losing that to the USSR would have been the end of the Cold War in the Kremlin's favor IMO.

I presume the Soviet interest in the region was part of the broader expansion of Communist ideology. So then you could say globalization was the Western ideology... with the only difference perhaps at that macro level is the Western approach let people choose to be in or out, while the Soviet approach didn't give them the choice to leave once in.

Then maybe the question is does participation in globalization really exist as a choice? I'd have to say yes and no. Which tends to go back to my point that its progress which is driving all this, people want more and the Western approach was the best in that regard. I mean... Kissinger did not start the Cold War, and indeed mutually assured destruction was not his idea but just the inevitable outcome of a nuclear arms race. Kissinger even helped to work away from MAD in the Schlesinger Doctrine .

I cannot explain the conspiracy, but it doesn't quite link up with my observations. Globalization, his 'truly global society', sort of also seems inevitable with growing populations across the planet so in some regards it is not a choice just by the fact of shrinking real estate. Like in Palestine and Israel, there used to be enough room for both of them to have their own lands... but not anymore, its population growth is making people bump into each other, and so long as people carry collective memories of conflict as part of their social identity then they will lose the opportunity Kissinger talked about in that vid of a peaceful global society.

Knight ~ introverted extropian, mechatronic neurothealogizing, technogaian buddhist. Likes integration, visualization, elucidation and transformation.
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Last edit: 05 Dec 2016 23:46 by Adder.
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05 Dec 2016 23:53 #267324 by Rex
Replied by Rex on topic HyperNormalization
From my understanding of this, there's a couple major holes: Kissinger despite being painted as a warhawk, was central in negotiating the US/NVA peace in Vietnam, he also was central in warming the Cold War.
In regards to the Middle East, the US was central in keeping the Pahlavis in power until the Iranian Revolution. That's why the Iranians fielded quite a bit of US equipment, while the Iraqis (as mentioned by Adder) used Soviet equipment. Neither were side were aided by the US or USSR in the Iran-Iraq war, in fact the article you mentioned confirms this: the US provided mostly intelligence on Iranian troop movements, and these even stopped after Iraqi aircraft accidentally attacked the USS Stark. Both the US and USSR sold materiel through intermediaries to Iraq, but that goes against the narrative of fomenting conflict between puppets.
Anyone who says to ignore what you've learned, and instead listen to their narrative really is exactly what they're claiming others to be: a twisted view. You can't base these views either a priori or posteriori.
Just because the media is biased doesn't mean you should counteract it by taking stuff like this, TYT, or Infowars seriously imo

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