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Pro tip:

Memes that immediately polarize any two target groups are likely manufactured to manipulate social attitudes and stop the opposed groups from finding commonalities, and breaking down avenues of communication.

You should consider seeking values that bind us, not issues that divide us.

@alice

You do you.

I’m just not sure people understand what they are really communicating beyond the surface.

Outcomes matter.

@thegibson yes to all of this... Just sour because some recent decisive memes have roots in bullshit started years ago.

@alice

They do, and while they feel good when used, their weaponization is indeed dangerous for all parties involved.

You know this though, I am preaching. :)

@alice The _reason_ the memes work is because they register with our lizard brains in deep ways.

The whole dynamic of memes and media manipulation is what used to be called "rhetoric", and goes back AT LEAST to Plato and the Sophists, ca. ~400 BCE.

So yes, it *is* the same old shit, again and again and again.

But that shit works.

Less so, though, if you're aware of it, call it out, counter it, and demand that others act responsibly.

@thegibson

@alice If you know and are aware, great.

Many are not.

xkcd.com/1053/

The conversation is public, it speaks to them as well: the ten-thousand.

@thegibson

@TheGibson @alice

> Outcomes matter.

If they mattered, I'm sure humans would take them into account.

They don't.

(Also: "Values" is a lovely word that all the shitbags already own. Good luck reclaiming it; I am no longer dreaming of that myself but I don't dream now anyway.)

@thegibson We know for a fact that malicious actors (*glances at Russian government*) are actively working to undermine powerful democracies by creating political division. The most effective mechanism they have for this is creating fake accounts on social media and using them to spread divisive memes and discourse. If you contribute to this, you are complicit in the weakening of global democracy. Reach across the aisle, agree to disagree, and work with other people.

@alexbuzzbee In b4 the "ache fews" crowd:

Yes, the Internet Research Agency is absolutely guilty of this, and high awareness of epistemic techniques goes back to Lenin ("First sieze the telegraphs").

They're not the only ones, however. The US's COINTELPRO archives are online (vault.fbi.gov/cointel-pro) and show tactics used _within the US_ in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. That's supposedly Not Done Anymore, though there are clearly actions abroad (Shrub and WMD, others).

@thegibson

@thegibson Like: how evil the rent economy is. Or how copyright should protect artists, not disney.

@TheGibson Yes! Or as I like to call them: bumper stickers from hell.

But maybe I shouldn't put it that way. It seems divisive?

@thegibson I submit that strong, partisan statements, while useless for convincing anyone to change their mind, are still good for rallying the faithful. But yes, your broader point is well taken.

@mkb I suppose that in your provided context, @TheGibson was trying to suggest that you ask what the 'faithful' are rallied towards by partisan memes.
And, whether rallying the faithful is even worth it, if they are rallied to 'war' against the 'other' who shouldn't really be their enemy at all.

@thegibson But who is this “us” that shouldn’t be divided? Different groups have different priorities and needs. It was ever thus.

I mean, as a stark example, I side eye the jejune “punch a nazi” cliques, but... The only hands across that aisle should be clenched fists. 🤷🏽‍♀️ Kumbaya doesn’t wash.

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hackers.town

A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.