The full article can be found here
I expect everyone here is either trying to find their way through the deceit around us, or perpetuating that deceit. Most of us will be in the grey
zone with a bit of both going on. Either way deception and manipulation are a part of this world that we all encounter, whether we know it or not.
Having a good understanding and awareness or manipulative techniques does help us spot and counter such influences in our lives. The main points of
the article by Caitlin Johnstone are:
1 - Understand the fact that humans are storytelling animals, and that whoever controls the stories controls the humans.
2 - Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled.
3 - Watch people's behavior and ignore the stories they tell about their behavior.
4 - Be suspicious of people who keep telling you what they are and how they are, because they're trying to manipulate your narrative about
5 - Learn to see how trust and sympathy are used by manipulators to trick people into subscribing to their narratives about what's going on.
6 - Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to articulate themselves clearly.
7 - Familiarize yourself with cognitive biases, the glitches in human cognition which cause us to perceive things in a way that is not
8 - Trust your own understanding above anyone else's.
9 - Understand that propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society.
10 - Respect the fact that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century.
11 - Understand that western mass media propaganda rarely consists of full, outright lies.
12 - Put effort into developing a good news-sense, a sense for what's newsworthy and what's not.
13 - Be patient and compassionate with yourself when it comes to developing your narrative navigating skills.
14 - Find reliable news reporters who have a good sense for navigating the narrative matrix, and keep track of them to orient yourself and stay
on top of what's going on.
15 - Don't let paranoia be your primary or only tool for navigating the narrative matrix.
16 - Hold your worldview loosely enough that you can change it at any time in the light of new information, but not so loosely that it can be
slapped out of your head by someone telling you what to think in a confident, authoritative tone. As Carl Sagan once said, "It pays to keep an open
mind, but not so open your brains fall out."
17 - Speaking of confident, authoritative tones, be suspicious of confident, authoritative tones.
18 - Be aware that sociopaths exist.
19 - Be aware of projection, and be aware of the fact that it cuts both ways:
20 - Be suspicious of those who excessively advocate civility, rules and politeness.
21 - Meditation, mindfulness, self-inquiry and other practices are powerful tools which can help you understand your own inner processes, which
in turn helps you understand how manipulators can manipulate you, and how they manipulate others.
22 - Be relentlessly honest with yourself about your own inner narratives and the various ways you engage in manipulation.
23 - Understand that truth doesn't generally move in a way that is pleasing to the ego, i.e. in a way Hollywood scripts are written to appeal
24 - Try to view the world with fresh eyes rather than with your tired old grown-up eyes which have taught you to see all this as normal.
25 - Know that the truth has no political party, and neither do the social engineers.
26 - Remain always aware of this simple dynamic: the people who become billionaires are generally the ones who are sociopathic enough to do
whatever it takes to get ahead.
27 - Understand that nations are pure narrative constructs; they only exist to the extent that people agree to pretend that they do.
28 - Understand that war is the glue which holds the US-centralized empire together.
29 - Remember that when it comes to foreign policy, the neocons are always wrong.
30 - Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment.
31 - Watch out for appeals to emotion.
32 - Pay attention to how much propaganda goes into maintaining the propaganda machine itself.
Overall all I do find these tips as providing a good heads up and reasonable direction for coming to terms with the madness and ignorance around us