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The Mean World Syndrome

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posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 09:48 AM
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There is a difference between a genuine conspiracy researcher and someone suffering "The Mean World Syndrome" and Media Induced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (MIPTSD).

Wikipedia has this to say about the illness:

"It can occur when frequent consumers of news media begin to perceive the world around them as an unrealistically mean and dangerous place."

"The mean world syndrome" which some people here mistake with "conspiracy research" is also induced by fear-mongering, group think, junk science, mass hysteria, hype, sensationalism and peppered with plenty of imagination.

I hereby make the provoking claim that 50% of all articles in the conspiracy and UFO section fall into this category.

My evidence for half of all conspiracy-theories to be derivations of the "mean world syndrome" are, that most people who are reading this are in fact alive and well, fed and sheltered, with plenty of luxurious resources such as computer and internet living in neighbourhoods that are relatively peaceful. Fact is that at any given time, more than 90% of the world has been at peace. Fact is that although i have travelled the entire globe and been on every continent except south america and the antarctica, I have never witnessed murder, war or conspiracy. Ever. I am not saying these things exist, no doubt they do. But they are not the MAIN part of life, not the MAIN part of how the world works but merely fringe problems that must be dealt with in politics. They are not 90% of life (as many people here portray it), they are the 10%.

Discussion welcome.




posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 10:00 AM
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As you know, I think information, and therefore media, is a powerful tool of manipulation. In this sense, I agree with your OP. The media is constantly hurling info-bombs that can affect the outlook and behavior of both individuals and society at large.

I agree that while MIPTSD can account for a large part of ATS participation as well as the general mood and tone of society, I feel you can not under-estimate the powerful sense that many people have that something is terribly wrong with the world, though it may not be easily defined.

Even people that I know who do not watch television have this sense that something is amiss.

I look forward to following this thread.



posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 10:49 AM
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ah...kosmickjack again. The people I am referring to in this thread will probably not even respond to it.



Originally posted by kosmicjack
As you know, I think information, and therefore media, is a powerful tool of manipulation. In this sense, I agree with your OP. The media is constantly hurling info-bombs that can affect the outlook and behavior of both individuals and society at large.


OK. But dont forget that the internet is media too. And conspiracy-theory is media too. Its no longer underground, its become pop-culture. I remember times you had to order conspiracy material through obscure mail-order firms.

Also, I am starting to develop the belief that the state of fear itself is what any hypothetical secret ruler and tyrant would love for people to feel and that there cannot be any world control without fear.



I agree that while MIPTSD can account for a large part of ATS participation as well as the general mood and tone of society, I feel you can not under-estimate the powerful sense that many people have that something is terribly wrong with the world, though it may not be easily defined. Even people that I know who do not watch television have this sense that something is amiss.



I dont know anymore. I used to think so. Sitting at the movies hearing Morpheus say to Neo "you can sense there is something wrong with this world but you dont know what it is. Like a splinter in your mind..." sent chills up my spine. "Yes, there is something strange and evil behind the curtains" I used to say.

But I dont know. Maybe the only thing wrong with the world was me, my view of it. Ive seen a lot of beauty in this world. Ive experienced A LOT of very good things. Maybe thats why my motivation behind conspiracy and UFO research has been more that of curiosity and fascination than depression and the feeling of being a victim.

I am critical of the cry-babies-list when I read through "recent posts". Someone starving in africa may have the right to whine and complain. But what about all these well-fed fat-belly online-citizens? I dont know.

Also, when directing hardcore accusiations at someone, many people seem to forget that its fellow human beings they are talking about...human beings with beating hearts, hopes, problems, ideals, dissappointments, goals, work-to-do.

How can we expect politicians to do their jobs better if we keep putting them down? I imagine working hard to try to steer this country in a better direction. And at the end of the day I sit down at my computer to see how people respond to the work I did. And all i get is that i am a satanic reptilian pedophile.

Im all for uncovering the hidden and looking into parapolitics and will listen to the most far out claim. But I can do without the "poor me" and "poor us" and "oh what a dark world" crap.



[edit on 2-12-2007 by Skyfloating]



posted on Dec, 2 2007 @ 11:08 AM
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In this sense ATS reflects mass-media where only BAD news is news and everything good and life-nurturing is filtered out of the equation.

Whether you watch normal media or read through here, it is easy to get the idea that the world is a mean and dangerous place.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 05:20 AM
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It's true that mostly negatives get on here, but I've never gotten the feeling that the world is evil from this forum, just that I'm reading about the "10%".



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
.... the internet is media too. And conspiracy-theory is media too. Its no longer underground, its become pop-culture.


So true. More importantly it is now interactive media. You invite the media into your home and into your mind. It is the most effective mass marketing tool ever created and this is what we, as consumers, have to be atuned to. The more interest that CT generates, the more prevelent it will become and it will reach out to a previously inaccessible group of people. This, if applied naturally, could (and I strongly stress COULD) be an exceptionally good thing.

Pick up any book on marketing written in the last 20 to 25 years and it will tell you that they hardest demographic to reach is the male 14 to 30/5 year olds. You will therefore, begin to understand the potential power of a site like ATS.

Importantly, we must also accept that as a species we are incredibly suggestible. Pick up any psychology book and it will tell you that the highest level of suggestibility occurs in males aged between 12 and 18 years of age. Once again you realise the potential power of a site like ATS.

So given the above and how that correlates to the ATS membership you could say that ATS reaches the demographic that has otherwise been untappable. That would make ATS, for many (and varied groups), an object of desire.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 07:07 AM
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This is a conspiracy site. I can't think of many people who are out there "conspiring to do good things". Of course you are going to see mostly negative articles on a site like this. If you want happy, feelgood type of material, you should probably spend your time on a spirituality forum, or some other forum where like minded happy people get together.

This is a place where people with common interests (conspiracies and the like) get together to discuss those types of topics. Due to the nature of the site, you get negative posts.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 07:18 AM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
In this sense ATS reflects mass-media where only BAD news is news and everything good and life-nurturing is filtered out of the equation.


It's kinda because only the bad news seem to get a decent response. If you look at the threads I've authored, you'll see that it's mostly good or interesting news, but the ones that get the most response are the bad news threads.

People are kind of weird that way. Bad news is somehow more fascinating. It's also a basic news element, if you've ever done a course on journalism. Falls under the category called "conflict".

Edit: Grrrammar

[edit on 4-12-2007 by Beachcoma]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:07 AM
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Sky, you make some very valid points. And it is true that the American/UK well fed lifestyle should produce a lot of "happy" stories.

But, there is a dark side that many miss. A recent MSM report said that 35 million people are going to bed hungry in America. Now while you and 90% may be part of that well fed Great American Middle Class, there are a lot of people that can't rub two cheeks together.

We have third world nations right here in America. Look into the income and living levels for some counties in Mississippi and Georgia, for instance. Look at West Virginia and most of rural Appalachia. Look at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. There are places in this most prosperous of nations that are a shameful secret.

But it's not confined to certain economic regions. While a lot of the Big Butt Tribe of affluent Americans would excuse the disparity between the ghetto dweller and the three car suburbanite as a matter of hard work, they know deep down that isn't true, and that there but by the grace of God, go them.

There are estimates that half of all crimes are economically induced. While American TV runs back to back ads for mood elevating drugs that will work wonders for your life and that you should "talk over with your doctor", many people can't afford a doctor visit. Instead of a bottle from the government controlled drug dealers, too many self medicate from the street dealer.

While some of America watches Survivor on plasma screens, some of America tries to just figure out how to survive. And the great American anxiety is the knowledge that no matter how much they deny it happening, they and their neighbors are usually only three months from being homeless.

CT tries to pierce the fog of the future, and those that worry about the future are those scared by the present, but putting on a brave front. It is the knowledge of the inequality and capricious nature of life in the modern age that makes so many start at each sound of rumblings from the chasm that separates the two Americas. It is the knowledge, felt if not embraced, that the dark maw of destiny could bite them in the ass just as easy as the next person.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:13 AM
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kosmicjack writes:

Even people that I know who do not watch television have this sense that something is amiss.


True. I don't believe that the media is necessary for one to have a sense that things aren't quite right. All one need do is look at American politics: Bush I. Clinton I. Bush II. Clinton II? Something is just not right with that.

Skyfloating writes:

Also, I am starting to develop the belief that the state of fear itself is what any hypothetical secret ruler and tyrant would love for people to feel and that there cannot be any world control without fear.


Hmmm.....now, in light of that thought, reconsider the famous saying: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself".


Im all for uncovering the hidden and looking into parapolitics and will listen to the most far out claim. But I can do without the "poor me" and "poor us" and "oh what a dark world" crap.


Yes, that kind of whining can wear on one. And, while I am rather new to ATS, I can't say that I've run across all that much of it. Perhaps you see more of it on PTS, but then I don't read much on that part of the system. I came to ATS mainly for the UFO and alternative history type topics.

I think that the whining grates on us because it is being displayed for the most part by individuals who do in fact have fairly comfotable existences and so we tend to wonder about their sincerity, i.e. if one is going to bemoan the condition of the world then why are you sitting in your comfortable home, typing on your computer rather than somewhere in a mud hut employed by the Peace Corps.


In this sense ATS reflects mass-media where only BAD news is news and everything good and life-nurturing is filtered out of the equation.

Whether you watch normal media or read through here, it is easy to get the idea that the world is a mean and dangerous place.


You've heard the saying, "He's just not happy unless he has something to complain about", correct? I've often felt that it applies to most of the human race.

Plus, to echo what Karlhungis said, you have to consider the audience. You wouldn't go to a science-fiction convention and do a talk on the poetry of Emily Dickinson. And if you did, the room would probably be pretty empty.

Overall, I don't think that this "Mean World Syndrome" is a new phenomena. It is simply a name that some Wikipedian came up with as sort of a catch-all phrase for a lot of other stuff. If you look at the Wikipedia article you'll see that there are no references and that there is quite a contentious discussion on it.

Mean World Syndrome



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by Karlhungis
This is a conspiracy site. Due to the nature of the site, you get negative posts.


Its not only a conspiracy-site. Its also about Extraterrestrials, Ancient Civilizations, Breakthrough Science, etc.


But as Beachcoma rightly pointed out, making polarizing, traumatizing, ultra-negative, gloom, doom destruction posts get the most attention and response. Welcome to a fear-based reality.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:47 PM
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Originally posted by NGC2736
CT tries to pierce the fog of the future, and those that worry about the future are those scared by the present, but putting on a brave front. It is the knowledge of the inequality and capricious nature of life in the modern age that makes so many start at each sound of rumblings from the chasm that separates the two Americas. It is the knowledge, felt if not embraced, that the dark maw of destiny could bite them in the ass just as easy as the next person.



Hear, hear.
Nice use of language there though.


I agree with what you are saying. But I must add that fear will feed the demon, while happiness and optimism will totally starve it.

The secret the dark empire doesnt want you to know is that they cant control you if you harbour no fear



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:50 PM
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Originally posted by Noscitare

I think that the whining grates on us because it is being displayed for the most part by individuals who do in fact have fairly comfotable existences and so we tend to wonder about their sincerity, i.e. if one is going to bemoan the condition of the world then why are you sitting in your comfortable home, typing on your computer rather than somewhere in a mud hut employed by the Peace Corps.




My point exactly.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 02:21 PM
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You are very right.
So many people percieve the world to be so much more hostile than it actually is.
It's a mix of the media exagerrating the bad things and not reporting enough of the good stuff that happens.
There's so much good in the world I just wish everyone knew it.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 04:00 AM
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Of course the world is more good than bad, the point is to try to keep it that way. That doesn’t happen by sticking your head in the sand and singing Pollyanna to yourself. ‘all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing’.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 07:48 AM
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At last, a subject on which we two are in total agreement!

You're quite right, Skyfloating. I notice most people have taken up the reference to ATS, but it's really the media as a whole.

If you watch the news on TV, well, it's all bad. But if you and your neighbours didn't watch TV, if your news sources were your own eyes and ears, supplemented by purely local media ('local' being fairly generously defined as say, within a 150-mile radius), life wouldn't seem so bad at all. And this would be true whether one lived in Kansas City or in Kabul.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:13 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
If you watch the news on TV, well, it's all bad. But if you and your neighbours didn't watch TV, if your news sources were your own eyes and ears, supplemented by purely local media ('local' being fairly generously defined as say, within a 150-mile radius), life wouldn't seem so bad at all. And this would be true whether one lived in Kansas City or in Kabul.



The interesting addition you make to this thread is in emphasizing the difference between LOCAL news and global news.

It seems to be our habit to see more evil and badness somewhere far away or in foreign countries.

A few weeks ago someone (antar) posted these amazingly beautiful pictures of Iran.

These pictures embarassed me as they broke through my conditioning of always associating Iran with some dirty pithole full of flag-burning, black-scarfed fanatics running through the streets.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:21 AM
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Originally posted by Astyanax
But if you and your neighbours didn't watch TV, if your news sources were your own eyes and ears, supplemented by purely local media ('local' being fairly generously defined as say, within a 150-mile radius), life wouldn't seem so bad at all. And this would be true whether one lived in Kansas City or in Kabul.


But not true in Atlanta! By my own eyes and ears I see rampant deforestation and un-checked sprawl, severe drought, illegal immigration, smog and excessive waste of fuel caused by a million SUV's, out-of-control consumerism - and I haven't even covered the local news yet. That includes stories of bank robberies, a theft of $50,000 worth of toys from a local Christmas charity, domestic violence, child-molestation, corruption and malfeasance.

Sorry, bad things DO happen. Good things do to. Unfortunately, the bad things capture the imagination and get better ratings. But also, when I look around, I don't recognize anything of the world I grew up in and so this causes concern for the future. I'm sure I'm not the only one.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by kosmicjack
Sorry, bad things DO happen. Good things do to. Unfortunately, the bad things capture the imagination and get better ratings. But also, when I look around, I don't recognize anything of the world I grew up in and so this causes concern for the future. I'm sure I'm not the only one.


We are very well aware of the bad things happening because they are pointed out in every newspaper, internet frontpage, newsticker, TV news program around. But the over-reporting of them doesnt seem to have changed them.

Why does the "good news" part only always come at the very END of a typical news-cast and even then it often only refers to something mundane such as "and here`s a new robot-santa-claus at the mall, blabla".


Have you noticed that "news" will usually tell you the percentage of people who are unemployed...

...but that it is not considered news to talk about the percentage of people who ARE employed?


Why is a camera so quick to zoom in on a middle-eastern machine-gun shooter, and so very slow to zoom in on a middle-eastern newborn baby?

Answer: Because people want blood and guts. They want "action". They even PAY for it when they go to the movies.



posted on Dec, 5 2007 @ 08:41 AM
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I sit on the porch and look into the most amazingly beautiful mountainscape listening to the tranquil sound of birds. My neighbouress walks by smiling at me, holding a baby in her arms that is looking around in awe and curiosity. I go to enjoy a refreshing shower. Then I sit down at my laptop....and have a bunch of people telling me about how horrible and wicked REALITY is.

So I point out to someone..."hey, maybe its not all that bad".

And he goes: "You are in denial. Face it. The world is coming to an end 2012. War is raging everywhere you look. They are out to get you!!!!"

maybe I should have stayed on the porch for just a minute longer.



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