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Understanding something about public opinion

Craig234

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There's something not very intuitive, that explains a lot about public opinion and how it's influenced, and that's the difference between 'accuracy' and 'volume'. This is related to the 'big lie' observation that a lie repeated many, many times tends to get accepted as true.

We like to think 'the truth' has an edge. Did you know Mexico has more people than China? Did you know that trump killed Osama bin Laden? Did you know that global warming claims are a hoax by scientists to get a ton of money for them to 'solve' it?

You would like to think the truth matters on those claims. It's not intuitive, but largely the case, that when the lie version of them is hear a thousand times and the truth not at all, THAT carries far more weight than the accuracy.

Let's make up an example. Assume that trump has clearly worse speech than Biden and shows more signed of mental decline than Biden, objectively.

But when you have thousands of claims about Biden being 'senile' made over years and little is heard on the other side - people tend to get caught up believing it's true about Biden and not trump. They to like believing it, to like telling others 'their' opinion on it, they enjoy joking with friends about Biden's dementia and how idiotic Americans are who support him. Volume defeats accuracy.

In most topics, there is no 'side' trying to promote a false claim - and so accuracy usually has that edge, and that makes it seem like it does more often than it does. Who won the best picture Oscar, Japan attacking Pearl Harbor, pets being entertaining - these are topics with no one trying to push lies, and there isn't really disagreement, there's basically honest discussion.

And that makes it all the less clear to people when there IS a lie being pushed. "Everyone knows Biden is senile", because they've heard that over and over and over, and the people they know who hear the same lie agree with them - it's just as clearly true to them as 'Biden has gray hair'. Volume is very powerful in influencing opinion.

So much so it's hard to help people recognize it, or when they've fallen for it; it's easier when you point it out in other countries, where it's easier to see because they haven't had the same volume aimed at them - you can point to lies the Chinese people believe because the government has volume, to Russians who believe Putin because he has volume, and it'll be more clear.

On issues where the are billions of dollars or power at stake, there are liars with a very high volume propaganda machine and many Americas fall for it, not understanding how powerful the loud volume of lies is. Issues like inequality, or harm to the climate from fossil fuels, or items used to strengthen party loyalty (e.g., attacks on "CRT" or transgender rights).

Many times, I see people who strongly believe clear lies, strongly, because of this issue. The lie is all they've heard, and they've heard it repeatedly, and people they know agree with them. 'Everyone knows' it's true. I'm talking about 'extreme lies' along Qanon lines as well as less extreme but still clear lies.

And behind this propaganda machine is a drive for power. To use issues to constantly try to keep people supporting the Republican Party, in order for it to get power for the ulterior motives of the people it serves. Everything is partisan for the people doing this; if someone cured cancer, they'd be praised if Republican and attacked if Democrat - and at the same time they'll attack the other side as overly partisan.

That's their goal. Just as big brands want you to 'feel more comfortable' spending more to buy their name brands, advertisers want people to 'feel comfortable' identifying as a Republican, and so just as you see advertising for name brands to build loyalty to them, you see manipulations to make people want to be Republican and to fear and hate and oppose Democrats, and truth is not an obstacle.

It doesn't always take lying - far more effective is selectivity. Just say "CRT" a thousand times, "immigrants" a thousand times, and that's what people care about. Not issues like, say, inequality or the environment. No need to mention those. Here's an example of the simple difference of what's covered - the volume for each topic on Fox and CNN, showing examples of what Fox gives volume what it's silent about, influencing viewers:

FPY8TZoVEAUfJJn


FPY8DuzUYAQxc2D
 

The Mark

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Random thought.

Has anyone bothered to go back through history and study usage of the "big lie" method, it's results, and how long (if even yet) it took for people to reconnect with reality?
 

Gateman_Wen

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There's something not very intuitive, that explains a lot about public opinion and how it's influenced, and that's the difference between 'accuracy' and 'volume'. This is related to the 'big lie' observation that a lie repeated many, many times tends to get accepted as true.

We like to think 'the truth' has an edge. Did you know Mexico has more people than China? Did you know that trump killed Osama bin Laden? Did you know that global warming claims are a hoax by scientists to get a ton of money for them to 'solve' it?

You would like to think the truth matters on those claims. It's not intuitive, but largely the case, that when the lie version of them is hear a thousand times and the truth not at all, THAT carries far more weight than the accuracy.

Let's make up an example. Assume that trump has clearly worse speech than Biden and shows more signed of mental decline than Biden, objectively.

But when you have thousands of claims about Biden being 'senile' made over years and little is heard on the other side - people tend to get caught up believing it's true about Biden and not trump. They to like believing it, to like telling others 'their' opinion on it, they enjoy joking with friends about Biden's dementia and how idiotic Americans are who support him. Volume defeats accuracy.

In most topics, there is no 'side' trying to promote a false claim - and so accuracy usually has that edge, and that makes it seem like it does more often than it does. Who won the best picture Oscar, Japan attacking Pearl Harbor, pets being entertaining - these are topics with no one trying to push lies, and there isn't really disagreement, there's basically honest discussion.

And that makes it all the less clear to people when there IS a lie being pushed. "Everyone knows Biden is senile", because they've heard that over and over and over, and the people they know who hear the same lie agree with them - it's just as clearly true to them as 'Biden has gray hair'. Volume is very powerful in influencing opinion.

So much so it's hard to help people recognize it, or when they've fallen for it; it's easier when you point it out in other countries, where it's easier to see because they haven't had the same volume aimed at them - you can point to lies the Chinese people believe because the government has volume, to Russians who believe Putin because he has volume, and it'll be more clear.

On issues where the are billions of dollars or power at stake, there are liars with a very high volume propaganda machine and many Americas fall for it, not understanding how powerful the loud volume of lies is. Issues like inequality, or harm to the climate from fossil fuels, or items used to strengthen party loyalty (e.g., attacks on "CRT" or transgender rights).

Many times, I see people who strongly believe clear lies, strongly, because of this issue. The lie is all they've heard, and they've heard it repeatedly, and people they know agree with them. 'Everyone knows' it's true. I'm talking about 'extreme lies' along Qanon lines as well as less extreme but still clear lies.

And behind this propaganda machine is a drive for power. To use issues to constantly try to keep people supporting the Republican Party, in order for it to get power for the ulterior motives of the people it serves. Everything is partisan for the people doing this; if someone cured cancer, they'd be praised if Republican and attacked if Democrat - and at the same time they'll attack the other side as overly partisan.

That's their goal. Just as big brands want you to 'feel more comfortable' spending more to buy their name brands, advertisers want people to 'feel comfortable' identifying as a Republican, and so just as you see advertising for name brands to build loyalty to them, you see manipulations to make people want to be Republican and to fear and hate and oppose Democrats, and truth is not an obstacle.

It doesn't always take lying - far more effective is selectivity. Just say "CRT" a thousand times, "immigrants" a thousand times, and that's what people care about. Not issues like, say, inequality or the environment. No need to mention those. Here's an example of the simple difference of what's covered - the volume for each topic on Fox and CNN, showing examples of what Fox gives volume what it's silent about, influencing viewers:

FPY8TZoVEAUfJJn


FPY8DuzUYAQxc2D
As I have said many, many times: the main thing democrats need to do is to be LOUDER!!!
 

Loulit01

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Random thought.

Has anyone bothered to go back through history and study usage of the "big lie" method, it's results, and how long (if even yet) it took for people to reconnect with reality?
Many, many people.

Try this:

The original description of the big lie appeared in Mein Kampf. Adolf Hitler applied it to the behavior of Jews rather than as a tactic he advocated. Specifically, he accused Viennese Jews of trying to discredit the Germans’ activities during World War I. Hitler wrote of the Jews’ “unqualified capacity for falsehood” and “that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation…. From time immemorial, however, the Jews have known better than any others how falsehood and calumny can be exploited.”

The OSS psychological profile of Hitler described his use of the big lie:

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
Goebbels did describe the big lie in different language in an article he wrote in 1941, “Churchill’s Lie Factory,” but he was accusing the British of the ploy:

The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
Randall Bytwerk argues that neither Hitler nor Goebbels would admit to lying. Goebbels, “always maintained that propaganda had to be truthful. That doesn’t mean he didn’t lie, but it would be a pretty poor propagandist who publicly proclaimed that he was going to lie.”
 

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Many, many people.

Try this:

The original description of the big lie appeared in Mein Kampf. Adolf Hitler applied it to the behavior of Jews rather than as a tactic he advocated. Specifically, he accused Viennese Jews of trying to discredit the Germans’ activities during World War I. Hitler wrote of the Jews’ “unqualified capacity for falsehood” and “that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation…. From time immemorial, however, the Jews have known better than any others how falsehood and calumny can be exploited.”

The OSS psychological profile of Hitler described his use of the big lie:

His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.
Goebbels did describe the big lie in different language in an article he wrote in 1941, “Churchill’s Lie Factory,” but he was accusing the British of the ploy:

The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.
Randall Bytwerk argues that neither Hitler nor Goebbels would admit to lying. Goebbels, “always maintained that propaganda had to be truthful. That doesn’t mean he didn’t lie, but it would be a pretty poor propagandist who publicly proclaimed that he was going to lie.”
Now I'm just wondering when Trump read it and decided it would be his guidebook.
 

Integrityrespec

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Democrats are alway using it. Trump Russia Collusion, being most recently used by them but they also use lesser versions politically in claiming over exaggerated cases of racism and prejudice against all the many minorities in the democrat "big tent".
 

Craig234

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Has anyone bothered to go back through history and study usage of the "big lie" method, it's results, and how long (if even yet) it took for people to reconnect with reality?

The following book looks like it has some of that:


I can't find a book specifically about the big lie, though I remember there is one called "When Presidents Lie" studying the history of you know what.

Ironically, the book actually CLAIMING to be about the topic is one I'm sure is filled with lied, titled 'The Big Lie', by prolific liar Dinesh S'Souza.
 

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The following book looks like it has some of that:


I can't find a book specifically about the big lie, though I remember there is one called "When Presidents Lie" studying the history of you know what.

Ironically, the book actually CLAIMING to be about the topic is one I'm sure is filled with lied, titled 'The Big Lie', by prolific liar Dinesh S'Souza.
That's a hell of a title.

And come to think of it, isn't that kinda what Russia is doing, portraying Ukraine as Nazis to excuse their war crimes?

Edit: Also, your first book suggestion isn't even out until June 7th of this year.
 

Craig234

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Now I'm just wondering when Trump read it and decided it would be his guidebook.
trump was given a book of Hitler's speeches by a friend he said was Jewish, but wasn't. His wife said he kept it by the bed and read from it, he denied it. A journalist asked him about it; he complained and later pour a glass of wine down her back.
 

Craig234

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And come to think of it, isn't that kinda what Russia is doing, portraying Ukraine as Nazis to excuse their war crimes?

Yes, no surprise at propaganda lie similarities between Souza and Russia.

Edit: Also, your first book suggestion isn't even out until June 7th of this year.

It wasn't a suggestion, just identifying the closest book I could find to the question you asked.
 

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Democrats are alway using it. Trump Russia Collusion, being most recently used by them but they also use lesser versions politically in claiming over exaggerated cases of racism and prejudice against all the many minorities in the democrat "big tent".
So are Republicans. Look how much airplay stories about criminal illegal immigrants get, or stories about schools teaching "Critical Race Theory," or Transgendered athletes winning in women's sports, or parents trying to get their children to transition to a different gender, or riots during Black Lives Matter protests, or moronic anecdotes about election fraud.

Both sides love big scary stories that support their position in the "culture war," and both sides amplify issues to the point that the average uninformed person mistakes them to be national threats when in reality they are rare, minor, non-issues. This is how you get people to the polls. Terrify them with scary stories that make the world supported by the other party seem worse than it is.
 

Craig234

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So are Republicans. Look how much airplay stories about criminal illegal immigrants get, or stories about schools teaching "Critical Race Theory," or Transgendered athletes winning in women's sports, or parents trying to get their children to transition to a different gender, or riots during Black Lives Matter protests, or moronic anecdotes about election fraud.

Both sides love big scary stories that support their position in the "culture war," and both sides amplify issues to the point that the average uninformed person mistakes them to be national threats when in reality they are rare, minor, non-issues. This is how you get people to the polls. Terrify them with scary stories that make the world supported by the other party seem worse than it is.
You're right about the Republican side.

But this isn't a 'both sides' issue. Democrats don't have counterparts doing what the right does in propaganda or media more than a tiny sliver. Democrats have little media that is explicitly 'pro-Democrat' at all, and the little it might tends to cover big threats from Republicans accurately as big threats, not to hype propaganda and mountain out of molehill threats for manipulation to serve a party. That's a false equivalency.
 

lwf

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You're right about the Republican side.

But this isn't a 'both sides' issue. Democrats don't have counterparts doing what the right does in propaganda or media more than a tiny sliver. Democrats have little media that is explicitly 'pro-Democrat' at all, and the little it might tends to cover big threats from Republicans accurately as big threats, not to hype propaganda and mountain out of molehill threats for manipulation to serve a party. That's a false equivalency.
I don't think they're equivalent, but I think Democrats are more guilty of it than you think they are. They absolutely do have their own counterparts seeking out and amplifying frightening stories that further the liberal agenda, and they often don't give accurate perspective any more than Republicans do if they benefit from the misinterpretation.

That said, where Democrats use this tactic occasionally to support certain potentially unpopular Democratic agendas like increased gun control, for Trump-era Republicans it seems to be the only tool in their tool belt. Their whole modern narrative is based on it. They use it for practically everything, and the only message seems to be "Democrats are evil."
 

Craig234

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I don't think they're equivalent, but I think Democrats are more guilty of it than you think they are. They absolutely do have their own counterparts seeking out and amplifying frightening stories that further the liberal agenda, and they often don't give accurate perspective any more than Republicans do if they benefit from the misinterpretation.

That said, where Democrats use this tactic occasionally to support certain potentially unpopular Democratic agendas like increased gun control, for Trump-era Republicans it seems to be the only tool in their tool belt. Their whole modern narrative is based on it. They use it for practically everything, and the only message seems to be "Democrats are evil."
That's my point about the comparison.

Democrats have little things, but I don't think it hits 1% of Republicans. So to just mention whatabout Democrats, if someone does, I think is false equivalency. But we cleared up it's not.
 
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