How Orwellian is our world ?

mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
I have since leaving Scientology been presented with LOTS of info on influence , propaganda and loaded language etc.

I have realized that in Scientology there was a TREMENDOUS amount of redefiniton and control via double think .


I have found that guys who study language and its influence on thought - like Confucius , Lao Tzu , David S. Touretzky and Noam Chomsky and of course Orwell , Phillip K. Dick and the old guard writers who warned about the future - all seem to be wary of the same problem : covert control and influence through jingoism , symbols and the dreaded thought stopping cliche .


I can think of several terms SO loaded at this time as to have virtually no MEANING despite having great INFLUENCE .

I will give a few quick examples:From Wikipedia
In the 1946 essay Politics and the English Language George Orwell discussed the use of loaded language in political discourse.

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable." The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.

In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides.

It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning .End quote.

A few others - activist judges , big government , Card Check , class warfare , climate change (instead of global warming), conspiracy theory , conspiracy theorist , culture of life , cut and run , death panels , death tax , energy exploration (in place of oil drilling ) , enhanced interrogation , extraordinary rendition , family values , far Left , freedom , government-run health care, government-run health insurance, or government takeover of health care, job creators , judicial activism ,liberal media , liberty , patriot , tort reform (limiting personal injury and other lawsuit damages to benefit big corporations) , right to work , smaller government and less taxes .


Now in fairness not ALL these terms COMPLETELY lack any meaning but almost all are users of stereotypes or conclusion without examination to some degree to frame language and thereby thought .

They assert ideas without inspection as true by definition and trick a person into seeing things a certain way BEFORE the person even starts thinking or talking about them .





Now , this idea was expressed by Confucius and Lao Tzu and Orwell and many others .


My questions are how many words do we use without even thinking about it that function this way ?

Who is influencing things to be like this ? ( if anyone or several groups and if so to what ends ? )

And honestly what can be done about it , if anything ?
 
how orwellian is our society?

pretty goddam bad and always was

but not as bad as it might be, so keep up the fight for sense and goodwill. the internet can be a powerful weapon for big brother but ever the more so for the liberators
 

AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
I have found that guys who study language and its influence on thought - like Confucius , Lao Tzu , David S. Touretzky and Noam Chomsky and of course Orwell , Phillip K. Dick and the old guard writers who warned about the future - all seem to be wary of the same problem : covert control and influence through jingoism , symbols and the dreaded thought stopping cliche .

Where in the world is there documentation to support this claim about Dave Touretzky?
 

mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
Anonmarry , I found the following link to support my claim regarding David Touretzky :

http://studytech.org/study_tech_print.htm

Here is a quote from that site : Study Tech thus provides a convenient blame mechanism. If a concept is not understood, it is always the fault of the student, never the fault of the teacher or source material.

Study Tech's focus on misunderstood words is not just some arbitrary bit of educational dogma. It is an intentional and effective device for suppressing critical thought. In effect, it atomizes language, divorcing words from concepts. The same words might appear in a Shakespearean sonnet or an L. Ron Hubbard bulletin but their collective meaning might be very different. The words themselves may be perfectly comprehensible but their meaning may not be. The context is stripped away, leaving the words to be studied in isolation. But a student cannot ascertain context from isolated words, any more than she could ascertain the design of a house from individual bricks. The most outlandish concepts can thereby be presented in a way that compels word-by-word acceptance.


Study Tech is also an effective method of social control in the classroom. If one expresses disagreement with the material one is studying in Scientology, that's taken as evidence of a misunderstood word. And each M/U must be located and cleared before moving on to other material. Hence, unless a student of Scientology wants to be stuck reading the same page over and over again, looking up definitions in a dictionary ad nauseam, he must keep any negative feelings about the content to himself. If he expresses dislike for a subject and a desire to stop studying it, that is taken as further evidence that he has a misunderstood word. The idea that one can have a legitimate disagreement with something written by "Source", as L. Ron Hubbard is referred to in Scientology, is simply not on the table.
End quote .


And :The real danger of Study Tech is that it was designed for indoctrination, not education. While it may be good at producing obedient Scientologists, it is completely at odds with promoting the ability to think independently. It quite deliberately aims to reduce a student's ability to think critically. Students are taught to distrust their own intelligence and background knowledge, passively and uncritically accepting whatever they are being told. This can only deprive students of a skill vital in an age saturated with conflicting messages, where critical thinking is essential to making sense of the world. Study Tech's doctrinaire and authoritarian approach to teaching is hostile to, and deserves no place in, secular educational institutions. End quote .


I hope this is sufficient to answer that question .
 

mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
Well Sindy , uh does that mean if I decide it is not at all it will become that way in response to me ?

Do I have magical powers to change reality ?



I may be alone here...but I think what things are outside of my mind is NOT determined by my thoughts !



I am in fact not a GOD !!!!



Seriously , if it is raining and I ask what the weather is you would not say it is whatever you decide !



Are you messing with me ? I am very sensitive you know .:coolwink:
 

George Layton

Silver Meritorious Patron
Who gets to decide what is left if something is done about it? You could take away what is called free will, but isn't that convincing or forcing some one to drop one agenda for another. If you could convince people that looking out for anyone is more important than looking out for number one you might start building a society that falls away from where things seem to stand today.
 

mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
George Layton I am in no way suggesting removing free will EVER .


I think the use of loaded language itself is a deception intended to secretly influence and so diminish covertly freedom of both thought and action .


I am ASKING how much the things Orwell and others warned of regarding language being used to influence and control populations actually exists in society at large today in YOUR opinion and what can be done about it .
 

Sindy

Crusader
Well Sindy , uh does that mean if I decide it is not at all it will become that way in response to me ?

Do I have magical powers to change reality ?



I may be alone here...but I think what things are outside of my mind is NOT determined by my thoughts !



I am in fact not a GOD !!!!



Seriously , if it is raining and I ask what the weather is you would not say it is whatever you decide !



Are you messing with me ? I am very sensitive you know .:coolwink:

My point is that there a different ways to view actions. One can decide (as in, add all one's own opinions to) how nefarious the intentions behind any action really are. Some choose to add a whole lot of unsubstantiated theory to actions done by companies, the government etc.

I used to go down all those rabbit holes and have decided that there are small things I can do about it and that's all. I do those things and choose to view my immediate environment as "free" so as not to immobilize myself. I look at the trees and the flowers and the lovely people I meet on the street and the fact that, at least right now, I don't have the jack boot pushing in my door that Alex Jones would have convinced me would have already happened and I would have been living underground had I listened to him, in earnest, ten years ago. As it is I have a bunch of expired, military grade, freeze dried meals in my cabinet and a bunch of silver that is worth a lot less than I purchased it for.

Enjoy every day, that's all ya got.
 
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AnonyMary

Formerly Fooled - Finally Free
Anonmarry , I found the following link to support my claim regarding David Touretzky :

http://studytech.org/study_tech_print.htm

Here is a quote from that site : Study Tech thus provides a convenient blame mechanism. If a concept is not understood, it is always the fault of the student, never the fault of the teacher or source material.

Study Tech's focus on misunderstood words is not just some arbitrary bit of educational dogma. It is an intentional and effective device for suppressing critical thought. In effect, it atomizes language, divorcing words from concepts. The same words might appear in a Shakespearean sonnet or an L. Ron Hubbard bulletin but their collective meaning might be very different. The words themselves may be perfectly comprehensible but their meaning may not be. The context is stripped away, leaving the words to be studied in isolation. But a student cannot ascertain context from isolated words, any more than she could ascertain the design of a house from individual bricks. The most outlandish concepts can thereby be presented in a way that compels word-by-word acceptance.


Study Tech is also an effective method of social control in the classroom. If one expresses disagreement with the material one is studying in Scientology, that's taken as evidence of a misunderstood word. And each M/U must be located and cleared before moving on to other material. Hence, unless a student of Scientology wants to be stuck reading the same page over and over again, looking up definitions in a dictionary ad nauseam, he must keep any negative feelings about the content to himself. If he expresses dislike for a subject and a desire to stop studying it, that is taken as further evidence that he has a misunderstood word. The idea that one can have a legitimate disagreement with something written by "Source", as L. Ron Hubbard is referred to in Scientology, is simply not on the table.
End quote .


And :The real danger of Study Tech is that it was designed for indoctrination, not education. While it may be good at producing obedient Scientologists, it is completely at odds with promoting the ability to think independently. It quite deliberately aims to reduce a student's ability to think critically. Students are taught to distrust their own intelligence and background knowledge, passively and uncritically accepting whatever they are being told. This can only deprive students of a skill vital in an age saturated with conflicting messages, where critical thinking is essential to making sense of the world. Study Tech's doctrinaire and authoritarian approach to teaching is hostile to, and deserves no place in, secular educational institutions. End quote .


I hope this is sufficient to answer that question .


Dave Touretzky doesn't study language and it's influence on thought. He is a well known critic of Scientology. He exposes Scientology front groups and speaks to the media about Scientology when he's not building robots at Carnegie Mellon University as a research scientist. He took on the study tech as a subject to expose but he does not study language and it's influence on thought. He researched Hubbard's study tech and wrote up the site to alert people. This was a volunteer project. See the link in his name, above. You can see what he doe and is studies.

Re:
I have found that guys who study language and its influence on thought
 
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mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
Thanks Sindy , that is much clearer to me.


You mean I should not listen intently to Alex Jones and David Icke and do lots of cocaine for pep and stay up all night every night Googling Illuminati and Rothschilds and Greys and Bilderberg and chemtrails and 911 truth and New World Order and Phantom Time and Roswell and the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory !


Should I be up in the hills in my bunker with a secret stash of weapons and enough ammo to take out a small country !


And a tin foil hat and radio frequency jammer !! :coolwink:

:whistling::conspiracy::conspiracy::conspiracy::sp::sp::sp::evillaugh:



But seriously - my emoticon addiction aside - I do not accept EVERY claim as equally valid that would be irrational as many contradict each other !


I also do not automatically disbelieve every claim - again irrational .


I am what you might call a HARD skeptic - I want a lot of proof to either prove OR disprove a claim and always know i may be wrong !:duh::coolwink:


So , I live in a lot of maybes...


So I try to make do the best I can with a little help from my friends...:p
 

Sindy

Crusader
Thanks Sindy , that is much clearer to me.


You mean I should not listen intently to Alex Jones and David Icke and do lots of cocaine for pep and stay up all night every night Googling Illuminati and Rothschilds and Greys and Bilderberg and chemtrails and 911 truth and New World Order and Phantom Time and Roswell and the Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory !


Should I be up in the hills in my bunker with a secret stash of weapons and enough ammo to take out a small country !


And a tin foil hat and radio frequency jammer !! :coolwink:

:whistling::conspiracy::conspiracy::conspiracy::sp::sp::sp::evillaugh:



But seriously - my emoticon addiction aside - I do not accept EVERY claim as equally valid that would be irrational as many contradict each other !


I also do not automatically disbelieve every claim - again irrational .


I am what you might call a HARD skeptic - I want a lot of proof to either prove OR disprove a claim and always know i may be wrong !:duh::coolwink:


So , I live in a lot of maybes...


So I try to make do the best I can with a little help from my friends...:p

Ah, yes! LOL...but ----- if you can prove something, then what?

In my opinion (and this includes myself as I cannot even get on an airplane without wanting to be the friggin' pilot) many Scientologists or people attracted to it in the past, like to control things that they can't. I actually think that trying to figure it all out is a sign of intelligence however, I don't think that's possible.

The earth has over 7 billion people on it and the dynamics of what is going on between all those people is too complex to do a black and white analysis on it, so that we can sew it all up in a nice little package that makes us feel better -- like we really understand it -- like we got one up on our oppressors. We should be alert, keep asking questions, and most of the time just live our lives as joyfully as we can without looking for chemtrails in the sky every day.
 
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mockingbird

Silver Meritorious Patron
Okay Anonmary ,

Here is a bit from Wikipedia :
David S. Touretzky is a research professor in the Computer Science Department and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Carnegie Mellon University. He received a BA in Computer Science at in 1978, and earned a Master's degree and a Ph.D. (1984) in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Touretzky has worked as an Internet activist in favor of freedom of speech especially what he perceives as abuse of the legal system by government and private authorities. He is a notable critic of Scientology.

Touretzky's research interests lie in the fields of artificial intelligence, computational neuroscience, and learning. This includes machine learning and animal learning, and in particular neural representation of space in rodents (e.g., in the hippocampus) and in In 2006 he was recognized as a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery .End quote .

To get his Phd and do the research he engages in I am quite confident that he has learned far more about how language affects thought than most of us will ever dream could be there .

To my mind to understand cognition and offer the courses he teaches he has to know how language and the mind function .

And that understanding is shown in the comments and writings he has attributed to him .

He is a key part of understanding that people who know what language does with thought well very strongly oppose Scientology when they get a glimpse of it and see the harm it can and will do .



But that is not really what this post is mainly about at all .
 
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oneonewasaracecar

Gold Meritorious Patron
A very good thread OP. Orwell's 1984 has never been irrelevant in any society. The only thing to discuss is the degree to which the tech is applied.

Having lived in a moderated country in the middle east, things could be far worse in the west. People are incredibly cynical. If you've read 1984, propaganda tends to stand out, which makes it less effective.

So perhaps the degree to which a society can be considered Orwellian is a combination of how hard the state tries to implement the tech and how resilient and educated the people are.
 

Sindy

Crusader
A very good thread OP. Orwell's 1984 has never been irrelevant in any society. The only thing to discuss is the degree to which the tech is applied..

No, it never has been irrelevant but the same exact complaints, fears and warnings have been communicated for centuries.

Just skimmed this -- looked interesting -- 10 Reasons Why Today Might Be Better Than The Good Old Days:

https://www.bostonfed.org/education/ledger/ledger05/sprsum/ten.pdf

50 Reasons We're Living Through The Greatest Period:

http://www.fool.com/investing/gener...-were-living-through-the-greatest-period.aspx

Here's a list of end of the world predictions:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/List_of_predictions_of_the_end_of_the_world

"The oldest known prediction of the end of the world is recorded on Assyrian tablets: "Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching."

1st century CE"

Things in the world are both good and bad. The bad gets way more concentrated upon than the good because apparently, as a species, we like drama and pain and are naturally wary of things that could destroy us and are always on the lookout for such.

Right now there are, what seems to be a million things, that could destroy us all. There are too many to keep in my head.

Can I control an undetected-til-it's-too-late meteor hit to the planet? No

An overdue Yellowstone eruption? No

A bunch of rich people wanting and grabbing more than they need or deserve? Apparently not

Wholesale corruption? No

Some people suck. Most people don't. It's been going on for a very long time.

Disclaimer: I do realize that I am viewing this from a privileged, American-Centric point of view.
 
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gbuck

oxymoron
The Orwellian world has always been with us.
Put simply, it's when I want to get you to think what I want you to think.
Ideas are the basis of any manipulation, and if I'm hungry to receive ideas I should tread carefully.
I don't know why we worship ideas and hold them so dearly to ourselves or why we rate thought,
which is ideas, above reality or living and loving.
But I do see that if I allow ideas to dictate my actions, then I can follow patterns that people like Orwell warned about.
What's to do?
Recognise bullshit ( the desire to influence or manipulate) when I see it.
It's not difficult.
Don't tread in it, or things gets messy.
Oh, and recognise my own bullshit before I can spot yours.
Thankfully, the world is not made of bullshit, but I step around it when it's in my way,
( and point it out to anyone who's listening that it's there, it's only polite )
 
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