….Or as James Farr calls it - “The psychological science of control”.
We covered the subject of propaganda and propaganda analysis as a scientific tool in Political Science in my class today. Fascinating stuff. The 20th century saw a shift from the old model of ‘facts, facts, facts’ in social sciences to quantifying psychology, and behavior as measurable variables. To quote James Farr,
“The traditions of rationalism and intellectualism that had dominated political study had failed to analyse ‘man’ underneath formal institutions, including representative democracies. In particular, the dark realities of psychological emotion, behaviour and opinion had been virtually neglected.”
Charles Merriam & Harold Laswell looked at propaganda during WWI & WWII and it’s effects. Long story short, some scientists or “makers of the established order” (Plato) figured out a way to use propaganda to sway “uneducated citizens” by incorporating symbols and slogans that appealed to them on an emotional level by creating that “rally around the flag” sensation.
Forward to now and the medium of Social Media.
It seems anyone these days can take an American symbol such as a photograph/profile of Abraham Lincoln which implies authority, honesty and patriotism, slap anything between quotation marks in a proper typography and people will buy into it as gospel in their various feeds. Look at how many people bought into the Morgan Freeman death meme that went around a couple months ago. Makes you wonder how many voters in the last election were truly “educated” or gullible sheep that based their decisions of 21st century propaganda.
There is a movie called The Network that came out - I want to say ‘76 that demonstrated how a group of people can gain control through the use of media. Here is a clip - see how frighteningly relevant this is in 2013. It’s enough to make you into one of those crazy conspiracy theory guys!
Seems very impressive for a free/opensource IDE. in about 20 seconds I setup a quick web app project with boilerplate, bootstrap, modernizr and jQuery 1.9