• unenlightened
    4.7k
    Watch this first.

    It's a high speed little drama, and you are bored and distracted, so you'll love it. As it says on the site, the adverts are the best thing on telly, a lot of effort goes into making them, far more than goes into ordinary programming. There are several different ones there, so you can pick the one that is for you.

    The drama starts with a scene of contentment and ordinary life and you have a few seconds to identify with the protagonist, who is getting on with life completely oblivious to the horror that has already engulfed the domestic scene, because ...

    Loud klaxon, Giant all caps headline in warning flashing print; You've gone NOSEBLIND. This is terrible; my spellcheck doesn't think it's even a word, and you don't know about it because you can't smell anything. But everyone else can. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    What a disgusting person you are! Your friends and family will abandon you.

    But you can keep your friends and your contented life, fear not. All you have to do is spray everything in sight with a special product that eliminates these un-smellable odours. And then your girlfriend will be happy to sniff your trainers as a tribute to your olfactory purity.

    Now whether or not you buy the product, the klaxon, the flashing lights, the undetectable threat, all disturb you, make you a little anxious, a little paranoid about what your friends really think of you. And this little disturbance is multiplied millions of times around the world, and there are hundreds of thousands of other dramas disturbing the equanimity of folks.

    They are quite deliberately trying to drive everyone mad. And they are succeeding. The reason for this is that the contented protagonist needs nothing, buys nothing. The happy family, the secure and contented life is the enemy of consumer society, and must at all costs be destroyed, in order to be restored with product. But the product cannot ever satisfy, but must always give rise to a new dissatisfaction.

    Are you worried that your undetectable odour eliminator isn't quite eliminating all your disgusting undetectable odours? Well you will be very soon, when we start advertising our brand new undetectable odour detector. Just pass the nozzle over all your stuff, and it will detect odours that even your friends don't notice, and automatically adjust the intensity of odour eliminator spay (sold separately) to cost you considerably more than even your induced paranoia would demand, and give you peace of mind until we can decide what is wrong with the detector and how you can fix it with something else.

    Coming soon to this thread: propaganda. How to have a war that nobody wants, and make everyone blame Johnny Foreigner for the misery we have imposed on you.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k
    On the other hand, some folks, some houses, etc. do stink and the people who smell that way or live in those houses don't seem to notice/care. You do get acclimated to smells if they're around all the time.

    I've had people near me on the subway, at the gym, etc. where I've thought, "Jesus Christ, dude--take a shower/put on some deodorant for once." But I've not said that to them. I would if I had to be around them all the time, though. The gym I go to has a notice requesting that folks don't wear the same clothes for more than one workout prior to washing them, and thankfully most folks seem to follow that advice.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    "Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
    -- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials.

    Be afraid, be very afraid. It doesn't matter what you are afraid of, going noseblind, or hordes of Mexican rapists, the fearful are gullible and biddable. Just be afraid, and I'll tell you what to be afraid of and what to do about it later.

    Be miserable, be depressed, you must be, there is nothing you can do about it. Later I will tell you who is to blame and make sure they are even more miserable than you. I'm good at that.

    Be isolated. Don't talk to anyone, they are probably your enemy, or would be if you revealed yourself, because everyone is horrible. Even your friends are disgusted by your undetectable odour, and if you step out of line, you will be one of the people to blame for everything. You'd better believe me, because I will be deciding who those people are. I'm good at that. Everyone is an isolated individual and it is immoral to have close relationships.

    Relate only to abstractions; democracy, nationality, race. Immerse yourself in these to assuage your feeling of isolation. Do not step out of line, punish and shun those who do, they smell, don't they.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    Terrapin, you probably don't want to hear this, but you are ugly. Jesus Christ, dude - wear a bin bag when you go out in public.

    Well probably not, really. But your olfactory outrage has been manufactured. You are not going to get very far with this thread without questioning your own feelings a little.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    There's no doubt that some people think I'm ugly.

    And surely some people don't mind or even like the smell of someone who hasn't showered in days and who doesn't wear deodorant. I don't want to be standing next to them on a crowded subway though.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    So I hope I have briefly managed to convey something of the psychological functioning of propaganda and advertising and shown how closely related they are. The thesis is, that this century has produced a novelty. It is made possible by mass media, industrialisation, and psychological theory, beginning with Freud and continuing with ever more refinement and power to the present. Edward Bernays was a leading figure in much of this. Not that rhetoric and persuasion are anything new in themselves, but the science of it, and the universality is new, and it is now irresistible.

    Your only best last hope for the liberty of your own mind is philosophy. Buy some today and install it at once. You really cannot afford to miss this discussion.
  • Terrapin Station
    13.8k


    I don't agree with most of the theory about this,though, and Freud was particularly ridiculous in my view.

    Certainly there is propaganda and people can be influenced, but there's a shitload of crap theorizing about advertisements.
  • Mongrel
    3k
    I only watch streamed TV. Hulu may still have commercials.. I don't know.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated
    are confident they are acting on their own free will.
    Joseph Goebbels.

    Let me tell you a comfortable lie. All this stuff only works on the great unwashed. You are educated and intelligent, and so your freedom and independence are assured.
  • Nils Loc
    585
    Grown men do have a problem with a build of up rancid oil in their clothes. Detergent and non-chlorine bleach do not fully eliminate this problem. The odor is universal, distinct and it is something that is hard to eliminate, unless you have an advanced technique of laundry washing.

    I don't want to be sitting in a room that has been coated in Fabreeze. Have always been a bit paranoid about industrially manufactured mystery concoctions, but still use conventional laundry detergents.

    Commercials are often loud, obnoxious and dumb. Hopefully the era of online streaming will do away with them.
  • Mongrel
    3k
    It works pretty well when you control what books are in the library, what sorts of things economists get Nobel prizes for, which philosophers are asked for their opinions.

    Feel free to do what you preach. Self-examine. If you can't be bothered to do that.. fuck off.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Your only best last hope for the liberty of your own mind is philosophy. Buy some today and install it at once. You really cannot afford to miss this discussion.unenlightened
    >:O

    Let me tell you a comfortable lie. All this stuff only works on the great unwashed. You are educated and intelligent, and so your freedom and independence are assured.unenlightened
    :-x


    Yes the sweat smell thing is interesting. Personally, despite very strong pressures from my environment and from my parents as a teenager to inoculate in me the idea that sweat is disgusting and no one can stand it, I never felt that way. I never felt "bothered" by staying next to someone who smelled. Maybe I was concerned about being seen around such a person, but never so much by the smell itself. So I agree with you, that seems to be something that has been socially imposed on us.

    Now, to talk of something really disgusting, which almost made me vomit, despite no propaganda being involved - please brace yourselves. Once upon a time I ate a lot of sesame seeds. The next day, when I went to the toilet (to do a dirt, not a wee as Borat would say), I saw that my stool was covered completely in those sesame seeds. I can swear that I've never seen a more disgusting scene than that - it wasn't just that I didn't like it and found it somehow disgusting, but that it was repugnant - as in I felt it driving me away, and my stomach physical turned upside down at that sight. Ever since, I'm actually afraid of eating sesame seeds in large quantities because of that. So what explains such a phenomenon? I think this particular repugnance is natural - in our mind, a repugnance of such a sight has been built by evolution - the seeds being associated with the presence of worms or parasites, that we would be compelled to avoid - hence the strong reaction. Anyway, when this happened I was left a bit stunned, because I'm generally very hard to disgust. A dog licking me on the face for example isn't that disgusting as it is for some (not that it is enjoyable, of course I don't like it - but I'm not exactly repulsed by it automatically). If I saw someone eating shit, I wouldn't be that disgusted either. But this was something coming from a deep deep level, I could feel it. It was a revolution that was very deep below the level where reason activates.

    So I think there are both naturally occurring responses and induced ones.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    Fuck off out of my thread yourself if you have nothing to contribute.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    Thanks for sharing. :s

    Natural disgust prevents you from re-eating those tasty seeds, thus protecting you from worms and e-coli infection. Advertising does not create anything in humanity that is not already there, it elicts, distorts, redirects, exaggerates, trains, feelings that are pretty universal.
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Natural disgust prevents you from re-eating those tasty seeds, thus protecting you from worms and e-coli infection. Advertising does not create anything in humanity that is not already there, it elicts, distorts, redirects, exaggerates, trains, feelings that are pretty universal.unenlightened
    But by re-directing them it seems to me that it can create entirely new combinations of feelings and reactions that we would never have before. And this isn't only in terms of intensity, but in terms of the whole experience of whatever the situation is.

    The way I see it, this modern culture not only attempts to reshape people's reactions and way of life, but more importantly, it succeeds in doing so - it has people who aren't affiliated with the propaganda actually participating in it and promoting it, without understanding what they're actually doing. It uses them - like an ideological virus, infecting minds and being further spread by it.

    Your only best last hope for the liberty of your own mind is philosophy. Buy some today and install it at once. You really cannot afford to miss this discussion.unenlightened
    See, this is the problem, even among the truth there is infiltration.
  • Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    Excellent example of the created need/want. More: Downy, Airwick, Glade, and other odiferous products. Running shoe$ (for people who would die if they ran 2 blocks to catch a bus); all lawn care products; pick up trucks (for people who might haul 3 bags of mulch from the hardware store); and on, and on...
  • Wosret
    3.2k


    I'm helping!
  • Mongrel
    3k
    Fuck off out of my thread yourself if you have nothing to contribute.unenlightened

    I did contribute, hypocrite.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    I did contribute, hypocrite.Mongrel

    Can it be, hypocrite preacher, that you too do not like being called names and sworn at?
  • Bitter Crank
    8.7k
    Once upon a time I ate a lot of sesame seeds. The next day, when I went to the toilet (to do a dirt, not a wee as Borat would say), I saw that my stool was covered completely in those sesame seeds. I can swear that I've never seen a more disgusting scene than thatAgustino

    Sig Freud!

    You'd better come into the office and lie down on the couch right away. You're a very sick man.

    It is interesting that you wouldn't mind standing next to someone who was smelly, but wouldn't want to be seen by others as having tolerated their smelliness. Shades of other-directedness.

    At some point, life becomes easier when we come to terms with our own shit, literally. Raising children (which I haven't done) and raising dogs (which I have) are effective at busting up our cleanliness obsessions, and alleviating the shock of the stool -- that what goes in comes out and in sometimes quite identifiable condition. Once our young dog got into the dog food and stuffed herself. A bit later, while I was sitting on the back step, she crawled into my lap and vomited up an enormous Science Diet slushy. Yuck. But, because it was OUR dog, I wasn't freaked out--as I would otherwise have been. What she ate was sometimes quite identifiable when I picked up her stool for disposal. Like bits of raw carrot. Chewed up and swallowed bits of fabric. Wild baby rabbits swallowed whole were still whole.

    Why feed a dog expensive dog food? Because it promises to produce a very firm, drier stool -- easier to pick up. Turned out to be true.

    Having chronic bowel problems has helped many people understand that unexamined shit may not be worth excreting. Stools are a window into our bowels -- a place we do not want to go ourselves.
  • Mongrel
    3k
    OK. Self-examination is hard sometimes. I didn't acknowledge that. So a step in that direction:

    To some extent, advertising aims to be subliminal. This works by contacting deep seated biases. In other words.. people believe what they want to believe. Propaganda just helps get all the lemmings facing in the same direction.

    You unenlightened, recently presented a variety of speculations about the US as if they're facts. Coincidently, these speculations have been presented by various media outlets... some of which have a known and self-acknowledged bias.

    In the face of not knowing all the particulars... how did you come to be so convinced? You believe what you want to believe.... that's how. Question is: why did you want to believe it?

    Global warming is going to kill people. Fact? Nope. Anytime you get a whiff of apocalypse, look for the myth below the surface. I could go on and on...

    Can it be, hypocrite preacher, that you too do not like being called names and sworn at?unenlightened

    Sorry. I actually did think you were being hypocritical, though. Should I have just kept that to myself?
  • Agustino
    11.3k
    Sig Freud!

    You'd better come into the office and lie down on the couch right away. You're a very sick man.

    It is interesting that you wouldn't mind standing next to someone who was smelly, but wouldn't want to be seen by others as having tolerated their smelliness. Shades of other-directedness.

    At some point, life becomes easier when we come to terms with our own shit, literally. Raising children (which I haven't done) and raising dogs (which I have) are effective at busting up our cleanliness obsessions, and alleviating the shock of the stool -- that what goes in comes out and in sometimes quite identifiable condition. Once our young dog got into the dog food and stuffed herself. A bit later, while I was sitting on the back step, she crawled into my lap and vomited up an enormous Science Diet slushy. Yuck. But, because it was OUR dog, I wasn't freaked out--as I would otherwise have been. What she ate was sometimes quite identifiable when I picked up her stool for disposal. Like bits of raw carrot. Chewed up and swallowed bits of fabric. Wild baby rabbits swallowed whole were still whole.

    Why feed a dog expensive dog food? Because it promises to produce a very firm, drier stool -- easier to pick up. Turned out to be true.

    Having chronic bowel problems has helped many people understand that unexamined shit may not be worth excreting. Stools are a window into our bowels -- a place we do not want to go ourselves.
    Bitter Crank
    :D But I do know all this, and I do have a look at my stool briefly every time I go to the toilet. I'm not freaked out by stool regardless of what I see - I've seen for example dried pieces of tomato, I've even picked up pieces of stool, I've even seen blood in stool. That's why I say I was shocked - I'm not a person who gets easily disgusted, and especially not by my own stools. But that was something entirely different. I wouldn't have imagined that if I would see such a stool I would have such a reaction. It was a primal and more basic reaction.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    So, a bit of meta- psychological pontification.
    Folks have always had, and continue to have, a folk psychology, otherwise known as a 'theory of mind'. Such theories are culturally informed by religion, philosophy romantic tradition, notions of gender identity and so on. My psychological theory affects how I experience others and how I behave with them. I treat you all so badly because my theory of mind tells me you are are all as horrible and pathetic as I am, however well you hide it.

    Now even without the benefit of a university course, everyone here has a notion of what Freudian is what behaviourism is and so on. It may be vague, but it enters the psyche along with all that advertising and propaganda some to be dismissed, and some absorbed. So it is not to be wondered at that the techniques of the shrinks not only enter into the schemes of advertisers and politicians but also into the interactions of philosophers in discussion forums. I started with an advert, because it is paradigmatic, but it is only a simplistic and transparent example of what has become a way of life, a pervasive form of our culture.

    There is a knot here; put very simply the theory of psyche is part of the psyche. It is as if the fundamental particles of physics changed their properties according to which laws of physics they decided to adopt. Psychologists have changed the way we think, the way we see, our whole culture, and in doing so, they give rise to a new psyche which needs a new theory. Fashion in psychology mirrors the fashion of youth that always has to be different to that of the previous generation. Today one talks of neural plasticity, and it is neural plasticity that makes this talk possible.

    The knot is the bane of the psychologist and manipulator. The cleverer he is, the better the theory, the more it transforms the people it is a theory of. The more we the atoms see the manipulator scientist coming, the faster we adapt to his manipulations and frustrate his intentions. And we too are all manipulator scientists.
  • Mongrel
    3k
    There is a knot hereunenlightened

    And you're bound by this knot as you speak of it. So you've painted yourself into a corner. I won't ask if that was your intention... that would require the illusive transcendent vantage point.
  • m-theory
    1.1k
    Eh...this seems to assume tabula rasa too much.
    Some stuff is hard wired and ain't changing no time soon, no matter how well informed we are about it.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    this seems to assume tabula rasa too much.m-theory

    I don't think it does. One can admit any amount of neuro-concrete along with the neuro-plastic. It is only our understanding of ourselves and each other, and thus our social conduct that is required to be radically plastic.

    And you're bound by this knot as you speak of it. So you've painted yourself into a corner. I won't ask if that was your intention... that would require the illusive transcendent vantage point.Mongrel

    That my explanations and understanding are bound by the same knot I fully agree, and this means that even to the extent that all this might be a powerful or useful way of looking at ourselves, it is historical rather than foundational. But in terms of being and becoming, the knot liberates us from the whole idea of psychological law. There is no law, even statistical law, except the law we make up, and if we don't like the law as it stands, we can make up new laws or dispense with it altogether.

    The psychologist as scientist becomes a manipulator. This is what happens when the supremely successful methods of science are turned from the physical world to the mental world from the observed to the observer. This is what has been done for a hundred years, and it has made us more unhappy and more insane. It works, but it works to destroy us.

    But there are other ways of relating than as subject and object...
  • Mongrel
    3k
    What have you done with this freedom? What scheme do you love? Or live..
  • Saphsin
    157
    The role of advertisement is less to persuade consumers about so-and-so but bring consumer awareness to gain some degree of marketshare.

    To get some hard data here...

    "Media messages about the political realm can cancel each other out, mute the effects of other
    messages, or, by failing to present another perspective or new idea, prevent its spread. If this seems counterintuitive, it should not. This is precisely the situation that obtains in another, perhaps more familiar area of media effects: advertising.

    Practitioners of advertising and marketing would be a very hard sell for the “minimal effects” approach to media. Advertising had a humble role in the 19th century, essentially providing simple price and product information to consumers (in the way that neoclassical economic theory still assumes obtains today). But by the early 20th century, advertising began to resemble propaganda rather than price- and-product information, its effectiveness became widely acknowledged, and total advertising spending ballooned to 2% of GDP by 1920. From then until the present, total annual advertising expenditure has averaged 2.2% of GDP, with current annual spending hovering around $300 billion. That is quite a price tag for a “minimal” effect.

    A recent meta-analysis of studies of advertising on children and adolescents reveals that expo- sure to advertising results in more positive associations with the brands advertised, increased brand comprehension, and leads to selection of the products advertised. The effects were small, but this is what would be expected in a market already saturated with advertising. (Also, 70% of consumers report skepticism about advertising, further reducing its effect.) A review of research on advertising to adults found mixed results, with similarly small effects. These results might lead to questions about the viability of the $300 billion a year advertising industry, but such doubts are answered in the same way as are doubts about the effects of media in the political realm: commercial messages, like political messages, often cancel each other out. But try to sell a new product without advertising – or a new political idea or without media exposure – and the power of the media enters clearly into view. Maxwell McCombs summarizes this commonsense view: if the media did not “yield significant outcomes, the vast advertising industry would not exist.”

    - Crooked Timber and the Broken Branch The Invisible Hand in the Marketplace of Ideas
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