(NNPA) - This space, I like to think, is usually filled with measured tones and civilized discussion. But today is different. Today I am outraged.
Why? Because I just read Net Neutrality For the Win: How Entertainment and the Science of Influence Can Save Your Internet. Published by the Harmony Institute and paid for by Free Press and the Pacific Foundation, this report explains how to trick, mislead, and manipulate rural, poor, Southern women and African-Americans into supporting their agenda for the Internet.
No, I'm not making this up and I didn't just spill coffee on my keyboard – Free Press and the Harmony Institute literally advocate "behavior change through narrative entertainment" to alter our view of the Internet.
Technology, the Internet, and the issue of the digital divide are dear to me because they hold the key to our success today and the future success of our children. But not once in forty pages of "research", "science" and offensive cartoons (more on that later) does Net Neutrality propose solutions for getting more minorities connected to the Internet, or address why it is important to assure that the poor, those in rural communities and others more likely to be disconnected aren't left behind as technology continues to advance.
Instead, Free Press provides a roadmap and a plan for how to reach into the Black psyche with "behavioral science models" to manipulate our actions and the actions of others that they see as simple and "persuadable" – poor, rural, southern minorities and women.
The paper suggests that the best way to leave a lasting mark is not by laying out the facts and encouraging us to make an informed decision for ourselves, but by using entertainment and fictionalized storytelling like Latin American telenovelas to convey subliminal messages.
Here's how they say they are going to do it (note, I've added bold to the most unbelievable parts of this quote):
"When audiences enter a fictional world they take a mental journey that allows them to suspend the confines of their traditional beliefs. This allows the storyteller to propose new ideas that would have, under other circumstances, been rejected. Psychologists suggest that the acceptance of these ideas through narrative takes place involuntarily as the brain immerses itself in the fictionalized world. The long-term persuasive power of narrative resides in its 'sleeper effect,' i.e., the impact of an idea increases over time when the one discounting cue, that the source of information is a fictional account, is forgotten" (emphasis added).
Don't bother with facts, data, or the truth when dealing with our type. We can be fooled with tv shows, video games, and music videos.
In the old days we just called this brain washing. So who are these people that have apparently unlocked our minds and motivations?