RE: TV- entertainment promotes non-democratic feelings

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Tue May 14 2002 - 11:25:06 BST

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    From: Vincent Campbell <>
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    Subject: RE: TV- entertainment promotes non-democratic feelings
    Date: Tue, 14 May 2002 11:25:06 +0100
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    Very interesting piece Steve, albeit a bit hyperbole filled (the internet an
    'electronic sewer'?).

    The globalisation idea is certainly more problematic than some envision (see
    for example how people thought the world would unite through the telegraph-
    Standage's book 'The Victorian Internet' is great on this). As I said in
    another post today, part of the problem is more information being available
    but without the possibility of action (or for that matter of explanatory
    context- why things are happening), we can't expect the rapid emergence of a
    Star Trek-like global society.

    However claims about people believing the internet in the developing world
    reflects the anxieties of elites in authoritarian countries like Indonesia,
    over their citizens getting to hear about things like human rights and
    democracy, more than the official concern about the spreading of lies that
    might generate extremism. Indonesia has been, in all sorts of ways, an
    appalling country that has only recently begun to try and haul itself out of
    the authoritarianism that blighted its people for decades (and which the
    West ignored because when the modern country was set up- in a coup
    supported by western powers- the new rulers held a conference where western
    corporations laid down what they thought the new constitution should be, and
    he complied because it meant that he and his cronies could line their

    sorry, starting to rant again.


    > ----------
    > From: Steve Drew
    > Reply To:
    > Sent: Sunday, May 12, 2002 15:43 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: TV- entertainment promotes non-democratic feelings
    > Hi Kenneth.
    > I came upon this in the New York Times, which seemed appropriate to the
    > general tone of the discussion.
    > May 12, 2002
    > Global Village Idiocy
    > JAKARTA, Indonesia < During a dinner with Indonesian journalists in
    > Jakarta, I was taken aback when Dini Djalal, a reporter for The Far
    > Eastern
    > Economic Review, suddenly launched into a blistering criticism of the Fox
    > News Channel and Bill O'Reilly. "They say [on Fox], `We report, you
    > decide,'
    > but it's biased < they decide before us," she said. "They say there is no
    > spin, but I get dizzy looking at it. I also get upset when they invite on
    > Muslims and just insult them."
    > Why didn't she just not watch Fox when she came to America, I wondered?
    > No,
    > no, no, explained Ms. Djalal: The Fox Channel is now part of her Jakarta
    > cable package. The conservative Bill O'Reilly is in her face every night.
    > On my way to Jakarta I stopped in Dubai, where I watched the Arab News
    > Network at 2 a.m. ANN broadcasts from Europe, outside the control of any
    > Arab government, but is seen all over the Middle East. It was running what
    > I'd call the "greatest hits" from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:
    > nonstop
    > film of Israelis hitting, beating, dragging, clubbing and shooting
    > Palestinians. I would like to say the footage was out of context, but
    > there
    > was no context. There were no words. It was just pictures and martial
    > music
    > designed to inflame passions.
    > An Indonesian working for the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, who had just
    > visited
    > the Islamic fundamentalist stronghold of Jogjakarta, told me this story:
    > "For the first time I saw signs on the streets there saying things like,
    > `The only solution to the Arab-Israel conflict is jihad < if you are true
    > Muslim, register yourself to be a volunteer.' I heard people saying, `We
    > have to do something, otherwise the Christians or Jewish will kill us.'
    > When
    > we talked to people to find out where [they got these ideas], they said
    > from
    > the Internet. They took for granted that anything they learned from the
    > Internet is true. They believed in a Jewish conspiracy and that 4,000 Jews
    > were warned not to come to work at the World Trade Center [on Sept. 11].
    > It
    > was on the Internet."
    > What's frightening him, he added, is that there is an insidious digital
    > divide in Jogjakarta: "Internet users are only 5 percent of the population
    > <
    > but these 5 percent spread rumors to everyone else. They say, `He got it
    > from the Internet.' They think it's the Bible."
    > If there's one thing I learned from this trip to Israel, Jordan, Dubai and
    > Indonesia, it's this: thanks to the Internet and satellite TV, the world
    > is
    > being wired together technologically, but not socially, politically or
    > culturally. We are now seeing and hearing one another faster and better,
    > but
    > with no corresponding improvement in our ability to learn from, or
    > understand, one another. So integration, at this stage, is producing more
    > anger than anything else. As the writer George Packer recently noted in
    > The
    > Times Magazine, "In some ways, global satellite TV and Internet access
    > have
    > actually made the world a less understanding, less tolerant place."
    > At its best, the Internet can educate more people faster than any media
    > tool
    > we've ever had. At its worst, it can make people dumber faster than any
    > media tool we've ever had. The lie that 4,000 Jews were warned not to go
    > into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 was spread entirely over the
    > Internet and is now thoroughly believed in the Muslim world. Because the
    > Internet has an aura of "technology" surrounding it, the uneducated
    > believe
    > information from it even more. They don't realize that the Internet, at
    > its
    > ugliest, is just an open sewer: an electronic conduit for untreated,
    > unfiltered information.
    > Worse, just when you might have thought you were all alone with your
    > extreme
    > views, the Internet puts you together with a community of people from
    > around
    > the world who hate all the things and people you do. And you can scrap the
    > BBC and just get your news from those Web sites that reinforce your own
    > stereotypes.
    > A couple of years ago, two Filipino college graduates spread the "I Love
    > You" virus over the Internet, causing billion of dollars in damage to
    > computers and software. But at least that virus was curable with the right
    > software. There is another virus going around today, though, that's much
    > more serious. I call it the "I Hate You" virus. It's spread on the
    > Internet
    > and by satellite TV. It infects people's minds with the most vile ideas,
    > and
    > it can't be combated by just downloading a software program. It can be
    > reversed only with education, exchanges, diplomacy and human interaction <
    > stuff you have to upload the old-fashioned way, one on one. Let's hope
    > it's
    > not too late.
    > Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company | Permissions | Privacy Policy
    > > Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 22:16:28 +0200
    > > From: "Kenneth Van Oost" <>
    > > Subject: TV- entertainment promotes non-democratic feelings
    > >
    > > This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
    > >
    > > - ------=_NextPart_000_0021_01C1F939.7F5F7920
    > > Content-Type: text/plain;
    > > charset="iso-8859-1"
    > > Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    > >
    > > Vincent, this is the promised article, just a translation. Further info
    > =
    > > about
    > > the analyse I have not.=20
    > >
    > > The connection between watching entertainmentprograms and the =
    > > cultivation
    > > of uncertainty- feelings, is mush clearer than previously supposed.
    > > This is the conclusion of an investigation done by VUB- docent M. =
    > > Hooghe.
    > > Suprisingly is that not so mush the newsprograms are the cause for those
    > > uncertainty feelings.
    > >
    > > " We could conclude that watching easy entertainment programs for a long
    > > time, points to a tendency to seclude oneself from the ( hostile and =
    > > dange-
    > > rous) outside world, and thus to search for an easy form of relaxation/
    > =
    > > diver-
    > > sion/ relief."=20
    > > The outside world is perceived ( more and more) as a strange and =
    > > threatening
    > > environment, which must be avoided. According to Hooghe has the tendency
    > > to put everything under a jolly/ pleasant/ funny/ amusing spell =
    > > important
    > > political and cultural consequenties.=20
    > >
    > >
    > > What for me raises the question, to what programs were the Dutch =
    > > watching
    > > for the last ten years that a guy like Fortuyn could get so mush support
    > =
    > > !?
    > > And by the way, Vincent, to some people, the media is one of the causes
    > > he was mudered. The media made of Fortuyn someone he really wasn 't....
    > >
    > > Hope you enjoy this,
    > >
    > > Regards,
    > >
    > > Kenneth
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    > distributed via the memetics list associated with the
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