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Re: <nettime> Frank Rieger: We lost the War--Welcome to the World of Tom
Jack Jansen on Tue, 10 Jan 2006 18:14:49 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Frank Rieger: We lost the War--Welcome to the World of Tomorrow

On 8-jan-2006, at 2:12, Karin Spaink wrote:

> What else can we - I, you, us - do? I dunno. Nobody believes in armed
> revolution, so that's off, fortunately. What's left sounds rather
> lame. Propose alternatives. Keep addressing people. Show them the
> fallibility of the main-stream argument. Show them the risks _for
> them_ of what is going on. We have either not been very apt at that
> or we have underestimated the opposition. That, or people are not as
> smart as we thought.

IMHO this hits the nail on the head: it seems that it has become  
pretty much impossible to get a sizeable fraction of the population  
to react to what is happening to the world. A sizeable fraction of  
the people directly hit: maybe. But the rest of the people at best  
feel bad for the victims and get on with their life. Most people here  
in Holland will sort-of sympathise with the inhabitants of Limburg  
who're trying the do something against the AWACS planes soaring over  
their heads day-in-day-out, but no more than sympathise. Most people  
will sort-of feel bad for the 100,000 families who'll most probably  
be out of health insurance in 3 months time. Most people will sort-of  
think it's unfair that Moroccans are asked for their ID time and  
again. But that's where it stops: nobody except some fringe groups  
actually speak up or take action, and this is something that has  
changed in the last two decades or so.

What makes things worse, actually much worse, is that the news media  
have adapted to this, and hard news is losing out to human interest.  
This creates a feedback loop, because the audience will of course  
also sympathise with the victims of some random family tragedy. So as  
the balance in coverage moves away from hard news the focus of the  
audience's attention will shift too, which will cause the media to  
move the balance further. And while everyone is discussing what to do  
about fathers killing their children (which happens occasionally, has  
always happened occasionally, and probably always will happen  
occasionally whatever you try to do against it) the-powers-that-be  
continue with their often infinitely more dangerous activities in  
relative obscurity...

Jack Jansen, <Jack.Jansen {AT} cwi.nl>, http://www.cwi.nl/~jack
If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution -- Emma  

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