INFORMATION EVOLUTION

I hope this will be a short post tonight. Everything I’m thinking is pretty much not new.    However, one of the “advantages” of being in a state of recovery (from fluid-filled lungs) is that in addition to reading news reports from around the world I also turn on television and can watch it for hours. . . .   The power of television to sway one’s thinking was quite apparent today.

So,  in the last post I meant to illustrate the power of propaganda by the judicious use of facts and interpretations.    Today began with a call from Son, telling me of the crash of the Malaysian passenger plane today –  and most importantly, he reminded me how “facts”  change throughout the day.

So I was curious.

I listened carefully to the reporting on at least two cable news channels.   I decided not to rely on my memory throughout the day,  but to make a diagram of the events.    SAMSUNG  I added to it from time to time, and it helped me create a mental picture of what we knew so far.  And, indeed, by the end of the day, the narrative had changed, contradicting what was reported before.    These things happen in an ongoing and “confusing” situation.  No one knows everything,  right at first.  Erroneous reports do, indeed,  creep in.

But two significant “contradictions” remain unexplained.

Underneath the curved line of the trajectory I drew to keep the flight route in my mind is a list of five reasons why various experts throughout the day said it was likely not a missile strike.    Different people, different sources, mostly military and aviation experts.    It wasn’t a missile strike because of this, this, this. . . .

And then, after time spent with the other big news event of the day, in Gaza, we came back to this plane crash, and now we have the “official” voices from our Rulers, senators, P.R. spokesmen, etc.,  saying it was definitely a missile, Russia did it  (or is behind the deed),  and one cable news channel even kept repeating an old video of a missile shooting down another aircraft, both of them followed by smoky contrails so you could see the moment of impact.    Over and over again.   Make sure we are  visually convinced that this was a missile strike too.

Maybe it was.   But I’d like to hear how the five reasons that it wasn’t are explained away.   Because the narrative that is forming is quite serious.   Do we really want to accuse Russia of a deliberate act of bringing down a passenger airliner?  Of recklessness?

The power of the new news, the visual aids,  the short provocative statements (“This was an act of war.”)  made me look at my own diagram, carefully written throughout the day, and think of it as a work of fiction.

One more thing on my diagram.    Within an hour or two it was reported that there were 23 Americans on board.  Of course it’s too early to tell us who. but that number was firm throughout most of the day.      By the end of the day, new reportings of the manifest of passengers listed how many passengers from each country. . . .  but not everyone.   The numbers didn’t equal the total number of passengers on board.   There was now no tally of passengers from America.

I don’t know the diplomatic implications of acknowledging American victims.   Maybe they are working that out.

That sounds a lot like “massaging” the facts.  Manipulating the facts.   Managing the meaning of today’s dramatic events.

Maybe it all happened as some day we will be told it happened. 

But I remember another July 17th,  18 years ago.  I recorded the first few hours of it on my VHS recorder.   I recorded the radar screen from Logan Airport which showed over and over again the missile that rose up to meet Flight 800, and then both radar blips disappeared.    There was eyewitness testimony of a missile strike.  And there was photographic evidence, diners in a restaurant nearby inadvertently took a photo  of the missile approaching that airplane.

And then we were told – complete with cartoon illustrations – that a frayed wire sparked and ignited the (unignitable) jet fuel in the fuel tank.

I don’t know if I can find that old VHS tape anymore.

Our information will “evolve”  according to the way our Rulers want it to evolve.    Then things will happen as our Rulers make them happen.

 

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