February 11, 2017

Ironically, the news that "fake news" is "killing people’s minds" is fake news.

The Guardian quotes Apple's Tim Cook:
Fake news is “killing people’s minds”, Tim Cook, the head of Apple, has said. The technology boss said firms such as his own needed to create tools that would help stem the spread of falsehoods, without impinging on freedom of speech.
I still have enough of an undead mind to be skeptical of the benevolence and honesty of the head of a big corporation looking to sell a product the whole purpose of which is to gum up the flow of speech, a product wrapped in a promise not to restrict speech.
Cook also called for governments to lead information campaigns to crack down on fake news in an interview with a British national newspaper. 
I'd like to crack down on the structure of that sentence. It unwitting locates the "fake news" in the interview. Unwittingly and falsely... unless it stumbled into telling the truth.

Anyway, how do "information campaigns" crack down on "fake news"? A crackdown would be some kind of censorship, some very real stemming of the spread of "fake news." And now my still-undead mind — It's alive! — is skeptical of every word I'm reading in this stew of Cook + Guardian words.
The scourge of falsehoods in mainstream political discourse came to the fore during recent campaigns, during which supporters of each side were accused of promoting misinformation for political gain.
Well, if it came to the fore, then our minds are not dying. They are getting better. Rallying. There have always been "falsehoods in mainstream political discourse," so if they seem more obvious now, our minds are the opposite of dying. A lie doesn't kill a mind when the mind sees it as a lie.

But to rely on Apple "tools" and government "information campaigns" is to swallow some dangerous medicine.
“It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public. There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic... It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid. In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate. At least before a certain age, they are very much in listen and understand [mode], and they then push their parents to act. We saw this with environmental issues: kids learning at school and coming home and saying why do you have this plastic bottle? Why are you throwing it away?”
And with the arrival of the little children, I throw the topic over to your undead mind. 

61 comments:

Malesch Morocco said...

I'll bet Tim Cook will be happy that Betsy DeVos will be leading that educational effort!

Michael K said...

As I recall, Apple was very successful with that "1984" commercial except it suggested Apple was against it. Now we know better.

Larry J said...

Oh, yes. We can always trust governments and corporations to tell us the truth all of the time, right? Give them the tools to control the dissemination of "the truth" and they'll use them.

rehajm said...

Yes Michael. Cook is definitely being creepy in that way.

J2 said...

"That plastic bag is going to strangle a pelican".

Kate said...

An advocate for brainwashing little children. Does he realize he spoke that out loud?

gilbar said...

"In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate"
Whereas parent usually need to go to special RE-education camps; perhaps after being selected by their kids.

rehajm said...

Amazing what people will say when they've lost the ability to control the narrative.

Unknown said...

And he wants the government to lead against fake news...like Russia, like North Korea, like china

Great idea from a genius

Curious George said...

The left will put itself in chains, and never understand how they got there.

tim in vermont said...

Teach literature the old way. What is the writer trying to say, what techniques is he using to manipulate your thoughts and emotions?

Now it's about what to think, not how.

tim in vermont said...

Meanwhile the Washington Post fact checker tweets a fake Fred Trump political ad. We can trust them!

John Borell said...

Curious George, the thing is, the left wants to be put in chains.

Me? I just want to be left alone.

Peter Irons said...

Corporate executives have more money and power than the rest of us, not better moral ideas or better political beliefs.

This is what angers me about Google stuffing politically correct "celebrations" of someone on their search landing page.

Celebrities, BTW, have more money and power but much worse political and moral ideas.

Hagar said...

As I stated on a previous thread, I will not allow anything Apple in my house.
If you are a CEO, stick to running the business.

traditionalguy said...

Cook is a gofer for Tyrants. Every move he makes is of the Tyrant, for theTyrant and by the Tyrant. He gives One World Governance a bad. name.

Saint Croix said...

One thing Christians talk about is the "good news" in the Bible.

I feel like most non-Christians have no idea what the good news is.

Or they have heard the news, but don't believe it. They think it's fake news.

It's interesting that what we call "the news" is so relentlessly negative. We report on murders, rapes, assaults, all these crimes and bad actions. We report on earthquakes, volcanoes, all the weird, mean, negative shit in the world.

It's kind of hard to imagine a world where the news was like this: "A man falls in love with a woman! News at 11." It's not newsworthy. The only newsworthy stuff is bad news. "If it bleeds, it leads." (Unless it's an abortion, in which case we pretend like nothing strange is going on at all).

Saint Croix said...

Just the other day I was reminded that Moses was the guy who came up with the "Choose Life" bumper sticker.

And he did that over 3000 years ago!

That's not new news. It's old news. Really old news. So old it's kind of startling how timely it is.

Fernandinande said...

Fake news is “killing people’s minds”,

I'm happy to see that they put the comma outside the quote, where it belongs; no fake grammar.

rhhardin said...

Soap opera isn't fake news. It's soap opera. There's a market for it.

It probably does kill your mind, or maybe your mind is already dead.

The fake news effect is a story that will not go away, fake or not. No other story can drive it off.

That's an audience effect.

Angel-Dyne said...

Peter Irons:

Corporate executives have more money and power than the rest of us, not better moral ideas or better political beliefs.

This is what angers me about Google stuffing politically correct "celebrations" of someone on their search landing page.


Yes. The political views of Tim Cook, or Bill Gates, or Jeff Zuckerberg are of no more value or interest than yours or mine, or for that matter, those of any Hollywood airhead. It's telling that they're often indistinguishable from those of Hollywood airheads.

rhhardin said...

British put the comma outside the quotes. The American rule is put it where it belongs and then move it inside the quotes, which is a typeface aesthetics rule.

Freder Frederson said...

A lie doesn't kill a mind when the mind sees it as a lie.

But what if you see it as the truth. Many of your commenters believe the bullshit coming out of Donald Trump's mouth and you don't even bother to criticize him for telling outright lies (like the violent crime rate is its highest in 47 years).

Bob Boyd said...

Alternate Headline:
Phone Salesman Suffers Delusions of Grandeur.

Michael K said...

Many of your commenters believe the bullshit coming out of Donald Trump's mouth and you don't even bother to criticize him for telling outright lies (like the violent crime rate is its highest in 47 years).

Field Marshall Freder will tell us what the truth is.

Fernandinande said...

rhhardin said...
British put the comma outside the quotes.


Thanks, I didn't know that. They also have a better way of writing dates (dd-mm-yyyy), tho it's still dumber than the ISO standard which hardly anyone follows (yyyy-mm-dd). Backwards is better than inside-out.

Bob Boyd said...

"It's not the moronic but powerless neo-nazi rump of the alt-right that worries me. It's the Ctrl-Left." – Steve Sailor

Browndog said...

"Fake News", in simpler terms, is lying. It's a question of morality, not institutional controls.

Apple Computer, the Government, The New York Times....neither moral or immoral. The individuals charged with running these institutions are human;flawed.

In an age where morality is more relative than concrete, the "moral high ground" is hard to achieve. When Google launched with the motto "Do no evil", were they doing God's Work when they manipulated search results to favor Hillary over Trump? It depends on who you ask, and what version of "morality" they subscribe to.

I'd rather keep my moral judgements on what is Fake News on a personal level as opposed to having them institutionalized.....but that's just me.

Breezy said...

Fantastic! The CEO of the worlds most innovative phone empire thinks he should have a say it what we actually transmit with the devices! Why enable the conversations to begin with?

Unknown said...

So, Tim wants government to help kill fake news. Because Trump was elected by fake news.

Does he not see the problem here at all?

Mark said...

It used to be SO MUCH EASIER before progressives were able to have so much success in fundamentally transforming everything.

Back in the day, you simply taught your kids, and adhered to yourself, the rule, "Thou shall not lie."

Of course, such a rule assumes that there is such a thing as objective truth, which the secularist left rejects while still utilizing the idea of "truth" as a tool or weapon to obtain and wield power, and it also is identifiably religious, and again the secularist left rejects in favor of their own commandment of "thou shall have no gods except us."

Once upon a time, honesty was a virtue. It was expected of others and people generally wanted to be honest. Without it, they knew, society would crumble, just as the universe itself would disintegrate if it did not follow certain laws of truth which hold atoms and molecules together. Truth and honesty were demanded in law and the legal profession, and they were even at the foundation of journalistic ethics. No more.

Today, truth is for suckers. The serpent has won the day.

Drago said...

Freder: "But what if you see it as the truth. Many of your commenters believe the bullshit coming out of Donald Trump's mouth and you don't even bother to criticize him for telling outright lies (like the violent crime rate is its highest in 47 years)."

I nominate Field Marshall Freder as our first Generalissimo and Minister Of Truth.

Leftism ALWAYS ends up with Ministries of Truth and mass graves.

But in a good way. Naturally.

JustOneMinute said...

I want to Double Up Vote Michael Kay and his 6:45 AM comment about Apple's repositioning on "1984".

Curious George said...

"John Borell said...
Curious George, the thing is, the left wants to be put in chains."

No they don't. The do want the world to conform to their beliefs. Anythig to that end is good. Until it isn't. Then it's too late.

Mark said...

A lie doesn't kill a mind when the mind sees it as a lie.

In time, a mind becomes enslaved to error and lies. Even when the falsehood is clear, still the mind complies. The mind can go along for a while in what Orwell called doublethink, but such cognitive dissonance is hard to live with. So the mind that knows the truth will develop a blind spot with respect to the seen lie. Or the mind will doubt itself. That is easier than fighting against the lie, either internally or in the outside world of society and culture, where the mind simply silences itself or lies to itself and adopts the lie.

In all this, the mind eventually lays down, goes to sleep, and effectively dies. Winston Smith really did eventually love Big Brother.

(And everything said here can be said of the conscience as well.)

Mark said...

They do want the world to conform to their beliefs.

Which necessarily makes them a slave. Truth is truth, it is objective, regardless of one's subjective beliefs, which may or many not conform to the objective truth. By wanting the world to conform to their subjective beliefs, by wanting to create their own truths, rejecting objective truth, and they order their lives according to their own personally created truth, then they put on the chain of falsehood. And they want the rest of the world in those chains.

buwaya said...

I am told by the company I have to turn in my Android for an iphone.
I am sad for some reason.

Big Mike said...

And Tim wonders why I use the term "left-wing lunatic" to describe him and his ilk.

Bruce Hayden said...

Creepy. Said high, low, with falling syllables.

It sounds to me like this:

Progressive/Dem/MSM elites: You screwed up. We weren't able to control the narrative. Hillary lost. We lost. The crazies are now in power.

Apple/Going Glen's/Amazon, etc: Don't worry. Everyone uses our platforms to communicate anymore, and we are getting ready to install censoring in order to protect the rubes from "fake news" (which of course, is anything that counters the official progressive narrative).

It is definitely sounds to me like Cook talking as a tech company boss to his progressive/Dem peers, telling them to calm down about Trump and the election. The tech companies have everything under control. This won't happen again, because they will make "fake news" impossible, or just much more difficult to disseminate than approved news.

Apple, if anything, is scarier to me than Google. And that is because it has long been more paternalistic . From maybe the time that Steve Jobs declared that no one needed more than one button on their mouse. They have long been champions of closed environments that they can control. Can I get rid of Siri? Of course not - and have to periodically tell my IOS devises that I still don't want to use it. Ditto for their News app. Can't get rid of it, uninstall it, but, instead, it keeps trying to feed me their spin on the news every time I activate an IOS device. I also hate that every once in awhile some strange music, that they have helpfully selected for me, starts playing on one of them, in iPod mode. Just because everyone loves their tunes (and Apple's selection of such for you). If I wanted an iPod, I would buy one. I don't want to use my > $1k iPad Pro as an iPod.

Bruce Hayden said...

Sorry, it wasn't supposed to be:
Apple/Going Glen's/Amazon
But:
Apple/Google/Amazon

Apple spell check struck again.

mockturtle said...

Bruce, a little over a year ago I decided I didn't want the new MS OS so I bought a Mac. While I like the streamlined simplicity, the higher quality build and the high res, I am very disappointed in the limits to available software. The Mac version of Quicken sucks and their 'mapping program' is unusable. Have tried a few action games for Mac and they wouldn't run properly. In many cases, there are simply no equivalent programs. I kept my old MS 8.1 laptop and still use it for a number of operations.

damikesc said...

Can anybody remember when Free Speech, to Progressives, went from annoyance to enemy number one?

Bruce Hayden said...

also have a better way of writing dates (dd-mm-yyyy), tho it's still dumber than the ISO standard which hardly anyone follows (yyyy-mm-dd). Backwards is better than inside-out.

I have had running battles over this for years. For example, we were merging our docket in system with the firm's electronic records system. Our docket in person was bound and determined to use mmddyy. Luckily we didn't have much dating into the 20th century. But it still meant that the file names were haphazardly in historical order. Then again, maybe worse, with my brothers, taking over the family company books. Our father had used Feb.98, Mar.04, etc, which meant that April and August came before March and May, and 21st century before the 20th. I guess you might, or rare occasion want all the April's together, but, most often, I would think the yyyymmdd format would yield the most useful results.

FullMoon said...

As I remember it, the MSM jumping on "fake news" all at once came in response to the pizzagate pedophile thing.Like, the day after the guy "inspired by fake news" put a bullet in the pizza parlor floor. I was surprised that Hillarys first speech after losing was about fake news. I had expected more Russian hacking, popular vote, recount sort of topic.

Freeman Hunt said...

No one ever said anything untrue until now! We have eaten from the forbidden tree! All of news has fallen! We must teach people about these new things called lies!

Stupid.

Freeman Hunt said...

One of the biggest problems with modern education is that they don't teach critical thinking as much as they teach a list of approved opinions narratives and call it critical thinking. Sounds like Cook thinks we need more of the same.

Karen said...

Our educational problems began when the leftist began pushing "critical thinking skills" and throwing out logic and rhetoric from schools. Lo those many years ago when I was in high school , we were forced to study journalistic practices as part of our English class and we had to learn how to read the bias in between the lines. We had to learn when something was inaccurate or when it was purposefully obfuscatious or when it was just illogical. Kids today don't get any of that.

mockturtle said...

'Critical thinking', in its true form, would never be permitted in schools today--even at the university level. As Freeman points out, discussion must fit the pre-approved narrative. The push for 'critical thinking' was, I believe, originally meant to demean religious beliefs. They have succeeded in that but worship 'science' instead. And 'science' today means whatever fits the narrative.

ThatOneEyedSnowman said...

Speaking of educating young minds to practice critical thinking, the most influential book I read in high school was by S. I. Hayakawa, Language in Thought and Action. I see that it's now in its fifth edition.

JaimeRoberto said...

" In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate. At least before a certain age, they are very much in listen and understand [mode], and they then push their parents to act. We saw this with environmental issues".

We also saw this in Cambodia.

YoungHegelian said...

It has to be ingrained in the schools, it has to be ingrained in the public. There has to be a massive campaign. We have to think through every demographic... It’s almost as if a new course is required for the modern kid, for the digital kid. In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate.

"Beware of fake news! Beware of 'Alternative Facts'" say the people who proudly discuss things such as Lesbian Epistemology/

mockturtle said...

We also saw this in Cambodia.

And the Cultural Revolution in China.

Unknown said...

Time to short Apple, their ceo sounds out of his mind.

mockturtle said...

Technology is killing our minds.

Unknown said...

Note that his example is kids going home after being indoctrinated about environmentalism and harassing their parents about plastic bottles--where is the critical thinking there? He assumes all the recycling stuff is gospel, when it isn't. Residential recycling is a huge waste of resources, there is not shortage of landfill space (except due to nimbyism), and over half the stuff people "recycle" can't even by recycled (styrofoam, wrong plastic, mixed waste).
Teach people about logical fallacies, sources, checking facts, inconsistencies, wishful thinking, lies, and propaganda. Teach people to be more numerate. Don't let Apple or Google filter our truth for us.

Saint Croix said...

" In some ways kids will be the easiest to educate. At least before a certain age, they are very much in listen and understand [mode], and they then push their parents to act."

The lefty freak-out over Betsy DeVos is probably because she threatens the indoctrination template.

Liberals own K-12, plus the vast majority of universities. They see it as their turf. They want your children. And the desperation of the left is that school choice (i.e. freedom!) might become a reality.

Waiting For Superman has been in my netflix queue forever. I still haven't seen it yet. Need to move it up.

Wouldn't it be funny if Superman turns out to be a woman? And a Republican one at that!

mockturtle said...

Rational Unknown says: Residential recycling is a huge waste of resources, there is not shortage of landfill space (except due to nimbyism), and over half the stuff people "recycle" can't even by recycled (styrofoam, wrong plastic, mixed waste).

And the sad truth of it is that much, if not most, of the 'recyclables' picked up are taken to the landfill with the rest of the trash. But it makes people feel good.

jr565 said...

Don't believe the fake news. Believe the REAL news manufactured over at CNN. Considering the number of bogus stories about trump in only two weeks put out by REAL news and considering REAL news was Handing questions off to one candidate and not reporting on the then current president to any great degree because he was of a like mind ideologically, why are we supposed to trust REAL News? As defined by whom? The liberal media?

Paul Sand said...

Trivia: for what Ministry did Winston Smith work in Nineteen Eighty-Four?

Freeman Hunt said...

My mother used to teach a college course about spotting bias and reading between the lines. She used many forms of media for analysis, including a movie she liked, "Roger and Me."

I wonder if the university still offers that course.

JamesB.BKK said...

Anybody got the date the Democrat gays became the squares who apparently think it's a good idea for the state to brainwash children so they can go home and hassle their parents? So daring.