There was a time, in my youth, when I thought the Internet would be the greatest single achievement at bringing people to a respectful table of discussion. Boy was I wrong. Such is the optimism of youth. If I think hard enough, I can even recall modem dial ups to local BBS’s. I was in college when the fledgling stages of the internet was sold to people through the likes of Prodigy, AOL, and Compuserve.
There’s a message here about collectivism, which is why I bring the entire subject up. As more minds were connecting to an online medium, control of people’s ideas became more and more possible. All driven by a money making system, social media became a battleground of self-generated content and with enough gravity (likes, retweets, etc), something entirely false could become something thought true.
I’ve been listening to an audio book called “Trust me, I’m Lying,” by author Ryan Holiday. It’s a fascinating tale of manipulation of media outlets, along with an entire recipe to follow for the would be manipulator.
In the end, Holiday’s entire process comes down to the collective group thought process. By conning the greedy/needy small outlets into running a story, those stories are pandered to larger media outlets and so on. He outlines how complete false stories he ran, equaled money. The byproduct was a society that was pulled by the nose.
The Pump and Dump
In my personal life, I’ve played with price fluctuations in various markets. I never could turn a profit, but I saw how that same dynamic up and down of price was occurring in public opinion.
Take a celebrity, author, corporation, CEO or other person of notoriety and observe how opinion changes regarding them. If the person or company in question is unknown, there is a buildup. Take Tesla or Elon Musk. First there’s a pump in the news. Everyone is positive. At some tipping point the positivity saturates the news markets. More positive articles create less clicks, less interest.
Next comes the dump. This is the moment where the negative aspects of the person or company is raised. Fear, anger, and outrage spreads. At another tipping point, this no longer is going to be profitable… yet another negative news story will find no way of cutting through a saturated news market. So it flips again. Back to a pump.
This cycle is clearly seen with a topic like Crypto Currency.
Collective Thought Process
Public opinion is driven by money. That fluctuation between the pump and dump of public opinion is a space where money can be made. No one is making money at the apex of the pump or the convex of the dump. The monetary gain is the spread from one extreme to another.
This is the nature of collective groups and thought processes. In the Left Hand Path side of spirituality, we seek our Individuality above all else. There is the allure of being guided by a system, a teacher or guru.
Like social media, occult groups take on a life of their own. Individuality that was sought, becomes secondary to the goal of the group. Group members are told to not disagree with one another. Or perhaps Individual thoughts on ideology are subjugated in favor of the group mind.
Individuality and Social Media
Due to the overwhelming manipulation in news, online social media and entertainment related topics, it is incredibly challenging to remain an Individual when connected to online social mechanisms.
I meet many people who take a lot of social action online, and their strong views are in their Individual opinions. But their opinions are being shaped by others. Like an occultist using someone else’s system for personal gnosis (which is the lack of personal gnosis, as personal investigation is sublimated), so too is a person losing Individuality in the face of social media conditioning.
While I still use social media, I’m finding it more of a negative in my life. I feel it is constantly trying to pull my attention, or shape my views. I can resist this, but there are people making money off my views. If I agree with Person A, or Person B, someone else is gaining as I click an advertisement, watch a segment on television and so on.
I’m starting to feel that all types of media (entertainment, social, political) is driving a message of submission to a driven ideology. Those negative comments on a blog post are not necessarily the wirings of a real person, but most likely the careful manipulative aspects of a media manipulator trying to create outrage.
This blog isn’t written to manipulate opinion. I’m not trying to sway a person in any direction, other than to find who they really are and to do their true will under the awareness of their Supreme Individuality. There are no ads running on this site for that reason.
Yet I’m growing tired of feeling this fakery and manipulation in social media. I think it’s time I walk out of these Occult Forums, social media outlets, news forums, entertainment news outlets and so on. Just spending my time in those places, I find my blood pressure rising, my angst shifting… and that, to me, is an indication I’m being affected and this effect is most likely engineered.
This of course is my problem. Perhaps others have a different way of dealing with it. But in the end I must do what’s best for me.