The mainstream media has a monopoly on confidence tricks

We may think we don’t need confidence tricks, yet confidence is a part of a wider social trust, and exists at some of the largest organizational levels. A confidence trick is used to exploit a normal part of human interaction- trust, compassion, vanity, greed, and naivete, as some examples. If a media is corporate, and serves its own interests in terms of running articles that are profitable rather than meaningful to a diverse demographics, then when a season of pop culture or political election runs around, I wonder why the coverage seems so skewed towards profit, yet it becomes apparent that media coverage doesn’t always seems to cover the most balanced variety of news, only domestic and local. While that may seem a given, what it also means is that a wider coverage would be less profitable and and less influential, since the relinquishing of control over media consolidation in favor of more international news would weaken the businesses of media conglomerates. Yet, for much news, only the most urgent/emergency news is best delivered by a domestic or local station. But for everything else that’s not urgent, the mainstream news’ outlook on international news is many times too insular, introspective, and over-representative of developed countries and under-representative of developing and even nearly developed countries. If the new cycle were, US, US, US, UK, US, US, US, France, US, US, US, US, US, then one might question why one doesn’t hear from Chile, or Singapore. Developed countries have everything they need to understand things from abroad, yet prefer to have the insular summary of stories from away. Confidence is at the center of this competition, even if it is for self-survival rather than serving partisan interests- confidence allows the media to make its readers aware of “common” stories and viewpoints- not so much manufactured consent as so much as manufactured un-obscurity. If a tree falls in a forest and someone records the sound of it falling, will anyone hear it? The answer is yes, but if the mainstream media is covering a county fair down the road, then the person covering the story isn’t going to be ostracized via simple obscurity and seeming irrelvance unless the media needs to cover advertisements and sponsorships for the fair, and many times, that happens. So a person reporting a brilliant story about an interesting ecological phenomena- a tree sprouting a seed after falling down, woudn’t be covered in the media because the tree has no sponsors. Yet, the tree is incapable of confidence tricks, and, being guided by a natural curiosity, the tree story is not-for-profit, and thus equally capable of trust and confidence. Thus much news that is not self-serving a corporation must often acquire independent funding. A public corporation is one such method. A direct-representative media, as well as peer-reviewed media is another.

Confidence tricks are as simple as influencing a water-cooler discussion. An office employee may have to watch the same television programs as a co-worker so their water cooler talk is not extremely awkward. The extent that a society shares its values depends on its ability and willingness to separate private and professional lives when radically different. While we may get better at it, we may not be better off. If society doesn’t get better at avoiding its differences, it must learn to deal with encountering its differences.


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