Here’s How Semantic Sidetracking Distracts Us From Reality.


Here’s How Semantic Sidetracking Distracts Us From Reality.

“SIDETRACKING”: The Great Houdini said: “What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.” He was right, because the images and sounds are able to draw our attention and make us focus on some details while neglecting others that are cunningly kept in dim light by those who want to manage the scenario.

Noam Chomsky, the father of the creativity of language, as described by the New York Times as “the greatest living intellectual”, explains through ten rules how to mystify reality.

The premise is that the major media is in the hands of the great economic and financial powers who are interested in filtering only certain messages.

1) The strategy of distraction is paramount for large lobby in order to keep the public’s attention focused on unimportant matters, so to get the ordinary citizen to take an interest in facts that are actually insignificant. For example, the extreme concentration on a few facts of certain new stories (Bruno Vespa is a master).

2) The principle of the problem-solution-problem: you invent a problem at the table, to cause a reaction from the public, with the aim that this is the principal of the measures that you wish to accept. An example? Put forward to the population by emphasizing the existence of epidemics such as the avian flu creating unjustified alarmism, with the aim of selling drugs that would otherwise remain unused.

3) The strategy of gradualism. To accept a measure that is unacceptable, just apply it gradually to an eye dropper for consecutive years.  It is in this way that radically new (neo-liberal) socio-economic conditions were imposed during the decades of the 80’s and 90’s: the minimal state, privatization, precariousness, flexibility, mass unemployment, wages can no longer ensure decent incomes, with many more changes that would have resulted in a revolution if they had been applied only once.

4) The strategy of deferral. Another way to accept an unpopular decision is to present it as “painful and necessary”, gaining public acceptance, at the time, for future application. Speaking continually spreads the acceptance of the “necessary” austerity measures as if there were a different economic policy.

5) Contact the public as if were talking to a child. The more you try to deceive the viewer, the more you tend to use a childish tone. For example, several programs broadcast the generalist notion. The reason being?   According to suggestibility, if there is someone that is addressing a person as if he were 12 years of age, you will begin to answer without much critical sense, as a child of 12 years of age would do.

6) Focus on the emotional aspect much that on reflection. In fact, the emotion often wreaks havoc with the rational part of the individual, making it more easily influenced.

7) Keep the public in ignorance and mediocrity. For example, few know what the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission are and what they actually do. And many will continue to be ignorant about it, unless they are directed to the Internet.

8) Imposing behavior patterns. Check certified or approved individuals are much easier than managing thinking individuals. The models imposed by advertising are functional in this project.

9) The self-blame. In practice, we tend to make people believe that the individual himself is the sole cause of their failures and their own misfortune. So, instead of provoking a rebellion against an economic system that has reduced the margins, the individual underestimates, and even decreased in value, you autoflagella.  For example, the young, who can’t find work, were defined from time to time, nerds, “losers”, choosy, or “big babies”. In practice, it is their fault that they can’t find work, not the system.

10) The media point to known individuals (through surveys, behavioral studies, feedback from operations scientifically programmed without the user-reader-viewer knowing anything about it) more than they know themselves, and this means that, in most cases, the system exerts a greater power over the public, far greater than on which the same citizen exerts on himself.

It is a very useful handbook. I’d suggest you keep that in mind, especially in difficult times like these.

Alessandro Sicuro

by sure-com America






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