Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
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24-08-2011, 07:38 AM
 
Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
Critical thinking is all but dead.

Over decades of relentless propaganda most people internalized a number of catch-phrases that come with a whole slew of unexamined meaning, hopelessly defeating any attempt of intelligent analysis.

For example, take those words that are all based on beautiful concepts and became dirty words in our media: 'Socialism' is based on society, 'Communism' is based on community, 'liberalism' is based on liberty, 'peacenik' is based on peace, etc.

There are newer ones that are triggering feelings of 'good' or 'bad' without going through the brain.

Depending who you ask, 'tax-cut' is good, 'terrorism' is bad, 'god' is good, 'big government' is bad, 'family values' are good, 'tree-hugging' is bad.

Whenever any of these phrases are used, it is taken for granted that everybody understands what they mean and there will be no questions asked.

Whose god? Whose tax-cut, whose terrorists? What kind of family? Why, how, when, how long, how much, where, in what context?

The so called tea-party movement in the US is based on one slogan: "big government".

How big is big? Why? By what criteria? Do we need a government at all? Why? If we do, what determines its size? What is an optimum size? What does it depend on? How is it defined? Describing government as a "decision-making body of human beings" why pick on the government? Why not big business or big unions or big clergy?

The phrase often is "freedom from big government". Freedom for what? If human affairs are not organized intelligently and we live in a mess (like now) then what are we free from or free for?

We have become a push-button society where our brains are programmed to blindly react to unexamined catch-phrases, disarmed by the weight of decades-long propaganda attached to these phrases.

See how many more you can identify - my short list up there is just the tip of the iceberg.
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24-08-2011, 08:06 AM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
Right now I'll just respond that I had stopped really thinking most of the time since I'm a victim of dealing with these people all the time. This forum gave me an outlet to a large number of people who actually think through things. It used to be one of those things 1 in every 400 people will be a critical thinker. I got really tired of reviewing 399 non critical thinkers in the search >.>

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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24-08-2011, 08:14 AM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
You can even take it a step further and change the meaning of the words or give it a negative connotation to make any discussion impossible. Famous examples:

Patriot act: If you don't give up your civil right, you're unpatriotic! Unamerican!
Axis of evil: we're good, they're bad. never mind the fact the CIA invested in Bin Laden.

The next step is doublethink. Don't worry, the ministry of love will take care of you. Doubleplusgood Smile


What I'm trying to say is that language and the abuse of it can be a powerful weapon. If you use sentimental words and mix them with frequent propaganda, you've got power. People will accept it and stop questioning the contents.


"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth" - Joseph Goebbels (attributed)

"Infinitus est numerus stultorum." (The number of fools is infinite)
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24-08-2011, 08:30 AM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
A little off topic but normal phrases are very intriguing to me. Like "By Jove I think he's got it." Jove refers to Zeus I believe.
or
"Three sheets to the wind" for someone who is drunk.

We use phrases and words all the time that we never look into the meaning of. Whenever I do look them up I find I have been saying them incorrectly or using them incorrectly for a long time.

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24-08-2011, 01:31 PM (This post was last modified: 24-08-2011 01:31 PM by LadyJane.)
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
I absolutely love looking up phrases and finding the origins. Some favorites are 'cool beans', 'bee's knee's', 'cats pajamas'.

One my grandma always said was 'lord love a duck!' when she was frustrated and I've searched and asked around but still haven't found its
I absolutely love looking up phrases and finding the origins. Some favorites are 'cool beans', 'bee's knee's', 'cats pajamas'.

One my grandma always said was 'lord love a duck!' when she was frustrated and I've searched and asked around but still haven't found its origin or meaning.
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24-08-2011, 01:36 PM
 
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
We have a slight thread drift here, folks.

Maybe a new thread could be started on the origin of phrases?

This is supposed to be on the topic mentioned in the thread title.

Just a thought...
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26-08-2011, 11:26 PM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
Sure! Sorry Smile

I will say though, that neurologically our brains see patterns to help us survive. Years ago the pattern of marks in the ground could tell us whether food, like a herd of buffalo, or danger, a cougar, was ahead.

Now we can see these patterns surface through these word connotations. Marketing will take advantage of this, as well as conspirators.

It takes a bit of work and thinking to constantly question what is actually happening at hand. I like the government example, with its 'bad' feeling. Not all government is bad, perhaps.

Other words with feelings attached:

Psychologist ('shrink'). That one is interesting because for awhile no one would admit to seeing one, but then it became the trendy thing to do.

Feminist/feminism

Hmmm, that's all that come to mind right now- but that makes me think of catch phrases too. they are made to create a feeling associated with a product, movement or concept. Ex. 'Ba ba ba ba ba I'm lovin' it!' (McDonalds)

There us this controversial photographer right now who is selling a concept to other photographers called 'beloved', basically it is emotional manipulation in the form of retreats to teach people to 'connect' with their clients, costing an upwards of a few grand to find out the secrets. He pumps that word all over the place that now when 'be' and 'loved' are next to each other in a sentence my ears perk up.
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27-08-2011, 08:02 AM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
You should look into Absurd Theatre. It addresses alot of stuff like cliches, meanings that are lost in translation and/or action and the generall absurdity of human life.

«Είμα Ανθρώπου. Είμαι όλοι για μένα. Δεν υπάρχουν Θεοί».
Ωμέγα Γάμμα
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27-08-2011, 02:16 PM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
(24-08-2011 08:14 AM)Thammuz Wrote:  The next step is doublethink. Don't worry, the ministry of love will take care of you. Doubleplusgood Smile

Very apropos Thammuz, Orwell had quite a bit to say on this very topic.

4 legs good, 2 legs bad.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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27-08-2011, 02:35 PM
RE: Are you a victim of push-button phrases?
What really makes me cringe is people, specifically politicians, saying "I did it for my country", or "Your country needs you"
Bullcrap!!
A country is a slab of land! An artificial construct, uniting people that have for 99% no bond at all.

What they actually saying is: "I did it for my leadership ambitions", or "My ambition needs you"

Observer

Agnostic atheist
Secular humanist
Emotional rationalist
Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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