The Real Age of Propaganda

There is a great book on propaganda. It’s called The Age of Propaganda . It’s a very worthy book that I sincerely recommend. But when you hear the word propaganda, don’t you think of it as of something from the past? You think of nazi Germany and those long speeches in black-and-white. It’s not something that happens today. And in a way you are right. That propaganda was small (only one country) and cozy (only one language).

Useful Idiots: Lars von Trier

With this post I’m starting a new section on this blog about useful idiots . I intend to write about celebrities, opinion leaders etc. that are used by Russian propaganda with them having no clue (differently from people who are obviously Russian assets). I plan to write a more detailed post on the history of the term “useful idiot” in the future. So today we look at an instagram post by renowned Danish director Lars von Trier:

On Russian Military Traditions

Mastodon user wrote a small post on how the Russian army behaved during the Afghan war of 1979-89 quoting soldier memoirs1, noting that nothing has changed in their behavior and they still act the same today: In the village one of the sergeants remarked, without hiding his emotion, that ’the young women are good’. The sergeant’s words set all the others on fire like a spark, and then he threw off his overcoat and moved on one of the women: — Row, lads!

On Small Propaganda Tricks

The Inspiration I had a short discussion on Mastodon today that started with this post: Since this was a stone thrown at Ukraine I had to participate. But this blog post and this blog is not about Ukraine but about thinking, so let’s look at this at a slightly different angle, which does not require us to take sides in the immediate discussion about Ukraine, Canadian aid or land ownership, but rather explains a trick that is used by propagandists all over the world so much, that it’s probably one of the oldest and most used in the book.

Elon Musk and the Magic of Names

Yesterday a strange thing happened. You have probably seen it: I’m not going to concentrate on all the ways posting this was wrong. I expect there will be a shit storm strong enough without my five cents. In the spirit of this blog I’m more interested in the questions relating to thinking and knowledge. And there’s an obvious one. How do we know that we really know what we think we know?

Why write?

Writing is a tool. And as any good tool it can be used for many things. Sharing information. Telling stories. Messaging. Influencing people to make the choice you want them to make. All these uses were clear to me for a long time, and they all were pretty self-explanatory. There was one special use though, that I was wondering about for a long time. Writing helps you think. A couple of days ago I was flying from Lisbon to Krakow, first part of my journey to my home in Ukraine (why go there during the war is another story).