Monthly Archives: March 2016

Denmark has free child care? Uh, no.

11745935_1665704370329445_941328983120687525_nTL; DR Summary

Denmark has subsidized child care; Denmark does not have free child care. After the subsidy, average child care costs are slightly less than the average price in the U.S.

Continue reading

Effective propaganda poster: Sanders and Trump both fly on jets

12920251_1099659816793738_7132530295407261704_nTL; DR Summary

  • Sanders has traveled by bus and also by airline coach but he recently began using a Gulfstream jet charter too.
  • Trump flies on his own corporate aircraft.
  • Trump is a billionaire and he does seem self-obsessed.
  • Poster appeals to the populist perspective of Sanders and the greedy narcissistic perspective of Trump – but the implication that Sanders does not fly a private jet is no longer true. Truth means little in a good social media propaganda poster! (This was shared into my FB stream).

Continue reading

Logical fallacy: Linking a $15 minimum wage in 2022 to unemployment in 2015

CaptureTL; DR Summary

  • Occupy Democrats issued propaganda posters in 2015 proclaiming that in spite of a $15 minimum wage, Seattle’s unemployment has gone down and restaurants are booming,
  • But the $15 wage does not take effect until 3 to 7 years into the future.
  • This linkage is a logical fallacy.










Poster 2 Source: Occupy Democrats.  Shared over 28,000 times.

There is no connection between a $15 minimum wage and Seattle restaurants or unemployment in 2015 because there is not yet a $15 minimum wage.

The $15 minimum wage in Seattle will kick in gradually over a period of 3 to 7 years, depending on the type of employer.

Continue reading

How social media propaganda silences dissent

The “spiral of silence” is a well-researched phenomenon in which people suppress unpopular opinions to fit in and avoid social isolation. It has been looked at in the context of social media and the echo-chamber effect, in which we tailor our opinions to fit the online activity of our Facebook and Twitter friends.

Source: Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study – The Washington Post

Rather than increasing perspectives, social media naturally enforces a conformity in ideas, in order that people avoid feeling like outcasts. Consider this in terms of social media propaganda: if your news feed is filled with propaganda posters expressing group beliefs (even when factually or logically wrong), you will be less likely to express alternative beliefs (even when factually or logically correct). In this way, social media propaganda not only serves to further an organization’s agenda but acts to suppress dissent.

This concept is not new. When I was in elementary school, decades ago, a friend used to get a group of kids together and then go up to an unsuspecting kid and tell a “joke” that made no sense and was not funny. But all the kids who were “in” on the deal would break out laughing – as would the unsuspecting target who succumbed to instant peer group pressure. Social media is the same idea, but on a global scale.