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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: facet ()
Date: November 19, 2020 04:31PM

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How then does the brain differentiate the real from the imagined? The way the brain processes information is fundamentally different when we perceive information from our senses compared to what is self-generated within the brain. What the brain receives from our senses is known as ‘afferent information’ and simply means, information travelling towards the brain. The brain can self-generate or imagine what is currently happening and this is called an efference copy. When there is a conflict in information between afferent and efferent information, we experience a “surprise”.

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The media know this basic brain hardwiring very well and use surprise to capture our attention. For example, we will never see a headline like – “Ordinary teenager gets on with life”.


[tedxsydney.com]

The mundane, or boring answer is usually the reality based answer.

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 23, 2020 05:17AM

The thing with Q-anon is that it's already widely accepted as being a conspiracy theory. I can see that it shares some similarities with a cult, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of 'leader' that benefits form Q-anon - as in, is there anyone who is amassing power and influence and money as a result of Q-anon?

Is there some kind of centralized organization that is asking for donations?

Is Trump the only person who benefits from Q-anon, presumably by getting more votes? It hasn't exactly worked for him! He certainly hasn't announced any extensive new policies about halting child-trafficking, as far as I an aware. It doesn't look like he has tried to actively play into the whole thing (sorry, I may be wrong, I haven't been following all this!)

As far as I can tell, Q-anon is a very widely dispersed movement with people who have a diverse set of beliefs that keep changing and evolving. A bit like all the people who believe in U.F.O's - they don't all believe the same thing, and there is no one organization that is attempting to extort money and free labor from them.

Yeah, sure, the whole weird mess could have been started by some people who wanted to make a ARG, as has been widely speculated. Consider this article from the New York Times - [www.nytimes.com]? where a guy named Adrian Hon who works in the ARG industry thinks there are a lot of similarities between Q-anon and a ARG.

I just wonder what it was they actually wanted to achieve with Q-anon, if it is some kind of game? Just mayhem?

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: November 23, 2020 06:21AM

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Sahara71
The thing with Q-anon is that it's already widely accepted as being a conspiracy theory. I can see that it shares some similarities with a cult, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of 'leader' that benefits form Q-anon - as in, is there anyone who is amassing power and influence and money as a result of Q-anon?

Is there some kind of centralized organization that is asking for donations?

I see ads on 8kun.top, so if Jim Watkins (owner of 8kun) is indeed Q, posting Q messages would increase his ad-revenue. I don't know if he's getting rich off it, but at least some amassing of money seems to be happening. As to amassing of power, this Q person has effectively become the religious leader or prophet of millions of people who hang on to his every word. I'd say that's an amassing of power in some sense.

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 23, 2020 07:11AM

Yes, Zizlz, I guess it is power - but it's anonymous power. I suppose that could be gratifying for a certain type of person?

But a lot of the revenue raised by selling the Q t-shits and posters and setting up the (now defunct) Facebook groups would be raised by others? Meaning that potentially anyone could be making money by jumping on board?

Here, I don't really see much similarity to a cult, because there is no centralized agency. It's a free-for-all. A bit like Christianity, for example. (Probably a tasteless comparison, lol) A lot of people are squeezing out some kind of profit off the back of Christianity, but there is no governing body running the whole show. No copy-right. (I mean, I suppose Jesus is technically their leader, but he himself is not making much of a profit these days.)

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: zizlz ()
Date: November 23, 2020 07:33AM

I think you're right that it's more like a religion than a cult, in a way. Similarities with Christianity occurred to me too, Trump being their messiah and Q being their prophet. Maybe this is the first large scale religion that has been grown by Artificial Intelligence. The AI algorithms deployed by Facebook, YouTube and others have learned that exposing people to ever more radical content helps to increase views/clicks and thus ad revenue. Since AI has no conscience, it just does what it's told to do: it helps to increase revenue. It has no problem with or understanding of the fact that it has grown what FBI calls a domestic terrorist threat (QAnon). And what we're witnessing is just the beginning stage of AI's massively disruptive effect on society.

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 23, 2020 08:18AM

Some very interesting thoughts, Zizlz!

Q-anon is a little like a religion and a little like a radical political movement - and a dangerous one. (All the most zealous political movements have an ounce of religious fervor to them!) We live in very stressful times. Even during times of prosperity, there will always be people who will go off the deep end and take radical, violent action because of what they call their 'beliefs'.

But human beings have always been interested in sensational stories and scandals. Back in the day, tabloid newspapers would sell the most ridiculous tales and people would lap it up. Now it's all done online, but the basic premise hasn't changed.

At school I remember learning about this famous event from 1938, where Orson Wells' reading of his novel on radio was mistaken for actual events occurring in real time, and caused mass hysteria:

[www.smithsonianmag.com]

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: November 23, 2020 08:55AM

Sorry, it's Orson Welles and the novel 'War of the Worlds' was by H.G. Wells.
Having a senior moment!

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Re: Understanding Qanon & Other ARGs: their impact on society and the psyche
Posted by: facet ()
Date: November 24, 2020 12:46AM

Here’s an interesting related Reddit:

[www.reddit.com]

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