Transforming the Media

Our technocratic society uses the mass media as an instrument of mind control and threatens those who dissent or resist with violent reprisals (for example, nonviolent drug offenders seeking to explore their own consciousness face draconian prison sentences). Through incessant media bombardment and government fear-mongering, people are conditioned to believe that oppression, injustice, violence and inequality are normal and inevitable.

How do we repurpose the mass media and communications infrastructure the capitalist system has bequeathed to us? Instead of marketing consumerism and keeping people fearful, our networks of media and social tools can promote different values – responsible, Earth-honouring ones – and solution-based approaches to our current problems. We can provide people with tangible tools for changing their lifestyles in major and minor ways – sharing resources, conserving energy, building communities and so on. We can shift people away from dependence on distant authorities towards local autonomy and resilience. Let's explore this topic and then make it happen. 

cam strobel, SatoriD, and liked this.

Jill Virginia ManginoI have been involved with Conscious Media movement for over 20 years.  It is challenging to convert "mass media" when we are bombarded by big pharma ads. I remember trying to pitch a film about reversing diabetes with raw food and I had an MD to talk about it  and actual people who got off their medications and reveresed their diabetes ...yet mainstream media woudl not "touch" it! Alternative media outlets are still our best resources, I try as hard as I can to bridge "alternative" concepts for mainstream media coverage ... we are getting there , slowly.  but getting there!  Thanks for starting this cool forum.

Annie CharnleyMass media and the political system are how they are because the majority don't demand better, maybe? If that was a part of it, then raising individual awareness and critical thinking would help maybe. 

Kingsley L. DennisDaniel, I likewise explored this topic in 'Struggle for your Mind - Conscious Evolution & the Battle to Control How We Think' (Inner Traditions, 2012). The issue of mainstream media propaganda has increasingly been challenged in recent years by p-2-p media-information networks - yet the major issue is one of TRUST. Shifts in media have to engage with young people taking responsibility to become their own journalists – creating, producing, and out-sourcing their services, marking a shift to prosumers (not consumers) of information. And others need to take responsibility to seek and filter for news/information beyond the mainstream channels, into other providors of trusted news (see:…)

Annie CharnleyIt keeps existing because it keeps selling. If enough people stopped buying the fear-mongering sensationalist crap, then it would have to change, maybe.

And if different values were focused on, in these big media companies, then they might not sell as well. And other companies would emerge to take their place to sell the fear based stuff again.

The only way I can see this changing is if people’s attitudes change and their focus changes to more helpful values.

Daniel PinchbeckKingsley and Annie, I appreciate your passion and interest in this new forum! Would either of you like to be Admins on it and help it evolve? I'm excited to grow it and I think you can help.

Annie CharnleyI really appreciate the offer :) unfortunately I'm not in a position to be of service in this way at the moment. But I hopefully will be in the future. 

Michal Stefanow"marketing consumerism and keeping people fearful" - I totally get that... Whenever I stay in hotel room and have a chance to watch TV I'm fascinated how it works. At the same time I see a gradual shift and more and more programmes talking about consciousness, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, wellbeing... Very recently: brain imaging study on LSD got a massive publicity.

Kingsley L. DennisThanks for offer/suggestion Daniel - it all depends on time involvement, as I'm involved in my own work/writings at the moment. Would be interested though - let me know what's involved... 

Mikhala McCannPlatforms like this one are key, using technology and social media to spread truth and different world views. I find the structure of society makes it difficult for people to stand in their truth and be authentic in what they believe in due to fear of perception of others or fitting in with social constraints. It starts with a shift in it being OK to stand behind alternative beliefs and truths. The questions for me are, how do we work together and collaborate as a global community to put these truths out in the main stream in a big enough way to inspire a shift in it being OK to buy into these beliefs for the more conservative types. 

Jason ParsleyIt seems like the first logical step would be to identify what exactly the mass media is and what underlying beliefs drive the entity as a whole. We could treat the mass media as a demigod or archetype and give it a personality. Then we could psychoanalyze it, and analyze it using principles borrowed from literary theory, namely Deconstructionism.

Biographies of the founders of contempory mass media, a history of mass media, and an objective, multidisciplinary study of current "behaviors" would be extremely helpful.

The constituent ideas that aggregate into Mass Media and its ethos and behaviors could be identified. A Deconstructionist-like reading might be effective.

Then the individual ideas could be labeled as life-negating or life-affirming with the help of mental and physical health specialists, as well as other, relevant experts.

Finally, creatives could replace with the life-negating ideas with life-affirming ones in colloboration with the above mentioned experts. New narratives could be constructed.

In this way a structured and cohesive alternative media source could be created. This alternative media source could then work to collaborate with other sources as well as bloggers using a codified tagging and reference system.

A network of like minded sources and bloggers could link their content in a certain way and this hypothetical alternative media source could become a meta-alternative media source.

The Meta-alternative media source, could enlist volunteers and run a digest of the linked websites and blogs.

Bloggers, vloggers, and other internet personalities with little or no influence could be paired with their counterparts at the next tier of success and engage in a dialogue/collaboration. For example a blogger with no followers could team up with someone with 20 followers. Someone with 20 followers could team up with someone with 100 followers, or whatever scale is approprite to define the tier.

Existing internet infrastructure (facebook, twitter, squarespace, tumblr, google+, etc) can be used or co-opted to effect this.

Groups created and organized using a pyramid scheme could be devised. It might be possible to adapt the military industrial complex's way of doing things. The group would act transparently. Rather than keep things secret, the heirarchical compartmentalization would help provide a tentative structure for the nascent media outlet designed to fall away like scaffolding as it evolves.

In this way, life-affirming ideas could "trickle up" to the mass media. Over time the life-negating ideas promoted by contemporary mass media would be eroded and replaced by life affirming ones. Folks with greater and greater influence can adopt these ideas and practices until mass media functions to benefit society.

This process is already underway. It will just take someone or group of people to guide the "trickling" in a way that honors the free will of all involved. Such a group could work to shunt information and resources to those who can use  and dessiminate it.

At the outset it would be ideal to find a group of volunteers who do these things because they see the need and are willing to do it just to do it. Credit and compensation via swag could attract others to join the group later.

In this way, like-minded folks could pool knowledge and resources and create a life-affirming entity which can compete with mass media outlets.

Daniel PinchbeckHi Jason,

Thanks for this thoughtful post...

You write:

"It seems like the first logical step would be to identify what exactly the mass media is and what underlying beliefs drive the entity as a whole. We could treat the mass media as a demigod or archetype and give it a personality. Then we could psychoanalyze it, and analyze it using principles borrowed from literary theory, namely Deconstructionism.

Biographies of the founders of contempory mass media, a history of mass media, and an objective, multidisciplinary study of current "behaviors" would be extremely helpful.

The constituent ideas that aggregate into Mass Media and its ethos and behaviors could be identified."

i feel all of that is pretty well established at this point. I don't think Deconstruction is too helpful to be honest. We know the mainstream media is owned by a tiny handful of corporations, and these corporations are deeply connected to the oil and gas industry and the military industrial complex.

Personally, I think it would be great to have something like a think tank that developed the alternative thought structure and then disseminated it to bloggers, media sites, but also sympathetic public artists who can reach their large followings directly.

I am curious if there is some part of this you want to propose as a "project" on HyLo? What would you see as first steps?

Alex FreitasI tried replying to this, but my reply isn't showing up. My second attempt will be much more concise, in case its actually sent but just not appearing for me.

As a reply to your most recent comment, Daniel, I dont think we should take up the project of creating alternative thought-systems unless we take a double-sided view of "belief." We can't just critique a belief system by compiling the things its members say they believe, because often people say they don't believe things but act-as-if they do (for example, stop signs or democracy). In the same way that critiques of belief systems should approach both angles (acts and claims, especially acts), we shouldn't attempt to form alternative belief/thought systems without approaching both angles. This may be obvious to you, Daniel, but I assume it isn't to most people, due to the common conception around the term "belief" being nearly synonymous to "opinion."

Jason ParsleyA Ten Step Guide to Raising Mass Media Consciousness:

1. Create a Document of theories and ideas to promote. The ideas can be borrowed from whatever philosophy or science seems appropriate.

They could emphasize life-affirming ideas and offer ideas on how to convert life-negating narratives to life-affirming ones while avoiding denial of unpleasant sensations and facts.

The content of the Document could be decided by a committee based on a variation of “The Tenth Man” and "Devil's Advocate" systems.

2. Create a style guide that outlines preferred aesthetics. This will allow folks to subliminally adopt the ideals of the group and present a codified and unified front to the general public.

3. Create or identify a contemporary mythology.

Borrow storylines from appropriate sources.

Create picaresque narratives framed by plot points that develop a metanarrative.

Lost and The Sopranos can provide structural models.

Make the mythology as appealing to as many people as possible. Be inclusive.

For examples, see superhero movies.

For ideas on how to accoomplish this, read Joseph Campbell Hero With a Thousand Faces and Pathways to Bliss and Mythic Structure by Chrstopher Vogler. Study how Hollywood and Network Television construct their narratives and alter them so they are life-affirming and honor the audience's free will.

4. Create a production company, or not-for-profit analogue to target certain demographics of sympathetic folks at various tiers of influence.

5. Use the production company to promote the theories and ideas in the Document.

The production company can take the theories and ideas and use them to create scenarios, advertising, happenings, flash mob events, narratives, micronarratives, and metanarratives based on the contemporary mythology defined in step three.

6. The production company releases scripts or unfinished movies, radio programs, music, books, etc, and asks fans to help finish them.
The released scripts or unfinished works can explicitly ask for crowd-sourcing technical know-how and encourage fan fiction. Contests and competitions can also encourage audience participation.

7. Using internet analytics, specific demographics can be identified and targeted.
Folks at various tiers of influence can be targeted, asked to join in the fun, and paired with folks at other tiers to cross-pollinate ideas and counteract the influence of status.

8. Using marketing and crowd psychology tactics, the production company could create a movement.

For ideas on how to do this see “Bones Brigade: An Autobiography" skateboarding documentary on Netflix and see the history of Crossfit and the 5:30 Club in Time magazine or the Wall Street Journal.

9. Create a Unisex Sports League that incorporates elements from the Boy/Girl Scouts combined with the Perennial Philosohpy and ideas borrowed from Shamanic practices.

For example The Skateboarding Shamanic Knights could combine an updated chivalric code based on natural laws with skateboarding skills, tasks, and quests designed to teach mindfulness and critical thinking skills to people of all ages.

10. The overall effect would be to create human super-normal sign stimuli and pair them with the ideas and theories of the movement. That way when enough people start participating in the movement the media by its very nature will have to devote time and space to it. Then even more people will be attracted to it. If done cyclically and at strategic times, a feedback loop or standing wave could form and mass media would evolve naturally without conscious effort on anyone's part.