The Pen is mightier than the sword, but the Pen must sometimes move the sword against corruption if the corrupt are not moved by the pen.. An idea without an implementer is useless. "The Rulers do not carry the sword in vain"Rom 13:4

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Are Polls accurate or used as a tool for propaganda? (East West Tunnel Protest)

The Victorian East  West tunnel saga is a good example of where "Polls" need to be scrutinized closely.

While up to a third of the group were political activists from the Socialist Party, the rest were people whose homes are set to be bulldozed for the road or shadowed by new flyovers. Others were inner-city residents who argued that the government had no mandate for the $6 billion to $8 billion transport project. They continually pointed to an Age/Nielsen poll that showed 74 per cent of Victorians favoured public transport over the tunnel. (source)

Here are a couple of facts that need to be considered.

i) That article appears in..."The Age" (note the name of the "poll".. the AGE/Neilsen poll)

ii) The result fits like a glove with the agenda supported by..... the Age.

The questions which must be asked are..."Was this poll carried out in a particular postcode where a predictable result is assured?"

Then there is the nature of the questions which we are never provided with.  To get an insight into how the 'framing of questions' is crucial in how people answer them, see this.

Put simply, when people are given a choice of two outcomes (which are in fact the same) but the question about two plans is put in terms of 'people saved' and 'people lost' ....they will mostly choose the plan that speaks about 'saving' x number of people. 

There is a village in such and such a place and it's population is 100 and it is threatened by a flood. If we use plan 'A' ... 50 people will be saved. If we use plan B, 50 people will be lost.   See it? The outcome is identical, but most people will choose plan 'A' because it speaks about 'saving' rather than losing.  
So Polls, as Joseph Goebells long ago learned, are capable of changing public opinion, and he learned from the all time Master.. Eddie Bernays who 'wrote the book' on it... incidently the book was titled "Propaganda".
No serious sociologist a ny longer believes that the voice of the people expresses any divine or specially wise and lofty idea. The voice of the people expresses the mind of the people, and that mind is made up for it by the group leaders in whom it believes and by those persons who understand the manipulation of public opinion.
Now if you don't 'get' this, you may as well give up.
Politics was the first important department of American life to use propaganda on a large scale, it has been the slowest in modifying its propaganda methods to meet the changed conditions of the public mind.(Bernays)

Failing to comprehend how propaganda is used today means your own opinion will be less than useless because it is not based on reality. Fantasy is of no value in dealing with the big issues of society. After you realize your/our situation, perhaps  you might like to consider how to do something about it.
The great irony of history is that Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud (from whom he acquired his psychological foundation for propaganda and advertising) and both of them were Jewish. Yet, a Nazi uses the Jew -Bernays  book to reconfigure the German public's mind to share a terminally anti Jewish agenda.

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