Re: BBC Worldwide
You fail to define manipulation in any meaningful way
Actually, I have defined it several times, but by adding the little addition "in any meaningful way" you are giving yourself an out to simply say anything I come up whit isn't "meaningful" if it would prevent you from forcing people to believe what you want them to believe.
it appears to me that any position you disagree with falls under the umbrella of postions being somehow forced on people.
Demonstrably wrong. I have an issue with the methods, not the message. Disagree with me all you like. $deity knows I can be as wrong as the next man. Don't manipulate people.
"Choice? Are you saying people are forced to read/listen to these positions you dislike? OP ED pieces are somehow mandatory reading, watching certain newscasts required?"
Actually, to a certain extent, yes. Is one single Op Ed piece an issue? No. Ten or Twenty over a decade? No. IS even one a day, from the same identifiable individual an issue? Provably not.
Where it becomes an issue is where concerted bombardment campaigns are used; where the message is repeated virtually verbatim by multiple sources on every channel imaginable. Writers of various flavours, television, radio, banner ads, text ads, billboards, you name it.
If you want to kick it up a notch of unacceptability, start paying people in positions of authority - ministers, teachers, guardians, politicians, celebrities - to repeat the message.
Now I've just described traditional advertising, which is bad enough. But today's world doesn't end there. In today's world you can use massive amounts of cheaply available research into various socio-economic - and increasingly, Facebook, Google and Microsoft-provided individual - pain points to craft ever more individually targeted messages.
So far from your simplistic portrayal of my objecting to one person saying "this is what I believe" we have moved into "you should believe this" on all mediums at all ours of the day and night straight through to "I know that [issue] is a problem for you and [emotions] are causing [consequences] we will alleviate this if only you support what we believe."
Only now we don't need to get to know the people we're trying to bamboozle. We can do this either automatically or using an "accuracy by volume" approach. After all, repeat something enough times and even the person doing the chanting starts to believe it.
How exactly would you prohibit such "manipulation?
I would ban (or at the very least heavily regulate) certain methods of disseminating "opinion", with more stringent regulation for different purposes and types of entities.
Who decides which opinions are "manipulation" and which are attempts at persusasion?
An opinion cannot be manipulation. The means used, however, very much can be.
Who decides which thoughts are good, which are bad?
"Bad thoughts" actually do have a definition, and usually amount to issues on the schizophrenia spectrum. Usually that's something along the lines of "causing harm to others", and they are typically as unwelcome to the individual experiencing them as they are to those who might end up on the receiving end.
Citizens United was affirmed as correct by minds who saw that political speech should never be regulated or muted. I'm certain this angers many who wish it was and see it as an impediment to the furtherance of their agendas...
Citizens United was the biggest mistake that the United States ever made.
I for one claim no special powers to know what the workings of other minds entails, wether they are being convinced or if they are being manipulated. Anyone who claims they can is delusional.
So you claim you don't know how the minds of other people work and you are absolutely certain that there is no difference between "convincing" and "manipulation". You them proceed to call anyone who is versed in psychiatry, psychology, social dynamics or a half dozen other fields "delusional".
Those who wish to stifle the political speech of another, for whatever reasons, are tyrants.
I don't see where I have said that the political speech of others should be stifled. I have said that certain means and methodologies should be restricted universally. By all means, present your opinion, but in a manner that allows people the opportunity to choose to engage with you, or not, as they please. Don't overwhelm any individual communications channel with that opinion, and certainly don't overwhelm all channels.
Don't use dragnetted information about people's lives, combined with Big Data and algorithms to find the words/combination of words/"hot button items"/etc that will give you the highest statistical chance of manipulating someone into doing what you want.
Present your case, let the other side choose to engage with it - or not - and move on. If they engage, then by all means have a rigorous debate, but keep it to the clean. As close to the facts as possible (though questioning the validity of opinion based on the trustworthiness of the emitter of said opinion is generally valid) and accept the outcome - win or lose - with some form of grace.
Your defining me as a US Republican, while wrong, is nothing more than ad hominem.
I don't see how? Unless you take being called a US Republican as a really terrible insult...
You wish to paint anyone who dosen't agree with your nebulous definitions,
Uh...no. First of all, I'm not the one who comes up with the definition for terms like "manipulation". These have actual definitions in the various mind, social and political sciences. The Wikipedia article on the topic is actually a good place to start, but it's only a very brief overview. Despite that, it's quite long and the list of links to other relevant topics at the bottom is huge.
If anything I've discussed here seems vague it is because I am trying to distill what amounts to a Master's degree's worth of knowledge down into the character limit of these forums in a manner that can serve as a decent overview for someone who doesn't even believe in psychology. (You aren't a scientologist, are you?)
or your political agenda as a bogeyman and have choosen that particular stripe to paint them with.
You have no idea what my political agenda even is. So how can you define what it isn't? I have no need to "paint" people who disagree with me as the boogyman. There are people out there - scientologists, for example - who very much so are boogymen. Republicans aren't boogymen. Lost, confused, and tragic, perhaps, but not boogymen.
Also: being as how I'm not USian, what is the point of painting someone who disagrees with me as a US Republican? I might as well call them "squirrels made out of cheese". There is no benefit to me in doing that; it cannot affect my country's politics or advance anything I believe in by doing so.
No, I asked if you were a US Republican because a lot of what you were saying sounded very aligned with their message and I was attempting to determine if you were simply resorting to their talking points - at which point I would simply hit "ignore", because you would have proven yourself incapable of actually thinking past the propaganda handed you - or if you actually believed what you were saying.
It is not your place, or anyone's for that matter, to decide/define "thought manipulation."
You're wrong. There are entire disciplines of science where making that call is in fact part of the job, and they use empirical evidence to do so.
Elitists love to try, after all they know better than others and do these things for the people's own good, being superior to them and all...
Waitaminute, just a ways up in this conversation you accused me of trying to paint everyone who disagreed with me as a "boogyman". And here you are wielding the word "elitist" as though it were the vicious club of boogymanery. You, sir, are a hyprocrite, and I collect my $200.
Also: the ability to use empirical evidence to determine things (like when a human brain's cognitive centers are being bypassed during decision making in response to external stimuli) is not "elitist". It's science. Unless you are saying that science itself is elitist and that we should all collectively reject science...at least when it disagrees with the political agenda you are trying to push....
Your worldview leads to a totalitarian state...
Actually, the evidence is rather to the contrary. Nations which have placed limits on speech - especially limits on the means and methodologies allowed have been shown to be far more stable, with much less social strife and a higher standard of living than the US.
At least, when you use "standard of living" measurements that includes "a decreased wealth gap", "% of the population engaged in the political process" and "level of political corruption" as standards. I understand that these are standards rejected by the Republicans and thus not generally accepted in the USA as part of their standard of living calculations.
Anyways, have fun with all that anger against the "elites". I hope you find what you're looking for in life.