Might As Well Nudge, by the Zman

It’s not that easy to manipulate people. From the Zman at theburningplatform.com:

Everyone is familiar with psychological warfare, in which information is used to breakdown the moral of an enemy in wartime. It can also be used on individuals within a community in order to get them to act in a specific way. There’s also propaganda, which is an information campaign used by government to change public opinion or reinforce codes of conduct. This is no different from a marketing campaign, except the people doing it can also use force to get the attention of the audience.

Less known is the use of behavior techniques to subtly encourage or discourage behavior within a population. The idea is to change the environment so that the desired behavior feels like a natural choice. Humans are not fully rational and will make choices that are not entirely in their interests, because of things like peer pressure or assumptions about what everyone else is doing. The Chinese social credit system works on these principles to encourage compliance.

One way this is being done in English speaking countries is through the anathematizing of ideas and concepts the managerial elite wants to discourage. The coordinated and often theatrical banning of people from social media, for example. The people targeted often seem random and nonsensical, but it is not about the people, but about reinforcing an environmental variable. That is, you can be cut off from your in-line community for saying the wrong thing, so you best be careful.

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