10/26/2020 - Narrative Bias and Misinformation

Hey <<First Name>>

As we get closer to the US election, I've found myself thinking about how I consume information. Specifically, I'm thinking about the sources I trust, why I trust them, and why I don't trust a particular source of information. What do I allow to influence my worldview and why? 

It's been a fascinating process and has made me realize just how much the internet has altered traditional flows of information. 

TSI Articles: 

Misinformation, Propaganda, And Narrative Bias -  A short post on how first impressions and our narrative bias impact public discourse. It's an exploration of how our sense of shared truth is built and how modern discourse suffers from our lack of understanding of this process. 

Why you should care? It's important to understand how people approach new information, and how first impressions impact all future impressions. In modern discourse, we tend to view information as binary - true or false. And we fit it into these categories according to our individual worldviews. 

By acknowledging the impact of culture, experiences, and our individualized interpretations of our communal reality, we can better understand narrative manipulation.

It seems increasingly likely that narrative manipulation will become a critical issue in society over the next few years. 

A Sovereign Individual should educate themselves on narrative framing in order to prevent themselves from being manipulated. 

A Roundup From Around the Web

The New Tyranny Few Even Recognize - This article summarizes and addresses an upcoming change sweeping the world of money. The US Federal Reserve, like many other central banks around the world, is mulling over the creation of a digital currency system. Here is a description from the Cleveland Fed

The gist: the Fed plan would create a digital dollar and provide an account for every American. In doing so, they aim to directly distribute stimulus to every American more rapidly (this includes the 9 million unbanked). 

But the article highlights some major conflicts with this plan.

1. A digital dollar removes all anonymity and privacy that was available with cash. Raising the possibility of constrictive policy measures that could inhibit a person from using their money. 

And 2., this would effectively bypass the powers of Congress and give unchecked power to the Fed. ie: powers traditionally reserved for elected officials. 

Why you should care? Money has always had some level of anonymity to it. It's one small measure of power citizens have by restricting the government's means to monitor your cash and how you spend it.

A move to a purely digital dollar would provide the government with unprecedented access to personal financial transactions. It's a slippery slope towards a reduction of personal freedom. It also represents a worrisome opportunity for runaway inflation. Which overwhelmingly harms working-class people. 

Crypto Reading List - A comprehensive reading list put together by Dan Romero (a successful VC investor) to give you the need to know information for Bitcoin and some of the more recent trends in cryptocurrencies.

In particular, Bitcoin for the Open-Minded Sceptic was concise, informative, and is worthy of a read. 

Why you should care? As nationalism continues to rise around the world, cryptocurrencies will increasingly act as a financial hedge for globally-minded people.

It's also becoming possible that Bitcoin becomes a global reserve currency held by central banks.

As a Sovereign Individual, cryptocurrencies represent a growing set of tools that can be used to protect financial assets, enable global commerce, and protect personal freedom. They are worth educating yourself on in order to take advantage of them. 
Differences in How Democrats and Republicans Behave On Twitter - Social media creates echo chambers that users are frequently unaware of. This was proven in a recent Pew Research Study that analyzed Twitter users. 

The study found that on Twitter a minority of users produce the majority of content and that the majority of these users identify as Democrats. 

Why you should care? Most people gather a majority of their information on the internet, and a growing source of this information is gathered from social media.

As we worry more and more about fake news and misinformation, the sources of where we gather data become more relevant. And it's becoming clear that a significant element of the modern "news" vetting process is vulnerable to echo chambers and narrative bias. 

When you break down the Twitter study further, it's clear that the 10% of users that account for the majority of content on Twitter only represent 1% of the US population.

This should matter to a Sovereign Individual. It's important to understand where the information you use to make decisions comes from and how it might be biased. It's also important to understand that when you gather data from an echo chamber, there are consequences of a self-reinforcing narrative bias. ie: it can create a false sense of reality for those within the chamber. 


I came across this art project and thought it was an amazing concept. A time series with 2 images. 

"Waiting Gradually Eats The Soul" by A.F. Vandevorst

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