Lest We Get Distracted

Posted by M ws On Tuesday, May 29, 2012 2 comments
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.

The above quotation is often attributed to Albert Einstein the physicist (1879 - 1955) but Wiki Answers says:

The answer isn't really known but current consensus is that it came from the author Rita Mae Brown in her book Sudden Death on Pg. 68 from 1983. Most people will attribute this quote to Albert Einstein but there is no evidence to suggest that he made this statement.

This quote "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results" appears in the Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous which was copyrighted in 1982 and later published in 1983. It is found on page 11 of the final "Review Form" which was distributed to the fellowship in November of 1981. It is found on page 23 of the current sixth edition.

The reason why I brought this up is because I cannot understand how a month has passed by and many are still harping on Bersih 3.0 and all related topics. Malaysians, we need to move on. For the record, I seldom read any news and only read headlines or selected items because the madness raging is enough to make me puke. I find it very disappointing that many are easily led by their noses with regards to topics for discussion/focus as a result of agenda setting tactics.

With the imminent GE13, instead of focussing on salient points pertaining to elections, many are still harping on Bersih. Do not get me wrong. I am all for electoral reform but remember the quotation I placed strategically at the beginning of this post. If even after three attempts and intended results are not in the horizon, forget about talking or dreaming of Bersih 4.0. Passive resistance is a more viable option. Consider THIS.

The current scenario shows that temperatures are rising e.g. the aftermath near Ambiga's house and even what happened in Penang last Sunday (for the record - I was not there but have spoken to those who were.) As such, the only logical thing to do now would be to:
  • AVOID holding public rallies so that there is no opportunity for trouble-makers to strike. Instead, organize meetings where registration is required. This may prevent untoward incidents, especially if organizers request for police presence to ensure order and safety at the venue
  • REFRAIN from making any statement that can provoke negative reaction from others
  • TRY to maintain composure and never let the other side know what is happening.
In terms of strategies, the Opposition and/or pro-Opposition activists have a lot to learn because they seem to be experts in shooting themselves in their feet and losing ground to BN.  I expected the brouhaha that would follow Bersih 3.0 and so far, my eight predictions (which I only voiced to five persons) have come true and that includes how BN has gone to town Santa Claus style in dishing out and winning the heartland that matters.

Of late, we have seen component parties of PR in self-destructive mode e.g.:
  • the reaction of DAP leaders in response to Tunku Aziz's opinion
  • the stipulations expressed by PAS with regards to architectural requirements (Read more HERE)
  • recent revelations with regards to PKR's Azmin Ali (Read more HERE)
Consider the level of political maturity. Many seem to have lost sight of what is real and worth our time, attention and discussion. Too often, online discussions/dissent have a tendency to go off-tangent in extremities.

Much more can be achieved if only we take time to plan, to strategize and to execute plans that can bring positive returns WITHOUT straining ties.

I would recommend a thorough study of Sun Tzu's Art of War. This set of slides is a good place to begin if you do not intend to read the epic: The Art of War - 36 Strategies

To avoid barking up the wrong tree and to ensure no one is a victim of agenda setting tactics, concerned Malaysians should consider:
  • avoiding political drama and not be embroiled in any racial politics
  • pressuring political parties to ensure only QUALITY candidates stand for election
  • pressuring political parties to present the report card for ADUNs and MPs
  • pressuring PR to reveal their ever elusive shadow cabinet that has to date, remained in the shadows
  • listing out ways in which civil liberties can be upheld
  • listing out genuine and legitimate concerns that affect all of us and asking leaders to explain how these can be addressed
  • volunteering at the next elections
  • keeping quiet so that the other side does not know what is going on. It is better for them to die from suspense and speculation than for them to make counter-moves. Sadly, some like to boast about this and that only to find out that all that braggart behaviour comes to naught for the other side has already taken pro-active steps to pre-empt undesirable consequences, often - to their advantage!
  • and many other POSITIVE steps that will not exacerbate the current situation

We must remember that all can be victims of agenda setting - a theory of mass communication effects whereby via the editorial selection process, the MSM defines and transmits political objects to the masses in such a way which affects the relative importance of these objects to the public.

Of course, the news media may not DIRECTLY/CONSCIOUSLY dictate to the public what to think, but don't you agree that they tell the public what to think about even to the extent of subtle propaganda via daily news snippets or the focus/angle of their reporting or non-reporting?

Admittedly, journalists have been trained to abide by journalistic norms called news values such as proximity, timeliness, conflict, celebrity and human interest. With these, they can determine what is worth reporting thereby indirectly setting the topic of kopi tiam discussions.

However, we must remember that via agenda setting, the media subtly guides readers as to what to think, how to think and once they formulate their opinions, influence others to think likewise when these topics are made public not just from the airing in the MSM but also in blog posts, discussions and forwarded articles via email or discussion boards.

Essentially, the MSM agenda is a ubiquitous two-level flow from opinion leaders to opinion followers. In this way, the news media agenda permeates society. Research has shown that agenda setting is stronger for newspapers than for television news.

Sometimes, the rakyat may need some orientation as to what should be the agenda and this depends on the relevance of the political subject and its uncertainty. With low relevance, the need for orientation is low. If both relevancy and uncertainty are high, then need for orientation is high. When need for orientation is high among many in the population, agenda setting is more likely to be strong. Therefore, during a social crisis, it is natural that people turn to the media for guidance and they can either be informed or otherwise.

Regardless, when reading any article, are we aware of its objective or agenda? Realistically, the frame of reference (sum of prejudices, feelings, experience etc) of a person can influence his perception of the article as well as one tends to believe what supports his existing or pre-existing beliefs.

Judging from current trends, it is quite easy for many to lose sight of what is important as they seem to have a fetish for chasing red herrings deliberately planted to distract us from what matters.

And what DOES matter to all of us?

2 comments to Lest We Get Distracted

  1. says:

    cin2tan I keep repeating sleeping & sleeping again & again = mau lagi le !

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Ahhhhh itu tak sama ler...LOL

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