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communication

How Disinformation Works

The old Nietzschean idiom about the abyss staring back seems apt here – as we gaze into an abyss of political chaos, partisan insecurity, confusion and intractable information complexity. This is precisely what is being done in the US right now through externally (and internally) sourced disinformation. Notice that, agnostic of truth-value, distributed patterns of information and belief or behaviour tend to adopt their own internal momentum and self-propagating orientation towards continuity. People are easily misled and then those offshoots of public opinion, belief and behaviour rapidly acquire their own self-validating rationale. Defined internally within any moving frame of reference as a system of belief, all truth is valid.

It also appears that the intrinsic power and effect of disinformation reveals something of an implicit asymmetry and intrinsic curvature to these kinds of artefacts and information system entities. The logical foundation here is, ironically, that there is no logical foundation; that is, all systems of belief and reference are ultimately circular (i.e. all are complex tautologies without ultimate anchor or epistemological certainty). This is how they can so easily become detached from any notional consensus reality or any facts that we might assert as possessing a certainty beyond asserted truth values.

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