Here are some of my outline thoughts in preparation for my upcoming participation in a panel discussion at FreedomFest 2017 in Las Vegas, on the topic, "Trigger Nation: How to Overcome Manipulation by the Media & Academia."
1) Influence exists. 2) It can be good or bad. 3) We can be influenced without realizing it. And, 4) therefore, we are better off if we understand influence better, so we can sort out good and bad influences, and understand where things come from.
Below are some example questions to anchor the discussion. Anyone have other examples?
What is the impact of the audio message on the New York Subway, repeating at regular intervals the statement, “Ladies and Gentlemen, bags and packages are subject to random search by the police”?
What is the effect of gender neutral bathrooms on people psychologically? When was this new front in the culture war opened up? What does this suggest about the motives for selecting this particular front for activism?
What insight is there in the line from the BBC comedy, “Yes, Minister,” in which an associate minister suggests, “Never believe anything until it is officially denied”? How does this relate to examples such as the news stories that announce from the first moment of coverage that an atrocity doesn't seem to have any connection to terrorism?
College student activists hold protests against conservative speakers on campus. Many suggest this is a spontaneous uprising by the students. What influences acted upon those students beforehand, such as from their parents or schools, that would have grown in them such a motivation?
In today's media culture, when there is so much competition for attention, is it possible to have your message heard without being provocative or inflammatory? How does this relate to Milo's success or troubles? To the influence of libertarian economics professors?
How does it influence a conversation when someone uses the term “conspiracy”?
Why is the opening statement of a discussion important? Does the first speaker in a debate have an advantage?
Related question: Are free will and influence compatible? Can you both choose your actions and be influenced?
I'm pleased to announce that I'll be a speaker at FreedomFest in Las Vegas later this month.
I'll debate Jeffrey Tucker, content director at the Foundation for Economic Education, about the rights of artists and inventors: "Can You Own an Idea? Both coming from a libertarian point of view, Mr. Tucker argues the problems with Intellectual Property, while Mr. Johnson defends its basis and value."
I'll be signing copies of Emotion in Life and Music as well as my new book You DID Build That: Defending Creative Rights. You'll be getting the publication announcement about that new book shortly!
I'll also be participating in a panel discussion titled "Trigger Nation: How to Overcome Manipulation by the Media and Academia." The panel with include Ron Meyer, Katherine Mangu-Ward; Russell Fulmer is the moderator. Here's the official description: "Today we face constant manipulation of our perception by academia and the media. This workshop focusses on recognizing and counteracting influence triggers to take back your life and your mind."