- Accuracy in Media - https://www.aim.org -

Salon: Humans must be trained to want less

Salon insists [1] that the propaganda must increase until we’re all irrational. This is not us making a joke, nor are we being unfair to their argument. They really are saying this, and they use some “real science” to back it up.

This just goes to prove that you can find things as absurd as you like somewhere in the social sciences.

This is the argument: If we become more efficient at doing or producing something, then we just have more of it. This is called Jevon’s Paradox and it is true some of the time. But Salon goes on to claim that if this is true, then getting better at using fewer resources doesn’t work. Humans must, instead, be trained to want less.

This is where they bring in their scientific paper [2].  Which talks about the critical challenge of climate change for psychology. Which is, when we properly examine it, a complaint that humans do want more. So, how can we train them to want less? That being the big question psychology has to answer.

Salon tries to answer this by insisting that the propaganda has to change., Their example is that Emily in Paris should have the main character sharing clothes she gets at Goodwill. So, if we saw this on the screen then we’d do that. Or, as we should put it, the propaganda must change.

Salon ranks in the 70s by one of the listings of media size and influence. It gains some 7 million visits a month. Within the progressive circles, it’s very much more influential than those numbers would indicate. This is what makes this sort of musing from then so worrying.

A proper environmental dictatorship would insist that we should shiver in the dark and that we will be happy. Salon is considering how to change that propaganda system so that we would be happy shivering in the dark. This is not a comforting thought.