Public Perception, Reality, and Narratives: Basic Elegant Segment Types

In the last section, we discussed the elegant segment. Elegant segments are the ones most typically used in short term projects, for testing the progress of a project, and for “one time” or spontaneous projects, because they are elegant, and anyone can use them.

A “talking point”, for instance, is an elegant segment. Once a “talking point” or “label” has taken hold in the public perception, it becomes an elegant segment, in that it can’t be countered for all intents and purposes. Examples currently being used would include the typical “racist”, “islamophobe”, “white privilege”, “gender is not dependent on sex”, etc.

Hey–Those Aren’t Elegant, I Counter Them All The Time!

No, you don’t.

You can counter these on a personal level, in a small group of people, in a non-charged, neutral or nearly neutral environment. But at a highly charged political rally being held by a controversial figure, when you are confronting a paid protester who calls you “racist”, if you make the news, you own the label. True, you own the label in the eyes of millions of people you’ll never meet, but you still own it. Not only that, everyone else in the building owns it, because they are cheering you on and chanting….And everyone ELSE who tries to counter after the fact runs a high risk of owning the label as well, and further solidifying the public perception.

And in the case of this particular example, How did you answer the protester??

To answer them AT ALL is to claim ownership of the label, because that is how the project was designed to work. The project in play right now is an either/or option halving project, with the simplest of decision trees. When facing this type of segment, the only viable option is ignore, and shut up.

Fortunately, over use of this type of segment by the untrained leads to a certain level of desensitization and eventually, the talking point can be automatically dismissed by enough people that it loses the ability to shame subjects into remaining on narrative.

Handling Aggressive Deflection Segments: A Practical Example.

You go to a TV station to be interviewed about something. The interviewer constantly interrupts, deflects, distracts, misquotes, and does all they can to trip you up. This is an example of an aggressive deflection segment. It’s designed to make the subject appear incompetent, or trigger an aggressive reaction to further a negative mass perception of the subject.The best response to this type of segment is:

  • Stop talking. Cross one leg over the other, your ankle on the opposite knee, and lace your hands around the bent knee. Tilt your head slightly, and look at your interviewer as though they are slowly growing huge pimples all over their face. Aim for a half quizzical, half incredulous expression. Body language and facial expression are crucial here, to further the contextual framework you are trying to build.
  • Once they stop talking, answer their question. 
  • As soon as they interrupt your answer, repeat the process.

What you are doing here is constructing, on the fly, a real time opposing contextual framework. This person asked you to come to an interview, ostensibly to get your opinion or have you share your knowledge. You arrived in good faith, more than willing to educate and inform. So why is this strange person talking to themselves??? Inquiring minds want to know…

  • The third time you do this–not 4th, not 2nd, but THIRD (it takes 3 impressions to create a context) BEFORE you answer the question, you say “If you’re done talking to yourself, I’d like to get on with the interview without further interruption.”
  • DON’T wait for their answer–Immediately restate the question ” I believe you asked if I am in favor of cap and trade to reduce CO2 emissions, is that correct?”
  • If they try to go off again, hold up your hand and say “Excuse me. I asked you if that was your question. Is it?”
  • Once you get an affirmative, give a short, definitive answer with no digressions at all: “I am not in favor of cap and trade. As we have seen in the EU, cap and trade is just a means to sell the right to pollute to people. Also, the real problem isn’t CO2, it’s methane, which is far more persistent and far worse for the environment, and the major source of methane is bovine flatulence. Now if you can come up with a practical way to tax cows for farting, I would be willing to entertain it, of course, but at the moment that makes as much sense as cap and trade.”
  • Then sit back and wait for the next question.

This particular segment works very effectively in any hostile interview/debate scenario, from jobs to deal making. By using the right body language and the right “talking points”, you show the disinterested observer an opposing narrative powerful enough to create a WTF?? moment, and you show the interested observer that your are in command, and the interviewer is clearly trying to further a narrative.

The Aggressive Deflection Segment in An Event Context.

The aggressive deflection segment when used in highly charged atmospheres, like political rallies and concerts, is an enhancement device/trigger and a test segment as well. It furthers a narrative, creates a self fulfilling narrative, and also propagates. In this case, political rallies, after the third rally with protesters the narrative and contextual framing has been set:

  • The candidate is having a rally. Because the last rallies have had protesters, this one will also have protesters. The MSM furthers this narrative by speculating in advance of the rally whether violence will occur “again”. They will also film any protesters outside before they film rally goers.
  • Once the rally begins, the cameras will be positioned to downplay the supporters’ numbers, and as soon as a disturbance starts, the cameras will record the disturbance in close up mode, to create the maximum contextual reference framing.
  • By use of language in subsequent reports, written and video, the MSM will discuss in depth Why these protests only happen with one candidate, what the motivations are, and use the analysis opportunity to introduce reasons people might want to protest in the future. This is done to further propagation–someone who might not be inclined to go and protest for reason A, might be willing to go and protest when reason B is presented. So you get more protesters, and the implication that there is more “wrong” with this candidate than people initially thought.
  • And each subsequent negative event further cements in the public perception the negative image of the candidate, and by extension their supporters. Once a certain saturation level is reached, the narrative is no longer needed–a large segment of the voting population is firmly convinced, no matter what evidence exists to the contrary, that the candidate and their followers are (insert talking point of choice here).

The Defiance Meme As A Means To Counter or Further Narratives.

Another example of an elegant segment is the defiance meme. This segment is typically a test segment used by opposing players, to determine how far along the running project is, and also to measure whether a useful level of push back to the running project is present.

As an example, during the recent government shutdown, the president chose to close national parks and monuments. There was an outcry, because there had been shutdowns in the past and those places had remained open. As a further trigger, the government effectively imprisoned  tourists in Montana near Yosemite and employees in the Grand Canyon National Park, something the MSM was very careful to mention as little as possible. This action was another example of the plug and play elegant trigger test used in the Land Grab narrative and other events, to determine how the public would view the government essentially holding both American citizens and foreign nationals without due process. 

There was enough push back to the Grand Canyon to force the governor to open the park, after negotiating a deal with the federal government. But there was another push back that caught on as a grass roots uprising–the defiance memes. When the parks closed, a group of 30 specialists saw a chance to run a defiance meme, and did so.

Selfies started appearing of people in National parks and other closed monuments, next to the closure signs. Many of them were holding signs with phases like “tear down the Barack-cades” (a play on obama’s first name, obviously). Within a matter of a day or two, the number had risen to over 500. By day three, it was over 1000 separate memes, and shares were increasing exponentially. Sadly, the congress caved and the shutdown ended.

Why sadly? Because defiance memes serve a valuable purpose in countering a narrative. A well designed defiance meme has several defining characteristics:

  • It addresses a controversial or populist topic–in the mentioned case, the resentment engendered by park closures when it was n’t necessary.
  • It involves little or no risk of serious consequences–it will be either anonymous, like the current #The Chalkening defiance meme that allows secret Trump supporters to emotionally invest in the campaign, or very little consequence, as in the case of the National Parks meme, as there were no law enforcement agencies saying they would issue fines/tickets, and if they did, it was a civil infraction.
  • It allows people to “make a stand” in a non-threatening way.
  • And it opens the door psychologically in the subject. Engaging in defiance meme projects like #TheChalkening, the legal tax revolt, and other safe acts of civil disobedience shifts the subject’s thinking, so they can more easily accept larger displays of defiance of the narrative. It also allows people to vent frustration in a non-violent way, defusing some of the psychological pressure that long term exposure to major projects creates.

The current defiance meme, #The Chalkening, is one that as many people as possible should further and participate in, for the reasons above. And the meme shouldn’t be limited to pro-Trump memes, Anti-Cruz memes/anti-Hillary memes are excellent additions to this display.

The Next part discusses the Tabula Rasa Segment

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Public Perception, Reality, and Narratives: Elegant Segments

In part 3 of this series, we laid out the basic checklist used to design and test the segments of a project. Once the individual segments have been tested, the project design team will construct as elegant a model of the system as possible. Elegance, in this case is a scientific/mathematical principle–it means for those who may not use the term in this context, the simplest path from point A to point B.

Elegance is a necessary attribute in any project dealing with more than a handful of known people, or any project that has an extended time frame, unless you have nearly unlimited resources. There are a few reasons for this:

  • An elegant solution involves the least amount of tweaking, and provides the widest range of acceptable outcomes. it’s a nearly one size fits all model.
  • When unexpected events impact the project, or unexpected variables appear, they are quickly spotted and can be dealt with before they become a big problem. When you’re working in a technologically advanced society where information propagation is orders of magnitude faster than word of mouth, a small issue can become a project wrecking problem in a matter of days or even hours.
  • An elegant solution also has few or no viable counter solutions. If you’ve seen the Karate Kid, you might remember the “Crane” move–it had no defense, no counter.

How elegant a project has to be is dependent on a large number of variables. For instance, if you’re running a psy-op in a primitive country, in a hostile situation, you won’t be focusing on elegance, you’ll be working for brute force and heavy impact.

If you’re running a longer term project in an advanced society that has a specific goal, and you don’t particularly care what happens on the way to that goal (or you have high resource limits), elegance becomes something of an issue, but typically only from the perspective of carefully designed segments that are meant to serve as inflection points, stressors, or analysis triggers.

The Effective Use of Elegant Segments

On a long term project, there will be times when you want to set off a specific event, or a series of events, or use an event to test how the project is proceeding. In these cases, you use the most elegant segment you have on hand. So if you wanted to test the resistance factor to militarized police, for instance, you would introduce a narrative through mainstream media, where cases that involved militarized police would be sensationalized or kept in the news cycle longer than they would have been in the past. You would them monitor social media for public reaction, along with the news, to see what (if anything) people would do.

Or if a part of your project was to effectively label a particular segment of the population in a particular way–for example, the “domestic terrorist” narrative, then when specific news stories surfaced that involved specific elements, you would use those to further your narrative, and analyse the public perception.

Enter The Western “Land Grab”/Domestic Terrorist Narrative

This narrative is a good example of an elegant segment, for quite a few reasons:

  • It involves issues that only impact a a very small part of the population–people who lease land from the government. This gives you a very large pool of uninformed/disinterested observers to study, and involves minimal active players.
  • The government has spent decades implanting a very specific perception of BLM land, and leases, into the national perception; that these are public lands that belong to all, that the government manages for the benefit of the people. And the government leases these lands at rock bottom prices as well, to benefit lease holders, specifically–this created over time a visceral, subconscious resentment of those who lease the land. Ask the next 10,000 people you meet “what do you think of people who lease BLM land, like ranchers and logging companies?”
  • The government has also suppressed information regarding how those lands were acquired by BLM in the first place, and the fact that the government  is not authorized to hold those lands to begin with.
  • The government and the media have also furthered the narrative for years that those who lease such land are, for the most part, people who try to cheat on their leases. This has been done by making sure the public remains ignorant of how the leasing system works, and how many conflicting regulations are in place that can’t be met without violating others.
  • The public in general has little to no understanding of the details of land leases from the government, or the Homestead Act, or grandfather clauses. Frankly, land deals just aren’t interesting news–until a standoff happens. And because so little is brought to the public’s attention, the media is able to leave out a lot of pertinent facts that would impact the desired narrative.
  • The government also chooses its “victims” carefully. If you think they don’t have a good idea which lease holders are most likely to further the “domestic terrorist” narrative–THINK AGAIN. Just as the IRS chooses the people they will lean on carefully, using the services of the home team, Booz Allen.

Enter The Elegant Segment…

When the project designers need to check on the progress of a particular narrative and project, whatever that project may be, they throw in this all purpose segment. In the case of the “Land Grab”, the government had been involved in adversarial conflicts with families in two states that fit the profile of subjects who were likely to react in a manner that would satisfy the project outcomes, and provide a very good measurement of a wide range of public perception points.

In other words, these people were a good fit for the “domestic terrorist” perception model the government had been creating as part of other ongoing projects. So, the government plugged in the elegant segment, and dropped the regulatory hammer on the first case.

Then, the project team analysed the results (and is still monitoring the persistence of the first test trigger, BTW). And not too long after, encouraged by the results of trigger one, they dropped another hammer, a trigger two, on a second family in a second state, and analysed the results.

The Results…

Because this was a quite elegant segment, the optimal counters to it were limited, but there were still at minimum 24 counters that would have at least diffused the narrative and a handful of those would have caused significant issues for the design team and the project.

Sadly, because the people involved were not familiar with how mass perception management works or were too emotionally involved to care, both triggers were highly successful from the project point of view, when they could have seriously damaged the project instead. In both of these cases, had someone with experience in the field been on hand, and the people involved had been willing to follow counter project guidelines, there would have been a serious interruption in the ongoing project.

In the next part, we’ll look at some common elegant segments and their uses