Saturday, April 28, 2018

It is not an American Carnage?

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” declared trump after he took the oath of office of the presidency.  He won not by painting a picture of optimism and rosy future but through grim portrayals of immigrants, Mexicans, blacks, gays, minorities, other countries ...

His rhetoric and actions have caught on all over the world, perhaps demonstrating in an ironical manner how much America is indeed a beacon to the world!

Why the rise of trump and trumpism when life has never been this good for humans?
So why is that we – mostly in the developed world – often have a negative view on how the world has changed over the last decades and centuries? Why we are so pessimistic about our collective future?
Yeah, why?

Apparently, "the gap between individual optimism and national pessimism is getting larger."
One tip comes from the observation that, according to studies, the gap is larger among people who have more exposure to news media. And the media – certainly social media – tend to emphasize the gloomy and the gory over the sunny and the sublime. Good news is not news, media executives often mutter. And it takes just a minute on Twitter or cable news to confirm the old adage: “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Depends on the media that we are exposed to.  The media that I read, watch, and listen to reinforce my understanding that we humans have never had it this good.  Even in the US, will women want to live in the 1950s that trump seems to think was when America was great?  Will blacks want to re-live the 1950s?  

Does one want a reminder on the awful conditions in China in the 1950s?  Or how poor South Korea was even compared to North Korea?  

Once we systematically look around the world and examine the evidence, there is no denying the fact that life has become immensely better.  Which means, it is not exposure to the media but exposure to some kinds of media that is the problem.
Add to this a second psychological bias neuroscientists are discussing: because our species has evolved to fend off danger, we tend to be more sensitive to bad news. We react more acutely to pictures of starving children than to reports of improving nutrition levels in Africa. And, of course, we tend to remember those horrible pictures much longer.
trump tapped into these emotions.  American Carnage, he declared.  Only he can make everything alright, he claimed.  63 million voted for him!
never mind what people’s daily experience at home and work suggest; just keep repeating that business elites or immigrants or foreigners are making things worse – much worse! – and sooner or later voters will believe you.
What a shame! 

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