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CW5 Jack Cardwell
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Outstanding read.
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LTC Eric Udouj
LTC Eric Udouj
6 mo
Concur - this was very clear and concise on something most write a book on trying to relate the same aspect.
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1SG Claims Assistant
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This kind of topic is right in my wheelhouse.
I think the easiest way to get people to understand how a narrative (Themes and Messages in IO parlance) works is to illustrate it with an analogy. Imagine you are having a fight with your significant other (I will keep gender tropes out of this, because they distract from my point). They are angry and upset over something you did. No rationale about why you did it or what happened calms them down, because it is personal. Their feelings are hurt.
So you have a choice. Engage emotionally, basically fighting your argument on ground of their choosing. Or use a fact-based argument that reaches out to their reason that while they may not like your actions, you did it for reasons that make sense.
Anyone who has had a fight with their spouse knows how this is going to go - either lasting resentment, you wear each other out and agree it is dumb to fight over, or in the case of the smart offender, saying the other is right and you should have discussed the offending actions first giving them the option to weigh in on the choice in question. The last option takes the legs out of the emotional furnace that burns with irrational hurt.

i could go on and on with this subject, but I will leave you with a challenge. Watch more than one sourcing with your information. Observe how "talking points" (ie messages) are repeated on multiple networks, newspapers, and talking heads, often down to the precise words used. "Manufactured crisis" on the border comes to mind as a recent example. Then think it through. Why would that message be effective and who is it designed to affect? From an Information Operations perspective, this is actually a Counter-message, designed to undercut the "Wall" theme from President Trump by calling into question whether it is even a real problem or not. Tangentially and more subtly, it undermines the "Fake news" theme as well. Whoever designed that message line - and make no mistake, it was designed purposely - gets an A on this test, especially on the heels of an IO disaster with the Mueller report. Facts on the ground get swamped by feelings. Because we don't like your facts, we like our "truth".
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Cpl Jeff N.
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I think what she is saying, in a very pointy headed way, is that words have power and people can be manipulated by words through narrative (representational force) just as easily as actual force (kinetic means).

We experience this anytime we listen to a speaker/artist/poet etc. who is transmitting soaring rhetoric and ideas which may be devoid of fact or reason. They might evoke feelings or emotion in us. We live in a society that worries far too much about feelings and emotions which are easily manipulated by others (intentionally or not) and not nearly enough on reason or thought or truth., actual truth, not what people call "my truth" or "his/her truth" these days.

A great recent example of this has been the Mueller investigation and the narrative coming from many places, mostly the left in this case, that this was a massive scandal. Reason, facts and thought were checked at the door and still are today and will likely be after a full reporting. When the facts and reason do not align with the narrative, the narrators (usually charlatans) only ramp up the volume of the narrative/rhetoric.
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