Looking at the Italian press today, all I see is an orchestrated, systematic attempt to drive out any element of reality from the news. To better understand what I mean, we must ask ourselves what the effect of Coronavirus has been on the Italian press.
The coronavirus has plunged into a fantastic and political narrative of reality mainly as an intruder, that is, as an element of reality .
I define an element of reality as something that DOES NOT depend on opinions, the effects of which DO NOT depend on something that is said or written about it.
You can talk about Lombard health excellence as much as you want, but in the end this did not stop the virus from killing ~ 20,000 people. You can talk about novax and the conspiracy of big pharma multinationals at will, but in the end when you risked your life you were all listening to the press releases of the Civil Protection, not those of Barillari.
This allowed a number of "scientists" who were previously only "the strange beasts you meet on Twitter" to get to the newspapers and say what they thought. We have seen numbers , formulas and data arriving in newspapers and on television.
We have seen that the objective usefulness of the network proved essential during the lockdown period, allowing many essential functions of the company to continue, from school to ecommerce, up to smart working.
But these elements of reality are not tolerable when all the press participate in a populist project.
There is little to say about the techniques of erasing reality from the media narrative. For every scientist who thinks A there will be one who apparently says B, so nobody understands his specific language. (such as the word "clinically" in an epidemic assessment). The numbers must disappear, the remote school has become a shit because the kids don't socialize (as if going to class inside a block of Plexiglas was "socializing"), and even smart working is not really good for reasons that the DSM would call "serious cognitive dissonance".
What is the task, what do you want to accomplish with this kind of operations?
To understand this, it is necessary to examine populist communication well. Populism needs extremism, and extremism is always populist. The difference with the normal political debate is that in normal political debate the weather is always "partly cloudy", and then there are conflicting ideas about how bad the clouds are.
In the populist political universe, there are two conditions that come true simultaneously : outside there is a blizzard of snow, And outside there is a sun that breaks and the sky is clear.
In the normal case, the reporter could then hold a window in the study, open it, and see if "partly cloudy" corresponded more to the description of politician A or that of politician B, and both politicians had good arguments to say "it's more 'beautiful than ugly' and 'it is more ugly than beautiful'.
But in populist politics, this window must remain closed : since the distance between "blizzard" and "sun breaking" is too large, opening the window would give A wrong and reason B, which closes the debate and expels A. But always in populist politics, everyone has the right to be heard , and therefore it is a human right to fall in the middle of a snowstorm in a swimsuit and say "fuck what the sun is, where it is" the beach?".
Is it possible to keep two politicians in the studio, one who says (for example) that there is a snowstorm and one who claims that the sun is breaking? Of course: just keep the window facing outwards closed . That is, it is enough to abolish every element of reality from the debate.
The Italian mass media serve precisely this: to keep Italian in a world of delirium in which every element of reality is absent, so that it is possible to have in the studio both what speaks of the snow storm outside, and what complains about the sultry heat it does.
This world of delirium is based on some assumptions:
- Reality as an entity stable and insensitive to opinions does not exist.
- All opinions have the same value.
- Everyone has the right "to a contradictory".
- The experimental verification is "against democracy".
Coronavirus has obviously produced a temporary collapse of these axioms. The virus killed people, whatever you thought of it or anything you said about it. Some opinions were more valuable than others, and they were those of competent people. The contradictory, pushing to objectively dangerous behaviors, had to be suppressed to leave room for the most effective instructions. Experimental verification was mandatory for survival.
But in a world that contains elements of reality, you cannot speak of "Lombard health excellence". The numbers and the dead are against you immediately. So, if there is a debate on what happened in Lombardy, you can also be sure that they will say things like "there have been many epidemics, and the Lombard one was worse". There is no real evidence of this fact, in the sense that the Lombard virus had come from Bavaria, which had very different numbers of victims per million.
But the aim of the Italian press is to keep people in a world of delirium in which one politician will say that Lombard health care has been exceptional, and another will say that no, he has completely failed, and nobody will open the window on reality to understand what happened.
I needed the story of Floyd to understand why IT is being targeted. And I understood one thing: as much as what happened on the internet is continually accused of being "virtual", it is real.
When Floyd was killed, the police said he had felt ill and had been rescued by the agents. An interesting virtual reality, in which the agents made a good impression.
It was the video put on Facebook that destroyed the virtual reality of traditional media and brought elements of reality into the debate. Even in the case of the old man thrown to the ground by bullies in police uniform, whose skull has been smashed, it is the footage taken from a cell phone and posted on social media to tell us how things went.
That world that you called virtual is in fact an element of reality " , while today you might also notice that TV and newspapers are making you live in a virtual reality, while the recordings made by the sensors of the connected devices introduce elements of reality'.
Because the concept is simple: the more sensors your mobile phone has, the more cameras are on everywhere, the more elements of reality come into your life.
Because if for example you use a livecam like this , at this moment, nobody will be able to tell you that there was a snowstorm.
And that's why politicians like social media, but the clouds are very sorry for images and files.
The problem is that they could bring elements of real life, in the virtual reality that is politics, television, the press.