Our perspectives, to some extent, are being skewed on purpose.
Our era is sometimes, perhaps without reason, called the Information Age. It might someday be known as the misinformation age, the disinformation age, the malinformation age, The Century of Spin, the golden age of the troll.
Under an invisible scourge of information warfare we toil at present, mostly unknowing, because of course we are.
Mankind has only been engaged in a relentless arms race since the Agricultural Revolution; from the hand axe to the nuclear bomb, and probably beyond. The modern shooting weapons of war are almost too hideous to contemplate, and we said the same after WWII. And WWI.
New weapons of information warfare exist, too: The content farm, the troll factory, the media manipulation and saturation campaign, censorship via organized social pressure campaigns and popularity contests; election interference, infrastructure sabotage, propaganda, hacking, malware, ransomware, leaks, fake whistleblowers, plants.
If you don’t believe information warfare is a powerful force at work in the world, you must believe global superpowers invented biological weapons, chemical weapons, energy weapons, and weapons of mass destruction then drew the line at mucking about on social media to undermine an adversary.
Perhaps you believe information warfare probably does exist, but doubt any foreign nation’s ability to wield such a weapon against our unwary populace. If so, you forget 10,000 years of human history whereupon we’ve brought every inch of our collective brainpower, ingenuity and inventiveness to bear on conquest, war, and domination.
Information warfare combines two of humanity’s biggest weaknesses, our ultimate vulnerabilities, into one long nightmare during which any disaster or monster might appear.
Information Warfare = The Arms Race + Advertising.
How do we know it’s working?
Oh, it’s working.
From every corner of the U.S. media landscape today, everyone from CNN to FOX News is touting a recent poll showing American trust in U.S. institutions at an all time low.