EF26 Show Notes

(EF26) AMA-EF7: The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3


Looking to play or download the episode? Click here… EF26 (AMA-EF7): The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News — Ask Me Anything for Episode EF7


Spoiler alert: You’re about to listen to an Ask Me Anything  (AMA) of Episode EF7, which was Season 1, Episode 5 of the Evolve Faster Podcast titled All Aboard the Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric.  The driving question of this episode (and this AMA) for you to think through is … can we trust reason? It’s a fascinating question that actually has surprisingly little research or philosophical investigation.

As a reminder about Episode EF7: Edward, a marketing master and spokesperson for the dark arts of rhetoric and propaganda, is hired to educate a controversial businessman running for an important public office.  It’s Edward’s job to bestow the black magic of verbal and written manipulation on the businessman to win the election. Where the tongue is quicker than the mind—and the pen sharp enough to cut—are these skills a well-respected art? Or are they just cheap mental tricks wielded by insincere charlatans?

The fifth episode of the first season of the Evolve Faster Podcast Episode is driven by the big question Can we trust reason. Fake news can look very reasonable, especially when packed with numbers and percentages. If our reason is fake and new are fake, does that mean we’re becoming fake as well?

To peek behind the curtain of Episode EF7, we’ll dissect the following submitted questions:

  • Is this really what happens in politics?
  • Are there any honest politicians anymore?
  • Does just knowing about conformism help you to not allow it to happen?
  • What do we do about the problem of fake news?
  • Was there fake news before the Internet?
  • If rhetoric was once honorable, what happened?
  • Is this really what happens in politics? Are elections really won more on misdirection and fallacy than on a platform of truth, say, in the USA?
  • Who can I trust?
  • Who is most at risk and how can I help keep my kids away from shit like this?
  • And more…


DEDICATION: Episode EF7 is dedicated to George Orwell. This episode builds off of the investigation started in Episode EF5 of what is the truth. Here, however, we add in the complex reality that important facts and truths are both manipulated by the organizations which dominate our lives — like governments, corporations and other institutions. Few have explored this particular art of mental manipulation better than George Orwell in books like1984  and Animal Farm.

Orwell worked in a literal propaganda department of the BBC during WWII called the Ministry of Information. His job was to send slanted views about the war to India and, in a hilarious twist of fate, almost no one he was targeting (college-age adults) got the fake messaging because they didn’t have radios! Oops. But thankfully that job existed for Orwell because it led him to create the four Ministries (Love, Peace, Plenty and Truth) in the fictitious dystopia of 1984.

HOW George Orwell INSPIRES EF7

Episode EF7 goes a step deeper into the dark arts beneath the end products of things like propaganda. That is to say, the unsavory but powerful characters of EF7 are learning how to wield ancient techniques of rhetoric to weaponize their words and manipulate the masses via political elections. If Orwell had lived to see the power of rhetoric and propaganda leveraged up by the laser-targeting of fake social media marketing — leading, for example, to the election of Trump in 2016 — he’d probably have another book to write, possibly called 2061?

Politics is a game played with gloves off no matter in what corner you prefer to be. Episode EF7 tries to provide a backstage insight into the training for the fight. Orwell wrote in his diaries after his BBC work that “All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth.” Have a listen to Episode EF7 if you’d like to imagine how deceptive the lies are when one is also not telling the truth.

To learn more about George Orwell, please check out the following resources:


INSPIRATIONS: Leo Strauss, known as Sage of Princeton, a silent political philosopher who could turn even Hitler into a logical fallacy. Aristotle and Isocrates, two philosophers who first saw rhetoric as the art that shapes societies and individuals for the better. Edward Bernays, the father of modern propaganda and the crazy idea that you can sell cancer if you sprinkle it with happy emotions. Solomon E. Asch, a psychologist whose experiments showed how we can unconsciously break under the pressure of majority. Episode EF7 was further inspired by Warren G. Harding, Madsen Pirie, Stephen Toulmin, Richard Vatz, Gertrude Buck, LemmingsCarrotsPythia. For a full list of data and references please see Episode EF7 Show Notes.


Andrew Prokop, 40 charts that explain money in politics. www.vox.com, https://www.vox.com/2014/7/30/5949581/money-in-politics-charts-explain   (Accessed: Feb 19, 2019).

Mike Colagrosi, Why voters value loyalty over honesty in politics. bigthink.com, https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/why-voters-value-loyalty-over-honesty   (Accessed: Feb 19, 2019).

Renee Diresta, ONLINE CONSPIRACY GROUPS ARE A LOT LIKE CULTS. www.wired.com, https://www.wired.com/story/online-conspiracy-groups-qanon-cults/   (Accessed: Feb 19, 2019).

Renee Diresta, THE INFORMATION WAR IS ON. ARE WE READY FOR IT?. www.wired.com, https://www.wired.com/story/misinformation-disinformation-propaganda-war/  (Accessed: Feb 19, 2019).

4 of Illinois’ last 7 governors went to prison, daily-journal.com. https://www.daily-journal.com/news/local/of-illinois-last-governors-went-to-prison/article_570fe718-8c52-5db3-8bc5-13d49974d930.html  (Accessed: Feb 19, 2019).

Evolve Faster Podcast EF8, https://evolvefaster.com/podcast/ef8-s1-e6-without-a-compass-all-who-sail-the-seas-of-identity-are-not-lost/

Evolve Faster Podcast EF9, https://evolvefaster.com/podcast/ef9-s1-e7-i-feel-therefore-i-am-capsized-on-the-river-emotion/
Joe Rogan Experience, Episode #1035, Paul Stamets

episode quotes

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(EF26) AMA-EF7: The Impossibility of Honest Politicians and Protecting Our Kids from The Most Insidious Fake News Ask Me Anything for Episode EF3

What is the worse reality: Complete freedom where anyone can create fake news and thus manipulate society? Or constrained press where the government can manipulate society with the laws?