EF25 (BTP-EF7): The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World — Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7

(EF25) BTP-EF7: The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7

(EF25) BTP-EF7: The Power of Propaganda and Rhetoric to Divide Us and the Quest for a Better World — Behind the Podcast of Episode EF7

PLAY | DOWNLOAD 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? More...

EPISODE EF25 SUMMARY

Spoiler alert: EF25 is a Behind The Podcast (BTP) looking back at Episode EF7 (Sleight of Mind: The Black Magic of Rhetoric). The driving question of this episode is … can we trust reason? Since perfected by the ancient Greeks, rhetoric has slowly devolved from a respected art into a manipulative tool used in marketing, politics and any other walk of life where mental and verbal coercion pays. Rhetoric, propaganda and the strategic use of logical fallacies are mental and verbal manipulations similar to the dark arts of black magic, in that they create smoke and mirrors to change minds to believe mistruths. And unlike a magician who deceives to entertain, these dark wizards act maliciously in pursuit of profit and power over others.

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. Reason should be our main defense against anything wrong in this world. So what should we do now that the defense is obviously getting cracked?

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

  • Why the question “Can we trust reason”?
  • Did you write this episode before or after Trump’s election?
  • Are these mental black arts really this much like black magic? What are some direct parallels?
  • Is rhetoric the same as propaganda?
  • Is Edward written around anyone real?
  • Is Arding supposed to be like a Trump?
  • What did Elliot do? This is the same Elliott from A5, correct?
  • And more…

Can We Trust Reason?

The big question driving Episode EF7 is … Can we trust reason? In an online world now overcome with fake news, reason and rational thinking would seem to be an obvious bet for an antidote. But how many times did you find yourself in a situation where your reasoning was unreasonable to somebody else? Does this mean it’s not a consistent tool we can trust in all situations? Or are there other skills you need to develop in your critical thinking toolbelt in order to fight fire with rhetorical fire?

So you shouldn’t discard reason as a reliable tool in your existential arsenal, but it’s prudent to give it a regular and proper maintenance job ever. Reason didn’t create us but the other way around. So when’s the last time humanity created something that’s 100% perfect? Following reason blindly is same as blindly following emotions — and it gets even worse when these two are mixed up.

Into The Rabbit Hole

SHOW NOTES: This episode is dedicated to George Orwell. See the EF24 Show Notes for details of the dedication, inspirations, references, selected quotes and more.

ABOUT THE EVOLVE FASTER PODCAST: Everything is changing, yet the questions that drive us remain the same. Will humanity face the absurdity of our collective existential crisis in time? Join Scott Ely as he takes us deep into the rabbit hole with philosophical tales to reboot your mind, upgrade your life and explore your soul. To Evolve Faster is to see the fact that you will die someday as a formidable challenge, instead of a source of immense fear. Create your reality…before it creates you. Isn’t it time for an upgrade? More episodes…

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