The standard English dictionary accepts the word disinformation as an alternative to misinformation or propaganda or deception – but the verb disinform does not appear, (misinform does). Nevertheless, disinformation is now a common thematic in most communications. It was probably always thus but the fabrication and spin in the modern world are on a different level. Blatant lies are constantly portrayed as truth and honest candour. In some cases, the communicator is taken in by the ruse but most of the time he/she knows that they’re telling barefaced lies.
What are we to make of all this? Who can we believe? Where can we get certainty about matters that concern us? In our piece on Nocebo’s a few weeks back, we suggested that the real world is made up of distinct, disjointed events not conforming, synchronized patterns. Therefore, the interpretation of those unique events is highly subjective. In our inter-connected modern world, the various news channels and the extensive social-media circus exacerbate thee tricks of the mind. Our reactions are often unreasonable and irrational. We repeatedly respond along well-worn lines following the narrative of our preferred news outlets. We feel good for no logical reason and we worry about stuff that we really should ignore. This is the dilemma that we face in trying to grapple with day-to-day communication events in our lives.
Back in January, in our Tug of War piece we cautioned that the dates to consider this year would not be birthdays and bank holidays but March 16 and May 04. For these are the dates when the US Federal Reserve was expected to make its far-reaching decisions on interest rates. Decisions that almost certainly will not meet with universal approval. Well right on cue the Fed raised US rates by 0.25% last month against a backdrop of soaring inflation and a very uncertain world economy. One would imagine with a war (or special military operation) raging in Europe that the last thing the world economy needs is higher interest rates! The justification for raising rates is to counter inflation. But the rate of inflation is an arbitrary measure and is subject to flagrant disinformation.
In times of strife, the discipline of economics teaches us financial markets and share prices fall. However, this is plainly not true for all shares and all markets. For instance, oil company shares are higher and commodity prices are generally doing very well. Just last week, the MMPI Escalator Plan Series 52 matured early, paying a handsome 33.95% (CAR 8.71%). The disinformation suggests panic, fear and dread. Whereas reality demands a more discriminating appraisal.
It seems wholly inappropriate to be concerning ourselves with financial markets, when there is an obvious humanitarian calamity elsewhere in Europe. Its impact on our lives will likely be profound. MMPI’s focus is firmly on truthful dialogue and we urge all of our readers to be extremely careful of falling victim to disinformation. Be particularly aware of the power of probabilities, percentages and statistics to distort the truth.