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Published:May 15th, 2008 20:07 EST
Media Is The Masses: Message Deceived

Media Is The Masses: Message Deceived

By Sean Stubblefield

Don`t believe everything you hear.

Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.

There is a game in which a whispered message is passed from one person to the next in a group of people. By the time that message reaches the last person in the game, it usually differs from the original, because someone misheard or misunderstood (or deliberately altered the message).

This game has many names, but demonstrates how easily information can become corrupt and distorted with indirect communication filtered through multiple individuals.

If this transition can so easily happen with a group of 10 people in the same room at the same time, then what about the driftage that would occur passing through disparate people/cultures across time?

Before the written word, and even before learning to read became common among the masses, information had to be transmitted verbally. For centuries, American Indians have preserved their history and traditions verbally.

But if the information is relayed, received or interpreted imprecisely, the message "or at least its meaning "is lost. Savvy Rulers know this, and select their messengers carefully, who are capable of not only accurately recalling a message, but properly delivering it to an intended recipient so as to mitigate the possibility of miscommunication.

Christianity perfectly illustrates how a simple misunderstanding or misinterpretation can change a message, or the meaning of a message. Especially considering the linguistic, ideological, political and cultural translations involved. Even prior to the establishment of Orthodox Christianity, there were many sects with a multitude of interpretations made to the Jesus message, as well as the man`s reputation. Actual results may vary, because context and bias imbue different meanings. A mere synonym substitution, erroneous translation or definition variance-- deliberate or accidental--could significantly alter a message ? and therefore its meaning. Not to mention distortion caused by cultural and psychological filtering.

Some degree of deviation from the original message is inevitable "both in content and context.

Memory and hearing may fail us. We take creative liberties with embellishment. Misconstruing and misconceptions occur. Hearsay becomes heresy.

Currently based in Houston Texas, Sean Stubblefield graduated Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Television Production. A philosopher poet, Stubblefield has been writing non-fiction for 15 years, and has penned eight books to date. His first book, Paradox: A Journey Inside Out is available today at

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