Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Saturating the Media Bandwidth

Vox Day's post today called 3rd Generation Politics is relevant to my post yesterday about Trump's rapid-fire first week in office.
What I believe we're seeing is the marriage of two tactics: [Col. John Boyd's] Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act (OODA) Loop and Cernovich's media cycle disruption described in MAGA Mindset, being combined into a strategic approach designed to render the media's mass firepower irrelevant.
What Trump is doing is saturating the media's bandwidth. While they're obsessing about crowd sizes he's already made numerous important executive decisions. The simply can't keep up. By barraging all the changes early on, it does 3 things.
  1. It destroys the media's OODA loop. Part of the media's loop employs co-ordination. We saw that in the election when newspapers would come out all using the same words and phrases against Trump. (And we saw some proof of this co-ordination in the leaked emails.) They engage in co-ordination to amplify the propaganda effect of their message. Trump is not giving them time to coordinate. If they do they simply get left behind. He's not giving them time to settle on a narrative. All they have time to do is report the facts. Probably with snark, but they can't engage in the normal consensus building.
  2. They can only have so much impact. Judging by my facebook feed liberals are very agitated right now, I'd say 7 or 8 out of 10. (They were 10/10 on Nov 9). Each new bit of news can't really agitate them much further. Trump is hitting them all at once. Vox thinks his actions will become increasingly radical and specific. Perhaps. I predict he'll go through waves. At the end of the waves he'll do something big that most liberals would approve of. Since they only care about identity politics, it'll be some sort of gay rights or reachout to black America or something like that. He'll slow down, let that dominate the news for a bit, before hitting with another rapid-fire session. I predict he will also give them something very controversial to run with before each new session.
  3. He's making it known that there is a new boss in town. This is a common tactic for a new CEO or general to engage in. It establishes the new authority and accelerates detractors through the stages of grief; they are aggressively presented with the new reality in a way they must accept.
Conventional wisdom would tell Trump he should slow down, not push too hard at once. Trump is not conventional, and he is a genius at these things. 3rd Generation Politics was the perfect description of what is going on. I wonder if he'll end up changing the face of politics forever.

Update: Vox's persiscope talk on this (link). He makes the same prediction I did: that there will be a cyclical aspect to Trump's blitzes. Also in light of his analogies I think my title is pretty bad. The bandwidth is not being saturated. The bandwidth is their great strength, it is analogous to the great artillery firepower of trench warfare. The bandwidth is the media's ability to barrage the public with a coordinated narrative strike. So to say their bandwidth is being overloaded is not accurate. In fact it is more likely being underutilized. To keep the computing analogy, the media is currently CPU-bound, not network-bound.

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