'The Perception Wars' is on sale now
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"The Perception Wars: How Influence Shapes Conflict" is a collection of propaganda and narrative analysis pieces compiled over two years that aims to explore the ways national governments manipulate the ways we see the world, and in turn, how our wars take shape.
While influence has always been a weapon of warfare, the digital age has brought about a dramatic shift in the ways in which perceptions are managed. The barriers that once existed between formal government narratives and individual citizens of foreign nations have gone in favor of a widely connected but often ideologically isolated populous. As Americans grow more divided, foreign influence efforts are better suited than ever cater to the individual by way of persuasion masked in confirmation bias. This effort to influence, to shift perceptions, is not a byproduct of diplomacy, but rather a facet of hybrid warfare - and let there be no mistake, a war is raging.
As long as human beings look to the horizon and wonder, as long as nations stretch further than ear shot, as long as the populous has a say in the actions of their governments, perception can be used as a weapon. We look out our windows to see what’s going on in our neighborhoods, never once questioning the intent of the view. Then, we look to our phones, tablets, computers and televisions to see what’s going on beyond our neighborhoods, and often, forget that those views often come with motive.
Actions are dictated by decisions, decisions are based on perceptions, and perceptions are subject to manipulation. That is the basis of the Perception Wars.