Saturday 17 March 2012


In the computer term, "What You See Is What You Get" or WYSIWYG implies that what you see on the screen of your computers is what you get when printed or what the finish product really is. I am sure we have also heard remarks about "Seeing is believing". Why I am writing about this topic this morning?

As we all know the US is having its Presidential Election later this year. In fact the fun fair had started earlier with the primaries held by the Republicans, a process to select the candidate who will be facing Barrack Obama, the current president of the United States. Later, when the two or more candidates are made official, more fun will begin when all the parties try to convince the electorates who they should choose to lead the most powerful country on this planet.

Why fun?

Perception or sometimes deception are part of the American way of life. The amount of money, time and efforts spent on "image building" could eclipse the GDP or many other countries. TV advertisements, lobby groups and now the usage of social networks are some of the tools used in creating positive or negative perception towards a particular candidate. Every little details about candidates would be scrutinised even those incidents or behaviours are considered acceptable to the general public. The results? What we watch on TV or heard on radio or read in newspapers or online may not necessarily reflect facts and truth.

While many would not like this comparison, the most famous persons using these kinds of techniques were Hitler and the Nazi. Hitler was very aware of the value of good propaganda and appointed Dr. Joseph Goebbels as the Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment. All media was used to promote the ideas of the Nazi on top of the practice of censorship to ensure the people see, read and hear what the Nazi wanted them to believe.

Somehow propaganda is still being legitimately used in many parts of the world by political parties, businesses and even non-profit organisations. Many of the practitioners of propaganda believe in the end justifies the mean. What is worrying is that such believe means morality and values would be compromise in ensuring the desired ends are achieved. To ensure such actions do not invite negative responses from the public, these propaganda tools are branded in many nice and friendly names, as if everything done is in the best interest of the people.

Given the wide usage of propaganda around the world by many people, WYSIWYG may only be applied in a limited circumstances, perhaps when you want to prints photos from your computers. In other circumstances in life, especially when involving politics and business, we should be more careful and think deeper before agreeing or believing what we see, hear or read, perhaps this article included.

Remember, this is the year the US is having its presidential election!

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