Friday, 10 April 2020

ARTICLE 12 - Part 3: Proof of Compromised Global Communication Channels

This article is Part 3 of the ‘Perception’ series on this blog. You can find Parts 1 & 2 here:

Problem #7: Incorrect Global Perception

Perception & Social Media Amplification

This section also builds upon ideas in our ‘COVID-19’ series on this blog. You can find Parts 1, 2, & 3 here:

An Outbreak of Terrible Communication & Leadership - Part 1

An Outbreak of Terrible Communication & Leadership - Part 2

An Outbreak of Terrible Communication & Leadership - Part 3

The problem identified in this article is a direct cause of the Fundamental Disruption of Journalism:

UPDATE: April 17, 2020:

Final COVID-19 update (on this blog) included at the end of this article. A much more thorough report and strategy will be available in the near future once it is completed.


Reality + Perception = ‘Truth’

Subjective perceptions can sometimes alter objective reality. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, this occurred with products like toilet paper.

PERCEPTION: “There is a supply shortage of toilet paper.”

REALITY: “In most places, there was adequate supply of toilet paper."

If enough people subjectively perceive a shortage, they alter objective reality by hoarding supplies and creating a shortage.

When perception is not aligned with reality, it indicates there are compromised communication channels. Anytime there is a crisis, throughout News Media and Social Media, 3 conflicting messages are communicated simultaneously:

Message #1: “There is a problem, and it’s a CRISIS.”
Message #2: “There is a problem, but it’s not a crisis.”
Message #3: “There is no problem.”

Here’s a 2015 survey that shows this on a global level with sustainability:

SOURCE: Pew Research Center
  • 54% of the global population believe sustainability is a problem, which also means that 46% do not believe it’s a problem. **
  • 51% of the global population believe sustainability is harming people now, which indicates the problem has now escalated into a crisis. This also means 49% do not believe a crisis exists. **

These three conflicting messages create three separate perceptions, which theoretically correspond to three separate ‘realities’:

In the previous chart, for each perception + reality outcome, there are two factors to consider:

-If a problem actually exists

-If there is disagreement between the perception and corresponding reality, which indicates compromised communication channels. 

Three conflicting perception messages indicate a 67% probability the problem itself exists, and a 100% certainty of compromised communication channels, since it’s impossible there exists more than one corresponding reality.

These conflicting messages (caused by compromised communication channels) are occurring presently on the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the results can be seen in countries like the United States.

And our communication systems are only able to communicate one crisis at a time. Otherwise, news sources that were reporting on sustainability as though it was a crisis in 2019 would still be doing so in 2020.




A list of all the Viable Underdogs material can be found here:

Book Links & Other Viable Underdogs Material

Carle, J., Stokes, B., & Wike, R. (2015). Pew Research Center. Global concern about climate change, broad support for limiting emissions.

** While, I admit that some may argue that I have taken some liberties with the messages in the included chart, it’s not exactly hard to find examples of these conflicting messages. Climate activists that made the news rounds in 2019 are communicating message #1. Message #2 is from the majority of news outlets who carry on as though the problem exists, but it’s not a crisis (as seen with the fact that COVID-19 is taking center-stage in April 2020 when last year it was activists like Greta). Message #3 is sent out by climate change deniers, who are still a significant minority of the population, as seen in this article:

Harvey, F., & Milman, O. (2019). The Guardian. US is hotbed of climate change denial, major global study finds.


Before the final V-Dogs launch in a few days, I wanted to post two small updates regarding the ongoing pandemic since I will no longer be adding articles in ‘real time.’ The first is an example of communication delays and two conflicting perceptions being diffused into our global communication systems. First, here are the official statements from the WHO:

World Health Organization. (2020). World Health Organization. WHO Director General’s statement on the advice of the IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus.

This statement was released on January 23, 2020 - one week prior to the WHO declaring a public health emergency. Now compare this to something written over two months later, which challenges the severity and urgency of the situation and constantly challenges what numbers to be concerned about:

Bennett, J., & Leibsohn, S. (2020). Real Clear Politics. An advantaged disease, indeed.

I am not here to present an opinion one way or the other about who is right or wrong. This is a global problem and we can either decide to all accept partial responsibility or we can resort to childish finger-pointing.

The WHO needs to ensure effective communication by making sense of the numbers for the average person who is not an epidemiologist or statistician and doesn’t understand ‘exponential growth.’

Exponential Growth

Here’s an analogy some of you may be very familiar with:

If you had to decide between accepting a million dollars vs a penny that doubles in value every day for 30 days, which would you choose?

Day 1: $0.01
Day 2: $0.02
Day 3: $0.04
Day 4: $0.08
Day 5: $0.16

Day 6: $0.32
Day 7: $0.64
Day 8: $1.28
Day 9: $2.56
Day 10: $5.12

Day 11: 10.24
Day 12: 20.48
Day 13: 40.96
Day 14: 81.92
Day 15: 163.84

Day 16: 327.68
Day 17: 655.36
Day 18: 1,310.72
Day 19: 2,621.44
Day 20: 5,242.88

Day 21: 10,485.76
Day 22: 20,971.52
Day 23: 41,943.04
Day 24: 83,886.08
Day 25: 167,772.16

Day 26: 335,544.32
Day 27: 671,088.64
Day 28: 1,342,177.28
Day 29: 2,684,354.56
Day 30: 5,368,709.12

Infection rates are no different. Keeping this in mind, I encourage you to watch this video which was uploaded on the YouTube channel, minutephysics, which explains exponential growth on COVID-19:

Minute Physics: How To Tell If We're Beating COVID-19


Bennett, J., & Leibsohn, S. (2020). Real Clear Politics. An advantaged disease, indeed.
****Note: Although some may argue this is a niche opinion piece, this story was amplified by News Media and Social Media.

World Health Organization. (2020). World Health Organization. WHO Director General’s statement on the advice of the IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus.

A Seventy Seven Million Dollar Chalk Mark

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