Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia: How Putin re-writes history

The world in Orwell's 1984. Source: Wikipedia. George Orwell's novel 1984 describes how a totalitarian regime can constantly re-write history. It was one of the pillars of the Big Brother's power. At one moment, it was believed that Oceania was at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia. The next moment, it was announced that … Continue reading Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia: How Putin re-writes history

Top 10 weirdest messages from Putin in 2022

No doubt, it has been a crazy year. In February, Russia invaded Ukraine. Thousands of people have died, including children. Millions had to flee. Those who stay are fighting with cold and darkness. There is something carnivalesque about this parade of obscene, idiotic cruelty displayed by Russians. The mask of civilisation has fallen, and all … Continue reading Top 10 weirdest messages from Putin in 2022

Cognitive biases, communicative efficiency and propaganda

At least some of our cognitive biases can be explained by the tendency to save effort. But communicative efficiency also helps all kinds of manipulators to deceive us. An example is Putin's use of the word "genocide" when speaking about the conflict in Donbass. We should get used to spending more processing effort, before it is too late for our democracy!

A “special grammatical operation”: what Putin’s use of cases reveals

Putin can avoid certain words, but it is more difficult to avoid grammar. In a pioneering study, Laura Janda et al. show how Putin's use of case forms of Russia, Ukraine and NATO is different from 'normal' language. My additional analyses reveal that Putin's use of cases with Russia and Ukraine has been stable over the years. A missed opportunity to discover what he was really thinking all this time?

Putin’s insanity talk

In recent months, Putin has been talking about his opponents' words and actions as "nonsense" and "rubbish". Two female politicians, according to him, are out of their mind. I think that Putin's insulting behaviour is another example of projection as a self-defense mechanism. He is trying to distract attention from his own fatal errors and present himself as a paragon of rationality.

The “dirty bomb” and a typology of lies in Russian propaganda

Russian propaganda uses lies of different complexity. I discuss the most recent message by Shoigu and others about Ukraine's plans to use a "dirty bomb". This message is very worrying. It is also an interesting example of recursion, suggesting that the Russian propaganda is getting more and more sophisticated, perhaps to compensate for the lack of military successes.