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BBigJ
2007-Oct-26, 07:42 PM
In this day and age of FOX news and opinion based journalism, I didn't think our media could drop much further. I stand corrected. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/homestyle/10/26/toh.got.ghosts/index.html) What editor in their right mind approved this trash? Is a lack of critical thinking a requirement in today's newsroom?

I'm still trying to find an email or phone number to tell CNN what I think about this.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-27, 01:26 AM
Discovery even has the show A Haunting. Anything to keep them from showing their only two good shows, Mythbusters and Cash Cab.
TAPS are saps!
TAPS are saps!

Noclevername
2007-Oct-27, 01:28 AM
'Tis the season of HalloWOO!

Tucson_Tim
2007-Oct-27, 01:34 AM
Yes. CNN has been sliding down into the pit with the rest of the trash networks. It may be now that they are all on the same gutter level. Sad really.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-27, 01:34 AM
Yes. CNN has been sliding down into the pit with the rest of the trash networks. It may be now that they are all on the same gutter level. Sad really.
Can we start our own TV station?

Noclevername
2007-Oct-27, 02:09 AM
I already suggested the name "The Accuracy Channel" --nothing but provable facts. Maybe we could get Discovery to sell us Mythbusters once we get going...

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-27, 02:10 AM
I already suggested the name "The Accuracy Channel" --nothing but provable facts. Maybe we could get Discovery to sell us Mythbusters once we get going...
And Time Warp Trio from Discovery Kids.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Oct-27, 02:24 AM
I think I'm going to give the NY Times website a try. CNN has been irritating me for some time now.

Fazor
2007-Oct-27, 04:43 PM
Yes. CNN has been sliding down into the pit with the rest of the trash networks. It may be now that they are all on the same gutter level. Sad really.

CNN has been sliding down into the pit? That would seem to indicate that they were once better than other major media outlets. IMHO, they never were. As mentioned in a previous post, I check out their news articles a few times a day (NY Times is the other one I occasionally read), but you still have to take their articles with a grain of salt. If you read for more than face value, usually you can still pick up on the general truths behind the articles. Though it's not uncommon to find that the vital details are very much left at the curb.

laurele
2007-Oct-27, 04:50 PM
These types of stories are what in the newspaper publishing world are called "feature" or "human interest" as opposed to "hard news." I could see editors arguing that the fact that such "ghost hunters" exist and get regular calls from people makes a story in and of itself, whether or not there are such things as ghosts--especially at this time of year. Remember, a lot of these networks also pass off "celebrity" news as news coverage when this is really nothing more than entertainment, and they don't limit this to just one season.

phaishazamkhan
2007-Oct-27, 06:56 PM
These types of stories are what in the newspaper publishing world are called "feature" or "human interest" as opposed to "hard news." I could see editors arguing that the fact that such "ghost hunters" exist and get regular calls from people makes a story in and of itself, whether or not there are such things as ghosts--especially at this time of year. Remember, a lot of these networks also pass off "celebrity" news as news coverage when this is really nothing more than entertainment, and they don't limit this to just one season.

Actually I can see newspaper editors being contacted in the middle of the night and being threatened for wanting to cover a certain story and being coerced into running so-called human interest stories that do nothing to embiggen the smallest man.

Or newspapers and other news media are savvy to the fact that the majority of people aren't interested in the news of the world at large and the only reason they have a job is because they sell advertising not because their journalism actually provokes or enlightens the masses.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Oct-27, 07:31 PM
CNN has been sliding down into the pit? That would seem to indicate that they were once better than other major media outlets. IMHO, they never were.

You may be right. To borrow a line from the movie Fargo, "I'm not going to debate you, Fazor". :)

The last two days I've been getting my news from NYTimes.com. I'm pleased so far. They actually have articles that you can READ - imagine that.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-27, 10:38 PM
The last two days I've been getting my news from NYTimes.com. I'm pleased so far. They actually have articles that you can READ - imagine that.
It's a good site, and I have it bookmarked. But I have special niche sites to get information about my esoteric interests.

Warren Platts
2007-Oct-28, 12:20 AM
In this day and age of FOX news and opinion based journalism, I didn't think our media could drop much further. I stand corrected. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/homestyle/10/26/toh.got.ghosts/index.html) What editor in their right mind approved this trash? Is a lack of critical thinking a requirement in today's newsroom?

I'm still trying to find an email or phone number to tell CNN what I think about this.It's Halloween. Relax. And at least they advocate a scientific approach to the ghost problem. :D

Noclevername
2007-Oct-28, 04:43 AM
It's Halloween. Relax. And at least they advocate a scientific approach to the ghost problem.

First, turn off all the lights and shoot everything through night vision cameras...

Neverfly
2007-Oct-28, 04:48 AM
It was hardly scientific.

Noclevername
2007-Oct-28, 04:49 AM
Instead of science, they used sciencyness.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-28, 12:52 PM
First, turn off all the lights and shoot everything through night vision cameras...
Then, have a crew member run through the field of view and your ratings will soar...

Noclevername
2007-Oct-28, 06:06 PM
...Then have everyone start shouting, running and rapidly waving the cameras around to make sure everyone knows you "saw" something.

KaiYeves
2007-Oct-28, 07:40 PM
...Then have everyone start shouting, running and rapidly waving the cameras around to make sure everyone knows you "saw" something.
Then you hope James Randi never watches your show.

NEOWatcher
2007-Nov-14, 01:49 PM
This other ghost story appeared the other day on our local station. I thought it was a stupid story then...but given the station that reported it, it kind of fit.

But; for CNN to pick it up...sickening.

CNN Video: Ghost on camera spooks customers (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/offbeat/2007/11/14/lai.gas.ghost.woio)
Summary: blue plastic bag gets blown in front of security cameras. :eek:

Noclevername
2007-Nov-14, 04:29 PM
Watch it with the sound off, it looks even stupider.

NEOWatcher
2007-Nov-14, 08:28 PM
Watch it with the sound off, it looks even stupider.

Oh...follow the bouncing ball.
Last week it was on a local station WOIO (cbs) (no link because its a script)
Now they feed it to CNN (link above)
Now that CNN has it, a FOX station in detroit (http://www.myfoxcleveland.com/myfox/pages/Home/Detail;jsessionid=AF9B55DFEE2E0ECA9B297D1479ADB88F ?contentId=4928118&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=VSTY&pageId=1.1.1&sflg=1) has to pick it up.
Now that Fox has it, our local fox (http://www.myfoxcleveland.com/myfox/pages/News/Detail?contentId=4931501&version=1&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=3.3.1) picks it up...
and because this local story was an out of state source, they catagorize it as a national story. :doh:

Noclevername
2007-Nov-14, 08:34 PM
That's show biz.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-15, 12:42 AM
Whatever sells. The Daily News had two UFO-related items today, but, to their credit, both turned the attitude you would expect from a tabloid to the believers, calling them "space cadets" and "absurd".

Halcyon Dayz
2007-Nov-15, 07:43 AM
Whatever sells. The Daily News had two UFO-related items today, but, to their credit, both turned the attitude you would expect from a tabloid to the believers, calling them "space cadets" and "absurd".
That's not reportage, that's opinion.
Aren't there any journalists anymore?

NEOWatcher
2007-Nov-15, 02:43 PM
That's not reportage, that's opinion.
Aren't there any journalists anymore?
It seems like NBC (at least locally) still claims to have journalists to do the research
Now they picked up the story (http://www.wkyc.com/video/player.aspx?aid=48110&bw=) but they are going to have the tape analyze.
They have also contacted experts (in the paranormal, of course :rolleyes:)

Expert: "the blue cloud is definately a Earth bound spirit, and somehow attached itself to either a customer or somebody at the gas station. She believes it's a male.":sick:

Newscaster 1: "I think its some sort of gas or vapor that mixed with something blue." :eh:

Newscaster 2: "I believe it's the ghost of $1 gas" :eek:

SeanF
2007-Nov-15, 03:56 PM
Newscaster 2: "I believe it's the ghost of $1 gas" :eek:
Oh, come on, that's funny. :lol:

NEOWatcher
2007-Nov-15, 04:45 PM
Oh, come on, that's funny. :lol:
Yep; I agree with that.
But, I also wonder if they did the whole story to lead up to that line.

mike alexander
2007-Nov-15, 06:35 PM
I'll take the real thing...

Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years, and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

NEOWatcher
2007-Nov-15, 07:28 PM
The station (http://www.woio.com) that broke the news story, now has a new story because they also brought in a paranormal expert.:rolleyes:

(I cant link directly to the story.. but the title is Ghost Hunter Confirms Paranormal Activity at Parma Gas Station (javascript:playVideo('1931729', 'Ghost%20Hunter%20Confirms%20Paranormal%20Activity %20at%20Parma%20Gas%20Station', 'v', 'News', '94300', 'Homepage', '', '');))

The reporter also puts a plastic spider on a stick and holds it up to the security camera. Guess what, it turns into a blue fuzzy blob. ;)

Such a stupid story, and googling "parma blue ghost" gets 368,000 hits. :sick:

Maybe we should get Drew Carey's take on the story. (but only if the moon is overhead).

mike alexander
2007-Nov-15, 10:57 PM
No, it's the ghost of Ernie Anderson!

Gillianren
2007-Nov-16, 12:05 AM
That's such a great book, Mike. Have you read We Have Always Lived in the Castle?

mike alexander
2007-Nov-16, 01:49 AM
No, never have. It sounds as least as unsettling, though.

The film is also great. Still the scariest one I've ever seen.

KaiYeves
2007-Nov-16, 01:53 AM
The scariest movie that I have ever seen is The Devil's Arithmetic and it scared me half to death. I don't want to see anything scarier.

Gillianren
2007-Nov-16, 02:54 AM
No, never have. It sounds as least as unsettling, though.

The film is also great. Still the scariest one I've ever seen.

The original, with Russ Tamblyn, of course! Yes, indeed.

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-05, 08:49 PM
Thanks to new member Preast on a different subject over here (http://www.bautforum.com/1189867-post10.html)...
We have an update to the Parma Blue Gas Ghost.
How it should have been reported (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyR_WHEmO_4)...

Fazor
2008-Mar-05, 10:12 PM
Lol! that was soo worth staying 10 mintues late at work to watch...when I could have just gone home and loaded it in about 15 seconds from my internet connection there.... d'oh! But still, great clip. Screw No Country(it won, right?), give THIS guy the Oscar for best motion picture!

boppa
2008-Mar-05, 11:25 PM
things you learn....

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-06, 01:01 PM
CNNNNNN is a serious news station??
things you learn...
:confused: What does this have to do with the thread?

Mister Earl
2008-Mar-06, 07:23 PM
Then you hope James Randi never watches your show.

Let me correct that for you.

"Then live in mortal fear of James Randi and hope you escape his attention."

HenrikOlsen
2008-Mar-06, 10:29 PM
:confused: What does this have to do with the thread?
The OP was about an article on CNN, I'm guessing the reference to CNNNN is an attempt at being funny.

KaiYeves
2008-Mar-06, 10:33 PM
"Then live in mortal fear of James Randi and hope you escape his attention."
Hope is wasted on the hopeless!

Big Bad Boo
2008-Mar-08, 04:47 AM
I watched the original news article. Snickered when the "old Indian reservation" comment was made. (It's always an old Indian something or other.) I was thinking if I was right next to the guy as he was making that comment I would've given him a sharp smack to the head.

And much to my delight, the Captain had the same opinion. XD

Brilliant video though.

And I would totally promote the Accuracy Channel. Then we could just let the others continue to erode people's minds with their silly pseudo science shows.

KaiYeves
2008-Mar-08, 06:11 PM
(It's always an old Indian something or other.)
You're right. And the couple living in the haunted house always have a bad relationship.

Nadme
2008-Mar-08, 06:51 PM
In this day and age of FOX news and opinion based journalism, I didn't think our media could drop much further. I stand corrected. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/homestyle/10/26/toh.got.ghosts/index.html) What editor in their right mind approved this trash? Is a lack of critical thinking a requirement in today's newsroom?

I'm still trying to find an email or phone number to tell CNN what I think about this.

Chill out. :rolleyes:

No news source can cater 100% to science-oriented Einsteins.

The existence of ghosts can't be proved either way, and humans have "seen" ghosts from time immemorial, involving every class, race, culture, society, continent.

Consider it a human-interest piece.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-08, 08:05 PM
Consider it a human-interest piece.


It would have been one, if the reporting had been at all objective. But the wording used made it sound like there really was something mysterious or unexplainable about it, when a few minutes of simple research would have shown otherwise.

But "False alarm at gas station" doesn't get many viewers, which doesn't raise ratings, which doesn't let them charge more for advertising. It's a for-profit business, and the bottom line is what drives them, so expect more fluff pieces like this in the future.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-09, 04:31 AM
I think people sometimes take themselves too seriously; the article is sorta cute!! :)



Open Invitation to All Ghosts and Spooks:
(if you read this forum)

If you ever pass this way, my roommate and I will be glad to offer you dinner and put you up for a few nights if your promise, in turn, a good haunting for us and our friends. :)

KaiYeves
2008-Mar-09, 02:14 PM
Open Invitation to All Ghosts and Spooks:
(if you read this forum)
Not sure which fictional universe you're going by, but in many of the fictional stories I've read, ghosts can't stand electricity.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-09, 09:06 PM
I think people sometimes take themselves too seriously; the article is sorta cute!! :)

Ignorance can be cute... in a young child. In adults, especially those whose job is (at least nominally) to report accurate information, it's just pathetic.

So I take the spread of ignorant superstition and bad reporting seriously. Should I be dancing? :dance:

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-09, 10:02 PM
Ignorance can be cute... in a young child. In adults, especially those whose job is (at least nominally) to report accurate information, it's just pathetic.

So I take the spread of ignorant superstition and bad reporting seriously. Should I be dancing? :dance:
You guys take yourselves far too seriously. One does not live by science alone. Sorry you see a bit of foolishness and play as pathetic. I like it!! :)

Noclevername
2008-Mar-09, 10:09 PM
You guys take yourselves far too seriously. One does not live by science alone. Sorry you see a bit of foolishness and play as pathetic. I like it!! :)

There's a big difference between foolish play and foolish conviction. And while you're entitled to your opinion, so am I.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-10, 12:12 AM
There's a big difference between foolish play and foolish conviction. And while you're entitled to your opinion, so am I.
I never said you weren't. I, however, would rather be with those you describe as pathetic. They're a lot more fun!! ;)

Gillianren
2008-Mar-10, 01:33 AM
I never said you weren't. I, however, would rather be with those you describe as pathetic. They're a lot more fun!! ;)

You know, I can be silly. Extremely. But the news is not the place for it. The news should be proper journalism. Further, the people who believe in this sort of thing aren't being fun-loving, because--by definition--they believe in this sort of thing. They aren't playing games, and I'm sure you'll find that quite a lot of them are as deadly serious on the subject as you think we are, but coming from the opposite direction.

There is a time and place for ghost stories. CNN is not the place.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-10, 03:06 AM
I never said you weren't. I, however, would rather be with those you describe as pathetic. They're a lot more fun!! ;)

I think you can have a lot of fun without promoting nonsense as truth.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-10, 03:08 AM
You know, I can be silly. Extremely. But the news is not the place for it. The news should be proper journalism. Further, the people who believe in this sort of thing aren't being fun-loving, because--by definition--they believe in this sort of thing. They aren't playing games, and I'm sure you'll find that quite a lot of them are as deadly serious on the subject as you think we are, but coming from the opposite direction.

There is a time and place for ghost stories. CNN is not the place.

Well, I like the funny and offbeat stories that the news has sometimes. I am not suggesting that ghosts show up in war, pestilence, and disease stories, and I certainly don't think they belong in the headlines, but I am suggesting that people take themselves too seriously sometimes.

I am for people unwinding a bit sometimes, that there are a few stories about massive pillow fights, and ghosts that slip in. I am all for balance, but I like ghost stories and have no problem with a few haunted houses in the news? :)

Noclevername
2008-Mar-10, 03:12 AM
Well, I like the funny and offbeat stories that the news has sometimes. I am not suggesting that ghosts show up in war, pestilence, and disease stories, and I certainly don't think they belong in the headlines, but I am suggesting that people take themselves too seriously sometimes.

I am for people unwinding a bit sometimes, that there are a few stories about massive pillow fights, and ghosts that slip in. I am all for balance, but I like ghost stories and have no problem with a few haunted houses in the news? :)

You obviously have different expectations of what qualifies as "news" than I do. There are plenty of TV shows that show silly videos for purely entertainment purposes, the evening news shouldn't be one of them.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-10, 03:25 AM
You obviously have different expectations of what qualifies as "news" than I do. There are plenty of TV shows that show silly videos for purely entertainment purposes, the evening news shouldn't be one of them.
:)

Gillianren
2008-Mar-10, 04:19 AM
Well, I like the funny and offbeat stories that the news has sometimes. I am not suggesting that ghosts show up in war, pestilence, and disease stories, and I certainly don't think they belong in the headlines, but I am suggesting that people take themselves too seriously sometimes.

And I'm suggesting that, since there is no evidence that ghosts exist, it isn't news. I don't mind lighter stories. I do mind ghost stories, UFO reports, and other things inclined to stifle critical thinking.


I am for people unwinding a bit sometimes, that there are a few stories about massive pillow fights, and ghosts that slip in. I am all for balance, but I like ghost stories and have no problem with a few haunted houses in the news? :)

Massive pillow fights? Do we have evidence that they're real? Great! Until there's evidence, however, I consider any ghost story to be at best speculative and, in most cases, fiction. And fiction has no place on the news. Further, I don't want balance on the news in the sense you seem to be advocating. I want my news balanced toward, you know, important things. Mock stories of war and pestilence all you like, but people need to know about them. Nobody needs to know about ghosts or what fill-in-childish-celebrity-here has done to their hair. (Honestly, I don't think what anyone has done with their hair is news. Even giving to Locks of Love is common enough now that it shouldn't be news.)

Noclevername
2008-Mar-10, 05:15 AM
... but I am suggesting that people take themselves too seriously sometimes.

Oh, and just to correct, we're not taking ourselves seriously, we're taking things outside of ourselves seriously.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-10, 07:31 AM
Until there's evidence, however, I consider any ghost story to be at best speculative and, in most cases, fiction. And fiction has no place on the news.

I have a feeling that CNN is more interested in making money for its investors than strictly defining exactly what is, or is not, appropriate for the news. If you don't like the stories you don't have to read them. If you don't like the fact that they are published, vote with your feet. Maybe BBC News (bbcnews.com) would be more to your taste.

I think CNN can pretty much publish what they want as long as no laws are broken. I don't think there are laws in the United States against publishing stories about ghost, goblins, UFO's and other topics of questionable veracity. If I'm wrong, you can file suit and shut them down. There doesn't seem to be much outrage over the story, though, so I think most people are OK with it.



Mock stories of war and pestilence all you like, but people need to know about them.

Geese, this place is pretty rough on newcomers. I didn't mock anything, I said
I am not suggesting that ghosts show up in war, pestilence, and disease stories, and I certainly don't think they belong in the headlinesAs for what people need to know, I think they pretty much figure that out for themselves. No one forces them to watch or read the news, it's pretty much a voluntary thing.




Nobody needs to know about ghosts or what fill-in-childish-celebrity-here has done to their hair. (Honestly, I don't think what anyone has done with their hair is news. Even giving to Locks of Love is common enough now that it shouldn't be news.)


I know that you disagree with me, but I don't see what the point is? Do you want to stop CNN from publishing these stories? I don't see a grass roots movement supporting this. I don't think legislation is the answer. No one requires that you read the stories you don't feel are inappropriate. I am not sure what you want changed.

I don't think that you will find "ghosts or what fill-in-childish-celebrity-here has done to their hair." in U.S. News and World Report (http://www.usnews.com/) or other such magazines, but some of my peers much of their news from fashion and gossip magazines (print and net based). I think that's pretty much up to them what they choose and pretty much up to you what you choose.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-10, 08:09 AM
Geese, this place is pretty rough on newcomers. I didn't mock anything, I said [snip!] As for what people need to know, I think they pretty much figure that out for themselves. No one forces them to watch or read the news, it's pretty much a voluntary thing.

What else are my options? American news channels all seem to play this sort of nonsense. I mean, CNN is better than Fox News, Gods know--studies show it hasn't much bias to one side or another--but do you know, I'm allowed to say that I don't like something? Further, quite a lot of people never do figure out what they need to know, because they're too busy watching bloody stupid ghost stories on the news. That's why American voters are so ill-informed, and you do need to know how your country's being run if you're to be a responsible citizen.

Also . . . our response has nothing to do with whether you're a newcomer or not. Noclevername and I are disagreeing with you and attempting to explain why. If you're not used to that, you probably haven't had much in the way of serious debate, or even frivolous debate. I'm sorry if you don't like how we're responding to you, but I can promise you that we're not treating you harshly because you're a newcomer. We're not treating you like a newcomer at all; we're treating you like one of us.


I know that you disagree with me, but I don't see what the point is? Do you want to stop CNN from publishing these stories? I don't see a grass roots movement supporting this. I don't think legislation is the answer. No one requires that you read the stories you don't feel are inappropriate. I am not sure what you want changed.

I want responsible journalism. I want a news outlet to be more interested in news than who's marrying whom. If I watch the channel--which I do, sometimes, because it is one of the better news sources on TV for now--I want to be able to avoid fluff pieces that are used to garner ratings. What I want, though I know I won't get it, is to have news that doesn't have to worry about ratings.

Ghost stories aren't journalism. I want someone to recognize that.


I don't think that you will find "ghosts or what fill-in-childish-celebrity-here has done to their hair." in U.S. News and World Report (http://www.usnews.com/) or other such magazines, but some of my peers much of their news from fashion and gossip magazines (print and net based). I think that's pretty much up to them what they choose and pretty much up to you what you choose.

Yes. When I watch CNN, I'm choosing to watch news. When I watch E!, I'm choosing to watch stupid stuff that celebrities do. I think the distinction is important, and I deplore the culture that's blurring it. The fact is, I don't care about celebrity gossip. It isn't news. What's happening in Iraq is real news. What's happening in the current electoral season is real news. The state of science is real news. The state of the economy is real news. These are things a news channel should cover. Ghosts are not.

WaxRubiks
2008-Mar-10, 11:27 AM
I would like to know where skeptics get their information from.
How does anyone know whether there are ghosts or not?

HenrikOlsen
2008-Mar-10, 12:57 PM
I just wish they'd stop calling it news.
That people believe in silly things is olds, not news.

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-10, 01:36 PM
What else are my options?...
Yes; absolutely, agreed, and whatever other words to that effect.

I enjoy some of these things too. But; I am a big fan of context. News is supposed to contain facts. It may be a fact that somebody has an opinion. But; it's still just an opinon reported secondhand.

And; it's supposed to be balanced.
Balanced does not mean 50-50. Balanced means to present the level of each side to the credibility and evidence of each side.

Now, the first story (the OP one) wasn't too bad. I can live with that one, even if it is just a cheap way of promoting somebody's books. They did talk about the possibilities of the usual subjects before they went into the unexplained.

The gas station one is the one I have big problems with. The obvious explainations have been supressed, ridiculed, and overwhelmingly disregarded.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-10, 05:01 PM
I would like to know where skeptics get their information from.
How does anyone know whether there are ghosts or not?

Because of the total lack of hard evidence of any kind that they do.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-10, 06:17 PM
What else are my options? American news channels all seem to play this sort of nonsense. I mean, CNN is better than Fox News, Gods know--studies show it hasn't much bias to one side or another--but do you know, I'm allowed to say that I don't like something?

This has been duly noted.



Further, quite a lot of people never do figure out what they need to know, because they're too busy watching bloody stupid ghost stories on the news.

Aren't they allowed to choose what they want to watch just as you wish to choose what they want?



That's why American voters are so ill-informed, and you do need to know how your country's being run if you're to be a responsible citizen.

I hear you say this, but other than lamenting that people would rather watch more frivolous stories, I think the point is moot. People are free to watch what ever they wish.



Also . . . our response has nothing to do with whether you're a newcomer or not. Noclevername and I are disagreeing with you and attempting to explain why. If you're not used to that, you probably haven't had much in the way of serious debate, or even frivolous debate. I'm sorry if you don't like how we're responding to you, but I can promise you that we're not treating you harshly because you're a newcomer. We're not treating you like a newcomer at all; we're treating you like one of us.

Well Gillianren, my comment in this regard was pretty pointed.

TheHalcyonYear: Well, I like the funny and offbeat stories that the news has sometimes. I am not suggesting that ghosts show up in war, pestilence, and disease stories, and I certainly don't think they belong in the headlines, but I am suggesting that people take themselves too seriously sometimes.

Gillianren: Mock stories of war and pestilence all you like, but people need to know about them.

TheHalcyonYear: Geese, this place is pretty rough on newcomers. I didn't mock anything

If suggesting that my comments "mock stories of war and pestilence" I think that your idea of debating tactics are pretty ugly and uncivilized. :)




I want responsible journalism. I want a news outlet to be more interested in news than who's marrying whom. If I watch the channel--which I do, sometimes, because it is one of the better news sources on TV for now--I want to be able to avoid fluff pieces that are used to garner ratings. What I want, though I know I won't get it, is to have news that doesn't have to worry about ratings.

CNN is in business. Those who have invested in it are looking to make money. As you point out, "the fluff pieces garner ratings". Such ratings set the price that CNN can charge for advertising. I understand that you don't particularly like this, but CNN has a responsibility to its investors to maximize profits.




Ghost stories aren't journalism. I want someone to recognize that.

As I said, I disagree with you here; others support you in this. Regardless, the news services in a democratic, capitalistic society are going to be more interested in making money for those who invest rather than concerning itself with strict definitions of the news.

I think that if the news is more important to you, PBS would be the place to find what you are looking for. As nonprofit entities, they would be well suited to strictly defining what constitutes news. Unfortunately, voters in this country don't seem very interested providing funding in supporting Public Broadcasting. They vote into office those who promise to limit funds for this type of operation.




Yes. When I watch CNN, I'm choosing to watch news. When I watch E!, I'm choosing to watch stupid stuff that celebrities do. I think the distinction is important, and I deplore the culture that's blurring it. The fact is, I don't care about celebrity gossip. It isn't news. What's happening in Iraq is real news. What's happening in the current electoral season is real news. The state of science is real news. The state of the economy is real news. These are things a news channel should cover. Ghosts are not.
Well,what CNN provides as news is highly profitable. For all that some seem to deplore the state of the news in our country, experience has shown that the ratings/cost ratio is highest with the mix that CNN has chosen.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-10, 06:47 PM
Aren't they allowed to choose what they want to watch just as you wish to choose what they want?

Yes. They can choose to watch E!


I hear you say this, but other than lamenting that people would rather watch more frivolous stories, I think the point is moot. People are free to watch what ever they wish.

You may think the point is moot, but think about this. We in the US are about to choose a new leader, someone who will, barring unforeseen incident, be the visible leader of the country for the next four years. Therefore, we need to know things. This is not a matter of what people want to watch. This is a matter of what people need to know. If people don't realize that they need to know it, that's actually a problem. I despair at it. We in the US have been struggling our entire existence as a country to get people the vote. We are finally in a year wherein we have two possible historical firsts for the nomination of one party. Think about that. For the first time in US history, it's possible for a black person or a woman to be the two options for the nomination of a major party. It is a reasonable possibility to believe that one or the other will be President next January.

In fact, I believe that knowledge of the candidates is important in any election cycle. It's a crying shame how few people in the US vote, but how few people cast an informed vote is worse. I frankly don't care what people want to watch. What you want to watch and what you need to know are two different things, and what you need to know is not, contrary to what you seem to believe, set by what you want to watch. You still need to know how likely it is for you to lose your job and how difficult it would be to find another one if you did. You still need to know what laws are getting passed. You still need to know the stances of the candidates you're going to be voting for; you still need to vote. I can't believe how few people see voting as the honour it is, how few people realize that it is an important responsibility. Women in the US have been able to vote for less than 100 years. 100 years ago, women were literally dying for the right to vote. (Forced feedings and hunger strikes.) Heck, 40 years ago, there were people in the US literally dying for the right to vote.

And do you know one of the ways that got changed? The news aired the stories, even though people didn't necessarily want to see them or even know that they existed.


Well Gillianren, my comment in this regard was pretty pointed.

TheHalcyonYear: Well, I like the funny and offbeat stories that the news has sometimes. I am not suggesting that ghosts show up in war, pestilence, and disease stories, and I certainly don't think they belong in the headlines, but I am suggesting that people take themselves too seriously sometimes.

Gillianren: Mock stories of war and pestilence all you like, but people need to know about them.

TheHalcyonYear: Geese, this place is pretty rough on newcomers. I didn't mock anything

If suggesting that my comments "mock stories of war and pestilence" I think that your idea of debating tactics are pretty ugly and uncivilized. :)

It felt to me as though you were. For one, pestilence and disease are the same thing, though I previously failed to mention it because people get all snippy when their use of language is corrected. For another, by defending this "story," you are mocking the important of real news. For all we tease the news networks about the silly stuff they'll do to fill 24 hours' worth of news, there are a lot of important things that never get reported because airtime is being wasted on this garbage.

And again, I didn't even look at your post count. Actually, I still haven't.


CNN is in business. Those who have invested in it are looking to make money. As you point out, "the fluff pieces garner ratings". Such ratings set the price that CNN can charge for advertising. I understand that you don't particularly like this, but CNN has a responsibility to its investors to maximize profits.

Maybe. However, they also, as a news organization, have a responsibility to the society they're striving to bring news to. It's hardly as though CNN profits are all its investors will get. Do you not realize how much of a multibillion-dollar empire CNN is part of? It's from Turner Broadcasting. They have two entertainment channels that practically everyone gets as part of their cable. They don't have to whore out the news to make a profit.


As I said, I disagree with you here; others support you in this. Regardless, the news services in a democratic, capitalistic society are going to be more interested in making money for those who invest rather than concerning itself with strict definitions of the news.

Yes. And it's a crying shame. Shortly before I was born, the print news helped to bring down a President over really nasty failure to obey the law. Some twenty years before that, the television news brought down someone who was ruining the lives of thousands by simply playing his own statements without comment. Think about that. Think about the great history created by journalists in the 20th Century, more than has happened, I think, in any other century. More than will happen in this one, should trends continue as they are. And I fear they will.


I think that if the news is more important to you, PBS would be the place to find what you are looking for. As nonprofit entities, they would be well suited to strictly defining what constitutes news. Unfortunately, voters in this country don't seem very interested providing funding in supporting Public Broadcasting. They vote into office those who promise to limit funds for this type of operation.

It isn't entirely that news is important to me, though it is. (Actually, studies have shown that the viewers who know the most about current events tend to be watchers of The Daily Show.) It's that I think news is important to everyone. You're right; viewers aren't big fans of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. But they'll scream bloody murder if someone cuts off their kids' Sesame Street or whatnot. Don't you think they need to know that it's their tax dollars supporting both, whether they want to know or not?


Well,what CNN provides as news is highly profitable. For all that some seem to deplore the state of the news in our country, experience has shown that the ratings/cost ratio is highest with the mix that CNN has chosen.

Yes. That's because too much focus has been given, over the last few decades, to what people want to know instead of what they need to know. It's a failing of our country; what has happened to CNN is only a symptom. We as a country have begun to cherish ignorance. That's why these "cute" stories are acceptable as news. It doesn't matter if there's no evidence of anything unusual. It doesn't matter if they've been shown to be something quite ordinary. It's fun. Isn't that more important than knowing about who's going to be making major judicial decisions for the next few decades? Than having a stake in who's going to be The World's Most Powerful PersonTM?

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-10, 06:58 PM
This has gotten too intense for me, I've got better things to do with my time. If you can find a way to sway public opinion to your way of thinking go ahead.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-10, 07:02 PM
If you can find a way to sway public opinion to your way of thinking go ahead.

There already is one. It's called "The News". Which is exactly why we want them to be responsible.

WaxRubiks
2008-Mar-10, 09:01 PM
Because of the total lack of hard evidence of any kind that they do.


how does lack of hard evidence count as "knowledge"?


I don't really like fluff ghost stories on news programs, but if a story about a ghost or relating to ghosts comes up, I don't see why a news editor shouldn't consider it, at least potentially.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-10, 09:04 PM
how does lack of hard evidence count as "knowledge"?
[ Evidence, and the lack thereof, count as the basis for knowledge.


I don't really like fluff ghost stories on news programs, but if a story about a ghost or relating to ghosts comes up, I don't see why a news editor shouldn't consider it, at least potentially.

But this one didn't. It related to people who mistook a bug on the lens for a ghost.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-13, 08:41 PM
Gillianren -- I am moved to make one last post on this thread. Currently CNN is in violation of no laws and is happily making lots of money, at a very sweet profit/risk ratio, for those who have invested. As to calling it news, well that breaks no laws either and seems to be part of their success formula. They appear to be providing people with what they want to watch, witness their ratings, but if not are not likely to change course since they are making lots of money and are very happy with their current formula.

From what I can see, if you want to change this situation, you have only two choices. You can choose to add additional constraints what CNN broadcasts (this idea has precedent since constraints, such as broadcasting nudity already exist), or you can choose to add constraints to what people are allow to watch (not very popular in a free society.) However, no matter how you discuss these to options, they get very political very quickly and there is a rule here concerning political discussion. I don't know how clearly, and fairly this rule is enforced, but I, am bowing out of this discussion rather than run afoul of the Moderators.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-13, 09:58 PM
Gillianren -- I am moved to make one last post on this thread. Currently CNN is in violation of no laws and is happily making lots of money, at a very sweet profit/risk ratio, for those who have invested. As to calling it news, well that breaks no laws either and seems to be part of their success formula. They appear to be providing people with what they want to watch, witness their ratings, but if not are not likely to change course since they are making lots of money and are very happy with their current formula.

It's not their profits I'm arguing with. Though, again, CNN itself doesn't have to make a profit.


From what I can see, if you want to change this situation, you have only two choices. You can choose to add additional constraints what CNN broadcasts (this idea has precedent since constraints, such as broadcasting nudity already exist), or you can choose to add constraints to what people are allow to watch (not very popular in a free society.) However, no matter how you discuss these to options, they get very political very quickly and there is a rule here concerning political discussion. I don't know how clearly, and fairly this rule is enforced, but I, am bowing out of this discussion rather than run afoul of the Moderators.

I think the network can make the decision on its own; I think the network should make the decision on its own. I think that pandering to what people want only increases the culture of ignorance. I think the networks, all the news networks, should consider that people can think, and that we should encourage that instead of assuming people won't and not asking them to.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-13, 11:26 PM
It's not their profits I'm arguing with. Though, again, CNN itself doesn't have to make a profit.

Really?? I would imagine that the good people who have invested in Time Warner Inc. would disagree with that. :)






I think the network can make the decision on its own; I think the network should make the decision on its own. I think that pandering to what people want only increases the culture of ignorance. I think the networks, all the news networks, should consider that people can think, and that we should encourage that instead of assuming people won't and not asking them to.
This I think you are going to have to take up with Time Warner Inc. since they own CNN. I think that those who run CNN for Time Warner Inc. are going find that their bosses are gunna judge their performance based on the profitability of the Cable News Network; this is how most corporations run.

If you think this should not be the case, I suggest that you write down your arguments and send them to:

Jeffrey L. Bewkes
President and Chief Executive Officer
Time Warner
One Time Warner Center,
North Tower
New York, NY 10019


Gillianren, I really don't know what to say. You suggest that it CNN doesn't need to make money, any yet it is a corporate division of a large corporation. In fact if you look at CNN in light of its competition you will find the following:



The second theme that stands out heading into 2005 is that CNN remains dominant economically, but Fox is making further strides in closing that gap.

Consider this: In 2003 Fox's profits were 40% less than CNN's. In 2004 it is estimated that the gap narrowed to just 20%, according to Kagan Research.


I have not been able to find the reports for 2006 or 2007, I imagine that the issues are gunna be the same -- profitability. You and others here may feel that the profit motive is not a driving force for CNN, but others strongly disagree.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-13, 11:31 PM
Really?? I would imagine that the good people who have invested in Time Warner Inc. would disagree with that. :)



They want to make a profit. If they don't, all that happens is that they shut down, and yet the world and the news media will continue. ;)

Gillianren
2008-Mar-13, 11:32 PM
Sigh. I didn't say that it didn't make a profit; I said that it doesn't have to make a profit in order for Time-Warner to do so. They're not exactly hurting for cash these days.

Don't you see any problem with the fact that people aren't informed about the world around them? Don't you see any problem with the people who don't want to?

WaxRubiks
2008-Mar-13, 11:34 PM
when it comes to culture and civilization, Laissez-faire capitalism is a bit like a children's nursery run by wolves.

and that isn't really CNN's fault.

Trebuchet
2008-Mar-13, 11:38 PM
I've not read all the threads in depth so I'm sorry if someone else has pointed this out.

While the original article appears on CNN's site, it was written by someone from This Old House. A PBS show. Sadly, you can find an enormous amount of woo on PBS.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-13, 11:50 PM
when it comes to culture and civilization, Laissez-faire capitalism is a bit like a children's nursery run by wolves.

and that isn't really CNN's fault.
I wouldn't mind socialism, or a more government regulation of capitalism, but I don't think this is allowed on BAUT. I certainly have been avoiding the subject because of the rule against politics. If it is not enforced let me know, but until then I don't want to end up in the BAUT BANNED posters log which seems to have a long list of distinguish and and not-so-distinguished posters in it.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-14, 12:01 AM
Sigh. I didn't say that it didn't make a profit; I said that it doesn't have to make a profit in order for Time-Warner to do so. They're not exactly hurting for cash these days.

This is true, but some divisions at Time-Warner have to make a profit. In addition, investors are normally looking to maximize the profit they make on their investment and if Time-Warner is not looking in that direction, they may lose those investors. You may disagree, but, not being a business person, I don't intend to second guess their financial decisions. You may wish to, but, unless you want to change the rules, I don't see why they should listen to you.




Don't you see any problem with the fact that people aren't informed about the world around them? Don't you see any problem with the people who don't want to?
I see that we have setup a free society in which people are allowed to spend a large portion of their income as they wish. Hence, many teachers make under $50,000 annually and a number of professional football players and movie stars make in excess of $1,000,000 annually. However, it seems that to discuss alternatives is to risk being banned for violating the no politics rule.

ToSeek
2008-Mar-14, 03:29 AM
Somehow this discussion has turned to something that's coming close to crossing the "no politics" line. Please turn back. (Note that I don't see anyone who proposes a political solution toward making CNN report more hard news.)

ToSeek
BAUT Forum Moderator

WaxRubiks
2008-Mar-14, 10:12 AM
well, politics isn't some abstract thing, politics came about as a way to solve problems, so potentially any thread discussing a social/human/cultural problem could lead to a discussion of politics.


one solution to the problem is to have a licence paid public broadcaster, like the BBC, that doesn't have to cater to the lowest common denominator, in theory. I don't know exactly what you have, like this, in the US.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Mar-14, 10:28 AM
Unfortunately that's not a guarantee for a solution.
In Denmark it's one of the license-paid public-service must-carry channels that's making X-Factor.

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-14, 12:32 PM
... Currently CNN is in violation of no laws and is happily making lots of money, at a very sweet profit/risk ratio, for those who have invested. As to calling it news, well that breaks no laws either and seems to be part of their success formula...
That is debatable. I only infer this because their stories sound like some local situations that I know of.

I know of a few instances where the media has been sued, and they lost, on the grounds of slander.
The suits are based on the outlet advertising "news", "balanced", "fair" or whatever words they use. Facts have been intentionally omitted by the media for effect. This is wrong (maybe not criminally, but it is a civil violation).

The issue we are running into is that no competition will sue, because it will be revealed that they do the same thing. In addition, we rarely hear about these things because they would be self-incriminating themselves in the public's view.

On the emotional side, this whole mass marketing thing seems to be snowballing.
For example: Let's say there are 5 outlets, and 20% of the population is looking for responsible journalism (random numbers/thoughts). If they are each competing for 80% of the demographics, then they will all ignore the 20%, each get 16%+/- with a fraction of the 20%.
Nobody is willing to cater to the 20% because they don't think they can get market share. Somebody would, but the potential and the possibility of someone competing prevents them from doing so. The system is designed to the lowest denominator.

The sheeple need to be educated so the 20% goes up, and without responsible journalism, that's not going to happen. It's a catch-22 that we are completely helpless to fix.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-14, 10:30 PM
That is debatable. I only infer this because their stories sound like some local situations that I know of.

I know of a few instances where the media has been sued, and they lost, on the grounds of slander.
The suits are based on the outlet advertising "news", "balanced", "fair" or whatever words they use. Facts have been intentionally omitted by the media for effect. This is wrong (maybe not criminally, but it is a civil violation).

The issue we are running into is that no competition will sue, because it will be revealed that they do the same thing. In addition, we rarely hear about these things because they would be self-incriminating themselves in the public's view.

The competition is probably not very interested in suing unless it would give them a competitive advantage.

I agree that a class action suit would be a good idea. I think that it should be filed by those concerned over the matter. It is quite an undertaking, but it probably the most likely way that things will change.






On the emotional side, this whole mass marketing thing seems to be snowballing.
For example: Let's say there are 5 outlets, and 20% of the population is looking for responsible journalism (random numbers/thoughts). If they are each competing for 80% of the demographics, then they will all ignore the 20%, each get 16%+/- with a fraction of the 20%.
Nobody is willing to cater to the 20% because they don't think they can get market share. Somebody would, but the potential and the possibility of someone competing prevents them from doing so. The system is designed to the lowest denominator.

You have the basic economics right. That's how a capitalistic society is gunna measure the outcome. There's been lots of talk concerning loss-leaders and other ways for Time-Warner to handle the situation. I would suggest that it might be constructive for someone to present the analysis here and ask Time-Warner why they don't consider the options discussed here.




The sheeple need to be educated so the 20% goes up, and without responsible journalism, that's not going to happen. It's a catch-22 that we are completely helpless to fix.
I like how the mass of people have been described here, on occasion, as "sheeple" and other rather derogatory terms. Perhaps the large mass of people are not concerned by the situation because they know the difference between news and fluff. I have not seen evidence that people are not informed; just evidence that the news networks are not informing them.

Van Rijn
2008-Mar-14, 11:48 PM
well, politics isn't some abstract thing, politics came about as a way to solve problems, so potentially any thread discussing a social/human/cultural problem could lead to a discussion of politics.


one solution to the problem is to have a licence paid public broadcaster, like the BBC, that doesn't have to cater to the lowest common denominator, in theory. I don't know exactly what you have, like this, in the US.

Well, we have PBS and NPR, but I don't think there is any way of getting around biases. You can only pick what biases you prefer.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-15, 01:26 AM
I like how the mass of people have been described here, on occasion, as "sheeple" and other rather derogatory terms. Perhaps the large mass of people are not concerned by the situation because they know the difference between news and fluff. I have not seen evidence that people are not informed; just evidence that the news networks are not informing them.

I have seen evidence that the public is not informed; polls indicate it over and over again. But I think you've got the issue exactly backwards. We are concerned because evidence shows that the majority of people don't know the difference between news and fluff, hence this sort of thing being called "news" in the first place.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-15, 02:17 AM
I have seen evidence that the public is not informed; polls indicate it over and over again. But I think you've got the issue exactly backwards. We are concerned because evidence shows that the majority of people don't know the difference between news and fluff, hence this sort of thing being called "news" in the first place.
So you're gunna save people from themselves. It seems to me that this is the fundamental point where you and I differ. I know that, people tend to save tivo shows to watch during the president's state of the union address, they spend more on football and basketball than on their children's education; Many can't point to Iran or Iraq on a map of the world. But It becomes pretty difficult to force people to listen to what they don't want to know.

As I said, in a previous post, send a letter from the members of BAUT to Time-Warner suggesting that CNN be produced as a loss leader. If they don't listen, bring a class action suit against them.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-15, 02:18 AM
Well, we have PBS and NPR, but I don't think there is any way of getting around biases. You can only pick what biases you prefer.
It's an issue. One person's honest presentation is another's biased approach. This shows up very strongly in discussions of economic issues.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-15, 06:29 AM
One person's honest presentation is another's biased approach.

True. Unfortunately, it's been shown experimentally that you can't please all of the people all of the time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_media_effect

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-15, 06:43 AM
True. Unfortunately, it's been shown experimentally that you can't please all of the people all of the time:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hostile_media_effect
This required more experimental evidence?? I thought the entire history of the US has shown this. ;)

mugaliens
2008-Mar-15, 09:25 AM
What editor in their right mind approved this trash?

I think you just answered your own question. No editor in their right mind would, at least not one who places journalistic integrity above the green.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-15, 09:30 PM
I think you just answered your own question. No editor in their right mind would, at least not one who places journalistic integrity above the green.
perhaps one who understands the same maxim that the space program once embraced:
no bucks, no Buck Rogers :)

SeanF
2008-Mar-17, 03:15 PM
As I said, in a previous post, send a letter from the members of BAUT to Time-Warner suggesting that CNN be produced as a loss leader. If they don't listen, bring a class action suit against them.
How would that work, exactly? You're talking about making Time-Warner subject to a court order requiring them to provide actual "news" on CNN, right? How do you objectively define that, measure that? How would the court be able to tell if they're doing it or not?

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-18, 07:44 AM
How would that work, exactly? You're talking about making Time-Warner subject to a court order requiring them to provide actual "news" on CNN, right? How do you objectively define that, measure that? How would the court be able to tell if they're doing it or not?
I don't have an issue with CNN Gillianren appears to have an issue. I simply suggested that if she wanted to take action try a class action suit. I haven't supported the concept of this thread from the beginning. :doh:

SeanF
2008-Mar-18, 02:10 PM
I don't have an issue with CNN Gillianren appears to have an issue. I simply suggested that if she wanted to take action try a class action suit. I haven't supported the concept of this thread from the beginning. :doh:
Fair enough. But I think that what Gillianren's doing - publicly complaining about the lack of "news" on CNN in the hopes that many others realize it to and stop watching it - is, in fact, the only way that might actually get them to change. :)

Noclevername
2008-Mar-19, 11:51 AM
CNN is just one of the herd. The others are just as content-light.

closetgeek
2008-Mar-19, 02:23 PM
Be careful, when Anchorman demand better reporting, this is what happens...lol

http://www.holytaco.com/2008/03/10/reporter-hates-anchor-anchor-hates-reporter/

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-19, 03:06 PM
Be careful, when Anchorman demand better reporting, this is what happens...lol
I thought that was great until the anchor dropped it.

If he was concerned about the viewers, he would have asked the reporter for a follow-up comment from the tenent.

He could have still duked it out later.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-19, 06:35 PM
CNN is just one of the herd. The others are just as content-light.
I hear your concerns and Gillianren's, but I'm not really sure where to go with this. I realize that you find it unfortunate, but from what I have gathered no one wants law suits, no one wants legislation, no one wants additional restrictions.

It would seem that everyone is waiting for a everyone to spontaneously wakeup and believe the news needs more content. Well, OK, lets wait for that to happen then.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-20, 11:57 PM
I hear your concerns and Gillianren's, but I'm not really sure where to go with this. I realize that you find it unfortunate, but from what I have gathered no one wants law suits, no one wants legislation, no one wants additional restrictions.

It would seem that everyone is waiting for a everyone to spontaneously wakeup and believe the news needs more content. Well, OK, lets wait for that to happen then.

I don't want to "do anything" about it, just acknowledging (complaining about) a bad sutuation, is all. I know all too many people who seem to somehow fail to register that what passes for "news" is not an inherently reliable source of information, just because someone prints it or puts it on TV.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 05:58 AM
I don't want to "do anything" about it, just acknowledging (complaining about) a bad sutuation, is all. I know all too many people who seem to somehow fail to register that what passes for "news" is not an inherently reliable source of information, just because someone prints it or puts it on TV.
Oh I think more people can tell the difference than you think. There are many ways to live one's life. I think there are some very rational, productive people in this world who like to think they share their lives with ghosts. They make good doctors, engineers, and scientists. They also believe in ghosts, watch Fox news and ET, and religiously watch American Idol.

I know that it has been stated here that there is evidence that many people in this country are ignorant of what they should know. I wonder though; are they unaware, or do they just come to different conclusions from those who see them as uninformed.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-21, 06:35 AM
I know that it has been stated here that there is evidence that many people in this country are ignorant of what they should know. I wonder though; are they unaware, or do they just come to different conclusions from those who see them as uninformed.

I'm not sure how you can come to a different conclusion about facts. When you believe something in world events is true that isn't, that's not a different conclusion. It's just wrong. When you can't reliably find a country that your nation's army has invaded on a map, that's not a different conclusion. That's ignorance. I could go on, if you like.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-21, 06:45 AM
I'm not sure how you can come to a different conclusion about facts. When you believe something in world events is true that isn't, that's not a different conclusion. It's just wrong. When you can't reliably find a country that your nation's army has invaded on a map, that's not a different conclusion. That's ignorance. I could go on, if you like.

Gillianren, the last couple weeks I experimented a bit with this one.

In the end, I cannot prove that there are ghosts or prove that there are not ghosts.
Either way- it is not falsifiable.

I think that is what TheHalcyonYear was referring to about their drawing their own conclusions. Thosse are matters of faith- not falsifiable, and we can think otherwise but not necessarily say they are entirely wrong either.


Now, I could be wrong in this entire statement. It's a bit of a new line of thinking for me so...

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:00 AM
I'm not sure how you can come to a different conclusion about facts. When you believe something in world events is true that isn't, that's not a different conclusion. It's just wrong. When you can't reliably find a country that your nation's army has invaded on a map, that's not a different conclusion. That's ignorance. I could go on, if you like.
Filming people that can't answer such questions always makes for a better show than showing those who can. That isn't statistically accurate tho.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:05 AM
Gillianren, the last couple weeks I experimented a bit with this one.

In the end, I cannot prove that there are ghosts or prove that there are not ghosts.
Either way- it is not falsifiable.

I think that is what TheHalcyonYear was referring to about their drawing their own conclusions. Thosse are matters of faith- not falsifiable, and we can think otherwise but not necessarily say they are entirely wrong either.


Now, I could be wrong in this entire statement. It's a bit of a new line of thinking for me so...
This is true. Some people like to believe in a bit of the magic and supernatural.

As to the question of who can/can't identify Iraq and Iran on a map or which hemisphere Afghanistan is in, are there accurate statistical studies that identify the issue? Are they broken out over total adult population, registered voters, and voters who vote regularly? The answers would tell us a lot more about how well informed those who make the decisions are.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-21, 05:15 PM
Filming people that can't answer such questions always makes for a better show than showing those who can. That isn't statistically accurate tho.

Yes. Because that's totally what I'm talking about, not statistically-conducted polls that show that Americans still hold some grave misconceptions about the current war. (You'd be astonished at the percentage that think we actually found WMDs in Iraq.) The polls that show that Americans cannot name Supreme Court Justices but can tell you who the judge is of The People's Court. I could go on. But I assure you, it's not a reference to "Jaywalking."

Also, the fact that there's no evidence of something doesn't make it news. It isn't news until there is evidence of it.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-21, 06:00 PM
Filming people that can't answer such questions always makes for a better show than showing those who can. That isn't statistically accurate tho.

Exactly. "News" isn't accurate. It's inherently biased towards the special, unique, sensational or Celebrity[tm]-related.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:05 PM
I'm not sure how you can come to a different conclusion about facts. When you believe something in world events is true that isn't, that's not a different conclusion. It's just wrong. When you can't reliably find a country that your nation's army has invaded on a map, that's not a different conclusion. That's ignorance. I could go on, if you like.


Oh come on Gillianren, I expected you of all people to know that argument by anecdote is insufficient. How many adults? What percentage of the conntry's population do they represent? What percentage of the voting public do they represent.

Present the statistics I requested in my last post and I might be a little impressed. But presenting 10, 50, even 100 adults who are ignorant of these facts is interesting, but unimpressive.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:09 PM
Exactly. "News" isn't accurate. It's inherently biased towards the special, unique, sensational or Celebrity[tm]-related.
Which is why Gillianren's argument that there is a large portion of this country that is ignorant of current affairs doesn't hold water. Where are the statistics??

From my point of view, I don't depend on the news for scientific studies in any field. Even under the best of circumstances, journalists are not qualified to present an accurate picture of progress or setbacks in any political or scientific field.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-21, 07:13 PM
Oh come on Gillianren, I expected you of all people to know that argument by anecdote is insufficient. How many adults? What percentage of the conntry's population do they represent? What percentage of the voting public do they represent.

Present the statistics I requested in my last post and I might be a little impressed. But presenting 10, 50, even 100 adults who are ignorant of these facts is interesting, but unimpressive.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR2006080700189_pf.html, for a start.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:26 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/07/AR2006080700189_pf.html, for a start.
This is a far cry from people being unable to point to Iraq on a map. This is a hot political issue and its correctness, or incorrectness, is quite liable to set off a strong political debate even on BAUT.


Edited to Add:
As a bit of an experiment to prove my point, lets start a thread to discuss this topic and see how long the mods let it stay open.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-21, 07:28 PM
From my point of view, I don't depend on the news for scientific studies in any field.

Which, statistically, makes you atypical.


Even under the best of circumstances, journalists are not qualified to present an accurate picture of progress or setbacks in any political or scientific field.

I have only anecdotal info to report here, but many of the people I've met all over the country do not seem to share this realization.

And further (anecdotally), the few times I've seen "news" reporters/anchorpeople* on Celebrity Jeopardy, the all did miserably. ;)



*So called because their main contribution to the world is to perform the vital task of keeping their chairs from floating up to the ceiling. :)

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:38 PM
I have only anecdotal info to report here, but many of the people I've met all over the country do not seem to share this realization.

And further (anecdotally), the few times I've seen "news" reporters/anchorpeople* on Celebrity Jeopardy, the all did miserably. ;)



*So called because their main contribution to the world is to perform the vital task of keeping their chairs from floating up to the ceiling. :)
That's fine with me, but it hardly proves any sort of point.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-21, 07:43 PM
That's fine with me, but it hardly proves any sort of point.

Nope, it doesn't. :D

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-21, 07:46 PM
That's fine with me, but it hardly proves any sort of point.

Nope, it doesn't. :D
Which it the point, the only point, I am trying to make to Gillianren. :)

Noclevername
2008-Mar-21, 07:51 PM
Which it the point, the only point, I am trying to make to Gillianren. :)

But you are making claims also based on no statistics.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 12:42 AM
But you are making claims also based on no statistics.
I have no point to prove. Gillianren says that people are dangerously uninformed but presents no firm evidence to support her hypothesis. I remain unconvinced in the absence of evidence. The burden of proof is on her. :)

Neverfly
2008-Mar-22, 01:16 AM
I have no point to prove. Gillianren says that people are dangerously uninformed but presents no firm evidence to support her hypothesis. I remain unconvinced in the absence of evidence. The burden of proof is on her. :)

Actually...

I wouldn't even say Gillianren is obligated to bother.
Realistically, no matter how uninformed or educated the populace is, they are going to exceed by some folks standards and fall short by other folks standards. Any statistics would be kinda... relative.

However informed the populace is, it could stand a lot of improvement.

In fact, I can't tell you who all my Senators and Congressmen are either...

I think Gillianrens comment can stand on it's own even without statistics simply because, although statistics are evidence, they don't carry that much more weight than anecdotal evidence in my opinion. And because we could stand to keep learning and becoming better educated no matter what the staistic results may be.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-22, 02:40 AM
And further (anecdotally), the few times I've seen "news" reporters/anchorpeople* on Celebrity Jeopardy, the all did miserably.

Wolf Blitzer did very well, the one time I saw him on the show. Then again, I usually don't watch it unless I know there's going to be someone who interests me.

The thing is, I have read studies going back to the first Gulf War about the ignorance of the American people. The issue I cited may seem political--may be political--but it does point to a critical failing of awareness. I could, I suppose, spend the time necessary to dig out all the others. There would be a lot of them. Again, I have been reading about the issue over the last, what, fifteen years. I don't think I can really be blamed for the many studies I've encountered on the subject all sort of blurring together in my head.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 03:14 AM
Actually...

I wouldn't even say Gillianren is obligated to bother.
Realistically, no matter how uninformed or educated the populace is, they are going to exceed by some folks standards and fall short by other folks standards. Any statistics would be kinda... relative.

However informed the populace is, it could stand a lot of improvement.

Hmmmm, people always believe that their most dear beliefs don't need proof. It's called prejudice.





In fact, I can't tell you who all my Senators and Congressmen are either...

I think Gillianrens comment can stand on it's own even without statistics simply because, although statistics are evidence, they don't carry that much more weight than anecdotal evidence in my opinion. And because we could stand to keep learning and becoming better educated no matter what the staistic results may be.
The fact that you don't know your Senators or Congressman doesn't mean that the rest of the country is so ill informed. If anyone argued Astronomy, Global Warming, or Lunar Landings by anecdote they would never be taken seriously. I can't believe that you want to use such an argument here.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 03:23 AM
Wolf Blitzer did very well, the one time I saw him on the show. Then again, I usually don't watch it unless I know there's going to be someone who interests me.

Wolf Blitzer is anecdotal evidence.



The thing is, I have read studies going back to the first Gulf War about the ignorance of the American people.

And yet you don't present them for critical examination.




The issue I cited may seem political--may be political--but it does point to a critical failing of awareness.

But this is not a failing of the news organizations. There are many respected individuals arguing on both sides of the question. The public is, as the article you point to, split because those they look to for leadership are deeply split on this issue.



I could, I suppose, spend the time necessary to dig out all the others. There would be a lot of them. Again, I have been reading about the issue over the last, what, fifteen years. I don't think I can really be blamed for the many studies I've encountered on the subject all sort of blurring together in my head.
This would never be considered acceptable if a "so-called" "woo woo" didn't present documentation after making some claim about 9/11 or the moon landings or other such issues. Why does Gillianren not have to present the evidence for her arguments??

Neverfly
2008-Mar-22, 03:26 AM
Hmmmm, people always believe that their most dear beliefs don't need proof. It's called prejudice.

True, but that doesn't mean you can always yell "Prejudice!" whenever someone makes a statement.


The fact that you don't know your Senators or Congressman doesn't mean that the rest of the country is so ill informed. If anyone argued Astronomy, Global Warming, or Lunar Landings by anecdote they would never be taken seriously. I can't believe that you want to use such an argument here.

I think you are overthinking this.

We ALL tell anecdotes and stories on BAUT as well as provide statistics etc...

It's called discussion.

Heck, reading BigDons two threads is better than reading fiction:p

Now, basically, Gillianren stated an opinion- one that I happen to agree with- but you don't have to accept that opinion.

But this is off topic babbling about a supposed ghost caught on camera.
I'm not sure that everyone cares about the statistics of Gillianrens claims right now...

Neverfly
2008-Mar-22, 03:28 AM
This would never be considered acceptable if a "so-called" "woo woo" didn't present documentation after making some claim about 9/11 or the moon landings or other such issues. Why does Gillianren not have to present the evidence for her arguments??

See my response above.

Relax will ya... Sheesh.

Would you act this way if we were hanging out at Starbucks talking about how often people get hit by bird poop?

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 04:17 AM
True, but that doesn't mean you can always yell "Prejudice!" whenever someone makes a statement.

It means that Gillianren cannot say that a significant portion of the American public is ignorant of the basics knowledge needed to be responsible participants in a democratic system unless she produces more than what she has.



I think you are overthinking this.

We ALL tell anecdotes and stories on BAUT as well as provide statistics etc...

It's called discussion.

Heck, reading BigDons two threads is better than reading fiction:p

Now, basically, Gillianren stated an opinion- one that I happen to agree with- but you don't have to accept that opinion.

I commented in one of my first posts here that I had doubts about global warming because the winters at my parents were colder than those I remember as a child 10 to 15 years ago. I was roundly criticized for arguing by anecdote and told that it proved nothing. The criticism was valid, but now i find that Gillianren can use the same sort of argument and it's considered acceptable.



But this is off topic babbling about a supposed ghost caught on camera.
I'm not sure that everyone cares about the statistics of Gillianrens claims right now...
It was pulled off by Gillianren and others. I stated that I thought that the American public was smart enough to be well informed but still mix up a bit of ghost story with the real news. I was then told that they were, in fact, quite ignorant, but no evidence was offered.

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 04:21 AM
See my response above.

Relax will ya... Sheesh.

Would you act this way if we were hanging out at Starbucks talking about how often people get hit by bird poop?
I have on a number of instances been "put in my place" for making statements that I had difficulty proving. Now, an established poster tells me that the American public is dangerously ignorant of the knowledge they need to participate in a democratic system. When I ask for evidence, I am essentially told to, "lay off".

No, I won't relax. I didn't mind being told build my arguments with greater logic, but I figured that this would be applied equitably.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-22, 04:41 AM
I have on a number of instances been "put in my place" for making statements that I had difficulty proving. Now, an established poster tells me that the American public is dangerously ignorant of the knowledge they need to participate in a democratic system. When I ask for evidence, I am essentially told to, "lay off".

No, I won't relax. I didn't mind being told build my arguments with greater logic, but I figured that this would be applied equitably.

Not equitably.

Yes, if you are going to discuss science and astronomy and Global Warming (Hot Topic!) etc, you need to back up your claims with evidence.

But you are dragging that into regular old conversation now.

I think the American Populace is suffering from ignorance too.
We are also about Dead Last in education.

But I'm not gonna bother providing stats for it over here... I will just say I think so- if someone comes up with a counter argument that makes me think- and that motivates me enough to go look into it- then I will.
In the meantime- it isn't the OP, it isn't a claim being promoted or a theory in a thread. It was an idle comment in a thread with an existing OP.

Now if we are talking conspiracy theories, ATM, General Science or Questions and Answers...
I will have to back up my claims.
Gillianren will need to back her claims up as much as you would.

I understand how you felt put out in the Global Warming topic. But this is a different area and you are kinda mixing apples and oranges.

I've gone toe to toe with Gillianren too- to the point she even put me on ignore.
It may look like the Old Regulars (I consider myself still a nube here) are ganging up on you- but that isn't the case.
In fact, Im HORRIBLE about pointing out her spelling, grammar or typographical errors in the very very rare chances to find one- just for the satisfaction of "HA!" getting even.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-22, 05:17 AM
I have on a number of instances been "put in my place" for making statements that I had difficulty proving. Now, an established poster tells me that the American public is dangerously ignorant of the knowledge they need to participate in a democratic system. When I ask for evidence, I am essentially told to, "lay off".

No, I won't relax. I didn't mind being told build my arguments with greater logic, but I figured that this would be applied equitably.

This isn't a scientific topic, it's got no "proof" or "disproof". So comparing it to one where proof was required is apples and oranges.

Gillianren
2008-Mar-22, 05:17 AM
There are many respected individuals arguing on both sides of the question.

Um, no. No, there aren't. It is a fact that no viable WMDs were found in Iraq. And, indeed, the administration never said there were, in so many words. Just that we had evidence that there were. (Whether the evidence was any good is what's a matter of interpretation!) There was still, at the point that the article was written, debate about whether there would be, but there was debate about whether they'd been found or not.

Now, I warn you that further citations of my point will be from news agencies, because they are more likely to maintain websites. However, if you doubt my citations, you're certainly free to point out where they're wrong using your own.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12591413/
http://www.livescience.com/health/060810_evo_rank.html
http://www.supplementquality.com/news/Harris_survey.html
http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2613
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/891249/posts
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/financial_literacy/March07_mortgage_poll_national_a1.asp
http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/bn042007.htm
http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/09/27/stupidity/index.html

And so forth. I will also note (and, if you insist, will find documentation) that, during the two World Wars, map sales skyrocketed, and many Americans (and Canadians, which is how I learned about it in the first place) kept detailed plots of advances and retreats of the Allies based on newspaper reports. Now, it's true that my boyfriend could not tell me where he was any more than any individual soldier in WWI or WWII could tell his girlfriend back home. But how many Americans can reliably find Fallujah on a map?

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 08:05 AM
Um, no. No, there aren't. It is a fact that no viable WMDs were found in Iraq.

This is true, but this in itself is not proof that there never were. I am not saying that I believe there never were, just that this proves little.



And, indeed, the administration never said there were, in so many words. Just that we had evidence that there were. (Whether the evidence was any good is what's a matter of interpretation!) There was still, at the point that the article was written, debate about whether there would be, but there was debate about whether they'd been found or not.

When the leadership of the republican party tells many people that there were weapons, I'm not surprised that a lot of people believe it. I doubt that "the news" has or should have the responsibility to shake people out of these beliefs.





Now, I warn you that further citations of my point will be from news agencies, because they are more likely to maintain websites. However, if you doubt my citations, you're certainly free to point out where they're wrong using your own.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12591413/
http://www.livescience.com/health/060810_evo_rank.html
http://www.supplementquality.com/news/Harris_survey.html
http://www.medialens.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2613
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/891249/posts
http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/financial_literacy/March07_mortgage_poll_national_a1.asp
http://www.pierretristam.com/Bobst/07/bn042007.htm
http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/09/27/stupidity/index.html

And so forth.

Gillianren, these studies are extremely incomplete. Most are not broken down in to informative subgroups such, such as voters, non-voters, and such. In addition, there is no information concerning the nature of the experimental practices used. They are conducted by the very news organizations that you decry for their sensationalism.




I will also note (and, if you insist, will find documentation) that, during the two World Wars, map sales skyrocketed, and many Americans (and Canadians, which is how I learned about it in the first place) kept detailed plots of advances and retreats of the Allies based on newspaper reports.

Well, the didn't have an internet to turn to. I can do all of the above without ever leaving my computer or purchasing a damn thing.



Now, it's true that my boyfriend could not tell me where he was any more than any individual soldier in WWI or WWII could tell his girlfriend back home. But how many Americans can reliably find Fallujah on a map?
I have no idea, do you??

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 08:06 AM
This isn't a scientific topic, it's got no "proof" or "disproof". So comparing it to one where proof was required is apples and oranges.
So tell Gillianren!! She says she has scientific proof!!

TheHalcyonYear
2008-Mar-22, 08:13 AM
Not equitably.
I think the American Populace is suffering from ignorance too.
We are also about Dead Last in education.

So I have heard here. No stats, no evidence. Want a cookie?




But I'm not gonna bother providing stats for it over here... I will just say I think so- if someone comes up with a counter argument that makes me think- and that motivates me enough to go look into it- then I will.

I believe the opposite and there's no evidence here for me to change my mind. This has to be the most mindless thread I have ever seen, but then I'm new here.



In the meantime- it isn't the OP, it isn't a claim being promoted or a theory in a thread. It was an idle comment in a thread with an existing OP.

Nope. Gillianren says that there is evidence that it is true.




Now if we are talking conspiracy theories, ATM, General Science or Questions and Answers...
I will have to back up my claims.
Gillianren will need to back her claims up as much as you would.

What claim!! I'm not claiming anything!! I don't believe that people in this country are more ignorant than in other countries. Like you, I'm hardly gunna change my mind without evidence and there isn't any here.




I understand how you felt put out in the Global Warming topic. But this is a different area and you are kinda mixing apples and oranges.

Yeah. right.......

I'm outa here. There's nothing here but trouble!!

Neverfly
2008-Mar-22, 08:32 AM
So I have heard here. No stats, no evidence. Want a cookie?


Lotta attitude:think:



I believe the opposite and there's no evidence here for me to change my mind. This has to be the most mindless thread I have ever seen, but then I'm new here.
I've seen more mindless ones:lol:



Nope. Gillianren says that there is evidence that it is true.
I do not doubt there is evidence that it is true. I do not know how strong that evidence is...

What claim!! I'm not claiming anything!! I don't believe that people in this country are more ignorant than in other countries. Like you, I'm hardly gunna change my mind without evidence and there isn't any here.

This is not a scientific debate- it's a discussion.

That was my only point.

I'm sure you both can pull out evidence that supports your opinions. Frankly, the scope is entirely too broad to accuratly measure if you stand by your reply post to Gillianren above..

You asked:"What Claim?!" in response to:

Originally Posted by Neverfly:
Now if we are talking conspiracy theories, ATM, General Science or Questions and Answers...
I will have to back up my claims.
Gillianren will need to back her claims up as much as you would.
Why would you ask what claim and state that you haven't claimed anything to that? I clearly did not say that you had a claim or that you had made a claim nor did I imply such in any manner.
This suggests to me that you are skimming and not reading.
Now, YOU did mention a claim you made about Global Warming...


Yeah. right.......

I'm outa here. There's nothing here but trouble!!
Being a person that has a pretty sharp attitude myself, it's easier for me to recognize one in others.
Maybe now just isn't the right moment for you.

The trouble here is in your failing to recognize that you are misapplying something.

It isn't a big deal. RELAX!

Go chill out for a while and do something else, then come back and review your threads.

I would like to think that the USA is not as ignorant as it acts, myself and would be interested in what you can bring to the discussion.
I recall a recent thread (past month sometime) from a British newspaper talking about how ignorant British people are,

It's perfectly possible that you're right- but our perceptions are Grandfathered. "I had to walk to school! Uphill!"
"It aint like the old days!"
"Each generation is worse than ours..."

Gillianren
2008-Mar-22, 05:59 PM
I am doing what I can to find articles about polls; pollers, so far as I know, do not generally publish their survey results on the web. Further, if they do, I do not know where their websites are. I am, therefore, doing the best I can to pull up what surveys there are. I'm sorry if they aren't all that is expected, but I'm not entirely sure what's expected and why it's supposed to be a reasonable request.

Nadme
2008-Mar-22, 06:13 PM
You guys take yourselves far too seriously. One does not live by science alone. Sorry you see a bit of foolishness and play as pathetic. I like it!! :)

I agree. :)

Extremes of science like extremes of anything else [dare I say religion?] can be detrimental: Thwart the imagination, seek to censor those who disagree...and just generally be colorless, lifeless, fascist.

I appreciate science. But I can also wonder. If that makes me "woo woo" so be it; it's preferable to Group Think.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-23, 09:07 AM
I agree. :)

Extremes of science like extremes of anything else [dare I say religion?] can be detrimental: Thwart the imagination, seek to censor those who disagree...and just generally be colorless, lifeless, fascist.

I appreciate science. But I can also wonder. If that makes me "woo woo" so be it; it's preferable to Group Think.

So asking that the news media report actual news is "fascist" and "Group Think"? Wow. Just... wow.

:wall:

Nadme
2008-Mar-25, 12:12 PM
So asking that the news media report actual news is "fascist" and "Group Think"? Wow. Just... wow.

:wall:

No, you completely misunderstand the context of my comments. :)

I wasn't referring to the news media, but to others' responses to a member's comments in this group.

And that's enough said.

closetgeek
2008-Mar-25, 01:47 PM
Oh I think more people can tell the difference than you think. There are many ways to live one's life. I think there are some very rational, productive people in this world who like to think they share their lives with ghosts. They make good doctors, engineers, and scientists. They also believe in ghosts, watch Fox news and ET, and religiously watch American Idol.

I know that it has been stated here that there is evidence that many people in this country are ignorant of what they should know. I wonder though; are they unaware, or do they just come to different conclusions from those who see them as uninformed.

I honestly think people are just plain ignorant. My conclusion comes from the way I see and hear people all the time, accept what they agree with as truth and reject what they don't as media slant. America is the most superstitious of the western world. I agree that uneducated and ignorance are two different things but, and this is just my personal experience, it appears that most people suffer from selective reasoning, which I think falls more on the ingnorance side, then the uneducated side.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-25, 01:52 PM
Closetgeek, Sorry but I have to do this...


I honestly think people are just plain ignorant. My conclusion comes from the way I see and hear people all the time, accept what they agree with as truth and reject what they don't as media slant.

So far so good...


America is the most superstitious of the western world.
Ok, THIS I find hard to believe. For one thing, by "America" do you mean The United States?
Or the American continents?
Because I can well assure you that if you head south on the American continents, superstition will increase dramatically...

Bold Mine:

I agree that uneducated and ignorance are two different things but, and this is just my personal experience, it appears that most people suffer from selective reasoning, which I think falls more on the ignorance side, then the uneducated side.

THAT I can agree with. Selective Reasoning. And in this age, it seems to be more and more encouraged in people.

closetgeek
2008-Mar-25, 03:37 PM
Ok, THIS I find hard to believe. For one thing, by "America" do you mean The United States?
Or the American continents?
Because I can well assure you that if you head south on the American continents, superstition will increase dramatically...

Just keep hammering me till I get it right. That's one of the things from my youth that I always stumble back on. Sometimes I catch it, others I don't. BTW, yes I meant the US.

Nadme
2008-Mar-25, 04:38 PM
Well...I've seen lots of people who claim to be objective who aren't. Not referring to anyone here, btw (still getting to know folks).

Dr. John Lilly may have been onto something when he noted the human mind is incredibly devious. And yes, most people DO want to believe what they feel comfortable with; their little Safety Zone, and anything outside it Is A Threat which they will seek to be rid of.

I've come to doubt that most people can be/are objective. I try. And some folks would say yes, I am; others no, I'm not. Who's right? ::shrugs:: If I care about those opinions I've got conflict; if I disregard them I could become delusional.

We humans are far more prone to subjectiveness than we care to admit.

Noclevername
2008-Mar-25, 11:33 PM
No, you completely misunderstand the context of my comments. :)

I wasn't referring to the news media, but to others' responses to a member's comments in this group.

And that's enough said.

Not really, as disagreeing with someone's opinion is hardly fascism. It's a healthy part of open discussion.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-26, 12:45 AM
Just keep hammering me till I get it right. That's one of the things from my youth that I always stumble back on. Sometimes I catch it, others I don't. BTW, yes I meant the US.

Yeah, I kinda have that same problem...

I would be pretty hard pressed to accept that the United States is the most superstitious of the Western World.

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-26, 12:54 PM
Yeah, I kinda have that same problem...
I would guess a lot of us do. Especially since the media does it alot.

I would be pretty hard pressed to accept that the United States is the most superstitious of the Western World.
I would guess it depends on what you consider superstition.
I think there's a gray area between superstition and religion.

I heard that the US is the most religious of the Western world. But; I'd like to see the numbers, because I heard it on the History Channel.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-26, 01:30 PM
I heard that the US is the most religious of the Western world. But; I'd like to see the numbers, because I heard it on the History Channel.

In spite of the bible belt, I still find this similar claim hard to believe...

Ever been to Mexico? Brazil? El Salvador?

NEOWatcher
2008-Mar-26, 01:44 PM
In spite of the bible belt, I still find this similar claim hard to believe...
Agreed... That's why I'd like to see some numbers.

Ever been to Mexico? Brazil? El Salvador?
No; but, I am familiar with the stereotypes. ;)
The other thing here is, that I have hear the phrase "Western world" used interchangeably with the industrialized, or European influenced worlds. Again; this makes me want to see the numbers.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-26, 01:58 PM
Agreed... That's why I'd like to see some numbers.

No; but, I am familiar with the stereotypes. ;)
The other thing here is, that I have hear the phrase "Western world" used interchangeably with the industrialized, or European influenced worlds. Again; this makes me want to see the numbers.

I thought "Western World" was the place you go to to buy pointy toed boots and stetsons and Levi's or Wranglers?

closetgeek
2008-Mar-26, 02:09 PM
I believe it is down to 84% that believe in a higher power, though some news channels still use 94% because they are including agnostics.

Correction it is approximately 14% of Americans identify themselves as non-religious, but I am hard pressed to find a site that isn't using it to make a point. However, I am finding the same number coming from both sides. The problem is, most of the information I am finding is from 2001.


A November–December 2006 poll published in the Financial Times gives rates for the United States and five European countries. It found that Americans are more likely than Europeans to report belief in any form of god or supreme being (73%).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheist#Demographics

Nadme
2008-Mar-26, 04:02 PM
Define "superstition."

I believe in God.

But I don't believe in talismans or amulets, nor "folk magic". I don't believe the bible is "the infalliable Word of God." Mental illness isn't "demonic possession."

Are there degrees of superstition? Can a person be mostly rational and yet hold out for belief in God, or jokingly knock wood (for good luck "just in case")?

Many people speak of luck. Is a belief in luck superstition?

Just wondering. Because I don't believe any human being is capable of 100% objective reasoning. :)

closetgeek
2008-Mar-26, 04:32 PM
In spite of the bible belt, I still find this similar claim hard to believe...

Ever been to Mexico? Brazil? El Salvador?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world

In the current political or economic context the term the "West" often includes developed nations in the East, such as Japan, Taiwan and South Korea

I also don't know what you are exposed to, but I am not in the bible belt, yet the only other atheist I know, in person, is my husband.

I don't know that much about Brazil but I wouldn't put Mexico and El Salvador in that catagory. The only person I know from El Salvador is my Jewish friend's husband, Jesus (pronounced the Hispanic way), who happens to be an atheist.


Define "superstition."
I was using the broadest sense of the word as in; a person who believes in the supernatural.


Are there degrees of superstition? Can a person be mostly rational and yet hold out for belief in God, or jokingly knock wood (for good luck "just in case")?

Many people speak of luck. Is a belief in luck superstition?

I think believing in luck, as in talismans and doing things to increase your luck is the most accepted definition of superstition. But lucky, as in random chance occurances "I was so lucky that I didn't get hurt", I don't see as superstitious. I don't see a will or a force driving it or a way you can change it. There has to be varying degrees of superstition because there are some who just believe in the basics and then there are some who base their decisions on their superstitions "I heard an owl shriek last night, so I am bracing myself for tragedy." or "my horiscope read..."

closetgeek
2008-Mar-26, 04:35 PM
Looking up the actual definition, I didn't really mean to be so insulting

1 a: a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation b: an irrational abject attitude of mind toward the supernatural, nature, or God resulting from superstition
2: a notion maintained despite evidence to the contrary
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/superstition

Neverfly
2008-Mar-26, 07:41 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world
Western world seems pretty broad:think:
I stand corrected.



I also don't know what you are exposed to, but I am not in the bible belt, yet the only other atheist I know, in person, is my husband.
I think I'm at the bottom of the bible belt.


I don't know that much about Brazil but I wouldn't put Mexico and El Salvador in that catagory. The only person I know from El Salvador is my Jewish friend's husband, Jesus (pronounced the Hispanic way), who happens to be an atheist.
Devotion to religion is more prominent in south america is what I had meant. As well as to the common definition of superstition.

There has to be varying degrees of superstition because there are some who just believe in the basics and then there are some who base their decisions on their superstitions "I heard an owl shriek last night, so I am bracing myself for tragedy." or "my horiscope read..."

Owl shriek:p
Actually, my grandmother believed that if you see a butterfly come close to you then flew away- it means someone near to you is going to die soon. She abhorred butterflies for this reason and stayed clear of them.

Nadme
2008-Mar-26, 10:01 PM
Actually, my grandmother believed that if you see a butterfly come close to you then flew away- it means someone near to you is going to die soon. She abhorred butterflies for this reason and stayed clear of them.

Never heard of that before.

The one superstition I do "hold" with? A bird hitting a house window. I always freeze and my blood runs cold...and each time it's happened, a relative or in-law has died within 3 months' time.

Call me nuts, I don't care. :p

Would chalk it up to coincidence, yet I honestly don't recall a bird hitting a house window (itself a rarity) and a relative/in-law not dying a short while later.

::shrugs::

Noclevername
2008-Mar-26, 10:29 PM
Would chalk it up to coincidence, yet I honestly don't recall a bird hitting a house window (itself a rarity) and a relative/in-law not dying a short while later.


That's just the thing-- you don't recall it. Because nothing bad happened the other times a bird hit, those hits aren't associated with memorable events and are forgotten.

Neverfly
2008-Mar-26, 10:58 PM
Never heard of that before.

The one superstition I do "hold" with? A bird hitting a house window. I always freeze and my blood runs cold...and each time it's happened, a relative or in-law has died within 3 months' time.

Call me nuts, I don't care. :p

Would chalk it up to coincidence, yet I honestly don't recall a bird hitting a house window (itself a rarity) and a relative/in-law not dying a short while later.

::shrugs::

In the course of my life I have witnessed three separate instances where a bird struck a window.
No one died anywhere near that time.

HenrikOlsen
2008-Mar-27, 06:00 AM
Never heard of that before.

The one superstition I do "hold" with? A bird hitting a house window. I always freeze and my blood runs cold...and each time it's happened, a relative or in-law has died within 3 months' time.

Call me nuts, I don't care. :p

Would chalk it up to coincidence, yet I honestly don't recall a bird hitting a house window (itself a rarity) and a relative/in-law not dying a short while later.

::shrugs::
Can you remember a 3 month period where you didn't have a relative/in-law dying?
Or anyone who could fit in the close enough for the bird to be an omen if there had been a bird.

Van Rijn
2008-Mar-27, 06:56 AM
That reminds me of the blue jay that kept hitting the glass door. One day I heard this load *whap*, went to look out and saw an apparently dead bird on the ground. It turned out just to be stunned - it soon flew away. I went on to do other things, and about a half hour later I started hearing this: *whap* (pause) *whap* (pause) *whap*

Looking out a window near the door, I could see what was apparently the same jay flying at the glass door from a short distance, dropping down, hopping away and doing it again. I went to shoo it away, but it came back a half hour later. Every so often for a few days after that I would hear it again. Eventually it stopped, and I never found a dead bird, so presumably it finally decided to move on.

Nobody in the family (that I knew about, anyway) died near that time, nor did anything else happen that I found particularly unusual. I've asked around and apparently this isn't unknown - the explanation I've heard is that birds might get confused by what they think they see through a window and some will try to reach it repeatedly.

closetgeek
2008-Mar-27, 02:11 PM
That's just the thing-- you don't recall it. Because nothing bad happened the other times a bird hit, those hits aren't associated with memorable events and are forgotten.


...or how many times did the bird hit the window when no one was around to hear it?

Nadme
2008-Mar-27, 03:04 PM
Those are all good points and you likely are right.

But I honestly don't recall someone close to me not dying (shortly thereafter) when a bird has hit the window of a building I'm in. Sure, it's likely coincidence...but I will admit it makes me "all zero at the bone" and goosebumps when it happens. :(

closetgeek
2008-Mar-27, 03:09 PM
Those are all good points and you likely are right.

But I honestly don't recall someone close to me not dying (shortly thereafter) when a bird has hit the window of a building I'm in. Sure, it's likely coincidence...but I will admit it makes me "all zero at the bone" and goosebumps when it happens. :(

It's normal. We are human and search for connections. In an uncertain future, we like to look for little predictions. I find myself still looking for the third tragedy (the old tragedies always happen in three's), despite the fact that I have no idea in what time frame the illeged triplet is supposed to occur. One pattern I have noticed, however, is pregnancies always seem to occur in threes. Two around the same time and a third half way through. It seems to happen every single time except for my third. In that case, though, everyone else was babied out and I, like the energizer bunny, just kept on going...