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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Intellectual laziness rules the day.
    Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    These people posting have no incentive to give it any more thought because they just want to identify with the trend and move on.
    Why do you think that is?


    I think humans have to get better at complicated perspectives unless we're going to stagnate as a species.
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    That's a bit of a stretch.
    I disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    But no matter how shallow most news coverage is, and how many people identify with that shallowness, there are and will always be people who intellectually invest themselves in their opinions, and try to move the cultural conversation forward in a meaningful multifaceted way.
    In fact, I doubt this would be observable if what I said before wasn't true

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Most importantly, if you are interested in reading real news, but your news site is mostly filled with entertainment garbage, you are reading the wrong site.

    There is plenty of good news out there for people with the inclination to look for it.

    It's not enough to find that real news either, before you accept what you read at face value, you need to take into consideration the biases and motives of the author.

    And in lieu of such information, decide what size the grain of salt you take with that news needs to be.

    America has a media and culture that is, by and large, frighteningly devoid of critical thought.

    But before you point fingers at others, make sure you've already pointed it at yourself.

    Quit letting TV or the internet (or anyone at all) do your thinking for you.

    Spend the time and think, I mean really think, about what your position is on different issues.
    There are good news sources out there, but little surprise that the critical discernment of the recipient of that news proves more important than the clarity of the message delivered.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Figuring out what you believe and where you stand, and thinking critically about what you hear and read, differentiates those of us who consume news and those who are manipulated by it.
    Well-put, but ultimately the point is lost on those who need to hear it most, which is why I think if we can get at the 'why' of my op question, we can figure out how to handle this 'lost point' business.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #12
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    Why do you think that is?
    I've discussed this with my mother, and she explained that not everyone has the time and energy to put as much effort into gathering and digesting news properly.

    People have time consuming jobs, friends, families, kids, etc....

    People come home from a hard day at work, or have been running errands all day and dealing with kids.

    These people have spare time that is very precious to them.

    They don't have the time to (this is what I do when I read the news usually):
    - find a news aggregation site
    - find a story that they are interested in
    - read that story
    - search to see if other news sites have covered the story (if necessary, sometimes you wont need to look for others, if you feel comfortable with your understanding of the topic from reading one article)
    - read those articles
    - think
    - come to your conclusion

    Most people only have the time and energy to:
    - flip on the TV
    - see what news pops up on their home site, or their preferred news site

    I disagree.
    Why?

    In fact, I doubt this would be observable if what I said before wasn't true
    Could you clarify this, I don't think I follow you.

    which is why I think if we can get at the 'why' of my op question, we can figure out how to handle this 'lost point' business.
    The onus falls on the main stream media (MSM) to increase the intellectual rigor with which they present real news (meaning politics, business, international current events etc...).

    Given that the average person doesn't have the time to commit to reading the news, and that IT IS THE JOB of the MSM et al to provide the public with factual and informative news, the MSM must hold itself to a higher intellectual standard than it currently does.

    More damning of the MSM is that broadcast TV used to hold itself to a higher standard (I think it was actually legislatively required to do so).

    Before the producers of the news themselves began to take positions, the news was a trustworthy source of information.

    Now, before you jump to conclusions, I'm not saying that we should do away with FOX or MSNBC or whatever your preferred flavor of bias may be.

    What I am saying, is that legislation should be put into place that requires members of the MSM to maintain a minimum level of intellectual rigor when discussing real (as described above) news.

    The argument I would make to justify this legislation is that, the American public, to a great extent, relies on the MSM to make decisions on politics and business, and to be an internationally informed member of the public.

    When members of the public make business or political decisions based on intellectually weak news articles, they may suffer real financial or political damage.

    More importantly, this weak news, is one of the main reasons we have been completely unable to maturely address the problems our country actually faces.

    I can only get so mad at people, who out of their own time constraints, can't do the MSM's job for them and figure out what is actually going on in the world. Who I can and do give the balance of the blame to, is the MSM, who in an effort to chase ratings and not piss off their politically connected bosses, defraud the American public with opinion held as fact every night.

    I made another post about income inequality where I stated that,
    The instant a company or corporation becomes more beholden to it's stock holders, than it is to it's customers, is the instant that company starts being part of the problem with the economy and not the solution to it.
    This applies to the MSM even more so than it does to corporations. The goal of business is to produce something of value, and make a profit. I can understand (and frankly expect) the greed in a deregulated business environment.

    What I can't abide, is a Media company that shirks its primary duty to inform the public.

    How are we supposed to move forward as a country, when those who are tasked with giving us the information we need to make prudent fiscal and political decisions, are in hoc to the political interests of their bosses, and more concerned with ratings than actually doing their jobs.

    The damage already caused to our political system, and the mindset of the public is immeasurable.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I'm talking about individuals posting their opinions on said events, not just linking news articles. Setting up an entire group of people as honorable and beyond question (military servicemen) is not a rational counter to setting up a celebrity as honorable and beyond question. It's the same judgment error.
    Those are the words of those people. I've only posted "that" news site that seem to support their way of thinking as well as what I wanted to be reading about instead during that given moment. It really isn't a rational counter, but I can see their frustration.

    Black-White thinking is used because the person or group does not want to look beyond what he/she has learned like a defense-mechanism. Learning to a point because the information found is not in his/her best wishes/interest or those of the group. There is also the issue of time. Not everyone has the luxury to be able to read the news without only the snippets that get them their daily news-feed. Not everyone has the ability to read an opinion or look for news that he/she wants to read about. If I had more time to be able to read every bill that is to be passed by congress, I would gladly do so (but not at the expense of every other activity I want to be able to do.)

    If a group of society can advance as a group, they will advance as a group. If a group of people can advance at the advancement of another group, they will gladly do so. If that group can advance at the expense of another, they will gladly do so.

    @DiscoBiscuit I actually fully agree with your post.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I've discussed this with my mother, and she explained that not everyone has the time and energy to put as much effort into gathering and digesting news properly.

    People have time consuming jobs, friends, families, kids, etc....

    People come home from a hard day at work, or have been running errands all day and dealing with kids.

    These people have spare time that is very precious to them.
    I completely agree with this and your assertion that the MSM bears a huge weight in responsible reporting to this huge sector of the population. (I will respond to your other points, but I'm in the middle of something right now and just want to dash in right quick while I can!)

    But I also think there's another sector of the population that is a part of the problem that I'll refer to as the willfully ignorant --those who seem to revel in their 1) lack of information, 2) lack of opinion, 3) lack of involvement/action. People that seem to think for whatever reason, that not only does their willful ignorance, indifference, and inertia set them apart, but sets them above the public discourse. People, who when presented with information for their benefit, enjoy dismissing it because they're "just above all that." If pressed, they may resort to the former group's assertion that they just don't have the time, but what's more important is that even if they did have it, they probably wouldn't want to anyway.

    I think these are two different varieties of citizen worth differentiating between.


    will bbl!
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #15

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    Hmm. Perhaps I am one of the "willfully ignorant" or one of those "manipulated by news".

    But I don't believe it is necessary to form an opinion on every issue that comes along. I frankly believe that for most issues, we don't have the time to be "fully" informed on it.

    I think with some things even if people dedicate their whole life-time to being informed on something and to make a decision about a particular issue, they can still fall woefully short.

    Expecting people to be "sufficiently informed" and to "take a stance" on everything is pretty unrealistic. In particular, when it comes to political charged issues.

    I have yet to have anyone convince me one way or another regarding the best way to handle economic down turns. Not because I haven't searched, or listened or talked to people. But mainly because it is just freaking complicated, and people try to sell some oversimplified lines to you. I suppose I have some tentative opinions on these things, but I hesitate to call myself "well-informed."

    There is a little game people play when it comes to matters like this. It's a sort of one-upmanship. There is a great deal of information about a great deal of things. People can manage to convince themselves of many things despite what seems like very clear evidence to the contrary. All one needs to do is to take someone's stance, do a little Google search for "evidence" of the opposing view and bring it up. All of a sudden, you have loads of potential drivel to sort through to figure out if sources are manufactured, biased, or just plain non-sense.

    I am perfectly willing to admit I know very little about very little, but I don't think that makes me "willfully ignorant" or "manipulated by the news".

    I believe "not having an opinion" is a perfectly valid and appropriate stance on many (dare I say most) issues.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  6. #16
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    But I don't believe it is necessary to form an opinion on every issue that comes along. I frankly believe that for most issues, we don't have the time to be "fully" informed on it.
    You are absolutely correct.

    I think with some things even if people dedicate their whole life-time to being informed on something and to make a decision about a particular issue, they can still fall woefully short.

    Expecting people to be "sufficiently informed" and to "take a stance" on everything is pretty unrealistic. In particular, when it comes to political charged issues.
    Again you are absolutely correct.

    I am perfectly willing to admit I know very little about very little, but I don't think that makes me "willfully ignorant" or "manipulated by the news".
    The fact that you admit the limits of your knowledge, and realize that most news is drivel pretty much categorically disqualifies you from being willfully ignorant or manipulated by news.

    I believe "not having an opinion" is a perfectly valid and appropriate stance on many (dare I say most) issues.
    I'll agree that it's perfectly valid, but I will never agree that it is appropriate (as a voting member of the public) to have no stance on most issues.

    In my earlier statements I should mention that it would be ridiculous to expect someone to have a well informed opinion on every issue. That's impossible, like you said you could dedicate your life to that and still fall short.

    What I mean is that everyone who votes should at least attempt to know their political stances well enough, that they can make educated voting decisions that coincide with their desires.

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'll agree that it's perfectly valid, but I will never agree that it is appropriate (as a voting member of the public) to have no stance on most issues.

    In my earlier statements I should mention that it would be ridiculous to expect someone to have a well informed opinion on every issue. That's impossible, like you said you could dedicate your life to that and still fall short.

    What I mean is that everyone who votes should at least attempt to know their political stances well enough, that they can make educated voting decisions that coincide with their desires.
    When I vote, I inform myself on the issues that are on the ballot. But that is hardly a large subset of issues that are out there. Also, even there, some things I do not form a "stance" on many issues. But rather I go with what I believe to be best at the time.

    There are somethings I find morally repugnant, like not giving individuals the same rights as others due to factors regarding the human condition. I consistently vote against things I consider discriminatory.

    I am also becoming increasingly dismayed by our treatment of the poor and ill. But I am very wary of Government programs that purport to address those problems. I wish I had a good understanding of what works and what doesn't but I would be kidding myself if I thought I knew. Still, if a program seem reasonable I will vote for it. If it seem oversimplified and waste of money, I will vote against it.

    But most other decisions on the ballot are made in an almost "selfish" manner.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Could you clarify this, I don't think I follow you.
    Yep, you responded to this:
    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar
    I think humans have to get better at complicated perspectives unless we're going to stagnate as a species.
    with this,:
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
    That's a bit of a stretch.
    despite adding this:
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
    But no matter how shallow most news coverage is, and how many people identify with that shallowness, there are and will always be people who intellectually invest themselves in their opinions, and try to move the cultural conversation forward in a meaningful multifaceted way.
    The reason this seems unclear to me is because you seem to be operating on the belief that just because a minority persists, that it will necessarily prevail, or at least maintain a fighting presence. I certainly hope you're right, but I won't assume it, therefore I maintain the value of bringing up the subject of 'intellectual lethargy'.

    And despite agreeing with your observations:
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
    I've discussed this with my mother, and she explained that not everyone has the time and energy to put as much effort into gathering and digesting news properly.

    People have time consuming jobs, friends, families, kids, etc....

    People come home from a hard day at work, or have been running errands all day and dealing with kids.

    These people have spare time that is very precious to them.

    They don't have the time to (this is what I do when I read the news usually):
    - find a news aggregation site
    - find a story that they are interested in
    - read that story
    - search to see if other news sites have covered the story (if necessary, sometimes you wont need to look for others, if you feel comfortable with your understanding of the topic from reading one article)
    - read those articles
    - think
    - come to your conclusion

    Most people only have the time and energy to:
    - flip on the TV
    - see what news pops up on their home site, or their preferred news site
    I'm not clear how that^ answered this,:
    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar
    Why do you think that is?
    which was seeking to clarify this:
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
    These people posting have no incentive to give it any more thought because they just want to identify with the trend and move on.
    ...because I really think you're on to something here. With the unprecedented boom of social networking and heretofore unheard/unseen opinions from those who had them, now suddenly dominating the news-consumption of regular folks from many walks of life --those who were previously content to click on the local news network while they ironed their clothes or washed the dishes--, these inexperienced or newcomers to large-scale news-consumption in general may just not want to be "left out," so to speak. They figure a poorly informed, but vocal opinion is better than having no opinion at all. --Because it seems that in today's culture it's more important to be seen or heard than to have something worth seeing or hearing. Would you agree?

    Also, I heartily agree with this:
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
    The instant a company or corporation becomes more beholden to it's stock holders, than it is to it's customers, is the instant that company starts being part of the problem with the economy and not the solution to it.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  9. #19
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    The easy answer is that people are sheeple...and are largely bored. They are like add drama addicted sheep looking for a fix. As soon as enough people start paying attention to something they all jump aboard and start forming an opinion...and their opinions aren't formed based on what they think, but on what the biggest idiot (or at least their perception who the biggest idiot is) has to say. They then take on the exact opposite stance (and start to actually believe it) in the hopes that they will lead the masses on their side to victory. (Which, I think, is a function of those who are the most vocal and those who have the most numbers). In this way, they find their daily fix of drama...and are in some way assured that they are, in fact, one of the "good" ones.

    They all want to be that "counter revolutionary" cow...or alternatively, be that cows biggest defender. It gives them a perception that they are actually doing something that is important.

    I believe that neither individual ability or voluntary, compensatory public service should be confused with heroism.
    Thank you for saying this. I'm getting tired of every policeman/firefighter ever in the history of foreverness getting referred to as a "hero". (Not that they aren't admirable...)

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar
    I believe that neither individual ability or voluntary, compensatory public service should be confused with heroism.
    Quote Originally Posted by xisnotx View Post
    Thank you for saying this. I'm getting tired of every policeman/firefighter ever in the history of foreverness getting referred to as a "hero". (Not that they aren't admirable...)
    It's not a popular thing to say, but it needs to be said. This culture of polarizing extremes is grating. People do admirable things every day. Sometimes I do my parents dishes without asking. It's admirable, but it's not heroic --just like most other decent human exchanges. We can acknowledge decency (or competence) without elevating it. I'm frustrated that this is so hard for so many people to admit.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

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