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  1. #1
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    News, what is it good for?

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    Last edited by Lethe; 18-02-2017 at 08:29 PM.


  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Good Freakonomics podcast on this subject: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/why-...radio-episode/

    There whole point is that news is meant to entertain us and it is totally not factual.

  3. #3
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    or even more alarmingly, receiving no news at all.
    Since most of today's news are just made of clickbait headlines, half-truths, heavily biased opinions, fearmongering, outright lies or stupid mistakes all mixed in different proportions I think receiving no news at all is a nice way (although very far from perfect) to get away from this shit.

  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node LordShadoko's Avatar
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    In Macomb County, though, a slightly different narrative appears to be unfolding. It’s not that people are living in their own media bubbles so much as they are actively choosing to ignore news that they do not want to hear, or even more alarmingly, receiving no news at all.

    It's not new though. Two differences : they were fewer people like this before, and more importantly, they shut the fuck up !
    I don't really agree on the "our new have become shitty" thing. Biased headlines, "clickbait" titles and all that aren't new. They always existed. Just take a XIXth century newspaper - it's already there, in plain sight. The difference is the reader. We've become bloody lazy. We prefer to be spoon-fed, we want to read and see everything without doing anything to have it. It's intellectual lazyness. There are still good sources of news, serious newspapers, interesting websites. It's just that we don't want to make the effort to find and support them. That's almost entirely our fault - and that of the politicians that use it to be elected.

    It's like this "alternative facts" bullshit. There aren't any alternative facts. It's called lies. It's just a word invented by people who are too lazy to read the news and too proud to admit they're wrong.

    I would have said something like "remember Farenheit 451", but we already live in that bloody world.

  5. #5
    Moderator Squiz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    Since most of today's news are just made of clickbait headlines, half-truths, heavily biased opinions, fearmongering, outright lies or stupid mistakes all mixed in different proportions I think receiving no news at all is a nice way (although very far from perfect) to get away from this shit.
    May I ask, what kind of news are you consuming? Like, what gives you the impression you took away from reading/listening to these specific outlets that you'd generalise them to 'most of today's news'?
    Forum janitor in training.

  6. #6
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    That's just my very cynical approach to news. I think you'll need to check at least 4-5 different news about one thing to make sure no one is trying to sell the bullshit to you or just decided to skip some facts or just made a honest mistake* etc.
    I don't have a time for this shit.



    *Like Guardian recently who included a fake quote from "1984" in some article about Trump.


  7. #7
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    'News' is about control. It is why every 'serious' ruling power in any country makes it one of the top priorities, either by running it directly, or ensuring people sympathetic to the ruling powers ambitions are running 'the News'.

    I don't just see it as a dark Machiavellian tool however. I think ultimately it can have the power to liberate the whole world, and in some ways we are seeing some of those effects with the internet in general. It is interesting to see the 'counter-measures' used to slow down that march to liberation, but once the cat is out the bag how easy is it going to be to get it back in?

    So overall i'm hopeful that global 'news' coverage and global 'news' consumption will have the long term effect of reducing the impact and historic effect of 'local' (national) propaganda. Seeing things from different perspectives is always healthy and to the good. Can the human ape child evolve to have bigger concerns? we shall see, and certainly it is not clear we can right now (Trump/Brexit etc).

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus BillButNotBen's Avatar
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    I've been wondering about new consumption myself recently... I don't like being uninformed, and I think the media has a very important role to play - but I'm not sure that consuming the news does much more than make me feel worried/stressed.

    I think there were studies (but don't quote me on that) that said that people who consume news were less happy. I can believe it. In many ways it'd be nice to just not know about what IS has been doing to people, about wars and about how robots are going to take our jobs, etc..
    I suspect I'd be a lot happier if I used that time to read novels or study or something more positive and rewarding.

    But I don't like to be out of the loop when people talk about things, and I get the usual boost in brain chemicals when I read about something that shows I was right, or that I must decry as wrong.

    On a broader note, while opting out of news might be a good idea in terms of immediate personal happiness, as a society it's important that the we do know what's going on and that the media fulfills its roles as watchdog and informer.

    Whatever the flaws of big media these days, I'm more worried about a world where we don't have that. (For example if everything moves to Facebook). Recent events in several countries have made it clear how dangerous it is to not have a free and independent press.

    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    Since most of today's news are just made of clickbait headlines, half-truths, heavily biased opinions, fearmongering, outright lies or stupid mistakes all mixed in different proportions I think receiving no news at all is a nice way (although very far from perfect) to get away from this shit.
    I think this is a dangerous line of thought, which has become dangerously common recently.
    Some news isn't accurate, so people dismiss all news. Some articles are clickbait, so people dismiss all articles. Some news contains half truths or is heavily biased, so people decide that all news is like that - and then weirdly tend to pick news sources that are blatantly MORE biased.

    News writers are going to make mistakes, like everyone. Lots of headlines are going to be junk, like always. But that doesn't mean all news should be distrusted and ignored.
    The general response seems to have been to become more cynical and skeptical of everything. IMHO skepticism has its merits at times, but being overly skeptical just leads to absolute distrust.
    Absolute distrust is as bad as absolute trust... if a bunch of scientists are telling us something then we shouldn't just distrust it because scientists have been wrong in the past. We shouldn't equally distrust the opinions of an informed expert and a random guy on the street, in the same way we shouldn't equally trust them.

    As highly tempting as it is sometimes to opt out of the whole thing, it's not a good path to go down.

    --

    You know the way a games journalist will write a long article about a game, covering many aspects, and then half the comments will be dedicated to nit-picking about one small mistake in the article and dismissing the entire article because that one thing wasn't correct? (and the rest will be mainly cynicism or snark)
    I feel like that has gone mainstream with the rise of the internet, social media, etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by LordShadoko View Post
    I would have said something like "remember Farenheit 451", but we already live in that bloody world.
    I'm half way through reading Fahrenheit 451 for the first time. So far, it's very good and it's also scarily accurate about the world today. :-(

  9. #9
    Lesser Hivemind Node LordShadoko's Avatar
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    Just to add a small historical context, "clickbait" articles are not something new at all. For example, XIXth century newspapers, especially illustrated newspapers like the French Petit Journal or the Italian Corriere della Sierra (and many others) were very good at making clickbait (well, readbait) headlines, and more generally speaking making mountains out of some molehills, complete with beautiful illustrations and flashy half-invented events. It's not new at all, and I don't think that the general integrity of journalists has regressed. The only real difference is that the Internet gives a much broader audience to those who yell the most, even if they yell stupidities.

  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Tevildo's Avatar
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    Crows gather in large communal roosts numbering between 200 and tens of thousands of individuals during nonbreeding months, particularly in the winter. These gatherings tend to happen near large food sources such as garbage dumps and shopping centers.
    Last edited by Tevildo; 09-02-2017 at 12:03 PM.

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node LordShadoko's Avatar
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    At least the Sarlaac does something useful with his food.

  12. #12
    That's an excellent post, Lethe, and possibly a tempting path for many. I agree with what you say that retreat is quite possibly a selfish act, but also as you say that it's potentially better for one's mental health. Before Xmas I was talking to a friend of mine who has experienced long-term depression, and paraphrased a discussion with their therapist. It was something along the lines of "How can you be happy and optimistic when the world is as it is?" to which the therapist responded pretty much in agreement.

    You either revel in ignorance, or drown in knowledge.

  13. #13
    Lesser Hivemind Node LordShadoko's Avatar
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    You either revel in ignorance, or drown in knowledge.
    I think there can be a third way, which is aknowledging the world as it is, and trying to be impacted by it as less as possible, while still caring, but it probably requires to be a buddhist priest.

    Then - I think - comes the need for a broader knowledge, and especially history. Understanding why the world is as it is today, what led to the current events that are depicted in the news, what happened before - I found a deep relief in that. It's both a good way to make everything slightly more...rational and understandable, and a means of creating a distance between you and the world, while still trying to grasp the bigger picture.
    Last edited by LordShadoko; 30-01-2017 at 11:28 PM.

  14. #14
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Meditation makes you learn to.be in the present more and I think that is how you have to be to have a healthy appriciation with news. You cant fret about what the news means for the future, we just don't know and we can't worry about it. We also can't worry about the past those things have already happened and so you cannot change them

    You must look at the news, you must see what you can't change and let it go. You must see what you can change and let it embolden you. You must see the educational.information and also what it can do for your love of humanity.

    Yeah this is hard but I feel it can be done.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus BillButNotBen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theclockworkrat View Post
    You either revel in ignorance, or drown in knowledge.
    Quote Originally Posted by LordShadoko View Post
    I think there can be a third way, which is aknowledging the world as it is, and trying to be impacted by it as less as possible, while still caring, but it probably requires to be a buddhist priest.
    I think those are a much more succinct way to sum up what I was trying to say.
    I too feel that there should be a third way, but I can't quite work out how to do it. Caring while being less quick to blame would certainly be part of it.

  16. #16
    I'm pretty wary of meditation because most of the people I've met who meditate are not terribly politically astute.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Gus_Smedstad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theclockworkrat View Post
    I'm pretty wary of meditation because most of the people I've met who meditate are not terribly politically astute.
    Are you seriously suggesting that meditation damages your political astuteness? How does that work?

    I'm not attempting to defend meditation, I don't meditate, and it doesn't interest me. But it's difficult for me to let a statement like that pass without pointing out that "if I meditate, I will become less politically astute" doesn't make any sense as a fear.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I'm pretty wary of meditation because most of the people I've met who meditate are not terribly politically astute.


    I think the problem is the people that genrally advertise are lets put it kindly a bunch of hippies that usually believe in Woo. That doesn't take away the actual practice which is useful and doesn't have anything to do with politics, just makes you live in the moment. Take it from someone that had the same issue about the hippyness and the Woo and found it very useful as the actual practice.

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    That's my experience of meditation. Hey you have depression, I know what will help with that, group meditation and organic nuts... That went well, the whole thing was so deeply annoying I had to get drunk afterwards every time just to calm down.

    I'm mostly wary of people who go on about meditation as they don't seem to grasp that there's quite a variety of people out there who respond to things differently, but no, one size must fit all.
    Last edited by Zephro; 31-01-2017 at 10:21 PM.

  20. #20
    I have a friend who repeats to me "living in the moment" like some sort of mantra. He hasn't really explained what it means.

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