tv caesar – mighty mouse – holds his court in every house

With the help of the links on Richard Stallman's webpage, I found an interesting article entitled, "Arguing about pseudoscience: a useful analogy. It's a sports analogy that highlights the irrationality of common arguments for pseudoscience.

Reading it reminded me of having the TV tuned to almost any "news" program. I swore off any serious interest in TV news decades ago. The monetary and political stakes of television news are too high. The real unsaid duty of the TV newsroom is to retain eyeballs long enough so it can be paid by the entities that pay it. Empowering people with information is very low priority. I can trust TV news for easily verifiable events, like an earthquake here, or a fire there, but beyond that, one has to be careful. If they say it's raining, it's best to go check.

I've long felt it's the duty of decent human beings to try to build within themselves a strong, capable, well-informed, analytical mind. It's not beneficial to swallow up, without question, the things that are pervasive and easy. It's even worse to regurgitate these things to others. It mystifies me when I encounter so many who energetically defend the status quo, or cannot recognize what the status quo is. The status quo does not need your help. It has plenty of big friends already.

For these reasons, I will usually not interact seriously with others who are using strange loopy arguments to make a point, especially if I recognize things as being based on what's constantly howling out of the telescreens that are everywhere that people are captive for a few minutes. It's seldom worth the trouble. Somebody always wants to grunt out something "profound", followed by "it'n it?" while in the breakfast line at McDonald's or while eating under the "screen" in the dining room. I just won't play that game.

I have a dear friend who is constantly upset about what is being said on the TV. I usually gently say, "you need to turn that damned thing off." lol. The old 60's mantra, "Kill Your Television" is not a bad one. It will truly "evaporate your brain" (a favorite line of mine from the movie "Driving Miss Daisy").

My friend sometimes asks me, "well, where do you get your news, smartypants?" For me, print media is still where it's at. This includes some periodicals, but especially books and Internet. For the most part, I still consider Internet news to be in the category of print media. When I was a teenager, the shortwave radio wasn't half bad for broadcast media.

Now to flip-flop on what I've just said:

–Not all TV media is bad. Not all print media is good. The TV has golden moments, even on conventional, national, corporate channels. Heck, even corporate subscription channels like ShowTime can have a real beauty from time to time. There happens to be a good one on ShowTime right now.

–Even my most trusted print sources have to be analyzed and constantly scrutinized. They can fail sometimes, though I like to think they try harder and have better motivations. Blind trust is not good anywhere.

Anyway, my rambling mini-rant is over, save for the comments. Once again, here is the article that brought it all on. The pattern in the analogy is so familiar.

2 responses to “tv caesar – mighty mouse – holds his court in every house

  1. Great post in so many ways. Over here in Britain we have the BBC which, being publicly-funded, is generally without bias, despite the occasional complaint to the contrary.

  2. Originally posted by SharkfinUK:

    Over here in Britain we have the BBC

    It's funny you mention that, because the BBC came to mind as I was writing the post. I grew up listening off and on to the BBC World Service by shortwave. It's reputation is generally trustworthy. My personal feeling is that I trust it more than many, or even most of the big US networks. A bonus was that the same shortwave stations also broadcast Top of the Pops. :up: TOTP made me feel cool as a teenager.Though I rarely do shortwave these days, I still get some news from the BBC by web. For me it's especially good for breaking news outside of normal western hemisphere working hours as the BBC has desks worldwide and is staffed 24/7. I prefer news from independents (the indies), but they are often unstaffed at night and on weekends.I sometimes have to do overnight drives for work. The BBC is available in quite a bit of the US on the low end of the FM dial during those hours.—To make some of my friends gasp, I also find Al Jazeera English to be better than many.

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