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.