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Media "coverage"

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  • Exist List Moderator
    Watching the news, I m struck by how little is said about the why of anything. I think this is because the public likes simple, horse races, winners and
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 1, 2005
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      Watching the news, I'm struck by how little is said about the why of
      anything. I think this is because the public likes simple, horse races,
      winners and losers. It would be hard to explain politics, medicine, or
      science in detail with only two minutes per segment.

      Why do most people just sit there, watch the news, then turn on
      "Friends" or "Simpsons" reruns? I think it is because no one bothers to
      connect the news to daily life. It's all just trivia.

      The entire Deep Throat nonsense is like watching a game show, with
      little bits of trivia unessential to the story. Do you know the color
      used by Deep Throat as a signal? (Do we care?) Heck, it's all silly
      little things they can mention, without saying anything at all.

      I've been reading The Guardian, waiting some thing of substance on the
      EU votes. So far, the coverage is all about "Is this a win for Blair?"
      Huh? What about the people of Europe? What does this mean to the
      economies? But, no, the coverage is simple: does the French vote give
      Blair "political cover" to delay a vote.

      No wonder people tune out... I haven't learned much of anything from
      the British or U.S. press this week except Deep Throat liked Red and
      Blair couldn't wait for Chirac to lose the EU vote. Neither bit of data
      gives my life meaning or changes the decisions I will make. Silly me, I
      want to be informed by the media... so I will pick up a non-fiction
      book and read.

      - C. S. Wyatt
      I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
      that I shall be.
      http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
      http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Herman B. Triplegood
      Some interesting comments you have about this. I watch a fair amount of news, but I am often disappointed by the shallowness of the journalism , or, complete
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 1, 2005
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        Some interesting comments you have about this. I watch a fair amount of
        news, but I am often disappointed by the shallowness of the "journalism",
        or, complete lack of it, I should say. Lately, I have begun to return to an
        old habit of listening to news on the radio, instead of just watching it on
        the T.V.. We have a local public radio station that is mostly news and
        music. I enjoy listening to the BBC on there.

        In our media, banality itself is the unspoken "modus operandi" of all such
        "coverage". So much for the "journalism" that once was, but is no longer.
        Where has that gone, I wonder?

        The science oriented documentaries that sometimes appear on the Discovery or
        Learning channels are almost unbearable to watch. They convey a picture of
        science that is, frankly, absurd. They are nothing like the Nova science
        programs I used to watch back in my High School days when I was all about
        science, and it (the program) was also all about science. Even good old
        Scientific American magazine has completely re-formatted itself now, and is
        more like a "tabloid of science news trivia" than the serious leading edge
        magazine of science, for the science educated layman, that it used to be.
        Nature magazine is way too technical for the vast majority of laymen to get
        any real value out of it.

        Parabola, for those areas of interest that include such thinkers as Jung,
        Campbell, More, and others, is still one of the best all around reads there
        is, and it is well worth the money spent to have each of its beautiful
        issues on one's shelf, or tucked away, discretely, in a desk drawer at the
        work place for those free moments when a little bit of reading during the
        long graveyard shifts can refresh the mind and bring back that sense of
        "working for a living" against just "living to work". The mere continued
        existence of this magazine serves to encourage me.

        Banality, in and of itself, gets far too much attention in the so-called
        "reflective literature" of modern day existentialism and, more generally,
        philosophy. One thing that doesn't get much talk these days, is "wonder", as
        opposed to, for instance, "angst", or "apprehension" and "boredom". [If you
        ARE bored, you cannot possibly be paying attention; that is what I say.]
        Wonder, after all, was the original impulse of all science and philosophy
        (at least, in my opinion, shared by others).

        Education? It has been superceded by "training", as if we were all just,
        nothing more than "Pavlov's dogs", all messy, drooling all over ourselves,
        (being the mass consumers with more masses of money to spend on cheap
        Walmart goods from China) when the bell of the "compensation package" and
        the "short term incentive" (one a code word for your paycheck, and your
        retirement, the other a glyph, for what used to be called your "bonus") have
        been rung.

        Hb3g

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Exist List Moderator" <existlist1@...>
        To: "Existlist Existlist" <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 12:51 PM
        Subject: [existlist] Media "coverage"


        > Watching the news, I'm struck by how little is said about the why of
        > anything. I think this is because the public likes simple, horse races,
        > winners and losers. It would be hard to explain politics, medicine, or
        > science in detail with only two minutes per segment.
        >
        > Why do most people just sit there, watch the news, then turn on
        > "Friends" or "Simpsons" reruns? I think it is because no one bothers to
        > connect the news to daily life. It's all just trivia.
        >
        > The entire Deep Throat nonsense is like watching a game show, with
        > little bits of trivia unessential to the story. Do you know the color
        > used by Deep Throat as a signal? (Do we care?) Heck, it's all silly
        > little things they can mention, without saying anything at all.
        >
        > I've been reading The Guardian, waiting some thing of substance on the
        > EU votes. So far, the coverage is all about "Is this a win for Blair?"
        > Huh? What about the people of Europe? What does this mean to the
        > economies? But, no, the coverage is simple: does the French vote give
        > Blair "political cover" to delay a vote.
        >
        > No wonder people tune out... I haven't learned much of anything from
        > the British or U.S. press this week except Deep Throat liked Red and
        > Blair couldn't wait for Chirac to lose the EU vote. Neither bit of data
        > gives my life meaning or changes the decisions I will make. Silly me, I
        > want to be informed by the media... so I will pick up a non-fiction
        > book and read.
        >
        > - C. S. Wyatt
        > I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        > that I shall be.
        > http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        > http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > Please support the Existential Primer... dedicated to explaining nothing!
        >
        > Home Page: http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist
        >
        >
        >
        > --------------------------------------------------------------------------
        ------
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        >
        > a.. To visit your group on the web, go to:
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        >
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        >
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        >
        >
      • ken
        Sad but true. Fortunately there s been quite a few books published recently (and not so recently) that are well worth a browse. On the other hand, I quit
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 2, 2005
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          Sad but true. Fortunately there's been quite a few books published
          recently (and not so recently) that are well worth a browse. On the
          other hand, I quit watching the local news decades ago. Shortly after
          that I canceled my subscription to the local newspaper, the Cleveland
          Plain Dealer. It used to be a good paper until about the time Reagan
          came into office. Much of the media has been corporatized and
          politicized and is now little more than a circus. That people want more
          was amply demonstrated by the popularity of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The
          Corporation".

          For years I've been getting much of the news from foreign sources: BBC,
          Deutsche Welle (the German version of BBC), CBC. Some day I'll add RFI
          to that list. Used to be, that required having a shortwave radio.
          Thanks to the web, these now available much more easily. (Strange, but
          I found that the German and English broadcasts of DW covered the news
          quite differently, the English version being the same pablum that US
          commercial radio puts out. So don't judge on that.)

          There's still US newspapers which are still worth reading, but not
          many. Again, the web is a friend. In addition, there's (yet another)
          new technology-- pod casting-- we can avail ourselves of. Actually
          there's quite a bit of solid news available in our world, much more than
          can be discussed in a short email. If there wasn't, it would come to us
          to make and/or find a way to it.

          ken


          Exist List Moderator wrote:

          >Watching the news, I'm struck by how little is said about the why of
          >anything. I think this is because the public likes simple, horse races,
          >winners and losers. It would be hard to explain politics, medicine, or
          >science in detail with only two minutes per segment.
          >
          >Why do most people just sit there, watch the news, then turn on
          >"Friends" or "Simpsons" reruns? I think it is because no one bothers to
          >connect the news to daily life. It's all just trivia.
          >
          >The entire Deep Throat nonsense is like watching a game show, with
          >little bits of trivia unessential to the story. Do you know the color
          >used by Deep Throat as a signal? (Do we care?) Heck, it's all silly
          >little things they can mention, without saying anything at all.
          >
          >I've been reading The Guardian, waiting some thing of substance on the
          >EU votes. So far, the coverage is all about "Is this a win for Blair?"
          >Huh? What about the people of Europe? What does this mean to the
          >economies? But, no, the coverage is simple: does the French vote give
          >Blair "political cover" to delay a vote.
          >
          >No wonder people tune out... I haven't learned much of anything from
          >the British or U.S. press this week except Deep Throat liked Red and
          >Blair couldn't wait for Chirac to lose the EU vote. Neither bit of data
          >gives my life meaning or changes the decisions I will make. Silly me, I
          >want to be informed by the media... so I will pick up a non-fiction
          >book and read.
          >
          >- C. S. Wyatt
          >I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
          >that I shall be.
          >http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
          >http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
          >
          >
          >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >


          --
          A lot of us are working harder than we want, at things we don't like to
          do. Why? ...In order to afford the sort of existence we don't care to live.
          -- Bradford Angier
        • Exist List Moderator
          ... I will admit to a vice: I love Mythbusters, Good Eats, and other science lite programs. I think anything I can recreate in my kitchen (well, not some of
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 2, 2005
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            On Jun 01, 2005, at 16:22, Herman B. Triplegood wrote:

            > The science oriented documentaries that sometimes appear on the
            > Discovery or
            > Learning channels are almost unbearable to watch. They convey a
            > picture of
            > science that is, frankly, absurd. They are nothing like the Nova
            > science
            > programs I used to watch back in my High School days when I was all
            > about
            > science, and it (the program) was also all about science. Even good old
            > Scientific American magazine has completely re-formatted itself now,
            > and is
            > more like a "tabloid of science news trivia" than the serious leading
            > edge
            > magazine of science, for the science educated layman, that it used to
            > be.
            > Nature magazine is way too technical for the vast majority of laymen
            > to get
            > any real value out of it.

            I will admit to a vice: I love Mythbusters, Good Eats, and other
            "science lite" programs. I think anything I can recreate in my kitchen
            (well, not some of the myths!) is pretty neat. It's like being back in
            the days of Mr. Wizard. ("Now, have your parents help you with this.
            The kitchen stove is not a toy.")

            I recently subscribed to Scientific American: MIND. I found the
            articles, which are predominantly from European universities, to be
            well-written and generally information I had not seen online. The human
            brain is looking more and more determined, which challenges my notions
            of free will. It is good to see how much science is learning about our
            decision making process.

            We have so many news, science, and history channels on the set that if
            I cannot find something of value, it is my own fault. Not that there
            aren't times I want to watch Cartoon Network, but I am an information
            junkie.

            You could wonder what the value of information is. I tend to define
            myself by how much I learn, analyze, and the new questions in my mind.
            For some reason, I feel like I should always be trying to learn more
            from every field of knowledge. It's a compulsion, at times. Not that I
            don't enjoy a good comedy or light read at times, but I crave data
            which I can convert into knowledge when I see relationships between
            facts.

            Knowledge can be exciting. There is something thrilling about merging
            information across fields and developing new ways to approach problems.

            Wish my excitement was contagious, but only a few students seem to
            share my passion.

            - C. S. Wyatt
            I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
            that I shall be.
            http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
            http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
          • Exist List Moderator
            ... That the left considers the media corporate and the right considers the press a bunch of liberals (statistically, this is accurate only if you
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 2, 2005
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              On Jun 02, 2005, at 0:44, ken wrote:

              > came into office. Much of the media has been corporatized and
              > politicized and is now little more than a circus. That people want
              > more
              > was amply demonstrated by the popularity of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The
              > Corporation".

              That the "left" considers the media "corporate" and the "right"
              considers the press a bunch of "liberals" (statistically, this is
              accurate only if you consider Democrats liberal) shows the media are
              probably somewhere in the middle. However, too often they are in the
              middle of *nothing* but what the public wants.

              When you have 500 channels (we now have 700-800 on our cable system,
              with numbers >900 for pay-per-view), it is easy to turn off the news
              and that is exactly what most people do. Most people do not want any
              information, be it a science show or a political debate. The only
              information the American public wants is included in CSI or Law & Order
              episodes. (ER used to have more medical information, but then it became
              more a soap opera and I stopped watching.)

              Even in the UK, the ratings are highest for serials and game shows.
              It's human nature to want entertainment more than information, I
              suppose.

              The Dutch and French did us all proud by buying a lot of informative
              books and watching debates on a political matter. Considering the last
              EU turnout in the Netherlands had been below 40 percent, this might be
              a great sign of change.

              A lawyer we know reminded me that people only care about information
              when things aren't going well and you need a change. When things are
              comfortable, people don't care about politics or anything else beyond
              work and play. People naturally care most when they feel threatened.

              Humans are self-centered, narcissistic creatures. That's just how we
              are.

              - C. S. Wyatt
              I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
              that I shall be.
              http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
              http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
            • ken
              ... Ahh. The in the middle Weltanschauung/Abkotzensangelegenheit... thanks for the visit. Ya know, a lawyer told me that when hearing two conflicting
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 4, 2005
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                Exist List Moderator wrote:

                >On Jun 02, 2005, at 0:44, ken wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                >>came into office. Much of the media has been corporatized and
                >>politicized and is now little more than a circus. That people want
                >>more
                >>was amply demonstrated by the popularity of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "The
                >>Corporation".
                >>
                >>
                >
                >That the "left" considers the media "corporate" and the "right"
                >considers the press a bunch of "liberals" (statistically, this is
                >accurate only if you consider Democrats liberal) shows the media are
                >probably somewhere in the middle.
                >

                Ahh. The "in the middle" Weltanschauung/Abkotzensangelegenheit... thanks
                for the visit. Ya know, a lawyer told me that when hearing two
                conflicting stories regarding a traffic accident, a cop generally
                concludes the truth is somewhere in the middle, i.e., that both are
                lying scoundrels not worthy of his precious time, had he had any. Not
                elegant or sophisticated, but quite simple and from the hip (in the
                pre-60s sense)... blind justice transmuted to just blindness. Instead
                of two ears and one mouth, we should all have two mouths and one ear.
                And to my admitted inadequate knowledge of the subject, no one has been
                arrested for giving a false police report in such instances... because,
                I suppose, it's completely expected and quite welcome in the land of the
                constabulary, ergo treks through the topos noetos without stopping for a
                look-see. So I guess the moral of the story is to lie as far as
                credibility allows and so steer that magical, slippery middle to your
                side of this unbowed Western dichotomy... sort of an indirect way to
                tell the truth (??)-!-(??) and conjure up a marching orchestra playing
                "God Save The Queen" disco-style down Main Street and off the edge of
                this great Earth. But then I suppose the cop could look for and then
                perhaps consider the evidence and try reasoning from that, alas. Also,
                there's no evidence that eating a ham sandwich compromises a person's
                credibility, so this shows it wouldn't hurt to eat a ham sandwich while
                testifying... or maybe more if well advertised.


                >[....]
                >
                >Humans are self-centered, narcissistic creatures. That's just how we
                >are.
                >
                >

                Or perhaps how God creAted us, lowly descendents of light-headed,
                treeless monkeys and (treeless) what truly caused Sartre to say we have
                no nature.


                >[....]
                >
                >

                [....]

                (c) What rights we have left, reserved.
                ken (TM)

                --
                A lot of us are working harder than we want, at things we don't like to
                do. Why? ...In order to afford the sort of existence we don't care to live.
                -- Bradford Angier
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