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  • Nicely Put

    Posted by David Foster on March 8th, 2013 (All posts by )

    It is to the point that writing about the news is like writing about telekinetic squirrels.

    In other words, it can’t possibly even be real, so writing about it feels creepy, pointless, and silly.”

    Rachel Lucas


    7 Responses to “Nicely Put”

    1. Mike K Says:

      I like Michael Cricton’s example of ” The Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect”:

      “Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
      In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

      — Michael Crichton

      I just read a biography of Richard Feynman which includes a lot about Murray Gell-Mann.

    2. Bill Brandt Says:

      Mike – an example we can all relate to.

    3. David Foster Says:

      For example…


      Could anyone have imagined this, even 10 years ago?

    4. VXXC Says:

      Tell me about this “security agent” on Virgin.

      When the American Serviceman walks thru the airport the people clap.

      Disgraceful how the Brits treat theirs…

    5. Mike K Says:

      I have read about disabled British veterans being asked not to use a pool that others used because…

      They should all be speaking German. In South Dakota, the pheasants all run instead of fly. The flyers have been shot. The same phenomenon was seen in 1940 France and now that is Britain. The guys who were fighters got killed and their genes went with them. There is still a minority who are fighters. The rest are uncomfortable around them. Our war casualties were not as bad as France and Britain as a percent of the male population.

    6. Bill Brandt Says:

      That reminds me in Basic training – in Fr Ord – which was in Monterey – we were told to be careful going downtown in your class A’s (dress) uniform, it being 1972 and all. But I think there has been a complete turnaround here and the treatment of American servicemen.

      But as to Nicky’s treatment that was disgraceful. Mike you might be on to something.

      As to reporting in general – and questionable assertions – laziness in reporting or clouded by political bias?

      The easiest thing I can relate to is airplane crashes. They almost always get the make/model wrong (laziness) – then start quoting all the “experts” who without even knowing the circumstances of the last moments, start speculating on the cause. And the NTSB comes out with their finding a year later with no publicity – and the finding was usually 180 degrees off from the “experts” With no follow up by the reporters.

      Or, the Toyota debacle – they are all ready to crucify Toyota over the “sudden acceleration” and after a lot of bad publicity they find out there was nothing defective about their designs.

      These are simple examples but one can offer a lot more sinister ones that affect society.

    7. Smock Puppet, 10th Dan Snark Master and ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ Advocate Says:

      Well, I’ll point out that the media just reported the decline in employed Americans as an “uptick” and “good numbers” because the ones claiming unemployment went DOWN due to about 130k or so giving up.

      At the same time they were ALSO reporting “concerns” about the “budget cuts” deriving from the “sequester”.

      Anyone want to bet who/what gets the blame when the next unemployment numbers are out and they are substantially DOWN?

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