Monday, September 17, 2018

Post Hurricane PSA:

Anderson Cooper standing in a hole to dramatize Katrina floodwaters.

And the J-school graduates can't figure why, if they'd lie about something this simple, no one trusts them about anything else, either.

Gee, it's mystery to me, too.


Mark said...

I forget what it's called, when we read about something we are expert at in a newspaper (or see a TV news story about something we're expert at) we can see that they're full of crap to the hairline (and often get their conclusions exactly opposite), but then we turn the page and see a story about something we don't know anything about and we believe what they tell us.

That, of course, is BEFORE they start BSing us for dramatic effect to increase ratings.

My favorite example: On 1/1/2000 elevators still worked, jets still flew, and your bank account balance read a day's interest higher than it did the day before. Therefore according to the media the whole Y2K "bug" was a bunch of BS. Not quite. A whole lot of programmers (yours truly included) worked a whole lot of hours (including lots of overtime) for several years (Hell, I was in college in the early 1980s and we were told THEN that it was coming, and to make any new systems we wrote Y2K compliant) to MAKE it a non-issue. Otherwise you'd have found 99 years of interest deducted from your bank account (not sure about the jets and elevators, I didn't work on those systems). That there were as few problems as there were (and I was still correcting minor problems until 10 or 12 years ago) is a testament to folks who did the work to make sure things didn't collapse.

Mark D

Reltney McFee said...

Mark D: You have illustrated the "Martha" effect (think of the Gospel, wherein Mary is visiting with Jesus and Martha doing the entire hostess thing: behind the scenes)

Thanks for all your hard work, as well as your colleagues. Indeed, for me (healthcare), it was seamless.

Anonymous said...

Reltney McFee: No thanks needed, I was paid rather well for my time and effort. Had I not been, and not known what was going on, I'd likely have emptied all my bank accounts before Christmas and kept the cash at home until things started working again.

There's a name for what I was describing though, when you know something about a topic in media and can see that it's BS, but when you see something you don't know anything about it you treat it as accurate. Something Amnesia IIRC.

Mark D

mike said...

Aesop said...

Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect is the correct term, and was coined, yet again, by the late great Michael Crichton, in his essay "Why Speculate?"

Aesop said...

"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.

That is the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect. I’d point out it does not operate in other arenas of life. In ordinary life, if somebody consistently exaggerates or lies to you, you soon discount everything they say. In court, there is the legal doctrine of falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, which means untruthful in one part, untruthful in all. But when it comes to the media, we believe against evidence that it is probably worth our time to read other parts of the paper. When, in fact, it almost certainly isn’t. The only possible explanation for our behavior is amnesia.

dmv gringo said...

"Standing in a hole", that sodomite was on his knees.