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I think fake news is good

DrZoidberg

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I've completely swung around on this issue. I think fake news is good. I don't think it ruins anything. What it does it highlights the basic problem with explaining stuff. You have to remove information when describing anything, or it'll be an unmanageable mess of facts. All news, or any story, will in some sense or another always be a lie. Because it has filtered out information the speaker doesn't think is important, for whatever reason.

The existence of large amounts of fake news makes us think much more critically about what we are reading. The world is messy and contradictory. It's always been.

It's so easy to think that back in the olden days (pre-Internet news) news was accurate. Nope. It was pretty shit then to. It was just less of it, so we couldn't verify anything.

What has changed is that quality print media is losing revenue so has to turn to churning out small articles with juicy headlines to chase clicks, rather than fewer well researched pieces. But that's not necessarily evil. It's an evolution. For businessmen and investors getting an accurate description of the world is critical. It's a question of survival for them. So they'll always pay for accurate news. So it won't disappear. It'll just be differently packaged. However that packaging ends up looking like.

I think in the long run the existence and spread of fake news will lead to an environment of more good ideas being spread and talked about. Which has always been good in general. The economist Richard Florida has done a lot of research on a culture of tolerance for weird ideas and wealth generation. There's a strong correlation.

I think people who call for regulation of news and wanting some government agency validate it for them is essentially wanting to go back to world of predominantly comforting lies. A world where the mess and chaos of life is hidden. But that's the illusion. That was always the illusion.

Here's my prediction. We'll see the rise of resources like Snopes. They'll be imbedded in our news sources. Just like Google translate asks if you want to translate a web page, we'll get a configurable service to validate a pieces truth value. Some AI will rate it according to an algorithm telling us that something is 89% true and it's up to us to decide if it's good enough.

I think that in the long run the rise of fake news will only be seen as a good thing. A transition to a new and better more well informed world. We'll look back in horror at the deluded 20'th century where even the countries with a free press swallow mostly bullshit all day.

Yay for fake news!
 

bigfield

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Let me see if I understand this: you predict that the spread of fake news will create demand for major tech companies to provide us with services that tell us which news is true. I can see how that could turn out to be evil.

What I see is that most people are satisfied with the dubious news sources they have ready access to, now. A fact checker that says "this article is 12% accurate and heavily biased" on every Daily Mail article isn't going to dissuade people to stop reading the Daily Mail, it's going to make them turn off the "broken" fact checker.

For a small minority of people, such a fact checker service may help them build up a defence against fake news. Someone sends you a CNN article? No need to study it, the fact checker says it's only at 34% accuracy. Someone sends you a Fox News article and the fact checker says it's 90% accurate and mostly impartial? You ought to read it even if you distrust the source.

A transition to a new and better more well informed world. We'll look back in horror at the deluded 20'th century where even the countries with a free press swallow mostly bullshit all day.

This wouldn't make people better critical thinkers. It's Scepticism-as-a-Service. People would only swallow less bullshit because someone else is doing a better job if filtering the bullshit for them.
 

DrZoidberg

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Let me see if I understand this: you predict that the spread of fake news will create demand for major tech companies to provide us with services that tell us which news is true. I can see how that could turn out to be evil.

Not quite. I predict that the spread of fake news will lead to a world without monolithic Truths (with a capital T). We will give up on the idea of a singular truth and accept truth as being something relative. Which is always was. It's just that we have been shielded from this reality until now. Having complete faith in something being sort of true has great potential for leading to evil. It's best if we stop having complete faith in anything. And instead adopt an attitude of reevaluating our beliefs often.

What I see is that most people are satisfied with the dubious news sources they have ready access to, now. A fact checker that says "this article is 12% accurate and heavily biased" on every Daily Mail article isn't going to dissuade people to stop reading the Daily Mail, it's going to make them turn off the "broken" fact checker.

For a small minority of people, such a fact checker service may help them build up a defence against fake news. Someone sends you a CNN article? No need to study it, the fact checker says it's only at 34% accuracy. Someone sends you a Fox News article and the fact checker says it's 90% accurate and mostly impartial? You ought to read it even if you distrust the source.

Sure. But don't you see how you are essentially arguing for a return to Christianity? Religion has often been used as a tool to make stupid people more manageable. And so are you now. You've just switched one religion for another.

And besides. It's not like we have a choice. This is where we're heading no matter what we think about it. Fake news isn't going away, no matter how much Facebook tells us they have filtered it out. The problem with partial filters is that it increases the impact of the bullshit that slips through the cracks. I follow several crackpot Facebook groups that churn out bullshit. I read them for the entertainment value. But it's till straight up bullshit, and Facebook lets them stay.

A transition to a new and better more well informed world. We'll look back in horror at the deluded 20'th century where even the countries with a free press swallow mostly bullshit all day.
This wouldn't make people better critical thinkers. It's Scepticism-as-a-Service. People would only swallow less bullshit because someone else is doing a better job if filtering the bullshit for them.

Yes. Both. I think.
 

bigfield

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Not quite. I predict that the spread of fake news will lead to a world without monolithic Truths (with a capital T). We will give up on the idea of a singular truth and accept truth as being something relative. Which is always was. It's just that we have been shielded from this reality until now. Having complete faith in something being sort of true has great potential for leading to evil. It's best if we stop having complete faith in anything. And instead adopt an attitude of reevaluating our beliefs often.

Personally, I feel like the internet did that for me.

Before the internet, the news depth and diversity was just awful, so challenging ideas were less accessible. Some of the most damaging misinformation comes from long-established newspapers and TV networks.

Sure. But don't you see how you are essentially arguing for a return to Christianity? Religion has often been used as a tool to make stupid people more manageable. And so are you now. You've just switched one religion for another.

No, I don't understand how you think I argued that. It seemed like you were the one who was arguing for this new "religion" where big tech tells everyone what's true.

And besides. It's not like we have a choice. This is where we're heading no matter what we think about it. Fake news isn't going away, no matter how much Facebook tells us they have filtered it out. The problem with partial filters is that it increases the impact of the bullshit that slips through the cracks. I follow several crackpot Facebook groups that churn out bullshit. I read them for the entertainment value. But it's till straight up bullshit, and Facebook lets them stay.

That's a good point about partial filters.
 

DrZoidberg

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No, I don't understand how you think I argued that. It seemed like you were the one who was arguing for this new "religion" where big tech tells everyone what's true.

Back when the church decided what was true nobody needed to argue about it. Just as the main public intellectuals 100 - 30 years ago decided what the bias of all the major newspapers should be.

Now there's no official line to hold. Its completely fractured.
 

skepticalbip

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No, I don't understand how you think I argued that. It seemed like you were the one who was arguing for this new "religion" where big tech tells everyone what's true.

Back when the church decided what was true nobody needed to argue about it. Just as the main public intellectuals 100 - 30 years ago decided what the bias of all the major newspapers should be.

Now there's no official line to hold. Its completely fractured.

100 - 30 years ago (at least in the U.S.) newspapers were not all giving the same slant on the news. There were competing newspapers. I found it useful to read both a left leaning and a right leaning newspaper to try to figure out what really happened in any situation.

The problem with the identification of "fake news" is that people have become so partisan in their thinking that they see anything that favors the opposing partisan side as not true or 'fake news' so give it no consideration. It is kinda a propogandists dream. The left has come to assume that anything from the right is a lie and the right has come to assume that anything from the left is a lie... and alternately, anything they hear from their side is true.
 

rousseau

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To me it sounds a bit over-simplified to call fake news a good thing. Probably it has, and will continue to have, both negative and positive impacts.

I think what we're really talking about isn't fake news, but a higher quantity of unregulated information that can move further and faster, and be targeted at specific populations. This ability is creating very real, covert warfare around the globe. So I think that's generally a bad thing, and needs to be stopped.

On the other hand, new information and ideas are seeping into totalitarian states which spurs human rights in these regions.

But on the whole information is now being weaponized, and that's definitely a problem. It's easy to think that because we have all of these fancy devices and technical abilities that we can overcome this, but maybe we can't and weaponized information is a very serious, and very new problem.
 

steve_bank

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I think you are part of the global Zionist conspiracy to control the world. In fact I am sure of it.

Can you proves otherwise? The world is watching.
 

fromderinside

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Is false, fake, news (reports) even news?

Think of it this way:

There are signals, singular, like a specific audio frequency and there is noise, multiple random frequencies, noise. Both exist all the time in an acoustic field.

A sensor is placed in the field, its purpose to process signals. If one provides a sequence of pulses of information (single frequencies) at a very low level of it is place through a system that also generates a certain level of noise. The observer is asked to report only signals.

Observers can successfully perform this task if the signals are a bit more apparent in the noise existing in the acoustic field and in the receiving detector.

However if one introduces a bit of noise during the non signal intervals the observer often report the signal is continuous. In effect fake news is reported all the time if there is bits of random stuff mixed in with the actual signals. The only way to reduce this effect is to better control random information in the information chain.

Now you have a the basis for a protocol for controlling fake news noise in an information stream.

Treat fake news as noise and control it using standard noise reduction processes.

How about some solutions along the lines of this analogy.

One can: restrict noise in channel, increase the signal to noise ratio of actual information in the channel, buildup better detectors by improving the quality of their detectors.

Now its up to you to apply these thoughts.

Actually if one wants to go along with Dr. Zoidberg one would improve the qualities, increase signal to noise ratios, in the detector.
 

DrZoidberg

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No, I don't understand how you think I argued that. It seemed like you were the one who was arguing for this new "religion" where big tech tells everyone what's true.

Back when the church decided what was true nobody needed to argue about it. Just as the main public intellectuals 100 - 30 years ago decided what the bias of all the major newspapers should be.

Now there's no official line to hold. Its completely fractured.

100 - 30 years ago (at least in the U.S.) newspapers were not all giving the same slant on the news. There were competing newspapers. I found it useful to read both a left leaning and a right leaning newspaper to try to figure out what really happened in any situation.

You just described a perfect example of what a false dichotomy is. Human psychology makes us think in opposites. So whatever one political side is, the other is the opposite. And our focus is drawn to that opposition. We just do this automatically. But it just means that all other dimensions are hidden. It creates a radically skewed picture of reality. But we like it, because it's simple to understand and makes the world manageable.

Back in the olden days when printing and news production was very expensive there were very few newspapers. It was easy for journalists to give the impression that they were on top of things. When conservatives complained about a conspiracy of the liberal media. It was actually true. Not because the liberal media were nefariously conspiring. But because they were close friends, went to each others parties and slept with each other. It created an insular and very one sided picture of the liberal cause. Especially troubling because good writers are predominantly recruited from the middle-class, and not working class. So they often ignored the most important issues of the group they're supposed to be championing. Which is why conservative support is common among the working class.

Another good example was news coverage during colonial times. From all sides of the news coverage the Brits were served a complete fantasy about the natives. Everybody was projecting their pet ideas onto the ruled people, using them as tools to fight local political battles. Which led to absurd and unworkable policies in the colonies.

This is just an example of how the media back in the day weren't at all good at covering all the bases. Reading both the liberal and conservative version of the story wouldn't at all give you a complete picture. It will give you a better picture. But far from the complete picture.

The problem with the identification of "fake news" is that people have become so partisan in their thinking that they see anything that favors the opposing partisan side as not true or 'fake news' so give it no consideration. It is kinda a propogandists dream. The left has come to assume that anything from the right is a lie and the right has come to assume that anything from the left is a lie... and alternately, anything they hear from their side is true.

Sure. You'll have no argument from me. I still think it's an improvement over what we had before. Which was being served comforting lies. At least this is glaring and obvious lies. I prefer the Wizard of Oz being visible, rather than hidden behind the curtain.
 

DrZoidberg

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Is false, fake, news (reports) even news?

Nope. It's dressed up to look like news, without being news. It's a paradoxical name.

Think of it this way:

There are signals, singular, like a specific audio frequency and there is noise, multiple random frequencies, noise. Both exist all the time in an acoustic field.

A sensor is placed in the field, its purpose to process signals. If one provides a sequence of pulses of information (single frequencies) at a very low level of it is place through a system that also generates a certain level of noise. The observer is asked to report only signals.

Observers can successfully perform this task if the signals are a bit more apparent in the noise existing in the acoustic field and in the receiving detector.

However if one introduces a bit of noise during the non signal intervals the observer often report the signal is continuous. In effect fake news is reported all the time if there is bits of random stuff mixed in with the actual signals. The only way to reduce this effect is to better control random information in the information chain.

Now you have a the basis for a protocol for controlling fake news noise in an information stream.

Treat fake news as noise and control it using standard noise reduction processes.

How about some solutions along the lines of this analogy.

One can: restrict noise in channel, increase the signal to noise ratio of actual information in the channel, buildup better detectors by improving the quality of their detectors.

Now its up to you to apply these thoughts.

Actually if one wants to go along with Dr. Zoidberg one would improve the qualities, increase signal to noise ratios, in the detector.

Before we had a couple of institutions cleaning up the noise. Skewing the information spread. What I'm hoping for is a multitude of tools cleaning up the noise, giving us a much more accurate and better understanding of the world. A better mirror of what is actually going on. It's still going to be rather messy, chaotic and noisy, because that's how the world actually looks like.
 

DrZoidberg

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One needs to improve education if one wants to improve fake noise discrimination reduction. Serious treatment of sources, interpreting communication, methods of reasoning, need be introduced, tested, and certified for students.

Humanity has never before in our entire history been as educated as it is now. I find it unlikely we'll ever be more educated than this. If we can't deal with it now, it'll never happen. If we can't make it work with this extreme degree of a well educated populace then perhaps we should go back to Christianity and letting the priests be in control.
 

Swammerdami

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100 - 30 years ago (at least in the U.S.) newspapers were not all giving the same slant on the news. There were competing newspapers. I found it useful to read both a left leaning and a right leaning newspaper to try to figure out what really happened in any situation.

You just described a perfect example of what a false dichotomy is. Human psychology makes us think in opposites. So whatever one political side is, the other is the opposite. And our focus is drawn to that opposition. We just do this automatically. But it just means that all other dimensions are hidden. It creates a radically skewed picture of reality. But we like it, because it's simple to understand and makes the world manageable.

Back in the olden days when printing and news production was very expensive there were very few newspapers....

... Another good example was news coverage during colonial times.

I'm often baffled by Dr. Z's opinions, but this thread is the bafflingest of all! My parents weren't into newspaper reading much, so we only subscribed to two papers. We could afford that because they were so cheap — I guess 60 years ago wasn't "the olden days."

For that matter, lots of people read at least 2 daily newspapers 120 years ago. Which "olden days" do you refer to, Dr. Z? The eras before Gutenberg invented the printing press? :) Just joking; I see that you only needed to go back to "colonial times."

My own ancestor was a newspaper publisher who self-described with "Give the people controversy. Have the courage to take sides on a question. Many people may then hate you but they always read what you have to say."

Do Fox Potatoes listen to what Rachel Maddow has to say?

Back in the olden days when printing and news production was very expensive there were very few newspapers.... Reading both the liberal and conservative version of the story wouldn't at all give you a complete picture. It will give you a better picture. But far from the complete picture.

The problem with the identification of "fake news" is that people have become so partisan in their thinking that they see anything that favors the opposing partisan side as not true or 'fake news' so give it no consideration. It is kinda a propogandists dream. The left has come to assume that anything from the right is a lie and the right has come to assume that anything from the left is a lie... and alternately, anything they hear from their side is true.

Sure. You'll have no argument from me. I still think it's an improvement over what we had before. Which was being served comforting lies. At least this is glaring and obvious lies. I prefer the Wizard of Oz being visible, rather than hidden behind the curtain.

It might behoove Dr. Z to give examples of "fake news", just to see if we're talking about the same thing.

In the U.S., fake news includes the notion that Hillary Clinton runs a child sex ring out of the basement of a popular Washington pizzeria. Several Americans didn't "get the joke," since one showed up firing an assault rifle in the pizzeria! BTW, I see where Tucker Carlson's lawyer is now using the same defense Alex Jones used! — Carlson can't be guilty of lying or slander because his shows are obviously just comedy!

Et cetera et cetera. Anyway, Dr. Z's conclusion is 100% wrong. In the past there was general agreement on the FACTS; people tended to also listen to 2 or more OPINIONS and then make up their own minds. Today, a huge number of LIES are spouted by FoxNews — so much so that the Fox Potatoes smart enough to know they're being lied to draw the wrong conclusion: that "the mainstream media" is lying just as bad as Fox. With facts defunct for many Americans, all that's left are opinions. All too often, opinions are themselves "fake" — they come from carnival barkers and pimps taking advantage of echo chambers.

The idea that today's news "is an improvement over what we had before" is completely off-base, bewilderingly wrong.
 

skepticalbip

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The problem with the identification of "fake news" is that people have become so partisan in their thinking that they see anything that favors the opposing partisan side as not true or 'fake news' so give it no consideration. It is kinda a propogandists dream. The left has come to assume that anything from the right is a lie and the right has come to assume that anything from the left is a lie... and alternately, anything they hear from their side is true.

Sure. You'll have no argument from me. I still think it's an improvement over what we had before. Which was being served comforting lies. At least this is glaring and obvious lies. I prefer the Wizard of Oz being visible, rather than hidden behind the curtain.
News today is not news, it is political propaganda from both sides. What each political faction labels as 'fake news' is the propaganda of the other faction (but they accept as 'god's truth the propaganda from their faction). News in the mid 20th century actually contained some actual news but with the editorial slant of the paper's owners. People in the U.S. were actually informed of what was happening in the world outside the U.S.

What Trump and/or his supporters think of Biden is not news and what Biden and/or his supporters think of Trump is not news however it makes headlines and consumes hours of talking heads "debates". World news has all but vanished in coverage.
 

DrZoidberg

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The problem with the identification of "fake news" is that people have become so partisan in their thinking that they see anything that favors the opposing partisan side as not true or 'fake news' so give it no consideration. It is kinda a propogandists dream. The left has come to assume that anything from the right is a lie and the right has come to assume that anything from the left is a lie... and alternately, anything they hear from their side is true.

Sure. You'll have no argument from me. I still think it's an improvement over what we had before. Which was being served comforting lies. At least this is glaring and obvious lies. I prefer the Wizard of Oz being visible, rather than hidden behind the curtain.
News today is not news, it is political propaganda from both sides. What each political faction labels as 'fake news' is the propaganda of the other faction (but they accept as 'god's truth the propaganda from their faction). News in the mid 20th century actually contained some actual news but with the editorial slant of the paper's owners. People in the U.S. were actually informed of what was happening in the world outside the U.S.

What Trump and/or his supporters think of Biden is not news and what Biden and/or his supporters think of Trump is not news however it makes headlines and consumes hours of talking heads "debates". World news has all but vanished in coverage.

I think you are a bit harsh. I think there's a difference between completely made up stories and stories that are heavily biased. Calling the later "fake news" is just part of the propaganda machine. It isn't actually fake news. I don't think anybody remotely sensible truly thinks that.

QAnon type beliefs are still a marginal activity
 

skepticalbip

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News today is not news, it is political propaganda from both sides. What each political faction labels as 'fake news' is the propaganda of the other faction (but they accept as 'god's truth the propaganda from their faction). News in the mid 20th century actually contained some actual news but with the editorial slant of the paper's owners. People in the U.S. were actually informed of what was happening in the world outside the U.S.

What Trump and/or his supporters think of Biden is not news and what Biden and/or his supporters think of Trump is not news however it makes headlines and consumes hours of talking heads "debates". World news has all but vanished in coverage.

I think you are a bit harsh. I think there's a difference between completely made up stories and stories that are heavily biased. Calling the later "fake news" is just part of the propaganda machine. It isn't actually fake news. I don't think anybody remotely sensible truly thinks that.

QAnon type beliefs are still a marginal activity

Are you saying that the political faction you personally prefer only slants its "news" while the political faction you oppose only makes up its "news" from whole cloth?

Have you considered that maybe you have been swayed by the propagandists of one side more than the propagandists of the other?
 

DrZoidberg

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News today is not news, it is political propaganda from both sides. What each political faction labels as 'fake news' is the propaganda of the other faction (but they accept as 'god's truth the propaganda from their faction). News in the mid 20th century actually contained some actual news but with the editorial slant of the paper's owners. People in the U.S. were actually informed of what was happening in the world outside the U.S.

What Trump and/or his supporters think of Biden is not news and what Biden and/or his supporters think of Trump is not news however it makes headlines and consumes hours of talking heads "debates". World news has all but vanished in coverage.

I think you are a bit harsh. I think there's a difference between completely made up stories and stories that are heavily biased. Calling the later "fake news" is just part of the propaganda machine. It isn't actually fake news. I don't think anybody remotely sensible truly thinks that.

QAnon type beliefs are still a marginal activity

Are you saying that the political faction you personally prefer only slants its "news" while the political faction you oppose only makes up its "news" from whole cloth?

Have you considered that maybe you have been swayed by the propagandists of one side more than the propagandists of the other?

I think everybody is about as guilty of this. I go out of my way to read news from other sources than Liberal sources. Just to challenge my own biases.

But Pizzagate was created by trolls on 4Chan. They made no secret about it. It was an exercise in proving how gullible people are. That clearly qualifies as fake news
 

skepticalbip

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Are you saying that the political faction you personally prefer only slants its "news" while the political faction you oppose only makes up its "news" from whole cloth?

Have you considered that maybe you have been swayed by the propagandists of one side more than the propagandists of the other?

I think everybody is about as guilty of this. I go out of my way to read news from other sources than Liberal sources. Just to challenge my own biases.

But Pizzagate was created by trolls on 4Chan. They made no secret about it. It was an exercise in proving how gullible people are. That clearly qualifies as fake news
I don't deny that there are blatant lies. In fact that is what I maintained. I am saying that there are blatant lies from both factions... our difference seems to be that you appear to only see it from one faction. The problem is that there are people who believe the lies promoted by the propagandists of their faction and don't believe the biased reports (they see as blatant lies) or lies from the opposing faction.

If you or anyone else does not think that the faction you favor doesn't present blatant falsehoods as 'news' then your propagandists have done a good job at fooling their target audience.

Examples:
..Pizzagate (completely fabricated) was believed by many on the right.

.."Trump was an agent of Puten's" (completely fabricated) was believed by many on the left.

ETA:
But all this is my real problem with the 'news'. It has become primarily political propaganda, character assassination. I think news should be about what is happening in the world not what one political group thinks of another political group.
 

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I've completely swung around on this issue. I think fake news is good. I don't think it ruins anything. What it does it highlights the basic problem with explaining stuff. You have to remove information when describing anything, or it'll be an unmanageable mess of facts. All news, or any story, will in some sense or another always be a lie. Because it has filtered out information the speaker doesn't think is important, for whatever reason.

The existence of large amounts of fake news makes us think much more critically about what we are reading. The world is messy and contradictory. It's always been.

It's so easy to think that back in the olden days (pre-Internet news) news was accurate. Nope. It was pretty shit then to. It was just less of it, so we couldn't verify anything.

What has changed is that quality print media is losing revenue so has to turn to churning out small articles with juicy headlines to chase clicks, rather than fewer well researched pieces. But that's not necessarily evil. It's an evolution. For businessmen and investors getting an accurate description of the world is critical. It's a question of survival for them. So they'll always pay for accurate news. So it won't disappear. It'll just be differently packaged. However that packaging ends up looking like.

I think in the long run the existence and spread of fake news will lead to an environment of more good ideas being spread and talked about. Which has always been good in general. The economist Richard Florida has done a lot of research on a culture of tolerance for weird ideas and wealth generation. There's a strong correlation.

I think people who call for regulation of news and wanting some government agency validate it for them is essentially wanting to go back to world of predominantly comforting lies. A world where the mess and chaos of life is hidden. But that's the illusion. That was always the illusion.

Here's my prediction. We'll see the rise of resources like Snopes. They'll be imbedded in our news sources. Just like Google translate asks if you want to translate a web page, we'll get a configurable service to validate a pieces truth value. Some AI will rate it according to an algorithm telling us that something is 89% true and it's up to us to decide if it's good enough.

I think that in the long run the rise of fake news will only be seen as a good thing. A transition to a new and better more well informed world. We'll look back in horror at the deluded 20'th century where even the countries with a free press swallow mostly bullshit all day.

Yay for fake news!
I wanted to confirm I didn't break into Dr. Zoidberg's account and post this.
 

Swammerdami

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The problem with the identification of "fake news" is that people have become so partisan in their thinking that they see anything that favors the opposing partisan side as not true or 'fake news' so give it no consideration. It is kinda a propogandists dream. The left has come to assume that anything from the right is a lie and the right has come to assume that anything from the left is a lie... and alternately, anything they hear from their side is true.

Sure. You'll have no argument from me. I still think it's an improvement over what we had before. Which was being served comforting lies. At least this is glaring and obvious lies. I prefer the Wizard of Oz being visible, rather than hidden behind the curtain.
News today is not news, it is political propaganda from both sides. What each political faction labels as 'fake news' is the propaganda of the other faction (but they accept as 'god's truth the propaganda from their faction)....

This is so wrong, it makes one want to weep. Mr. Skeptical often impresses me as very intelligent; why has he fallen for the Tu Toque here? This misinformation only helps the Liars to continue to win.

In fact the effort the R's devote to Lying, or BS more generally, is roughly ONE HUNDRED (100) times in quantity than the D's effort. (Charges of criminality against Trump et al clearly do not constitute BS or Lying If they are True.) At some point, the simple imbalance in the amount of BullShit is overwhelming and TuToque must be laughed at. What is that threshold? I don't know, but I should think that 100:1 is sufficiently large,

Do both R's and D's utter bullshit? On a percent basis of time spent (Congressional hearing, campaign, op-eds — and ignoring banter on foreign affairs) here's how I see the R and D "thought" as presented,
R:
* 20 - exaggerating "issues" like Dr. Seuss
* 20 - misleading near lies
* 15 - egregious lies
* 15 - slanders
* 10 - non-egregious lies
* 15 - sniveling
* 5 - other, incl. policy
In other words, about 95% of R utterances are Lies or otherwise worthless.

D:
* 10 - exposing Trumpist crimes and sins
* 5 - refuting other R's daily lies
* 10 - proposals for better policing, and hopefully improving race relations
* 10 - proposals re: infrastructure, etc.
* 5 - proposals re: education, internet, etc.
* 15 - minimum wage, direct stimulus
* 10 - tax policy
* 15 - protection of voting rights
* 10 - an implicit debate about values
* 5 - protection from pandemic
* 5 - other healthcare
Yes, the D's spend 15% of their time revealing the lies, crimes, and sins of the R's, but these may serve a purpose. Or will Trump supporters still support their man if he's locked up in Sing Sing prison?
But most importantly, Rachel Maddow wields TRUE facts in her indictment of R's,
while counterparts like Fucker Carlson wield only LIES.

Is not the divide vast? The R's focus almost solely on propaganda, mistruths and lies, mostly to impugn their political opponents. The D's utter mostly true facts and opinions, want to focus on real issues like healthcare or minimum wage, but are forced to devote considerable effort to combating R malice, e.g. voter suppression.

What am I missing? I'll repeat my prior post, boldfacing the question I want to her Mr. Skeptical or Dr. Zoidberg answer.
My own ancestor was a newspaper publisher who self-described with "Give the people controversy. Have the courage to take sides on a question. Many people may then hate you but they always read what you have to say."

Do Fox Potatoes listen to what Rachel Maddow has to say?

It might behoove [to offer] examples of "fake news" uttered by Democrats.

In the U.S., fake news includes the notion that Hillary Clinton runs a child sex ring out of the basement of a popular Washington pizzeria. Several Americans didn't "get the joke," since one showed up firing an assault rifle in the pizzeria! BTW, I see where Tucker Carlson's lawyer is now using the same defense Alex Jones used! — Carlson can't be guilty of lying or slander because his shows are obviously just comedy!

... the Fox Potatoes smart enough to know they're being lied to draw the wrong conclusion: that "the mainstream media" is lying just as bad as Fox. With facts defunct for many Americans, all that's left are opinions. All too often, opinions are themselves "fake" — they come from carnival barkers and pimps taking advantage of echo chambers.

The idea that today's news "is an improvement over what we had before" is completely off-base, bewilderingly wrong.
 

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.."Trump was an agent of Puten's" (completely fabricated) was believed by many on the left.

ETA:
But all this is my real problem with the 'news'. It has become primarily political propaganda, character assassination. I think news should be about what is happening in the world not what one political group thinks of another political group.

Oh my. I'd have thought this might have been covered already. Quick questions for bjp:
* aware that the charge was of being an "asset", not an "agent." Y/N
* aware that Putin did intervene to help Trump in 2016 and 2020, and that Trump was aware of this. Y/N
* aware that Trump is heavily indebted to Russian financiers. Y/N
* aware that Trump denied, against witnesses, staying in hotel that might have been a sort of honey-trap. Y/N

Trump DID absolve Russia of crimes whose guilt U.S. intelligence was certain of. Trump DID meet with Putin with no other American present, not eben an interpreter.

Never mind, Mr. Skeptical. If you call the idea that Trump was a useful asset for Russia to be "complete fabrication" then there's probably no chance either of us could inform the other.
 

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DrZoidberg On your claim humanity has never done better education I disagree.

Take the US. Courts permit religion to be taught in public schools. Locals have advocated and gotten limits in science education, civics, and language.

Public funding has been reduced at University making almost certain universities are dominated by rich elites or those educated are saddled with repayment loads basically reducing them to income levels of those not trained at all.

Its becoming very difficult to introduce information accuracy and validity filters by which one could constrain misinformation merging with real information.

Results are most avenues for noise reduction in the information channels or in those who filter information as it arrives are being further degraded by those who would misinform.

On the other hand I am confident we can gain control over misinformation if only we attach profit or advantage to materially accurate information in the information marketplace.

For instance if a platform rewards those who post verifiable and accurate information are rewarded for doing so in some way while those who can't get their stuff past the fib filters are punished in some way for a period of time I believe noise levels will reduce significantly toot sweet.

Let me put it this way all information has consequences when communicated. Consequences can be measured and tracked. By taking the information received and the use of information received one can attach material metrics to such.

Now if you aren't confident in the genetic model results of information transactions should lead to longer lives and better lives. If we are wrong then we're well on our way extinction. For me it's an easy bet.

Seems to me fair that those who design platforms are entitled to control veracity of content on their platform since it is by providing accurate information one usually makes the most reliable bucks and does the most good for those who participate.
 

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DrZoidberg On your claim humanity has never done better education I disagree.

Take the US. Courts permit religion to be taught in public schools. Locals have advocated and gotten limits in science education, civics, and language.

Public funding has been reduced at University making almost certain universities are dominated by rich elites or those educated are saddled with repayment loads basically reducing them to income levels of those not trained at all.

Its becoming very difficult to introduce information accuracy and validity filters by which one could constrain misinformation merging with real information.

Results are most avenues for noise reduction in the information channels or in those who filter information as it arrives are being further degraded by those who would misinform.

On the other hand I am confident we can gain control over misinformation if only we attach profit or advantage to materially accurate information in the information marketplace.

For instance if a platform rewards those who post verifiable and accurate information are rewarded for doing so in some way while those who can't get their stuff past the fib filters are punished in some way for a period of time I believe noise levels will reduce significantly toot sweet.

Let me put it this way all information has consequences when communicated. Consequences can be measured and tracked. By taking the information received and the use of information received one can attach material metrics to such.

Now if you aren't confident in the genetic model results of information transactions should lead to longer lives and better lives. If we are wrong then we're well on our way extinction. For me it's an easy bet.

Seems to me fair that those who design platforms are entitled to control veracity of content on their platform since it is by providing accurate information one usually makes the most reliable bucks and does the most good for those who participate.



USA isn't the world. But even if it would be, you'd still be wrong. Even in USA the population is still better educated than ever before. The fact that the most of the top universities in the whole world are in USA isn't just a fluke.

https://ourworldindata.org/global-education

What you claim as evidence of a lack of education is in fact exactly what happens when people start getting educated.

That's what this quote is about.

"a little knowledge is a dangerous thing"
/Alexander Pope

Or to quote a doctor friend of mine

"nurses are dangerous"

People who learn a little bit about a subject think they know more than they really do. Humility kicks in when we're very knowledgeable about a topic. But only other experts are able to judge if they really are experts. Which is a dilemma.

That means that when a population in a democratic country starts getting mass education we would expect government policies that are dumber. We get simple solutions for complicated problems. This is one of the most common modern arguments against democracy. It can go very wrong very quickly. At least democracies are self correcting over time.

The fact that public funding of US universities have gone down won't inevitably lead to a fall in education in the wealthiest country on Earth. What it will lead to is inequality. But that's something different.
 

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News today is not news, it is political propaganda from both sides. What each political faction labels as 'fake news' is the propaganda of the other faction (but they accept as 'god's truth the propaganda from their faction). News in the mid 20th century actually contained some actual news but with the editorial slant of the paper's owners. People in the U.S. were actually informed of what was happening in the world outside the U.S.

That still describes the state of the news today. If you pick out some more reputable news agencies, you'll find exactly what you described: news filtered through the editor's bias.

100 - 30 years ago (at least in the U.S.) newspapers were not all giving the same slant on the news. There were competing newspapers. I found it useful to read both a left leaning and a right leaning newspaper to try to figure out what really happened in any situation.

30 years, ago, or even 15 years ago, there was no left-leaning newspaper in my state. We had two right-wing newspapers, both published by News Limited. For many people this was their primary means of learning about news around the state, country and the world. The problem was that the news was significantly filtered: the papers would pick and choose on how to report on current event in order to support the right wing narrative. This was supported by opinion columnists and "analysis" that argued for and against some thing or another. These papers are still the only print newspapers in circulation, the difference now is that one can access left-leaning news agencies online, and actually get a different view that often focuses on things that one might consider to be more important.

For instance, these newspapers are gentle on conservative governments. They simply choose not to report facts that might damage voter confidence. The incumbent conservative government has had a number of scandals that have gone unreported in the papers, which means that a lot of people are completely oblivious to the nature and magnitude of these events. When the Labor party was in power, the newspapers enthusiastically and sensationally report on every allegation and rumour. (Some of that probably did qualify as fake news.) This gives people a very distorted view of the comparative competence and integrity of the two competing parties.

But none of it is really "fake news". It's just reality filtered by a media mogul's political agenda. It's only "fake" in the sense that it leads people to make false conclusions, whether they are deciding which governments have been better at managing the economy, weighing up the costs of action vs. inaction regarding any given crisis.
 

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As for the whole "both sides" argument, I think the reality is more like "both sides, but predominantly a right wing phenomenon".

Here's an app that attempts to chart the bias and reliability of selected news sources
https://master.d3evik1g1chalw.amplifyapp.com/

No. It's a lazy way for publicly funded European media to avoid being accused of taking sides. I think in most of Europe it is mandatory which can lead to pretty bizarre situations. And why in so many debate shows a priest is wheeled in, in spite of northern countries being secular to the extreme, and almost nobody gives a shit about what the priest has to say. It's a figleaf of impartiality.

Swedish state media does this both sides stuff all the time in spite of being a non-stop leftist/liberal propaganda machine. They just make sure that the right wing guy invited is an absolute lunatic.

I personally hate both sides of the story. I would prefer ideological biases stated upfront and their attempts to make their case as well as they can, seen from only that perspective. And leave it up to the viewer to find alternative perspectives. That's just my personal preference.
 

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Let me drop this one on you DrZoidberg.

A PhD in economics is the only one worth getting

https://qz.com/82743/a-phd-in-economics-is-the-only-one-worth-getting/


It quickly illustrates what is wrong with education lumping when making argument.

Incomes per large category like professional education income are masked by drivers such as economics and math/statistics. Physicists are a dime a dozen and we have thousands of excess in this and chemistry and most other scientific domains. Get an MBA, an Econ PHD, or Math PHD specializing in new statistical approaches and you go to heaven.

It's just like average income. About a dozen trillionaires and the curve is useless.

I expect plumbing and electrician drive contract and labor to be just as skewed are are science incomes.

As for more leads to dumber it's actually more leads to dominance by the greedier. I got mine up yours.
 

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People not knowing the truth about what is happening in the world is never good.

Not good for anyone or anything.

Proper response always requires understanding what you are responding to.

When people have no clue what power is doing they can easily become enemies to useful change and progress.

The Middle Ages were a time when there was also very little concern for the truth.
 

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I watched a news segment on fake video. It is getting very easy to produce fake video. Scary stuff, on the order of scifi fiction.
 

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I think fake news will ultimately have two effects.

1) make people more mistrusting of news so do more homework.
2) they will be frustrated about not knowing what is true so turn away from any intellectualism.

I'm from Sweden, a nation both of engineers as well as one with anti-intellectual and populist political tradition. In Sweden's case the anti intellectualism of the culture led to politicians outsourcing policy making to researchers. Which in hindsight has worked out well for Sweden. All things considered. So I'm not afraid of either scenario.

While I'm aware of the rise of conspiracy theory nonsense. But I think this is a passing trend. People aren't going to jump from one conspiracy theory to the next. They're going to put their chips on one conspiracy theory that'll crash and burn, and then go back to anti-intellectualism.

I know a lot of people in the Swedish rave scene. These are highly anti-intellectual. We had a rise in anti-immigration conspiracy theories peaking 2016. When a large number of them started making political posts for the first time ever. Now they're back to posting funny memes. I think this is how the new age of fake news will work. Anti-intellectuals will latch onto something dumb which will blow up in their faces and then they're out for good. This is a good thing.
 

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Mistrust in media is far from new. I first heard 'don't trust everything you read in the newspapers' as a kid in the 50s.

Along with 'you can't trust city hall'.
 

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Mistrust in media is far from new. I first heard 'don't trust everything you read in the newspapers' as a kid in the 50s.

Along with 'you can't trust city hall'.

In the 50s you had very little alternatives. So just mistrusting Media won't get you any closer to finding out what is true unless you have access to to some information and data that is accurate. That was only really made available after the introduction of the Internet.

We are truly living in a new age of information now. It's good because we have now access to a greater understanding of the world. But it's bad because there's fewer clear grand narratives to get behind.

I don't think it's strange that blaming everything on immigrants became a thing again. Because only the grossly uniformed could ever hope to find a shared story to get behind. The knowledgable crowd will never again be able to agree on anything
 

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Mistrust in media is far from new. I first heard 'don't trust everything you read in the newspapers' as a kid in the 50s.

Along with 'you can't trust city hall'.

In the 50s you had very little alternatives. So just mistrusting Media won't get you any closer to finding out what is true unless you have access to to some information and data that is accurate. That was only really made available after the introduction of the Internet.

We are truly living in a new age of information now. It's good because we have now access to a greater understanding of the world. But it's bad because there's fewer clear grand narratives to get behind.

I don't think it's strange that blaming everything on immigrants became a thing again. Because only the grossly uniformed could ever hope to find a shared story to get behind. The knowledgable crowd will never again be able to agree on anything

We have no greater understanding of the world because of the internet. We have more disinformation believed. That's all.

We understood what was happening just fine. If you listened to people like Chomsky.

Post WWII US the government has worked with corporations (The Military Industrial Complex) and subverted and undermined governments all over the world to exploit resources.

The Soviet dictatorship did the same.

And both sent armies and attacked other nations to back up their plans and to send messages to those who might try to oppose them.

The Soviet dictatorship has mutated slightly but things are basically still the same. China is now a big player and they are exploiting where they can as well.
 

steve_bank

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Mistrust in media is far from new. I first heard 'don't trust everything you read in the newspapers' as a kid in the 50s.

Along with 'you can't trust city hall'.

In the 50s you had very little alternatives. So just mistrusting Media won't get you any closer to finding out what is true unless you have access to to some information and data that is accurate. That was only really made available after the introduction of the Internet.

We are truly living in a new age of information now. It's good because we have now access to a greater understanding of the world. But it's bad because there's fewer clear grand narratives to get behind.

I don't think it's strange that blaming everything on immigrants became a thing again. Because only the grossly uniformed could ever hope to find a shared story to get behind. The knowledgable crowd will never again be able to agree on anything

Exactly right. The perennial question, what is truth?

From a bio I read of Jefferson in his da, jut like today, political operatives wrote fake news pieces under a false name. Dirty tricks were common.

The term Honest Abe for Lincoln was a pollical construction. In reality he was a haer nosed politician not averse to dirty tricks. Today [eople would go to jail for tricks played to ensure his nomination at a convention.

American media has always been dirty. CNN is biased, just more subtle than FOX.

A state cop I met said to me 'Individually people are smart, collectively they are like sheep'. Like when gawkers slow down at a highway accident creating traffic jams.


Some media outlets are better than others but you can not trust any of it. Jefferson thought democracy required an educated population. We have educated members of congress from top schools who can not understand the fundamentals of climate change.

The media is a reflection of the population.

We are near the point where fake video and audio will be visually impossible to see.

You can get apps that will learn someone's voice and turn your speech into the other.
 

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Some media outlets are better than others but you can not trust any of it. Jefferson thought democracy required an educated population. We have educated members of congress from top schools who can not understand the fundamentals of climate change.

They are more than capable of understanding it, but they are motivated to deny it.

Energy companies (and mining companies in Australia) make big political donations, and they expect a little sucky-sucky fucky-fucky in return.

Climate change has also become part of the culture wars; believing the science of climate change is a green left position, therefore right wing politicians can gain political clout by opposing this commie conspiracy.
 

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Some media outlets are better than others but you can not trust any of it. Jefferson thought democracy required an educated population. We have educated members of congress from top schools who can not understand the fundamentals of climate change.

They are more than capable of understanding it, but they are motivated to deny it.

Energy companies (and mining companies in Australia) make big political donations, and they expect a little sucky-sucky fucky-fucky in return.

Climate change has also become part of the culture wars; believing the science of climate change is a green left position, therefore right wing politicians can gain political clout by opposing this commie conspiracy.

What I don't understand about the culture wars in USA, is that, doesn't people see what it's about? The priests are afraid they will lose power, so they whip up their congregations to oppose anything that might threaten their hold over their congregations. Because they're afraid of being out of a job. Parents are afraid they'll lose control over their kids. So they're in on the game. How is it not possible to see that this is what is going on?

It makes me sad that the culture wars have come to the Middle-East and is winning ground. We ducked that bullet in Europe. For reasons not clear to me. But the culture wars truly is poison. The worst aspect of religion.
 

bigfield

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What I don't understand about the culture wars in USA, is that, doesn't people see what it's about? The priests are afraid they will lose power, so they whip up their congregations to oppose anything that might threaten their hold over their congregations. Because they're afraid of being out of a job. Parents are afraid they'll lose control over their kids. So they're in on the game. How is it not possible to see that this is what is going on?

I've noticed that people often have zero interest on what is happening behind the scenes. They read the newspaper, watch TV news, listen to AM radio, and browse social media, consuming media uncritically.
 

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There was literally just a coup attempt in the U.S. because of fake news but OK, sure, "fake news is good".
 

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The idea of spreading differing viewpoints on the interpretation of facts is a good idea. The idea of spreading lies as good is moronic and dangerous. The world does not need more disinformation.
 

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There was literally just a coup attempt in the U.S. because of fake news but OK, sure, "fake news is good".

I think this was the peak of it. After this I think the "wake up sheeple" - people will go back to sleep.

Do you think it will get worse than it is now?
 

DrZoidberg

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The idea of spreading differing viewpoints on the interpretation of facts is a good idea. The idea of spreading lies as good is moronic and dangerous. The world does not need more disinformation.

I don't think we get to chose between these. I think it's a package deal. It's some good and some bad.

Whatever mechanisms we employ to kill fake news will also kill the multitude of viewpoints. Not that I think it's possible to stop it
 

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There was literally just a coup attempt in the U.S. because of fake news but OK, sure, "fake news is good".

I think this was the peak of it. After this I think the "wake up sheeple" - people will go back to sleep.

Do you think it will get worse than it is now?

Does shit stink? If the society doesn't come down very hard on what just happened existing groups will be encouraged to try even harder to take charge.
 

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The idea of spreading differing viewpoints on the interpretation of facts is a good idea. The idea of spreading lies as good is moronic and dangerous. The world does not need more disinformation.

I don't think we get to chose between these. I think it's a package deal. It's some good and some bad.
There is a big difference between trying to censor to stop lies and promoting lies. Sorry, fake news has no place in a civilized society whatsoever.
Whatever mechanisms we employ to kill fake news will also kill the multitude of viewpoints. Not that I think it's possible to stop it
The way to stop fake news is better and more persistent education and civic engagement.
 

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The idea of spreading differing viewpoints on the interpretation of facts is a good idea. The idea of spreading lies as good is moronic and dangerous. The world does not need more disinformation.

If watch both CNN and FX enough the question what truth means becomes obvious.


The CNN intro used to be ...the most trusted name on the globe...

Interpretation of facts is presented as truth by both sides. That is ok to a point. The problem is when it gets to the point of always interpreting to favor one side or the other. When interpretation becomes apologetics it is harmful, FOX being blatant about it.

FOX is strongly opposed to illegal immigration. CNN continualy shows tragedy at the border but never questions how policy affects people deciding to come to the border. It is how you present facts to sway opinion one way or the other.

Whenever I listen to someone on TV or radio I am thinking what is this person trying to accomplish, regardless of which side he or she is on. What does the person WANT me to think, and why.
 

DrZoidberg

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There was literally just a coup attempt in the U.S. because of fake news but OK, sure, "fake news is good".

I think this was the peak of it. After this I think the "wake up sheeple" - people will go back to sleep.

Do you think it will get worse than it is now?

Does shit stink? If the society doesn't come down very hard on what just happened existing groups will be encouraged to try even harder to take charge.

But how is society supposed to "come down hard" on it? What's your proposed method? If your method acts to promote any single ideology, then I'm out.
 

DrZoidberg

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There was literally just a coup attempt in the U.S. because of fake news but OK, sure, "fake news is good".

I think this was the peak of it. After this I think the "wake up sheeple" - people will go back to sleep.

Go back to sleep? What evidence do you have of that?

I don't have evidence. But I have hope.

After the French Revolution the leftist press (that times equivalent to alt right) were very loud and demanding. When Robespierre fell they grew a hell of a lot less aggressive. And at the time of the rise of the Directory a year later (and it being much the same bullshit as Robespierre) they lost their fervour. The wrote the same things, but they hadn't quite the same passion, and had a lot less pull by the public. By the time Napoleon seized power nobody had the energy to give a shit.

That's the world's first occurrence of this. And this is a pattern repeated. The Iranian revolution had the exact same pattern. People who fanatically follow a misguided cause that ultimately succeeds and is shown to be nothing but bullshit, makes it's supporters become passive and cynical.

I'm not saying the storming of the Capitol is as a momentous of an occasion as the storming of the Bastille, but there are parallels. People only have so much energy to sink into bullshit causes.
 
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