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Pessimism about the Future

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#23: I would define culturally conservatism as the conviction that old mores and tastes, e.g. concerning sex and the arts, are better than new ones. Rand's pronouncements about beards, hippies (in her understanding of the term), homosexuality (all bad) and cigarette smoking (good) are cases in point.

#25: If I understand you correctly (a big if), you are just about everybody in the media of a lack of professional integrity (saying that they shade the truth to please advertisers). I'd have to see your evidence.

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#25: If I understand you correctly (a big if), you are just about everybody in the media of a lack of professional integrity (saying that they shade the truth to please advertisers). I'd have to see your evidence.

When has broadcast media been anything but placating the viewers? The different news departments may have people who hold professional ethics, but the broadcast of their views , unless they are self broadcasters, is subject to others' motivations for 'putting it out there'.

I did not mean to suggest anyone is shading anything, just that the decisions as to what to broadcast is not seen in the light of what do the people need to know.

Do you think it is incumbent for the 'news media' to inform the populace, do 'news' broadcasters have some special imperative they must follow just because they disseminate information? Or are they just as likely to produce content they feel will increase any profits they may accrue by playing to an audience suitable to their advertisers?

Edited by tadmjones

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I understand your assertion. You needn't repeat it. Evidence would be particular facts about the practices of news organizations. Since you say that this is pervasive and built-in, a few anecdotes, even if accurate, would not be enough. You'd need a thorough history touching on all the outlets.

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The good news is that most Democrats don't believe in global warming. If they did they'd be more pessimistic.

That may hold true in your experience, but not in mine. Global warming is the secular political religion of the left.

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The good news is that most Democrats don't believe in global warming. If they did they'd be more pessimistic.

While that may hold true in your experience, it is not in mine. For the Democrats I know, global warming is their secular political religion.

Edited by moralist

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The content and slant of media is a reflection of elite culture (the cultural "prime movers" if you will), not of the unwashed masses per se.

Fox News absolutely influences people whom otherwise would not hold one view or another. I would submit that "technology" today has sharpened that art to a fine point (the manufacture of consent has improved noticeably).

Philosophy, on the other hand, influences the influencers...

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I understand your assertion. You needn't repeat it. Evidence would be particular facts about the practices of news organizations. Since you say that this is pervasive and built-in, a few anecdotes, even if accurate, would not be enough. You'd need a thorough history touching on all the outlets.

I guess my broader point is that news programming is in no way different from any programming on broadcast media. As to specific examples of owners of media slanting, shading,or editting content to suit viewer tastes, I doubt I could site any, so let's just call it a bias I hold. I withdraw any implcation I may have made to the effect that is was in fact fact.

I did however like it better 'in the old days' when Cronkite would actually hold up a box of Tide or some such and state the news hour was brought to you by...

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#23: I would define culturally conservatism as the conviction that old mores and tastes, e.g. concerning sex and the arts, are better than new ones. Rand's pronouncements about beards, hippies (in her understanding of the term), homosexuality (all bad) and cigarette smoking (good) are cases in point.

No - one of the main principles of cultural conservatism is tradition. Just because Rand may have a had a few agreements with them, it was completely coincidental. Rand wasn't against anything simply because it was against the social norm, tradition, or religion as cultural conservatives are.

Edited by thenelli01

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I have liveral freinds who very pessimistic after the 2004 election, so I would wager that the range of the moment thinking of both parties trend around who they think is steering the ship in the short run.

What this has to do with Fox News is beyond me. All of my Liberal and Conservative freinds get their news on the radio or online.

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I have liveral freinds who very pessimistic after the 2004 election, so I would wager that the range of the moment thinking of both parties trend around who they think is steering the ship in the short run.

I think that people would be more optimistic if they tended to steering their own ships.

What this has to do with Fox News is beyond me. All of my Liberal and Conservative freinds get their news on the radio or online.

Same here. Network news is as dead as print.

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Pater Tenebrarum (via private message to Mike Shedlock) draws a visual analogy that explains the optimist versus the pessimist views: "It is like wading through molasses."

 

Picture the economy as a person wading through a large pool of molasses. He's making progress, but its slow. In some countries (some pools) things are deep enough that the person is barely making progress. In others, the pool is a hindrance, but  -- with the molasses only up to the thighs -- progress is a little faster. The pessimists look at the molasses and how it is slowing down progress; the optimists look at the progress being made despite the molasses. Neither is right if they only look at one aspect; the truth and reality lies in the whole picture.

 

The tragedy is that there is no external force involved. That is where the analogy breaks down. It is wrong to picture governments as an external force, filling the pool with molasses. it is various people in the economy (think, perhaps, cells of the person's body) who put the molasses there and are clamoring for more. 

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I'm in the middle of reading a good book: "The Rational Optimist" by Matt Ridley. It is well worth a read. The last couple of chapters really address the topic of perpetual pessimism... from the time we have people writing and making predictions about the world. Jesus is always coming and the world is always ending... except in secular form, whether it is the disappearance of the art of memorizing the scripture, the industrialization of the world, end of the gold standard, or Obamacare. Yet, life pretty much gets better across the planet. Despite the title, the book is actually a thesis about the importance of trade and exchange from early times to the present, and in many instances where we would think trade is a result of something else, Ridley argues that causation is the other way around. Well worth a read, even if you're not interested in the last two chapters where he attacks pessimism.

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