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Why so many disturbances?

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Media in general has a natural bad news bias. That's because negative events are noteworthy and get views.

"Millions of people drove safely to work today" is not news. "Five killed in horrible freeway accident" is.

The culture of the U.S. is getting worse as we move toward statism. However, that doesn't mean day-to-day life is the collection of life-threatening dangers you would imagine from viewing or reading the news.

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Media in general has a natural bad news bias. That's because negative events are noteworthy and get views.

I think there may be something deeper going on as well. An increasing number of people in the country have a malevolent sense of life. For such people, the 'unsavory' is what feels natural and right. They expect to see failure and misery, and so when they do their emotional reaction is "See? That's what the world is like."

The desire to read and watch negative events is not hard-wired into human psychology. The media may be responding to immediate economic incentives, but those incentives reflect the philosophical premises with which the country is saturated and the kind of psychology that develops out of those premises.

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I think there may be something deeper going on as well. An increasing number of people in the country have a malevolent sense of life.

Compared to the time when everyone's sense of life was that it was only to be evaluated after it? aka, deeply religious and/or plagued by magic and superstition if not outright tyranny?

As in finance, (or biology for that matter) if you pick a very small sample you can reach whatever conclusion you please, as you can chose a segment when X (in this case sense of life) is going up or down, or hardly, stagnant.

The bigger the sample the more optimist the outlook, but the less specific and relatable to objectively identifiable events.

For such people, the 'unsavory' is what feels natural and right. They expect to see failure and misery, and so when they do their emotional reaction is "See? That's what the world is like."

The desire to read and watch negative events is not hard-wired into human psychology. The media may be responding to immediate economic incentives, but those incentives reflect the philosophical premises with which the country is saturated and the kind of psychology that develops out of those premises.

That last part is both obvious and insightful. True but not thorough.

When a guy lives his/her own life having to make peace with his/her own frustration, a popular and ancient outlet is shadenfreude, rejoycing in the misery of others (a.i. at least I'm not in his position!), like the Roman Circus. Media companies cater to that popular tacky sentiment in the same way they cater to another popular tacky sentiment, tenderness, with their human interest stories about a she dog nursing kittens. The former caters to the malevolent sense of life in some people, the latter to the benevolent. In both cases, the lowest common denominator as mainstream media is (sigh) mainstream!

Like the Roman Circus, the purpose is not only commercial - I wish, but appeasatory. Panis et Circencis, bread and circus helps the populace stay put and bear their toil.

You (@Michael) can perfectly chose what to feed your mind with. You can only see natural science news, or medical reviews, or art, etc, and never ever have to be fed poison and misery. You can chose not to read the papers and watch the 6'clock news, but this industry makes you feel like your life would depend on it.

Another factor is the sudden capacity to record (all) events. Interconnection not only bring us cheap Asian products, it also bring us information we might not want to be aware of, such as an earthquake in the other side of the World. This is not due to the internet or even newspaper. This last bit is right out of Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith.

I'm saying it's a trade-off. The World is not going to hell, nor to utopia. But the chances for you living in either augment. In that respect (being more able to chose how to live and what to expose yourself to) the World IS getting better.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Remember, in Fountainhead, when Gail Wynand TRIED to use his critical yellow pages in FAVOR of Ruark, or whatever? He couldn't get his readership to switch over their bias. People pay to read the sort of news that appeals to them. If it's the malovalent type, that tells you something about those people. Just like their abuse of alchohol, drugs, tobacco tells you that they don't care a bout their health, and that tells you that they don't care about much else, either. Beware of such people.

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