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Information Overload


dream_weaver
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A headline posted on RealClearHoldings that brought back recollections of a former 'companion' in life.

Talk Radio Is Turning Millions of Americans Into Conservatives

Mark Scott was a three hour show. When the Rush Limbaugh Show got syndicated, Mark voiced his displeasure that the marketers selected "Talent on loan from God", and that the years he spent developing his niche would likely remain a niche in the marketplace.

The relevant gist of this article was: The 15 top shows, classified as conservative, play for 3 hours per day is 45 hours. Multiply that time 5 days a week. This is a lot of content.

The Ayn Rand Institute has taken to producing more content, while making previous content more widely available. As a customer that had paid rather dearly for the content earlier in life, it produces a double edged blade. It does make the information more widely available. It also hearkens to mind something Thomas Paine wrote: “What we obtain too cheaply we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.”

Additionally, Alex Epstein as well as Craig Biddle have added regularly produced podcasts to the mix of content available.

There are also other communities which members bring in content to discuss. Articles from FEE, the CATO institute (as referenced here), ARI, The Objective Standard.

Looking up terms for "information overload", Urban Thesaurus provided a few that resonated such as infoglut, t.m.i. (too much information), and more obscurely, signal to noise ratio.

Borrowing and building off the definition of signal to noise ratio from Wikipedia, it is defined as: the ratio of the power of a signal (meaningful input) to the power of background noise (meaningless or unwanted input). Or how about the ratio of the essential to the inessential.

Another thought from the CATO Institute article:

Talk radio listeners make up a group at least three times as large as the N.R.A. and are just as committed to a particular vision of America.

There are an estimated 5 million members of the N.R.A. If the ratio identified is valid, that makes about 15 million listeners. In a country of over 382 million, that is about 4%.

How many people watch the news broadcasts, and how committed are they to a particular vision of America? The size of the audience is estimated at just over 5 million and declining.

In her novel, Atlas Shrugged, John Galt had operated on a radio frequency that allowed him to dominate the signal to noise ratio across all bands. This, of course, is still fiction. In a 'parallel universe', the dominate signal is that which we attend to. The noise can usually be disregarded unless it interferes with that which is desired.

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  • 11 months later...

dream_weaver

If your line of argument is sound, which I think it is,

instead of measuring the amount of material when deeming Objectivist content as dear or less dear,

measure the number of Objectivists.

If there are fewer Objectivists than conservatives,

it is not because Objectivism is becoming less dear,

it is because choosing Objectivism requires more courage than choosing conservativism.

Therefore, those who remain strictly Objectivist will be stronger thinkers who did not fall off the map when it came time to vote either for Republican or Democrat.

This is good for us. We are America's Persecuted Minority.

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Doug Morris,

If I am making a generalization about conservatives being more friendly to talk to than liberals,

am I forcing myself to be correct about every instance?

Or can I speak with statistical confidence based on my experience?

Obviously, from your strong argumentative tone in your responses to my posts,

Objectivists are not friendly with each other either.

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6 hours ago, Sebastien said:

dream_weaver

If your line of argument is sound, which I think it is,

instead of measuring the amount of material when deeming Objectivist content as dear or less dear,

measure the number of Objectivists.

If there are fewer Objectivists than conservatives,

it is not because Objectivism is becoming less dear,

it is because choosing Objectivism requires more courage than choosing conservativism.

Therefore, those who remain strictly Objectivist will be stronger thinkers who did not fall off the map when it came time to vote either for Republican or Democrat.

This is good for us. We are America's Persecuted Minority.

I would question the quality of the Objectivist content in contrast to what the talk-show host uses in bringing in and holding new listeners.

The Mark Scott Show was what introduced me to Ayn Rand's materials, and I had listened to it for a long time before I made the connection. Why? Because what the guy said made sense.

He talked about current issues and connected them to the relevant principles, and only then might he point out the origin of the principle under examination. In exchange he made his listeners stronger thinkers by challenging their premises and encouraging them to question their convictions in an inviting rather than threatening way.

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5 hours ago, Sebastien said:

If I am making a generalization about conservatives being more friendly to talk to than liberals,

am I forcing myself to be correct about every instance?

Or can I speak with statistical confidence based on my experience?

Thank you for clarifying your position.

5 hours ago, Sebastien said:

Obviously, from your strong argumentative tone in your responses to my posts,

Objectivists are not friendly with each other either.

How friendly I am in responding to a post depends a lot on the nature of that post.

5 hours ago, Sebastien said:

You'll notice that in my style of argument, I never make things too personal.

Not true.

5 hours ago, Sebastien said:

Ideas are what we are discussing. Can we stick with ideas and try to find agreement?

Exactly what I want to say to you.

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