WHAT A SHAME- A look at the low points in the modern media.


TELEVISION: HOW DO I KNOW IF IT IS WORTH MY TIME? PT 1.


Cinema, Film, Movie, Theater


This is a Question that should be Simple to Answer. Shows that Promote Pseudoscience and Pseudohistory are Often Advertised in ways that are almost Comical and Satirical in Nature. 

However, should all Programming be Disregarded if Commercials about such Shows Indicate a Lack of Professionalism and/or Intellectual Discipline, with little regard for Proper Research Methods?

This Depends on the Type Viewing Experience that you want to have.

Suppose you want to be "ENTERTAINED" , WITH NO REAL DESIRE TO EVALUATE THE TRUTH 
OR REALITY OF WHAT YOU ARE SEEING.

WATCHING "TALL TALES", which are not meant to Impart Factual Data, but to ENCOURAGE "SUSPENSION OF BELIEF" AS A WAY TO ENJOY THE STORY, ARE THE BEST EXAMPLES OF THESE.  If this is Appealing to you, Tune In, and Treat it like an OLD FASHIONED "CAMPFIRE" STORY, WHICH IS NOT INTENDED TO BE A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY.


HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO MIX ENTERTAINMENT WITH AN EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY, AND VALUE THE "SUBSTANCE" OF WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT TO WATCH, THAN YOUR STANDARDS WILL HAVE TO CHANGE.

THIS IS WHERE THE HANDLING OF THE SUBJECT MATTER IS IMPORTANT. IF ATTEMPTS TO DECEIVE YOU INTO ACCEPTING BOGUS OR FAULTY INFORMATION AS FACTUAL OFFENDS YOUR SENSE OF INTELLECTUAL HONESTY AND INTEGRITY, THEN AVOID CERTAIN PROGRAMS COMPLETELY.



The Problem is: How can we KNOW?

Sometimes, the COMMERCIALS/TEASERS GIVE US A PRETTY GOOD IDEA. If not, the First Few Minutes, INTRODUCING THE SUBJECT,  AND THE HOSTS OR "INVESTIGATORS", MAY LEAVE SOME CLUES ABOUT THE MATERIAL THAT IS TO FOLLOW ON THE SCREEN.

CLAIM OR TEASER #1-  "THIS WILL REWRITE HISTORY"...OR..."THIS WILL SIT SCIENCE ON ITS HEAD."

Although I am not going to say that it is a CERTAINTY, ANY PROGRAM THAT USES SUCH DIALOGUE TO BEGIN THE EPISODE IS PROBABLY... 






TELEVISION: HOW DO I KNOW IF IT IS WORTH MY TIME? PT 2.

Ufo, Spaceship, Science Fiction


...Just another CASE OF PSEUDOSCIENCE/PSEUDOHISTORY ATTEMPTING TO PASS OFF SLOPPY METHODOLOGY, POOR SCHOLARSHIP, MISSING OR POOR EVIDENCE, AND LOGICAL FALLACIES AS VALID ATTEMPTS TO EXPLAIN...

...JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. If there is one thing we can know for sure, when looking for BAD TELEVISION MASQUERADING AS "EDUCATIONAL", "INVESTIGATIVE", OR "GROUNDBREAKING, " IS THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO EXPLOIT, AND DUMB DOWN ANY SUBJECT IN NEED OF PROPER INTELLECTUAL INQUIRY, AS LONG AS THE RATINGS JUSTIFY THE ADVERTISING REVENUE.

So what should we be looking for, that will give us HINTS AS TO THE QUALITY 
OF THE PROGRAM BEING BROADCAST?  BELOW ARE A FEW EXAMPLES
OF NOT FOLLOWING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD, OR THE RULES OF LOGIC.

CAN YOU SPOT THE FLAWS?

1)  "MOST UFO SIGHTINGS ARE SPACESHIPS, PILOTED BY BEINGS FROM         

OTHER PLANETS."

     "WITNESSES HAVE SEEN UFOS TRAVELING AT SPEEDS, AND                        
      MANEUVERING IN WAYS THAT NO MAN MADE AIRCRAFT COULD, 
       GIVEN OUR PRESENT TECHNOLOGY. THEREFORE, THESE UFOS 
       ARE FROM OTHER WORLDS."

2)  "SCIENCE CANNOT EXPLAIN WHY THE SHIP DISAPPEARED."
                                
                                         INSTEAD OF

     "THE CAUSE OF THE SHIPS DISAPPEARANCE IS UNKNOWN."

3)  "DO YOU THINK THERE ARE ANIMALS EXISTING ON EARTH TODAY, 
      THAT ARE UNKNOWN TO SCIENCE?  IF SO, WHY DO YOU DOUBT
      THE EXISTENCE OF BIGFOOT?"

      "JUST BECAUSE SCIENCE HASN'T CAPTURED A BIGFOOT, DOESN'T
        MEAN THEY DON'T EXIST."

TO BE CONTINUED.




WHAT A SHAME. TELEVISION: HOW DO I KNOW IF IT IS WORTH MY TIME? PT 3.


Ufo, Alien, Spaceship, Space, Science


Let us Examine the Two Statements that are from the first example in PART 2.

1)  "MOST UFO SIGHTINGS ARE SPACESHIPS, PILOTED BY BEINGS FROM OTHER PLANETS."

"WITNESSES HAVE SEEN UFOS TRAVELING AT SPEEDS, AND MANEUVERING IN WAYS THAT NO MAN MADE AIRCRAFT COULD, GIVEN OUR PRESENT TECHNOLOGY. THEREFORE, THESE UFOS ARE FROM OTHER WORLDS."

To begin with, both of these Statements are Completely Subjective, and without Ways to Test or Verify Either, are Scientifically Valueless.  The SCIENTIFIC METHOD, THROUGH A PROCESS OF CRITICAL THINKING WHICH OBEYS THE RULES OF LOGIC, CANNOT PROPERLY EVALUATE "EVIDENCE" THAT CONTAINS NOTHING TO SUBSTANTIATE THE CLAIMS BEING MADE. 

Lets look at this in another way. Suppose I were to change the FIRST STATEMENT FROM:

"MOST UFO SIGHTINGS ARE SPACESHIPS, PILOTED BY BEINGS FROM OTHER PLANETS."

TO:

"MOST UFO SIGHTINGS ARE TIME SHIPS, PILOTED BY HUMAN BEINGS FROM THE EARTHS DISTANT FUTURE."


The Second Statement is no more "TRUE" OR "FALSE" THAN THE FIRST.  FOR EITHER OPINION TO BE ARGUED AS THE CORRECT ONE IS MISSING THE POINT.  NEITHER CAN PASS AS A PROPER "THEORY," BECAUSE THEY DO NOT MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF 
SUCH.

FOR SOME REASON, (Perhaps it is the lack of CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS), SOME HEAR STATEMENTS LIKE THESE IN THE MEDIA, AND ACCEPT THEM AS BELIEVABLE OR PLAUSIBLE. Yet, AT BEST, THEY ARE NOTHING MORE THAN WISHFUL THINKING ON THE PART OF THE INDIVIDUALS MAKING SUCH CLAIMS, WHO ARE GIVEN A PLATFORM FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN THE HOPE THAT IT WILL INCREASE RATINGS.

Now you may Think That a PARTICULAR BELIEF ABOUT UFOS, SUCH AS THEIR ORIGIN AND CAPABILITIES, DON'T REALLY HARM ANYONE. WHO IS THE VICTIM, AND WHY SHOULD WE CARE?

THE PROBLEM EXISTS WHEN YOU ALLOW THAT LINE OF REASONING TO BE APPLIED TO OTHER BRANCHES OF SCIENCE, AND JUST AS DAMAGING, OUR POLITICAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS.




AN INTRODUCTION TO THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM- WHAT THEY DON'T TELL YOU ON T.V. PT 1.


Hammer, Court, Law, Right, Justice, Jura


It is unfortunate, but most of the world seems to get their information about legal proceedings in the United States from what is transmitted over the air. ( Television and Radio).

However, these programs frequently distort reality, choosing to depict subject matter in the most shocking and emotional way that will bring in the highest ratings.  Often, this does not reflect the issues that will actually influence the lives of  all Americans.

The following articles will address a few misconceptions about this essential, but often misunderstood part of life in the U.S.

- The Jury system is designed to weed out the Racist, Bigot, Irrational etc.  In other words, anyone who cannot render a fair and unbiased verdict.

This may have been the goal, but in practice it is entirely untrue.  Peremptory Challenges that remove
prospective jurors without cause, Companies who specialize in researching the type of juror who will be predisposed to decide a certain way, and there being no evaluation to ensure that a juror is sound of mind, are just a few ways that send the concept of a truly impartial jury into the realm of mythology.  In fact, many criminal attorneys are evaluated by the ability to pick a jury that sympathizes with their case, even before a single word of testimony.

The above are the results of a system that is not designed to seek out truth above all else, but to encourage competition between two opponents, with the winner "Having the best game plan."