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Author Topic: Avoiding main stream news.  (Read 1101 times)
Herodes
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January 22, 2013, 06:19:47 PM
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I'd like to post this topic, because I'd like to discuss this.

Here's some background that I recommend reading:

http://joel.is/post/31582795753/the-power-of-ignoring-mainstream-news

I've always been an avid reader of news. Typically main stream news. I used to go over lots of national news papers every day, and also the occasional visits to international news papers (websites).

As I've grown older, I am removing myself from the notion that in life, everything's about myself. I'm become aware I'm a part of a whole, that I am a part of society, and as such politics and things that happens in society have been of interest to me, and also seeing how things are run, and the problems faced by many countries, and of course international politics and happenings as a whole have been more interesting. Joining the bitcoin community and seeing and learning a lot about how things are run in general, ie. big corporate, corrupt governments etc. have strengthened me in my libertal views in the department of politics.

In parallel I've been starting to think about mass media, mainly main stream news, and the effects it has on our lives. As put forth in the link above, 95% of news are negative. And this does in fact affect us, it does affect me. When I read the daily national news, my emotions change from contempt, to disgust, to disbelief, to frustration, to shock and so on. There's simply so much stupidity going on that it's staggering. And there's so much stuff that politicians chose to solve in a very bad way, if they even mangage to solve it. So many solutions that makes me downright angry, because it seems like experts in the field haven't even been consulted and that solutions are just pulled out of the air or made up on the spot based on a politician's personal preferences, or the preferences of a small group of politicians, and there's so much populistic opinions and acts, while what society and the community needs are people who can think long term, and  to create systems that are sustainable for a long time to come.

I realize that many news papers make cases look controversial and they're polarizating a lot. Esp. tabloid media.

Now, for most people, life consists of work, their families and their leisure activities, including friends and social activities. Most people has no influence about the larger issues that goes on between countries, or in the own country for that matter. So what is the point of being concerned about it ? Do they need to be concerned about the stuff that's going on every day, every week, every month or every year ? Would not reading a monthly or yearly chronicle be enough ? If there's something really important going on, like the country being invaded by another country, won't someone notice you ?

I'm not saying that we should stay ignorant, but I'm debating whether reading or watching the daily news is beneficial to our lives in general. As we know, many news sources are tools for the government or big corporations. There are certain viewpoints that are considered 'right', although they may not necessarily be the 'universal truth'. I'm not looking into conspiracy theories here, but I do question authority, not for the sake of questioning authority, just to be in opposition, but because I do honestly believe that the state is not always right, and what the state decide should be legal or illegal is not always the same things that I feel should be legal or illegal.

Questioning authority is only healthy. Why should we obey without asking questions ? Many people are afraid to go outside the main stream, and they've been accustomed to do what everyone else expects them to do. It takes strength to go outside the beaten path.

Lately I've been focusing on what's really important in life. It's not to impress others, it's not to make a lot of money, but it's about being happy. That may sound like some hippie speaking of utopian ideals. But it really is not, what it's more about is to take control of my own life and it's direction.

Let's face it, no matter our level of knowledge or level of education, we are affected by our environment. Everything has an impact on us. If we're surrounded by positive upbeat people, then we feel upbeat too. On the other hand, if we're greeted by angry unhappy people, it doesn't put a smile on our mouths.

Most of us have aspirations, dreams and goals, things we want to achieve in life. For instance, goals could be to score a great job, finish a degree, raise a family, or anything else that makes you feel a great sense of achivement and/or happiness. Things worth fighting for doesn't come easily, and neither should they.

Every day, when we wake up, is a new day, with lots of opportunities, some lack direction and don't have any goals, while others are very driven and work hard to achive their goals. So, the mindset is very important. Do you weak up with the toughts in your head that you're a great person, and that you can do greats things, that you have great belief in the things that you do, and you know that you're a success, or do you just let yourself drift between every mundane task in everyday life and really doesn't take control ?

It's very individual what makes us feel great. But we've all experienced it at some points. When we feel we are respected and that what we do matters and is appreciated, we feel better. If all our efforts receive no attention, and we're not treated well, we will gradually lose our motivation.

I've focused on how I feel after reading the news. Since nearly all of it is negative, I don't feel good at all. I don't cry, despair or get cut off from doing the tasks I'm supposed to do, but I certainly does not feel great and in light spirit.

After all, how much do I need to know that some people north in the country got killed in a car accident, that some politician is told to be corrupt and is now being investigated, that a building burned down to the ground in a major city and 5 people lost their lives, that someone robbed a jewelry store, that somebody shot their ex-girlfriend to death and so on. There are so many things in the news that plainly makes me not feel good. Deaths, murders, accidents, I can't sympathize with all the victims, I can't cry for all of them. Of course some incidents are worse than others, and may make me reflect upon life, esp. if the incident is close to me or touches somebody I know. But overall, there's a lot of things in the news that I don't need to know, and more importantly, most of the things I can do nothing about. I am not in a position where I can affect a lot of lives. I can affect and have an impact on my family, my friends, my clients and so on, but unless I go into politics or start some interest group, there's not much I can do either way about most issues. As most people, I have enough with making ends meet, caring for the family and other obligations. When the time is right, I may fight for a cause and make a difference. But right now I don't have the resources to do that. I think it's great with people who have built a fortune, and is helping the world with humanitarian actions through different projects. I hope to at one point be in that position too.

So what's the point then ? What's the point in following the news ? Because it is my obligation as a citizen ? Because I owe it to the community ?

I can't remember the last time I felt empowered by following main stream news. Apart from the occasional charming story about some animal rescued that was near death and stuff like that, there's not much that's really uplifting and positive.

If I want to learn about politics, a country, a battle of war, an ancient building, or whatever piques my interest, I could read a book, to get an in depth understanding of the issues at hand. That could be a positive experience, and I could filter what I would read myself.

I've often just read the news just to read it, is there anything new ? And most of the time I read about provoking things that just makes me complain about it to people I know. Did you hear what politician so and so proposed ? Did you hear about that evil corporation and what they did ? What value does it bring to our lives, what value does it bring to the conversation.

Since most of the news is negative, this may lead to a mindset thinking that the world is a horrible place, and just getting worse. When in fact we live in interesting times, and we have the opportunity to use technology, to travel and do many things that people only 100 years ago could not do that easily.

So, since most of the things that I read in main stream news, or watch on 'the news' doesn't improve my life, and I can't do anything to fix the issues at hand, and it doesn't make me feel better, I decided to stop watching it, and to stop reading it, and I've done so now for a few weeks. I simply made a distinct decision not to visit those sites. Whenever the urge come to 'just check if there's anything new', I simply don't act on it. I do however read niche news, like hacker news and slashdot, because that's often stories that interests me, but I only click on the stories that seems interesting, and this sometimes directs me to main stream news sites, but that's the only thing I read about it.

It's a bit funny though, because it's so ingrained in society to 'read the news', it's almost like it's something you just have to do, it's your obligation like a citizen, or it's a custom that people just do without reflecting on it. People who just do things because that's how society works, or that's what they're accustomed to, people who never questions why something is the way it is, I like to call them sheep.

Most people, when going into a store to buy something, they buy what they need, and then they leave, they don't stay around for 30 minutes and buy whatever the crew at the store puts in their hands. But this is basically what happens when you watch 'the news', you are served a lot of stuff that you have no interest in seeing, but yet, you feel it's your 'obligation' to watch it, because everyone else does. And thus, for many people, reality is what's on TV. If it's not on TV, then it doesn't exist. So it makes for a shallow world.

Also, I'm very critical to the values put forth by tabloid media and mainstream TV. The only thing that is worth something, according to these ideals it that you have to be rich and good looking. That's about it. If you're neither of these things, you're basically not worthy of admiration. People that are young, doesn't get proper values and ideals from their homes, they're severly affected by this, they want to look like the sexed up popstars on MTV and so on.

These values are however not real values, just look to how many unhappy rich people there are. Money is not everything. Far more important is things like love, honesty, sincerity, reliability and decency.

It's now been a few weeks, and I don't miss mainstream news. I feel a lot better, I'm not having my daily dose of being upset about hopeless politicians, and stupid people and learning about a lot of issues that I really have no interest of knowing or any chance to do anything about.

The media is like a group of vultures, hustling from one case to the next, it's always about the 'scoop'. What can bring in the audience, what can bring in the clicks, what can bring in the money ?

I chose to hop of this train, and I've decided to use more time on educating myself in things related to my interests, and spend time on those projects I've thought of doing, but never getting around to.

What also often irritates me is that very many news articles are very poorly written, they are often highly inaccurate, and does not go in depth on the subject. Esp. when you know alot about a certain subject, this is highly annoying. It has come to the point, where I look at the profession of being a journalist with somewhat contempt. It doesn't mean all journalists sucks, as sometimes there's the elegant piece that's taken months to puzzle together, but esp. with all the tabloid online news sites, there's so much crap, that I'd need trucks just to get rid of all the drivel.

Did you ever reflect upon your habitual viewing and reading of main stream news ?

Did you ever try to stop reading the news, and what effect did this have on your life, in a positive or negative way ?

Personally I find that I'm more level headed, and not using time or being emotionally affected by news, I have more time to pursue my interests that makes me happy. You can say that you doesn't get affected by the news, that you just need to browse through it to see if there's something interesting, but if you admit ir or not, all input in your life affects you some way or another.

What's your opinion about a country ? Did you ever go there yourself to learn about it, did you read books about it, or is everything you know about that country formed by what you've learned in the main stream news ? Since 95% of what we read in the main stream news are negative, it's highly likely that your impression about one particular country could be negative.

The news media is very powerful, because it can form the opinion of people. Don't like someone, just plant alot of negative news articles about it, and people will fear it, and won't have anything to do with it. Just like we see with bitcoin in the main stream news these days.

If you mindlessly bow to all authority and always watch and read the news, I hope this made you think. Personally I feel better being without the news. Is it ignorant ? Irresponsible ? I don't think so, as it's a mature decision, if it wasn't for the rest of my family, I'd be inclined to toss out the TV's as well.

Perhaps by the end of the year, I will buy a journal to learn what happend that year.
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January 22, 2013, 06:47:30 PM
 #2

[post spot reserved for when I finish reading all this words  Shocked ]

blease resbond -> 1BYJKxpntNn6TZbM5M5CWkEb8vr8vDcBrr
Herodes
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January 22, 2013, 10:14:24 PM
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[post spot reserved for when I finish reading all this words  Shocked ]


Did you read it yet ?
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January 22, 2013, 10:28:36 PM
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I can go months without watching a TV news bulletin or hitting the website of a major newspaper.  On the occasions when I do tap into the mainstream media, I'm inevitably disappointed by the quality of reporting - I might as well have read someone's blog given how badly written and shallow most news reports are these days.

I don't really think I miss out on much because we no longer need to sit around and wait for news to be delivered to us.  I don't need to wait for the next news bulletin or tomorrow's newspaper if there's something happening about which I want more information.  The internet means that I'll be aware it's happening - and often before it even hits the mainstream media - and I can actively seek out further information in real time, often from people involved in the events rather than reporters looking for a "hook".

I think that we suffer from information overload and the general impact of that is negative - its skews our perspective in the same way that the prevalence of instant communication methods skews out perception.  We're more connected than ever before but I don't think we've learned to manage that in a healthy way yet.

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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January 22, 2013, 11:03:51 PM
 #5

in australia, when i was a kid (70's, 80's), the typical tv news program (not counting ads) consisted of about:

22 mins news
5 mins sport
3 mins weather

now it consists of

5 mins news and/or celebrity gossip
22 mins sport
3 mins weather

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January 22, 2013, 11:12:40 PM
 #6

in australia, when i was a kid (70's, 80's), the typical tv news program (not counting ads) consisted of about:

22 mins news
5 mins sport
3 mins weather

now it consists of

5 mins news and/or celebrity gossip
22 mins sport
3 mins weather



Yep, and the print media is pretty much the same, with a massive amount of space being devoted to "lifestyle" and "human interest" stories. 

All I can say is that this is Bitcoin. I don't believe it until I see six confirmations.
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January 23, 2013, 12:50:57 AM
 #7

It's not just the news.
When you get an eye in for manipulation you can see it in many forms including:

- the game of love
- films
- books
- religion

 Spiderman3 was a big one for me with it being so obvious. It creates guilt in sexual confidence and links evil with male attractiveness. It then rewards you for treating women in a way that will cause you much pain. Guys who watch this will be hurt by women and possibly come out the otherside with a chip on their shoulder. On the plus side, it might improve society through less broken homes.

 I like to watch the news because I like to see what's on the mindcontrol agenda. But it can be a bit much sometimes, especially when it's pulling at the heart strings in such obvious abuse of my compassion, or glorifying violence so when I'm conscripted into the army I won't give any mercy to muslims, or... whatever it is we're supposed to hate. It's also hard to catch all the tricks that are going on.

 But I think you need to watch and identify it. That way if you see it on twitter or whatever you should be able to spot it.

Crypto supporter!
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January 23, 2013, 02:27:45 AM
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I avoid the news as much as possible as i think that these clowns are on the same par as the government. And there is no "investigative"  Journalism any more. Any news on the radio i turn of as often as possible. I don't like being told the news like i'm some sort of six year old retarded citizen.
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January 23, 2013, 02:46:22 AM
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Spiderman3 was a big one for me with it being so obvious. It creates guilt in sexual confidence and links evil with male attractiveness. It then rewards you for treating women in a way that will cause you much pain. Guys who watch this will be hurt by women and possibly come out the otherside with a chip on their shoulder. On the plus side, it might improve society through less broken homes.

Can I buy some acid from you?
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January 23, 2013, 02:51:00 AM
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Spiderman3 was a big one for me with it being so obvious. It creates guilt in sexual confidence and links evil with male attractiveness. It then rewards you for treating women in a way that will cause you much pain. Guys who watch this will be hurt by women and possibly come out the otherside with a chip on their shoulder. On the plus side, it might improve society through less broken homes.

Can I buy some acid from you?

its called predictive programming. unfortunately its real. (though i dont know anything about spiderman 3 specifically)

Rep Thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=381041
If one can not confer upon another a right which he does not himself first possess, by what means does the state derive the right to engage in behaviors from which the public is prohibited?
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January 23, 2013, 03:11:16 AM
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I feel that ignorance is not necessarily bliss. Shutting off viewpoints because you consider them inaccurate isn't in general a good idea, as it forces you deeper and deeper into your personal bubble. I have an extremist political ideology, am a devout atheist, and have my own system of morals and values. Even though I can disagree with pretty much anything on the news, I don't ignore it. It isn't "manipulation", it's reality.

If we decide to insulate ourselves from news because it is always negative, we are insulating ourselves from reality. Life isn't a dream: there are horrible realities out there. While we can enjoy our lifestyles without news, what purpose is there to this enjoyment.

I certainly would consider myself a rebel. I question authority. But I don't question the media. Why? Because media is by the people and for the people, and this is a fact regardless of who makes it. News reflects reality. This is true no matter who or where it is from. Even a Soviet propaganda piece is inherently accurate, and if it isn't, still reflects on the state of affairs. However biased an article is, reading it is still good for you.

I'm an environmentalist. I believe that global warming and its associated destruction will likely be the death of us. But yet, I still watch Fox News. I choose to do so, even though I believe with all my heart that it is wrong. If I ignore the negatives, I don't help anyone—not society and not myself. Ignoring the news may improve your perceptions of society, but certainly not your understanding. This applies no matter how biased news may seem.

Yes, I agree that news can be disheartening. I would myself much rather take my girlfriend out for a walk than to watch CNN report on the Syrian civil war. But even so, it is irreplaceable. While walking in peace grants valuable time to reflect, one cannot reflect if they do not know anything to reflect on. If you don't know about the Syrian civil war, you cannot form your own opinions about it. You have chosen to shield yourself from it. This will bite you later in life.

We are all humans. We are all specialized. We probably can't do a thing about the Syrian civil war. But is that a good reason to ignore it? No. Those who do not study history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not read the news are similarly missing out on valuable experience.

What is experience? We all have it. But not all of it is our own. Have you ever tried smoking? If you haven't, good for you. You know it's bad for the human body, not because you've tried it, but because others have. After reading about the drunk driving accident killing 14, maybe you'll gain some of that experience—experience that applies even if you don't drink or if you don't drive.

Blaming the media for promoting values is analogous to blaming the mirror for a bad hair day. The media does not create values; it simply reflects upon values. Good-looking, smart, and rich people are overvalued in society, and this would be true even without the media. We value these because they are the three types of capital: sexual (good looks), social (intelligent), and economic (money).

If we instead valued spirituality, creativity, athleticism, or musicality, these would be reflected upon in the media. And for cultures that used to value them, it did. The Amerindians valued spirituality over economy, and this was reflected in their oral variation of our mainstream media.

We really shouldn't blame the news for our broken system of values. We should blame ourselves. In an ideal world, all values would be treated equally—we would judge people on personality, not economy nor sexuality nor intelligence. But this is not a problem for the media to solve, and we should not ignore the media because it does not solve it.

It's easy to be self-absorbed and plan to accomplish one's own goals one's own way. But noone is smarter than everyone else. The combined knowledge and experience of seven billion is not merely important but indeed critical to one's success. This is the reason I watch the mainstream media—it may not be pleasant, but it is necessary.

We pursue happiness in our lives. This is a mistake. Happiness is an emotion that we evolved hundreds of thousands of years ago to ensure we eat enough to survive. One can live a happy life, but contribute nothing. Doesn't that seem meaningless? We should not strive for a happy life. We should strive for a meaningful one.

Of course, so as to end this post on a positive note, I do agree that mainstream media isn't everything. I also read blogs and tabloids, especially ones about subjects I'm interested it. I take care to distrust everything I read—call me paranoid—and disagree about opinions even if I trust the facts. I am my own person, and I have my own version of the news. But this version ultimately derives from—dare I say—the mainstream media.
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January 23, 2013, 03:17:56 AM
 #12

If we decide to insulate ourselves from news because it is always negative, we are insulating ourselves from reality.

but we're talking about 'mainstream news' and you are assuming that represents reality.
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January 23, 2013, 03:24:50 AM
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If we decide to insulate ourselves from news because it is always negative, we are insulating ourselves from reality.

but we're talking about 'mainstream news' and you are assuming that represents reality.

It is mainstream for a reason. Reality is not based upon sociology. There is no way to model it except by observing it. Mainstream news clearly does the best job at observing it; otherwise, it would not really be mainstream news.
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January 23, 2013, 04:47:03 AM
 #14

Thanks for the replies.

Life has its up and downs, it will never be 100% perfect, but chasing ones dreams and making them a reality, why not ? Who will settle for a subpar existence if you can do better ?

I never signed a contract with the government or anyone else to always be updated on mainstream news. I've been reading the news for decades, so I am rather up to date with most things that've happened the latest years. If I spend 1 hour on news every day, that's 7 hours a week. If I chose to read a book that interested me, be it politics, history, philosophy, I could probably read at least one such book every week, that would be 52 books in a year. I think that would contribute significantly to my understanding of the world. I do not think reading everyday news is mandatory, nor should this be a requirement. If somebody asks me about something that's going on, I would simply answer I don't know about it, and if somebody shockingly replied: You don't read the news ? I would candidly answer: "No!"

I've read enough news to learn that atrocities, unjust, mayhem, tornado's, tsunamis, earth-quakes, mass-shootings, false-flag operations, power abuse, killings, murders, war etc. is something that's been happening for centuries, and it could happen again.

I've been to Germany. People there are no different than they was in second world war, all that's needed for a replay of what Hitler did is for a powerful and charismatic person to get a leading role in the country again, unless of course he's stopped. Which I hope he would be. Like guards had contempt for prisoners in WWII, ordinary Germans have contempt for say druggies that roam the train to ask for pocket change. But the Germans are not unique, many other countries are just like them, Norwegians (my home country) committed atrocities several times in history. Interestingly we never learned about this in the Norwegian school system. I actually read it in a main stream paper. heh.

7 years ago, there was a war in bosnia, sarajevo.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Sarajevo

The international community could've stopped the war earlier, they didn't. Today there are several conflicts, and also ethnic cleansing in several parts of the world. The main stream media doesn't focus on all these issues. Some of the things that happens barely gets any media coverage at all, and often media only covers something for a brief time, and when it's not on the news, well then it 'doesn't exist!'

Humans have waged war since they started to walk on this planet, and most likely it will never stop. I would hope though that it in fact would stop.

There's many bad things happening in various places, but I don't feel it's my obligation to learn about this on a daily basis. If I want to learn about the conflict in Syria, I'm sure I can find a book or extensive article about it, and learn that way.

I don't mind living in a 'bubble'. If I could, I wouldn't mind withdrawing completely and living on some remote island or some mountain top.

I feel reading mainstream news is a neverending task, filled with pointless exercises. There's always the next event, the next big news. Something happens, and it makes big news, and all news media cover it extensively, then the news fades, and something else takes over and so on. There are so many very important issues that doesn't get the attention that it deserves.

I remember the bombing and killing done by Anders Breivik here in norway. About 100 people died in total, and it was huge news here. The first helicopter to fly over the island (Utøya) where he did his mass shootings was a news media helicopter, it came there while he was still shooting teens. The police didn't have any helicopter to use, and while the police probably did the best they could, they were clearly not equipped or trained for such an event.

VG, the biggest tabloid in Norway, was filled with reports from the terrorist attack, and there was nothing else to read about. 3 days later it was back to business as usual, what bimbo blonde getting a breast job, or what celeb dating another celeb, and what C-celeb reality star did while out last night. Meaningless.

The only way to change anything, would be to actively work for it to happen, but at the moment I don't feel like comitting to a political cause or a humanitary cause or anything else like that. I may in the future though.

If I lived in a 'bubble' the rest of my life, or not, I don't really think it would make a difference on the world.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Jefferson


Try Thomas Jefferson’s advice and try a month off news:

    “I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month, and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”
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January 23, 2013, 05:07:48 AM
 #15

Spiderman3 was a big one for me with it being so obvious. It creates guilt in sexual confidence and links evil with male attractiveness. It then rewards you for treating women in a way that will cause you much pain. Guys who watch this will be hurt by women and possibly come out the otherside with a chip on their shoulder. On the plus side, it might improve society through less broken homes.

Can I buy some acid from you?

its called predictive programming. unfortunately its real. (though i dont know anything about spiderman 3 specifically)

No, it's not, and the Spiderman3 rant there is just a word salad tossed by someone projecting his own paranoias and hangups into the movie.
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January 23, 2013, 06:37:26 AM
 #16

If we decide to insulate ourselves from news because it is always negative, we are insulating ourselves from reality.

but we're talking about 'mainstream news' and you are assuming that represents reality.


Thank you, was just about to think up a response to this and you came out with the perfect one, I made a thread like this OP awhile ago and I was in the exact same situation as you, I am sick of the blatant fear mongering and lies, I will no longer get my news in radio/television form because the so called journalists on there aren't actual journalists, they're just actors who read out the news given to them by their governments in the appropriately scary tone this is why we can get it going on 24/7 because from what I know they have a network of people who will tell them about big events so they can just go there and pose for the camera or cause panic.

Nah, fuck that, I'm not playing along anymore, I have better things to do, I'm also a better person than that, if you still want to get news from these companies you can, I advise looking at it in written form, it actually becomes vaguely amusing after that because you see other people pointing out how stupid they are in the comments section and the articles these people write are a lot less threatening in written form.

Of course you can read the comments until they disable them because it's filled with people expressing opinions they disagree with Cheesy
Rob E
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January 23, 2013, 11:56:18 AM
 #17

If we decide to insulate ourselves from news because it is always negative, we are insulating ourselves from reality.

but we're talking about 'mainstream news' and you are assuming that represents reality.

It is mainstream for a reason. Reality is not based upon sociology. There is no way to model it except by observing it. Mainstream news clearly does the best job at observing it; otherwise, it would not really be mainstream news.
what a load of rubbish that's some circular logic there thats like saying an apple is an apple because its called an apple.
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January 23, 2013, 12:05:47 PM
 #18

reddit, slashdot and bitcointalk are all the news I need!


 
 
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January 23, 2013, 03:39:58 PM
 #19

Mainstream news here are mostly political propaganda with some bad news to have moar audience. Nothing more. Vultures.
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