Gareth’s Blog

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Braindump 30/03/09

Posted by garethwatkins on March 30, 2009

I’ve managed to fight the urge to rant about C4’s Sex Ed v Porn show that was on this evening. It’s a four part show and I should give them the next three episodes to redeem themselves. Although I suspect Ofcom will be busy sifting through complaints from cun…people irrationally upset tomorrow.

Also, April 1st is coming, so expect a look back at the duping of a nation soon. And don’t consider yourself too smart. Even the most prepared people fall for one.

This highlights something that came up today: the stupidity of people (regardless of subject matter). And the chosen topic for stupidty today was not religion based.

It also fits nicely with an argument a friend of mine recently made (far more eloquently than I could have managed).

I’m strangely interested to see how successful this is. So if anyone uses it, please let me know. It’s got a good name, and I’m a big believer that a good name is a great start (yup, as I typed that my smile was cheesy and I put the guns up with the thumbs up!).

Edison would have filled his pants if he’d seen this.

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2 Responses to “Braindump 30/03/09”

  1. metatim said

    Re: People are stupid.
    I don’t agree with the argument your friend made, and didn’t find it particularly forceful.

    1) People have been plenty stupid before the internet. It’s just more visible now.
    2) People are smart in aggregate. Pretty much exactly the point of Hunch.
    3) The ‘two ears one mouth’ has certainly not been turned on its head – across a range of sites I see the general trend is that just 1% of people reading actually make a comment. 100 ears and 1 mouth.
    4) There’s no doubt Wikipedia has flaws, and people using it without being aware of these flaws is certainly a problem. But unlike any news article I read, if the subject is something I happen to know about, the facts generally tend to be straight. It’s also surprisingly powerful when it comes to reporting on a heated topic (e.g. when HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray was going on). One of my favourite features is that questionable parts are highlighted, either with banners at the top of the page, or with superscripts such as ‘citation needed’. Just seeing these things should make people think more when they read anything, anywhere.

    I do agree that the balance between what we might call populism and elitism is critical, and there are certainly some negative effects on that balance (particularly around news reporting) that are being driven by the internet. But that’s really a separate debate.

    Still, here I am giving another mindless broadcast in a blog comment. The onus is on me to construct the counterargument more fully. I’m making a note of it for future blogging, and then at least I’ll be one step up.

  2. garethwatkins said

    This is exactly the sort of dialogue I loved with the BB; for every argument I initially believe there was always (eventually) a more considered and intelligent response. I miss that.

    None the less, I’m so far won over by OP’s argument and look forward to hearing your response.

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