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‘Fake news’ and internet/political regulation

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Tony L, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I have some very bad news, he mutated and fused with Trump to become even more virulent-

    Andrew Wakefield: How a disgraced UK doctor has remade himself in anti-vaxxer Trump’s America
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/andrew-wakefield-anti-vaxxer-trump-us-mmr-autism-link-lancet-fake-a8331826.html
     
  2. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    You don’t do irony, do you?
     
  3. Swamp Thing

    Swamp Thing Remainiac Terrorist

  4. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    Perhaps things have changed, but what I'm basing my assertion on was very real and how I described it. 'Some guy' wrote a 100 pages or so on a medical topic -- concentrating on prevention in a sports-injury context -- and published it to Amazon in Kindle format, where it promptly received 20-25 five star ratings and glowing reviews. And this e-book was sourced entirely from aggregated web articles strung together with asides and rhetoric making much of it seem as though 'some guy' was speaking from his own expertise.

    'Some guy' has zero medical qualification. And so I began to explore, and it wasn't exactly uncommon for people to self-publish e-books on Amazon via Kindle this way. And this was only 4-5 years ago. I don't know how Amazon could or would have made doing this any more difficult.
     
  5. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    Yes, it's the "you can't change stupid" equation. Interestingly, it's an equation that no matter how many times it is referred to, it invariably lands with a silent plop in a bit-bucket.

    You'd think credibility would be a very useful defense, but that's off the table thanks to the virtual island everyone sits upon that magically bestows its own rather insidious credibility as they point to other islands occupied by people with similar views in a stream of static text. Not exactly optimal for change.

    But it is an absolutely sublime scheme of division with only one possible solution to my feeble brain and it was assembly. Because a majority of people, once assembled by cause, usually come to reasonable and mutually beneficial agreements. What disturbed me most was the realization that my assembly theory had not only been thought of, but has been coopted and already exists under complete control and imprisoned with elegant ease by pixels. They are truly some cunning bastards!
     
  6. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    Not sure I get your gist, are you talking about what sometimes gets referred to a ‘the wisdom of crowds’?
     
  7. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    Well, sort of, yes. But my true gist is that sensible and timely solutions are severely hampered when so many people relate to their real environment while connected to it through a contrived and controlled one.
     
  8. Sue Pertwee-Tyr

    Sue Pertwee-Tyr Staying alert

    Ah, thanks. Yes, I think the idea that people’s experiences are in some way ‘curated’, whether by algorithms (you liked ‘that’ so try ‘this) or by parties wishing to manipulate, is an area for great concern. It creates a sort of ‘foam’ of bubbles that only interact to a limited degree. People rarely get to step outside their own bubble if they rely on their feed unduly. Hard to get a genuine cross section of views in order to form a balanced opinion that way.
     
    Marky-Mark likes this.
  9. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    One more before analog time. The assembly / real involvement thing. There was a guy I met through the net. He's a father of two and it comes to his attention that one of his kids is having trouble in school. IIRC it was math. So he asks his kid to get his book and he'll help him. Kid says they don't have books. Guy is incredulous. Our book is on the internet, the kid says. Just so happened things were aligned perfectly that day, because when he went to see the book on the net the server was down. What do kids without internet do, he asked?

    So, he puts down his iPhone and writes a letter to the school. Not liking the reply, he writes the superintendent. Liked that reply even less. Amazingly, he does what most people are repulsed by, he goes to the next school board meeting and he gets up at the podium and asks the same questions he asked his kid. Didn't like those answers much either. So he starts researching, and this new super saved a lot of money getting rid of schoolbooks for online files in a school or two, and he's planning on doing it for the entire district.

    Meanwhile, teachers haven't had a raise in years, the building is in need of repair etc etc. But, and a huge but, the super had tabled a raise for himself and his secretary the previous year after showing the council charts illustrating the money he had and would save by being super, most of it due to no books.

    The father points lays out his case at the next meeting and all hell breaks loose. Now he has people listening and on his side, literally and figuratively. Local media picks it up (TV news, paper). They start asking the super about the books and his raise. The end to the story was the super and his pretty secretary resigned. Last I heard the super was running for super in another district somewhere, the kids got books with some adjunct material on the school's website. And all from getting off his ass, going to a meeting and speaking up. In person. Timely change.

    That's how civic involvement and news was designed to work. In our new and improved digi-world you post something like that online and count your Likes and Upvotes for victory while nothing changes. And people wonder why everything is fubar.
     
    kendo likes this.
  10. matthewr

    matthewr spɹɐʍʞɔɐq spɹoɔǝɹ ɹnoʎ sʎɐld

    But almost nobody will read his book. My cousin is a successful Kindle author and I looked into it in quite some detail and the hard part is getting your book to appear to other people amongst the gazillions of others trying to do the same. All the authors I know through her spend at least as much time on promoting the book via amazon as they do on the actual writing.
     
  11. Seanm

    Seanm pfm Member

    Before the internet, everything was fine.
     
  12. Nick_G

    Nick_G pfm Member

    Still likes this.
  13. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    The French seem to think so ... shitcanning phones on school property was long overdue. Everyone over here is worried about opiates while the pixel addiction is absurdly more pervasive.

    If I were granted superpowers and told to change the world for the better in 3 steps, social media would be the first thing I destroy to save the village. Actually, the f'n smart phones would be a better choice. Then I'd put whoever thought computers with internet in people's pockets was a great idea on trial.
     
  14. Marky-Mark

    Marky-Mark pfm Member

    You must have an auto goalpost mover .. you've gone from denying people do what I wrote to well, yeah, they do, but it's no harm, no foul because almost no one reads the published product. But what about the people who do? Can we say it's absolutely victimless, this blogosphere approach to textbooks?

    At least there's some barrier to entry here, because peer review and any standard of quality is out the window from day one when a huge publishing house bestows a perceived credibility by publishing anything from anyone with any -or no- credentials. That was my primary point. My secondary point is that this is a logical next step from the web's commerce model of business as beneficiary from exploiting the general mediocrity as being good enough. Half of us knows it isn't but it gets shelf space anyway as someone's 15 minutes. This can't help but taint the shelf at best and give credence to mediocrity at worst ... which I would argue it already has.

    And therein is the dovetail to fake news and social media. Someone sure realizes how instant gratification + ego / mental mediocrity = exploitation opportunities galore.
     

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