Author Topic: Pissed at the media right now  (Read 781 times)

Golden Applesauce

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Pissed at the media right now
« on: April 20, 2013, 11:53:40 am »
(don't panic)

Just woke up at ~5 AM to hands grasping at my 2nd story windowsill, trying to climb into my room. I literally, physically peed myself a little. This was after an indeterminate number of police officers chased an apparently armed and dangerous man in circles outside of my house, while I ran in circles inside my house trying to lock all of the doors while yelling at my kid sister to hide in the basement. It was tricky because every time I locked all of the doors, one would unlock at random, plus I kept remembering that I had forgotten doors that I'm not sure existed before I went to bed last night. (Sorry to post about a dream I just had as if it were important - I did put "Don't Panic" in bright friendly letters at the top.)

I live in an apartment that has one door to the hallway outside.

The news media has spent the last week scaring the public for profit. We demanded this, of course - we want news now and we don't have any extra money for fact checking or common sense, and none of this "local news" bullshit either, just report the scariest thing that happened anywhere in one of the largest countries in the world to everywhere else, we'd rather see blood than something possibly relevant to our day-to-day lives.

When people are scared, they make stupid decisions. Already some dude straight-up punched a woman carrying a baby in a stroller because she had a head scarf and he had deduced that Muslims were responsible. Plus there was that thing where we shut down more than one city to catch two guys who had on average killed less than two people each, and we only even arrested one of them.

The fact of the matter is that 3-5 people dying is just not that exceptional, and being blown up at a marathon is so unlikely that you could can round the odds to exactly zero. You can't even make the claim that explosions killing people is more important than anything else killing people. Here's what I found after < 5 min of searching, with the restrictions that I only cared about explosions that killed Americans inside the US and only after the completely arbitrary date of Sept. 12, 2001:

2001 Jim Walter Resources / Walter Energy Mine Disaster - 13 killed.
2005 Texas City Refinery explosion - 15 killed. (Also: owned by BP)
2006 Sago Mine Disaster - 12 killed.
2008 Pentworth, Georgia Sugar refinery explosion - 13 killed.
2010 Middletown, Conneticut power plant explosion - 11 killed.
Upper Big Branch Mine disaster - 29 killed.
Deepwater Horizon explosion - 11 killed while drilling for BP. Plus, you know, the biggest single environmental disaster in US history.

Objectively, if we care about white non-Americans blowing us up, we ought to declare war on British Petroleum.

In perspective, though, even those industrial explosions don't have much to do with me - I don't work underground and I don't live in the blast radius of any chemical plants. The worst thing that's happened to me in the past year is a car accident (no one was injured) when I rear ended someone on the highway. I blame bad highway design - there's a bit of I-71 near Columbus where all four lanes of people who want to stay on I-71 have to take a single lane of exit, get on I-70, and then make it back across four lanes of traffic to exit back onto I-71 on the right. I screwed up trying to handle the velocity differential between the different lanes and hit the car in front of me. I should have just missed the exit and found another way back home.

So we have all those explosions, and way more Americans being killed in car crashes than any kind of hostile - or even dramatic - activity, and what are we blowing our budget on? More fucking aircraft carriers. Can't regulate mining & chemical, that'd cost jobs and hurt the pocket books of Job Creators, but no problem shutting down everything in fifty miles of Boston for two guys and their improperly modified cooking appliances.

If it makes the news, it's newsworthy. If it's newsworthy, it's rare. If it's rare, you don't have to worry about it. Statistically valid conclusion: what you see in the news won't kill you.
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Cain

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Re: Pissed at the media right now
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 04:05:32 pm »
Couldn't agree more.  The media is highly irresponsible when it comes to terrorism.  A lot of other things too, but terrorism is pretty close to the top of that list.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Pissed at the media right now
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2013, 04:18:27 pm »
I love your conclusion, GA.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Pissed at the media right now
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2013, 04:19:52 pm »
If it makes the news, it's newsworthy. If it's newsworthy, it's rare. If it's rare, you don't have to worry about it. Statistically valid conclusion: what you see in the news won't kill you.

Yes!

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Golden Applesauce

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Re: Pissed at the media right now
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2013, 05:06:35 pm »
The "if it's news, it is by definition too rare to worry about" thing is stolen from Bruce Schneier, actual security expert, unlike those fearmongering five-sided temple goons they loan out to the media.

His frequently updated blog is at: http://www.schneier.com/

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Q: How regularly do you hire 8th graders?
A: We have hired a number of FORMER 8th graders.