Television


Groucho Marx once said, "I find television very educational. Whenever someone turns it on, I go into another room and read a book." TV has also been called "Bubble gum for the mind." In other words, almost a complete waste of time.
I can think of only four reasons to watch it:
  1. It gives you something to talk to others about. But if others can only talk about TV, you need to find someone else to talk to.
  2. PBS has some good shows.
  3. Its free, but you get what you pay for and have to put up with commercials and editing. Even on cable, you have to put up with commercials
  4. When you have children and are at your wits end, you can plop a child in front of the TV and hypnotize.

Okay, five. You can snuggle with someone while you're watching it. Your mother likes that.

I went for two years without TV and never missed it. And I've never had cable.

But be sure to watch all the original Star Trek episodes with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy (Three seasons).


Remember, do your homework first! Weekend chores finished Saturday.

Al Jazerra - The Muslim view of the world
New York Times - The best U.S. Newspaper
BBC - A wider view of the World

Television & Commercials

News

Newspaper and television news is biased. Just by choosing what to report, bias occurs. The headlines will report what a president says, but if a reporter takes the time to investigate the truth about what the president says, it will be buried in the back of the newspaper many weeks later.

Don't believe everything you read, and don't believe anything you see on TV, at the movies, or on DVD. You once asked me if what you saw was true, and I tried to think of any movies I've seen that were true. Although there are many non-fiction books, there are few non-fiction movies (which are called "documentaries"). The only famous ones that come to mind are "Bowling for Columbine","Fahrenheit 9/11","An Inconvenient Truth","Supersize Me","Who Killed the Electric Car?"

Look for a deeper meaning in what others say in newspaper or on TV. If someone says that railroads can solve our energy crisis, you’ll probably discover they will benefit if railroad use increases. If a politician says railroads are the key to our future growth, you will probably find that the railroad lobby has given him a large campaign donation.

News Youíll learn that even newspapers or television news is biased. By choosing what to report, bias occurs. The headlines will report what a president says, but if a reporter takes the time to investigate the truth about what the president says and finds out itís not the way he said it, it will be buried in the back of the newspaper many weeks later. If a plane crashes and kills 100 people, thatís big news; but you wonít be told that 115 people died that day in car crashes (about 43,000 die each year). People are much more likely to die in a car crash than a plane crash, but youíd never know by listening to the news. The most important news stories are the hardest to report because they take time to research and write. They also donít appeal to many people. People would rather read about who the stars are marrying or divorcing than about how U.S. tax rates compare with other countries. Look for a deeper meaning in what others say in newspaper or on TV. If someone says that railroads can solve our energy crisis, youíll probably discover they will benefit if railroad use increases. If a politician says railroads are the key to our future growth, you will probably find that the railroad lobby has given him a large campaign donation. International Comparisons Ė 10. The U.S. puts more people in prison per capita than any other nation in the world, but has the highest crime rate of any developed country. We also have a death penalty but no other European nations do. The U.S. has shorter vacations than any other developed country, and a higher abortion, divorce than other countries that arenít very religious.

Truth and Advertising

Whether its a new soup or a new candidate, advertising will try to convince you itís better than all the others and that you should buy it or vote for it. Advertising works, at least in the short-run, because name recognition is half the battle for a new product or a political candidate. If you are interested in the product or the candidate, start doing research. Compare the product or the candidate with other products and candidates, because advertising will only show you one side of the story, and it will also try to mislead you. Advertising tries to convince you that drinking the right soda will make you rich, attractive and intelligent, and that voting for the right candidate will stop crime. Donít believe a word of it!

Even when I began to work at EPA I didnít realize that professors from big name institutions were associated with buisiness corporations Ė genetic researchers are funded by industry. Thomas Gale Moore who wrote a book on the fallacy of climate change at Stanford was tied with an organization getting money from car companies and the fossil fuel industry.

Pay no attention to TV commercials or advertisements in the paper or on the radio . They are all lies! Buy what you need, not the things others tell you you need.

Helping Truth and Good Ideas Win

Truth doesnít always win. Good ideas donít always succeed. Both need publicity, group support and a plan of action to promote them and a plan of action to fight against lies and bad ideas that are supported by others, who have a plan of action to defeat your plans.


HomeLast updated: June 20, 2008