Browsed by
Month: January 2020

Privacy: Surveillance tech goes mainstream at CES

Privacy: Surveillance tech goes mainstream at CES

The sole purpose of technology has morphed into 24 x 7 surveillance. Even the FAA’s new proposed rules for “remote ID” of small UAS (model aircraft) will require that you transmit once per second, in real time, details of your flight and who is flying, into an Internet connected FAA database accessible by law enforcement even from inside your own home. There might be a problem with the 4th Amendment on that latter point but no one seems to care. It’s spying on everyone, all the time.

Journalism: “Oregon ranks high in rising rate of natural disasters”

Journalism: “Oregon ranks high in rising rate of natural disasters”

The news headline says Oregon ranks high in natural disasters, which the text explains, is wildfires in the State.

This claim comes from a press release from a small, little known online Internet insurance sales web site. This type of press release is put out in hopes of garnering free publicity – and it certainly worked for them – in large part because the media, like all of us, is more likely to succumb to a fear-based scary headline.

However, if we practice factfulness and look at the long term trend in Oregon fires we see that a small rise at the right end of the chart has been translated into a crisis and a catastrophe. The chart above is the official chart from the Oregon government’s Fire Statistics page, and shows actual acreage burned and total fires burned in Oregon since 1911.

The slight increase at the extreme right edge is the basis for the scary headline. By leaving out all historical context and by focusing on large percentile increase in a tiny number at the right edge of the chart, the media creates unwarranted fear and hysteria in viewers.

Journalism: “Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch” – Social Panic

Journalism: “Fears of economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season – MarketWatch” – Social Panic

A month ago, the media gave us scary stories that “Fears of an economic recession could derail the holiday shopping season”. Actual sales rose by +3.4% year over year, even with a shopping season that was six days shorter than the prior year. Unfortunately, mindless speculative “news” is used to fill up air time and web page time with something new.

Climate communications: Reporting focused on fear and hysteria, rather than solutions, leads to anxiety attacks, medicating young people

Climate communications: Reporting focused on fear and hysteria, rather than solutions, leads to anxiety attacks, medicating young people

The media’s focus on scary, fear-based propaganda messaging – and avoidance of discussing workable solutions that are already underway – leads to intense negativity and anxiety. The result has been a majority of young people believing humanity may be extinct in ten years, even though there is zero evidence to support such nonsense. We are literally scaring people to death via false and inappropriate propaganda messaging. Some journalists are looking to “solutions journalism” moving away from the whining negativity of current news reports that focus on problems and seldom examine workable solutions,. This new approach offers hope and a positive way forward.