Kevin Fraser: Getting factual information
Someday our country, possibly our world, will have a true crisis, one that warrants the type of measures we have now taken, one that requires the participation of the entire population. A truly devastating plague, war, meteorite, the Colorado caldera … take your pick, there is something out there and one day we will face it.
Of the many lessons we have learned from our present situation one in particular stands out as a horrible example for when that big crisis hits. At a time when we need them the most, we will not have a media that is trustworthy. Our media is populated, and controlled by a type of person with a mental mindset that precludes them from neutral and factual reporting, they can’t help but slant things to their bias.
Also we have a situation that English actors have long noted, which is that in America everyone wants to be the star, not just part of the team. And simply broadcasting news to the masses won’t make you a star in a competitive environment. They have to embellish, and as we’ve seen they even have to fabricate, in order to stand out.
Somehow between now and that hopefully far distant day, we need to come up with a new means of getting factual information to the people. I don’t have that answer. And consider, in all likelihood we won’t have the internet, and we won’t have broadband TV services. Broadcasting will more than likely come in the form of simple radio broadcasts, including television, over-the-air. What that means is you won’t be able to go searching for original information such as we now can via the internet, and so we will be at the mercy of the newscasters who, again, are incapable of simply providing the facts without bias.
The effect? We see it today; mass hysteria where had it not been for a biased media we would not even know that some new virus exists. There is no increase in the mortality rate of any country due to the COVID-19 virus, but you won’t convince half the population of that because CNN and the rest slant the “news” so strongly. Our sources of information, the ones we rely upon, simply are not trustworthy to provide us the honest information we need. If they did we would not be in quarantine or any other reaction mode right now, all would be as normal.
If I have any advice it is for you to start developing new habits in your gathering of information. I use the internet extensively to seek the root document or recording of a specific person, rather than getting it second hand. I also use ham radio which helps quite a bit, and will be in use for the big event someday. Neither of those will help you now, but by developing better information seeking habits you may learn to better spot biased reporting, and that will help you in the future when your only source will be those broadcasters.
We now return you to your normally scheduled programming.
Kevin Fraser lives in Nevada City.
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