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#408618 - Fri Feb 01 2008 07:08 PM What passes for news
satguru Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7076
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
I just heard on the radio they had done a survey ranking the days of the week in terms of how likely a married person is likely to commit adultery with their lover. (Thursday).

Now I reckon on the scale of statistics that anyone needs to know this must quite easily come in the lowest percentile of the lowest percentile, and not only is it of no practical benefit to one person on earth (be honest, it isn't), someone also had to spend the money to find all this crap out (pardon my French but it's a lot politer than what I wanted to call it...).

There's been no shortage of similar garbage that passed for news as long as I remember, it pads out quiet days and appeals to what I expect advertisers class as C3s (ie the people who spend the most on newspapers) but like spam filters, if only there was some way of blocking the access of any useless information such as why people spend more on their patios than they did in 1964, why women itch in different places from men, which celebrity looks like their dog, why more people prefer Blackpool to Southend etc etc.

I have actually started making a list of these but until I find it these are fairly good approximations. Like party policies newspapers normally contain a mixture of both standards so there isn't a paper I can buy without at least a proportion of such nonsense, but it's so depressing some moron even bothers to think up trying to find out such random and useless facts, far more so than the victims who have to read it. I'd rather pay less and get a thinner newspaper, and if there really is a willing market for all the pap let them stick it in a magazine so people can make the choice what they read.
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#408619 - Fri Feb 01 2008 07:37 PM Re: What passes for news [Re: satguru]
BxBarracuda Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
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I have in a way developed a personal filter, just by the headline for the story and a quick skim of the body of the article I can usually tell if the article is going to be something I want to know more about. I can filter out the stories I have read a hundred times before as well as the ones that use skewed statistics to make a point. The ones with skewed statistics actually bug me more then the nonsense though.

I wonder if that piece about the day of the week and cheating was anywhere near the horoscope section?

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#408620 - Fri Feb 01 2008 08:44 PM Re: What passes for news [Re: BxBarracuda]
satguru Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7076
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
I do exactly the same now, my paper of choice (no comment...) has some of the best information and articles but also some of the worst and anything with a celebrity or clothes measurement tag (eg 'women in 2007 1 1/2 cup sizes larger than in 1965') gets flipped straight on to the next page.
But this gem made it to the radio onto the actual hourly news. You can't allow to filter that dross out, but the only benefit was I could finally share the ultimate lowest level of tripe I've ever come across in my (now) 48 years. Any more and they'll need a man to come along with a broom to sweep up afterwards...
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#408621 - Fri Feb 01 2008 09:58 PM Re: What passes for news [Re: satguru]
BxBarracuda Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
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There are are places for the nonsense, but not in middle of real news. There usually are enough stations out there where adulter's day would fit right in.

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#408622 - Sat Feb 02 2008 07:27 AM Re: What passes for news [Re: BxBarracuda]
satguru Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7076
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
The other current obsession which can easily guarantee a few pages in each paper every day (probably even the Financial Times 'biscuit shares rise rapidly on back of increased consumption in south of England' 'Eating toffee is back! Get in on the investment!) is what people choose to eat and drink. Now if people want to eat too much rubbish or drink too much alcohol then it's not exactly my idea of news.

The way the media are so obsessed with how fat and drunk people are becoming makes me wonder what they've got saved up next for when even they become bored with telling us how the average weight of people in Leicester has gone up compared to people in Southampton and who eats the most chips. Does anyone really care?

Some of our own threads here could be sold to them for a great price provided they only used them on the front page. Definitely every one about toilet paper options would be done, then the ones that probably never appeared but were suggested by some as possible, such as how do you eat your ice cream cone, what's your favourite flavour and why people now prefer more European chocolate to British. Of course our site actually contains the vital term 'trivia' so we are entitled to discuss it here but unless a new paper arrives called 'The Daily Trivia' I really wish they wouldn't there. Hang on, is that a million pound idea I just had? I think so!
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#408623 - Sat Feb 02 2008 07:46 PM Re: What passes for news [Re: satguru]
BxBarracuda Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
New York USA     
There we have some of the basest of human needs.

Looks, vices and geographic pride.

If we hear other people are overweight or drunks and we aren't we feel good about ourselves, and if we are overweight or a drunk, then we are not alone.

People like to know that the area they live in is better then the one down the road. No matter how bad things are in your own area, you know there is another area who is doing worse. Or that your area can win a competition, even if you didn't know one was going on and it's completley meaningless.

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#408624 - Sat Feb 02 2008 09:47 PM Re: What passes for news [Re: BxBarracuda]
Yaarbiriah Offline
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Registered: Mon Jan 08 2007
Posts: 512
Loc: Jerusalem Israel
Sad, sad, sad shortage of news and need for stories, such it is. Nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes)

Glanced at front page of Jerusalem post:
hmm, 'Hamas, Al Qaida, Egypt's border, Gazans caught with bomb, Abbas' political failings and speculations on Shalit (young captured story being held by 'Hamas) being held for insurance against our ops, (heartbreaking, sigh, what his family must be going through)

I don't know.. so er.. what days of the week were supposed to be good? jk
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#408625 - Sat Feb 02 2008 09:49 PM Re: What passes for news [Re: Yaarbiriah]
Yaarbiriah Offline
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Registered: Mon Jan 08 2007
Posts: 512
Loc: Jerusalem Israel
young captured 'story'? oh man, this comes from my mind wondering.. 'young captured SOLDIER' (duh)
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#408626 - Sun Feb 03 2008 08:03 AM Re: What passes for news [Re: Yaarbiriah]
satguru Offline
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Registered: Thu Feb 17 2000
Posts: 7076
Loc: Kingsbury London UK           
Bx, I think I actually understand some of the 'logic' now, it's not what counts but what (the C3s?) care about. I suppose they are more likely to be worse to their bodies, poor diet, drinking (I think that's universal here) and smoking. And if you have a low social status (as I learnt in sociology) you do need to boost it in other ways like national and local pride (as there's precious little personal pride).
I'd give you an 'A' for that

It's a shame about the situation in Israel yaarbiriah, I've been reading identical stories for 40 years although far worse since the intifada. Imagine touring the West Bank and being welcomed into Arab restaurants and workshops who were doing well under thousands of visiting tourists. I can't see that returning unfortunately. That was in 1972.
By the way, you can edit those mistakes out, then no one would ever know
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#408627 - Sun Feb 03 2008 10:59 AM Re: What passes for news [Re: satguru]
BxBarracuda Offline
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Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
New York USA     
Those lower in social status don't have the option of buying happiness lol.

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