Monday, December 19, 2016

A Sucker Born Every Minute, Several On Every Tentacle

Ere the time when blogging began, there was . . .  [dramatic opener inserted here by Shelob]

[Hairy is cleaning a plankton vessel spout] Have you not commented on the fake news issue because you claim to be human?

Well now. Fake news. No, I haven't commented because it was obvious and inevitable.

Uncertain how this translates to trends.

Genuine writing skills, reading skills, have been criminalized. It started when morons in big business devalued technical writers. "Why hire THEM? We'll have our engineers write the manuals." So people got used to horrible manuals and not reading. The newspapers were written on what, an eighth grade level? Not hard. So everyone got the message that you didn't need reading and writing to be successful.

Eventually writers had the least successful field to be in and the most put-upon of occupations. Hollywood went further and further from original scripts, and politicians started bashing the media no matter how professional they were. Now the REALLY successful writers are criminals--see the cyclic progression there?

And you solve this by what?

Solve it? This is a problem that won't be solved except by reversal. People need to make writers your heroes again. Teach the kids there is no one more important. Show them examples of critical reading.

This does not sound immediate. Is there a more immediate solution?

--Oh, you mean stemming the tides? I think it might come down to lawsuits. You CAN sue people for misrepresentation, libel, fraud, malicious mischief, right? So that pizza company should be granted a settlement from the hoaxer that really squeezes hard. Let any reputable news agency that agreed with the hoax without fact checking be co-defendants.

You mentioned cyclic progression. There has been another instance of this in history?

Well, yeah! Call up that article on Prester John I was reading about last year.

[prepares neuralink burst] Ready for neural burst.

[all five eyes open wide] NOT yet. In fact, not at all! Summarize that for the readers who won't fact check, though they should.

Summary: Prester John incident. A letter surfaced, by some sources, in the early 1200's claiming that 'Prester John' or a priest, would be returning from a long journey to the far East with an entourage that would need to be accommodated. Fanciful descriptions included the possession of unicorns and other falsehoods. The entourage never arrived, because it did not exist. That particular article included the question of why such a letter would have ever been written. The article concludes by saying it was simply a fun letter to write.

Kind of missed the point, didn't they? Even if it was never tried, the writer or writers of the letter MUST have been thinking about eating the leftovers prepared for this fictional guest and his fantastical entourage. They hatched this plot to be well-fed for a few days and move on, and to do this again. Heraldry was always a bit of a con, anyway. And far too many messengers really WERE shot for bringing bad news.

You have spoken before about how trades, insufficiently rewarded, are dangerous to a society.

Yeah. Why don't you blog on this, Shelob?

Right away. [upload, disconnect] 

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