November 11th, 2004

Quizzical

Stuff

TSH rewrites are done. That's "The one with that dude who's a star" for people who only read edited highlights. People like it, and this is good.

Tonight my vitriol is directed at the hypercapitalist brainwashing that is "society", and the idiots who believe that it is the only possible way. And who believe that fucking accounting is anything like real mathematics, hence would be a good choice if ever I went back to university because "there's a lot of money in it". Not because I want to do it, or like the subject area or *gasp* find it interesting (information extraction, on the other hand...) but they can't see the jobs for people who don't fit their workaday understanding of What Graduates Do. "Researcher" isn't one of those things.

In other news, am more and more certain that I am in relatively close contact with a borganism. That could just be paranoia. More later.
  • Current Mood
    weird weird
Brainiac

Borganism

I can feel my brain firing. Scarfing a pasty, getting cheap beef inside me, anything for protein. Carbs in the pastry used in the foundry inside me, converting matter to make the thoughtmachine work.

Manglement is a stage-one borganism by this point. Never able to tell if any individual is running themselves or running on instructions from the semihuman groupmind. All are slaved into WiFi PDAs, keeping them connected to the management consciousness that pervades all the wavebands in the building and can subsume the person at any time, running on multiple brains. One groupmind running multiple bodies like willing meat puppets.

I convert complex proteins into new molecules. Long-chain molecules plug in to target sites of my brain, nanoscale cooling fins disperse the heat-build up of my newly overclocked brain. I can see bandwidth, the haze that's beamed into every handheld and focused beams of information Bluetoothing into management implants. This technology revolution is entirely corporate.
  • Current Music
    Nothing yet
Brainiac

RB:

Political reporting hardly presents the only challenge for journalists seeking to go beyond he said/she said accounts, or even the most difficult one. Instead, that distinction may be reserved for media coverage of contested scientific issues, many of them with major policy ramifications, such as global climate change. After all, the journalistic norm of balance has no corollary in the world of science. On the contrary, scientific theories and interpretations survive or perish depending upon whether they’re published in highly competitive journals that practice strict quality control, whether the results upon which they’re based can be replicated by other scientists, and ultimately whether they win over scientific peers. When consensus builds, it is based on repeated testing and retesting of an idea.

Journalists face a number of pressures that can prevent them from accurately depicting competing scientific claims in terms of their credibility within the scientific community as a whole. First, reporters must often deal with editors who reflexively cry out for “balance.” Meanwhile, determining how much weight to give different sides in a scientific debate requires considerable expertise on the issue at hand. Few journalists have real scientific knowledge, and even beat reporters who know a great deal about certain scientific issues may know little about other ones they’re suddenly asked to cover.

In 1998, for instance, John H. Cushman, Jr., of The New York Times exposed an internal American Petroleum Institute memo outlining a strategy to invest millions to “maximize the impact of scientific views consistent with ours with Congress, the media and other key audiences.” Perhaps most startling, the memo cited a need to “recruit and train” scientists “who do not have a long history of visibility and/or participation in the climate change debate” to participate in media outreach and counter the mainstream scientific view. This seems to signal an awareness that after a while, journalists catch on to the connections between contrarian scientists and industry. But in the meantime, a window of opportunity apparently exists when reporters can be duped by fresh faces.