Precision Simulator update 10.175 (29 May 2024) is now available.
Navburo update 13 (23 November 2022) is now available.
NG FMC and More is released.

Main Menu

NOT a lightning strike?

Started by Phil Bunch, Fri, 19 Jun 2009 16:15

Phil Bunch


The internet and e-mail is now being flooded with false lightning strike claims, in keeping with the established tradition of instantly spreading rumors, etc.

One wonders what we are supposed to do when the newspapers finish their ongoing economic collapse and we have so few verified news sources for most events and issues.  It is bad enough even when we have professional journalists who would most of the time verify things before publication, at least with the best newspapers.
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Some countries like that, no news resources.

Phil Bunch

Unfortunately, the USA is rapidly losing many of its major and local newspapers due to lack of financial viability.  Even the NY Times (my personal fav) is in deep financial trouble and has been bought by (as I recall) a Mexican businessman.  They own the Boston Globe, another traditional high-quality news source.  The Wall street Journal, previously a fairly reliable business and national news source, is now owned by Rupert Murdoch's media empire (per my failing memory), and it shows in their movement towards a tabloid style (by my personal judgment).  They are very right-wing ideology driven now, much more than before their takeover.

Losing these flagship newspapers and many others of lesser reputation to the internet is IMO a major crisis for the USA and perhaps to a significant extent the world.  There is nothing to take their place, providing a stable place of employment for very high quality writers and reporters.    

The cause in the USA is the loss of many of their "classified ads" where people sell things and where businesses sell automobiles, TVs, etc.  Now, the internet and TV are replacing the newspapers' advertisement revenue and the print media can't survive with high quality with no revenue streams.  Craig's List, E-bay, etc, are taking a big hit, along with Google, etc.  When I want to comparison shop for flat panel TVs, for example, I turn to the internet.

The TV news sources in the USA are now low quality and very superficial.  Many are simply right-wing propaganda arms.

I guess I'm in a gloomy mood today, but these problems continue to seem very serious to me.  Even local community news is being replaced by internet companies who use very low wage workers in India, etc, to search the internet and write ad-hoc synthetic local news stories about one's own city, even for small towns.  This is very different from having a reporter who insists on two independently verified stories about a news article before they publish it.  In the US, the average citizen simply does not know how or when to question a news story and so often accepts a story as true, regardless of its content.  This issue was especially obvious during our last Presidential campaign, although Obama managed the daily flood of systematic false news very well and with good humor. For those who know about it, sites like help.

I don't mind if the news media move to the internet but I need to know that news stories are generally true and well-researched.

Somewhat similar problems exist for aviation news, but the availability of several authoritative aviation news sources and data seems to keep the situation under control to a great extent.  Maybe something will evolve on the internet to do the same thing for political, economic and other news.

Is this loss of advertisement revenue causing such problems for European newspapers, including the major flagship papers as well as major and local newspapers?  I don't see any stories about this problem in the handful of English language newspapers I read online.  If there isn't a problem, why is Europe so different from the US with respect to internet news media vs print media?
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

Jeroen Hoppenbrouwers

Ah, I long ago came to terms even with the way scientific research now publishes its results. The research equivalent of newspaper sales and TV ratings (Nielsen numbers) is the Impact Score. Gather cross-reference statistics about articles in renowned scientific journals, compile an Impact Score per journal, and multiply the number of an author's article publications in a journal with the journal's Impact Score. Add up, and you have the world ranking of scientists.

This darned system has led to a "publish or perish" culture that favours adding to the heap instead of breaking new grounds. It is extremely difficult to pass into the top-five of "world's best researchers in X" unless you manage to get cited in a big journal. If you're not in the top-five, you get no job, as universities compete for scores as well.

The publishers, unlike in the regular media, manage to keep their stronghold in science as the impact factors strongly relate to their own journals. Publishing on the WWW is discouraged because it brings in zero points. Researchers invest lots of time writing and reviewing each other's papers, unpaid, and then pay the publishers to see their work in print.

Only the research that can exist just by virtue of extremely fast dissemination flourishes on the internet (where it established its own impact factor system). All the rest still is bound to dead trees and a shrinking number of A-class journals. Imagine a journal getting thousands of article submissions per year... because only one A class publication counts on your CV, against 10 B, or 50 C. Hurray for the economists who brought us this system.

Phil Bunch

Capitalism seems to have gone mad, on a global basis, and corrupted everything from the banking system to universities to medical care.  To quote C3P0, a robot in "Star Wars" movies, "This is madness!".

When the financial system recently collapsed under the weight of its unlimited greed, I was hoping that Europe would follow through with the initial comments that this style of capitalism would now be rejected and replaced.  Yet as time progressed, it became apparent that the non-UK European financial system was at least not much better even without a subprime mortgage loan crisis in most European countries.     I don't hear too many recent calls for a major overhaul from France or Germany these days but I am hoping this is somewhat because of my inability to read their major newspapers in English, online.

Perhaps the EU will come to terms with its need to not only standardize the currency but also their financial systems.  Yet without the ability to bail out banks, this seems hard.

One has the impression that the financial services people now own the world including a key player in China, which owns so much of the US government bonds, etc.

Carpe Diem (Sieze the Day) and "Eat Dessert First".
Best wishes,

Phil Bunch

Peter Lang

Quote from: Phil BunchWhen the financial system recently collapsed under the weight of its unlimited greed, I was hoping that Europe would follow through with the initial comments that this style of capitalism would now be rejected and replaced.  

Hi Phil,

this would be a dream if this would happen. But it is not the intention of anybody who rules in this world to replace this system.  Never.  They have established their system of money interest and live excellent with it.  And in my opinion it did not crash yet. The elected and well payed servants of this system spent a lot of our tax money to keep this system stable instead of letting it crash. :evil:

From my point of view this system is a fatal fault, caused mainly by some people, who have only one interest: maximum profit with minimum effort. And they still did not show their true colors to the street level.

Normally systems are established to help men to live their lifes and make some things go easy. But as soon as a system no longer helps men to do their jobs and live their lifes but enslaves them and forces them mainly to do things to keep the system alive, this system becomes a demon. The demon always needs victims. Can we convince the demon, that it is better not to act like this? Can we convince a parasite not to kill its host, as it will die too?
I think: no. These are the natural drives of those people who established this system.

Look at the results, and you see the character of the spirit behind. Somebody from Star Wars always mentionend the dark side of the force ....

Better not think about things you don't want. Better think and concentrate about things you want.  ;)