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Who needs facts?

 
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1018

PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:05 pm    Post subject: Who needs facts? Reply with quote

Full titles of article:

Who needs facts? We appear to be in the Post-Information Age now
Evidence? Ha. That's for humanists, scientists and who knows what other dangerous–ists. It's all about how we feel now.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/03/post-information-age-benghazi-gop
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 10:39 am    Post subject: Who needs facts? Reply with quote

Interesting timing! I just read two articles in American Spectator that examined the evolution/creation situation, and what I got from both articles is that both the evolution and creation theories are wrong. I didn't know this before, but even Darwin had doubts about the "evolution is everything" theory, because evolution couldn't explain the Cambrian explosion of new species, that nothing before or after accounted for it. The creation theory didn't hold up, because it doesn't explain evolution, which has plainly occurred. Neither does "Intelligent Design" fit the bill, because it isn't pursuing any science that could possibly bolster the theory, even though the theory itself could account for the Cambrian explosion of new species. I wish I could put my hands on Darwin's exact quote about his doubts, but I've already tossed the magazine.

As for Benghazi, it has been reported that the government is seeking Mohammad Jamal, an Al-Queda member, for his part in the Benghazi attack. I personally don't care if it was Al-Queda or any other terrorist organization; I do care that security was insufficient, that warnings weren't heeded, and that help wasn't sent when requested.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1018

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two interesting--and unsurprising--reports on political leanings from Wikipedia on the two sources used:

--The American Spectator is a conservative U.S. monthly magazine covering news and politics, edited by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and published by the non-profit American Spectator Foundation. From its founding in 1967 until the late 1980s, the small-circulation magazine featured the writings of authors such as Thomas Sowell, Tom Wolfe, P.J. O'Rourke, George F. Will, Malcolm Gladwell, Patrick J. Buchanan, and Malcolm Muggeridge, although today the magazine is best known for its reports in the 1990s on Bill Clinton and its "Arkansas Project", funded by businessman Richard Mellon Scaife and the Bradley Foundation.[1]

--Founded by textile traders and merchants, The Guardian had a reputation as "an organ of the middle class",[100] or in the words of C.P. Scott's son Ted "a paper that will remain bourgeois to the last".[101] "I write for the Guardian," said Sir Max Hastings in 2005,[102] "because it is read by the new establishment", reflecting the paper's then growing influence. The paper's readership is generally on the mainstream left of British political opinion: a MORI poll taken between April and June 2000 showed that 80% of Guardian readers were Labour Party voters;[103] according to another MORI poll taken in 2005, 48% of Guardian readers were Labour voters and 34% Liberal Democrat voters.[104] The newspaper's reputation as a platform for liberal and left-wing opinions has led to the use of the epithet "Guardian reader" as a label for middle-class people holding such views,[105][106] or sometimes as a negative stereotype of such people as middle class, earnest and politically correct.



If you want to see further politically oriented news, here's a comparison for Benghazi:

--Fox News: The U.S. government is trying to apprehend an al Qaeda terrorist wanted for his role in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four Americans. The suspect, Muhammad Jamal, was imprisoned in Egypt last fall and in September was being held by the Egyptian government. His current whereabouts could not be confirmed, said U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. One official said Jamal remains in Egyptian custody, contrary to reports that he was in Yemen.

--In a 7,000-word investigative report published by The New York Times on Sunday, David Kirkpatrick revisits last year's assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Kirkpatrick finds that — contrary to much commentary from mostly Republican members of Congress — al-Qaida was not involved. He joins Robert Siegel to talk about his reporting and the backlash against his conclusions.


So... back to where we started: Who Needs Facts?
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:48 pm    Post subject: Who needs facts? Reply with quote

Yes, I know all that. Whether or not the American Spectator is a conservative publication doesn't discredit the point/counterpoint articles; it wasn't espousing any of them, just putting the information out there. The ID author put out his point of view, the evolution author put out his point of view, and the information contained within both articles taken together was that neither viewpoint was wholly correct.

I fail to see why the source of your links discredits the content; either Muhammad Jamal is being sought, or he is not. Al-Qaeda the organization may or may not have arranged the attack. I do find the theory that the government didn't want to admit an Al-Qaeda tie rather thin; on the other hand, I am very concerned at what seems to be massive incompetency, and perhaps all the spin that we were given after was an attempt to hide that.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1018

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting how this thread mirrors the Guardian opinion piece. But instead of repeating the "facts" part in my reply, I probably should have simply said, "So, back to where we started: Political Polarization." Or maybe the original article's conclusion: "That's why we've slid into the Post-Information Age. It's going to be a rough patch for Darwin. And even worse for Voltaire."
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Who needs facts? Reply with quote

I'm sorry; I wasn't replying from any political point of view, but from an information standpoint, because of the two point/counterpoint articles I'd just read. I don't have an ideological stand on either evolution or creation, though I did think it was interesting that neither side allows for even the slightest disagreement with its point of view, which is why Darwin's doubts are seldom if ever mentioned or studied, though his doubts were based on the science of the Cambrian explosion, which to me would call for even more study and analysis. Likewise, creationists won't budge from their view despite plain evidence that humans have evolved.

I didn't realize you were posting from an ideological stance. My mistake.
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Mark



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1353

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The term "false balance" is used to describe journalism or other writing that presents two sides of a debate as if they have equal weight of evidence when they don't.
Comparing evolution and intelligent design is an example of false balance. In the century and a half+ since Charles Darwin wrote "On the Origin of Species", a tremendous amount of fossil evidence has been added, and biological science has added Mendelian genetics and many refinements of genetic knowledge through the identification of DNA and RNA as molecules recording and transcribing genetic information and through current technology mapping many complete genomes. There is so much knowledge about evolution that it would take several college courses to cover it decently, but Darwin and his contemporaries got enough of the basics right that a huge amount of detail has been corrected or added since without changing the fundamental framework. Intelligent Design is a repackaging of Creation Science, which was a repackaging of an older name I don't recall off hand. The repackaging (dare we call it evolution?) is because each earlier version was discredited.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2483

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's an interesting opinion piece in the Guardian for today that comments on this discussion. As most know, I have no idea how to transfer url's from one place to another. The piece is in the Comment is Free section, though, which I hope will help anyone interested to find it.
It's labeled It's not artificial intelligence we need to worry about, but artificial idiocy. Please note that I do not repeat that title as comment. The article comments because it speaks of the built-in bias most information carries with it.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1018

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
There's an interesting opinion piece in the Guardian for today that comments on this discussion. As most know, I have no idea how to transfer url's from one place to another. The piece is in the Comment is Free section, though, which I hope will help anyone interested to find it.
It's labeled It's not artificial intelligence we need to worry about, but artificial idiocy. Please note that I do not repeat that title as comment. The article comments because it speaks of the built-in bias most information carries with it.


http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/06/artificial-intelligence-understanding-big-data

Yet there's no such thing as impartial information any more than there's a way of measuring someone's height without selecting a unit of measurement. Every single byte of data on earth was made, not found. And each was manufactured according to methods whose biases are baked into their very being.

Similarly, every measurement embodies a series of choices: what to include, what to exclude.
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Frosty13



Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:00 pm    Post subject: Who needs facts Reply with quote

Yes, Mark, I know. I also realize that what we accept as "fact" one day could be proven totally false in the future. The two articles were interesting in that they each pointed out fallacies in the other's theory that neither side would admit to. I would relish further research in everything. Can scientific knowledge ever be a bad thing?
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2483

PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Eliza. I'm going to have my granddaughter show me how to transfer those url's. You picked the points that comment on this discussion most directly.
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