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Sat Feb 23, 2019, 12:15 PM

Why do so many people seem to fall for "opinion as news?"

I can make snide remarks too, but I think it's fascinating that so many people nowadays seem to let others tell them what to think, especially when it pisses them off. It's like they have a need to get pissed off.

Have some people lost the ability to think for themselves? And why is that? Are we getting spoon-fed so much material that there's no room left for thinking? Is it information overload, or being addicted to TV pundits?

I know the media focuses on stuff that's controversial or that gets people to keep coming back; it's part of what they do to increase revenue. I can live with that. But why do so many people insist on swallowing it?

Or is it just that people get addicted to stuff that gives them a distraction from their everyday lives? Soap operas. So-called reality shows. So-called celebrities. Is it just a need to experience life vicariously because they don't have one?

Not making any value judgements (or snide comments) here. I just think it's fascinating, especially when you consider how it's splitting the country apart.

Any thoughts?

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Reply Why do so many people seem to fall for "opinion as news?" (Original post)
grumpyduck Feb 2019 OP
TexasProgresive Feb 2019 #1
Downtown Hound Feb 2019 #2
RockRaven Feb 2019 #3
ismnotwasm Feb 2019 #4
grumpyduck Feb 2019 #5

Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 12:25 PM

1. This started with talk radio and went on steroids with 24/7 cable news.

I don't mind listening to someone comment on the news, first I want to read/hear the news before an opinion piece. It pisses me off when I hear new readers editorialize the story with the tone and/or emphasis of their voice. I never hear that from the BBC.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 12:29 PM

2. When I was in college 20 years ago, I had a friend who was a T.A.

for an English teacher. She let me read a stack of the papers that were turned in. Bear in mind these are college students, the cream of the crop. I was far from a perfect student, although I did have a bit of a talent for writing, but I was absolutely appalled at the state of literacy in this country. The types of things I read were things I would expect from kids in junior high school (and in a few cases, elementary school), not college. I know a few college professors today, and they tell me it's the same thing today.

The bottom line is, our population is uneducated and borderline illiterate. We're not producing thinkers. We're producing consumers. Until we really start to value education and put our focus on creating an educated populace, then the fundamental problems we face will not chance.

That is how so many people were duped into voting Trump. It's also why conservatives are so eager to demonize the education system on "socialist indoctrination centers." There is no greater threat to them and their agenda than a population that thinks.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 12:57 PM

3. People like to hear what they already/want to believe, it avoids unpleasant cognitive dissonance

People don't like uncomfortable truths, so when a route to avoid that is presented, they take it.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 01:10 PM

4. It's easier

I donít mind modern culture, it has its problems just as any place in time does. New problems, yes. I think people are busy, and people are full of fear, and take easier ways to form opinions about whatís relevant.

Also, if itís not affecting a person right now, ie climate change, in a way one recognizes, putting aside fear seems to be a priority for so many, rather than action.

I always wonder about the psychology of leadership, like, are we looking to be parerented? Are we looking for hero's, Is rule by comittee or council too cumbersome, because results take a while?

How the fuck would anyone, think Donald Trump is a good idea? Yet millions still do. Those millions have to be looking for that father/savior figure, only this time itís a rich white man who obviously doesnít care about the world, just his place in it. I donít see how thatís comforting but here we are.

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Response to grumpyduck (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2019, 02:26 PM

5. Four really good thoughtful responses so far.

Thank you, and especially for not totally focusing on T. I was hoping to keep him out of it -- just to talk about the reality of people getting addicted to opinion as news.

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