We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Do yourself a favour. Just stop watching ‘the news’. Every time in the future you might then occasionally re-watch it, it becomes extremely obvious how manipulated it is, and how the obvious answer to virtually every ‘problem’ it discusses, is that the government should get booted out of whichever area the ‘problem’ is in (e.g. the NHS, various fomented wars around the world, the state of the roads).

It becomes blindingly obvious that private enterprise, the free market, and free competition should be employed instead, which is why you constantly hear about failures of the NHS to supply health services, but never hear stories about semi-free supermarkets failing to deliver food services.

- Andy Duncan

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Tedd

    I gave up cable TV (and my antenna) in the last millennium, so I have not seen a news broadcast since a year or more before 9/11, other than the odd glimpse of one while visiting someone else’s home. But once in while, in my car, I listen to the CBC news, and it’s true: what passes for news, at least from the CBC, is mostly a free advertising service for anyone who wants to expand government. Plus a little titillation and voyeurism thrown in, presumably to attract audience.

    I don’t think that this is deliberate, exactly. It’s just that journalists are caught in a paradigm that allows no other pattern to emerge. News is about problems, problems demand solutions, and government is, ultimately, responsible for all solutions.

    I can’t resist throwing in one anecdote, even though it’s not directly related. One morning, the lead story on CBC news in Vancouver was flooding. But — and it was several minutes into the piece before this became apparent — the flooding that was being earnestly discussed was the basements of three houses in North Vancouver, caused by spring run-off (and probably faulty foundation drainage). This piece of news got as much air time, and as much earnestness, as a multiple homicide or a major government scandal might have got on another day. I had to chuckle at the desperate search for something (anything!) to lead off with that must have gone on, prior to that broadcast.

  • Robert

    That is really strange, Todd.
    It sounds like the kind of story that might make p3 lead in a local weekly (like the one I work for) but to lead a TV bulletin? Perhaps one of the residents was related to the news editor.

  • Regional

    In Australia the state broadcaster is competing with the commercial networks to be the voice of the Left while in the print Meeja you’d have more fingers on your hands than non-Bolshi journalists and the people are fighting back by ignoring them and not buying their newspapers, by being ignorant you’re better informed.

  • Michael Jennings

    Watching television news seems to consist of almost entirely of watching and listening to politicians talk. I find it utterly unbearable. I cannot watch it for more than a few seconds without wanting to break something.

  • Mr Ed

    I gave up TV here in the UK about 3 years ago. I don’t miss the news or anything else. The news ere is often ‘Politician X will make a speech today ‘ followed by some political hacks spouting about the lack of spending, or politicians saying there is a split. No one cares except the bubble.

    When something awful happens, there is endless repetition of the event, speculation and a consensual mutter.

    I cannot think of a single event in the news, from the death of Tito to gay marriage bills passing, that as directly impacted on my life insofar as it has changed my plans or outcomes, apart from travel news leading to the odd diversion.

  • Paul Marks

    Andy the statist propaganda is endless.

    Just a couple of days ago I happened to see a bit of Michael Caine film – a man steals vast sums from a diamond company.

    The stealing is O.K. because……

    The company steals the gems from “the africans” who are kept unfree by it (actually big business was AGAINST the race policies in South Africa – indeed the Nationalist came to power in a struggle against “big business”).

    And……

    The man’s wife has (many years before) been denied prompt medical care by a British insurance company and had died of cancer……

    See the propaganda trick?

    The “wainting list” (the basic mark of the NHS) is stuck on to a private company (“if it was not for the NHS people would be left waiting for treatment till they died of cancer” – that is what the viewers are supposed to think) – the truth (as with South Africa) is turned round 180 degrees.

    Drip, drip, drip – thus the lies (the lies in “entertainment” as much as formal education) twist the opinions of the people.

  • LukeCrackSmoker

    The news is most profitable when its viewers are mad, sad or scared (they are less likely to change the channel under those conditions). Since the news does want to be profitable, it endeavors to anger, sadden or frighten its viewers as much as possible (i.e. alter their emotional state for the worse). Why would I want to support something whose profitability is wholly a function of its ability to worsen the mood of those who consume it?

  • the other rob

    Our news is very similar, Tedd. Most recently, it was a five alarm panic over “synthetic drugs” apparently because some kid didn’t die.

    My favourite is the little teasers that they run during the commercial breaks (the only thing that I see from them these days). They’re always in the same format: “Something in your house is on fire right now! We’ll tell you what, at Ten.”

  • Sam Duncan

    “Something in your house is on fire right now! We’ll tell you what, at Ten.”

    “Somebody says that something innocuous is harmful to children and/or animals. We insinuate that the government is morally deficient by failing to criminalize anyone who makes, sells, or uses it. Also, new government guidelines on bottom-wiping. We’ll have the details and reaction from around the country, carefully ignoring anyone who thinks that it’s none of the government’s damned business. And some politicians are meeting someplace warm. Our reporters are outside the building to massage their egos by grossly exaggerating the usefulness and importance of whatever it is they’re blathering about in there. We aren’t really sure, if we’re honest. But that won’t stop us speculating wildly. At Ten.“

  • Where’s my ‘like’ button…:-O

  • Paul Marks

    As for television news – I watch most of the English language world news stations for time to time.

    I despise the BBC – but my dislike is not based on ignorance (as I watch a BBC news broadcast at least once a day). I watch the French English language service (which is just as bad as the BBC) and Al J. (the Arab oil money funded propaganda service), and RT (not just Max Keiser mixture of truth and lies – but even the endless death-to-America stuff from the main news broadcasts) and so on.

    “Ah but Paul – which news station do you always go back to and watch most?”

    Fox News (FNC) of course.

    They may not be perfect (they are from it), but Fox News is not made up of people who want to tie me to an unholy altar, cut out my heart and eat it before my dying eyes whilst pledging their support for Satan and for atheist Marxism at the same time….

    Which makes FNC fundementally different from the BBC other news stations – which do appear to be controlled by such people.