Information Theft

We live in a period of information excess. Even those of us who are in information denial get too much. Most of this information, something on the order of the Ivory soap purity factor (~0.994) or the pan troglodyte DNA commonality factor (~0.995) is irrelevant, compromisingly inaccurate, or deliberately malevolent

But having declaimed that the fire hose stream is polluted, a counter is that being under stress we oft unwise humans have begun to adapt to the change in our environments from information poverty to information poverty with extremely high noise. Admittedly this is not without spectacular failures. The incidence of misapprehensions and conspiracy theories is greatly multiplied and that multiplication further enhanced by the deterioration o common sense and respect for the value of human presence. We are increasingly a society of egocentric shmendricks who are more at home crying “wolf!” or “LOLcat!” rather than maintaining a taciturnicity that would better befit our ignorance and ineptness.

Yet in this malmstrom of information diversion and egoism we are still able to discern when we are being robbed of information and respond in a fashion consistent with our heritage of ejecting tyrants and their overseers at the points of bayonets.

This morning was occasion to witness persistent thefts of information by the humans who are given stewardship of the plumbing of information.

This being Monday, and a quite rainy one, I motored off to Scant City from castellum SCP to perform my meagre exercises and be distracted by an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas”. The robbery started there.

The episode was a speech by an Amerikan foreign affairs pundit on the deterioration of Amerika into a third world nation. I should interject that I have little respect for foreign affairs wonks. They are in effect a ‘Good Ole Boys’ (GOB) club whose entry is more exacting than any of those of the secret societies that are found at the shuls they must have attended as prerequisite to consideration. This fellow happened to have been educated at Oxford which is a hallmark of the high priests of the GOB, to be a quisling of the British tyranny. But what struck me as particularly typical of the breed is that this fellow spoke for about three-quarters of an hour and uttered no more than five minutes of information, and that quantity may be charitable. As is usual with such people they speak well but vacantly.

Still, I was at gym where my primary purpose was exercise, so any diversion from listening for irregularities in my body is a boon and I could not be too upset at this minor theft of my attention span because, after all, any non-painful diversion is beneficial.

But since the information density of this chap’s utterances were so small, and punctuated with telegraphic warning, I could practice attention switching and try, in between the nuggets of actual information and during the valueless blather, to seek information elsewhere. I came therefore to observe the audio-visual electromagnetic receivers on the wall and was quickly rewarded with further instances of information theft.

The Reynard news network, probably to camouflage their actual agenda, was memorializing the discorporation of Ms. Ferraro. I should inject here that I have considerable respect for Ms. Ferraro. She as the only bright spot in the (modern) democrat ticket in 1984 but even her sterling qualities could not make up for the rotted tin of the presidential candidate. The loss of election was more a matter of votes against her running mate than not for her. Nonetheless, I did not know the woman except by her public reputation, I respected her for that, but I feel no need to mourn her passage in any extended fashion.

By my sampling, punctuated by the occasional bits of actual content in the speech of the foreign affairs wonk, and scanning the other visible programming, of the hour plus that I could watch, over 0.75 of the time was taken up with Ms. Ferraro, and not a wet eye in the bunch. So I have to consider this another form and incident of information theft.

My last example comes from the receiver displaying the CNN programming. I heard – read on the ticker actually – one of their reporters, covering the situation in Nippon, declaim that reporters should not burden their reports with numbers since the public would only be troubled by them. The implication was that the public could neither cope with numbers nor assess their import.

I consider this blatant admission of an attitude that the audience, including myself, is incompetent and does not need nor want any useful information to be the third example of information theft.

So how much information do these mediaists have to steal before they are brought to account?

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