Question of the Day

By: ricderr , 2:16 PM GMT on April 23, 2013

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It's rant time. As many of you know this time of year our resident weather weenies come out of hibernation and start the annual guessing game of how many hurricanes and how many will come ashore on the CONUS and of course how much destruction will they wreak. I can't stand it for the mere fact that it's guessing and when the great Colorado University boys with their millions of dollars in funding and their sophisticated equipment can't get it right, if a weenie happens to out guess them they consider themselves great and sophisticated scientific minds.

I say this not to pick on our weather weenies, but that I saw it in full force on a much grander scale with the Boston bombings. The need to be first with breaking stories and the chance to say "you heard it first on our station led to wild ass guessing, fear mongering, ridiculous speculation and outright lies. CNN and FOX took the cake when they announced that a suspect had been captured and CNN upped the ante when they gave a brief description of his ethnicity when they offered a brief description of the suspect. However to a lesser degree and in some cases worse no media outlets were left blameless.

On the same note and to a lesser scale of importance the NFL is trying to regulate what information can be tweeted in this Thursdays start of the draft. Except for a few key draftees reporters are not to tweet which player is being drafted by which team before it is announced on the ESPN telecast.

Yes, we live in an age where our access to information has never been greater and with camera phones and media sites as Twitter and Facebook our ability to reach a large audience with firsthand information is quite simple. However on one hand it does not excuse the media from doing their job of factual reporting nor should it allow corporations to dictate and regulate the use of these mediums.

I guess simple put, LIVE WITH IT! and that leads to the QOD?


How important is it for you that you know immediately what is happening in the world and if so, or not so, how important is the quality of information you receive?


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11. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
3:03 PM GMT on May 06, 2013
ricderr has created a new entry.
10. MisterPerfect
3:17 PM GMT on April 27, 2013
Also, Hi Rob! Looking sharp, homie. My best to you and your family.
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20140
9. MisterPerfect
3:16 PM GMT on April 27, 2013
ETA: MisterPerfect....... howya doon? chuptu?


Hey Crab! I am doing well. Just gearing up for another Hurricane Season. How are things down yonder in Cayman country?
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20140
8. SkyWatcher86
3:28 AM GMT on April 27, 2013
like what was said before no news is better than incorrect news all that leads to is speculation on what is really happening,and to the other question I don't think criminals should get the amount of attention they get in the news they almost immortalize them making people pay more attention to the people who did the act instead of the victims,that only causes more people who feel like loners in the world to do something that will make everyone remember who they are and when it happens to be a person who's not right in the head they don't care who they have to hurt to get that fame,and on the other hand they may be doing it for a cause and replaying over and over who they were and why they did it only gives them what they want by spreading their message we should pay more attention to the victims of crimes rather than the criminals.
Member Since: April 27, 2013 Posts: 2 Comments: 4
7. Spetrm
7:34 AM GMT on April 25, 2013
Good question, I run in to this problem a lot lately. People get information off of twitter or facebook, then it becomes news and gets relayed. Most recent case in Iran when the earthquake hit, a bad translation led to 40 deaths being reported in the country almost immediately. It turned out the country had about 5 deaths. But the outcome was due to one translation, it being taken as fact due to being copied and pasted and then all of a sudden its out of control.

With this day of social media sometimes news "sources" come from the most un trustworthy people ever. (Some hippe sitting in his trailer... IDK)

I still see reports of Radiation from Fukushima as well here in Japan. by none other than foreign media! (The US Mainly) reality is Radiation in Tokyo is lower than New York City, true story! But that does not make for good news.

As far as weather though it is nice to have reports from people from all over the world almost immediately. Still though..

Any how, hi Ric!!!!! Rob is here!
Member Since: June 9, 2007 Posts: 410 Comments: 9858
6. airman45
7:10 AM GMT on April 25, 2013
I am a reality person. "Just the facts", as Joe Friday used to say. NEVER believe initial reports of anything.

Personal experience: Iraq

Whenever we had "incidents", won't go any further, we would look at CNN just to see what crap they would put out about it, if they did at all. It was often quite "funny" (not in the comedy sense, as it often meant people died) what was reported and what really happened.

I told my wife before going to Iraq, "Don't believe anything you see on the news".

Oh boy, was I right!
Member Since: April 2, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3509
5. hurricanecrab
10:58 PM GMT on April 24, 2013
I have come to understand that for me personally, I do not have the ability to know that which is actually happening globally, so therefore there is no need to sift through the plethora of information to be the "first" to not know what the hell is going on. There is SO much information out there, and the real test of personal mettle in this regard is the ability to ask the right question, to pare down your question to the lowest common denominator such that you get a semblance of answer.

Weather weenies....... well, it's vastly entertaining, and if viewed AS entertainment, then it has value. Now, there have been folk that have provided potentially lifesaving information here at WU in the past, and I've appreciated their efforts. This is probably most useful where tornado probabilities are concerned. Tropical cyclones....... there seems little value in being "right", because the variables of storm formation, direction, intensity, date, etc. are so elusive that even the best of the best can only speak in terms of probabilities. So what's the value of being right? Surely a lesser value than guessing the probabilities in Vegas. ..... and yet people argue over who was more accurate and end up debating their personalities rather than the measurable evidence and the beat goes on and on...

With the Boston tragedy, I was listening online to three different scanners. Well, that's real-time actual information, right? Maybe not. Surely LEOs knew that the perp might've had access to that same information, so would they possibly set a trap via the airwaves? I would have in their position.

We have a greater ability to know things looking backward, rather than information presented in the present. Even then, it has to measured against supportive evidence, and what we're really talking about is, sadly, accepting evidence from a source whose bias is similar to our own.

Even locally, on this small island, rumor travels faster than truth. Truth is as elusive as "fact", and in the end, what we know is more akin to faith than fact.

So, I form my opinions, and enjoy exchanging opinions with others who recognize that what they think is not THE truth, but THEIR truth, or A truth.

.........and that's a fact. [rolls eyes]




Short answer: Not important; quality indeterminant.


ETA: MisterPerfect....... howya doon? chuptu?
Member Since: January 20, 2005 Posts: 64 Comments: 9242
4. ricderr
7:36 PM GMT on April 23, 2013
hoodman.....yes...news is little more than entertainment.....and i have no problems with delays especially when it is just......in the case of boston though....i listened to two anchors and a reporter and as one person would say one thing the next person would take what the first said as a fact instead of speculation and add his own speculation and on and on and when they were finished they had these two bombers as al-queda members sponsored by ben laden himself
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 680 Comments: 22774
3. ricderr
7:31 PM GMT on April 23, 2013
MP!!!!....they let anyone in at WU now.....after a plethora of names you get the original back

that was the first time i had to watch my team lose in the biggest of games.....we had people over and all...it hurt.....it still hurts

and now you've become a weather weenie.....when are you getting a home weather station?

as for you waxing philosophically....not sure i agree or not....i can only think the logical response would be the ADHD response "purple"
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 680 Comments: 22774
2. MisterPerfect
3:19 PM GMT on April 23, 2013
ello ric,

Nothing is important unless its important to you personally, no matter the speed or validity.

Dolphins need cornerback and tightend...hope that's what they target with the first three picks.

My apologies to you having your hopes dashed in the superbowl. :( I was thinking about you..

quick canes guess:

13 named
4 majors
1 u.s. landfall (FL panhandle or TexMex border)
destruction: $14.5m , 5 u.s. casualties

love ya! peace
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20140
1. RobDaHood
2:50 PM GMT on April 23, 2013
Good Question.

I guess it would depend on what was happening. In a lot of cases putting out the wrong information can be worse than not reporting it at all. What bothers me most about it is the marching out of all "the experts" who theorize and speculate over things that they really have no knowledge about and making wildly exaggerated statements as if they were fact.

News has become entertainment and in doing so has lost much of it's integrity and value.

Another thing I have a big problem with is law enforcement officer leaking information to the media, especially when it is hearsay. When something like what happened in Boston occurs, all sorts of miscommunication and rumors start flying around, even among the police. Stuff gets leaked before it is confirmed then bad info gets reported before it is checked in the race for the scoop. In some cases, bad info or leaks can endanger life or compromise an apprehension or investigation.

Another thing to consider (and a reason that official information is often delayed) is that the bad guys have the same news channels as the rest of us.

Finally, I really hate media obsession over single events, especially when they go on and on all day with little new stuff to report, because there are other things going on in the world that don't get reported. The fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX was a major disaster and tragedy but was barely covered in most major media. And North Korea, which had been the major theme for a week seemed to just fade away. That may have actually been a good thing. I know the little dictator must have been furious about losing the limelight.

I will also pose my own related question:
Does giving criminals days of fame as opposed to their 15 minutes of fame actually encourage more of the same behavior?
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 104 Comments: 34447

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