Mar
13
2013

QotD, A Reminder About The Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect edition.

Michael Crichton, by way of Ed Driscoll:

Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

Ayup.

5 Comments

  • tnfriendofcoal101368 says:

    A good description of Ezra “Kooky” Klein’s entire career. Calls himself a wonk so people believe he is one even if he proposes things as stupid as platinum coins, Obamacare and dropping the mortgage rate to 0 to stimulate housing demand.

  • earlgrey says:

    This reminds me of when Matt Damon was talking about all the stuff he “heard” about Sarah Palin from the internet– he mentioned how she believed humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.

    I couldn’t believe someone from Hollywood, which always complains about stupid rumors from the tabloids, would just assume the stuff they read was true.

    So from now on anything dumb I read about Matt Damon I assume to be true.

    • Skip says:

      I’ve always assumed the way he was portrayed in Team America World Police was accurate. Fake, but accurate.

  • acat says:

    Warning labels ought to be required on the front page (below the fold) of every newspaper.
    .
    “We are journalists; we weren’t smart enough to be doctors or lawyers or engineers, so take our stories with a grain or two of salt … unless your doctor has you on a low sodium diet.”
    .
    Mew

  • Catseyes says:

    It also doesn’t help the News professions ability to convince you that they know what’s going on when they obviously have no clue. For example I was on the Security end of a strike against a large Corp in a small city, the City Government chose sides in the strike rather than remain impartial a lot of things happened that went unreported by the Media. Said Corporation withdrew most of it’s presence from the city after the strike ended and the city deprived of it’s tax base is now effectively dead. And the clueless media still has no frigging idea what happened or why. Hint: look at some of the things you didn’t publish because it would have made the Democrats look bad.

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