In the Land of the Blind… October 10, 2009Posted by calvinus in Uncategorized.
Tags: Dumbing down, Public Understanding
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Middle-aged man suffers middle-aged malady.
Why is this news?
More to the point, why is this the leading news story on a range of news services? Much as there was some half-hearted sensationalist waffle, it was quite comedic to see a medical expert (I forget the exact discipline) being “grilled”. How dangerous is it? “Er, not really”. Is it contagious? “Er…no” Does it have an impact on the way Mr Brown can run the country? “Eh? Are you serious?” So why is this the top news story on the national broadcaster? Is it because:
a) the public and meeja don’t understand enough about anything vaguely scientific anymore
b) we are obsessed by personality and David “Dave” Cameron is too young to have this sort of ailment
c) Manchester United had a week off and therefore it was a slow news day.
d) there is something more Machiavellian afoot and NewLabour will use this as a cover to allow the Prime Minister to stand down in a more dignified manner (call me a cynic if you will)?
If it is the latter, this country is clearly dumber in terms of scientific comprehension than first feared. This is not a news story.
Is Gordon Brown’s right eye more important than Lance Corporal James Hill‘s life?
Grow Your Own Drugs March 8, 2009Posted by calvinus in Media.
Tags: Dumbing down, Media
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Last week, BBC 2 started a new series. “Grow Your Own Drugs”. The next iteration of science programmes presented by fresh-faced young people who talk 6 inches tot he left and 10 inches above the camera (yes Dr Cox, I mean you).
Now, whilst I welcome the addition of another science programme to the schedules (come back Tomorrow’s World!) there is something unsettling about the Beeb’s latest offering. There are odds and ends of loose interest and they do take care to say that no double-blind trials were conducted and could you please consult a GP before consuming any of the recipes on offer but what is the message? Is it to eat healthily and here are some natural remedies you can use instead of propping up the likes of Proctor and Gamble? Is it educational and here are where past and other cultures found the medicines needed to overcome certain problems? Or is it some half-homeopathic titillation?