Friday, April 1, 2011 Masterful New Blog!

There are some really smart young people out there and one has started a brilliant - and very fair - blog entitled "" It is wonderfully written and gets my award for the best new blog of 2011.

In their latest post entitled: Why the Flyjin Flew: The 8 Factors That Led Them Astray deftly spells out why people panicked in a much nicer way than I would have put it. Here's some choice parts from the article and some explanations of the reasons why people left:

Poor Decision Making

Flyjin made poor decisions, and in the process shirked responsibilities, upended their lives, cooled relationships, wasted money (however insignificant it may have been to them given their circumstances), contributed to an unnecessary panic, and set themselves up for a well-deserved ribbing.

Here are the factors that I think played into these bad decisions:

An Irrational Distrust of Authority

Governments, institutions and corporations are not always right and sometimes have interests that are different from ours. But in a situation like this the good people working in them usually give pretty good advice, often overly cautious advice, despite the flaws in the system. This is simple delegation: You listen to expert consensus, you don’t try yourself to become an instant expert.

Focusing on Worst Case Scenarios Rather Than the Most Probable

Worst case scenarios rarely happen. Fixating on dire predictions is akin to hypochondria. What about the French government?: Yes, they are an authority that should be considered, but they were an outlier here.

Faulty Interpretation of Contemporary Media Sources

Knowing how to ingest modern media is a necessary skill these days, but few seem to have mastered it. The “link bait” headline syndrome has spread to all media. Television news shows are not put together by experts searching for the truth, but rather by 26-year-old “segment producers” eager for controversy. Level-headed experts consulted by the media often lose it and give an ill-considered soundbite because they want the “As Seen on CNN” screen grab for the sidebar of their blogs.

The preceding "Faulty Interpretation of Contemporary Media Sources" is a succinct and concise statement that explains my thinking in one complete paragraph. I've said it over and over: After 30+ years in the mass media, I know BS when I hear it. It is understand able that most people do not have that understanding about how the media works. I do. I am an expert in it. I said the same thing (about mass media sensationalism) concerning swine flu, bird flu, SARS, Man-Made Global Warming, and Saddam Hussein's Nooklar weapons before the Iraq War.  How many people listen? Sadly, not too many. 

"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me"... Regular Joe-Blow on the street? "Keep fooling me over and over and over... I never learn." The article continues with another great point:

Getting Lost in Details Rather Than Grasping the Overall Gestalt

If you find yourself obsessively researching on the internet or glued to the television, you are starting to slip into the space inhabited by 9-11 Truthers. Reality is not contained in thousands of facts. Think less data, more common sense, a holistic integration of information that takes account of various weight factors. Some people are better at this than others, but the ability to make decisions in this way can be lost if you think too much. In A Walk in the Woods Bill Bryson writes of how he obsessively researched bears prior to his Appalachian Trail hike and ended up being frightened to death throughout the trip.
Like I said, this is top quality writing and one of the best blogs I've seen in a long time. I liked it so much that I've added it to my blogroll.! 5 stars! And my nomination for "Best New Blog of 2011"!


Anonymous said...

Flyjin always was a patheitic notion:

mike in tokyo rogers said...

Editorials written anonymously are pathetic.

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