Saturday, July 22, 2006

Science Propaganda

It's very rare I watch TV news or read a newspaper, but when I do, I have a hard time not breaking into laughter. It's so... transparent.

But, apparently, it works.

So, here's an idea. I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of it, but I like it.

Have a news show - an hour a day, or even a video blog - which uses the same tactics. But it glorifies technological advancement.

That disease breakout story? Horrify them! Then come in with interviews from disease control people which explain how they've handled and contained the disease using advanced simulations and medical testing.

The story of some guy losing his legs in a horrible accident? Interview the doctors and consultants who are helping him get used to his new, high-tech legs.

The space shuttle explodes? That's, like three news shows. Instead of condemning the entire idea of racing to space, you talk about the very low failure rate and all the incredible technologies it has brought us, including that guy's high-tech legs.

Want to inspire fear and terror? Don't inspire mindless fear and terror - end with a call to action. A call to support the technology and methods which will reduce the risks.

Global warming - talk about satellite imaging, give percentages and numbers, and pound the seriousness of the threat. Deep concern. Oh no! Scientists are working literally around the clock to figure out how to fix it, but you can help.

Starvation in Africa? Horrifying. Millions dying. Scientists producing crops that will grow in the most barren soil on earth... only to be denied, at the last minute, by sheer evil.

Cancer? Diabetes? Show the risks. Show the aftereffects. Show people managing to live thanks to technology, and show what technologies the future may hold.

A key is to interview the people involved. The need is to connect a technological service with the human beings who use it to try to help mankind.

Once you've built it up, you can spice it up with "technology misused" - biased scientific reports defrauded. Explotative products. There's plenty of them, but that's hardly specific to science. You get frauds and bastards in every field.

The issue is to keep it "hard science". The idea isn't to promote miracle cures. The idea is to promote a healthy respect for the most powerful thing in our life and its father: science and critical thinking.

It really upsets me how little respect they get.


Chill said...

Let's hope Science isn't as much of a basterd as Cronus was

(The post I deleted was what I wrote here only with a meaning altering typo)

Patrick Dugan said...

I told my mom yesterday that I thought throwing out embroyos instead of using them for research was bullshit, the resulting conversation ensued:

Mom: Are you pro-abortion now pat?! Me: Its a different issue, thats not what I'm talking about.
Mom: I can't believe you've let go of even that belief.
Me: Uh, I'm talking about stem cells.
Mom: Stem cells aren't all they're cracked up to be.
Me: Sure, but maybe that failure rate can be improved by using embroyos that will be destroyed anyway. I know theres the slippery slope argument that if we allow that women will farm their ovaries.
Mom: They will.
Me: Good, they should if they want to, its not like you don't have an abortion once a month anyway.

And then I said something to the effect of "cocksucking titty fuck motherfucker!"

Long story short, I feel where you're coming from.

Darius Kazemi said...

America used to have that kind of propaganda all the time, right up until about Three Mile Island, which pretty much single-handedly destroyed the American public's blind faith in science. (Challenger pooed on the ashes of that faith.)

Craig Perko said...

I think 37 years is enough time to spend injured. It's like hating a 40-year-old because he broke a ming vase when he was three.