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How much does the truth really matter?

GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
edited June 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
Not trying to be melodramatic or needlessly rhetorical or anything but this is something I've often wondered.

I mean, people's personal biases and subjective reasoning are going to play out no matter what sort of information they're receiving anyway, correct?

Like that's how it works, you can report the facts but immediately people are going to interpret them in their own way and I realize that's the way it's always been but with more news and political organizations operating along the lines of advertising agencies aiming to pull at heartstrings and being all about the emotional appeal, do you think we're approaching this kind of paradigm where the prevailing academic emphasis, as far as sociopolitical subjects are concerned, will be more about preparing people not only to try and sift through the bullshit, but also maybe to thrive in it? To utilize misinformation and propaganda as legitimate argumentative tools in and of themselves?

See, everyone's going to have an agenda, so why not take the plunge and fully embrace a world where information itself isn't as important as how it can be used, where reality doesn't matter nearly as much as a compelling and effective argument? Aren't we sort of there already, only with the majority of people still naive enough to consciously believe they have a reasonable grasp on objective reality?

Obviously the issues I'm raising aren't new or ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination but what's really curious to me is how courses specifically covering "the politics of spin" are largely absent from the realm of established academia.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Mass democracy is less about good, technocratically-validated policy than about legitimizing policy for the people it affects, anyway. So this is not new.

    The politics of spin are very much in academia, too. Or what sort of academia have you been looking at?

  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Spin isn't in academia? You're in for a real disappointment when you go to your first conference and see two old men with mighty beards politely implying that the other person is more capable of fucking a dog then writing a scientific paper.

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I think he's referring to the studying of spin than to the spinning itself... but both have a well-established presence in the social sciences, anyway.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    I think he's referring to the studying of spin than to the spinning itself... but both have a well-established presence in the social sciences, anyway.

    Yes, but what about the real-world application? What about spin as a art or science in and of itself? We have academic debates but those don't adequately reflect the changing face of American political rhetoric. I'm getting the impression that most people are coming out of universities no more prepared to understand or utilize what they hear about politics in the media than they were going in. If anything, they're more susceptible to it. What about preparing people to be active, knowing players in the spin?

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  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I doubt academic emphasis on sifting through the bullshit/spintalk/etc will be any greater than it is right now in the near future. I'm trying my best not to sound all tin-foil-suit like, but the reality is that public schooling is basically just scraping by on government funding and providing the base-level education determined by the government, just enough to continue the workforce. The rising cost of the public schooling has governments often taking corporate sponsorships by corporations who:
    a) employ the very same bullshit/PR/marketing speak in an effort to sell their products-- which are often damaging to the health of the consumers
    b) lobby the government to amend laws/policies for their own self interests-- which are often damaging to society as a whole
    So it would be contrary to these corporations self-interests to have students prepare for critical thinking re: PR/spindoctor/marketing/general bullshit/etc.

    And like Robman said, post-secondary academia doesn't escape from the same sort of marketing that you're talking about. Not being an academic myself (got my degree and GTFO) I can imagine there are only so many ways to developing some new idea/theory and there are probably plenty of academics pursuing the same theory using the same methodology, so there's constant infighting over who said what first, and who should be allowed to have the theory named after them. Further, there's certainly the pursuit of being the famous guy with the game-breaking theory. I don't know about anyone else's post-secondary experience, but half of the professors in my faculty were there for the research grant only and would teach with as little enthusiasm as possible just so they can get back to their research as soon as possible.

    well, shit I certainly tin-foil'd that one real quick.

    Anyway, I figure we'll continue to be divided into a few different groups-- those who want to absorb Fox News like it's the gospel, those who want to burn Fox News to the ground, and those who don't give a shit and are just waiting for Idol to come on. Those who want to be critical of the spin they receive from the media will simply figure out critical thinking as something comes natural to them.


    edit: *WHOOSH* that's the sound of me apparently missing the point by a country mile.

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  • ElaroElaro Doing experiments Windfall IslandRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Glyph wrote: »

    See, everyone's going to have an agenda, so why not take the plunge and fully embrace a world where information itself isn't as important as how it can be used, where reality doesn't matter nearly as much as a compelling and effective argument? Aren't we sort of there already, only with the majority of people still naive enough to consciously believe they have a reasonable grasp on objective reality?

    Obviously the issues I'm raising aren't new or ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination but what's really curious to me is how courses specifically covering "the politics of spin" are largely absent from the realm of established academia.

    [example]

    Hey, did you know some people have special organs that let them breathe underwater? I think you're one of those people. You're lucky and you should enjoy your gift. Wanna go for a swim?

    [/example]

    :...:

    So long as reality has the power to kill us, truth will always matter.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Elaro wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »

    See, everyone's going to have an agenda, so why not take the plunge and fully embrace a world where information itself isn't as important as how it can be used, where reality doesn't matter nearly as much as a compelling and effective argument? Aren't we sort of there already, only with the majority of people still naive enough to consciously believe they have a reasonable grasp on objective reality?

    Obviously the issues I'm raising aren't new or ground-breaking by any stretch of the imagination but what's really curious to me is how courses specifically covering "the politics of spin" are largely absent from the realm of established academia.

    [example]

    Hey, did you know some people have special organs that let them breathe underwater? I think you're one of those people. You're lucky and you should enjoy your gift. Wanna go for a swim?

    [/example]

    :...:

    So long as reality has the power to kill us, truth will always matter.

    Ah ha, but the ability to convince someone that he can breathe underwater when he really can't... if you actually possess the aptitude to effectively sell that, I'd say that has an intrinsic value all its own.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Aren't "marketing" and "advertising" still things they teach in colleges...?

    e: maybe they're all called "communications" now.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    See, everyone's going to have an agenda, so why not take the plunge and fully embrace a world where information itself isn't as important as how it can be used, where reality doesn't matter nearly as much as a compelling and effective argument?

    I've read this 20 times, no exaggeration, yet I still do not understand what is the above supposed to mean. Is that a premise or is that a conclusion or what?

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Lol, "largely absent from the realm of established academia." One of the best courses I ever took was Secrecy and Lying in Politics and Society. There's a ton of literature on this stuff all coming from "established academia." Plus, as Ronya pointed out, marketing and advertising are still alive and well in college curricula.

    Much of this theory is applied every day even outside marketing and advertising. There's a bunch of research used in counter-terrorism that incorporate information flow and control to model the predicted success of efforts (both by and against terrorists) in certain regions. There's research on how teenagers with better "spin" control become popular, on how certain types of people are more likely to get promoted, etc etc. Methinks you need to look harder.

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  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zeeny wrote: »
    See, everyone's going to have an agenda, so why not take the plunge and fully embrace a world where information itself isn't as important as how it can be used, where reality doesn't matter nearly as much as a compelling and effective argument?

    I've read this 20 times, no exaggeration, yet I still do not understand what is the above supposed to mean. Is that a premise or is that a conclusion or what?

    It sounds like it's adapted from "Thank You for Smoking".

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  • AtomikaAtomika genius of the restoration Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    What are we calling "truth," anyway? There are factual arrangements, provable theorems, and tangible results, but what are we calling truth?

    Any time truth is being used in a rhetorical fashion, it does not suddenly become of equal value to that rhetoric. Like in the example, "Cocaine is bad for you." That's not "truth." Cocaine != "bad." Cocaine, in certain amounts, can cause dangerous levels of tachycardia and myopathies, and be possibly even fatal, but cocaine also has therapeutic levels that doctors use all the time for various things.


    There are only scientific theories and provable absolutes; everything else is rhetoric.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lol, "largely absent from the realm of established academia." One of the best courses I ever took was Secrecy and Lying in Politics and Society. There's a ton of literature on this stuff all coming from "established academia." Plus, as Ronya pointed out, marketing and advertising are still alive and well in college curricula.

    Much of this theory is applied every day even outside marketing and advertising. There's a bunch of research used in counter-terrorism that incorporate information flow and control to model the predicted success of efforts (both by and against terrorists) in certain regions. There's research on how teenagers with better "spin" control become popular, on how certain types of people are more likely to get promoted, etc etc. Methinks you need to look harder.

    That's exactly what I mean though. No one should have to look for these things, they should be part of the mainstay of all academic curriculum especially at the pace modern media is evolving. Yes, you took a class in some college at some point but it shouldn't be just some fringe elective; rather it should be a required field of study in every accredited academic institution.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    What are we calling "truth," anyway? There are factual arrangements, provable theorems, and tangible results, but what are we calling truth?

    Any time truth is being used in a rhetorical fashion, it does not suddenly become of equal value to that rhetoric. Like in the example, "Cocaine is bad for you." That's not "truth." Cocaine != "bad." Cocaine, in certain amounts, can cause dangerous levels of tachycardia and myopathies, and be possibly even fatal, but cocaine also has therapeutic levels that doctors use all the time for various things.


    There are only scientific theories and provable absolutes; everything else is rhetoric.

    If I understand correctly, he's using "truth" as substitute for "facts or factual information".

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Glyph wrote: »
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lol, "largely absent from the realm of established academia." One of the best courses I ever took was Secrecy and Lying in Politics and Society. There's a ton of literature on this stuff all coming from "established academia." Plus, as Ronya pointed out, marketing and advertising are still alive and well in college curricula.

    Much of this theory is applied every day even outside marketing and advertising. There's a bunch of research used in counter-terrorism that incorporate information flow and control to model the predicted success of efforts (both by and against terrorists) in certain regions. There's research on how teenagers with better "spin" control become popular, on how certain types of people are more likely to get promoted, etc etc. Methinks you need to look harder.

    That's exactly what I mean though. No one should have to look for these things, they should be part of the mainstay of all academic curriculum especially at the pace modern media is evolving. Yes, you took a class in some college at some point but it shouldn't be just some fringe elective; rather it should be a required field of study in every accredited academic institution.

    Why? Why should a structural biochemistry Ph.D take this class?

    Edit: Sorry, I misread again. I got what you were saying, ignore the question.

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    This discussion has been happening for at least 2,000 + years. This discussion is literally where the term "sophist" came from. The Sophists were a bunch of dudes that thought that there was no fact of the matter and that all that was important was the ability to effectively argue for your position. It wasn't accepted then and shouldn't be accepted now.

    So really, the truth matters quite a great deal.

    However, it seems like you're only really interested in truth within a certain domain, that of political discourse. Within that domain, the truth is still very very important.

    Now, human beings don't in large part make their decisions based solely on what's true or not. In large part I think that this is due to many people not knowing the truth, or the the facts of a situation not being clear. Even beyond that though, our decision making processes are complex and take into account a lot of other things. We are motivated by emotion, reward, and all manner of other things. Now, we can either manipulate the populace into doing something that we want, or we can try to cut out the manipulation and isolate only the part of the decision making process that responds to reasoned, rational discussion. It's harder, but I think more morally valuable.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • AtomikaAtomika genius of the restoration Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zeeny wrote: »
    What are we calling "truth," anyway? There are factual arrangements, provable theorems, and tangible results, but what are we calling truth?

    Any time truth is being used in a rhetorical fashion, it does not suddenly become of equal value to that rhetoric. Like in the example, "Cocaine is bad for you." That's not "truth." Cocaine != "bad." Cocaine, in certain amounts, can cause dangerous levels of tachycardia and myopathies, and be possibly even fatal, but cocaine also has therapeutic levels that doctors use all the time for various things.


    There are only scientific theories and provable absolutes; everything else is rhetoric.

    If I understand correctly, he's using "truth" as substitute for "facts or factual information".

    But facts are inert. They do not "do," they just "are." It's a person's response to facts that is important for day-to-day living.


    In that respect, I would say that being factual when framing your rhetoric is really the only obligation people have to one another.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    What are we calling "truth," anyway? There are factual arrangements, provable theorems, and tangible results, but what are we calling truth?

    Any time truth is being used in a rhetorical fashion, it does not suddenly become of equal value to that rhetoric. Like in the example, "Cocaine is bad for you." That's not "truth." Cocaine != "bad." Cocaine, in certain amounts, can cause dangerous levels of tachycardia and myopathies, and be possibly even fatal, but cocaine also has therapeutic levels that doctors use all the time for various things.


    There are only scientific theories and provable absolutes; everything else is rhetoric.

    Naturally but even provable absolutes can be spun if not outright refuted. Not by the scientific community at large but by the fickle creature that is the general public which in a representative government actually can count for quite a bit believe it or not. Seems like a stretch to say a significant number would refuse to believe compelling scientific theories, yes? And yet look at the lukewarm reception the American people have given to such assertions as Global Warming, Evolution, the metric system ... even flu shots!

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Politics is not the study or implementation of optimal policy and has never been.

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    zeeny wrote: »
    What are we calling "truth," anyway? There are factual arrangements, provable theorems, and tangible results, but what are we calling truth?

    Any time truth is being used in a rhetorical fashion, it does not suddenly become of equal value to that rhetoric. Like in the example, "Cocaine is bad for you." That's not "truth." Cocaine != "bad." Cocaine, in certain amounts, can cause dangerous levels of tachycardia and myopathies, and be possibly even fatal, but cocaine also has therapeutic levels that doctors use all the time for various things.


    There are only scientific theories and provable absolutes; everything else is rhetoric.

    If I understand correctly, he's using "truth" as substitute for "facts or factual information".

    But facts are inert. They do not "do," they just "are." It's a person's response to facts that is important for day-to-day living.


    In that respect, I would say that being factual when framing your rhetoric is really the only obligation people have to one another.

    I agree with you, that's why I'm struggling with the thread. I fail to see how is it different from "Ignorance is bliss" and why would the skill to "spin", which is used as a synonym of "lie" in the context, be something we'd want to cultivate in our society instead of something we wish to eradicate.

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Glyph wrote: »
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lol, "largely absent from the realm of established academia." One of the best courses I ever took was Secrecy and Lying in Politics and Society. There's a ton of literature on this stuff all coming from "established academia." Plus, as Ronya pointed out, marketing and advertising are still alive and well in college curricula.

    Much of this theory is applied every day even outside marketing and advertising. There's a bunch of research used in counter-terrorism that incorporate information flow and control to model the predicted success of efforts (both by and against terrorists) in certain regions. There's research on how teenagers with better "spin" control become popular, on how certain types of people are more likely to get promoted, etc etc. Methinks you need to look harder.

    That's exactly what I mean though. No one should have to look for these things, they should be part of the mainstay of all academic curriculum especially at the pace modern media is evolving. Yes, you took a class in some college at some point but it shouldn't be just some fringe elective; rather it should be a required field of study in every accredited academic institution.

    Don't shift the goal posts. You said "largely absent from the realm of established academia." This is demonstrably false (also, Ivy league school, given every year, very popular). Plus, threads of this thought can be found in many classes (hell, just take a history class).

    I agree that people should be educated in this. However, acting as if this is fringe theory, outside the mainstream, or absent from institutions of higher learning is simply untrue.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    sanstodo wrote: »
    Lol, "largely absent from the realm of established academia." One of the best courses I ever took was Secrecy and Lying in Politics and Society. There's a ton of literature on this stuff all coming from "established academia." Plus, as Ronya pointed out, marketing and advertising are still alive and well in college curricula.

    Much of this theory is applied every day even outside marketing and advertising. There's a bunch of research used in counter-terrorism that incorporate information flow and control to model the predicted success of efforts (both by and against terrorists) in certain regions. There's research on how teenagers with better "spin" control become popular, on how certain types of people are more likely to get promoted, etc etc. Methinks you need to look harder.

    That's exactly what I mean though. No one should have to look for these things, they should be part of the mainstay of all academic curriculum especially at the pace modern media is evolving. Yes, you took a class in some college at some point but it shouldn't be just some fringe elective; rather it should be a required field of study in every accredited academic institution.

    Don't shift the goal posts. You said "largely absent from the realm of established academia." This is demonstrably false (also, Ivy league school, given every year, very popular). Plus, threads of this thought can be found in many classes (hell, just take a history class).

    I agree that people should be educated in this. However, acting as if this is fringe theory, outside the mainstream, or absent from institutions of higher learning is simply untrue.

    The "goal posts" aren't being moved. Having a presence doesn't negate the reality that the subject is still largely absent from the realm of established academia.

    I'm glad you went to an Ivy League school, really congratulations. But we have a millions of Americans that could stand to be made a lot more aware of how spin in politics actually works in their non-Ivy League universities and community colleges since they make up the vast majority of the voting public.

    Sorry but if it's not out there and readily available to the people who need it most, it's fringe. It's privileged. It's a curiosity that exists to be entertained by those who have the time and resources.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    Politics is not the study or implementation of optimal policy and has never been.

    And yet it should be.

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    "Academia" typically refers to academics and their professional institutions of research as a career, not to their sideline as finishing schools for the masses. You are an academic if this is your career path; you are not an academic by virtue of being an undergraduate.

    e.g.: the study of physics is part of established academia; most students will never see it, but this does not mean that physics is absent from the academic realm, obviously.

    As for making it readily available: doesn't it always take up time and resources? Is your argument that it should be part of compulsory education? Perhaps at a high-school level? Note that many people do not go to college!

  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Glyph wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Politics is not the study or implementation of optimal policy and has never been.

    And yet it should be.

    And I want a pony, too...

    Regrettably, we don't live in societies of philosopher-kings. That civil institutions have to legitimize themselves to the masses is part of the democratic process. A technocratic culture - or at least, a culture submissive to a technocratic intelligentsia - can adhere more closely to a philosophy of elite pragmatism, but we don't generally have a choice of whether we would prefer our ancestral cultures to have been Confucian in nature.

    Atop that, the appearance of a kind of expert consensus regarding virtually all the matters that governments concern themselves in is itself only a recent phenomenon. What happens if the consensus breaks down in the future?

    You yourself may not agree with the consensus that we have, at that. It's easy to say that obviously people should submit to experts in the fields of, say, biology. Nobody in D&D is going to campaign on behalf of creationism. But what about, say, economics? Or is that a field where the great unwashed are uniquely gifted to overrule expert study?

  • sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    "Academia" typically refers to academics and their professional institutions of research as a career, not to their sideline as finishing schools for the masses. You are an academic if this is your career path; you are not an academic by virtue of being an undergraduate.

    e.g.: the study of physics is part of established academia; most students will never see it, but this does not mean that physics is absent from the academic realm, obviously.


    As for making it readily available: doesn't it always take up time and resources? Is your argument that it should be part of compulsory education? Perhaps at a high-school level? Note that many people do not go to college!

    Thank you.

    I'd agree that civics, at the very least, should be required at the high school level. However, any media theory course would likely be an ideological battleground rather than a truth serum as Glyph imagines.
    Glyph wrote:
    ronya wrote:
    Politics is not the study or implementation of optimal policy and has never been.
    And yet it should be.

    Then you need consensus on optimal policy. Good luck getting that in any democratic system.

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  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ronya wrote: »
    Aren't "marketing" and "advertising" still things they teach in colleges...?

    e: maybe they're all called "communications" now.

    As far as I know marketing is commonly offered. I'm browsing a college's site right now and see it listed under their business options.

    PSN: allenquid
  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck NONSTOP INFINITE CLIMAX POSTING you must go on i cant go on ill go onRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    But what about, say, economics? Or is that a field where the great unwashed are uniquely gifted to overrule expert study?

    Yes.

    :D

    EDIT: Sorry, couldn't resist it. But seriously, while it depends on what topic I don't think many economists would argue that economics in general is anywhere near enough of a stable corpus of knowledge/theory to be compared to a more conventional science like physics.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Quid wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Aren't "marketing" and "advertising" still things they teach in colleges...?

    e: maybe they're all called "communications" now.

    As far as I know marketing is commonly offered. I'm browsing a college's site right now and see it listed under their business options.

    Yes but it's not commonly offered under the social sciences. To be blunt, I'm talking about incorporating what we crudely know as "trolling" into our study of American politics as a whole. So that more people are able to observe the Glenn Becks or Bill O'Reillys of today and into the future and react not only on an emotional level but are also of the mind to contextualize them critically.

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  • glithertglithert Snortin' K Luthor's towerRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Is this stuff really absent? In my most very basic everyone-has-to-take-it communications course the professor spent several class periods pulling up random professional speakers (Joel Osteen etc.) and went over everything they were doing to make their message palatable.

    or am I misunderstanding what spin is, here?

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  • ronyaronya Arrrrrrf. the ivory tower's basementRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So are we proposing to just teach students of American politics this stuff, or all college students, or all individuals here?

    I don't know where you can study politics without being able to contextualize Jacksonian rhetoric, even. Is this a thing?

  • Delta AssaultDelta Assault Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The first duty is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth!

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The first duty is to the truth, whether it's scientific truth or historical truth or personal truth!

    :lol:

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    The first duty for students is to get a good grade and contacts. The first duty of a professor is to get tenure.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    On this topic, my brother's girlfriend is about as left-wing as I am (that is to say, more so then my brother) but works for a PR firm. Her clients are climate change denialists, the church of scientology and cigarette companies.

    The first duty of everyone is to not starve in the streets.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    On this topic, my brother's girlfriend is about as left-wing as I am (that is to say, more so then my brother) but works for a PR firm. Her clients are climate change denialists, the church of scientology and cigarette companies.

    The first duty of everyone is to not starve in the streets.

    I don't think she would actually be starving in the street if she didn't work there.

    Choosing your job to not make the world a shittier place is not that hard to do.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    On this topic, my brother's girlfriend is about as left-wing as I am (that is to say, more so then my brother) but works for a PR firm. Her clients are climate change denialists, the church of scientology and cigarette companies.

    The first duty of everyone is to not starve in the streets.

    I don't think she would actually be starving in the street if she didn't work there.

    Choosing your job to not make the world a shittier place is not that hard to do.

    I don't know. Her entire experience is retail and PR, from what I can gather. All the "evil" corps basically have contracts with almost every PR firm in the city, so no matter where you go you're working for them.

    As I understand it, a similar strategy is applied to law firms.

  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    On this topic, my brother's girlfriend is about as left-wing as I am (that is to say, more so then my brother) but works for a PR firm. Her clients are climate change denialists, the church of scientology and cigarette companies.

    The first duty of everyone is to not starve in the streets.

    I don't think she would actually be starving in the street if she didn't work there.

    Choosing your job to not make the world a shittier place is not that hard to do.

    I don't know. Her entire experience is retail and PR, from what I can gather. All the "evil" corps basically have contracts with almost every PR firm in the city, so no matter where you go you're working for them.

    As I understand it, a similar strategy is applied to law firms.

    So don't work in PR. It's a fairly common field to avoid if you care about the morality of your work at all.

    I figure I could take a bear.
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Glyph wrote: »
    Quid wrote: »
    ronya wrote: »
    Aren't "marketing" and "advertising" still things they teach in colleges...?

    e: maybe they're all called "communications" now.

    As far as I know marketing is commonly offered. I'm browsing a college's site right now and see it listed under their business options.

    Yes but it's not commonly offered under the social sciences. To be blunt, I'm talking about incorporating what we crudely know as "trolling" into our study of American politics as a whole. So that more people are able to observe the Glenn Becks or Bill O'Reillys of today and into the future and react not only on an emotional level but are also of the mind to contextualize them critically.

    NOW we get to the meat. Yeesh. You should change the thread title to "Colleges should more effectively prepare students to oppose the right wing" so we know what we're getting into here. Or is it just that no left-wing rabble rouser sprung to mind?

    The OP seems to be about whether we should, instead of learning to sift through and contextualize critically, embrace and inhabit the spin. This quoted posts seems instead to be putting forward the opposite idea. Which one would you prefer?

    Outside the realm of national politics, the Truth and the Facts are still valued commodities much used and universally expected. Mostly at the state level, and very much at the local level, facts and truth are essential to the political discussion as well. Is this really what you were asking about? I find myself wondering if you didn't just run across O'Reilly on TV and get really mad about whatever nonsense he was spouting...

  • AtomikaAtomika genius of the restoration Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    On this topic, my brother's girlfriend is about as left-wing as I am (that is to say, more so then my brother) but works for a PR firm. Her clients are climate change denialists, the church of scientology and cigarette companies.

    The first duty of everyone is to not starve in the streets.

    I don't think she would actually be starving in the street if she didn't work there.

    Choosing your job to not make the world a shittier place is not that hard to do.

    I don't know. Her entire experience is retail and PR, from what I can gather. All the "evil" corps basically have contracts with almost every PR firm in the city, so no matter where you go you're working for them.

    As I understand it, a similar strategy is applied to law firms.

    So don't work in PR. It's a fairly common field to avoid if you care about the morality of your work at all.

    I have to kind of agree.

    PR work isn't inherently evil, per se, but a great big portion of it is, and that's what the work is known for.

    It's kind of like being an attorney; you can be an honest attorney and you can be a rich attorney, but you can't hardly be both.

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