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 Post subject: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:29 am 
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The Daily Telegraph becomes the first newspaper to inform us of the true cost of a Storm Shadow missile – over a million each – after yesterday saw multiple stories all giving the wrong information. That all the others got it wrong provides a fascinating insight into the herd mentality of the media, and of that all-powerful property known as prestige - without which it is impossible to operate effectively in the political arena.

As we can see from Channel 4 News, the source of the "duff gen" was Professor Malcolm Chalmers (whom the hand wavers called Charmers), currently of Kings College but in this instance claiming the far more prestigious linkage with Royal United Services Institute for Defence & Security Studies ("World Class Research" and "Incisive Analysis").

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:38 am 

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You make a good point here about the 'power' of prestige. Because of the internet power no longer relies on information from the centre. The problem is not enough of the public are savy enough to see through the guff that perports to be news, particularly from the BBC.

We are getting there slowly.


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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:45 am 
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Robertm wrote:
You make a good point here about the 'power' of prestige. Because of the internet power no longer relies on information from the centre. The problem is not enough of the public are savy enough to see through the guff that perports to be news, particularly from the BBC.

We are getting there slowly.


Yes ... the problem is in the minds of men (and women) ... they need to wake up to their own power.

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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:51 am 

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Quote:
they need to wake up to their own power


A very large part of that is understanding the breadth of information available and getting some judgement as to what is reliable.
The battle, as ever, is for the "Truth".

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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:58 am 

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Anyone know if the answer to the question from Mr. Key at the bottom of this Hansard page would be available online? Scroll past Procurement Fraud and Theft to the Contracts section. It mentions CASOM which is what Storm Shadow is.

I could imagine it being a 'That's commercially sensitive' or similar response though.


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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:01 pm 
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SandyRham wrote:
Quote:
they need to wake up to their own power


A very large part of that is understanding the breadth of information available and getting some judgement as to what is reliable.
The battle, as ever, is for the "Truth".



The first hurdle, I might suggest, is the development of healthy scpeticism as the default mode. There is enormous social pressure for conformity ... which is why prestige is exploited ... basicially, they are telling you to believe something by virtue of source, not content. And the greatest prestige peddler of all is government ... that is the trick used to make you believe what it tells you.

The default mode, in dealing with government, therefore, needs to shift from believing everything is true unless it is shown to be a lie, to everything is untrue unless you know it to be otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:02 pm 
The media seem to be committing this logical fallacy where "prestige" is concerned:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority


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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Clarence wrote:
The media seem to be committing this logical fallacy where "prestige" is concerned:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority


Relying on authority is, itself, not a fallacy. The problem comes in the journos assuming what they are told is correct, just because it comes from an authoritative source. They should be more sceptical, and check their sources. Trust nuffink until or until you know it to be true.

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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Professor Chalmer's use of guesswork to determine the cost of those missiles may undermine the confidence of the public. Better to use computer models.

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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:24 pm 
Sure - I would trust an oncologist if he diagnosed a melanoma. The problem - and we have of course seen it again and again in the AGW scam - is when an expert strays (or is tempted) beyond his area of expertise. It's no more logical to believe an expert in "UK security policy, international burden sharing, arms control, conflict prevention" when he pronounces on the cost of weaponry than it is to believe a biologist (or failed US presidential candidate) when he pronounces on climate.


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 Post subject: Re: Peddlers of prestige
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:39 pm 
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Clarence wrote:
Sure - I would trust an oncologist if he diagnosed a melanoma.


Sure! But would you trust an oncologist if he didn't diagnose a melanoma, even though you felt sure that there was something wrong with you?

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