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What are the benefits of "staying informed?"

R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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4/24/2013 9:15:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I don't watch the news. I like not being inundated with dirty laundry, bias, advertising, etc. and I was wondering if anyone could make an argument as to what I'm missing out on. What benefit am I missing by not "staying informed?" I know some bomb went off in Boston recently at a marathon and people keep talking about it all the time, and I can't be bothered. Should I turn on the news right now and catch up? Why or why not?
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
errya
Posts: 140
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4/24/2013 3:52:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I might have to agree with you on that one. I've found that most news is depressing, stupid, or makes me lose all faith in humanity :p.
The Most Noble Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount and Baron Nelson, of the Nile and of Burnham Thorpe in the County of Norfolk, Baron Nelson of the Nile and of Hilborough in the said County, Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Vice Admiral of the White Squadron of the Fleet, Commander in Chief of his Majesty's Ships and Vessels in the Mediterranean, Duke of Bront" in the Kingdom of Sicily, Knight Grand Cross of the Sicilian Order of St Ferdinand and of Merit, Member of the Ottoman Ord...
YYW
Posts: 36,294
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4/24/2013 4:26:01 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 9:15:55 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I don't watch the news. I like not being inundated with dirty laundry, bias, advertising, etc. and I was wondering if anyone could make an argument as to what I'm missing out on. What benefit am I missing by not "staying informed?" I know some bomb went off in Boston recently at a marathon and people keep talking about it all the time, and I can't be bothered. Should I turn on the news right now and catch up? Why or why not?

That depends on how you're "staying informed." If you're reading the New York Post or the Chicago Tribune, then you're likely reading rehashed nonsense from the AP or Reuters. Just read the AP and Reuters, the NYT and follow a few international sources. I've recently become fond of France24.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,294
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4/24/2013 4:27:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 4:26:01 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/24/2013 9:15:55 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I don't watch the news. I like not being inundated with dirty laundry, bias, advertising, etc. and I was wondering if anyone could make an argument as to what I'm missing out on. What benefit am I missing by not "staying informed?" I know some bomb went off in Boston recently at a marathon and people keep talking about it all the time, and I can't be bothered. Should I turn on the news right now and catch up? Why or why not?

That depends on how you're "staying informed." If you're reading the New York Post or the Chicago Tribune, then you're likely reading rehashed nonsense from the AP or Reuters. Just read the AP and Reuters, the NYT and follow a few international sources. I've recently become fond of France24.

Oh, and broadcast journalism isn't a means to "stay informed." It's a mechanism of entertainment, unless you're watching the BBC (which is awesome, btw.).
Tsar of DDO
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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4/24/2013 5:21:18 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 5:20:29 PM, dylancatlow wrote:
For the individual, practically nothing; for the society, practically everything.

This isn't a contraction.
GeoLaureate8
Posts: 12,252
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4/24/2013 5:37:34 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Staying informed stops predators from preying on our ignorance.

Informed voters keeps Washington in check.
Informed consumers keeps corporations in check.

It is absolutely imperative to be aware of the world and aware of your surroundings. Knowledge is literally power.
"We must raise the standard of the Old, free, decentralized, and strictly limited Republic."
-- Murray Rothbard

"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is, not to be skillfully attacked, but to be ineptly defended."
-- Frederic Bastiat
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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4/24/2013 5:50:30 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 5:37:34 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Staying informed stops predators from preying on our ignorance.

Informed voters keeps Washington in check.
Informed consumers keeps corporations in check.

It is absolutely imperative to be aware of the world and aware of your surroundings. Knowledge is literally power.

It's quite the tragedy of the commons.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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4/24/2013 9:19:52 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Geo provided the only specific answers so far.

At 4/24/2013 5:37:34 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Staying informed stops predators from preying on our ignorance.

Informed voters keeps Washington in check.

When I vote, I always use a write-in that isn't going to win (e.g., Snoop Lion). It doesn't make much difference if I watched the news and followed the candidates.

Informed consumers keeps corporations in check.

I make peanuts, and what money I do have goes to electricity, property taxes, food, and insurance. There's really nothing else I spend my money on so I "consume" next to nothing. Corporations have no hold over me or my dollars because there is nothing there in the first place to get ahold of.

It is absolutely imperative to be aware of the world and aware of your surroundings. Knowledge is literally power.

I would say the argument could just as well be the opposite: knowledge is a lack of power. For if your knowledge is coming from corporate-owned media sources and advertisements, what knowledge you do have is simply tainted. By refusing to stay informed, I am avoiding being tainted. I should say that I still read textbooks and the like; I am not purporting complete ignorance. I simply find no use in the news.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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4/24/2013 9:26:31 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
My world politics prof used to say 'If you don't do politics, politics will do you"
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
airmax1227
Posts: 13,241
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4/24/2013 9:32:43 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 9:26:31 PM, lewis20 wrote:
My world politics prof used to say 'If you don't do politics, politics will do you"

"Turn on to politics, or politics will turn on you."

- Ralph Nader
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YYW
Posts: 36,294
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4/24/2013 10:39:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 5:37:34 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Staying informed stops predators from preying on our ignorance.

Do you make room for the possibility that the some means of being informed are themselves predators, who trade on American ignorance?

Informed voters keeps Washington in check.
Informed consumers keeps corporations in check.

It is absolutely imperative to be aware of the world and aware of your surroundings. Knowledge is literally power.
Tsar of DDO
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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4/24/2013 10:56:46 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 10:39:38 PM, YYW wrote:
At 4/24/2013 5:37:34 PM, GeoLaureate8 wrote:
Staying informed stops predators from preying on our ignorance.

Do you make room for the possibility that the some means of being informed are themselves predators, who trade on American ignorance?

If youre being g taken for a ride you're not truly being informed are you
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
Wallstreetatheist
Posts: 7,132
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4/24/2013 10:58:10 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Turning on mainstream media "news" is not the path to jaunt for staying informed.
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Primal Diet. Lifting. Reading. Psychedelics. Cold-Approach Pickup. Music.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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4/25/2013 8:08:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
So besides Geo's points (which are awaiting responses to my rebuttals), all I have is vague bumper-sticker material (i.e., Airmax, Lewis) and criticisms of the mainstream media. Can no one convince me of any reason to "stay informed?" If staying informed is important, then why is there not an extensive list of specific benefits and pitfalls to be avoided by being so? "Politics will do me" is not something I can sink my teeth into!
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
jimtimmy2
Posts: 403
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4/26/2013 12:05:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
If you stayed informed, you would know that Anderson Cooper is gay while Bert and Ernie are not.
tulle
Posts: 4,445
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4/26/2013 12:17:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 8:08:50 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
So besides Geo's points (which are awaiting responses to my rebuttals), all I have is vague bumper-sticker material (i.e., Airmax, Lewis) and criticisms of the mainstream media. Can no one convince me of any reason to "stay informed?" If staying informed is important, then why is there not an extensive list of specific benefits and pitfalls to be avoided by being so? "Politics will do me" is not something I can sink my teeth into!

"Staying informed" allows you to make sense of the world around you. If that's not a good enough reason then I don't know what is. I don't know how you can choose to live with uninformed opinions or beliefs about anything.
yang.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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4/26/2013 12:27:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 12:17:57 AM, tulle wrote:
At 4/25/2013 8:08:50 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
So besides Geo's points (which are awaiting responses to my rebuttals), all I have is vague bumper-sticker material (i.e., Airmax, Lewis) and criticisms of the mainstream media. Can no one convince me of any reason to "stay informed?" If staying informed is important, then why is there not an extensive list of specific benefits and pitfalls to be avoided by being so? "Politics will do me" is not something I can sink my teeth into!

"Staying informed" allows you to make sense of the world around you. If that's not a good enough reason then I don't know what is. I don't know how you can choose to live with uninformed opinions or beliefs about anything.

Again, I'm not trying to make bumper-stickers, I would like specific reasons as to why watching the news and otherwise "staying informed" is going to help me. What am I trying to "make sense" out of, exactly? What is the utility?

I wrote this thread as a sort of shot-in-the-dark, a way to get people to think and prove me wrong, but I'm starting to see that I've hit a major fault in the average person's reasoning. You are all OBSESSED with the news, yet it's just a big soap-opera that you are tuning into that is as meaningful as the latest Twilight episode. You are gnats being led to a light, totally unaware of why or how you're doing it.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
airmax1227
Posts: 13,241
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4/26/2013 12:33:57 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/25/2013 8:08:50 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
So besides Geo's points (which are awaiting responses to my rebuttals), all I have is vague bumper-sticker material (i.e., Airmax, Lewis) and criticisms of the mainstream media. Can no one convince me of any reason to "stay informed?" If staying informed is important, then why is there not an extensive list of specific benefits and pitfalls to be avoided by being so? "Politics will do me" is not something I can sink my teeth into!

I wasn't actually weighing in on the thread, just attributing the quote...

If you can't think of a reason to be informed, then don't be.

In my life there is a value to it, in yours there may not be. If there isn't a reason apparent to you, then it probably isn't that important to you.
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F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Posts: 18,324
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4/26/2013 12:56:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Keeping up with political news helps you see the big picture of what is going on in the country and not staying in your own isolated world. It provides a bird's eye view and it has certainly helped me understand politics a lot better than I used to.

A while ago "staying informed" to me meant reading yahoonews and all the entertaining stories that were there. The knowledge and political-savvyness of many DDO'ers and the desire to better understand topics I wanted to debate caused me to change that and I now keep abreast of political news from a variety of sources.

I do this by creating an iGoogle page with links to all the major news sources so that everytime I log in, I can see all stories from a variety of sources. CSpan for the first-hand news of the senate and house proceedings (although I don't often have the luxury of watching for a long time). ABC, CBS, CNN, and New York Times for the regular news. Fox for biased news from the conservatives. It is always entertaining to learn what people who think differently from you articulate their opinions. BBC is great for international news as well as neutral perspectives of American news. Overall, a far cry from reading yahoonews and I think it helped me become more knowledgeable than I used to be.
R0b1Billion
Posts: 3,733
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4/26/2013 9:51:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/26/2013 12:56:02 AM, F-16_Fighting_Falcon wrote:
Keeping up with political news helps you see the big picture of what is going on in the country and not staying in your own isolated world. It provides a bird's eye view and it has certainly helped me understand politics a lot better than I used to.

Provide some examples of the pitfall "staying in your own isolated world." How will this hurt me?

I won't argue that politics will be understood better through news-watching, but I don't recognize the utility of politics in my personal life to start with.

A while ago "staying informed" to me meant reading yahoonews and all the entertaining stories that were there. The knowledge and political-savvyness of many DDO'ers and the desire to better understand topics I wanted to debate caused me to change that and I now keep abreast of political news from a variety of sources.

I do this by creating an iGoogle page with links to all the major news sources so that everytime I log in, I can see all stories from a variety of sources. CSpan for the first-hand news of the senate and house proceedings (although I don't often have the luxury of watching for a long time). ABC, CBS, CNN, and New York Times for the regular news. Fox for biased news from the conservatives. It is always entertaining to learn what people who think differently from you articulate their opinions. BBC is great for international news as well as neutral perspectives of American news. Overall, a far cry from reading yahoonews and I think it helped me become more knowledgeable than I used to be.

I can become more knowledgeable by playing videogames, but is this knowledge useful? I can become more knowledgeable by reading the Bible and Plato as well... In the latter examples, I find much truth that helps me in my everyday life. If "knowledge utility" were represented as a spectrum, with useless knowledge on one end (e.g., videogames) and useful knowledge on the right (e.g., great scientific or philosophical works that help one live one's life better) then where exactly would the news fall? I would like someone to present to me some evidence that the news falls closer to the useful end of the spectrum, because as far as I can tell, it is quite useless. When one also takes into account the inherent manipulation present in our media sources, this value is not only diminished but arguably becomes negative.
Beliefs in a nutshell:
- The Ends never justify the Means.
- Objectivity is secondary to subjectivity.
- The War on Drugs is the worst policy in the U.S.
- Most people worship technology as a religion.
- Computers will never become sentient.
tulle
Posts: 4,445
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4/26/2013 10:51:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Here are a few examples of the actual benefits of watching the news:

The weather report. If you live in a place with variable weather you have to know how to dress appropriately for the day.

Bombings, shootings, attacks in your area. It's nice to know whether or not it's safe to go outside or where you need to go.

Missing children reports or wanted person reports. The more "informed" people there are, the more likely they can be spotted.

And voting. If everyone wrote in someone who they knew wouldn't win, that defeats the whole system and makes it's pointless. As it stands, you might as well stay home rather than voting that way :/

If you're in a public place and everybody is running in a specific direction and you don't know what's going on, what benefit is there in asking somebody and becoming informed? Or would you rather just keep doing what you're doing?
yang.
Tiffany1billion
Posts: 44
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4/26/2013 1:21:04 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Mainstream media does not accurately predict the weather. A couple summer's ago, my family had to vacate the pool in a hurry due to the HUGE black clouds coming our way. As we sat in the house watching the hail pound against the the patio door, the guy on the (local) weather channel told us how beautiful it was outside, with not a chance of rain until tomorrow night. Since then, l try to have a change of clothes in the car at all times.

Mainstream media cannot be trusted to correctly inform you in most hostile situations. A couple people were shot dead in their car behind a restaurant I used to frequent; I found this out not in the news (it wasn't there), but by word-of-mouth. A drug bust in my old neighborhood happened last month. There were cops/SWAT team everywhere, they blocked off the whole street and took away over 600lbs of cannabis. Again, this was not on the news. Residents found out by word-of-mouth.
Think about the most recent marathon bombing. Mainstream media speculated that Carly Jepson was the bomber..hmmm. Also, in almost all cases, eyewitness accounts vary greatly from mainstream media "facts".

Mainstream media cannot be trusted to give accurate information regarding the character or priorities of candidates. Advertisements are paid for, which means they will convey whatever the sponsor WANTS you to believe, which is not necessarily going to be the truth. Because there are so few owners of all mainstream media, it is very easy for these entities to guide your beliefs with subtlety and the oppression of certain candidates (cough..Ron Paul).

Watch the news if you want (I don't), but follow up with independent research. Don't take the "facts" at face value. Pay attention to what's going on around you, get involved in your community, take walks in your neighborhood and build relationships with your neighbors.
Listen. Skip the "how 'bout that weather" talks and have meaningful conversations with friends and family. I find that my life is more peaceful without the TV on, and I'm just as much, if not more, informed than those around me, because I'm more likely to be interested in researching the concerns of my loved ones.
Tiffany
ConservativePolitico
Posts: 8,210
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4/26/2013 1:25:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
In short: knowledge is power.

If you're up to date on the happenings in the world you're better equipped to make decisions, arguments and to analyze the state of world affairs than people who are not. This can affect the way you job hunt, what banks you decide to put your money into, elections, investment, the place you want to move/live etc.

Being informed can literally affect all facets of life. It's better to know what's going on simply, than not.
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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4/26/2013 1:30:02 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I thought my bumper sticker was pretty good, didn't think I'd have to explain the meaning of it.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
lewis20
Posts: 5,093
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4/26/2013 1:34:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Though if I had to go with a bumper sticker reason for staying informed
Ignorantia juris non excusat
Would be a good one.
"If you are a racist I will attack you with the north"- Abraham Lincoln

"Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" - Leviticus 19 19

"War is a racket" - Smedley Butler
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,289
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4/26/2013 3:22:13 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 9:15:55 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I don't watch the news. I like not being inundated with dirty laundry, bias, advertising, etc. and I was wondering if anyone could make an argument as to what I'm missing out on. What benefit am I missing by not "staying informed?" I know some bomb went off in Boston recently at a marathon and people keep talking about it all the time, and I can't be bothered. Should I turn on the news right now and catch up? Why or why not?

why keep up with the news when you can get nearly the same information from a relaxing history book?
sadolite
Posts: 8,838
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4/26/2013 4:06:17 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
Who here can tell when they are being informed or being indoctrinated and brainwashed with dogma. Do your responses to issues mirror the dogma? Your most likely indoctrinated and brainwashed and not informed at all even though you think you are.
It's not your views that divide us, it's what you think my views should be that divides us.

If you think I will give up my rights and forsake social etiquette to make you "FEEL" better you are sadly mistaken

If liberal democrats would just stop shooting people gun violence would drop by 90%
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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4/26/2013 5:47:58 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 4/24/2013 9:15:55 AM, R0b1Billion wrote:
I don't watch the news. I like not being inundated with dirty laundry, bias, advertising, etc. and I was wondering if anyone could make an argument as to what I'm missing out on. What benefit am I missing by not "staying informed?" I know some bomb went off in Boston recently at a marathon and people keep talking about it all the time, and I can't be bothered. Should I turn on the news right now and catch up? Why or why not?

Nah, as long as you can see the sun going down, and the eyes in your head, see the world spinning 'round, then who needs it..
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
dylancatlow
Posts: 12,245
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4/26/2013 5:59:22 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
The notion that the average individual can expect to have any real influence on their society is quite erroneous and quixotic. That's not to say that staying well informed isn't a worthwhile endeavor, though.