yes it is.
I really lost faith in nyt when they ran article about running out of running out of charge in a Tesla. When they were caught red handed lying they still wouldn't admit to it. Their response was: "Problems With Precision and Judgment, but Not Integrity, in Tesla Test"
They just don't get it. People are sick of their BS and they need to just comp to it and change. The days of BSing people are over.
This is one of the unsung problems of the modern world, the growing impossibility of keeping an accurate "reputation" in your brain. Virtually everyone and everything has been accused of being evil, in general, or specifically. It's no longer good enough to just "have good feelings" about a name, because I guarantee you've read something about every name that is negative. Mere accusation is trivial to make, and society has somehow gotten away from swift and harsh punishment against baseless accusation. Without that (very useful) habit, the heuristic of equating reputation with number of accusations is meaningless, and yet we all still do it.
There is a difference between making a mistake or being wrong while trying to be right, and intentionally doing something bad or refusing to acknowledge error. Everyone is in the first category sometimes, but you don't really have to be in the latter category.
If the NYT is intentionally doing bad things, even once or a handful of times, then I don't think it makes sense to forgive and forget until they show me they understand and have corrected the issue.
The problem is that for most things I can't tell if they're right or wrong or arguing in good faith or not. If something comes up where I can definitively tell, and they are definitely acting wrong - it destroys lots of credibility because that's really one of my rare chances to evaluate their performance. I can't trust them in domains I don't know about if they aren't very good in domains I do know about.
Edit for clarity, since I'm getting downvoted: My point is that the analogy is not great. You can judge one person for their actions directly towards you. It isn't necessarily reasonable to judge a large number of people by the actions of a single person or small subset of the group, especially when the actions of the NYT are not directed at you specifically, which is pretty different to someone spitting on you.
You're right that the NYT has a lot of employees. If this were one guy writing a bad review, and the NYT took some disciplinary action against him, wrote a retraction and wrote a new article, then I wouldn't hold it against the NYT and I would probably increase my respect for them. They had a problem, employee did bad work, and they corrected it - that's good.
Instead, they just stood by the bad work and kept on without doing fixing the core issue. "It's just one person" doesn't really make sense because it's actually the whole organization not correcting problems originally caused by one person.
Put another way, if they're willing to lie and district to get a more sensational car review, what else are they willing to lie about? Who knows, perhaps they'll lie about some country having weapons of mass destruction to help trick the country into a pointless war. Okay, maybe that's a bit extreme - obviously they'd have to be extremely far gone to do anything like that.
But regardless of that, the decision to not apologize and admit they lied was an editorial one. It was their choice to die on this hill.
I'm just saying that the analogy to an (offensive) action by a specific person, toward a specific person, is a poor analogy for the actions of some subset of a large organisation, which almost certainly isn't directed at a specific person.
And I doubt many people would equate the actions of the NYT with literally being spat on.
Remember that next time you read news about something you are not already well versed in.
I was absolutely shocked by the basic inaccuracy and skewed writing in literally every single story that was written, every single video that was recorded, everything.
I mean it was all complete and utter nonsense and bullshit. Basic facts, the names of people involved, their roles, the applicable laws, EVERYTHING was wrong EVERYWHERE.
They’ve reported on 3 more events I was deeply familiar with since then, different subjects/industries, same story. Everything is wrong everywhere.
They’re always wrong in the same way and for the same reasons: A more scandalous narrative, with more compelling villains and heroes. If a legal entity with a lot of money is involved, attribute the misinformation to another source so you won’t get sued.
Highly-technical subject + lots of nuance + financial journalism = absolute disaster for the truth.
Something being a complex topic doesn't help, but the problem often isn't one of not being able to understand, but choosing not to understand before even making an attempt.
Even when that's not the case, any professional needs to know the limits of their capabilities. Reporters that don't understand a subject shouldn't be reporting on it (without help, at least). That they do is a reflection in their professional judgement.
If you can't understand, and also form a series of arguments for yourself, as to why the tin foil hat conspiracy theorist is wrong, why the earth almost certainly isn’t flat, or run by a cabal of shapeshifting alien lizard people, 5G, etc. how are you going to respond to the more insidiously cogent arguments about other more important things that are just as wrong but harder to spot?
I personally credit my upbringing by my religious parents into creationism (the concept that the earth is only 6 thousand years old and evolutionary science is a conspiracy against God.) as what ultimately led to my development of critical thinking and healthy skepticism, as I dug myself out of that belief system and deconverted in my late teens.
I remember feeling so deeply and irradeemably stupid, for being so completely convinced without any reason or evidence. And then, as a result, feeling so desperate for a specific formula or system of thought that could let me avoid this kind of personal failing in the future.
Which led me to listening to debates, learning about things like burden of proof, and the preponderance of evidence. And the very simple and straightforward concept of spot checking whether a stated “truth” used by someone in an argument is actually valid, or if they are lying to bolster their points, expecting (correctly, unfortunately) that the vast majority of their audience will never even check to see if they are telling the truth or a lie.
How else are you going to teach someone to think critically without showing them the examples of what a bad argument is, and how to respond to it rationally? Tell them to just trust the “good” sources? That’s arguably worse than telling them nothing at all.
It certainly is largely the fault of our garbage public schooling system, but the existing penchant to call for the banning and censcoring of stupid conspiracies online as if it were some sort of panacea for stupidity itself is certainly not helping the problem.
Take the current virus. We realize that the republican version of 'it's a hoax and everything is fine' is a lie. But so is the democrat version of 'you need to never leave your house or you're a murderer'.
The simple fact is that without having solid numbers for:
1). The true infection rate.
2). The true age-adjusted mortality rate.
3). The asymptomatic r0 rate.
Any policy anyone suggests tells you more about the person suggesting it than about how effective it will be. It could be that reality is closer to the republican version, or the democrat one. But without a lot more science that no one is doing we will not know until decades down the line when people start digging up corpses and testing for the virus and finally doing some basic statistics.
And that's before we even look at what the economic impact is of the virus.
Saving lives by preventing viral spread sounds good until the economic and societal damage of the preventative measures lead to more harm than they prevented.
Funny enough many of this and other virus worst symptoms are the bodies natural response to the virus. Inflammation for instance is the bodies response to damage, bit it can in turn cause more damage than the original source of issue.
I personally don’t consider it the journalists’ fault at all, otherwise we would just end up with an academic journal. It is important, however, to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism when reading the news.
>They just don't get it. People are sick of their BS and they need to just comp to it and change. The days of BSing people are over.
There is a clear difference between reserved skepticism you are talking about and the "FAKE NEWS!" type rhetoric that has grown over the last half decade.
I don't think that's actually true. It's probably most true with science reporting, but does anyone think reading the firehose of specialist research output is a practical alternative to journalism for a general reader? Filtering and summarization are important functions when dealing quantities of information larger than an individual can handle alone. IIRC, even specialist research groups have paper reading circles to filter research papers in their own fields.
Then there's everything else. For a lot of stuff, you'd just be wading through PR and rumor without much ability to dig past that. For some news topics, like foreign affairs for instance, I'm not even sure where you'd even find timely, raw information to replace journalism about it.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
― Michael Crichton
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper somehow has exactly the same quantity and quality of errors about Palestine as the baloney you just read. You turn the page and vastly overestimate what you think you can critique based on your vast knowledge of show business.”
― Crichael Michton
 based on evidence ascertained through the Mell-Gann Memory effect
This sounds like it should be a named law. Like Amdahl's Law or Moore's Law, or Sturgeon's Law!
> Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them. In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.
> - Michael Crichton, Why Speculate (26 April 2002)
From Wikiquote Murray Gell-Mann https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Murray_Gell-Mann
Edit: Remove markdown formatting.
pg repeatedly questions the integrity of nyt and has personally been the victim of their bias.
Maybe it's just me, but I use journalists as a stepping stone for learning more about a topic. I see them writing summaries (sometimes inaccurate) of things that happen in the world and then if I'm curious, I try to dig deeper into the primary sources to learn more.
I'd imagine almost every primary source believes journalists get the story wrong now and then, as the journalist doesn't say it the way they would say it. But I marvel in today's world, where I have such quick access to priamry sources to learn more.
And that's the thing: if you cannot trust that someone makes their point as neutrally as possible, they become worthless for me as a source of condensed information. Rather look up the original source then for myself.
The NYT writer isn't mistakenly summarizing, they're actively misleading. They had to read through PG's post and selectively pick a line that they could stuff into the position they already had, to say the thing they already wanted to say. It's just motivated reasoning and the primary sources aren't being used as sources beyond something they can vaguely mention to pretend it supports what they wanted to say anyway.
That isn't journalism - or at least it shouldn't be.
In reading the PG post, it seems that a conversation with prominent investor, who was confident that FB's bad stock performance would hurt the IPO, led PG to write a post exploring how that may happen.
In re-reading the NYT blurb, I still don't see it as the author saying PG said the FB stock would not go up but rather as the author believed that PG said that "start-up investments would dry up."
And I think it's in that last sentence, in particular, the third to last word, "would," where the majority of the problem lies.
PG in his post included a tremendous amount of ifs, mays, and qualifying statements talking about how he wasn't sure in which direction it would go. The NYT author, I think, just changed his uncertainty into certainty, both with putting "would" in that last sentence, and removing the "If you haven't raised money yet," part of the quoted link.
So, I see it as the author attributing more certainty to PG than he had in his post, and yet, at the end of the author's post, saying that there is less certainty about this, "The party can’t go on forever, but the infamous question must be asked: Is this time different?"
By you saying, "they're actively misleading," I'm assuming you're attributing malice to the NYT author. I guess I just see journalists and politicians (and many people in general) speaking with an utmost certainty on behalf of people who speak with qualifications and attribute it more to the desire to condense words and present a confident argument than the former. Qualifying statements often use a lot of words. I like to qualify most things that I say and I think journalists and editors often remove them out of seeing them as extraneous—e.g., removing the "I'm assuming", "I guess", "often", "most", and "I think" out of the previous paragraph.
Again, I can understand why PG would be upset they misrepresented his words, but I admittedly am confused you don't seem to think that other investors, including the one PG referenced in his post, have boldly proclaimed that the bubble will burst and then it doesn't. I think if I were PG I'd feel frustrated the author lumped me into the category of bold predictors, especially if I had written such a qualified essay.
Not so much malice, but having what they want to say predetermined and looking to frame support in what they already believe to be true. (Rather than trying to find out what's true and reporting that).
Basically the writer believes X to be true or wants to write a story that X is true and digs through things to find quotes they can narrowly pull to support X.
However, to your point, I find myself doing that sometimes without even realizing it and I wonder what drives it internally and externally.
This post dives into it a bit: https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/34XxbRFe54FycoCDw/the-bottom...
Just because an argument comes from motivated reasoning doesn't necessarily mean it's wrong, but I think it's more likely to be wrong (and it's also likely to be framed in a misleading way or ignoring good contradictory examples). It's also hard to discuss things with the person to learn what's true because they're often not arguing in good faith.
I think this is actually a reason people are often skeptical of debate (since a clever arguer can argue a wrong position and win against someone who is right, but not as good at manipulating rhetorical devices). Also why lawyers can have a bad reputation. People can know something is wrong, but may themselves be bad at articulating why. Other people that are wrong may be good at making themselves seem right. The smarter the person is the more they can effectively rationalize bullshit.
A good example of this is Ben Shapiro and a lot of his arguments (particularly the ones I've seen around religion/abortion) are mostly motivated reasoning nonsense.
That said, while this may be true on an individual level debate should still be true at scale (the best argument from one side should still be pitted against the best argument from another). I think this is what free society and liberal democracy is all about.
I often prefer dialogue to debate—a conversation of cooperative learning instead of competitive proving.
The main idea is a clever arguer can start with any conclusion and then retroactively select the points that support their conclusion while ignoring any evidence or points that contradict it. If you do this then the points you bring up don't inform much because you've already decided the conclusion based on something else (in the example it's whoever paid the most for their arguments).
It's better to start with trying to understand things and then using what you learn to inform a conclusion.
In one story, they tried really hard to push for authoritarian laws to protect children and ended up wading through history to find a retracted and discredited paper. All this to make criminals look more dangerous than they actually are. They even admitted it was an old retracted paper in the article. But downplayed it.
If the evidence was so solid, they could have cited a more recent paper of higher prestige.
PG explicitly said no one knew what effect it would have, and yet the prominent investor with whom he spoke "seemed sure the bad performance of the Facebook IPO will hurt the funding market for earlier stage startups."
So I agree that the author attributed the certainty to PG when it wasn't he who stated it so certainly, and was more concerned with how to mitigate the effects of a potential slowdown in funding.
I also don't think that discredits the whole article and the point that many people have stated, and I'm sure much more certainly than PG, that the latest news story is the sign of the startup apocalypse and funding will disappear.
So yes, I feel frustrated they attributed that certainty to PG himself and not the prominent investor with whom he spoke, but I really don't think that's enough to discredit the whole article, or that it was the author's intention to twist PG's words. Maybe it was. I guess I just don't think the author was trying to not be neutral.
> Jessica and I had dinner recently with a prominent investor. He seemed sure the bad performance of the Facebook IPO will hurt the funding market for earlier stage startups. But no one knows yet how much. Possibly only a little. Possibly a lot, if it becomes a vicious circle.
Lots of qualification and uncertainty.
> What I do worry about is (a) it may be harder to raise money at all, regardless of price and (b) that companies that previously raised money at high valuations will now face "down rounds," which can be damaging.
More qualification and uncertainty.
I think the biggest challenge is in the author taking something so qualified and making it seem much more confident and certain than it actually was.
Would you agree that he was exploring whether start-up investments may decrease?
Well, yeah. Sounds like some serious Gell-mann amnesia.
I'm surprised Paul Graham would act surprised by this.
The current affairs article was extremely tedious, whatever good point they might have made was hurt by its self-assured hostile tone and personal attacks (basically an example of the kind of thing PG's essay was talking about).
There are a few essays that get into the weeds and give more explicit examples of problems (something PG probably avoided because of the issues he talks about, but it seems he was also attacked for avoiding them anyway).
Some that give more direct examples/arguments:
Some others recently:
You can try reading e.g. The Intercept, local papers, Democracy Now for a different spin on things, but there's only one thing that actually works is reading several sources, including the papers from "the other side" and trying to figure out which story line makes logical sense. Usually lies are poorly constructed and contain a combination of paradoxes, deference to authority, and appeal to various fears without a firm logical basis. Pay close attention to verifiable information and evidence. Those are the only pieces of information that can be trusted from either the state or journalists.
I smile a bit as I think about visiting the Hearst Castle in California—I wonder how news ownership has changed over the years.
Regarding the rest, I appreciate how you framed it and love that approach of various sources, plus really dig the process suggestions you put. Thank you.
Is this "The Truth"?
Are you suggesting as long as a news outlet is telling the truth in more occasions than lies, the organization can still be treated as trustworthy? Even if the organization intentionally ignore the need to verify and correct lies?...
Logically and emotionally, this is outrageously offensive to liberal value! You are playing the cards advocated by CCTV backed by CCP. Their integrity certainly "passed your standard"...
The "truth", or even a plausible interpretation of the facts, is expensive to produce. It is even more expensive when you do it every day covering a wide array of topics.
If you value facts and good analysis, pay for them. It's that simple. Sure, the New York Times gets a lot of things wrong. So does everyone else, including many commenters on HN.
* But a lot of what the New York Times reports, that people disagree with, are things that governments and companies say and do. Those governments and companies have reasons to lie, but the enunciation of the lie is a fact. Judgment is left to the reader, if he has it.
* Publications are also reflections of the societies and political systems in which they are embedded. They speak based on the assumptions and contest of forces in that milieu.
* Most publications are firmly rooted in the attention seeking dynamics of their industry. Many of their errors can be categorized as: amplifying the causes of fear or outrage. Again, if you keep that in mind, their stories are easier to parse.
* Finally, a publication is not a monolith. It is a human organization with good reporters and bad reporters, good days and bad days. The Tesla article written by Stross was ludicrous. The reports by Judy Miller that led us into the Iraq War were abhorrent.
The New York Times should be ashamed of those lapses. But it is putting out a large number of factual reports everyday. Much larger than any equivalent number of human beings in America.
furthermore, nyt are mostly shills for their advertisers. That is why nyt trashed tesla because GM and Ford advertise.
Here is proof they are shills for advertisers. All the tesla killer articles about their advertisers that were absurd... even the writers buried a disclaimer at the bottom of the article:
Your Medium post does not prove your claim. That's not how newspapers work. There is a wall between advertising and news at the big national papers (less so at local ones sometimes).
Newspapers like horse races. That's why they report on politics the way they do. Tesla's consistent lead in EV doesn't get them readers. But that's not the kind of venality you're falsely accusing them of.
A recent example of say the toilet paper shortage had weeks of misleading information put out. Prior to the reporter finally actually doing some research and breaking that story I have a HN post explaining what was going on. Why? Because doing more research than an average reporter is generally trivial. Their focus is entertainment and tight deadlines plus tiny staff equals junk.
Honestly, I have reasonable trust in Reuters at this point, but I don’t know of a trustworthy news source focused on the general public.
NYT is no more in the business of credible news than the Wall Street Journal or Fox News. That’s simply not their business model. They all take unbiased Reuters coverage and add spin to appeal to their audience and distort the truth in the process.
Which is not to say they don’t happen to report things that actually happened, but the weather channel is a prime example where keeping people entertained is vastly more important than keeping them informed.
There's a lot of people interested in a topic at a given point in time.
The experts will run from a tsunami of individual inquiries. Part of the role of a journalist is the act as a proxy for all that interest so that the experts' opinions can get out there without them facing endless messaging from every member of the public.
Now, one can argue about whether they do that job well or not. But that's a totally different argument than "I'd rather interact directly with someone who is actually an expert".
If you have a society where people must pay for truths but are given lies freely, then should we be surprised when people believe lies? Given those people have equal say in how things are ran as the people willing to pay for truth, doesn't this cause a social level problem?
So, I think you touch on a real problem - but I don't think making lies expensive will lead to a good outcome either.
The internet creates a huge amount of easily accessible false information, but also a huge amount of easily accessible true information (more than at any other time in history).
People just need the ability to tell the difference.
Arguably access to all the information in the world won't save us because the non-free stuff isn't accurate either, and people still aren't trying to actually understand what's true. They're just trying to find stuff to support what they already believe. https://www.reddit.com/r/slatestarcodex/comments/i2z7i5/the_...
Yeah, and "If you value your health, pay for an experience that doesn't spread a highly infectious disease". Oh, but just a few people willing to not spread the disease means you'll catch it any way.
The cost of the people who can't and won't afford the truth and choose lies instead is high for society, even for those who get the truth.
There are wide range of things that have degraded in the US based on the "if you value it, you will pay for it" ethos. This kind of reasoning works for the luxuriousness of an automobile - but even for the safety of an automobile.
These blue-sky pronouncements about truth being a public good do not move the discussion forward. "Truth" is socially manufactured (by that I'm not saying that nothing is true or false), and the process of manufacture has enormous costs.
Of course, this is not “free”, but it’s high-quality journalism that’s not behind a paywall.
I have to wonder: how does your public service media cover events that reflect poorly on the Czech Republic's elite and its government? How did it cover the decision to split from your poorer sister state of Slovakia? How does it cover the vulnerability of the Czech elite to blackmail by the Russian intelligence services? How does it cover the historical issues related to the expulsion of Sudetenland Germans from their homes?
Separately, for what it's worth, the US has national public radio, which is a public service radio largely funded by local listener/donors. It is much better than most media here.
This is not the behavior of an organization with a commitment to the truth.
 Original Critique and NYT response: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/20/magazine/we-respond-to-th...
 Historians' response: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/1619-proje...
 NYT Issues Correction: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/magazine/an-update-to-the...
Just a week or two ago in their reporting on the UFO story, they initially reported it in a "ZOMG ALIENS ARE REAL!" way, which is the most clickbaity thing they could have done...and then silently published a correction after they got the bump in views.
The NYT is practically indistinguishable from (modern) BuzzFeed.
You also have to appreciate the NYT's position I think; at the end of the day, a newspaper is in the business selling newspapers. It's not quite that simple as many journalists and publications – quite rightfully – believe they have a greater task than "just running a business", but at the end of the day bills need to be paid, and the NYT is a business.
A business that now has to compete against a plethora of free content, not infrequently written by incompetent hacks (possibly with a less-than-savoury agenda) with almost no editorial standards. Competing against "free" is hard, and is not an easy position for a business to be in and quite likely a big reason for the decline in editorial standards. This is pretty much what this article is about.
"ZOMG ALIENS!" is complete nonsense, but ... it probably also drives traffic, and thus revenue. One way to see this is that this revenue-based clickbait content sponsors the more in-depth quality content and, like advertisement, is kind of a necessary evil. But yeah, it's not great.
As an aside, I have plenty of gripes with the state of the press by the way; especially since the Trump presidency things have ... not evolved in the right direction. But we must also be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
The newspaper's ombudsman declined to punish the reporter in any way, or admit anything other than "oops, mistakes were made". That's what makes it a failure of the newspaper and not just "less-than-perfect" reporting. It's one example from a pattern of behavior, and the reason people are saying the NYT no longer have industry-leading editorial standards.
Let me remind you that the reporter was caught red-handed driving a car in circles in a parking lot so that he could have a more salacious story about "running out of gas". The original article stated that he coasted off the freeway into the parking lot with no energy remaining. There's no two ways about it: That's a lie.
How low do you need the p-value to be before you reject the null hypothesis? 0.0005? 5e-9?
Nobody is disputing that news is a hard business, but you can't have it both ways: If you're going to run a serious newspaper, then you need to run a serious newspaper. That means upholding editorial standards. Most importantly, that mean having real repercussions for reporters who break the trust of your readership.
> "ZOMG ALIENS!" is complete nonsense, but ... it probably also drives traffic, and thus revenue.
The owners are completely within their rights to pivot and turn the NYT into the next buzzfeed. But you're just reinforcing the point that it is no longer a serious newspaper.
Unfortunately both my memory and Google are failing me on this one. Maybe someone in the comments will contribute.
Stop giving them excuses.
There's loads of these.
I'm half-expecting a bat boy article as a followup.
If you want to change your perspective, invest in the companies... it will stick with you. I foolishly shorted apple around antenna gate. that was the beginning of me starting to hold the media accountable. the media is wrong over and over and people don't seem to notice.
At least in tech writing, I'd expect most of their predictions to be wrong.
I am right there with you. There are bound to be stinkers, but on the whole the reality that the Times operates in is miles ahead and closer to the truth than most reporting out there, if not all.
Also this: https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/06/22/nyt-is-threatening-my-...
I think there are some great New York Times writers (Li Yuan’s articles I always like), but there’s a lot of seriously bad writing and writers.
It’s not exclusive to NYT either, Vox makes some great stuff - but they also published that “no handshakes” article mocking Silicon Valley for taking COVID seriously.
Vox repeatedly pushed the “COVID isn’t a pandemic” story. Vox doubled down on the “no handshakes” thing with Kara Swisher arguing in support of it. They still haven’t admitted being wrong.
If you know anyone who has a NYT piece written about them usually they’re surprised by how many things are wrong.
Of course these are just the publications that even pretend to be honest, I’m not unfairly targeting them - others unnamed are often worse.
I think their ad driven model is a corrupting influence. I also think their anti-tech company bias is related to tech companies destroying their historical business model (I think they're holding a grudge: https://zalberico.com/essay/2020/07/14/the-serfs-of-facebook...).
I think it’s better to support good writers directly, I hope substack and independent blogs win.
Stay Tuned with Preet:
Just out of completeness you could have added the actual response to Tesla's comments:
To say the least: it's not as clear cut as you make it to be. My personal opinion - for what is worth it - is that between Musk and a journalist of the NYT I would still trust the journalist more. But I am naive that way.
Why do you believe a journalist who contradicts his own story after being called out on the original? Anyone reading your link in isolation might think it a fine rebuttal, but it's inconsistent with the original piece he wrong for the NYT--they can't both be true.
I also like how he defends the "sloppy note-taking" with, "But the manufacturer didn't tell me they had a GPS tracker on the car." That speaks volumes.
Shall we make sure that the quote at the top of the thread includes at least one full sentence as context?
1. Does that mean Tesla gets to know every single thing about my car? Where I have driven to, and how I use it, what time I use it?
2. Both Nytimes and Top Gear act on the same thing ( note. I barely read the NYT article ), If Clarkson were not driving in a normal manner, and flying around a test track burning tires, it will quickly run out of battery. And due to the way filming and production, they didn't actually ran out of battery.
I would have thought a normal thing to do would be to disagree with the results, and suggest driving in normal condition and battery conserve manner would results in better milage. Instead Tesla went all out and start suing.
I would call this spinning the truth in some sense. But I wouldn't all this BS.
Can a newspaper be serious without putting its published articles under source control with complete edit history?
The opinion sections of each publication can get fringey, but that's just the clickbait that pays the bills - it's obvious that the rest of the articles try hard to adhere to journalistic standards.
The space between the news side and opinion side of the WSJ is wider than the space between Fox News and Fox and Friends.
I found the OP to be a well-written, well-reasoned, thought-provoking article and would highly recommend reading it in its entirety before passing judgment on it.
That said they still produce some quality journalism and I wouldn't write off an entire news organization for one shitty decision (to back a bad review).
Just like I don't judge all of Tesla for the fact they don't separate their freeway and street driving data so we can properly analyze their self driving crash statistics misleading potential customers.
For me it was the wild Op Eds literally calling for a revolution, and a two day focus on Trump on the front page and the side op eds while there were riots within view of my window. I remember specifically seeing 5 helicopters within sight, after a second day of rioting, seeing nothing mentioned in the home town NYT that we had sacked Soho and Midtown in consecutive days, hundreds of businesses attacked, and deciding then and there that it was a dangerous, misleading newspaper. After several years of subscribing, I unsubscribed.
Its "liberalism" is a thin sheen over another mass media corporation continually enabling the military-industrial complex at the cost of tens of millions of lives.
"Creators must be compensated well. But at the same time we have to try to keep things that are important and profound from getting locked away where few people will see them. The truth needs to be free and universal."
Let's also consider whether lies should be made more expensive. Free costs more than it's worth.
Coal plants offer cheap power, mostly because they ignore the externalities of pollution.
If you could identify the externalities of lies and tax or fine them in some way, maybe they would be minimized.
(tax what you want less of)
Whether lies should be more expensive or not, lies cannot be made expensive. Even in a totalitarian state, false rumors spread easily. The cost of production of lies is close to zero, the cost of distribution of lies also close to zero.
It's like all of HN is eager to apply an argument that makes sense for cheap, knock-off auto parts ("Cheap is too expensive", etc) to decent public journalism. It doesn't work.
But they can. Defamation laws make false claims expensive. Accounts can be revoked. Costs can be imposed if society has the will to do so.
I am starting to think that ultimately, though, the answer is one that no one particularly wants to admit because it boils down to two unpalatable options, one distributed and unregulated; the other centralized and regulated.
1) Unregulated: No one is the arbiter of truth, in which case a haphazard group of marketers, propagandists and psyops peddlers reign supreme. This eventually/inevitably consolidates into an organized propaganda outlet.
2) Regulated: A group is selected based on some credential or merit and you end up with essentially a Technocracy. More or less what the "Elites" boogeyman is. If the Technocracy is staffed by scientists and engineers, then it might be the best possibility available. But this also eventually consolidates and leads to an erosion of the eligibility credentials and then non-expert people will gain positions within it for ulterior motives.
If the technocratic group is limited in scope of what "truths" it can decide on, then that is potentially a reasonable compromise.
How some of the largest countries already work
Multiple perspectives can accurately describe the same event - e.g. the fable about the blind me all describing an elephant.
Each of their individual descriptions is true. There is also a larger truth that none of them are aware of. That doesn’t make them liars either individually or a group.
Additionally, it can be highly politically advantageous to frame, spin, or otherwise mischaracterize, on the thinnest evidence, both out of bad faith and naïveté.
So, about Truth with a capital ‘T’, I’d like to paraphrase PK Dick’s statement, “truth is what exists when you stop believing.”
I am not saying everything there is wrong but I have ran into weird biased articles before.
1) Complete lack of transparency. No versioning or history of how answers have changed. They even opt-out of archive.org history tracking. They usually only disclose one author, when oftentimes there are many.
2) They editorialize many questions, changing them in such a way that they can give the answer they want to. This is done often by inserting modifiers like "always" or "never" or something similar.
A trustworthy organization doing fact checking on one side of the aisle while ignoring inaccuracies from the other side is preferable to no fact-checking at all. Question is: where is Republican Snopes? It's a free information market; why is nobody doing it?
>The OECD's numbers tell a similar story. In 2007, the OECD said that the United States spent $7,290 per capita on health care, ranking it first among the 30 countries studied. Five other nations spent more than $3,645 per capita, the point at which the United States no longer doubles their spending. The highest is the Netherlands at $4,417. The other four were Austria, Canada, Norway and Switzerland.
So he was rated as wrong for saying 'double' because it was actually 1.65 times for one country out of thirty. Oh and they used the dollar exchange rate for their numbers, not the PPP which is what actually matters.
On average, are the facts accurate?
Also, 1.65 isn't double. I'm not quite sure what you're saying here.
Regardless, even if the average WERE 1.65, that's still a damning enough number that the meter shouldn't be all the way to the "False" side.
This is a lie by the fact checkers. One that pushes an agenda that's obvious to see for everyone who cares to look.
(Additionally, PPP is a model someone can use, but it's hardly agreed upon universally as the correct model for equivalent spend value. It's a "basket of goods" model, influenced by the goods chosen. At worst, Politifact is guilty of making a judgement call based on a choice of metric that reasonable people can disagree on, which is hardly "a lie" that "pushes an agenda").
Wouldn't adjusting for PPP bring their healthcare spending up, not down, making Sanders less correct, not more?
Most people are Liberal (in the American sense) because that's what all the organs of culture promote and reinforce. It's like the "default" position that people adopt. I grew up liberal in a liberal household where we watched Hollywood movies and mainstream news like ABC, NBC, PBS and I listened to NPR and I went to school which was run by generally liberal teachers and administrators and that's pretty much why I was liberal.
This is the Cathedral vs the Bazaar approach to sense-making.
Conservatives have always done sense making via institutional consensus, even moreso than post-enlightenment liberals, though the institutions that they tend to appeal to are those explicitly devoted to their ideological world view (whether it's the organs of a particular Church, or economists of the Austrian School) and not so much those even superficially devoted to objective exploration of facts, even when approaching questions that are, at least on the surface, about objectives facts (what is) rather than ideology (what should be).
> Most people are Liberal (in the American sense)
No, they aren't, unless you are conflating multiple different and incompatible American senses of “Liberal” and thus covering the entire range from the moderate right to the far left.
What is a "fact" or what is "true" is dependent on your values (aka your ideology). This is one of Nietzsche's main contributions to philosophy.
There are things like mathematical and logical truth and really basic physical assertions (e.g. the sky is blue) but those are qualitatively different than what we're talking about.
Both normative and positive statements about the world of human affairs are ultimately dependent on ideology and that might explain to you why you perceive conservatives as focusing on arguments over ideology. That is what people should be arguing over since from that all else flows. When people don't share substantially similar values even language itself becomes useless as a means of communication because the words themselves mean different things.
No, it's not. That's one of the Enlightenment’s many contributions to philosophy and the foundation on which the advances in knowledge of the universe enabling the explosion of post-Enlightenment technical progress is built.
Obviously, one might have ideological, aesthetic, or other preferences for what facts ought to be, and one might have beliefs about questions of fact that ultimately result from those preferences, but—Roadrunner cartoons not withstanding—beliefs about the material universe don't trump material facts.
(However, it's kind of funny that you are making, as a positive argument in favor of conservatism, exactly the argument that conservatives usually not only reject, but also attribute—not entirely inaccurately though certainly overgenerally—to the “postmodern” left and cite as a key reason for rejecting the left.)
Leninism and it's descendants are totalitarian, Communism (even Marxism) more generally is not, but, sure, you can certainly make the case that scientific rationality has some connection to Marxism and thus an indirect effect on Leninism. OTOH, scientific rationality and the proven results are also the explicit basis for the widespread Western rejection of Leninism and it's descendants (and explictly cited as such by wide segments of the Right, including those who generalize that rejection to Communism generally, which the left might argue is an overgeneralization, but even in that argument there is a broad consensus that there are actual material facts that one can draw conclusions about from material evidence which transcends ideology when approached correctly.)
OTOH, Nazism was not based on scientific rationality, except as a reaction against it, and in fact both Italian Fascism and Naziism were explicitly based on the exact Nietzschean view that you advance (both the idea and explicitly crediting it to Nietzche).
> Postmodernism hinges on whether or not there is an objective set of values. Conservatives believe there is (the Bible, natural law, God, etc) whereas Postmodernists believe there isn't.
That may be a difference between your particular worldview and postmodernism, but large number of other conservatives criticize the “postmodern left” not merely for rejecting objective values which you claim is the difference between Conservatism and Postmodernism, but for rejecting objective facts and viewing facts as constructs which depend on ideology—the position you take on the nature of facts is one explicitly rejected and criticized (and attributed as a failing of the left) by most mainstream conservative thinkers, though I will agree that the factions of the Right who adhere to it are at what is, at least, a recent local maximum of prominence.
How can you say this when Nazis famously "pioneered" and promulgated things like Phrenology and Eugenics? Scientific racism was at the heart of the Nazi program.
> the position you take on the nature of facts is one explicitly rejected and criticized (and attributed as a failing of the left) by most mainstream conservative thinkers,
I do agree with you here. What we're discussing really only has meaning when both sides of the discussion are able and willing to have a deeper discussion about this sort of stuff.
What Charlie Kirk and Ben Shapiro engage in is completely sufficient for the audience they're trying to engage with and appeal to. To get into this more abstract kind of discussion would be counterproductive in my opinion. Postmodernism is actually really harmful for people to believe in and at that point where you're lost in a world where most major cultural institutions are pushing that, you just need someone articulating an alternative view point. At that level, getting into a discussion about how they're actually similar would be a bad idea.
They...didn't. Phrenology was was developed at the end of the 18th century and scientifically discredited by the mid-19th century; the Nazis may have adopted it, but that's proof that they weren't motivated by anything like scientific rationalism. Eugenics is overtly ideological (and, again, not pioneered by the Nazis, having become a widespread ideology before they existed), though it relies on scientific results (but even those who take your ideological stance of rejecting objective facts have no problem adopting the results of science that they see as useful for advancing their ideology, so there's nothing surprising about a group who does that adopting an ideological program relying on technology for it's implementation.)
But the reason I can say that Italian Fascism and German Naziism expressly adopted your Nietzschean view is because both said they did, and praised Nietzche for presenting it.
I mean the science is bunk but it wasn't "discredited" in the sense that you mean among the scientific community or the policy community across the West who enacted policies based on it well until after the mid 20th century.
> the Nazis may have adopted it, but that's proof that they weren't motivated by anything like scientific rationalism
The Nazis adopted scientific racism and this is proof they weren't motivated by scientific rationalism? I suppose your contention would be that Hitler didn't really believe any of that or something and it was all just about power. That's such a lazy position to take IMO. If you really want to die on that hill I don't think we can go forward with the discussion at least on this front. The Nazis established a whole body of thought and policies around racial hierarchies that were in part dependent on the work of eugenics and phrenology. And yes I do believe they really believed this stuff.
> But the reason I can say that Italian Fascism and German Naziism expressly adopted your Nietzschean view is because both said they did, and praised Nietzche for presenting it.
Nietzsche was highly derisive of nationalism and the examples he would deride were actually those of German nationalism. You can read Beyond Good and Evil to see that.
What you're talking about is actually highly ironic considering that Nietzsche actually predicts some sort of Hitler-like figure coming to power due to how weak-minded and herd-like Europeans were. He didn't call them herd-like as a compliment.
What they adopted among other things was his method of attack on morality itself and in particular Christianity and Judaism. This is what he meant by going "Beyond" Good and Evil (morality itself) to replace it with Strong and Weak or Beautiful and Ugly which was more of the Greco-Roman system of values. That does sound more like Nazism doesn't it? You can see it in the iconography of the Nazis and all the Roman stuff they adopted (e.g. the Nazi standards which harken to the Roman standards).
Nietzsche wasn't perfect IMO. You can read Psychological Types by Carl Jung who does a beautiful job of analyzing and filling in the holes in Nietzsche's positions.
Since you dismiss the existence of objective, non-ideological facts, isn't that necessarily your position on all science?
> but it wasn't "discredited" in the sense that you mean among the scientific community or the policy community across the West who enacted policies based on it well until after the mid 20th century
Yes, phrenology was discredited , and why you posted a link about eugenics to support your rebuttal of a point about phrenology that had nothing to do with eugenics, I don't know.
> The Nazis adopted scientific racism and this is proof they weren't motivated by scientific rationalism?
That wasn't my actual argument, but it works, since “scientific racism” doesn't actually follow the methodology of post-enlightment empiricism, merely adopting it as an elaborate rhetorical flourish for propaganda purposes, much the way that, say, intelligent design does. It recognizes that some of it's audience might be positively disposed to the superficial appearance of empiricism, rather than actually embracing it itself.
I already said I believe in an objective set of values so for you to say this means you've clearly missed the entire point of the discussion.
> here is no Republican Snopes because conservatives, since the Enlightenment, don't do sense making
Which is both mixing the some undefined set of concepts of the Enlightenment with some undefined characteristics of "All Republicans", in an awkward ad-hominem against "non-republicans"? It's nonsensical.
> At the end of the day unless you were personally there to witness something or can prove something mathematically or do the science yourself,
All truth is subjective, so there is no truth tautology.
Etc etc. There isn't a point being made or a topic to discuss. It's a "too many ideas" post mixed with too many wild tangents that are intentionally designed to incite.
ie Vapid flamebait.
And yes all discussions of this type require some generalization and lumping. "Republican" doesn't even mean one thing since the party consists of libertarians and evangelical Christians and neo-conservatives among many others.
Now, Fox News and OAN and Sinclair are not, publically, actually the John Birch Society, so sure, you could say "right wingers don't think they lean right either".
Plot out a chart of US political opinion, and I more or less guarantee you that in most things, you'll find your list of media outlights absolutely "centrist", and the 3 I just named distinctly "to the right" of mainstream US political opinion.
Steve Bannon and his movement are more representative of mainstream conservatism. Even someone Tucker Carlson used to be very much like Chris Wallace. The reason why his program is so popular now is because he's shifted radically away from his establishmentarian position towards Steve Bannon's position.
Personally I don't watch Fox News because of how low to middle brow and Cathedral-like it is.
Cable TV is still a niche.
I'm curious if the bias is perceived or blatant.
But the more important question is why a random website is being used as the basis for truth. They don't even try to hide the bias in their language, it's just filled with words you would never see in an academic document.
For example, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/marijuana-electron-microsc... this article would lead a passerby to believe that there is equal parts truth and lie in this picture + caption. In reality I would judge this as 'mostly true' because the caption is more true than it is false.
The NEXT 2 PARAGRAPHS say, in simple language, what part is true and which is not.
(Here's hoping I can avoid the wrath of Poe's law)
What's their response to verification? People who are lying are going to say either you can't or don't want to check up on them. At some point, they're going to say "trust me".
Never trust someone who asks for your trust. Someone trustworthy isn't concerned whether or not you trust them. They will just say, "Fine, here's what I used. Show me what I missed."
The rule isn't to positively identify liars. The rule isn't to positively identify non-liars either.
The rule is to dismiss as many liars as possible as fast as possible. By immediately dismissing anyone who doesn't want you to check their work or doesn't give you all the information necessary to recreate their work, you will dismiss a lot of liars with little effort.
You will also dismiss some people who aren't lying, but that's actually ok. It's better to dismiss an honest study that doesn't meet scrutiny rather than accept a dishonest study. Eventually, either the data will come out and you can vet the information, or someone else will reach the same conclusion and they will share their data. Liars can never reach that point.
You obviously still have your own ability to determine what fits your model of the universe and what doesn't. These are just groups of people more likely to have access to information that you might not. You don't have to trust anyone, but in a system where someone has to judge what is true, these groups are closer than the alternative, which would be people with no qualifications, no training, and no history of telling the truth.
If you have another alternative I'm all ears.
But how has it been implemented in practice?
If you look at the raw numbers, generally we rely on the lowest bidders amongst Facebook/Google/Twitter's third-world-country subcontractors, as well as the Chinese government.
Separately, moderators purge controversial content as a check/balance to the voting system. If users feel that the moderation is inconsistent with their content desires, they choose a different site to frequent, as is the case in market systems.
It's very easy to point out that nothing is perfect. It's very difficult to come up with a better solution.
Through the process. You never have to trust the data if you have a good process. Process will verify data. Process will verify sources. Process is impartial. Trust the process, not the results.
Also, I take issue with the attempt to conflate people who are incorrect with people who are dishonest.
There is nothing wrong with being wrong. Being wrong is the first step to being right. You can't be corrected if you're never willing to be wrong. And we can't learn if everyone has to wait to be completely correct before making a claim. Often, we don't even know we should be looking into something until someone makes a claim that turns out to be incorrect on further study.
Knowledge isn't furthered in "eureka" moments where we have all the answers at once, it's in observing something and thinking, "Huh, that's weird", then seeking the answers.
The GP's post didn't say trust science or trust data. It said trust scientists. I'm taking issue with the desire to put faith in individuals.
I guess I don't understand the alternative: is everyone expected to go look up the write-up and replicate the experiment for themselves because we can't trust the scientists who performed the experiment? I agree we need more replication studies, but I think we're reaching the absurd ends of the "do your own research!" movement here.
In Science as it should be practised, yes, a scientist talking to a journalist should "explain the the data and results and why that data makes sense". The journalist should then paraphrase that clearly for their audience, without altering the essential conclusions of the study/paper/experiment.
But this is so naive it's laughable now. Nobody, ever, does this. The scientist wants maximum impact, so will maximise the sensational aspects of their results. In turn the journalist wants maximum clicks, so will sensationalise more. What ends up being read by the public can be a very long way away from any conclusion that the data actually supports.
It was also people who found out those people were wrong or lying.
Yes, Piltdown man was a fraud, but it was the same "scientific community" that discovered it was a fraud. Because there were things that didn't make sense even within the confines of the field of study.
That's the great thing about the process, it's ultimately self-correcting.
If a scientist is emotionally attached to a result and ignores a result that they don't like, they are no longer engaged in science.
Peer review and replication is the correcting factor for the unfortunate reality that science must be, for the moment carried out by humans.
At the very least, when operating properly science becomes less wrong. That cannot be said for politicians who are interested in nothing but confirmation of their preconceptions.
There is a special place in hell for those who cynically use the fact that scientists are sometimes wrong as an attack against the very existence of knowledge and consensus reality itself.
Some of the best parts about science, as you've pointed out, are peer review and replication. There should never be a need to put your faith in an individual scientist and take them at their word.
>There is a special place in hell for those who cynically use the fact that scientists are sometimes wrong as an attack against the very existence of knowledge and consensus reality itself.
I hope it's clear that I was in no way doing that.
Academia, not so much
It certainly wasn't intended that way. Maybe you're judging my question incorrectly?
Now? Google books has been pretty much sidelined and abandoned. I feel like I've watched the second library of Alexandria burn, and I am heartbroken.
My only consolation, is sites like sci-hub and libgen have made textbooks and papers downloadable, albeit illegally. I still really wish I could search within every book.
Books got enormous push back from legacy publishers. They also had trouble with copyright law around orphaned works, but copyright protection increasing over time from 14yrs to 90yrs after the death of the author (and moving from requiring registration to being default) really made it hard for them to do what they wanted.
It's a shame that something initially intended to "promote the progress of science and useful arts" is now used to inhibit it.
Some Google-translated coverage:
: https://www.die-medienanstalten.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Rec... in §11
I don't think that they also provide entertainment is in any way problematic, because entertainment is part of a cultural offering that should be accessible by everyone. I don't really see the competition issue here, just like the BBC they produce content, which is fine.
Has to be said though in quality it doesn't really measure up to the BBC, but you can try to claw Tatort from my dead hands
(I'd argue that the fringes, as seen with the anti-lockdown demonstrations in Berlin recently, are actually sustained by newfangled social media.)
Links (German only, sorry):
My impression was that they were mostly older people (50+), and from their style of clothing I could tell that they were mostly poor people, maybe people who got wrecked by Hartz4 reforms in the 90s and early 2000s, and grew a deep hate on German politics and the mainstream. Fringe social media groups and conspiracy nuts just take advantage of pre-existing hate.
"I don't think that they also provide entertainment is in any way problematic, because entertainment is part of a cultural offering that should be accessible by everyone. I don't really see the competition issue here, just like the BBC they produce content, which is fine."
How is it not unfair if you compete in the exact same market with a publicly funded corporation?
"Has to be said though in quality it doesn't really measure up to the BBC, but you can try to claw Tatort from my dead hands "
It is basically on par with ntv, Welt and doesn't really measure up to ServusTV. They all share one thing with ARD/ZDF tho and that is advertisement.
: Open any site of public funded TV and look for "Unternehmen" (Corporation) also they have a lot of for-profit corporations spun off, so there is no point calling it a public institution when in fact it is not.
Better than FAZ, ZEIT, Spiegel? That's the private media you should compare the news sections to, and I have some doubts that anybody thinks Public Broadcaster by and large have a similar level of journalistic integrity & quality.
I find the argument "look at quality of the private sector, we need the public broadcasters" to be generally disingenuous. Private companies will invest where there's a chance to make a profit, having to compete with tax-funded free services makes that much less likely, ergo you won't see a lot of investment. To consider that proof for the necessity of a tax-funded system is like a monopolist claiming that nobody would provide the services if they didn't, knowing full well that it's their abuse of the monopoly that keeps competitors out.
2) Since the topic at hand is limited to Germany, I guess a look at other nations is an argument?
But that area was already more than well-covered by plenty of private companies. Why does the state need to compete? I can absolutely see an argument for the initial creation of public broadcasters: it's an enormous investment in a new technology and we want some control over it. But to enter a well-established market "because that's what most people prefer now and we're losing relevance" is a of private company perspective. "Oh hey, I noticed that there's a successful market providing what the customers want. Let me throw money at disrupting it" isn't usually a government position.
Sure, you can look at other countries. The US is a pretty good example in my opinion. They're getting better products in any direction: better if you want trash TV, higher quality news (with highly specialized channels such as Bloomberg TV but also general news-channels like CNN), better if you want entertainment (HBO vs Tatort? I don't think there's even a question), better if you want sports coverage (ESPN etc), better if you want music.
And they still have public broadcasting to serve special requirements, only at a much, much, much lower price because they don't try to make them cover everything anyone could ever want.
Besides wasting money on useless entertainment, German public broadcasters also prey on the vulnerable by promoting gambling. They even just prime time just before the evening news for this.
But worse than the content is the funding method. Instead of being funded from taxes the public broadcasters collect a separate non-means-tested fee that is still somehow mandatory. That might have made some sense when you could opt out of that fee by not owning a TV but that option is no longer available.
I can imagine they have a "popularity" competition in terms of viewership and so on but why economic? Can you elaborate please?
Worse still, imagine you are a paying subscriber to some private newspaper. If the public option has very high quality coverage, you may find that you no longer need your private subscription.
Or regardless of the quality of the public option, you may find that you can no longer afford your private subscription. The public option isn't free, after all—just pre-paid with no ability to opt out—and you may not be able to afford two such services. Other cases where public services "compete" with private providers (e.g. toll roads) suffer from the same problem: You don't get to choose between paying for the public option and paying for the private option. You're either paying for just the public option, or for both, even if the private option is all you want or need.
I know it's not perfect, but it definitely is not a "big problem".
LibGen and SciHub are vastly more convenient and comprehensive.
You may have used these databases in school to write research papers. Public libraries grant more or less the same access to similar/same databases, if you no longer are a member of an academic institution.