Press release reveals journalists believe everything they see on the Internet

Feb 09, 2011 by Lin Edwards weblog
Press release reveals journalists believe everything they see on the Internet
The Pacific Northwest tree octopus. Image from zapatopi.net.

The Internet is buzzing with the story of a new study that today's students are so gullible they will believe anything they see on the Internet, and are even willing to believe in the existence of an elusive tree octopus when shown the website for this "endangered species." (The website states it is linked to the "Kelvinic University branch of the Wild Haggis Conservation Society.")

The Pacific Northwest tree (Octopus paxarbolis) is a mythical creature invented in 1998 by Lyle Zapato, but the story circulating on the Internet this week often mistakenly has it that Professor Donald J. Leu, director of the New Literacies Research Laboratory at the University of Connecticut, invented the tree octopus and designed its website to test the gullibility of today’s “digital native” students, who are known for their online savviness.

One problem with the story is that it is not news. According to the University website the experiment was done on 25 students in 2006. Dr Leu also reported on a similar experiment with 53 7th grade students and the tree octopus website at the Research Conference of the International Reading Association in Toronto, Canada in 2007.

There is nothing about new research on this topic on the New Literacies Research Laboratory , and the information on which the current batch of stories is based is a Pearson press release , which announces a talk by Dr Leu in Texas, at which he talked about the research and its implications.

The Tree Octopus and Dog Island websites are among spoof sites included in Dr Leu’s handout: New Literacies for New Times: Preparing our Students for the 21st Century. The sites are suggested as good resources for teaching students how to work out that websites contain false or misleading information.

Dr Leu has said that students need to learn to critically evaluate what they read on the Internet, because his studies have shown that are gullible and do believe the tree octopus story and other hoax websites, and they are unskilled in discriminating good sources of information from unreliable sources on the Internet.

Dr Leu spoke about the research at the Texas Association of School Administrators Conference at the end of January.

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Nik_2213
4.7 / 5 (15) Feb 09, 2011
So why does it say, "... journalists believe..." ??
DamienS
5 / 5 (15) Feb 09, 2011
The only thing I would say about this is that the findings aren't as ridiculous as they sound.

Science often sheds light on counterintuitive ideas and notions and this story could easily have been assumed to be one of those. There was an article here about a frog with re-evolved teeth recently. Should that have been believed or not?

One of my favorite segments on Skeptics Guide to the Universe is Science or Fiction, where panelists have to guess which science based story is true and which are false. Often it's impossible to guess which is which because the implausible sounding stories are often true while the plausible sounding ones often aren't. And that's the cool thing about Science.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (11) Feb 09, 2011
It's just professional courtesy. Journalists would never lie.
antialias
4.8 / 5 (16) Feb 09, 2011
To paraphrase Feynman from one of his lectures (ca. 1962 or thereabouts): Scietific theories don't have to be beautiful or intuitive - they just have to be consistent (with observation and each other).

Plausibility/consistency is what lacks in the story of the tree-dwelling octopus. But students need to have a basic understanding of specifically aquatic adaptations and limitations in order to understand that such a story is a hoax.

Critical evaluation can only take place - for preference - against experience or (if that is not available) sources containing established knowledge/text books, teachers).

The problem students faced in this instance is that the source of the hoax is the same as the source of a lot of factual knowledge they have (wikipedia, google, ... ).

This is not a new problem: TV/radio news and propaganda are oftentimes indistinguishable from one another. The results can be seen all over history.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.6 / 5 (19) Feb 09, 2011
It's just professional courtesy. Journalists would never lie.

That's why FOX doesn't hire actual journalists.
Moebius
2.9 / 5 (13) Feb 09, 2011
What do they teach journalists? It must be just basket weaving considering most know nothing about anything. Let alone something about anything or that they should know a lot about everything. I'd even settle for knowing something about what they write about.

FOX does hire what passes for journalists, it's just that the few smart ones or the ones with any integrity don't work there.

Journalism should be a degree that teaches everything so these idiots can be knowledgeable about more than holding still for makeup.
Inflaton
5 / 5 (14) Feb 09, 2011
This reminds me of the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax a few years back.
MP3Car
5 / 5 (8) Feb 09, 2011
I strongly agree with DamienS, it is difficult to tell sometimes... And the sad thing is, it's almost "rude" to call 7th graders gullible... it's called LEARNING! They have to be receptive to new material, even as strange as some of it may seem...
However, I do agree they need to be taught ways to help them verify credibility of sources...
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (22) Feb 09, 2011
Interesting this is Progressives latch on to falsehoods then never question it. Like AGW and are first to believe in the dangers of Dihydrogen Monoxide even today.
NotAsleep
5 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2011
They reference Sasquatch in the website... i.e. tree octopus are being threatened specifically by the local sasquatch population. Did they test this only on liberal arts students?

I'd add the link but it doesn't pass PhysOrg's spam filter...
GSwift7
3.3 / 5 (12) Feb 09, 2011
lol, they repeated the dihydrogen oxide joke at Cancun a couple months ago. They got a lot of signatures on the petition AGAIN, proving that not only are people poor listeners/thinkers, groups of people also do not learn from previous mistakes. They should repeat that joke at every climate conference, just to see how long it takes before people start to catch on.

I think the tree octopus is especially at risk from dihydrogen oxide poisoning, by the way. We should act before it's too late to save them.

Yes, NotAsleep. The site is filled with obvious jokes and inconsistencies. Look at the FAQ page. It says to stand in the woods and hold out dollar bills if you want to give money to help save them. lol. No coins. So, like the H2O joke, this not only illustrates how gullible people are, but also how lazy or complacent they can be. People don't even read what's in front of them, much less cross-reference sources to verify what was said. That's clear from the posts on this site too.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (13) Feb 09, 2011
the few smart ones or the ones with any integrity don't work there.

Who are they?
GSwift7
2 / 5 (16) Feb 09, 2011
That's why FOX doesn't hire actual journalists


That's not true. Fox has plenty of journalists, who do good journalism. They don't get much face time on the television, but they are the ones doing all the real work.

Have you ever read Oliver North's book about Iraq? It was very good. I thought his embedded reporting of the war was top notch. Gretta Van Sustren also does some great work. Newscorp is a major source of good journalism. I don't think it is fair to write off all the good things they do just because of Glenn Beck and Sheppard Smith being such boobs.

You can't name a media source that doesn't make mistakes or have examples of poor journalism.
AkiBola
3.5 / 5 (8) Feb 09, 2011
Ice age imminent (1970's), earth going to boil over (2000's), DDT is worse than the 100 million dead humans it would have saved, R12 refridgerant is destroying the planet, cold fusion, homeopathy, astrology, ... add your favorite junk science here. It's not just journalists that are gullible.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (11) Feb 09, 2011
You can't name a media source that doesn't make mistakes or have examples of poor journalism.
But I can only think of one that does it intentionally and then states that shows on the specifically named "News" channel aren't really news shows.
Royale
4.3 / 5 (11) Feb 09, 2011
Maybe that's right GSwift7, but to me if a news channel is willing to give Glenn Beck air time, I immediately don't care what else they have to say.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (17) Feb 09, 2011
It is the little things that really detract from stories.
http:/www.biofueldaily.com/reports/Construction_Of_Phase_II_Grower_Harvester_Technology_Completed_999.html
Take this story for example, the dateline is Omaha, NB.
What is NB? The abbreviation for Nebraska is NE.
If they can't get the little, common bits correct, why should they be trusted with the main story?

Maybe that's right GSwift7, but to me if a news channel is willing to give Glenn Beck air time, I immediately don't care what else they have to say.

Too bad. You might learn something.
Doug_Huffman
2.3 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2011
Believe nothing that you read or hear without verifying it yourself unless it fits your preexisting world view. That latter clause for the invincibly ignorant.

If it ain't falsifiable then it ain't scientific though it may be journalism.
Royale
2.3 / 5 (12) Feb 09, 2011
"DDT is worse than 100 million dead humans."
IMO less mouths to feed. I think the population should be tightly controlled so there are no starving people.

Unless, of course, you can invent the machine for 'Rainy with a chance of meatballs'. Or the one from the Jetsons.

Quite frankly though, there are too many people on this planet at the moment. Don't call me names, because I'm only 28 and I'd be glad to be one of the 'ones to go' if i knew earth would be able to maintain a stable population. Unfortunately, I don't have that much faith in mankind.
Royale
4 / 5 (12) Feb 09, 2011
Maybe that's right GSwift7, but to me if a news channel is willing to give Glenn Beck air time, I immediately don't care what else they have to say.


Too bad. You might learn something.


Not something true.

And if it's not true, why bother learning it. If i can't trust Newscorp for the shows they put on, whether or not the call them 'news' shows, why bother to trust them anywhere else? I have many other places I can get much more reliable news.

Before you run off defending FOX 'News' Shows, consider it's a losing battle.
rynox
3.7 / 5 (7) Feb 09, 2011
Take your kids snipe hunting. When it's over point and laugh and tell them not to believe everything they hear. Life lesson learned.
mjpaige
5 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2011
The pendulum swings:
When I was young(er) it was commonly accepted that you trusted authority figures [Newscasters, the President, Policeman, Etc] with the possible exception of your parents, but disbelieved everything you heard or saw, especially in print.

NOW:
Trust (do not Verify) anything in print (Especially on the internet),Challenge all authority figures, but implicitly (and conversely)trust a stranger's word on the street, in a bar(or online) without qualms.
(There's still some mistrust with parents though.)

At some point it may swing back.
panorama
5 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2011
The Tree Octopus is actually a close cousin of the Prairie Squid.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (10) Feb 09, 2011
I have many other places I can get much more reliable news.

Reliably what? Where do you obtain such news?
Pyle
5 / 5 (12) Feb 09, 2011
Just because someone thinks everybody should know something doesn't mean people who have other priorities should be ridiculed for their ignorance.

EVERYONE is ignorant. Knowing the bounds of your ignorance is part of being wise.

Applying the appropriate amount of skepticism in every situation is difficult for anybody. The level of skepticism appropriate to different sources (i.e. websites) varies and is often difficult to discern. What is important is to EDUCATE people about the biases.
Inform, inform, inform. FOX, CBS, NBC, ABC, ... they are all less than ideal news sources with agendas that aren't aligned with their audiences. We need to continue talking about and identifying the agendas to properly use the information/misinformation they spew at us.

ECOnservative
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2011
As for pop-sci errors, it'd be great if there were some site collecting and sorting them. I wonder who the worst offenders would be? I imagine a lineup of MSNBC/CNN/CBS/ABC/FOX would be full of blunders whereas the BBC might actually get some things right.
ECOnservative
3.7 / 5 (11) Feb 09, 2011
Take your kids snipe hunting. When it's over point and laugh and tell them not to believe everything they hear. Life lesson learned.


In our (US) educational environment the above would be considered bullying behavior. It's become much more 'correct' to simply tow the line than to actually engage in full-blown scientific skepticism. My 13 year-old asked some embarrassing (but very relevant) questions in honors science in regard to AGW and was told he'd have to keep his opinions to himself if he wanted to get a good grade.

We need to think hard about whether we're teaching science or teaching compliance. I vote for science.
Pyle
5 / 5 (10) Feb 09, 2011
I have taken a lot of crap corporate training courses. One of the nuggets I liked was Covey's definition of maturity: Courage + Consideration. I think it applies to what we are discussing here and the heart of the problem pointed out in the "study" mentioned in the article.

Our society (USA) has lost some of its maturity. We seem to be teeming with courage and have lost much of our ability to carefully consider things. Consider others, consider the consequences, consider the source, consider, consider, consider...

(Why do these comment boards turn into Americans arguing about our problems? Stupid self important Americans.)
Mesafina
4.3 / 5 (12) Feb 09, 2011
@Pyle "Why do these comment boards turn into Americans arguing about our problems? Stupid self important Americans."

Because China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems and Indians are too busy actually doing work :P
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Feb 09, 2011
@Pyle "Why do these comment boards turn into Americans arguing about our problems? Stupid self important Americans."

Because China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems and Indians are too busy actually doing work :P

Flawless victory.

This wins perfect comment of the day.
frajo
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
Because China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems and Indians are too busy actually doing work :P
Four of those who believe everything they see on the internet (in their native language) just gave you five stars.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2011
Because China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems and Indians are too busy actually doing work :P
Four of those who believe everything they see on the internet (in their native language) just gave you five stars.

I only see one in that consortium who would believe everything he read on the internet. Then there was you, me, yyz, and Pyle.
Pyle
5 / 5 (1) Feb 09, 2011
@frajo:
Four of those who believe everything they see on the internet (in their native language) just gave you five stars.

I resemble that comment!
@SH:
only see one in that consortium who would believe everything he read on the internet. Then there was you, me, yyz, and Pyle.

You give me entirely too much credit.

btw, in reference to my other comments. Just because I have a "definition" of wise, doesn't mean I claim to be anything close to it. Ignorant, stupid, self-important American suits me just fine.
Kingsix
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
I just read a study that finds a huge link between American flag themed track suits and Obesity. Amazing work.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2011
Not something true.

And if it's not true, why bother learning it.


This web site is a good example of a site you read where the information is frequently wrong or incomplete, and there is a clear left leaning bias in many articles and editorial comments, as well as the bias in the selection of the articles in the first place. If you don't regularly visit sites and listen to programs outside of your own world view, then you are missing a large portion of the big picture. I rarely watch cable television, but I have three presets on my radio: The local fox affiliate, NPR, and a music station. It's funny how the NPR stories, Fox stories and the Physorg stories about the very same topics can all give different versions, and when I go check on the original sources I find that none of them gave me the whole picture.

If you can find ANY news source where you don't need to check the facts, I'd sure like to know what it is.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (3) Feb 09, 2011
When I was young(er) it was commonly accepted that you trusted authority figures [Newscasters, the President, Policeman, Etc]


I've never known of a time when it was common to trust a politician, or any other authority figure. I think the phrase "power corrupts" has always been prety much universally accepted. What time period are you refering to, when politicians (especially the President) were trusted?
frajo
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
Because China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems and Indians are too busy actually doing work :P
Four of those who believe everything they see on the internet (in their native language) just gave you five stars.
I only see one in that consortium who would believe everything he read on the internet. Then there was you, me, yyz, and Pyle.
As you don't believe what I've written on the internet I stand corrected.
But the statement that China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems is generalizing BS nonetheless.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2011
As for pop-sci errors, it'd be great if there were some site collecting and sorting them. I wonder who the worst offenders would be? I imagine a lineup of MSNBC/CNN/CBS/ABC/FOX would be full of blunders whereas the BBC might actually get some things right.

junkscience.com
frajo
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
Four of those who believe everything they see on the internet (in their native language) just gave you five stars.

I resemble that comment!
AFAIR that China statement was the first comment we disagreed about. Nothing to be concerned about.
FenderFennec
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
"The survey also found 55 percent of Russians believe that radioactivity is a human invention."
meerling
not rated yet Feb 09, 2011
This reminds me of the Dihydrogen Monoxide hoax a few years back.


It wasn't a hoax, it was a test, and lots of people failed, including the politicians.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2011
The dihydrogen monoxide joke isn't really a fair comparison. It doesn't demonstrate gullibility, so much as it reveals that too many people are scientifically illiterate.

Some countries require basic chemistry as part of K12 curriculum, but many do not. To people who don't know anything whatsoever about chemistry, "dihydrogen monoxide" sounds scientific, chemical, and scary. But they can't actually parse out its meaning. To their ears, "dihydrogen monoxide" doesn't sound any more innocuous than "hydrogen cyanide".
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2011
As you don't believe what I've written on the internet I stand corrected.
But the statement that China doesn't let Chinese argue about their problems is generalizing BS nonetheless.
It was generalizing, however, it was still amusing. The text was in jest, and if we can't laugh at irrational generalization, what can we laugh at?
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (3) Feb 10, 2011
It was generalizing, however, it was still amusing. The text was in jest, and if we can't laugh at irrational generalization, what can we laugh at?


how about the irrational specificity in the title of this article? The only time journalists are mentioned is the title. Borderline academic fraud. It's like when you search for something specific, think you found something, click through, and are greeted with a page full of useless links.
ScientistAmauterEnthusiast
not rated yet Feb 10, 2011
You cannot blame people taking the word of people claiming to be reliable or sources of knowledge without doing their own research. Seriously, if I researched everything I read daily I wouldn't have a life.

Doesn't help that what is and what isn't are usually equally believable.

Maybe websites claiming to be legit sources of information should be legally accountable for misinformation, all news sites claiming to be legit and not for comedy should have to provided sources or at least have reasonable proof before publishing.

Didn't like the misleading title of this article, terrible, just terrible.
Eikka
1 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2011
@Pyle "Why do these comment boards turn into Americans arguing about our problems? Stupid self important Americans."


Because the vast majority of the world doesn't speak english as their first language. The other languages and nationalities exist in their own sub-compartments, divided by language barriers, and you don't see them unless you go look for them.

What you see is the English speaking internet, which is dominated by people from the US and UK. Others do know it, but it's more difficult for them to participate, so it would seem that nobody else does anything. Even if they do, you wouldn't know a frenchman unless he says so.
Moebius
2 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2011
I have many other places I can get much more reliable news.

Reliably what? Where do you obtain such news?


Jon Stewart and the Daily Show is about a hundred times more reliable than FOX. Sure it's comedy, but the news is serious and factual, he doesn't have an axe to grind other than fact checking ALL of the mainstream media. I suppose because his fact checking turns up more unfacts from FOX he is left leaning and he thinks Glenn Beck is a wacko so he should be labeled far left probably since we all know Beck isn't a wacko. LOL Pardon me, must partake of a hydrogen hydroxide and complex hydrocarbon mixture.

Last I heard most people don't know the sun is a star, scientific ignorance is abundant.
alanborky
not rated yet Feb 10, 2011
My first thought was maybe they're talking about some octopus species living in trees submerged due to global warming. Maybe these students thought something similar.

For all we know some unknown octopus CAN briefly leave the sea to climb trees. People'll say, "Baloney!" but if they're discovered, the same people'll say, "Ooh, with evolution, anything's possible!"

Remember the Korean locals' reports of 'deer' with 'gills' or 'deer' capable of submerging for several minutes at a time.

Assuming ignorant local peasants couldn't possibly know better about their own environment, Scientists ignored such reports.

But if they'd've been as open minded as these 'poor, dumb, deluded, insufficiently educated' students, they'd've become known to us decades ago.

So some students credit the possibility of a tree climbing octopus - what's the problem? Were they also saying, "What's the best way to pray to them?" or, "If I send someone a million quid will they post one back?"
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Feb 10, 2011
I have many other places I can get much more reliable news.

Reliably what? Where do you obtain such news?


Jon Stewart and the Daily Show is about a hundred times more reliable than FOX. Sure it's comedy, but the news is serious and factual, he doesn't have an axe to grind other than fact checking ALL of the mainstream media. I suppose because his fact checking turns up more unfacts from FOX he is left leaning and he thinks Glenn Beck is a wacko so he should be labeled far left probably since we all know Beck isn't a wacko. LOL Pardon me, must partake of a hydrogen hydroxide and complex hydrocarbon mixture.

Last I heard most people don't know the sun is a star, scientific ignorance is abundant.

I am not surprised you think a leftist comedian provides accurate news.
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2011
The dihydrogen monoxide joke isn't really a fair comparison. It doesn't demonstrate gullibility, so much as it reveals that too many people are scientifically illiterate


Also keep in mind that quite a lot of the people at the climate conferences don't have English as a first language. Some of them may not have fully understood what they were reading, which still makes them idiots for signing a petition they didn't understand, but they could still be scientifically knowledgeable in their own language.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (4) Feb 10, 2011
I am not surprised you think a leftist comedian provides accurate news


Almost everything you see on television is primarily entertainment. The average viewer will change the channel in less than a minute if you try to educate them in stead of entertaining them.

@ the people arguing between fox and the daily show:

If you trust anybody who is far to either political extreme, then odds are that you are an extremist, which is okay. If you want to be an extremist then you should be allowed to be that way, but you should sleep in the bed you make and admit that you have an extreme view that isn't typical or mainstream.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Feb 10, 2011
admit that you have an extreme view that isn't typical or mainstream.

What's wrong with having standards? These days that IS an extreme view.
Gary, what principles are you willing to compromise in order to be 'mainstream'?
"I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" Goldwater.
"Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism." (Goldwater) How true!
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2011
My grandfather, born in 1910, who graduated 8th grade, worked through the Depression and understood FDR was a socialist said believe half of what you read and none of what you hear.
Sound advice for today as well.
GSwift7
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2011
Gary, what principles are you willing to compromise in order to be 'mainstream'?


I am not mainstream either, and I'm okay with that. I lean libertarian, so I'm with you in some ways. Liberty and freedom are hard concepts for most people though. Most people think that liberty and freedom mean a guarantee that you'll be happy. In reality, true freedom means that you are equally free to fail and die as to succeed. True freedom means that nobody should have to take care of you unless they want to. True freedom would mean that you would have to make people want to help you in order to get help from other people. I'm not saying that would be a good thing. I'm just saying that freedom isn't as 'nice' or 'fair' as most people would like it. People with disadvantages or disabilities beyond their control do not often find prosperity in freedom.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Feb 10, 2011
Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it,
Which would be for white landowning male gentry exclusively according to the majority of views during the time period.

You should really understand how extreme your views really are.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2011
People with disadvantages or disabilities beyond their control do not often find prosperity in freedom.

Why not?
True freedom would mean that you would have to make people want to help you in order to get help from other people.

This is the basis of free markets, produce a product or service people want.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2011
Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it,
Which would be for white landowning male gentry exclusively according to the majority of views during the time period.

You should really understand how extreme your views really are.

Note the Constitution has been amended to reflect the majority view of the time period.
PinkElephant
4.5 / 5 (8) Feb 10, 2011
@ the people arguing between fox and the daily show
The main difference is that the Daily Show (and Colbert Report) is an open satire, while FAUX pretends to masquerade as objective (and succeeds in fooling some of the people, some of the time.)
you would have to make people want to help you in order to get help from other people.
This is the basis of free markets, produce a product or service people want.
A fine argument for child prostitution. Also, the disabled and the infirm make a great feedstock for soylent green.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2011
Note the Constitution has been amended to reflect the majority view of the time period.
Actually, most amendments outside of the Bill of Rights were minority views that passed a continental congress.

Examples: Prohibition(18th), Jurisdiction over foreign nationals and restriction of suing the state(11th),The income tax (16th), The presidential term limits were not popular at the time of ratification (22nd).

So I'm not sure what you're talking about here, as usual.
GSwift7
3.5 / 5 (11) Feb 10, 2011
People with disadvantages or disabilities beyond their control do not often find prosperity in freedom.

Why not?


Because true freedom means open competition. Survival of the fittest, whether it is a company or an individual. The weak will fail in a free society uless others help them.

This is the basis of free markets, produce a product or service people want


A free market is a contradiction in terms. The whole objective of any entity in a free market is to eliminate or avoid competition. The goal of a free market is for its members to dominate it and take away the freedom. Free markets generate monopolies and cartels eventually.
hush1
1 / 5 (1) Feb 10, 2011
Dr. Leu?
Can I..ah..start with you?

Strictly rhetorical question, you understand.
I sought no one's permission.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 10, 2011
The weak will fail in a free society uless others help them.

People ARE free to help, no?
A fine argument for child prostitution.

That is what the 'progressive' Planned Parenthood promotes.
The amendment process:
"two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, "
"ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; "
Super majorities are required to propose and ratify amendments. I guess that's why the 'progressives' use courts to force their views.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 10, 2011
Because true freedom means open competition.

People are also free to cooperate. Why don't you assume people will do so? Especially when it is usually in their best interest to do so.
It is interesting that the 'progressives' have such a negative perception of people.
Research has demonstrated that 'liberals' are less charitable.
It is the 'progressive' that demands higher taxes for all, but won't voluntarily pay more. This has been proven in MA.

PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2011
People ARE free to help, no?
People ARE free to exploit, no? Which is more profitable? People are also free to neglect and ignore, no? Which requires less effort?
the 'progressives' use courts to force their views
Only 'progressives' do that? Can a court force anything that's unconstitutional (per Supreme Court review)?
People are also free to cooperate.
But what's their incentive?
Why don't you assume people will do so?
Why didn't it work for the Communists?
it is usually in their best interest to do so
When is that?
the 'progressives' have such a negative perception of people
You mean like, "greed is good"? Like, social darwinism? Like, the poor are poor because they're lazy? Like, employing illegal immigrants to cut labor costs and liabilities? Like, busting unions (one of the few examples when it's in the best interest of the members to cooperate?) Are those views and actions 'progressive'?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2011
Can a court force anything that's unconstitutional

Yes.
People ARE free to exploit, no?

They can try. Madoff succeeded because he had the support of the govt. SEC refused to investigate and he head a good reputation from the govt.
Competition and an aggressive press will keep consumers informed.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (7) Feb 10, 2011
Yes.
How?
Competition and an aggressive press will keep consumers informed
Why didn't they do the SEC's job in the case of Madoff? How many more Madoffs are still out there? How many press outlets are NOT owned and operated by major corporate conglomerates? How many of those are not under threat of corporate acquisition?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2011
Super majorities are required to propose and ratify amendments. I guess that's why the 'progressives' use courts to force their views.
You mean like trying to have healthcare deemed unconstitutional, or the suing of the federal government to allow a state entity to enforce federal immigration mandate?
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 11, 2011
Super majorities are required to propose and ratify amendments. I guess that's why the 'progressives' use courts to force their views.
You mean like trying to have healthcare deemed unconstitutional, or the suing of the federal government to allow a state entity to enforce federal immigration mandate?

Two judges have now ruled Obamacare violates the Constitution.
AZ has the right to protect its citizens if the federal govt refuses to enforce federal laws.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (4) Feb 11, 2011
Two judges have now ruled Obamacare violates the Constitution.
AZ has the right to protect its citizens if the federal govt refuses to enforce federal laws.
And which part of that isn't using the courts to force your views?
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Feb 11, 2011
Two judges have now ruled Obamacare violates the Constitution.
AZ has the right to protect its citizens if the federal govt refuses to enforce federal laws.
And which part of that isn't using the courts to force your views?

When one branch violates the law, another branch is supposed to correct that violation. I thought that was your view as well?
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 11, 2011
"Brewer's lawsuit seeks a court order that would require the federal government to take extra steps to protect Arizona - such as more border fences - until the border is controlled. Brewer also asks for additional border agents and technology along the state's border with Mexico.

The governor isn't seeking a lump-sum award, but rather asks for policy changes in the way the federal government reimburses states for the costs of jailing illegal immigrants who are convicted of state crimes. Such changes would give the state more reimbursement."
"Horne said Washington has failed to protect the state against an invasion by illegal immigrants."
http:/apnews.myway.com/article/20110211/D9LA8QG80.html

GSwift7
2.8 / 5 (9) Feb 11, 2011
Because true freedom means open competition.

People are also free to cooperate. Why don't you assume people will do so?


I covered that in the second paragraph of that same post:

Free markets generate... cartels eventually


That's businesses cooperating. The guilds of the middle ages are an example.
GSwift7
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 11, 2011
On a side note, I notice this web site hasn't covered the announcement of the new Berkley temperature record. They are starting from scratch with raw data in an effort to lay rest to complaints from skeptics. It is due to be released in about a month. This should be interresting. It's going to be completely open source. They will make all of their work open to the public, so they say. They are using several times more station data than any other temp record. I can't wait to see what they come up with, and how it compares to the CRU and NASA records.
PinkElephant
5 / 5 (5) Feb 11, 2011
When one branch violates the law, another branch is supposed to correct that violation. I thought that was your view as well?
But, but, but... Government is nothing except force, coercion, and power. Isn't that what you wrote on another thread just 3 hours ago?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Feb 11, 2011
"A Salvadoran man who was ordered deported nearly a decade ago but never left has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in a series of shootings and a knife attack in a Virginia suburb of Washington, authorities said Friday."
http:/news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110211/ap_on_re_us/us_manassas_shootings
When the govt fails to do the job Constitutionally mandated, people die.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2011
"A Salvadoran man who was ordered deported nearly a decade ago but never left has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder in a series of shootings and a knife attack in a Virginia suburb of Washington, authorities said Friday."
http:/news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110211/ap_on_re_us/us_manassas_shootings
When the govt fails to do the job Constitutionally mandated, people die.

Hey dummy. Learn the immigration and deportation standards. If you commit crimes in the US, you serve your sentence, then you get deported. The guy isn't walking the streets.

When one branch violates the law, another branch is supposed to correct that violation. I thought that was your view as well?
Doesn't appear to be your view. Your view seems to be everything that republicans do is A-OK, while anything that a democrat proposes is junk.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2011
. If you commit crimes in the US, you serve your sentence,
Not if you are an illegal immigrant.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2011
" they mean the perpetrators were "previously deported." Regardless, ALL those crimes would have never happened, i.e. were preventable, with serious deportation of the illegal aliens already here and proper border security to prevent both entry and re-entry."

http:/www.usillegalaliens.com/impacts_of_illegal_immigration_crime.html
frajo
3 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2011
" they mean the perpetrators were "previously deported." Regardless, ALL those crimes would have never happened, i.e. were preventable, with serious deportation of the illegal aliens already here and proper border security to prevent both entry and re-entry."
Funny to read this from a descendant of illegal immigrants.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Feb 12, 2011
" they mean the perpetrators were "previously deported." Regardless, ALL those crimes would have never happened, i.e. were preventable, with serious deportation of the illegal aliens already here and proper border security to prevent both entry and re-entry."
Funny to read this from a descendant of illegal immigrants.

As a US citizen I cannot move to an EU country and legally work without permission. I can only stay for a certain length of time. If I have enough money, I can buy a Swiss passport.
My ancestors immigrated to the USA legally.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2011
. If you commit crimes in the US, you serve your sentence,
Not if you are an illegal immigrant.
Wrong. Educate yourself on the actual laws before you attempt to discuss their implications.
As a US citizen I cannot move to an EU country and legally work without permission.
And permission is automatically granted in many EU countries provided you're paying taxes.
I can only stay for a certain length of time.
Have you even visited an EU country recently?
If I have enough money, I can buy a Swiss passport.
Or you could legally immigrate. How daft are you?
My ancestors immigrated to the USA legally.
But the author of your terrible quotemine is the descendant of illegal aliens. You really need to pay attention.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2011
And permission is automatically granted in many EU countries provided you're paying taxes.

Prove it. In order for a US citizen to work in most any country, a work permit is required.

A tourist visa for US citizens to most EU countries is 6 months. The US has reciprocity with many of these countries.

SH, show us how easy it is for a US citizen to legally immigrate to any other country.
Pyle
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2011
SH let's be fair to marjon. Where does illegal immigration rank on the scale of crimes? I'll make a list and pick. Parking ticket, petty theft, burglary, assault, armed robbery, murder.

I'd throw illegal immigration somewhere between petty theft and burglary. I suppose you could go one notch further, but I wouldn't.

So anytime someone with an outstanding warrant for petty theft commits murder there should be moral outrage that person wasn't locked up for their previous crime!!! Oh wait. That is ridiculous.

Illegal immigration creates problems. This argument is just not the right one.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2011
Illegal immigration creates problems. This argument is just not the right one.

Had immigration laws been enforced, the illegal alien would not have been in the country.
So we let illegal aliens commit the murders and rapes US citizens won't commit?
The underlying issue is respect for the law. If the US won't respect the law why should the illegal alien? If an illegal survives a car accident or is stopped for driving without a license or insurance, he doesn't care. He doesn't need to go to court and the law won't seek him out.
Tucson Medical Center shut down their level 1 trauma center as too many illegals were not paying the bill.
I am not for amnesty for those here, but I would let nearly anyone into the USA to live, work and start a business. This would include the entire world, not just those who can walk across the Mexican border.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2011
And permission is automatically granted in many EU countries provided you're paying taxes.
Prove it. In order for a US citizen to work in most any country, a work permit is required.
Yes, and as someone who has worked in EU countries as a citizen of the US, the process was "check in at this agency, pick up your permit". Which was 'automatically granted'.
A tourist visa for US citizens to most EU countries is 6 months.
But only for the countries that you need a tourist visa for. If you haven't commited any felonies, again, this is typically granted automatically.
The US has reciprocity with many of these countries.
Which completely invalidates your arguments above, just as I stated and you're attempting to refute. Do you ever get tired of playing the fool?

SH, show us how easy it is for a US citizen to legally immigrate to any other country.

In Canada you fill out a form of intent and pass a background check.
frajo
5 / 5 (3) Feb 12, 2011
"they mean the perpetrators were "previously deported." Regardless, ALL those crimes would have never happened, i.e. were preventable, with serious deportation of the illegal aliens already here and proper border security to prevent both entry and re-entry."
Funny to read this from a descendant of illegal immigrants.
...
My ancestors immigrated to the USA legally.
Why? Were their reasons to immigrate different from the reasons of contemporary people who want to work and live in the US? Were the immigration laws for your ancestors comparable to the present ones?
Or were your ancestors welcome for economical reasons only whereas the present illegal immigrants are illegal for economical reasons only? Laws do change.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 12, 2011
"check in at this agency, pick up your permit".

How did you get the permit?
fill out a form of intent and pass a background check.

How long do you wait?
But I don't take your word for it.
I worked in Saudi Arabia. My company had to obtain the Iqama and visa.
So SH, if you are a US citizen only, you can move to the EU and get a job without any special permission form the govts?
Hey frajo, why does the EU restrict immigration? Could it be for ECONOMIC reasons? Or is the EU just racist and doesn't need more Arabs, Turks or Africans?
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Feb 12, 2011
How did you get the permit?
Check in at the agency.
Me-"Hi, I'm here for a work permit."
Agency-"Ok, any felonies?"
Me-"Nope." *present criminal record*
Agency- *reviews criminal record* "Ok, here you go, and here's your tax forms."
Me- "Thank you sir or ma'am."
How long do you wait?
I waited about three weeks.
I worked in Saudi Arabia. My company had to obtain the Iqama and visa.
When did Saudi Arabia become part of the EU or are you just that bad at geography?
So SH, if you are a US citizen only, you can move to the EU and get a job without any special permission form the govts?
No, there are a bunch of countries in the world that have this same priviledge with other countries. Not all EU countries share this right with American citizens, but most do.
Or is the EU just racist and doesn't need more Arabs, Turks or Africans?
Isn't Turkey joining the EU?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) Feb 12, 2011
Not all EU countries share this right with American citizens, but most do.

Which ones? Sources too.
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Feb 13, 2011
Not all EU countries share this right with American citizens, but most do.

Which ones? Sources too.

Why don't you tell us, after all, you're the one who stated
The US has reciprocity with many of these countries.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 13, 2011
Not all EU countries share this right with American citizens, but most do.

Which ones? Sources too.

Why don't you tell us, after all, you're the one who stated
The US has reciprocity with many of these countries.

I am skeptical of SH's assertions. SH claimed a US citizen could walk in to some EU country and get hired just as easily as in the US without permission of the govt.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2011
I am skeptical of SH's assertions. SH claimed a US citizen could walk in to some EU country and get hired just as easily as in the US without permission of the govt.
No, I said you need a permit, which is granted almost automatically. You said you couldn't do it without the permission of the government, I said it wasn't difficult to get. Your assertions paint a picture of hopeless locked down borders around the world. Except for the US, which I imagine looksmore like a screen door with holes in it inside your head.

Your worldview is wrong. That and you made it appear as though you believe Saudi Arabia is an accurate depiction of world wide immigration standards.
TAz00
3 / 5 (2) Feb 13, 2011
If I beleived in everything i read on the internet, I would believe this article, but I dont.
AlexCoe
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 13, 2011
Back to the subject of the posted article....

Critical thinking skills are not taught at acceptable levels within our school systems, if they are taught at all. Critical thinking skills are primary to any kind of real learning and knowing what is or isn't fact based within the learning environment and in life in general. I dare say, it would certainly improve the discussion here as well.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 13, 2011
Maybe we should teach Buddhism and Gaia hypothesis to kids at school. Buddhism is a philosophy of what is real, read about Therevada, they tried to make a guide to believing what is real and what is fake and how to act upon situations by making proper decisions based upon experience, logic, the wisdom of experienced people and your own common senses. Buddhism is really interesting indeed.
Bog_Mire
1 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2011
except Buddhism still encourages people to put their lives in the hands of fate and karma and the like instead of making them work at controlling their own destiny, just like any other religion does. It's just a nicer version of the same bullshit.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (2) Feb 14, 2011
Critical thinking skills are not taught at acceptable levels within our school systems


That is true, but I teach my daughter way more critical thinking skills than any school ever could, as well as moral and social values.

As for imigration: I got engaged to a Colombian imigrant over the weekend. She came here legally, completed med school, and is a US Army Captain. She says the problem with illegals is that the reason they don't come here legally is so often because they have done things wrong where they came from. They are running from troubles or bringing them with them. Many also do not read or write their own language, and stand very little chance of learning to even speak ours. Most don't want to learn our ways or obey our laws. Her own mother spurns our ways and our laws when she comes to visit. Illegal imigration is bigger than a misdemeanor crime. We deserve our right to decide who can come in. My fiance decided to join us, not sneak in behind our backs.
GSwift7
1 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2011
Your worldview is wrong. That and you made it appear as though you believe Saudi Arabia is an accurate depiction of world wide immigration standards


I'm no expert, but the toughest imigration laws I've ever heard of are on the island of Fiji. I worked with a guy from there a few years ago. It's a very small island and it's famous for being a very nice place to live. I don't remember the details but he said that it's very hard to become a resident unless you are a blood relative of one of the original families from a couple centuries ago.

In an absolutely crazy coincidence, I took a business trip to San Diego with that guy once. We shared a cab from the airport. He noticed the driver's name on his taxi permit and they went to grade school together. That's a very small island. The odds of them meeting like that must be astronomically small. Imagine if he hadn't looked at the driver's name.
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2011
No, I said you need a permit, which is granted almost automatically.

I am skeptical.
How many USA citizens who may be reading this have zipped of to some foreign land and started working, legally, without a rigorous work permit process that was by no means assured?
kaasinees
1 / 5 (4) Feb 14, 2011
except Buddhism still encourages people to put their lives in the hands of fate and karma and the like instead of making them work at controlling their own destiny, just like any other religion does. It's just a nicer version of the same bullshit.

This is not true at all. The thing you are talking about is kamma-vipaka (where karma comes from) and it is basicly the same as action-reaction. In nowhere does it tell anyone to put faith blindly in karma. Also buddhism says that you cannot agree with anything anyone says, so you dont have to believe anything any buddhist scripture says. Also the primary aim for buddhism is to remove suffering by removing desires(greed) which could be a good thin g in these days.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 14, 2011
Also buddhism is not a religion. It is a philosophic guide to happiness (which are most religions intended to be anyway, but retarded people made something holy and all-knowing of it, and this also happened to buddhism a small bit because of brittish people enslaving buddhists in the past.)