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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

The Mass Media is the Bane of Cultural Evolution

"The Mass Media is the Bane of Cultural Evolution" by Vexen Crabtree (2008) is a rewrite of the original 1998 page.


Mass media tabloids portray the world in an unrealistic way. Studies have shown that education, and reading respectable news instead of trash, results in a more sensible view of the world in all matters, including views on the economy and crime rates. This is also about the tendency for people to accept overly negative and foreboding forecasts of societies' declining moral worth. Research reveals that excessive television dulls the mind, causes stupidity, causes failure at school and perpetuates ridiculous and simplistic stereotypes. Educating people that TV is fiction, and that violence is wrong, can reduce some of these effects and break the link between TV violence and criminal aggression.
  1. The Pessimism Syndrome
  2. Trash Culture & Mass Media Products
  3. Enslavement - TV Causes Stupidity
  4. Violent Films and Violent Actions
  5. Truth By Consensus: TV and Politics
  6. Indoctrination
  7. The Bane of Cultural Evolution

The conclusion:

"The mass media that pervades the UK and other countries is holding back human cultural evolution. Television shows and trashy tabloids are surrounded studies highlighting their negative affects on intelligence and their correlation with violent behaviour. It might seem in one way good to have a common set of values and symbols that all learn together, but the reality is that mass media today mostly promotes the lowest standards and least moral behaviours. The surest course of action to improve the behaviour of youth is to occult from them TV and trashy mass media products. This improves intelligence and reduces aggression. Another course of action is to separate the market-driven way in which the masses tend to buy into degrading and shallow content, leading to the further production of that material. The age of the internet and easily transferable film media has done away with the ability of governments to legislate by means of contents certificate (18, 15, U, etc). What is needed is counter-education during which schoolchildren are educated about critical ways of thinking about media. Tabloids, broadsheets and TV programs need a system that rates their typical accuracy, in a simple-to-understand way. A highly inaccurate media product gets one red star, medium ones get 3 orange stars, and accurate ones get a green star. Journalists should be required to be a member of a journalist association, which they get kicked out of if they produce very low quality information. Stations and papers should only be allowed to reach a certain ratio of violence to educational material. Most developed countries have this already. Such new measures are required to aid in general human advancement, and resist trash culture's annexing of the mainstream media. Mass media is presently the bane of human cultural evolution."

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Original comments on the original version of this page can be read at vexen.livejournal.com/79743.html - but there's not much there.

I've not had a chance to read your more in depth sections yet, but as a newsagent who sees every front page every day I would make one suggestion: Stop discriminating between tabloid and Broadsheet papers. Both tend to have misleading front page headlines more often than not and with the exception of the express (Which has sunk bellow even the level of the UK media) I truly think they are all as bad as each other. I just find it harder to spot in the Guardian and Independent because their bullshit is more often the Bullshit I want to believe than the bullshit in the other papers.

Sadly a rating system will not work because it raises the question of who is to decide what is actually true or not. Also the internet means that controlling what is out there is impossible, so your point about teaching critical thinking is vital. The press will of course never let that idea run very far, but perhaps the internet can there be a blessing, perhaps it would be possible to start a counter culture of intelligent critical thinking. By making it a counter culture it becomes cool and young may be interested.

My main issue is that it doesn't just stop at tabloid newspapers. I used to like watching the news, but as soon as you turn it on, your brain fries with the different way they say you're going to die

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