Posts Tagged ‘media’

Should you read the news?

Friday, July 10th, 2015 | Thoughts

An email went round work last week announcing that we were going to be having a minute’s silence for the victims of the Tunisian beach attack. As it happens everyone forgot when the time came but it brought up an interesting point.

I didn’t really know about it.

People were shocked, but it just had not entered my radar. I hadn’t seen the news and while there were probably some references to it, perhaps in conversation or on Facebook, I had just filtered them out.

I have gone through periods of my life where I thought it was really important to read the news. I would diligently check BBC News every day to find out what was going on in the world.

I have also gone through periods, such as now, where I just do not read the news. Why? Because it is generally full of unfortunate things happening to people. In fact, it is almost exclusively full of that.

It is extremely sad that those people died in Tunisia. In some ways it is an odd story to focus on. 50,000 people died of a preventable cause yesterday. That is 30 just during the minute’s silence. That isn’t in the news.

Similarly a story such as this might put people off from travelling to Tunisia. However, statistically the most likely way for me to die if I was to go there for a holiday, would be as it always is – in a car crash travelling to or from the airport.

It feels an odd thing to admit to being not just ignorant of something, but wilfully ignorant of it. However, my life does not seem to be much affected by my screening out of the non-stop string of mongering and negative news reporting that the media engages in, so it is hard to see how I am not better off without it.

The Truth

Sunday, April 27th, 2014 | Books

The Truth is the 25th novel in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. It follows the adventures of William de Worde as he accidentally starts the first newspaper, The Ankh-Morpork Times.

Without a doubt, it has been my favourite novel so far. The pioneering spirit of free enterprise, the passion for reporting the news to the public and the almost-tangible smell of Ankh-Morpock that emanates from the pages makes for a powerful, if odorous, combination.

I do wonder as to what the sitcom element comes into play in making the stories enjoyable. In a sitcom, you get to know the characters and that is what makes the situations so funny (not because the situation itself is inherently hilarious on its own). Similarly, it could be that the earlier novels are just as good as the later ones, and if you read them the other way round, you would enjoy the earlier ones more. Or maybe not. Or maybe it is a combination of both.


Yorkshire Evening Post

Friday, April 10th, 2009 | Humanism, News

Last week myself, Norm and Nicola went down to the Yorkshire Evening Post to do an interview as they wanted to do a feature on Leeds Atheist Society. It came out in Thursday’s issue and was good coverage for us – very positive compared to the stuff we normally get (which isn’t saying much as we normally just get attacked in the media but it was geniunely good) and it was a full page piece too.

If you missed the paper edition you can read the article online on the YEP website.

iThe anti-God squad Yorkshire Evening Post

How many computer scientists…

Monday, December 22nd, 2008 | Tech

I love Windows. Windows XP is an amazing operating system. Vista was a bit of a disaster but then it was always going to be when it had to follow XP, possibly the best operating system ever in the history of computing.

If you’re thinking this is heading towards a Linux bashing blog post, you’d be right 😉 .

I mean seriously, all I want to do is play media. The kind of thing you can do fresh out of the box on any Windows install. Let’s ignore the fact I’ve been trying to get Ubuntu to play DVDs for years. Let’s just take a look at what happened on Saturday.

I brought up a computer to use as a media computer to play through the sound system so we could access all the music. Actually I bought two, an Ubuntu box and a Fedora box. Two distros, one of them must be able to play a simple MP3 file right?

Of course, given the nature of my writing, they couldn’t. What was really interesting though was not the fact that Linux can’t even play MP3s out of the box, but how hard it is to get Linux to play them. It took us three, count them, three, computer scientists sat round for an hour to get them playing. So you can’t even use the excuse “oh it’s just you Chris” because there were three of us trying to work this one out.

We managed to get it working in the end, albeit it not very well though I’m not sure if that was Fedora’s fault or not so I’m not holding it accountable for that one. But there you go, XP for the win.

Causing trouble

Sunday, October 12th, 2008 | Religion & Politics, Thoughts

I’m just listening to the news on 6Music and they are talking about the fact the MOD has lost loads of personal data again.

The story leads, “serial incompetance is how the Conservates described it.”

I mean, what is the point? Who cares what the Conversatives think? If you give it some thought, they are obviously going to be condemning it. But why make a big issue that the Conversatives happen to say that? I’m sure most people condemn it. How is such news reporting doing anything than stiring up trouble?

Surely if the BBC wants to report on the issue as unbiased balanced report should be the way forward. Why don’t they get someone on to say “actually, I think it’s great the MOD lost everyone’s personal data.”

Obviously the answer is, because that’s just retarded. Nobody would say that because it’s not an issue, it’s something that happens and the fact that the Conversatives also happen to condemn it along with everyone else in the country, isn’t news. It’s just cheap, intellectually bankrupt journalism.