Friday, March 25, 2011

I know I shouldn't be reading the tabloids but....

I can see why people read Garth George columns. I think they are sick and depraved, but I can see why they read them. Jim Hopkins on the other hand, tends to waffle saying pretty much nothing for half a page and then it finishes. Writing for the sake of writing? Possibly when the the writing is a piece of art, yes, but he's usually just waffle. Today's column is a case in point. He takes the better part of half a page (broadsheet - though god knows why, the herald really should be printed in tabloid format) to say that people believe things because they want to rather than because they are true and that it's better safe than sorry. i.e. if someone says something bad is going to happen, even if there is no cause to believe them, we should still heed the warning because it might turn out to be true. <facepalm>

No. Just ... No. I've got a few friends who are probably getting sick of me saying this by now. By that line of thinking, the people who left Christchurch because of Ken Rings predictions should just leave permanently and go and live on a plateau in the middle of the America or Asia. Earthquakes happen all the time. Ken Ring's predictions are no better than chance. Which means that there is just as much cause to disrupt lives and leave Christchurch tomorrow at 6:59 a.m. or any other date and time you want to pick, as there was for whenever it was that he made his prediction. Thus - just leave.

And yet we are continually confronted with columnists in our media who sit there and say "obviously it's silly, but what if?" It's usually followed by a little bit of hand-waving about who to believe and how to find stuff out. Which they obviously haven't done. 5 minutes on google should be enough to show anyone vaguely competent with a computer that all the people who have study earth sciences for a living, most of them for years think Rings predictions are crap and offer numerous debunkings of his methods. Not all of these are in overly technical language either, complaining that they are to hard to understand is evidence of nothing but laziness on the part of the reader - they can't be bothered finding out what people who spend their whole lives research the topic at hand think and thus are happy to give credence to any theory that can throw a few buzz words around and not sound like a complete lunatic.

It would be nice, I think. To have a few more columnists who actually put a bit of time and thought into their opinion pieces. I don't often agree with his interpretation but at least John Armstrong, pays attention to his subject matter, i.e. politics, similarly with Brian Fallow and economics. Brian Rudman, does his homework, why do most of the other commentators in the herald get to spill random bilge all over the place?

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