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Bad Reporting, Not Email, Worse Than Marijuana

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the it-happens-but-needs-correcting dept.

Media 290

MoNickels writes "Turns out, those endless news reports and blog entries in April about "texting makes you stupid" were inaccurate. As linguist Mark Liberman at LanguageLog now reports by way of apologizing to Wilson, it wasn't Wilson's fault, but that of "rotten science journalism." Psychologist Glenn Wilson was reported to have done a study said that chat and email, as the Guardian put it, "are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis." But Wilson says, "This...is a temporary distraction effect—not a permanent loss of IQ. The equivalences with smoking pot and losing sleep were made by others, against my counsel, and 8 [subjects] somehow became '80 clinical trials.'" The original Slashdot story was covered back in April."

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Worse than this? The horror.... (4, Funny)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | about 9 years ago | (#13654927)

Holy crap (1, Funny)

Inoshiro (71693) | about 9 years ago | (#13655021)

You know, you think you're not going to get anything because you're on Linux, but that works seamlessly with no plugins under Mozilla.

My hats off to the illuminata that made it possible for me to be able to see stupid high school kids screw around!

Re:Holy crap (1, Offtopic)

arose (644256) | about 9 years ago | (#13655065)

Mozilla has built in Flash playback now?

Re:Holy crap (2, Insightful)

StonedRat (837378) | about 9 years ago | (#13655066)

It's flash dude, flash has had a built in movie player for some time now. I'd much rather have flash used for movies like this than stupid media player plug-ins, shame not everyone uses it.

Re:Holy crap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655263)

Dude, flash video sucks feculent milky chunks of putrescent fetid monkey anus. For producer and consumer alike.

Re:Worse than this? The horror.... (1, Informative)

Kickboy12 (913888) | about 9 years ago | (#13655227)

Haha. Seriously. It's pathetic how uneducated people really are to the effects of cannabis [cannabisnews.com] .

Re:Worse than this? The horror.... (2, Insightful)

ikkonoishi (674762) | about 9 years ago | (#13655355)

Yes, because I trust a site named cannabis news to give me unbiased reporting of the effects of cannabis.

I also trust cigarette companies to tell me all the negative side effects of smoking tobacco.

Re:Worse than this? The horror.... (3, Insightful)

Kickboy12 (913888) | about 9 years ago | (#13655458)

What you want it to say? 'Site of Republican and Facist lies about drug use'? That's like saying; "That article is from NYT, I refuse to believe a hurricane killed thousands of people, but when Fox News says it it's ok.". The information in that article is true. If you have a problem believing it, then try a little investigative reporting and look it up. Stop dismissing things just because you don't trust the source of the information. Think.

Finally... (3, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 9 years ago | (#13654928)

/. admits they made a mistake...

Re:Finally... (-1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | about 9 years ago | (#13654969)

slashdot didn't write the article you tard

The Reason (3, Insightful)

cached (801963) | about 9 years ago | (#13654938)

The reason that such things occur i because I think that we can not do much about media sensationalism or the scientific ignorance of many journalists. On the other hand , there's no reason why better information about science and technology should not also be available to the public.

Re:The Reason (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 9 years ago | (#13655313)

If we want real scientific information to be available to the masses, we should get the scientific journals to publish their material online for free. There's probably a lot of highschools, and maybe some colleges and universities who don't have proper research material, such as access to current scientific journals. I don't see why scientific journals have to only be for those who are paying. If you're only choice for free science news is Fox, then that's what you'll have to settle for.

Re:The Reason (2, Insightful)

PlacidPundit (881182) | about 9 years ago | (#13655380)

The reason that such things occur i because I think that we can not do much about media sensationalism or the scientific ignorance of many journalists.

Well, what we really need to be able to fix is ignorant journalists who think they know everything. Which is about 99% of them.

Why report good? (4, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 9 years ago | (#13654943)

Why report properly when this means that you'll be scooped-up by a botching competitor?

Media don't sell news, they sell eyeballs. When you buy a paper, you're the product and not the client.

Re:Why report good? (4, Funny)

Miguel de Icaza (660439) | about 9 years ago | (#13655178)

"they sell eyeballs. When you buy a paper, you're the product and not the client."

ditto for this place

In other news (0, Redundant)

NoGuffCheck (746638) | about 9 years ago | (#13654944)

Slashdot to rebrand:

Slashdot. Rotten Science Journalism for Nerds. Dupes? Yeah we got 'em.

Re:In other news (3, Funny)

mysqlrocks (783488) | about 9 years ago | (#13655385)

Or how about, "Reading Slashdot, Worse Than Marijuana".

I smoke pot 24/7... (3, Funny)

Sr. Pato (900333) | about 9 years ago | (#13654947)

... And aye dont feal any more stupider.

Re:I smoke pot 24/7... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655112)

You don't smoke pot. But you are stupid.

really that bad? (2, Funny)

fredistheking (464407) | about 9 years ago | (#13654950)

But the real question is whether causal marijuana usage really has a lasting effect on your IQ.

Re:really that bad? (3, Insightful)

Sorthum (123064) | about 9 years ago | (#13654984)

That depends entirely on who funds the study. :)

Re:really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654993)

Dude! ...and even whether causal marijuana usage really has a lasting effect on your IQ...

Re:really that bad? (3, Interesting)

Peyna (14792) | about 9 years ago | (#13655023)

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn2140 [newscientist.com]

Of course, how many pot smokers do you know that just give up and quit?

Re:really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655042)

Everyone I know who smoked in their twenties and is now in their thirties / fourties. At least ten people...

Re:really that bad? (2, Insightful)

ZiakII (829432) | about 9 years ago | (#13655096)

Of course, how many pot smokers do you know that just give up and quit?

probally close to 300+

but then again I'm in the miltary

Re:really that bad? (1)

ZiakII (829432) | about 9 years ago | (#13655117)

sorry typo "military"

Re:really that bad? (3, Interesting)

sm00f (819489) | about 9 years ago | (#13655101)

I've just gave up and quit multiple times myself, you might feel a bit edgey and bitchy for 2-3 days after but then you are fine, not any worse than caffeine withdrawal IMO. of course if I had the $ and a good supply I'd never quit because marijuana gives me brilliant ideas and more creativity for my job.

Re:really that bad? (2, Funny)

oh_bugger (906574) | about 9 years ago | (#13655376)

I've just gave up and quit multiple times myself

Good job on that

Re:really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655335)

Uhm, lots!

Among my friends I think just about everyone smoked marijuana casually (meaning once a week, tops) at some time in their life, and some still do. None of these people are or were addicted, and none has had trouble quitting, either for good or for very long periods of time (which is more than I can say for cigarettes).
I smoked pot casually in my late teens, then quit for several years (well, except for very special occasions, like once or twice a year), not because I felt like I had a problem, but because I didn't really feel like smoking anymore. In the last couple of years I've started smoking again, not because I need to or because I lost my job or something, but because I feel like it, and I enjoy it. It's that simple.

I think a lot of people who've never smoked pot has a mental picture of people who has that is way off. A lot (most) of us are just regular people who just like smoking an occasional joint.

Sure, smoking every day will most likely fuck you up, and I've seen it happen, but so will getting drunk every day, and I've seen that happen too.

Re:really that bad? (3, Insightful)

Bonhamme Richard (856034) | about 9 years ago | (#13655070)

I knew this one girl in my high school who had some SERIOUS concentration problems after smoking pot for a while.

Freshmen year she was on the all Honors / A.P. course track, and by senior year she was in all the "Basic Remedial XYZ for dummies" courses. She talked a bunch of people out of smoking pot after she stopped.

I try not to judge people, but it wasn't worth risking to me.

Re:really that bad? (1)

fredistheking (464407) | about 9 years ago | (#13655113)

And I have smoked since I was 15. Got As in HS before and after the fact. Got As in college and a BS is EE.

Re:really that bad? (1)

Bonhamme Richard (856034) | about 9 years ago | (#13655193)

Hey, they're your brain cells to risk.

I told you, no judgements, just a little personal story...

Re:really that bad? (1)

superpulpsicle (533373) | about 9 years ago | (#13655271)

I had to quit cause I got so annoyed by the people who clearing are acting the experience instead of enjoying it. That's even more annoying than knowing people are mixing the ounce with lawn grass.

Re:really that bad? (1)

SiMac (409541) | about 9 years ago | (#13655184)

It's called "medium-term" cognitive impairment. It disappears after at most 6 weeks.

It's much worse for some than others.

There's evidence saying there is none or a statistically insignificant effect of marijuana usage on IQ. There are also plenty of aspects of the thought process an IQ test doesn't measure, like, say, short-term memory, so this can't be taken as conclusive evidence that marijuana isn't harmful to the brain.

Now, on the other hand, psychosis is indeed a serious, proven, permanent risk of pot-smoking.

Re:really that bad? (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 9 years ago | (#13655240)

You missed a little something. The percentage of the risk. One or ninety? Makes a huge difference.

1. a mental disorder characterized by symptoms, such as delusions or hallucinations, that indicate impaired contact with reality.
2. any severe form of mental disorder, as schizophrenia or paranoia.

Given that psychosis is somewhat severe (above), and a decent percentage of the population smokes, I'd guess on the lower percentage.

Re:really that bad? (1, Insightful)

justin12345 (846440) | about 9 years ago | (#13655226)

Correlation is not causality.

Re:really that bad? (5, Informative)

khayman80 (824400) | about 9 years ago | (#13655091)

I've got another journal article (from the American Journal of Epidemiology) regarding this topic: http://www.ukcia.org/research/CannabisUseAndCognit iveDecline.html [ukcia.org]

Long story short: a study involving repeated IQ tests of nearly 1400 participants over a time period of 12 years showed absolutely no statistical correlation between marijuana use and cognitive ability.

Re:really that bad? (3, Interesting)

ToxicBanjo (905105) | about 9 years ago | (#13655287)

I can confirm that.

I'm a successful software developer and IT admin with a long standing contract with a multi-million dollar company and I have been smoking pot off and on for 15 years. I have seen a lack of concentration while I'm high but nothing in regards to loss of mental capacity in the long run.

In fact, some of my most creative work has been while I was intoxicated.

I'm also a long time sufferer of Migraine with Aura and have not only noticed a decline in frequency but also a significant decline in intensity of my Migraine attacks. I firmly believe this is a direct result of cannibis. It used to be common for me to be prescribed opiates for pain management and now I don't need to put my body through that kind of trauma. The physical effects of Percacet, Morphine, Codeine, etc far outway the benefits imho.

I think the distinction needs to be made though that I'm not an abuser of substances, I don't smoke cigarettes, I don't drink, and my pot use is confined to my house and the evenings when I'm finished work. Some people have a beer afterwork, I have a joint.

I don't endorse use as it can become a problem, but I also think that governments and medical practitioners should seriously look at marijuana law reform. I'm an adult and I should have the right to do what I want provided I don't hurt anyone else in the process, besides, alcohol or cigarettes kill more people each year than pot ever could. I'm not saying we should have the right to take any drug, but I think anyone who has smoked pot at one time in their life can agree that its "government endorsed" distinction as a life destroyer is totally unfounded.

Just my $0.02

Re:really that bad? (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about 9 years ago | (#13655377)

"nearly 1400"

Actually, it was only about 700. Not it wasn't! Yes it was!!

Do you really want to know? (4, Insightful)

G27 Radio (78394) | about 9 years ago | (#13655379)

a study involving repeated IQ tests of nearly 1400 participants over a time period of 12 years showed absolutely no statistical correlation between marijuana use and cognitive ability.

All the scientific studies show this same thing. All the studies showing that marijuana use does permanant damage always turn out to be bullshit. OK, saying "all the studies" might sound like a generalization--but actually try to find one that uses any kind of scientific method and shows that marijuana is bad for you. It's suprisingly hard considering what a great evil people claim it to be. It's truly evil that very sick people aren't allowed to use this cheap, easily produced drug to help them through their illnesses. It's illegal for no good reason.

BTW, if you sit around the house and smoke pot incessantly, it's true that you're probably not going to accomplish much with your life. Don't think that just because pot isn't inherently bad for you that you can't abuse it.

Re:really that bad? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655114)

Causal use? As far as I know, people always get high after they smoke, rather than before. ;)

Re:really that bad? (5, Interesting)

jkauzlar (596349) | about 9 years ago | (#13655167)

I'd heard this about Carl Sagan and just looked it up in Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :
Carl Sagan was an avid user of marijuana, although he never publicly admitted it during his life[4]. Under the pseudonym "Mr. X," he wrote an essay concerning cannabis smoking in the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered, whose editor was Lester Grinspoon. In the essay, Sagan commented that marijuana encouraged some of his works and enhanced experiences. After Sagan's death, Grinspoon disclosed this to Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson. When the biography, entitled Carl Sagan: A Life, was published in 1999, the marijuana exposure stirred some media attention.

I remember in college having roommates who would do just about everything, including homework, while stoned. Personally, I could never remember the details of a movie I'd watched while stoned, so I can't imagine it could be good for schoolwork. Most of the potheads I knew never made it far, and some are doing really great, but Carl Sagan and scores of successful writers (like the entire beat generation from the 50's & 60's) have shown that pot doesn't have to make you stupid if you're motivated to begin with.

If you ever listen to Dr. Drew on radio loveline you know they can tell a pothead, even if he isn't stoned, from the initial drawl of their 'hello.' The apparent IQ effect on potheads probably has a lot to do on the kind of people smoking it and where their priorities lie.

Dude! (3, Interesting)

jkauzlar (596349) | about 9 years ago | (#13655244)

This website [cannabisculture.com] also lists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Feynman, among others.

This website [veryimport...theads.com] , while not too reliable-looking, lists several surprising names, including notable politicians (but we're discussing IQ here, so ignore those) and cites Bill Gates as a possible pothead. Most of the names listed are musicians (like Bob Marley-- duh!) and actors and writers, and if you're going to talk about them, you can just go ahead and list about every musician since the 50's :)

Aha! (1)

hullabalucination (886901) | about 9 years ago | (#13655450)

you can just go ahead and list about every musician since the 50's :)

Just as I always suspected. Lawrence Welk--Closet Spliffmeister.

http://www.zeldman.com/classics/welk/ [zeldman.com]

Re:really that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655196)

Difficult to quantify that question. I am an big marijuana smoker, not just casual, and continue to score 140 or above on several IQ tests.

Then again, maybe I'm a special case and in no way representative of the aggregate of either abusive or casual pot smokers with relation to the effects of drug use on IQ. While in college, I got stoned *a lot* and discovered that, when stoned, I really became absorbed with my lessons in calculus and philosophy, and in both I excelled - but my intrest in other subjects became weak to nonexistant when I got stoned, and because I got stoned so much I did not excell in those other subjects. Much like my roomates who, when stoned, would rather watch cartoons than study the "trippy" derivatives and "cool" essays by Thomas Jefferson, Richard Nixon, Descartes, Nieche, or Plato.

(Yes, I know; Plato didn't actually write any essays....)

As well, there are many other factors which has effect on IQ scores. Plus, IQ tests aren't an accurate measurement of intelligence in the first place.

Re:really that bad? (1)

smchris (464899) | about 9 years ago | (#13655334)

I took one of those one-day/one-credit courses from Andrew Weil, http://www.drweil.com/ [drweil.com] , before he metamorphed into the alternative health dude and was still known as the post-Tim Leary drug researcher.

He told us about the early research he participated in that showed people can learn to compensate for the effects of marijuana and show little statistical difference from controls in a driving simulator. Grant didn't get renewed to pursue that line further. He said that in itself was a lesson learned.
     

No way (2, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | about 9 years ago | (#13655434)

There's no way that casual...wait, what was I saying? Could you repeat the question?

The real problem? (3, Insightful)

GenKreton (884088) | about 9 years ago | (#13654951)

It seems that regardless of how many mistakes are made in scientific journalism that the root cause of the problem will never be addressed.

As long as money is the motivation for making and reporting discoveries, we will have skewed results (actual and/or reported) and our efforts may, more often than not, be focused in the wrong directions.

Are the days of curiosity forcing advances in science and eagerness to discover and learn promoting good journalism and sharing over with?

Re:The real problem? (3, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | about 9 years ago | (#13655351)


As long as money is the motivation for making and reporting discoveries, we will have skewed results (actual and/or reported) and our efforts may, more often than not, be focused in the wrong directions.

I think you're got it a bit wrong. The problem isn't that money is the object, the problem is that the way to get that money (at least for mainstream media) is to get eyes and ears of consumers reading/watching/listening. The facts don't matter to that end, and are hard to discover when they're wrong. There's little motivation to get the story right because the market for science reporting is small. Stories aren't corrected tommorow, tommorow there's another story. Hell, a lot of the time even the mainstream stories are dead wrong, just look at what happened to Dan Rather. Even when the media reports that it's dead wrong, the motivation is still finding eyeballs and ears, not fixing mistakes.

Email vs. Marijuana (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654961)

It is a non-issue to realize that most of the modern day losses in productivity come from distracted workers using the internet for personal pleasure rather than company projects. This distraction effort splits the focus of the individual and causes a decrease in the finite amount of cognitive processing ability given to any one task. Marijuana on the other hand results in modification of the reward pathway system in the brain. So there is an actually psychochemical difference in the brain which leads to addiction. Between the two, marijuana actually modifies the brain negatively while email only distracts. I really wish these people had taken the time to realize this before putting out a sensationalist piece of work.

-----

Wow... just Wow [audiworld.com]

Assumptions... (2, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 9 years ago | (#13655036)

Our brains are influenced by much of what we do. Wandering away a bit from this "scientific study", I wonder if we are being permanently and negatively affected by increasing the pace at which we are being asked to task-switch due to technology.

The original article, despite its unfortunate lack of correctness, did give me pause to question whether permitting and accepting distraction with the sort of ease and frequency that is now present between cellphones and e-mail and fax and the Internet is actually causing long-term damage to our ability to think critically and plan the most efficient use of our time -- instead, the immediacy of a phone call or e-mail adds priority from proximity to matters that may be better left till tonight or tomorrow.

I've been noticing a sharp increase of people with brain-fry over the last decade, and it can't all be from drugs.

Carl Sagan Smoked Pot (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654962)

From Wiki "Carl Sagan was an avid user of marijuana, although he never publicly admitted it during his life. Under the pseudonym "Mr. X," he wrote an essay concerning cannabis smoking in the 1971 book Marihuana Reconsidered, whose editor was Lester Grinspoon. In the essay, Sagan commented that marijuana encouraged some of his works and enhanced experiences. After Sagan's death, Grinspoon disclosed this to Sagan's biographer, Keay Davidson. When the biography, entitled Carl Sagan: A Life, was published in 1999, the marijuana exposure stirred some media attention."

Billions and billions of stars... whoa man far out.

Uhhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655077)

This is *exactly* the sort of thing I don't trust Wikipedia as a source on--random, presumably unprovable anecotes with no evidence whatsoever.

Besides, you'd think he'd have been a little more mellow if he toked. Wasn't he the BHA? :)

Re:Uhhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655189)

Yeah, it's not something that three seconds of Googling [google.com] could corroborate, or anything.

Re:Uhhhh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655249)

Like any good encyclopedia, Wikipedia is just pulling together sources here. Their footnote on the topic links to a BBC article that mentions the claims. The claims all arise from the same place it seems, but while I would hardly call them ironclad I can't find anyone presenting evidence against them. The real question to me is, why do you find it unlikely?

Re:Carl Sagan Smoked Pot (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 9 years ago | (#13655137)

So you're saying he kept losing count, and had to settle for "billions and billions"?

Not only Carl Sagan (5, Insightful)

sp0rk173 (609022) | about 9 years ago | (#13655157)

Richard Feynman [wikipedia.org] was an out user of recreational Marijuana, and he was one of America's leading physicists.

Of course, the burn out down the street who does nothing with his life except collect welfare is also an out user of marijuana. Bottom line? Everyone's different. Bottomer line? The burnout down the street might not want to do anything with his life, whereas Richard Feynman dug physics and math. Pot tends to lead you to do what you want, as opposed to what you should. Maybe if he didn't smoke, Feynman would have been some kind of accountant helping people get rich instead of contributing to the world of physics. Which would have been better? Who knows.

Anyone who's ever gone to a scientific conference can tell you that marijuana might not actually have any effect on IQ. Many, many scientists are pot heads, especially the especially bright ones.

Evidence Please? (2, Insightful)

Ieshan (409693) | about 9 years ago | (#13655256)

"Pot tends to lead you to do what you want, as opposed to what you should."

Empirical evidence please? It seems to me that, as you put out, we're actually talking about "proof by the exception" (look! I can point out a few famous people who used pot!) rather than "proof by the rule" (the majority of pot users are non-famous random joes, and it seems to have a very small, temporary impact on their ability to judge the world in a reasonable matter).

"Many, many scientists are pot heads, especially the especially bright ones."

And many more scientists, the bright ones, aren't. Promise. Although I'm not accusing you of it, this is, essentially, the fallacy of ignoring base rates.

Surely... (5, Funny)

jesdynf (42915) | about 9 years ago | (#13655275)

Surely you're toking, Mr. Feynman?

Re:Not only Carl Sagan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655352)

Actually, Feynman said he did it from time to time, but he decided he didn't like messing with his thinking too much, so he wasn't a regular user.

Rerunning the experiment (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 9 years ago | (#13655274)

Ok, then, so let's go rerun the experiment with a Slashdot-sized set of subjects. If your Slashdot ID is even, go have some pot. If it's odd, go send some text messages to other odd-numbered Slashdotters tonight. End of the evening, we'll see who's got better karma, who had a better evening, and who just stayed home and ordered pizza...

Re:Rerunning the experiment (1)

Mike Markley (9536) | about 9 years ago | (#13655392)

You're suggesting that socializing with other Slashdotters is somehow superior to staying home and ordering a pizza? Have you *met* other Slashdotters? :)

Re:Carl Sagan Smoked Pot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655295)

Fortunately, for him and the millions of Americans who smoke cannabis, decades of scientific testing have exonerated the plant as a health hazard, except the act of smoking. Here is the The Merck Manual of Diagnostics and Therapeutics, the world's most widely used medical textbook, entry on Cannabis (Marijuana) [merck.com] . It supports that the plant is fine as a drug, just don't smoke it.

That's interesting (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654970)

I was having this discussion with a co-worker just the I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

journalists need better training (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654976)

This is why undergraduate degrees in journalism shuold be abolished. Aspiring journalists need to get a background in something, anything, so that they have a better grasp of specific subjects and general critical thought.

News media also need to not be profit-driven, but I also want a pony.

what about marijuana? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654978)

Just as a side note, a lot of things we do in our daily routine are more harmful than smoking marijuana. Especially if were talking about eating or vaporizing the stuff. Most of the chemicals (or very similar in composition/function) are already inside our bodies.

the man is takin my IQ (2, Funny)

ShineyMcShine (799387) | about 9 years ago | (#13654981)

I blame the man for lowering my IQ and for takin my stash...

At least.. (5, Funny)

Gavin86 (856684) | about 9 years ago | (#13654982)

At least being stoned all the time makes dupes more tolerable when I don't remember reading them the first time.

Well... (5, Funny)

Mister Transistor (259842) | about 9 years ago | (#13654986)

Article title is definitely true! With pot I'm only disoriented for an hour or two, but sucky reporting leaves me in a confused daze forever...

What's wrong with Pot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654992)

What's wrong with pot anyway? Some of the brightest people I know smoke it - several times a day. I don't understand why it's _so_ illegal. How did it become illegal?
What does everyone have against it?
Shit, cigarettes, antidepressents and sleeping pills are worse than pot.

Re:What's wrong with Pot? (4, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | about 9 years ago | (#13655049)

Pot, and almost all other drugs, were illegalized for racist reasons. For cocaine it was blacks, for opium it was Chinese, and for pot it was Mexicans. Cigarettes and alcohol aren't banned because white people used them back in the old days, it wasn't just minorities. Yes, it's completely stupid. But then again, so is racism in the first place.

Re:What's wrong with Pot? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655166)

Pot, and almost all other drugs, were illegalized for racist reasons. For cocaine it was blacks, for opium it was Chinese, and for pot it was Mexicans. Cigarettes and alcohol aren't banned because white people used them back in the old days, it wasn't just minorities. Yes, it's completely stupid. But then again, so is racism in the first place.

Tobacco was introduced to Europeans via Native Americans and then brought back to Europe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco#History [wikipedia.org] ), and alcohol originated in ancient Sumeria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beer#History [wikipedia.org] ). There goes your theory about it being racist.

The difference is that alcohol and tobacco are very old, socially accepted institutions, whereas crack cocaine and the like are relatively new to society at large. It's reasonable to assume that after enough time, these drugs may be socially acceptable as well.

"Thanks to crack, I can get a blowjob for a buck!" -S.O.D.

Re:What's wrong with Pot? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655173)

Shut up, nigger!

Mod this up (2, Informative)

HTL2001 (836298) | about 9 years ago | (#13655354)

a great summary of the history of drugs. I remember specificly why for opium, its because the chinese were able to work insane hours taking jobs away from whites. Given most are very harmfull, but as it was said by someone else commenting... it depends on who does the study. there is only one study that says pot smoking reduces intelegence... I speculate that its just the way the person is REGARDLESS of weather they smoke pot or not

BTW I don't do any drugs, but I hate misinformation

Re:What's wrong with Pot? (1, Flamebait)

Istaraen (918073) | about 9 years ago | (#13655409)

Why make something that is (1) harmless to other individuals when controlled, (2) not especially more harmful than many other accepted things, (3) highly profitable, and (4) effective for controlling a large population illegal?

It's simple. Racism is only one part.

The truth is there are three major reasons.

(1) If drugs are illegal, they are worth more money. Simply supply and demand. If you limit the supply channels, prices go up. If you make it illegal and build the image of drug use as undeserably, a certain percent of rebel youth et al. will also be drawn to it. Demand. Money. There's some accusations, too, that the CIA and other wonderful people like that are involved with it, too.

(2) If drugs are illegal, it gives us something to arrest a lot of people for. How many people are in jail for drug offenses? How many lives are destroyed because of former drug use coming back on job applications, etc.? Drugs are easy to plant. (I don't trust the police.) Therein lies the racism, to a degree. Also, before the USA PATRIOT act, there was the RICO act. Civil rights don't apply to pot heads.

(3) And now for the central reason: If drugs are illegal, it helps keep poor people poor. Who is arrested on drug charged? White, middle-class, money-laundering businessmen? Or inner-city blacks? If you were convicted of smoking pot, do you think your place of business would approve of it? Might not you risk being fired over it, even? Yet George W. Bush did it. He's also an alcoholic. And he's rich.

The rich can get whatever drugs they want. Even Newt popped pills. The rule of--or rather, enforcement of--law does not apply to them. It affects the poor.

Kinda like taxes.

Re:What's wrong with Pot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655064)

You're looking to read this paper [druglibrary.org] . While the URL title has the word "conspiracy" in it, the author of the paper takes very special care to ensure that there is no conspiracy involved. The author outlines very clearly the rationale behind early marijuana illegalization and how a local policy (used primarily to round up Mexicans when the US was still fighting with Mexico over Texas) was influenced by many different interests until it became a federal policy.

There's no single "conspiracy" about the demonization of marijuana. It really is nothing more than a series of profit margin minded business decisions made by ignorant people in positions of power. Not unlike the primary function of every other aspect of our illegitimate Federal Government.

Slashdot's Bad Reporting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13654998)

How appropriate that a story about bad reporting makes it to slashdot, a site that just perpetuates it.


I mean, just take a look at yesterday's story about armed dolphins [slashdot.org] , which was patently false, and had no basis in fact. [slashdot.org]

Did slashdot editors even RTFA or correct it afterwards? No, of course not. It seems to be par for the course here nowadays. Post the most fantastic, sensationalistic articles to spark pagehits and flamewars, and the editors sit back and cash in.

The excuse that it's the readers jobs to correct just doesn't hold. The editors have a duty to inform in an accurate and factual matter, even if this is just a crummy overgrown tech blog.

Re:Slashdot's Bad Reporting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655337)

Shut the fuck up, you fucking dumbshit. Do you think this is all I fucking do all day is sit around and check facts for fucking assholes like you. You should fucking know by now that we report second-hand news from reliable sources. That was from the goddamn Guardian, not the Rectumville Weekly Times. Read slashdot for a day and you'll know we don't have a team of reporters around the globe gathering breaking news for shitheads like you. If you're not bitching about dupes on slashdot you're making retarded natalie portman jokes and whining about your karma-- "oh, my karma. I'm so worried about my goddamn slashdot karma." Fuck off. Most productive people don't even religeously adhere so much to some internet news site-- which is supposed to be fucking entertainment BTW-- that they even notice a fucking duplicated story. Hey, and who the fuck gives a flying shit if we post the same thing twice? Is that going to be the end of your pitiful fucking world if you have to read a paragraph twice? Ever read CNN.com? How many nearly identical hurricane stories did you read day after day? Get a life you trash. -cmdrtaco

Well... (3, Interesting)

Donniedarkness (895066) | about 9 years ago | (#13654999)

At least Wilson got some publicity!

Honestly, I doubt his report would have gotten around quite as much if it would have been reported correctly. And now that the correct info is getting out, he's getting even more publicity. In the end, I think that Wilson probably is going to benefit from this.

Re:Well... (2, Insightful)

imidan (559239) | about 9 years ago | (#13655156)

Thing is, most academic researchers don't rely on popular media for either distributing their research or for learning about other people's. Wilson doesn't care about "publicity," at least not the kind that he gets from places like The Guardian. He's presented his findings in a peer-reviewed academic journal and at conferences attended by other researchers interested in his field. That's the only way that researchers are taken seriously by their peers.

shouldn't that be (3, Insightful)

Unski (821437) | about 9 years ago | (#13655003)

marijuana reporting, er, not bad email, is better than..

er..

toast! I want toast!

Oh well... (1)

mongoose(!no) (719125) | about 9 years ago | (#13655008)

Oh well, back to email then...

Chat and email a threat to concentration??? (2, Funny)

Luminary Crush (109477) | about 9 years ago | (#13655014)

Obviously those people at the Guardian have not yet read Slashdot.
Welcome to our information age crack house.

I think this story qualifies (1)

Oz0ne (13272) | about 9 years ago | (#13655032)

... n/m

Sounds like... (1, Insightful)

Paladin144 (676391) | about 9 years ago | (#13655033)

Sounds like that reporter was smokin' crack.

[rimshot]

Oh come on! For once, it's ontopic! :-)

Depends who you talk to (2, Interesting)

phizman (742537) | about 9 years ago | (#13655034)

If you spend all day emailing jokes and images, then it should be pretty obvious you are going to take a hit to the IQ. Not all people discuss stupid sh*t though email/im/irc.

Re:Depends who you talk to (1)

TheComputerMutt.ca (907022) | about 9 years ago | (#13655353)

If you spend all day email jokes and images, then you're IQ's probably already pretty abysmal.

whatever (0)

v3xt0r (799856) | about 9 years ago | (#13655052)

I smoke, chat, IM, email, blog, code, party, eat, shit, sleep, fu**, pay my bills, etc.

Stupidity is genetic. IQ is immune.

People who say these things are bad for you, are simply looking for something to blame for their own in-ability to accept and/or comprehend reality.

Coral Cache: (1)

heeeraldo (766428) | about 9 years ago | (#13655099)

The first link was down when I tried to visit, so here's the UPenn link, Coralized. [nyud.net]

Pervasive problem (1)

erick99 (743982) | about 9 years ago | (#13655127)

This is a pervasive problem. Too many folks blithely assume that if they find a piece of information posted on the Internet it must be a fact. Too many articles site "facts" without citing the source(s) of those fact(s). And, even then, the sources need to be vetted as well. Critical and thorough peer-review gives some degree of confidence when we learn something from a scientific journal. This sort of review is not available (in general) on the Internet. So, a lot of care must be taken before assuming a fact is, indeed, a fact.

Meanwhile.. (4, Funny)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 9 years ago | (#13655135)

You can't trust wikipedia! Trust the mass media!

The "media" is just awful (0, Troll)

1010011010 (53039) | about 9 years ago | (#13655160)

They want us to take them seriously. They want to shape the debate and control the dissementation of facts. But they're such idiots!

Inaccurate news? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655164)

What's this about cannabis now? (1, Redundant)

Wakko Warner (324) | about 9 years ago | (#13655191)

Sorry I completely lost track of what you were saying hahahaha

No seriously what?

Re:What's this about cannabis now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655205)

shit... *put down the joint and ponders*

Profit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655306)


1. ?*
2. ?*
3. ?*
4. POT!

* Dont remember


And then this one email replied to the other email: "Re:"


So where do you send the email?
and when do you get the pot?
has anyone actually gotten any pot yet? or is this a hoax?

Good News (0, Troll)

freek808 (549163) | about 9 years ago | (#13655424)

I guess I will go back to smoking dope and hanging out on IRC without feeling guilty anymore.

Pot use and intellectuals (0, Offtopic)

totallygeek (263191) | about 9 years ago | (#13655427)

Uh, Berkeley Software Distribution! BSD, LSD...coincidence?!?!? Damn fine projects came from lids of herb. Get over it!

The author used emails to investigate.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13655448)

Mark Liberman made a point with such mistake. He shouldn't take all the emails he receive for granted! It makes your IQ lower. :)

and to think.... (1)

mdman (846276) | about 9 years ago | (#13655455)

What do ya know... and to think I gave up Instant Messaging for weed!
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