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One Minute of Science Per Five Hours of Cable News

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-don't-learn-things-by-watching-the-news dept.

The Media 184

ideonexus writes "The Pew group has released its annual study into the state of news media. They conclude that science and technology content is a rare treat for cable newscast viewers; some five hours of programming could pass with the average viewer seeing only one minute of science news coverage."

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Fristy P0st (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781504)

Why do fireworks die?

Re:Fristy P0st (-1, Offtopic)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781544)

Fireworks and science
Like a tired old appliance
Go dumbly to grave
Unlike deathless
Burma Shave

junk science at that (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781518)

I suspect the quality of that science is also very lacking....

Re:junk science at that (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781628)

Like history Channel trying to pass events in the Bible, as real pre-historical event.

Re:junk science at that (-1, Flamebait)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781922)

Yes because as we know, nothing in the Bible actually happened, or matters to the vast majority of the world's population.

Teh relijunz is teh crazies! Give me my cold, hard science, which is never polemical or laced with hidden agendas.

Re:junk science at that (4, Insightful)

klik (93694) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782162)

yes, your sarcasm is right on the mark. There are religious people who are sensible and considered, and there are scientists with strong biases. But science as a system promotes the biases being noticed and removed from the understanding of a subject, whereas religions in general do not promote that kind of understanding - a few individual religious thinkers have shown good sense ( Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo come to mind - but their philosophies were derived from Platonic thought) but most end up integrating dumb ideas in to what usually starts as a decent religion and turn it in to a self-contradictory mess.

on the subject of the article, It would be interesting to see those sort of statistics by a regional and national breakdown. I am aware of some countries where inclination towards a scientific world view - and thus interest in the subject matter - is profoundly different to the US, where purposeful ignorance of proven fact simply because acceptance would require a change in lifestyle seems to be the norm.

(apologies for the train-of-thought format of my post)

Re:junk science at that (4, Interesting)

SpecTheIntro (951219) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782776)

There are religious people who are sensible and considered, and there are scientists with strong biases. But science as a system promotes the biases being noticed and removed from the understanding of a subject, whereas religions in general do not promote that kind of understanding - a few individual religious thinkers have shown good sense ( Thomas Aquinas and Augustine of Hippo come to mind - but their philosophies were derived from Platonic thought) but most end up integrating dumb ideas in to what usually starts as a decent religion and turn it in to a self-contradictory mess.

You are assuming that religion does not promote the exercise of reason and free will, when in fact this is patently untrue. Nearly all of the greatest scientists in history, prior to the modern era when we decided religion was for "teh craziez," were deeply religious men, and in fact their religion was a bulwark in how they approached science. The early Christian thinkers (I'm talking early, as in 2-300 A.D.) consistently stressed the necessity of exercising reason in faith. Early Islamic thinkers operated the same way, believing that the gift of free will and reason were not only blessings from the Creator but obligations to humanity in their exercise. (Although the Islamic question of free will is a very nuanced one, and honestly a bit confusing--this coming from an Iranian Muslim, mind you.) There is, nowadays, an overriding sentiment that because a.) religious institutions were corrupted and b.) people are generally stupid, that somehow this means religion promotes closed-mindedness. But any actual study of scripture and theology will often quite clearly paint a different picture. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell are not theologians. Neither is Ahmadinejad, for that matter, and even Khameini, fundamentalist as he is, is remarkably pro-science. (Again, a consequence of following the doctrines of his religion. His sin is that he interprets as narrowly as he can when it comes to the social order.)

It annoys me to no end that the world is becoming both anti-religious and anti-intellectual. And the longer we go, the more "religious" science becomes, with any dissidents in the community ostracized because of their beliefs, rather than their evidence. This movement towards "consensus" in scientific thought is absolutely horrifying: I don't give a shit if one hundred million scientists "agree" that it looks like x is happening; consensus is the antithesis of good science. Either the studies support you, or they don't--and the methodology of those studies should be attacked with such virulence that there can be no doubt remaining that they are valid. Instead, we have a cartel of scientific bodies that exists solely to insulate its members from real scrutiny, and react with the vehemence of the Inquisition if anyone dares to question the results they provide. It's disgusting.

Re:junk science at that (5, Insightful)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782910)

Spec is definitely on to something here. And I think it comes down to defining religion and science in terms of their function to society as opposed to their content or methodologies.

Inherently religion is supposed to guide people to God/salvation/enlightenment/etc. That is it's stated purpose. But in terms of historical function religion became a powerful political force and for that reason was corrupted. It was easy to exploit religious concepts (especially authority) to subvert a system ostensibly about progression into a system that was in actuality about domination. But the domination was no intrinsic to religious theology, it was intrinsic to any human institution viewed as authoritative.

I would go even farther and say that politico-religion is directly opposed to theological-religion. It's not that there's something wrong with organized religion, per se, it's that organized religion is just too tempting a target for hijacking. And since religions have been around for several thousand years there has been a constant war of attrition as religious powers grew and encompassed political, economic, and military realms.

The antidote to this, or so it at first appeared, was the Enlightenment and the age of reason. Science directly undercut the authority of religion by providing answers to the kinds of questions religion was supposed to provide answer to that had more explanatory power. As a result, the religious sphere of influence became drastically restricted, religious power in the political, economic, and military realms was curtailed, and therefore religion was a less potent vehicle of political domination.

The tragedy is that science itself has come to be the new vehicle of political domination. Just as there's an inherent conflict between politico-religion and theological-religion, there's an emerging concept between politico-science and rational-science.

So while there's a great hullaballoo about the conflict between religion and science the real conflict has always been and always will be the conflict between reason and domination. Religion has a bad name these days, and most people who speak negatively of it are referring the political version of it, the "blind faith", anti-rational version of religion. But if the definition of religion is "a series of untestable and unverifiable dogmas which are adhered to with irrational zeal" than science itself is in serious danger of becoming religion.

Re:junk science at that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22782380)

The thing is that far too often they are desperately trying to explain something scientifically though they can't. It takes away the point.

For example, I used to think that National Geographic was a quality magazine/channel. That was untill I saw their program about examining how the ancient horrors in Egypt could have happened even with scientific explanations. A subject I personally found very interesting. It went about like this, from what I remember... (naturally all parts were explained longer like "what disease", etc.)

*There is a certain type of disease that really could have killed the frogs to the Nile's shore. - Check! Sounds good.

*That having happened, it would greatly increase risk of all those nasty bugs. - Check! Sounds good.

*With that, also the famine (with rotten food and locust swarms) is easy to explain. - Check! Sounds good.

*Now, the death of firstborns... - ooh, this must be difficult - Famine could lead to eating moldy food. A certain type of mold in the area is deadly (and kills people suddenly and with few outside marks, like "touch from angel of death"). Also, the egyptians (unlike the jews) had a habit of giving first borns double food portitions in times famine to ensure they survive. This means that the mold would have affected firstborns a lot more.

At this point, I was thrilled, really. It was very interesting and well made and they found several pretty decent solutions for how all of the things could have happened. (Didn't even try to prove they did or how but just that there are scientific explanations that they could have and some not even far fetched)

Then... They blew it. It came to the parting of the red seas.

"There could have been really strong wind that parted it..." says a "scientist" while demonstrating it by blowing to 20cm high pool of water with a leaf blower...

This is just one example of the way these religious "science" documents fail. (I won't even get to the actual fundamentalist christian documents like "100 reasons why evolution is so stupid" because they aren't shown on the science channels, I'm talking about the ones that are shown there.)

It's not the examining of whether stuff in the bible happened (of which there is very little evidence at all. Egyptian scripts don't make a mention of firstborn having died or massive slave escapes and the floods that killed all but two humans aren't exactly proven by "Yeah, the Nile likely flooded pretty badly somewhere about that time...") but because the lack of evidence, it can't really be approached all that scientifically at all so "scientific" documents about it fail.

Re:junk science at that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22782532)

Well, that was lame.

Now, run along and lap up some mythbusters, or some ghosthunters and other "fine science programming."

Slashdot? (0, Troll)

BaphometLaVey (1063264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781532)

I think the average slashdot user can spend as much time on slashdot and read even less than a minutes worth of science. The articles are traps anyway. That aside, people tend to watch drama and reality TV, are we surprised there isn't any science there?

Re:Slashdot? (2, Informative)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781614)

Drama and Reality TV != Cable News

And I really hope you're not making the implication that someone who watches drama and/or reality TV would not watch the news.

Re:Slashdot? (1)

BaphometLaVey (1063264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781758)

Sorry. I realize I came across a little vague. It says (something to the effect of) "the average viewer would have to watch 5 hours of news to get a minute of science". The AVERAGE person does NOT watch 5 hours of news a day, or possibly even a week. They tend to watch other things. From personal experience, people who like sport, for example, channel hop until towards the end of the news, catch sport and weather. I also know family with digital TV who will filter news themselves and only catch the bits the want. Mostly regional, rarely National. I don't know of much science that would appear in the regional news rather than the national news, so these people miss it. The article doesn't quite account for how much science is happening and it could be assumed that 1 minute per 5 hours, is all the science that is happening anyway.

Re:Slashdot? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781864)

hmmm, where's "-1 improber use of bold font style" when you need it...

Re:Slashdot? (0, Offtopic)

BaphometLaVey (1063264) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781954)

I agree. Strange thing is, there are two extra bold tags, I don't remember adding, and I did close the other ones. Oh well. (Strange thing to post as anonymous though)

Re:Slashdot? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782646)

I also know family with digital TV who will filter news themselves and only catch the bits the want.

We have retired relatives who will change to a different channel as soon as a news article on animal cruelty is aired. Even if the poor critter has recovered and running around in a green field or there is no video, the channel still gets changed. Anyone in the room who objects is regarded as some twisted animal sadist.

There was one family who kept the TV as a status symbol only, in their best room, which was only watched when there was a news article about the royal family.

Re:Slashdot? (1)

Comboman (895500) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782158)

Drama and Reality TV != Cable News

And I really hope you're not making the implication that someone who watches drama and/or reality TV would not watch the news.

I think the implication was that we wouldn't expect to see science on drama or reality TV so why would we expect it on the news? I'm sure there's less than 1 minute of election coverage per 5 hours on the Discovery Channel.

Re:Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781626)

That aside, people tend to watch drama and reality TV, are we surprised there isn't any science there?

I'm afraid the same could be said of "Science TV", which regularly consist of 4 parts drama and reality, and 1 part science, the latter typically consisting mostly of indirect references to science.

My guess is that the programming folks fear that people wouldn't otherwise watch. If that's the case, then they've certainly overcome any fear that their viewers would be turned off by an overabundance of special effects presented against a backdrop of bombastic music, or are similarly disinterested in the human-interest angle, and turn to something more informative.

The history buffs have it better.

Re:Slashdot? (2, Interesting)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782320)

The history buffs have it better.

I don't think so... Just yesterday I was watching a show on Noah's Ark. And later a show on the "Real" Jesus!

Re:Slashdot? (1)

genner (694963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782936)

And later a show on the "Real" Jesus! I have a problem with that too but I'm guessing it's for a diffrent reason.

Re:Slashdot? (1)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781874)

I think the average slashdot user can spend as much time on slashdot and read even less than a minutes worth of science. The articles are traps anyway. That aside, people tend to watch drama and reality TV, are we surprised there isn't any science there?
While I must admit to my love of CSI (the original series) and Law & Order, I easily watch far more Science Channel, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Smithsonian Channel and HD Theater Channel. With that, I am exposing my kids to a steady diet of science.

Re:Slashdot? (2, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781974)

I personally watch a lot more drama and comedy than science myself. Does that mean I don't get enough science in my life? Well, not really, I get most of my science exposure from the internet. By the time they produce a show on it, it's already old news. I find that reading stuff online is a far better way to get my daily intake of science.

Re:Slashdot? (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782178)

I personally watch a lot more drama and comedy than science myself. Does that mean I don't get enough science in my life? Well, not really, I get most of my science exposure from the internet. By the time they produce a show on it, it's already old news. I find that reading stuff online is a far better way to get my daily intake of science.
True, the internet is more up to date, but a series like "Blue Planet" makes such science more visually appealing. This may illustrate some laziness on my part, actually. While I am not adverse to reading a book about particle physics, I enjoy sitting and NOT having to read dry text. The stuff on TV may bring up areas of knowledge I had not read. So, I guess the moral of this story is to use multiple sources.

Re:Slashdot? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782488)

I think the average slashdot user can spend as much time on slashdot and read even less than a minutes worth of science.
Perhaps in the Politics and YRO sections, which to be fair is one of the few places which even airs such stories anymore. But over the rest of the site, (I exclude "Games" here) the signal to noise ratio remains high. In any tech related story, this site is still lucky to have multiple knowledgeable users, armed with urls, who can help shed light on any topic, and usually from more than one standpoint. Most stories around here are still an educational experience, if you take the time to actually look through the comments.

It's probably a good thing... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781546)

The minute of news is most probably completely wrong anyway.

Re:It's probably a good thing... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781798)

If you think science news has it tough, true news has it worse with one minute out of 24 hours. Even then sharpshooters are standing by to shoot it down to protect the American public from itself.

And this is surprising how? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781550)

People don't give a flip about things like science and engineering. Partially because they don't see how they're attached to their daily lives and partially because it's just not entertaining or diverting. Who of the unwashed masses wants to think when watching TV? I'd rather see a few shows that are done well on a cable channel than the dumbed-down stuff that's attempting to be popular. However, I'm unwilling to pay tens or hundreds of $CURRENCY a year to get such stuff, so I'll stick to books.

Before you flame my ass, I'll mention I've been whacking away at chemistry/computer software for years and years. And I really like a good science show (like an old NOVA) - but when it makes you think, it's just not what they want.

Re:And this is surprising how? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781994)

Who of the unwashed masses wants to think when watching TV?

The topic isn't "reality TV", it's news. You could say the same thing about political news. Nobody wants to think when they're watching The Simpsons, but they want to be educated when they're watching Nova. They want to be informed when watching the news.

Re:And this is surprising how? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22782124)

>They want to be informed when watching the news.

No, YOU want to be informed when watching the news. Sample size of 1. Judging from the cuts in staff, cuts in schedule time and content shift seen in news programs, I'll stand by my assertion. News is either "pandering to the base", something that is shorted to fulfill guidelines or entertainment.

Re:And this is surprising how? (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782424)

"They want to be informed when watching the news."

Slight correction: they want to feel as though they're being informed when watching the news. Cf
http://www.peirce.org/writings/p107.html [peirce.org]

But wait ... now how much would you pay? (2, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782974)

... I really like a good science show (like an old NOVA) - but when it makes you think, it's just not what they want. ...

In some ways it's as if we have factored out television channels from one another, such that they are each like prime numbers with as little overlap as possible ... well, as more channels get added, maybe there are very specific composites re-added, but you always know and can select the mix. For entertainment, this works out well. But we really need to see news and education as different, and work harder to give people integrated doses.

I'd make the analogy to a diet. It's one thing to have a menu of possible desserts on the menu, it's quite another to have a menu of vitamins. To be sure, some vitamins are needed in extra doses by some people, and a few people are allergic to others. But by and large, people need their vitamins. News and science are like vitamins. People need them, whether they realize it or not. They need to know what issues are affecting them urgently and they need the raw tools for analyzing things. Confusing that with entertainment is a disaster for a democracy, which relies on informed choice.

It seems as if many would prefer a "studied" separation from being informed to actual political autonomy. On the one hand, one would like to assume that part of personal freedom is the right to decide what one wants, but with that should come the responsibility to decide what one wants. And my impression is that people who aren't serious about staying inform fall easy prey to the manipulators, those who do practice the science of harvesting votes from the easily persuaded by indulging in them through cynical flattery the fiction that they are still participating. It's hard to point fingers at some particular case and show that it's happening, but it's easy to know that it is happening. The proof is in the strong correlation between money invested and minds changed.

People will try to tell us that the current financial problems in the US were a big surprise. But most rationally informed people have seen this kind of thing coming for quite some time. The same scenario is playing out for climate change, and the stakes are way higher.

Maybe Science itself needs to invest in superbowl ads and late night informercials.

(Am I the only one who's noticed that when I submit a post lately for preview with a revised subject line, it shows my subject line in the preview and then re-fills the subject box with the old subject line, dropping my "clever" replacement? Sigh. Maybe knowledge of web science is falling off even at Slashdot central...)

The Pew group? (2, Funny)

FoolsGold (1139759) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781552)

Tag this article "pewpewpew".

I'm so sorry, really. I'll go now.

Re:The Pew group? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782064)

I'm so sorry, really. I'll go now.

And I get flamed for linking Uncyclopedia! [uncyclopedia.org] (actually that link is on topic. Kinda. Well hell, how 'bout UnNews:Stars must "check science facts" [uncyclopedia.org] ?

Gees, tough room.

Would they care? (5, Insightful)

Swizec (978239) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781556)

It seems to me that the average television viewing person couldn't care less about science news. Unless it's groundbreaking and will most definitely change their lives they don't care and if it does, well then it's in the news anyway.

Be honest, how many average people do you know who might care about a galaxy eating another galaxy ... and then again ... if memory serves I saw that on the news a few days after it was on Slashdot because the pictures were pretty.

News networks don't care about news, they care about viewership.

huh? (5, Insightful)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781562)

FTFA: From 5 hours:

* 35 minutes about campaigns and elections
* 36 minutes about the debate over U.S. foreign policy
* 26 minutes or more of crime
* 12 minutes of accidents and disasters
* 10 minutes of celebrity and entertainment

On the other hand, one would have seen:

* 1 minute and 25 seconds about the environment
* 1 minute and 22 seconds about education
* 1 minute about science and technology
* 3 minutes and 34 seconds about the economy

Or to put that in perspective...

1 hour 11 minutes of campaigns. elections and foreign policy and then.. only 4 minutes 56 seconds on education and economy!!?

I would of thought the two would of gone hand in hand. How else to the politicians intend to persuade you lot to vote?

Re:huh? (1)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781588)

Since most politicians have been pitifully inadequate, it actually helps them to have a lot of time spent on barely scratching the surface of very complex subjects coupled with them discussing how pitiful the other politicians are (regardless of the fact that their views are almost lockstep with one another). If in-depth information of value ever really got out to the public at large, I'm willing to bet that most politicians currently in power would be looking for some new jobs.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781644)

Five hours of news and only 10 minutes of celebs? Based on most UK news that seems far too low. We borrow things like American Idol from the US and our TV is excessively Celebrity-centric, so what news channel were they watching that wasn't?!

Re:huh? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782224)

I would have said the same thing, based on Canadian news. I guess it depends which news program you are watching. You don't get much celeb news if you watch the CBC, but you do tend to get a lot of it on some other networks.

Re:huh? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782818)

Paris Hilton was out of town on the day they did the survey.

Re:huh? (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782884)

>>>"Based on most UK news that seems far too low. We borrow things like American Idol from the US" You got it backwards son. American Idol was a hit in the UK first, and then later exported by the British producer Simon to the U.S. television.

Re:huh? (0, Troll)

Ninety-9 (1207808) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781698)

Funny, as fas as news goes, I thought people were only interested in: a) The 2 girls who got kicked off an airplane because they're "Too Hot" b) The Governor's Whore's new rap album. I wouldn't say the news and news viewers favor non-science stories. It's probably more along the lines of there being nothing to report. People might start to think the US ISN'T the greatest country in the world if they had to start the article with "This Week in Germany..." or "It seems Sweeden has recently discovered...." God forbid somebody digs up a couple bones linking humans to monkeys, Fox wouldn't DARE put that on National television.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781750)

I would of thought the two would of gone hand in hand.
You would what? The two would what? I don't understand.

Re:huh? (0, Offtopic)

locster (1140121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781836)

I would of thought the two would of gone hand in hand.

I would have thought the two would have gone hand in hand.

There, fixed that for you. Maybe you should watch more educational programming.

Re:huh? (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782128)

I would of thought the two would of gone hand in hand.

I would have thought the two would have gone hand in hand.

There, fixed that for you. Maybe you should watch more educational programming.

Oh I totally agree.

But as I would need to watch 204.5 hours of cable for 1 hour of educational content I don't think my will power is up to it.

Cable news is the same as politics (4, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781992)

As for the politician question, for those of us Americans we should have all received from the IRS our official "Politician Relection Act" statement, aka the Economic Stimulus Package. Opening that up and reading who qualified was a big kick in the nuts for those who actually work. Then again those who pay the majority of taxes are already going to vote, the politicians need those others who don't normally vote; too lazy to do so - a general reflection on their other daily activities; and so checks needed to go out with a glorification of government for providing the money.

Politicians do not want an educated public. They want votes, ignorant people vote out of emotion more so than facts and as such they play to those ignorances. They play on bigotry, class envy, fear, and hatred. The news media caters to them, hell their story lineup pretty much is the same thing.

We talk about science and technology but rarely act on them. Its all the rage in schools until Little Susy gets a D then we can't have those subjects anymore because someone isn't capable of keeping pace and suddenly we are more concerned about feelings than getting them up to speed. We don't celebrate the leaders and achievers in school because it hurts other people's feelings. As such we don't emphasize areas which do require dedication and work : namely sciences and math. Cable news will cater to that as well, this is the American Idol generation.

The best thing about American Idol is that losers are shown and the winners celebrated. If we took that achievement equates to success ethic back to the schools then perhaps the kids would want something different out of the news when they grow into adults.

Mod parent up (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782660)

For the love of whatever deity, please mod parent "Insightful", for it appears that American society has deteriorated a great deal in the last 50 years, when it comes to public perception of science and technology. You know, science used to be a prestigious profession, and used to be respected. Now, the only persistent emotions I see towards science and technology is spite. Our youth has become fat and lazy... complacent and arrogant. We are allowing subsequent generations to grow dumber than the next!

Re:huh? (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782170)

"How else to the politicians intend to persuade you lot to vote?"

I vote in the time-honored tradition of who talks the loudest in the debates. I have no clue what they're talking about, but they couldn't possibly get all that applause unless they had just made some awesome point, could they?

Re:huh? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782470)

An equally valid way to interpret those numbers is that people tend to get certain types of information from other sources than Cable TV News. With economics, there's the Internet, there's Newspapers, there's cable TV stations entirely dedicated to economic news, and so forth. General-purpose Cable TV News is not intended or perceived as a person's sole resource on the current state of the world today.

Re:huh? (1)

Kiaser Zohsay (20134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782716)

* 35 minutes about campaigns and elections
* 36 minutes about the debate over U.S. foreign policy
* 26 minutes or more of crime
* 12 minutes of accidents and disasters
* 10 minutes of celebrity and entertainment
Some news stories fit into multiple categories, so we get to see 71 minutes (elections + crime + celebrity) worth of pictures of Spitzer's call girl.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

consequences... (1)

Mr_Nitro (1174707) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781572)

That's why modern ppl are 99% dumb amoebas watching american idol or such trash tv shows.
We're doomed to extinction if we don't stimulate the growth of genuine creativity and curiosity towards science and nature. The Greeks knew it well, and today we still admire and study their writings...
I hope it's not too late to invert all the wrong stuffs we're doing, from environment destruction, to poor energetic choices (see new german power-regulators using env-friendly energies... working and clean!) and most important, destroy all religion-hate-war-sellweapons market in that order possibly...

cheers
v

Re:consequences... (3, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781604)

I think you're confusing a couple ancient greeks with _all_ ancient greeks.

Re:consequences... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781714)

We're doomed to extinction if we don't stimulate the growth of genuine creativity and curiosity towards science and nature. The Greeks knew it well, and today we still admire and study their writings...

They seem to be no less extinct for it, though.

Re:consequences... (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782210)

We're doomed to extinction if we don't stimulate the growth of genuine creativity and curiosity towards science and nature

A species' survival doesn't hings on how intelligent its members are, it depends on procreation. We're not going to become extinct because we're stupid, if we become extinct it will be because of some global catastrophe that we, ourselves, will likely cause.

And it will be a catastrophe that couldn't have occurred had we not been smart enough to make atom bombs, automobiles, electricity, etc.

Re:consequences... (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782642)

True enough.

But -some- global disasters may be better dealt with by smarter people.

I don't think it's very likely that humanity will die out in the next few hundred years. It's much more likely that we suffer huge catastrophies of some kind, and that intelligence and resourcefulness determines if 1 million people die or 1 billion.

Which makes a difference, but ain't precisely about extinction seeing as we're several billion people.

Cue Sniveling "I Am Oh So Superior" Comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781576)

in 3. . . 2. . . 1. . .

SSh! (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781586)

Am I the only one that thought the title was about people holding one minute's silence for five hours' cable news?

Well, at least you can say one good thing... (4, Funny)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781592)

Its still more than you get on the Discovery Channel anymore...

Re:Well, at least you can say one good thing... (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781668)

"Its still more than you get on the Discovery Channel anymore..."

Agreed. Discovery Channel no longer seem to show science programs of post-kindergarten level anymore.

If I see one more 'professor' explaining a concept which most 6-year olds would find obvious, as if the concept is something the viewer may struggle to grasp, I think I'm going to be sick.

Re:Well, at least you can say one good thing... (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781822)

Its still more than you get on the Discovery Channel anymore...

Which ain't much. The closest I've ever come to being informed was watching hour-long interviews on The Charlie Rose Show [wikipedia.org] on PBS.

A random sampling of guests include Dr. Paul Nurse and Dr. James Watson [charlierose.com] , E.O. Wilson [charlierose.com] , Jane Goodall [charlierose.com] , Carl Sagan [charlierose.com] , Noam Chomsky [charlierose.com] , and Linus Torvalds [charlierose.com] . Many of them have appeared multiple times.

Natalie Portman is in there too, but I'm not sure how scientific an interview with her could be.

Enticement (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781608)

People think that the commercials are there to entice you to buy the product. In fact, the shows are there to entice you to spend time in front of the TV. Broadcasters aren't in business to entertain. They are selling viewership to advertisers. Their product isn't the show. Their product is viewer attention, and the shows are how they attract viewers. This includes the news. The broadcasters learned long ago that controversy and disaster attract much more viewers than science, and good news. The news isn't there to inform and enlighten, it is there so they can sell air time.

Re:Enticement (2, Insightful)

pgn674 (995941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782400)

Does /. do the same?

I know, one liner replies suck. But, this other line commenting about the one-liner property of this post destroys said property. There's a lesson in that... ...maybe.

Re:Enticement (1)

jackbird (721605) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782620)

Actually, that business model is more or less explicitly not supposed to include the news programming. The broadcasters got their monopoly of the airwaves way back when at least partially in exchange for a promise that some portion of their programming would serve the public good (i.e. news).

The advent of TV news divisions being expected to make a profit, and the attendent nosedive in journalistic standards, is fairly recent. Watch Network [imdb.com] now and it's hard to see how outrageous a satire the proto-reality TV news segments were back then - it's surpassed daily by all sorts of actual programming.

Calling science's bluff (2, Insightful)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781616)

Go on then, with all the money that science gets for R&D, why doesn't the scientific community use a tiny part of it to launch its own channel covering 'proper' science.

But, oh no, scientists everywhere suddenly claim poverty and, anyway, are far too busy tinkering with the LHC, latest mega-laser and juggling bacteria.

Anyway, you only get covered in the media if you spend money on it.
Science isn't sexy for 98.2% of the western world (i looked it up)
With religious loonies running much of the american political system and media, the less science gets a look-in, the better - as far as they are concerned. Just in case people start to take notice.

Re:Calling science's bluff (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781978)

Well a lot of scientists do end up lecturing some of the week. And there's barely enough to time to do that.

You know what's sad? (1)

TheRagingTowel (724266) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781618)

You know what's really sad? That I've read the title, before reading the summary, and thought to myself: Hey, this could be a good idea!

Look at the bright side. (0, Flamebait)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781620)

Five hundred years ago, the minute of science would consist on latest scientist burning on the stake.

Oh God, how I miss medieval tv. Closest we get now is a Thich Quang Duc impersonator, and monthly, at best.

That study is whack (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781630)

When I watch the "noos" I see stories about high achieving high school students, cats saved from fires, Paris Hilton, the latest actor picked up for drunk driving. the annual arrival of Girl Scout cookies, plucky disabled people, gang shootings, BS, BS, BS.

So, out of the five hours of "news" broken down by foreign affairs, domestic affairs, campaign '08, etc. did they actually have to watch 50 hours of "noos"?

"Life" has a smaller percentage. (1, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781632)

This "state" of the news media isn't bad. Life itself for most people has very little science going on in the foreground. Just because we slashdotters wallow in science and technology all day long at work doesn't mean we should be cramming it down people's throats during news broadcasts.

Re:"Life" has a smaller percentage. (5, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782374)

I'd say this statement is a reflection of the ignorance most people have about science and technology. It surrounds every facet of their lives - they're just too oblivious to realize it. From the car they drive to work, to the computer they use once they get there (be it a powerful workstation or a cash register), to the device playing music in the background, to the TV they watch at home while tucking into a microwaved dinner - science and technology is all around them.

Most people don't recognize this fact until some piece of technology fails them. Then they wail and cry because they can't watch the latest episode of American Idol, and rail against the "scientists" who have betrayed them with a TV that's broken. Never mind that science and technology have enriched their lives, guarded them from disease and famine, advanced civilization, and allowed them to even have the freetime to squander on reality TV.

In general, it is a fact of technology that, once it is well established, it fades into the background and doesn't register in people's minds. That's no excuse for failing to recognize its importance. That includes the media, too.

ok, but... (4, Insightful)

ack154 (591432) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781636)

How about another study not so close to a presidential-election year? Not that I expect the science/education/etc coverage to increase dramatically in other circumstances, but of course it's going to be a lot of campaign coverage.

Why is it so bad? (4, Interesting)

Evil Pete (73279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781642)

I know that TV fosters a dumbing down of society and trashing of the image of those in the sciences. But here in Australia we actually had a period of time when science and science reporting was highly regarded. It has slipped a bit lately but the ABC [abc.net.au] still has a Science Week where almost every TV and radio program tries to inject Science into the format. And TripleJ [abc.net.au] still has Dr Karl answering science questions every week (unless he's too busy doing Sleek Geeks [abc.net.au] ). Maybe it is the non-existence of a strong equivalent of the ABC or BBC. Because science reporting is popular, just not as popular as other things. What I guess I am trying to say is the current situation wherever you are is not inevitable. Just as the current slide here is not inevitable -- science has given way to the unbelievably boring discussions on 'renovations'. Crap.

the 'news' also says; (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781688)

money is our #1 concern? over life, liberty & the pursuit....? that seems unlikely for most of us, butt it is in todays' 'headlines', along with some other trivia of almost no relevance. as we ?learned? before; everything made by man fails, so mammonism leads to.... let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071229/ap_on_sc/ye_climate_records;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080108/ts_alt_afp/ushealthfrancemortality;_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [yahoo.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/31/opinion/31mon1.html?em&ex=1199336400&en=c4b5414371631707&ei=5087%0A [nytimes.com]

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events.

http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=video+cloud+spraying [google.com]

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb);

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/28/vermont.banning.bush.ap/index.html [cnn.com]

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/bush.veto/index.html [cnn.com]

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids;

http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/12/12/bush.war.funding/index.html [cnn.com]

& pretending that it isn't happening here;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3086937.ece [timesonline.co.uk]
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity;

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article3046116.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

this isn't top down (3, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781708)

this is bottom up. if msnbc suddenly reports more on science in more amounts of time your average slashdotter finds acceptable, msnbc's ratings go down. believe me, if they went up, you'd see 20 minutes every hour of the day devoted to science on cnn, msnbc, and even fox

the real issue here then is that your average joe blow just doesn't care that much about science, not some sort of weird pact by cable news shows to keep everyone stupid

and to go further than that, many will see failure in society, in politics, because joe blow isn't so interested in things your average slashdotter is. well, that's your vanity speaking, not your intelligence. why is your science-centric viewpoint superior than the viewpoint of joe blow? what is your objective reason for believing that?

where is the objective measure that says someone massively interested in science would make a better citizen? many people here are certain of that idea, but plenty of people are also prejudiced to their own particular worldview and agenda. that's you i'm speaking to, you who sees little interest in science as a sort of travesty. it's not. it simply isn't. get over yourself

the truth is, just not that many people are interested in science, were interested science, or ever will be interested in science. in any time period, in any country. get used to it. the world does not revolve around your biases towards a lot of interest in science, so this idea that few people are interested in science is not in any way a bad thing, it's just the way it is, and you would be doing yourself a favor by simply accepting that and moving on, rather than crying into your milk about some sort of travesty that isn't really a travesty at all

Re:this isn't top down (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782258)

this is bottom up. if msnbc suddenly reports more on science in more amounts of time your average slashdotter finds acceptable, msnbc's ratings go down.

No, if they present the news in an uninteresting or nonunderstandable way the ratings go down. Most high school kids hate science class because "science is boring." Well, science isn't boring, their science teacher is boring!

If you have some ignorant dumbass who hates science because his science teacher put everyone to sleep then yes, ratings will go down. But PBS' Cosmos had good ratings, because there was an articulate scientist presenting the show.

If you know a high school science teacher, smack him upside the head for doing such a shitty job.

-mcgrew

That's right (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781730)

and you know what that 1 minute is. It's that bloody shampoo advert featuring the latest teen starlet stating: "here comes the science"

Slashdot, because you're worth it.

Priorities (1)

PunditGuy (1073446) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781770)

How can they possibly spend time talking about the latest Cassini mission when there are hookers in New York!!!??!?!

Dear USA... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22781776)

Dear USA,

Please continue edumacating yourselves back into the stone age.
We eagerly anticipate buying up all your land, population and resources for the price of a few shiny beads.

Sincerely,

The Rest Of The World.

This is a good thing. (3, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781784)

I've seen that one minute per five hours. It sucks. It's usually so dumbed down that even when it's right it's so bad that it might was well be wrong.

Put science news on the science and other educational channels. Science channel(s), Discovery, History channel(s), National Geographic, NASA channel -- it's not like there's a complete lack of sources. If people want it, they'll go looking. If they can't handle it, they won't watch it and don't need it.

And don't give me any "the kids" nonsense. If kids need science, they need something better than news channels present. They need education, which means keeping them engaged, which means decent production. They're not prepared for science news yet. They're still in the stage where half hour shows with a few interesting longer stories are better for them. Besides, they don't need everything on TV. There's plenty of sources of science news that they can read. They're supposed to be doing that too.

Re:This is a good thing. (5, Insightful)

TheGrumpster (1039342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781854)

The sad thing is that even many of the science and education channels have now been dumbed down to where they are often of little interest. Remember when TLC was "The Learning Channel" instead of the "Flip This House Channel"? Remember when the History Channel actually discussed history? Now even semi-respectable channels like Geographic are showing crap like "Search for Bigfoot" and "Doomsday Prophecies of the Bible". The networks aren't stupid. They know where their audience is. Why else do you think the channel formerly known as "CNN Headline News" that used to show a nice summary of the major stories in a half-hour is now nothing but four hours of some idiot blabbing about the latest Britney Spears fiasco? I know it's a sign of my old age, but seriously, the only television worth watching is an occasional show like Nova or Frontline on PBS, and sometimes something on CSPAN. As for the rest, it's all trash. The new dark ages indeed.

Re:This is a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22782114)

Truth.

Re:This is a good thing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22782254)

Even dedicated science and technology channels I've seen are just horrible, in a way how factual information is either dumbed down or made into entertainment, and if nothing else is wrong, programs assume attention span shorter than the commercial break, ending up repeating the same small bit of information over and over. Are people really *that* dumb?

As a regular European guy from not so exceptional neighborhood of maybe 40% MScs and PhDs, it really depresses me how poor science and technology TV programs dominated by US production can be. Well, at least BBC is giving a try...

Then again, take a look at technology/computing magazines. Who on Earth is their target group? Unless they're academic journals, you're bound to already know vastly more than the articles carry... (And yes, every UNIX/Linux-oriented magazine I've seen is included in my rant.) Obviously if you pick up a "professional magazine" from some field you're not an expert it may have something new for you, but God forbid, don't think you can have any kind of professional respect by using magazines of your own field as a sole source for maintaining your expertise.

A closer look (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781796)

People concentrate in the entertaining content rather than technology, which is so ubiquitous that it blends in. The human reality is built on rather beautiful science, but its meaning is mass produced to extinction. A breath here and there and a little pause once in a while could make miracles. One hardly ever takes a look of what is seen.

Well . . . . (1)

MazzThePianoman (996530) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781802)

It takes a lot of time for the current administration to censor, twist, and edit science news before it reaches congress and the public.

Training is everything (2, Insightful)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781862)

And make no mistake about it, viewers are being trained by what, and how, they watch from a very early age. News programming is only one facet of that.

If you're trained to only accept information in time units no larger than the average bowel movement, the chances that you will think critically about any given subject are reduced immmensely.

This works especially well for marketers and companies intent on your "consuming" their products, and for those who have the motives of a three card monte dealer.

Which points up the critical importance of your tax dollars being used to insure everyone has access [doc.gov] to the "glass [images-amazon.com] teat [images-amazon.com] ".

Bread and circuses anyone?

And I bet that 1 minute of "science" (2, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781886)

Is related to the whole "man made global warming" hoax.

Which is junk science at it's worst.

hmmm (3, Insightful)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781892)

That's because if the general public were to even begin to understand the magic concepts of Science, their heads would explode. Small doses like this keep them informed, yet it keeps everything "Scientific" still magical.

Have you ever tried to explain how something works to someone? I mean, I have to use analogies with elves, envelopes, and a giant series of tubes to explain how the interwebs work! I still end-up with a deer in the headlights stare.

Re:hmmm (0, Flamebait)

stubear (130454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782832)

"Have you ever tried to explain how something works to someone? I mean, I have to use analogies with elves, envelopes, and a giant series of tubes to explain how the interwebs work! I still end-up with a deer in the headlights stare."

Perhaps it's our explanation and the fact that you automatically assume that you are smarter then the person you are talking to? Maybe you hang around people who are dumber than you just to make yourself feel smarter? The sooner you realize that knowing more about a single subject that you have dedicated your life to does NOT make you smarter then everyone else, the sooner we can get over these bullshit Slashbot generalizations and misconceptions and have honest, open discussions. Until then, Slashdot group-think zealots like yourself are no better than the groups or organizations you mock.

Cable News Is A Lot Like Alcohol (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781898)

If you sit and drink alcohol solidly for five hours, your liver will turn to mush.

If you sit and watch cable news for five hours, your brain will turn to mush.

And quite frankly, if you've a mushed brain then scientific concepts are probably the last thing you'll ever be able to assimilate.

No, you're probably far better off just sat there on you fat backside cramming crisps and canned beer into your mouth while you are mnindlessly forcefed more celebrity gossip and the endless coverage of Paul McCartney's divorce settlement by Rupert Murdoch's minions...

Re:Cable News Is A Lot Like Alcohol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22782148)

hey! my beer comes in a bottle, you insensitive clod!

Re:Cable News Is A Lot Like Alcohol (3, Informative)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782294)

If that bottle has the word "Budweiser" on it, that ain't beer.

Good news /bad news (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781944)

some five hours of programming could pass with the average viewer seeing only one minute of science news coverage."

That would only be bad news if their reporting was factual and accurate, but they can hardly report on anything science-related without making some glaring error that any high school student should know is wrong.

It makes me wonder about their reporting on other aspects.

Even worse is the abysmal state of "educational" TV. One reason I dropped cable (besides the annual rate hike gougings) is channels like the Discovery channel. They used to have interesting topics - physics, astronomy, etc. Then it was all "how to chop a tractor-trailor into the world's largest motorcycle" or some such drivel.

Unfortunately... (2, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22781972)

Unfortunately, that one minute of cable science news happens to occur on Fox News, where they present the latest evidence pointing to babies as the source of all terrorism, or the newest findings confirming that the Pyramids were built with the use of dinosaurs.

so what? (1)

presarioD (771260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782044)

what does this "study" prove? That if only cable networks included more "scientific" coverage in their content Jesus would be happy and the "dumbing down of america" averted for good? Give me a break! Scientists and scientific thinking (aka critical thinking) are not produced by watching a flashy tube like an idiot . It's a derivative of hard intellectual work.

Next study to follow: Save america from obesity, petition your cable provider for more health/workout related content you can watch while wolfing down your TV-dinner...

Bullshit! (1)

molex333 (1230136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782048)

This is Bullshit! Should be same rules for everybody!

Obligatory Carl Sagan Quote (5, Informative)

dankstick (788385) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782196)

"We have designed our civilization based on science and technology and at the same time arranged things so that almost no one understands anything at all about science and technology. This is a clear prescription for disaster."

-Carl Sagan, 1995 Interview with Anne Kalosh

Misread that headline (4, Funny)

Anonymous Meoward (665631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782450)

For a minute, I thought it read "one minute of SILENCE for five hours of cable news".

If only.

news (1)

seededfury (699094) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782484)

I saw on the news.... what happens to slashdot users when someone posts a goatse link? To my suprise it was all revealed... http://seededfury.com/graphix12/15835.jpg [seededfury.com]

They get sucked in....

The divide... (3, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782556)

between most science and technology is such that we only get a minute amout of the former on /,

Slashdot is a brilliant news source with brilliant contributers but still...

I've found myself going to conferences to get my fix...

Nanotechnology promises to unite chemistry, engineering and biology... Quantum mechanics will re-write physics and philosophy...

The only hard sciences, that can be practiced without millions of dollars of funding, are mathmatics and information science.

does health & medicine count (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#22782858)

Health stories most nightly on the network news. They lternative between fear stories of new diseases and hopes of new cures.

And if you add in all the drug commercials, its maybe a third of the newscast :-)
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  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>