Subjective objectivity for climate change stories

September 1, 2007 at 3:52 am | Posted in Climate change, Humor, Media, Objectivity, Subjectivity, Weight of evidence, Weight of finance | Leave a comment

Further to this story:

Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers (stop the presses!)

Look who’s complaining now!

Editor and Publisher Letters

What these letter writers seem to miss is the point that objectivity has been redefined by the American media and is actually subjectivity masquerading under another name.

Furthermore, objectivity means different things to scientists and journalists: in science objectivity is understood worldwide. By contrast, in journalism, objectivity is defined according to cultural situations, which sets America apart from the rest of the world. Perhaps this explains why non-Americans find U.S. media so subjective?!

Black is not a colour.”

… a scientist can state, and then go on to explain how black and colour are defined, observed and understood in science, and scientists around the world can review and evaluate the objective statement.

By contrast, a professional news journalist in the U.S. may be expected, allowed, and perhaps even encouraged to spin that so-called ‘so-called fact‘ under the hallowed guise of objectivity per the vague sense attributed to journalistic objectivity in America.

As a result of this strange nation-specific call to objectivity (without due concern for accuracy and with the weight of evidence ignored in favour of the weight of finance), we find that in addition to a clear statement from a scientist, a contrived story such as this could easily emerge:

“We are often told ‘Black is not a color’ and scientists, such as A.N. Other, NSQ* of NNSI**, are keen to get this message across to members of the public. Other and others feel that the public are confused as to whether there is a scientific consensus about the color black. They are keen to set the record straight.

Although these alarmist scientists tell us in increasingly shrill voices that ‘Black is not a color,’ and threaten to undermine our comfortable, inexpensive lifestyles with their revolutionary ideas, there is, it must be emphasized, no consensus amongst artists and scientists.

“In fact, many scientists totally disagree with the whole premise.

“Professor White A.S. Snow, President of the Truth is Plain to See Institute (TiPSI), and Senior Fellow of the Society for Honest and True Scientific Brokers, is one of them.

“TiPSI’s Prof. Snow explains, ‘Anyone can look into a hole that appears black, and on close examination with a common light source, such as a flashlight, realize that the hole itself is actually the color of the material surface forming the boundary of the hole. This fact can be proved at home with the aid of simple inexpensive equipment: a hole, your eye, and a flashlight.

As this Senior Fellow graciously makes time to clarify, ‘Therefore, we can conclude that black is what we see when no light strikes the inside of the hole causing none to reflect into our eyes for us to detect any discernible color with our retina (‘to see’ in popular usage). We can all see black under such light-free circumstances, and is is absolute hogwash to suggest that ‘black is not a color’ when you can see it, fair and square, with your own eyes!”

To add further weight to this expert scientist’s argument, A.R. Tist of the Color has no ‘U’ Foundation assures us that every paint palette and Crayola Marker Set she has encountered has had black in the color range (though she admits that Brnt Mber is rarely found amongst the rainbow color schemes offered to children these days, due perhaps to the success of her organization’s campaign to ban the letter ‘U’ in colors sold nationally).”

* No Specific Qualifications (at least none that mean much to you and me)

** No Named Scientific Institution



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