Monday, May 28, 2007

Murdoch's cavemen versus science

"The Assault on Reason" is the title of Al Gore's analysis of the media's role in a political climate that seems to increasingly pander to the irrational side of human nature.

A good example of that is the journalists and commentators working for Fox News and other Murdoch media who publicly excoriate experts as "nutty", "loopy" and "wingnuts" if they question official claims about 9/11.

Many of the people making these claims are university professors, and a number of them are mathematicians and physicists. Yet their detractors in the Murdoch newsrooms don't know the difference between the Pythagorean theorem and a regression line. Ask them who David Hilbert was, and they'll say "David who?"

Bring up the topic of mathematics or physics and every one of them will say, "Oh, I don't know anything about math."

Ask them to calculate the minimum time it takes for a stone to drop from 400 meters up, and they'll respond, "I'm a journalist, not a numbers guy."

Yet, they feel they have the right to belittle and humiliate people who are competent to do the math and the physics.

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