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When I'm watching a news story about the tech industry or software development, I always wonder if people in other professions also scream at their TV when their field of expertise is butchered with bad analogies and half-truths by reporters and anchors.

Comments
  • 5
    I'm not one to scream at inanimate objects, but every time I did a little on the inside. Maybe I should try shouting..
  • 12
    Can confirm with development, game design, and trading. I can just imagine doctors watching medical shows and visibly cringing at all the things that would do nothing at all or would outright kill the patient 😖
  • 13
    @Root As a chemist who worked in pharma R&D (among other things, x-ray crystallography of ligand/neuroreceptor interactions), drug-related stories are pretty bad offenders as well.

    I'm not yelling "legalize all drugs" at my TV all the time. I can respect people coming from either angle, but there so much unscientific bullshit on the news about it -- both in terms of chemistry and neurological effects.

    But yeah, I often think.... if the subjects I have some knowledge about are so badly researched....

    Then what about the things I DON'T know about?

    Is the journalist interpreting the cause of a war a geopolitical expert? Was a disaster where a building collapsed explained by a civil engineer?

    Not trying to paint some kind of "don't trust the mainstream media" picture here, or claiming that there is ill intent.

    I just think that it's healthy to watch ALL news stories with the same bit of reservation/skepticism as you would feel towards reports about your own expertise. 🤷‍♀
  • 3
    yes.
    all of them.

    journos today know nothing except how to bullshit, write clickbait titles, and push communist agenda.
  • 0
    @bittersweet side-question: any good suggestions on where to look if I want to learn about the effects of drugs on the brain?
    I've never been interested in using them per se, but I've always wondered what the actual effects on are - and I'm heavily annoyed by the large amounts of pseudobabble surrounding them as well.
    Books, papers, authors, whatever - as long as it has some actual science backing it.

    Fortunately the aerospace field does not get *as much* press coverage as other disciplines, so I don't often get a reason to shout at the screen. But some 'dumbed down' explanations of how things work really make me die inside.
  • 2
    @endor Wikipedia is very well-sourced and accurate when it comes to psychoactive substances. Check pages within this list for example:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

    The pages for most substances are up-to-date with current research, and pretty much all of them are maintained & watched by experienced researchers in the field.

    Erowid.org is a resource which is maintained more by "consumers" and contains many subjective experience reports, but is nevertheless very accurate when it comes to objective facts and harm prevention.

    Alexander Shulgin's books (Pihkal, Tihkal & Shulgin Index) are also kind of a foundational work for researchers of psychoactives: Shulgin ran a DEA licensed research lab, synthesizing hundreds of known and new substances -- using himself as the "lab rat". He carefully documented and published both the chemical synthesis and his subjective experiences -- which also got him into a bit of trouble with the DEA.
  • 2
    absolutely. i almost break my bones heading for the remote to switch channels as soon someone talks about prosthetics.

    buzzwords are 3d printed, brain/thought controlled, bionic, terminator and luke skywalker
  • 2
    @endor BTW you must still get pretty annoyed with misrepresentations of orbital mechanics though.
  • 3
    @bittersweet thank you very very much!

    As for orbital mechanics - yeah, I still roll my eyes when I see it, but I've lately come to accept it for my own good. I mean, it is rocket science after all, what would they know about it?
    (It still grinds my gears though when a movie/show looks promising because it seems like they're actually trying to do things right - only to play fast and loose with the rules when it's most convenient for the plot. *sigh*)
  • 3
    @endor I feel like successfully getting a rocket to the Mun in Kerbal Space Program should be a mandatory part of physics classes in high school.

    After letting my girlfriend play KSP for one afternoon, suddenly all the Newtonian physics formulas she had learned in school went from being memorized formulas to intuition.
  • 2
    @bittersweet I... actually never played KSP.
    Probably because I'd end up wasting far too much time on it, and I don't wanna end up like the time I started playing Factorio.
    But I did do a course project for a satellite orbital transfer, searching for the optimal strategies (fastest time and least fuel burned) writing all the code from scratch, so I guess that counts.
  • 1
    Finding answers from the noise is a special skill. I've read published papers in journals by respected scientists that in the end had some flawed experiments that didn't rule out other possibilities but were interpreted just how the author wanted. Bad science is easy and profitable. I think it is prevalent everywhere. I think they should attach references, footnotes, bibliography, and use Sigma to rate how confident they are in their own news stories.
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