Crichton on Speculation
I’ve spent a few hours going through some of Michael Crichton’s older speeches, and one of his recurring themes is the prominence of speculation in media, and it’s spread into other places in society. The idea is that the main media venues realized that sensational, trailblazing speculation sells more papers and more advertising than facts, good reporting, and real investigation.
Think about it, how much of the news we read is made up of language like this?
Mr. Bush’s action “is likely to send the price of steel up sharply, perhaps as much as ten percent..” American consumers “will ultimately bear” higher prices. America’s allies “would almost certainly challenge” the decision. Their legal case “could take years to litigate in Geneva, is likely to hinge” on thus and such.
And how much of it is actually right? Do you remember back in the end of August and the first couple of weeks of September when most “experts” were saying we’d never see $2/gallon gas again? Sure, it took a recession to do it, but it didn’t take 8 weeks for them to be proven wrong. What about the prediction that the last three hurricane seasons would be worse than 2005? How about the fact that the weatherman said two days ago that this Sunday would be low seventies and sunny, now it’s going to be low forties and windy. Who knows what the forecast will be Friday, and what will actually happen.
You get the point: No one knows. Yet everyone feels fine with the speculation.
And have you noticed that all the speculation is negative? No one is predicting good news. Other than stories about Democrat election success, most predictions are all doom and gloom. Except the weather, I guess. But when was the last time you heard someone predicting something good?I’m sure there was something recent, but it’s been lost in an avalanche of dirty snow.