bad news on the list

Mike Lieber (U28550@UICVM.BITNET)
Tue, 14 Feb 1995 15:37:04 CST

While I can empathize with Lief's misgivings about the use of alarms for
self-aggrandizement, I cannot agree that getting details (or someone's
version of them) of disasters on the list is necessarily a bad thing. During
the LA earthquake, we were getting email reports from colleagues that were
more informative than some of what we saw on TV. When the volcanic
eruptions began in Rabaul (New Britain, PNG), those of us on the ASAONET
were getting more news, better detailed news than anything on the media here,
in Australia, In New Zealand, or in the UK. There was nothing on American
TV, a paragraph in the LA Times, and that was it. Rabaul was one of the
busiest ports the Pacific, and lots of anthropologists have friends and
colleagues there. The American media also has a way of downplaying or ignoring
communiques from people who are not Wall Street-approved. I could not read
Marshal Godoy's posts either, and I'm sure I would have taken whatever he said
as reflecting the self-interest of his position, just like I take anything the
Mexican government says as reflecting what they see as in their self-interest.
That doesn't mean I won't read it and think about it. I remember Viet Nam,
Grenada, El Salvador, Guatemala, Desert Storm, and Somalia too well to be
anything but skeptical about anyone's communiques. But I'll read them if I
can. Pro-entropic and anti-entropic, remember, describe quantities of
Mike Lieber