Cartoons & Misinformation

Scott Holmes (sholmes@PACIFICNET.NET)
Wed, 13 Mar 1996 15:09:18 -0800

point, I believe, Barbara Campbell was making. Rather than gaping holes
in people's education television, and indeed other media, are filling
those holes with misinformation. This was emphasized for me by discussion
on Arthurnet, another listserv devoted to discussion of literature
related to King Arthur. There was much speculation of the historical
validity of Marion Zimmer Bradley's book, _The Mists of Avalon_.
Now, this occurred among people who READ, people generally considered as
more educated than those who watch television.

So, to get back to Barbara's query, just how prevalent is this belief
in "fantastic" explanations? How does it connect with our concerns about
the public's conception of evolution and other areas of science? Does
it really matter?

Being a Foss-like paranoid, I wonder if what we're seeing is an
incideous plot by the powers-that-be to maintain a high degree of
ignorance in the general population. This could be the same group
striving to turn the brains of our youth to jello with the mindless
violence of nintendo games (jello and nintendo used generically).

Concern over misinformation is separate from issues of social pathology.
Those that absorb and believe "fantastic" explanations are no more likely
to become violent criminals than anyone else is. They could, however,
get elected. Personally, I think I prefer criminals to ignorant politicians.
Politicians have the power to cut funding for scientific projects and
other possibly worthwhile endeavors. They are very likely to try and
stop projects that conflict with their own dearly held ideas.

Scott H.