Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Elon Musk Wants Nothing to do with Gell-Mann Amnesia

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
The above quote is from author Michael Crichton and his words really hit home with me. I've been quoted in newspaper stories a number of times and not once have my words or the story been accurate. And my subject matter isn't exactly rocket science.

For Elon Musk he is dealing with rocket science and with electric and self-driving cars. And he has had enough of the media being wrong or being overly sensational.

It's not even the "fake news" that's the real problem in journalism. It's the inaccurate and click-bait news that has eroded the trust the media once had. The "fake news" is just the label that's easily applied to why people no longer believe what they are reading or seeing in news reports. And the journalists and editors have nobody to blame but themselves.

I'd love to see an experiment where a local paper is scrutinized and the subjects of of each article is contacted to see what the paper got wrong about the story in which they were mentioned. What percentage of stories could be found to have "issues"? 50%? More?

Elon Musk is not a media critic as some would have you believe. He's just a really smart man who refuses to be a victim of Gell-Mann Amnesia. You should follow his lead.

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