Information is surprise value (improbability). Given that definition, does this article contain any information at all?
Half of what the reactosphere does is try to get uninformation generally conversable as being uninformation. But when uninformation is perpetually and officially denied, it takes on the plausible feel of actual information amongst a certain set, which permits recurrent, endlessly-cyclical coverage by the press.
I wonder if there’s any study out there of what newspapers looks like “the day after” in totalitarian countries after their regimes collapse. “Things you are now allowed to openly admit you always believed without legal or social negative consequence.” then again, maybe it’s always ever just the swapping of one set for another.
At least the Canadians seem willing to admit statistics into the equation, along with the correlating admission that gun violence is concentrated somewhere . . . I’m surprised that even this much has been allowed into the discussion. In the American media, you would rarely see this kind of blunt display of (unspoken) obviousness.
David Reply:March 4th, 2013 at 11:17 pm
The fact that gun violence is concentrated in poorer urban communities does indeed come up in the American media, but how it is framed generally depends on the media outlet. In the wake of Newtown, for example, I heard and read often citations of statistics that the real “gun violence epidemic” is taking place in cities like Chicago and in areas like the South Side in “liberal media” outlets like NPR (on news talk shows like “Talk of the Nation,” ), the NYT, the New Yorker, the Atlantic. In such media, the data would be interpreted along fairly expected (low information) lines: Historically entrenched poverty–usually with a hefty complement of racism–and the prevalence of criminal(ized) activities (drug trade etc.) is the primary cause of such concentrated violence.
I expect if I tuned in to US right-wing talk radio (which I’d do if I were in the US driving around with time to kill), I’d hear a very different interpretation of such data (and I expect I’d hear the interpretation without much mention of the data, rather with anecdotal and “received” evidence): That those people–blacks, Hispanics–are just like that and that’s why we (largely but not exclusively white Americans in the suburbs, exurbs and small town/rural communities… the people Obama famously characterized off the record [oops] as “clinging to guns and religion”) need guns to protect ourselves (all this with a healthy compliment of racial paranoia and related fear of FEMA and the IRS and the ATF and the UN and the NWO and so on, especially with that man, Obama, running the show. (One among many ironies being that among poor white communities similar levels of gun violence occur, if not as dramatically concentrated as in denser urban areas). And of course, in the first instance, such “information” would be marshaled on behalf of arguments for stricter gun control laws, while in the latter it would go almost without saying that it is proof of the need for near-unlimited Second Amendment “rights.”
Point: There’s plenty of discussion of the concentration of gun violence in poor neighborhoods, often more honest and direct than you get with Florida’s “service class” and “working class” labels, but it, of course, doesn’t come with the “neo-reactionary” analysis or interpretation you might prefer. (If you have a tremendously conspiratorial mindset (no rarity these days in the US, especially among whites who vote right-Republican), then the whole thing, from left to right, is being engineered to enable an escalation of state power-grabbing at the level of door-to-door visits from heavily armed goons working off a list of dangerous offenders.)
The “information” in the linked-to piece for me is probably the extension of Florida’s insipid “creative class” pop-theorizing to something other than low/no-duh-info explanations of why college-educated younger people who drink expensive coffee and smoke high-grade bud on occasion like to live in cool neighborhoods and do relatively “fun” work that they can tolerate or even like for decent pay.
SDL Reply:March 6th, 2013 at 12:06 am
I don’t disagree with your deeper analysis. When I mentioned the American media, I had just the major news networks in mind–CNN, MSNBC, Fox, et cet., which is where most Americans get their news. Readership for the Atlantic or listenership for NPR is far lower. But certainly, when you take other outlets into consideration, it’s all about how the information gets framed.
I disagree, however, that gun violence among different racial groups would be framed differently by most on the Right (gun control needed when it comes to black crime, more 2nd amendment when it comes to white crime). I don’t doubt that some commentators would take it there, but I’ve never heard much else but the second option (more 2nd amendment across the board) whenever I tune into Republican media.
The racial terror aspect is often un-noted. In the last year, I can count on two fingers the number of times I’ve seen anyone (outside of my beloved reactionary sphere) point out that, in America (as elsewhere in the West, I imagine) around 95% of all violent crime is inter-racial.
SDL Reply:March 6th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
Ah, typo: in my first post there I meant that 95% of violent crime is INTRA-racial.
SDL Reply:March 6th, 2013 at 12:36 pm
I also wonder what makes you think that white communities rates of gun violence as high as urban black communities?
Here’s a chart of gun violence per 100k by state:
Utah: 0.8. Vermont: 0.3. West Virginia: 1.5. Wyoming: 0.9
The whiter the state–and the states without major urban centers–nearly always have European level gun death rates.
I’m shocked (informed?) that they had “Creative”, “Working”, and “Service” classes so neatly laid out. Really, if you’re “working” class you have to live in a certain neighborhood? And if, by some stroke of luck you move up to the “Service” class, you gotta move? Or is “service” a polite way of saying “worse than working class”? Maybe I got that backwards. “Service” folks are the servants of the working class, who actually ya know work. And the creative class, maybe I guess they just live off the goodies the working class works up… and don’t much shoot each other… lazy bastards.
This appears similar to the garbled English of Google translate: Roma materialis ex casâ facta est caput mundi : at redijt ad casas cius imperium per discordias.
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