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Kelvin Hsu

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How can one help prevent others from becoming misinformed?

Mark Twain once said "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.”

In my IB English Lang&Lit course, I have realized the true power and dangers of language. Nothing is 100% objective, everything has bias in it. A lot of media companies uses language to distort and falsify facts. With the uprise of technology, news (or rumors) spread like wildfire to every corner or the world. The most dangerous part is the people who believe in such news or stories, even in the most absurd of stories! In the fear of being misinformed myself, I've developed an habit of questioning every news article I read. Thinking about the logic behind it and conduct further research about it with a variety of sources.

So I was wondering what would people do help reduce the misinformation of others. Is there an example, story or activity that would allow people to see the dangers of language? Or perhaps even reduce the level of bias within people?

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    May 28 2013: thanks for your reply Mary! I have experienced the same thing, main-stream media vs NPR. Yes, technology does make it a whole lots easier for a host of reasons. I must share that My heart is heavy reading and hearing reports of so much strife and fear and anger in our world.

    There are days I wonder if too much information does more harm than good. I guess this speaks to the idea of "collective conscience"

    Sometimes Mary I think of the story Chicken Little; " Henny Penny the Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling" Is it really falling or are these times of much needed social change resulting in anger and conflict? The debate is still open to me.

    regards
    Mary Ellen
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      May 28 2013: Hi Mary Ellen, I think your comment reflects what many of us see and worry about.

      I do think that the ease with which information is shared contributes to this general "collective conscience".

      But, overall, people listen, watch, and then, just as quickly 'forget' what they have seen and heard.
      Others, turn off their tvs....preferring to be oblivious to all that is around them.

      Perhaps the sky is not falling.....perhaps we are the ones falling.......and have been at it for quite some time.

      Being alert to what is going on, and well informed (to the best of our ability) is always a healthy choice.
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        May 30 2013: Mary,here I am again.You are pretty optimistic,though I would be concerned.You see, we might forget one infrmation,but our perception might graudally forming after listen,watch day after day,or more infuentially,generation after generation,the impact can be devestating. What I am concerned most,is that biased media are posting poisonous information,they might be controlled by some selfish people or groups,end up escalating conflicts and hatred between two countries or two political parties.If most of the media reprenting peace,reducig misunderstandings,I would not resist.
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          May 30 2013: It is so interesting that you bring this out Jaden.

          I don't know where I read the information before, but I recall reading or listening to a program that spoke about how powerful individuals inside certain countries begin planting certain information years in advance in order to get people to follow a certain path.

          This is kind of propaganda that is very subtle.

          The media is very powerful. There is a TED ED talk, that although is simple in nature, reveals some eye opening information.

          http://ed.ted.com/lessons/the-key-to-media-s-hidden-codes

          Jaden, I get the feeling that you have alot of common sense.
          I think alot of us see the same things you see.

          It is good to be alert in this time we live in.

          My optimism comes from my faith. But it doesn't mean I am blind to what is going on in the world. Remember, in order for rainbow to come out, first it must rain. :)))
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        May 31 2013: Actually,before you use 'common sense',I was not sure what I say was common sense,it was more my own thinking rather than knowledge. What I mean poisonous you have explained for me, yes,it's propaganda,because before and after I can reading English articles,my concept of the world changed tremendously.Then I realized what I see in the news,even in the textbook,can be false information,I gradually nurturing my own judgement.

        I like your optimism,thank you for reminding me rainbow comes after rain. I think some problems are more interesting to talk about,than to actually come out an absolute solution.

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