Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fourth-Rate Information

In an act of uber-irony, I am currently passing along a link to you that was passed along to me from my friend John that is to another blog that comments on a special that was shown on CNBC called "Saving GM". This chain of understanding and information dissemination is just one of the things against which the Michigan automakers struggle daily in their current fight to survive.

Here is the fundamental problem: I have not yet had the chance to watch the actual CNBC program, but I did read the blog to which John directed me. Instead of the specific information that CNBC opted to edit into their program (which may not be entirely correct in the first place as it is intended for equal parts entertainment and education), I am receiving the interpretation of one of probably hundreds of commenters on this television special. Until I watch the actual CNBC program (which is unlikely as I am busy opining on the ripples caused by it), this person's point of view, in turn, somehow becomes an authority on the subject and almost acts as a spokesperson for CNBC - regardless of actual correctness of either CNBC or the writer. One example of the writer's insight with which I partially disagree:

"And I'm less sympathetic since they (GM) did a lot of this to themselves. Are you as sympathetic when an alcoholic has cirrhosis compared to a kid who has a congenital liver disease? Probably not."

First, since the writer indicated that (the assumed) he worked at GM building engines, he has some sort of worthwhile insight into the current ins-and-outs of the organization, their progress, their setbacks, the multitude of reasons they are facing struggles, and what they serve for lunch in the cafeteria. Second, an individual who reads those comments can take the easy walk to the assumption that CNBC also indicated that they feel that GM is largely responsible for their issues, and this could also convince that individual that the Michigan automakers are not worth saving. Third, while cirrhosis is frequently caused by alcoholism, the hepatitis B virus is probably the most common cause of cirrhosis worldwide and maybe the alcoholic's cirrhosis is independent of the alcoholism. What kind of jerk doesn't feel sympathy from those suffering from Hep-B? Not cool, dude.

All this brings me back to the irony I mentioned in the first sentence. Now, hopefully, you have read this post about my opinions about another's opinions about something which may be unintentionally or intentionally opinionated in the very first place and why these opinions have the potential to be damaging. For as long as these companies are struggling, they will remain under such intense scrutiny. Whether you live in Michigan or elsewhere, regardless of your love or hate for Chrysler, Ford, and GM, I urge you to seek out as many outlets of news and information as possible so that you can combine the many different viewpoints into your own unique viewpoint.

And that is my PSA for today.

No comments: