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Kill your television - get an insurance discount?

Bert Bates
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Is this a political topic?

According to this link:

http://www.killology.com/stanfordstudy.htm

There are tons of stdies that show that media violence increases violence in children... this new study shows that, in addition, less TV equates to less violence...

So how about an incentive for people to kill their tvs?

Insurance breaks - like in non-smoking houses?
Tax breaks?

How about a violence tax attached to the purchase of TV tuners... imbedded or not?


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Gregg Bolinger
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Violent parents increases violence in their children. How about an insurance break for having non-violent parents. :roll:


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Bert Bates
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back to big brother on the non-violent parent idea... taxing a tv tuner isn't quite so invasive...
peter wooster
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We got rid of our TV 18 months ago, I don't know if it decreased any tendencies to violence, but it sure has increased our free time for things like Java certifications, Project Management courses, Watercolour painting, attending live performances of theater and music, and walking the puppy.

If more people saw the advantages, there would be no need for taxes or insurance breaks.
Gerald Davis
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Over there in the states, do you ever get government messages on TV like cut down on the salt, recycle waste products, and be a considerate driver?
Axel Janssen
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My tv broke 6 weeks ago. During study time I lived 3 years without TV.
The new experience without TV was good, but I have new one, because without TV I am missing all those football matches. :roll:
Don't watch so much anyway.

In my country private TV started in mid-80ties. We still have lots of statal TV. I have to pay for it and I personally know 2 Americans who became super-angry because of this public TV-fees. Its around 40 Euro every 3 month or so.
I had public TV as customer and friends who work for companies who do contract work for them. Surely our statal TV suffers from all evils of subventionization. On the other hand: Even with all this happy money wasting, corruption, patronage, etc. they are producing a program which I find much more interesting than this crap on private TV.

Axel
Gerald Davis
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Interesting, but what I mean was does your government have many messages at the commercial break, also do the have similar messages on billboards over freeways.
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
back to big brother on the non-violent parent idea... taxing a tv tuner isn't quite so invasive...


How about we stop trying to control people and let them decide what they want? Or is that not "big brother" enough?


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Bert Bates
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Gerald -

Yes, we have PSAs (Public Service Announcements) on broadcast TV. These PSAs have messages like: "Don't do drugs", or "Give blood", or "Stay in school".

Thomas -


How about we stop trying to control people and let them decide what they want? Or is that not "big brother" enough?


Let me restate my idea. This is not about controlling people, it's about recognizing when an activity or behavior has a cost to society.

We tax cigarettes heavily, we tax liquor. We go back and forth taxing polluters, there are penalties for not using seatbelts, or not wearing helmets, we pay extra to insure young drivers, we tax gasoline...

So there's lots of precedence for the concept, the distinction here is to take a look at whether TV is something that should also be placed in the "dangerous" category...
Max Habibi
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How about we stop trying to control people and let them decide what they want?

We say we want people to decide, but I have a feeling what we're really saying is let people decide what they want, so long as I approve. Or do you feel that ban on smoking, drugs, drinking-under-21, etc, should be lifted?

The American litmus test for the above, of course, seems to be yes, you can do what you want, unless it hurts other people: I've seen some less-then-convincing arguments for how the activities I've listed above hurt other people, yet most of those are (getting)? banned|taxed. It seems that Bert is making the argument that TV hurts other people, and so should be banned|taxed. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm willing to listen to his POV.

Bert. I have a counter question for you: where does this sort of thing end? Say we do prove that TV hurts people: Say we accept that as a given.

What's next?

Do we start forcing people to exercise? Eat right? Avoid carbs? Stay married? Code in Java? At what point should we say: yes, this hurts other people, but you can do it anyway. Or is there no such point? Or is it a judgement call?

And if it's a judgement call, then who's judgement? A judge( for the sake of the argument, just assume that the judge disagrees with your position on the given topic)? 50.0000001% of the population? Auntie Em? This is a slippery slope, methinks.

M
[ November 28, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]

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John Dunn
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
[qb]How about we stop trying to control people and let them decide what they want?

We say we want people to decide, but I have a feeling what we're really saying is let people decide what they want, so long as I approve. Or do you feel that ban on smoking, drugs, drinking-under-21, etc, should be lifted?

The American litmus test for the above, of course, seems to be yes, you can do what you want, unless it hurts other people: I've seen some less-then-convincing arguments for how the activities I've listed above hurt other people, yet most of those are (getting)? banned|taxed. It seems that Bert is making the argument that TV hurts other people, and so should be banned|taxed. I'm not convinced yet, but I'm willing to listen to his POV.

Bert. I have a counter question for you: where does this sort of thing end? Say we do prove that TV hurts people: Say we accept that as a given.

What's next?

Do we start forcing people to exercise? Eat right? Avoid carbs? Stay married? Code in Java? At what point should we say: yes, this hurts other people, but you can do it anyway. Or is there no such point? Or is it a judgement call?

And if it's a judgement call, then who's judgement? A judge( for the sake of the argument, just assume that the judge disagrees with your position on the given topic)? 50.0000001% of the population? Auntie Em? This is a slippery slope, methinks.

M

[ November 28, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ][/QB]


I agree with you initial response regarding American litmus tests. You are right we have many incentives/rules to already curb certain behaviors/actions in a "free" society. I believe there will be more not less in years to come. I'm not afraid at all. Look at seatbelts - we know that they save lives and its worth the law, as is banning under-age drinking. We definitely are encroaching on an age where exercise or being fit will soon be rewarded or perhaps being not-fit will be punished by insurance companies. (Don't overweight folks need to buy two plane tickets now? Some company insurance plans will reward folks with cheaper gym plans and may start to put obese folks in the same catagory as smokers.)

I wouldn't be so opposed to the TV-tax to cut down on violence. Let people get VCRs/DVDs to get their fix. Personally, I think a lot of broadcast TV is junky. Sometimes I think some shows are just a way for Hollywood types to push the limits of acceptability, for only the sake of pushing.

If I had a wish, it would be for a way to combat the distortions of the network news. I don't think the TV stations should be in the business of pushing political agendas. I'm not even sure how to go about getting this, but [One of the rules here is that political sideswipes are not allowed. Drive safely. -MH]
[ November 28, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]

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Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
I wouldn't be so opposed to the TV-tax to cut down on violence. Let people get VCRs/DVDs to get their fix.
So you are going to claim that watching TV promotes violent behavior but watching violent movies on your DVD doesn't? It seems to me that the tax shouldn't be on people who watch TV but on the manufacturers of the violent entertainment. Why should I pay a TV tax for violence if all I watch is Barney and Dora the Explorer?
Thomas Paul
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Looking through the article, I'm not buying it.

In 1998 alone, according to the US Secret Service, there were 35 murders, and almost a quarter-of-a-million American children "seriously injured" by school violence.

35 killed and 250,000 seriously injured? Show me anything else that has those kind of ratios. Fire? Earthquake? Volcano? None of them have that kind of ratio. It seems to me that their definition of "violence" may not be what we would define as violence.
Thomas Paul
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As I suspected, this is not accepted scientific research:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,49049,00.html
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
As I suspected, this is not accepted scientific research


To be fair, not being accepted by the Cato institute, and not being accepted scientifically, are two very different things. I'd rather hear your own opinion and reasoning.

M
Thomas Paul
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I'd rather hear your own opinion and reasoning.My own opinion is the the study is junk science. It was done by a group with a motive and the results of the study come out EXACTLY the way they wanted the results to come out. Would you believe a study by Microsoft that said that there is less violence among people who use Microsoft products? The study was not done blindly. The people in the study knew exactly what the study was about. we told you that we were going to show you 2 hours of violent TV every day and see how it affected you, would your behavior be unaffected by the study?And then there is this:

Researchers first carefully assessed the baseline level of aggressive behavior in 192 third- and fourth-graders through playground observations and interviews.

So the whole study is based strictly on the opinions of the people doing the research.


[Oh crap: I meant to hit reply and hit modify instead: Sorry Paul, I did my best to put it back together. Max ]
[ November 28, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Bert Bates
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I prefer Max's approach...

Let's SAY that this study might not be perfect...

Let's SAY that maybe the FOX report isn't perfect either...

Let's SAY that we can find 1000 other studies linking TV watching to violence...

I think maybe the question IS about slippery slopes. We've got all the seatbelt, smoking, insurance... blah, blah, blah precedences that indicate that if someone wants to behave in a dangerous manner that statistically causes expense to society, they get charged for that behavior, one way or another.

The question is, would it be a good idea to add TV to that list of behaviors? Max says "where does it stop? Do we tax people for high carb diets?"

So, we have the question of the right to privacy...
We have the question of one person's behavior adversely affecting another person...

How about this? What if broadcasters were required to air PSAs saying something like: "WARNING: The surgeon general has determined that watching violent acts on TV increases violence in the world."

How about that? No taxes, no privacy issues..
peter wooster
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:

To be fair, not being accepted by the Cato institute, and not being accepted scientifically, are two very different things. I'd rather hear your own opinion and reasoning.

M


As soon as I see that Steve Milloy rejects something, my confidence level immediately goes up at least 10%. This is someone who believes global warming is a hoax and tobacco is completely healthy, if he were an ancient Easter Islander, he'd be the guy chopping down the last tree.
Warren Dew
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Bert Bates:

There are tons of stdies that show that media violence increases violence in children... this new study shows that, in addition, less TV equates to less violence...

When you actually look at the studies, they rarely separate the effect of television violence from television itself. It always seems to be the assumption of the journalist - for example the one at the killology link - that it's television violence that's at fault, while in fact, the study - as in this case - only points to television, violent or not.

I've seen exactly one study that actually tried to discern the effects between violent and nonviolent television, and that study concluded that watching nonviolent television was just as good a predictor of violence in children as was watching violent television.

My own conclusion is that kids that are supervised by a television or other inanimate device are more likely to be violent than kids that are supervised by a human parent. For that matter, it wouldn't surprise me if adults that tended to watch television rather than socializing with other human beings were more likely to be violent as well.

Given the cost of 30 or 40 hours of extra adult supervision a week, I don't think a small to moderate financial incentive - say, on the order of the UK television tax - is likely to have any significant effect. One in the range of tens of thousands a year might, but is that what we're talking about?

I think it would be more effective to get the word out to parents that less television and more parental supervision will make your kid a better adjusted and more productive member of society. It would also help to set things up so that kids actually have parents, preferably two of them, though I think we're doing pretty well in that department now.
Warren Dew
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And while I'm on my soapbox, I'm always skeptical of arguments like the following:

How many kids were killed or injured in school fires in the US in the last 5 years? Answer: Zero. Yet we do fire drills and have alarms and sprinklers for something that is only an infinitely remote possibility.

So are fire drills and alarms really a waste of time, as implied by this paragraph? Or is it that being killed in a school fire is a remote possibility because we have alarms and sprinklers?
Bert Bates
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Warren

Ah, yes!

Getting the word out! Now that's a plan!
Joe King
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Originally posted by John Dunn:
If I had a wish, it would be for a way to combat the distortions of the network news. I don't think the TV stations should be in the business of pushing political agendas. I'm not even sure how to go about getting this


Absolutely. This is, IMHO, one of the good things about having a publicly run and funded TV channel as it offers a source of news that is not influenced by corporate funding. A publicly run TV channel needs to be run carefully though - it needs to be independent enough from the government so that it does not become a government puppet channel. A good option would be to have a publicly run channel that is over seen by an independent watchdog. At the same time, perhaps this watchdog could also oversee the commercial channels to ensure that they do not become to bias. The down side of this is that it all goes to pot if the watchdog itself is bias :roll:
Joe King
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
And while I'm on my soapbox, I'm always skeptical of arguments like the following:

How many kids were killed or injured in school fires in the US in the last 5 years? Answer: Zero. Yet we do fire drills and have alarms and sprinklers for something that is only an infinitely remote possibility.

So are fire drills and alarms really a waste of time, as implied by this paragraph? Or is it that being killed in a school fire is a remote possibility because we have alarms and sprinklers?


I regularly eat garlic in order to keep me safe from vampires. Its a brilliantly successful technique - I haven't once been attacked by one. I therefore recommend that everyone eats large quantities of garlic.
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Let's SAY that we can find 1000 other studies linking TV watching to violence...


Let's SAY that it goes the other way. Let's SAY that studies show that TV violence is a release and children exposed to TV violence are less likely to be violent. Would you be willing to tax anyone who didn't own a TV? Would you be willing to tax anyone who didn't watch a certain number of hours of TV every day?
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Joe King:
The down side of this is that it all goes to pot if the watchdog itself is bias :roll:
No problem. We can just set up an independent watchdog to watch over the independent watchdog. And so on.
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Getting the word out! Now that's a plan!
What word? That certain biased and unscientific studies show what the people sponsoring them want to show?
Thomas Paul
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We already know that there is a corelation between divorce and violent children. What if we add a tax surcharge to any couple with children who gets a divorce? How about an additional 10% income tax surcharge payable for the remainder of their lives?
Gerald Davis
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Looking through the article, I'm not buying it.

In 1998 alone, according to the US Secret Service, there were 35 murders, and almost a quarter-of-a-million American children "seriously injured" by school violence.

35 killed and 250,000 seriously injured? Show me anything else that has those kind of ratios. Fire? Earthquake? Volcano? None of them have that kind of ratio. It seems to me that their definition of "violence" may not be what we would define as violence.


Over here in Blity we watch the same kind of vilence on TV, but crime in general is lower. What does help lower crime is good manors, and treating other people with respect.
There is a saying, treat others as you would like to be treated yourself but this saying is flawed, because I would give myself ten lashes if I failed to bench press 150 pound weights.

Better to say, treat others the same as you would your own children. Some children need decipline when they get out of hand, some children need love, but all children need some respect. I have also have respect for how most teachers treat pupils at school.

Most teachers do not sware, the don't try to belittle, mock and laugh at the pupil, they don't attack out of hate, what they do is help the ungreatful little bliters.

If someone pisses you off bigtime, think about what your strictest highschool teacher would do.
Warren Dew
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Thomas Paul:

We already know that there is a corelation between divorce and violent children. What if we add a tax surcharge to any couple with children who gets a divorce? How about an additional 10% income tax surcharge payable for the remainder of their lives?

At least we don't charge higher income tax rates on most of those who elect to stay married any more, as was the case until a few years ago.
Warren Dew
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Joe King:

I regularly eat garlic in order to keep me safe from vampires.

I do too. Considering how many of my friends claim to be vampires and are never seen in sunlight, it seems only a prudent precaution.

It's a good thing I happen to like garlic!
[ November 29, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
Frank Silbermann
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Thomas Paul: Why should I pay a TV tax for violence if all I watch is Barney and Dora the Explorer?
My wife used to get violent impulses while our oldest was still in the Barney-watching stage. Eventually, my wife taught the four-year old to sing, "I hate you; You hate me; Let's hang Barney from a tree, with a kick and a punch and a bullet to the head; Now that purple thing is dead!"

About 35 American children murdered in schools each year ... it is regrettably true. Just this past year we had a gang hit in a New Orleans school; teenage drug gangsters invaded a school and assassinated a member of a rival gang who weeks before had murdered a member of their gang.

Fortunately it is not yet as many as we have who die of injuries obtained while playing (American) football in school.

We already know that there is a corelation between divorce and violent children. What if we add a tax surcharge to any couple with children who gets a divorce? How about an additional 10% income tax surcharge payable for the remainder of their lives?
No, because divorce is not behavior that Progressives wish to discourage.

Gerald Davis: Over here in Blity we watch the same kind of vilence on TV, but crime in general is lower. What does help lower crime is good manors, and treating other people with respect.
Actually, I've heard that crime in general is much higher in England; only murder is lower. (Our murder rates are comparable if you correlate among murderers according to regions of ancestral origin. But we shouldn't do that, because that would be racist.)

I agree about "good manors" -- people with titled estates tend to have more self-control (though I've seen many British mysteries in which murder was done for the sake of inheritance). Good manners are also important ... :-)
[ November 29, 2004: Message edited by: Frank Silbermann ]
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
At least we don't charge higher income tax rates on most of those who elect to stay married any more, as was the case until a few years ago.

In the US we still do. The "marriage tax" is being phased out betwen 2005 and 2009 although in 2011, the phase-out expires and the tax law goes back to the way it was.
Jeroen Wenting
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There is no basis at all for showing that television causes kids to become violent.
What there IS is a basis to show that lack of parental oversight causes children to not develop social skills which in turn can lead to violent behaviour which is after all a primal instinct).

The correlation is that many parents would rather dump their children in front of the television than properly raise them.
This is not the fault of the television (as these studies would have you believe) but rather of the parents...

What we see ever more is parents dumping their kids at a daycare center on the way to the office, then picking them up when they get home and dumping them in front of the television while they go to some social activity (or an evening job).
As kids grow older the daycare center is replaced by the school where teachers effectively do the same. They dump the children in front of a computer screen with teaching software or if they're older teachers with some books while the teachers themselves do more important things like reading the sports pages or correcting tests.
Again, it would be easy to blame the computers and books for the children getting a poor education (and this indeed happens) when the real problem is the teachers.

And as to the global warming remark: there is indeed no proof whatsoever that shows such a thing exists in the sense typically meant by the alarmists.
The global climate is subject to change without notice and human influence on that change is at best miniscule and dampened by other factors that occur irrespective of any human activity.
Any report showing otherwise is based on junk science or if proper science on deliberate misinterpretation of the results of that science.


42
Gerald Davis
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Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:

Actually, I've heard that crime in general is much higher in England; only murder is lower.



I also found material that supports your argument too, whether it be true or not, I am completely amazed that England is comparable with the States. I live in London and the only safety worries I have are aggressive dog in the park maybe all the violent stuff happens after dark when the pubs close.



Actually, I've heard that crime in general is much higher in England; only murder is lower. (Our murder rates are comparable if you correlate among murderers according to regions of ancestral origin. But we shouldn't do that, because that would be racist.)




No I am not so sure about that, it is meanly due to the bad boy culture, those who are not into it are usually respectable people. My only experience of America is NY when it comes to manners self control they are considerably meaner most English black folk, I tell three In way they reminded me of English black folk very much, they many drive large SUV, much more are Christian, they are bigger and meaner but on the plus side they both are less inclined to binge drink, no teenagers kids or middle age woman staggering in the streets of Manhattan unlike here in London or Manchester.
peter wooster
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Originally posted by Jeroen Wenting:
And as to the global warming remark: there is indeed no proof whatsoever that shows such a thing exists in the sense typically meant by the alarmists.


So you tell us what you know about the background and credentials of Steve Milloy. Or readers could just look here.
Bert Bates
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Since there seems to be some concern about whether my initial claim is true, my lovely assistant dug up a few references (below), for your reading pleasure.

It seems that studies show that not only are kids adversely affected by TV, but us "grown-ups" are too!

Imagine that, all of our brains work in similar fashions...

So, back to the beginning, we have warning labels for alcohol, tobacco,,, how about PSAs that warn of the dangers of TV too?

- Bert


http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/jstmtevc.htm

http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/violence.htm

http://www.icvp.org/fs_tv.asp

http://www.ccsp.ucsb.edu/ntvs.htm

http://www.sosparents.org/


From a report by JAMA on othe "Psychological Reactions to Terrorist Attacks"
"The National Study of American's Reactions to September 11"

"The prevalence of probable PTSD was also significantly associated with the number of hours of TV coverage of the attacks."
Dr. William Schlenger

(although no conclusive causal proof; it is possible that people who were more disturbed WANTED to watch more TV)

http://webweekly.hms.harvard.edu/archive/2002/9_30/student_scene.html

From the book "The New Brain" by one of the world's leading brain experts (neurobiologist, neuropsychiatrist, clinical professor of neurology at George Washington University Medical School, author of "The Secret Life of the Brain", "Mozart's Brain and the Fighter Pilot":
"According to psychologist Roxanne Cohen Silver, who conducted research on the aftermath of September 11, watching the events live on TV produced levels of distress that in some cases equaled that of people who were either present at the sites or in telephone contact with someone in the buildings..."

"The visual medium is more intense," says Erica Wise, clinical psychologist and associate professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, "With radio, people do not have exposure to images that they will see again and again in their heads."

"I'm convinced that constant exposure to vital depictions of suffering, conflict, and violence creates dysfunctional circuits within areas of the brain that mediate emotion. The result? Various forms of PTSD; desensitization, feelings of unreality and detachment that cause one to respond to real tragedy as if it were a movie; and finally, various avoidance reactions ranging from phobia to burnout."

"While we all know that televised recreation isn't "real", our emotional responses may be the same... our brain's right hemisphere processes the images the same, and our brain's limbic system provides the emotional responses that would be appropriate if the events were "really happening".

From a study by Jeffrey Johnson of Columbia University, revisited in 1999,
" While 1.2 percent of the adults who watched less than one hour per day had acted violently, 10.8 percent of those who watched three or more hours had assualted someone..."
[note: this study was not confined to *violent* programs, but included total time watching any television programming]

"The correlation between violent media and agression is larger than the correlation between exposure to lead and decreased IQ levels in kids"
-- Brad Bushman, professor of psychology at Iowa State University.
"It is larger than the effects of exposure to asbestos."

Dr. Richard Restak's conclusion:
" From a practical point of view, it makes a lot of sense for you to avoid vivid images of events that, according to what we're learning from new brain research, can lead
[ November 29, 2004: Message edited by: Bert Bates ]
Max Habibi
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I does seem that there is an antiintelliecual backlash against science and scientists these days. That is, it seems that criticism is being leveled at the political ramifications of scientific research, as opposed to actually research methodologies. As someone with a formal background in math and science, I'm pretty disappointed to see this.

M
[ November 29, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Thomas Paul
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although no conclusive causal proof; it is possible that people who were more disturbed WANTED to watch more TV

And this is the problem with all of the studies. (Although none of your information was from actual studies but just lists of opinions. A battle of opinions will get quite boring as we can quote thousands of experts on both sides.) None of the studies have eliminated all external factors. They are almost all universally based on the opinion of the person doing the study. (The original study quoted is the perfect example... violence was determined on interpretations of the children's behavior. Is a push from a child a form of violence? Playfulness? Anger?)

But anyway, you have ignored the question... suppose studies showed that children exposed to TV were less violent. Would you be in favor of taxing people who don't watch enough TV? Also, since there is a direct corelation between violence in children and divorce, would you support a tax surcharge on couples with children who divorce?
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Max Habibi:
I does seem that there is an antiintelliecual backlash against science and scientists these days. That is, it seems that criticism is being leveled at the political ramifications of scientific research, as opposed to actually research methodologies. As someone with a formal background in math and science, I'm pretty disappointed to see this.
I see the opposite. It seems to me that organizations like APA aren't interested in doing hard science but are interested in producing studies that agree with their political beliefs. This isn't science... it's politics disguised as science.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
I love this one from the sos parents web site:


Television was introduced in 1945

From 1945 to 1974 homicides in the United States increased 93%


So therefore it must have been TV that caused the homicides! What they fail to explain is why countries like Great Britian and Japan (which presumably also have televisions) didn't see such a marked increase in their homicide rates.

Amazing.
[ November 29, 2004: Message edited by: Thomas Paul ]
 
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