Half-Assed Media Speculation About the Batman Shooter – Hit & Run: Reason.com

I don’t normally quote Reason, but they do mention something that I find really irritating:

Undeterred by how wrong they got the Columbine shootings 13 years ago, or how disgustingly politicized they turned Jared Loughner’s 2011 rampage, the humans who work for and talk with journalistic outlets are again rushing to speculative judgment about Jim Holmes, the suspected Batman murderer in Aurora, Colorado.

via Half-Assed Media Speculation About the Batman Shooter – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

It turns out that there’s actually a precept of the American Psychological Association known as the Goldwater rule that states that it is unethical “for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement1.”

Wild speculation doesn’t help and can be harmful. I’m inclined to let the appropriate experts make their informed conclusion rather than make guesses based on potentially-unreliable reports or claims in the media.

If only more people thought the same way…

  1. http://psychiatry.org/FileLibrary/Practice/EthicsDocuments/Ethics-Principles-2010.pdf, Page 9, Section 7, Principle #3 []

On Commenters

Say what you will about the quality (or lack thereof) of government officials, I’m just exceedingly glad that the people who comment on news websites are not in charge. Holy crap, the stupid burns.

I suppose newspaper editors would have always had to deal with various deranged Letters to the Editor, but I was able to retain some faith in humanity because the editor would use some discretion to weed out the most absurd, crazy letters and so I’d only see the mostly-sane letters that they’d publish.

The Internet has served to enhance communication for people all over the world, and for that I’m pleased, but it’s also served to bring the crazies out of the woodwork. Some times it makes me want to disconnect and go hide.

That said, YouTube commenters are by far the worst, but I guess I’ve adapted to that and consider YouTube to be a video side with a side of fresh stupidity. I’ve not yet wrapped my mind around the same thing with news site comments.

Colorado Shooting

The news is reporting that someone opened fire in a theater in Colorado, shooting 71 people and killing 12.

I’m not really sure what to say, or if there is anything that can be said.

Although I can’t do anything from where I am, I’d like to express my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to all those affected by this tragic incident.

Fear me, for I am root

Google Authenticator Plugin: I’m sorry, but it is not possible for you to import an existing shared secret. You must generate a new one.

Me: Really? That’s annoying.

GAP: Yup. Sucks to be you.

Me: Fine. *generates a new secret* Oh, there’s something I ought to tell you.

GAP: Tell me.

Me: I have root access to the database in which the secret is stored. *edits the appropriate entry in the database, thus restoring the previous shared secret*

Political TV Ads

From what I hear from friends and the news, I’m really glad I’m not living in a swing state: I hear the political ads back in the US are essentially non-stop.

That’s one aspect of home I really don’t miss.

Private