Fighting Social Pollution (Again!)

Again with the social pollution! I’m also going to say a few things about celebrity "news" shows, ginned-up social problems and health threats, Q-Ray bracelets, and talk radio. My comments could apply to other specific things that don’t occur to me at the moment. The general categories of things that I have in mind here are corporate fear-mongering, political fear-mongering, crass commercialism, and political "thought" that hardly qualifies as thought at all.

You should already know that bad ideas can have three kinds of consequnces: wasted money, wasted energy, and opportunity costs. Keep those costs in mind as you read. I also want to invite you to consider how much money is wasted (and time too!) on health practices, like colon cleansing, that have no value, and may actually be harmful.

So, what’s a concerned citizen to do? I have several suggestions. Thanks for asking. Some of these ideas are meant to be taken seriously but not all. I was brainstorming  on the subway.

1. Keep reading my blog!

2. The FCC should require that all television shows start with content warnings: The ideas you will be exposed to by watching this program may be harmful to your relationships, finances, career, or intellect."

3. Calculate how much money is wasted on crap like Ehinacea, Q-Ray bracelets, ID theft insurance, or (fill in the blank, it doesn’t really matter). Take out an ad in the local paper or in a magazine.

4. See #3, but use a billboard or two.

5. The anti-social pollution movement needs a mascot and a spokesperson. I was thinking we could follow the lead of PETA and get an adult film star.

6. Pass a law requireing that all TVs be powered by hand-cranks. (Pedal-powered generators would be a reasonable alternative.)

7. Calculate the real risk of ____________ (insert overblown health or safety risk) to the average citizen. Post this information on billboards, or take out advertisements.

8. Start a campaign to get critical thinking skills in the curriculum.

9. Boycotts are good – Find out who advertises on/in offensive media and don’t buy their stuff. Write in to tell them about your concerns. We could follow the lead of environmentalists and create form letters people only have to flesh out and email from a Web site.

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~ by chetdavis on June 22, 2006.

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