Media: Don't Believe Fantasy Scenarios The Opinion Industry Sells
Obama should declare himself out of the running for 2012! Congress should get rid of the US Department of Education! Get rid of all the local school boards! Let's go back to the gold standard! Fire all the teachers! Pay them all $100K! Slate's David Weigel describes how the opinion industry feeds on unlikely and even fantastical scenarios to sell conflict and fill airtime / web pages and avoid the hard real-world discussions that are usually involved in tough policy issues. "Data is unexciting, especially if it's the same data everyone else has. Discussions of fantasy scenarios that could prove your theories right? Exciting!" Of course, Slate is know for its knee-jerk counterintuitiveness, and I've been known to suggest some pretty ridiculous ideas, if only to pass the time. But that doesn't mean that pundits shouldn't be mocked for their ridiculous proposals, or that sound, sober, workable (realistic) notions should be ignored just because they're not "new" or unexpected or don't serve anyone's political or organizational agenda.