|New Civilization News: False Information|
17 comments15 May 2005 @ 21:43 by ankh : Good idea, Ming
for having the cleartext overview, but I doubt most companies will try that honest approach - too chicken. Unless someone has the guts to start it and it snowballs because there will be sudden success. That is what it will take, I think.
The more I see ads on tv for medications the more upset I get - and I was upset to begin with that these things were being advertised on tv to tell our doctors what to give us! I find that I am more turned off than ever to all of these medicinal products and wouldn't dare try any of them simply because of the possible side effects, even if they are rare. So in a way, they are doing a service to me in that way lol.
I find the best approach to anything is being up-front about it. I saw one ad on an Israeli network that had a great idea - they wrote that we are being bombarded with too much noise in our lives already so their ad would be silent to honor our peace of mind. They just wrote some very basic words about their product, to the point, and that was it. That got my attention. (And I'm sure they saved money not having to use sound, too.)
As for the other small print items - yup, you're right about that. The important stuff is left to the small print that most people don't bother reading. I think they make sure it's so complex and long that it bores people right off the bat from reading it, making the company's defense that much easier. Look at the news - I say that laughingly. What IS news isn't - and what ISN'T news, is.
15 May 2005 @ 22:11 by ming : Alternatives
One thing that people clearly would want, but which the companies usually hate, is alternatives. And a clear outline about how the given product is similar or different to those alternatives. Of course I'd want to see what the range of available solutions are, and what their pros and cons are. I'd want to know that the presented namebrand product has the exact same formula as the generic version that costs half. I'd want to know what else is trying to solve the same problem. And of course I'd be willing to pay for the best solutions. But, yes, they're too afraid of being found out, and afraid of having to be judged on the actual quality of what they put out.
15 May 2005 @ 22:58 by ankh : The consumer
the companies expect the consumer to do all the hard work comparing products or treatments - as if we'd even know where to begin in some cases. I have seen a few companies comparing themselves to others - to show that they're offering more for less, such as internet companies, or even some food products. But it has a long way to go. Pharmaceuticals aren't interested in alternatives to their products, they want to sell their own. Then we have this other problem with health insurance companies who will say you HAVE to have the generic product when your doctor says no, or if you can't take the generic. You can usually get your doctor to change that but everything is a hassel these days. I'm still waiting for a real health program in America. It is the worst right now.
One trend I have seen of late ticks me off - that is companies like Norton selling the anti-virus program or MS and their Windows for use on only one computer. I think that's outrageous and unfair business practices. If you buy a regular product, the company doesn't tell you where or how you can use it once you purchase it. Why should software companies be able to do that? Why can't I buy one program and use it on all my pcs at home or at work, that are my personal computers? I understand their fear of being ripped off, but there are simple ways to track the owner of several pcs for home use or small business use that don't have to break a person! The greed is all encompassing.
16 May 2005 @ 00:27 by Ge Zi @220.127.116.11 : second opinion
Hi Flemming, and this is exactly where the second opinion could come in - have the alternative information right there where somebody looks. My example always being that somebody looking up what the IRS has to say also finds the information what it really means to be a tax payer and that he is probably not one.
Or another example the site of the tarot card reader where somebody my give first hand experience.
16 May 2005 @ 02:07 by ming : Good Information
So, the question is how to inspire the kind of behavior that makes it truly useful. It isn't basically terribly hard to make a network of alternative information for all sorts of things. Like, it can be referenced to websites, to brand names, product names, place names, etc. OK, there can easily be some argument about how to create the categories, unless one can just add any number of them. But if it is open for anybody to contribute to, the question is to avoid that the target companies go and enter phoney information, or that their competitors go and enter damaging statements that aren't real.
Examples of what works well are Wikipedia, or many enthusiast sites. People who catalog everything there is to know about past car models or computers. Which is most easy when nobody is trying to protect some economic interest in that area, like the company that no longer cares about their 5 year old products. But more tricky when we're talking about what's going on now.
Oh, we can say what we want in blogs and so forth. The thing is what's the best mechanism for organizing it into a reliable instant semantic web utility of some kind.
19 May 2005 @ 03:27 by phil jones @18.104.22.168 : small print
Good point. I've been thinking for a while there ought to be something like a "small print" wiki where volunteers read the small-print of contracts (particularly of online services you sign up for) and give a list of warnings about important things you should be careful of. If we all do one, wouldn't be long before we covered most of them.
24 May 2005 @ 05:59 by Bob Hiltner @22.214.171.124 : Joel on Software example -w. st. 101
apropos brain twister on bond derivatives..
Here's the puzzle I published on my website yesterday:
You have $100,000 to invest. Which government bond should you invest in?
Bond A, B or C?
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