Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Ebola

3 Reasons We Should Stop Watching TV News

Over the past several months, I’ve been paying increasing attention to an interesting phenomenon–voter tunnel vision. You may have noticed in recent months that mainstream media–particularly cable news networks–have devoted a remarkable amount of air time to a very narrow list of political issues:

  1. Russia/Ukraine Conflict
  2. Israel/Palestine Conflict
  3. Michael Brown Shooting/Ferguson Protests
  4. ISIS
  5. Ebola

Now, these issues are, to varying degrees, important. But why do they get so much coverage compared with more severe long-term problems like heart disease, malaria, poverty, climate change, education, and so on? Essentially, it’s because TV is a terrible medium for news, and I can show you why.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Threat of Ebola is Massively Overstated

In recent months, Americans have taken a hysterically fearful attitude toward Ebola, an extremely unpleasant viral disease that kills most of the people it infects in a remarkably gruesome way (vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, sometimes with internal and/or external bleeding). Multiple US congressmen have expressed fears that Latin American immigrants will carry Ebola into the United States from Mexico. Nevertheless, Ebola poses virtually no threat to people living in the western hemisphere, and even the threat it poses to Africans is overstated.

Read the rest of this entry »