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Thursday, 07 June 2012


I will certainly be holding off on the OM-D for a few weeks longer. I already own one discontinued camera system that is too good to be replaced, but unfortunately not upgradeable (Contax 645).

It's true of politicians, and corporate execs, who generally have an ax to grind and/or a position to defend: The Irish saying (based I believe on a Biblical line) "The truth is not in them". In both cases, getting or keeping money and power is a top priority.


If last year's accounting fraud scandal didn't scare you off, why does a denial by a company that wasn't even previously in the rumor sweepstakes (Fujifilm, Sony, Ricoh) make you skittish now?

"...one side was trumpeting that Wisconsin had added 30,000 jobs, and the other side was advertising that Wisconsin had lost 30,000 jobs. Which was it?"

This is an example of the type of conundrum that prompted me to "turning-off" so much of the world's "news" and noise 10+ years ago. In the final distillation it just doesn't really matter a whit what "I" know, or think I know, about most current subjects. Politics (especially), economists (for the most part), entertainment celebrity news, most sports, nearly all pop culture subjects (especially television shows)...all go directly to my "ignore" bin.

This leaves me much more time to tune-in more closely to subjects that either I affect or that directly affect me. I don't propose wide adoption of my strategy but I can report that it's been a much more satisfying and rewarding strategy for the final 25-30% of my time on the planet!

As a former serious newspaper guy, I have to say that the media is now more screwed up than anytime since World War II, and maybe before that (although there were always abuses.) In the last two decades, it has become more and more partisan, and less and less professional or fact-based. So where did the Panasonic-Olympus report come from? Apparently, it's impossible to tell. Maybe it started as a rumor on a photo forum, and got picked up by some 19-year-old "reporter" for a newspaper.

In the US, local newspapers are disaster zones because of Craig's list and other such internet media. The internet devastated advertising revenues, and all over the country, thousands of professional journalists have been laid off, not to be replaced; those that are replaced are replaced by the rawest recruits, because they are the cheapest, and they are thrown directly into the deep end of the pool. So, when you read your local political news, it may very well be coming from a 23-year-old journalism grad who took one poly-sci course in college.

The national papers like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times and the Wall Street Journal (who are also suffering severe economic problems) have another problem: they have fallen in thrall to various political theories and to partisan politics, to the point where the Post and the two Times have become more or less spokesman for the Democrats, while the WSJ performs the same function for the Republicans. As a result, none are to be trusted. The LA Times has an economics columnist who essentially campaigns for euro-socialism, which I wouldn't mind, except that he poses as a reporter giving us "facts," when what he is giving is is rather poorly informed opinion. The WSJ currently campaigns against the concept of global warming, apparently in the belief that global warming is a left-wing conspiracy and can be stopped by voting Republican.

A couple of days ago, as I was driving cross-counry, I was listening to the BBC on satellite radio, and a woman news reader informed us portentously that "71,000 African children were adopted by Americans" last year and that the trend was accelerating. You could tell by the tone of her voice that she thought this was a rather bad idea, but her words gave no hint of why. Further, there was not, in the entire report, any suggestion of what "71,000" meant. Is that a lot? Or is it not very many? You can't really tell without knowing how many children there are -- if there are 71 million, a figure I just pulled out of my butt, then one-in-a-thousand adoptions from a poor continent wouldn't seem excessive. In other words, there was nothing to give perspective; there was no professional-level reporting. It's like that old joke, "We have as partial score from the Iowa-Wisconsin basketball game: Wisconsin, 42."

The internet meme about "information should be free" never took into account what you got when you paid for information -- some level of professional reporting and judgment. But it's like the idea that bad money drives out good: cheap information drives out expensive information.

I don't know, but I suspect that this is a media phase on the way to something else, and that sometime in the future -- I may not live to see it -- we will be back to a paid model for some people. Most people will still get free (bad) information, but some people will choose to get better paid-for work. Guess which the 1% will choose.

Actually Mike, I am going to be the new owner of Olympus as I need a replacement for my E-10. The deal should be finalized just as soon as I get the opportunity to drop of the monies.

Cheers, "The Wheel"

Boy, doesn't that just about sum up modern information media.

Nothing happens entirely by accident. This state of affairs must suit somebody or it wouldn't exist.

You didn't hear the news? I'm buying Olympus.

No, not buying an Olympus. Buying Olympus.

Can't wait to see the blog headlines tomorrow...

P.S. - @John Camp, agree 100%

Yes, we have to assume, based on events of the recent past, that Olympus' statements are the least trustworthy of all involved. Should we just automatically assume the company to be lying yet again? Inquiring minds want to know.

With regard to the sky being blue you might find this podcast to be of interest: http://www.radiolab.org/2012/may/21/

Aside from TOP, the only Internet site I trust is


@John Camp. Spot on.

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