Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Propagandizing one's self out of work

From the Financial Times:

First it was the typewriter, then the teleprinter. Now a US news service has found a way to replace human beings in the newsroom and is instead using computers to write some of its stories.

Thomson Financial, the business information group, has been using computers to generate some stories since March and is so pleased with the results that it plans to expand the practice.

The computers work so fast that an earnings story can be released within 0.3 seconds of the company making results public

Well, well, apparently there are limits to the virtue of being a corporate shill. If you are just going to be a mouth piece for the corporate view (and what else what you call a reporter who simply takes the corporation's view and data at face value) you are expendable.

Descartes wrote what has come to be known as the cogito, I think, therefore I am. He rejected the idea of simply repeating the lies others had told him. Reporters at Thomson might be finding new meaning in the cogito, or they would if it was ever found in a corporate news release.

Now, let's talk about a few of the guys who work for the major news organizations regurgitating press releases from the Department of Defense, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis. I think replacing those who are willing to sell their souls with machines a step towards greater honesty in society.