Monday, July 26, 2010

Complaint against BSkyB (Psychic Kids)

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This item is not so much an issue of religion, but a lack of disclosure or accountability with respect to the promotion or depiction of mysticism in the media.
I take the development of knowledge seriously. I consider integrity very important. For this reason, before I acknowledge or accept certain knowledge as fact, I consider the context in which the knowledge is presented. Everything is knowledge, though the veracity, plausibility or accuracy of that information is a matter for interpretation. This type of vigilance underpins not simply my integrity, but also the clarity of my cognition. The fact that I am a far superior thinker to most people is a testiment to this discipline, whether it depends on the filtering of information by critical thinking, definition of terms, or dedication to the reconciliation or integration of all knowledge, as opposed to repressing or compartmentalising information, which essentially integrates as a universal experience.

For this reason, I made a complaint to BSkyB.com about the basis of their 'Psychic Kids' series. In this program they depict kids having psychic experiences. The contents of the program appear factual. i.e. A psychologist and a 'ghost buster' type guy takes two kids into a 'haunted house'. These kids convey fear, and even simulate 'mystic phenomena'. What am I to make of these events?
I have never experienced anything mystical which I could not explain. i.e. Deja vu and a 'mystic-like' subconscious experience which I attribute to alcohol and associated dehydration. These things I can explain, and I know the context in which they occurred, so I can always adjust my thinking.
My complaint about this program is that it is depicted as fact, but the whole event could be 'staged' as fact, but in truth it is just someone's imagination. This strikes me as the 'subjectification' of science, and it is just one more step in the degeneration of society. i.e. The science of climate change has been turned into a popularity contest. To my mind the only scientists who matter are the critical thinkers....the rest are politicians with a value judgement to 'grind'. There is nothing wrong with scientists or anyone having an opinion, but we do need to know some context to the assertion, and knowing whether content is fact, and the veracity of those factual assertions is part of the required disclosure. In this context, it is not scientific veracity I am seeking, but some legal declaration that the producer experienced these phenomena, so I can sue him if later evidence proves he lied or deceived.
I contacted the 'Psychic Kids' acquisitions manager at BSkyB.com, Jinal Patel, and he tells me it is factual content. I did ask him if the production house is required to sign a contract or statutory declaration attesting to the 'factuality' of the content, but he did not respond. Clearly I am suspicious of mystic claims, principally because commercial enterprises care little about integrity....but I hope to raise their standards and yours. This is the type of regulation I like...that which clarifies rather than distorts markets :)
For this reason, I made a complaint to the UK regulator for the communications industry. There is a section for Video-On-Demand at their website, or you can email: vod@ofcom.org.uk.
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Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com