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Public: Politics: Lies
War Against Errorism   (+8, -3)  [vote for, against]
A Campaign against calumny

We need to recognize and root out the growing tendency to base political decisions and public policy on half-truths, lies, evasions, deception, and ignorance. The errorists--those who are willing to use errors or falsehoods in pursuit of their private agendas in spite of the harm this does to others--are trying to destroy the best parts of our way of life.

A new office, the Department of Homeland Accuracy, can be charged with this task. All other government offices are responsible to it. It will require that the congressional record print *exactly* what is said on the floor, nothing added or taken out. It will widely publicize any discovery that government officials, including presidents, have made public statements they knew to be false, and be able to impose fines or restrictions on their campaigns or the campaign monies of any parties they were affiliated with at the time, unless the parties dump the candidates from the tickets within a week of discovering the error.

It will fund research into improving education, and attempt to stamp out faith-based policies or beliefs, replacing them with those based on the best available scientific knowledge. It will publicly mock, ridicule, and subvert entities like the creationist museum of Kentucky, and other institutions attempting to teach people errors.

Other tasks as assigned--I open the floor to your suggestions.
-- scottinmn, Oct 23 2007
The closest I have to a Department of Homeland Accuracy. [jutta, Oct 23 2007]

War On Error War_20On_20Error
[theircompetitor, Mar 27 2010]

//stamp out faith-based policies or beliefs//

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.

While I'm not atheist, I certianly don't think the government should in any way endorse a religious view.

[+] good idea
-- evilpenguin, Oct 23 2007

i personally am very fond of [calum], and whereas religious government is not a good idea, religious-based platforms are here as long as there are constituents that have a religious leaning. buy, buy, sell, sell. get over it.

other than that bit of tartar on your self-righteous teeth, the idea of keeping people honest is great. neutral.
-- k_sra, Oct 23 2007

I wish it were otherwise, but ridicule relies on snap judgements that aren't all that helpful when it comes to getting in touch with reality; and "accuracy", like "truth", depends on the level you're at. Accurate in what way?

Consider the problem of context. Quoting something out of context distorts its meaning, but is still "accurate" in the sense that the words really were spoken - but what may have been clear to people in the original situation is lost. Worse, the audience can't detect the deception - the quote doesn't have little tear marks on the edges where something important was cut off.

That said, media and propaganda literacy is important and definitely deserves a curriculum, although that's probably not a halfbakery invention. ("Teach X in schools"?)
-- jutta, Oct 23 2007

A lie is so much better when it is based on facts.
-- zeno, Oct 24 2007

Isn't this the job of serious journalists? (That is, the ones who aren't chasing Paris and Britney around so they can show us up their skirts etc)

And in that vein, isn't an example of this in operation, 'The Daily Show' with whassisname in the US, or HIGNFY in the UK (call for list of satirical organs in the worldwide media)

Or to put it another way, this is the reason why democracy *requires* a free press to operate properly - even if (some would argue *especially* if) that press gets called 'unpatriotic' occasionally, it is required in order to maintain all of these important checks and balances.
-- zen_tom, Oct 24 2007

maybe such an organization could ensure that the level of acceptable half-truth doesn't exceed the willingness or ability of the average viewer to sort it out.

and of course I read this as "War Against Orrerism"
-- FlyingToaster, Mar 27 2010

[+], but since all our conscious interaction with the world involves faith this would make us behave rather oddly.
-- nineteenthly, Mar 27 2010

Surely they'd cancel each other out, [Ian], wouldn't they?
-- nineteenthly, Mar 27 2010

[bigsleep]//where you can bundle many micro-observational faiths// In statistics, you're bundling them together with several macro-faiths which are the assumptions underlying your statistical model.
-- mouseposture, Mar 28 2010

This is the problem of induction: a large set of paired phenomena without any counterexamples doesn't actually entail cause and effect or connection, but it's generally assumed to, even to the extent that the opposite has been casually used to define insanity.
-- nineteenthly, Mar 28 2010

It doesn't confirm the hypothesis, it just fails to falsify it, but there might be another way round it, namely that terms are more useful loosely defined rather than rigorously so. Earth is in a sense not spherical, but much of the time it's more useful to think of it as that shape. Certainty is similar. However, you might then find yourself dealing with emotional conviction: a high degree of trust that something is the case.

In the case of statistics, if statistical significance is chosen to be at a probability of less than five percent, if there are, say, twenty studies, it wouldn't be very surprising if one of them violated that, and if that was the only one you knew, you'd be misled.
-- nineteenthly, Mar 28 2010

[bigsleep] No, I don't mean Bishop Berkeley stuff. I just mean ordinary statistical assumptions like homoscedasticity, independence of error terms, linearity -- stuff like that.

[ninteenthly] You're describing frequentist statistics, but (increasingly, lately) there's also Bayesian. And you're describing Popper, but there's also Lakatos.
-- mouseposture, Mar 29 2010

I may be fully armed, but I'm only half-assed.
-- mouseposture, Mar 29 2010

random, halfbakery