Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

Why do we have to know everything about everything?

Asked by Cruiser (34999 points ) March 24th, 2014

I just read a story that was just so abhorring to me I can’t even repeat it here. Thanks to the internet all forms of information is reported, conveyed and exchanged. Do you welcome all the news you can get no matter how gruesome the details? Is there news or information you do not wish to know? Should the news media have a filter of some kind in that some things just shouldn’t be revealed?

Personally I don’t think we should censor anything but at least put some bits of information that is just so offensive in a special place that the need to know everything curiosity seekers can go to get all the nitty gritty details or at the very least be conscious enough to put a “warning” that unsettling information is about to be revealed if you hit this link.

I really wish I had a mind erasure after reading that headline earlier

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54 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

Well, now I know that I really want to know what you read.

ragingloli's avatar

I have a better idea. Create a “news source” with all the tame stuff for all the delicate wall flowers who can not handle real news.

hominid's avatar

@Cruiser – Could you direct us to the article or describe the type of news you are referring to?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I read the question and I was going to answer: “Because ignorance isn’t always bliss.” but after the details I’m rethinking that answer.

cookieman's avatar

We don’t. Avert your eyes, change the channel, turn the device off.

I agree that all “news” should be available. Doesn’t mean you have to consume it all.

Pachy's avatar

Read and watch what you like, ignore what you don’t. It’s a nice freedom to have and not one shared by many people in many other countries.

Coloma's avatar

No, I avoid the dark side of life as much as possible. Do not watch or listen to the news and still, yes, the internet can assault us with stuff we do not need to know randomly.
Not long ago I was watching youtube animal videos and a horrible one of someone who buried a cat in a metal tube full of cement came up. It was awful and I got out of there fast. Poor thing, it had to be euthanized, only it’s little screaming head and one leg reaching out of it’s tomb.

I do my best to not expose myself to things that will haunt me.

Blackberry's avatar

I know what you mean. With the notion of opening ourselves up and gaining all the knowledge we can, there are times when I really wonder if I need to know about all the violence. It’s good to be aware it goes on, but man it’s so depressing.

longgone's avatar

Hm. In my opinion, it’s my responsibilty to not expose myself to images which will haunt me. If I come across animal cruelty videos, for example, I know not to open them. I’ve gotten very good at averting my eyes the second I feel uncomfortable. So no – I wouldn’t advocate any kind of censoring.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I want to know everything all the time, even the bad stuff. Burying your head in the sand doens’t make it go away.

herculies's avatar

This answer might not target the question. Mankind is a curious species, we look at the universe and wonder… so much so that I beleive it is a higher human quality. Almost like god.

Long ago, I watched a video of a beheading and still am haunted by it. So I agree with the premise of your question.

Coloma's avatar

Feeding oneself on a steady diet of fear, cruelty, violence and negativity does nothing to change things, just like worrying changes nothing. It is just plain unhealthy to deliberately seek out bad news.

CWOTUS's avatar

I suppose that there are some predictive things that I would just as soon not know: the date and manner of my death, for example, or that of loved ones. But as for current events, news and any factual information of the present, I can’t think of anything that I would prefer to “not know”. There are any number of things that I wish might be other than what they are, and all kinds of outcomes (and past results) that I also would have preferred to be otherwise, but I’d rather know anything factual than not know it.

That said, however, and there being a limit to the knowledge that any mortal can possess, I choose to learn the things that I want to learn, or at least “I choose to inform myself on the topics that are most dear to me.” I don’t go looking for bad news or ugliness, but I don’t recoil from the knowledge when it is there.

JLeslie's avatar

I absolutely don’t need to know everything about everything. I’m with you @Cruiser that I rarely am ok with any sort of censoring of information, but I do think we can show some discretion on what is put out there. Being mindful of others and how it might effect people is a good thing in my opinion. There are many pieces of video I wish I had never scene of tragic scenes. Sure I can turn the channel, but I have to see it first to know that I want to turn it.

herculies's avatar

If the question is porn… then I think children should be shielded from it because, I believe it alters their personality for the rest of their lives.

Cruiser's avatar

I apologize in advance to those who are sensitive to awful visuals….do NOT go to the Link if you are easily disturbed.

Cruiser's avatar

@cookieman For this link that I originally saw at Drudge left nothing to the imagination both with the headline and an awful picture. That is what I am taking issue with. Yes blame it on me for going to Drudge in the first place…but I would like the chance to filter out and have a choice to what I see, read and hear is all.

ragingloli's avatar

Seriously, THAT is what upsets you?

Cruiser's avatar

Yes it does @ragingloli. It upsets me that people can have so little regard for human life that they would regard aborted fetus’s remains as tinder for a waste to energy facility. It’s getting cold out again….time to throw another baby in the boiler.

hominid's avatar

@Cruiser – I’ll just duck in here to say that I thought you were going another direction here – like when the news needs to go into gruesome detail about an abduction or beating. I suspect you’ll get some pushback on your use of the term “baby” to refer to fetuses less than 13-weeks old. The article seems to use this term, which is extremely odd, but I’ll assume that’s a UK thing.

We all have our things that upset us. For me, it’s usually related to war, poverty, inequality, and suffering. But this article you presented is just puzzling. If this is true, it simply raises health and policy questions in my mind. Is the hospital following proper guidelines when disposing of tissue, etc.

Anyway, I suspect you might have expected that this would be potentially controversial – to single out an odd story and make a connection between “human life”. That connection is very questionable in my opinion, so it’s not surprising that this article is one of the least disturbing news stories that I have read lately. But I will grant you that if I believed that a 13-week fetus was “human life” and was alive when thrown into the incinerator, I would find it disturbing.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

I see nothing wrong with the article; in fact, I believe it should have been told. The only people who would not have any feelings over it would be those heartless people who figured the woman was spared an inconvenience getting in the way of her fun. If streets were being paved with the pulverized bones of puppies, people would want to know and get indignant about it. Why not slap those grieving mother in the face, many societies already do as well as those who want to have children but can’t by allowing for the destruction of human life by those who can have them, did the deed, but don’t want to live with the consequences because it cramps their style.

Be it this article, another article, or some experiment; it is the nature of man to try to know everything. Once man feels he knows everything, he can convince himself that he alone is self-assured, and is ultimate master, that no one exist better than himself. Man will seek to find answers to every little thing until mankind comes to an end.

Cruiser's avatar

@hominid That is why I did not link the story as my question is NOT about debating the issue of aborted fetuses as medical waste….I am just putting it out here that I would like to know in advance that a story contains information and images that might be offensive to people.

I clicked on Drudge and in huge bold letters at the top of the page is “ABORTED BABIES INCINERATED TO HEAT HOSPITALS” I think that could have been presented in a more responsible way. I like being informed like @KNOWITALL points out, but I would simply like to have a choice in the matter and my choice will be to avoid Drudge all together. At least they took down the disgusting image of a burning babies melting face

hominid's avatar

@Cruiser – Fair enough. Reddit’s NSFW and NSFL tags do a pretty good job of warning the viewer that it’s possible they are about to click on something that will require brain bleach. It sounds like you would prefer something like that – a warning. Also, yes – avoiding Drudge is always the right thing to do.

Kropotkin's avatar

Where are the images? The only thing I see in that Telegraph article is some pregnant woman getting an ultrasound scan.

I don’t see anything wrong with incinerating foetuses for energy. Would it be better to have them rot in the ground instead? Maybe compost?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Cruiser Right To Life organization’s use that material to help prevent abortions as well, so in a way, using horror like this a/k/a reality, sometimes helps prevent that very thing.

@kropotkin Some of us find it repulsive and disrespectul. Sounds 1984’ish.

Cruiser's avatar

@Kropotkin The image was on Drudge’s home page as the link to their Telegraph story which thankfully was more tactful in their presentation of the information.

herculies's avatar

Soylent green is not far away.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@herculies Gotta watch out for people like @Kropotkin then! If a fetus is okay for energy, why not protein?

ragingloli's avatar

@KNOWITALL
Because like any corpse, it is a biohazard.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli People have eaten people before, when you’re desperate, some people do what they feel they need to do.

ragingloli's avatar

In any case, you should be commending them for doing the capitalist thing, lowering costs by using their biowaste as fuel, instead of wasting money unnecessarily.
As a self proclaimed free market conservative, you should be cheering on them.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@ragingloli I think you know better than that.

janbb's avatar

I found the article on statins from the same page and why a doctor stopped taking them much more compelling. I can understand the repellent part of the piece on disposal of fetuses but think it was probably worth writing.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I don’t know if you’re interested in people’s views on the article itself, but it seems fairly obvious that the aborted fetuses are burned because they are medical waste, and all such waste is burned by hospitals. To suggest that they do this specifically to reduce heating bills is absurd, and irresponsible journalism. Certainly the writers know better than this. Frankly, so should everyone reading the article.

Cruiser's avatar

@dappled_leaves I would not discourage anyone from commenting on the article as I find others perspectives often enlightening. What I understood in the article though is the parents of the fetuses were told the remains would be cremated not incinerated as medical waste.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Cruiser Fair enough, although I don’t see how there’s any difference between the meaning of the words incineration / cremation / burning. It is the same thing.

Cruiser's avatar

@dappled_leaves Cremation as I know it is a chosen form of respectful handling of human remains. Incineration of medical waste in a waste to energy facility to provide heat to hospitals is not my idea of respectful treatment of human remains and very deceitful. I want my dead body to be cremated and my ashes bequeathed to my survivors and would be pretty upset if I was used as a heat source in my passing.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Cruiser If your remains are burned, you will be a heat source. This is unavoidable and undeniable. I’m sure @LuckyGuy could calculate the BTUs you would generate.

It seems you have missed my point about deliberately misunderstanding the issue of burning of medical waste. It must produce energy. That does not mean that anyone orders up medical waste in order to meet fuel requirements. Sheesh.

Cruiser's avatar

@dappled_leaves I am well aware burning anything creates heat….my point is the respect implied and IMO due human remains. The parents of the fetuses were lied to and told the remains would be cremated. My point is that and only that. You picked the wrong thread to debate the BTU’s of burned human remains.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Cruiser I am not the one calling it a heat source, but whatever.

Cruiser's avatar

@dappled_leaves I suppose someone impersonating you must have said this then….
” If your remains are burned, you will be a heat source.”

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Cruiser Ok, more specifically, I am not the one arguing that anyone is using medical waste / fetuses / human bodies as a heat source. I have argued against since I began posting here, so I would have thought this was obvious.

Seek's avatar

Why are people so easily triggered by sensationalist writing?

NEWSFLASH: Hospitals burn medical waste. Some hospitals reclaim some of the energy spent incinerating it.

It’s dead flesh. They burn it. Just like they’d burn your leg if they had to chop it off. BFD.

Seek's avatar

From what I can tell, the Telegraph is the UK Fox News. The source article had deleted any sensible comments, leaving only the “OMG Jesus is crying!” comments.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Well that was underwhelming.

@KNOWITALL “Some of us find it repulsive and disrespectul. Sounds 1984’ish.”

Never actually read 1984 have you?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar Yes, my hippie mother made me- lol

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL

Interesting, as that actually sounds like absolutely nothing in 1984.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Thought you didn’t read it, lol.

Anyway, some people tie in the food in Orwell’s book to human harvesting, like SPAM except with human meat.

See this clip from a movie in 1973
http://youtu.be/9IKVj4l5GU4

Darth_Algar's avatar

I don’t recall anything in the book suggesting that the food is an any way tied to human harvesting, just that it’s of very poor quality (save for Inner Party members, who get the best of everything).

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar It’s the synthesized food situation to which I was referring.

Sooooo, you were just lying about not reading the book? That’s pretty weird.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@KNOWITALL

Where did I say I have not read that book?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Darth_Algar I guess I put a comma in your sentence that you didn’t. Sorry.
Never really read 1984, have you?

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