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posted by martyb on Wednesday December 08 2021, @11:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the who-wants-to-know? dept.

Whether people inform themselves or remain ignorant is due to three factors:

"The information people decide to expose themselves to has important consequences for their health, finance and relationships. By better understanding why people choose to get informed, we could develop ways to convince people to educate themselves."

The researchers conducted five experiments with 543 research participants, to gauge what factors influence information-seeking.

In one of the experiments, participants were asked how much they would like to know about health information, such as whether they had an Alzheimer's risk gene or a gene conferring a strong immune system. In another experiment, they were asked whether they wanted to see financial information, such as exchange rates or what income percentile they fall into, and in another one, whether they would have liked to learn how their family and friends rated them on traits such as intelligence and laziness.

[...] The researchers found that people choose to seek information based on these three factors: expected utility, emotional impact, and whether it was relevant to things they thought of often. This three-factor model best explained decisions to seek or avoid information compared to a range of other alternative models tested.

Some participants repeated the experiments a couple of times, months apart. The researchers found that most people prioritise one of the three motives (feelings, usefulness, frequency of thought) over the others, and their specific tendency remained relatively stable across time and domains, suggesting that what drives each person to seek information is 'trait-like'.

In two experiments, participants also filled out a questionnaire to gauge their general mental health. The researchers found that when people sought information about their own traits, participants who mostly wanted to know about traits they thought about often, reported better mental health.

Journal Reference:
Christopher A. Kelly, Tali Sharot. Individual differences in information-seeking [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-27046-5)


Original Submission

Related Stories

Why Using Real Maps Instead of GPS Could Prevent Dementia 23 comments

Turning off Waze or your favorite GPS app and using an old-fashioned map may be the best way to fight Alzheimer's disease, a new study reveals:

Researchers at McMaster University say orienteering, an outdoor sport that exercises the mind and body through navigation puzzles, can train the brain and stave off cognitive decline. The aim of orienteering is to navigate between checkpoints or controls marked on a special map. In competitive orienteering, the challenge is to complete the course in the quickest time.

For older adults, scientists say the sport — which sharpens navigational skills and memory — could become a useful intervention measure to fight off the slow decline related to dementia onset. They believe the physical and cognitive demands of orienteering can stimulate parts of the brain our ancient ancestors used for hunting and gathering.

The human brain evolved thousands of years ago to adapt to harsh environments by creating new neural pathways, the McMaster team explains. Those same brain functions are not always necessary today, however, thanks to GPS apps and food being readily available.

Unfortunately, the team says these skills fall into a "use it or lose it" situation.

[...] People who participated in orienteering displayed better spatial navigation and memory skills, suggesting that adding elements of wayfinding into their daily routines benefited them over their lifetime.

Journal Reference:
Emma E. Waddington, Jennifer J. Heisz. Orienteering experts report more proficient spatial processing and memory across adulthood, PLOS ONE (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0280435)

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Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @12:04PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @12:04PM (#1202942)

    > expected utility, emotional impact, and whether it was relevant to things they thought of often.

    The marketers of the world already know that clickbait is what works on some large section of the population.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @07:56PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @07:56PM (#1203053)

      I Inform myself AND Remain Ignorant Due to Three Factors...
      C N N

      • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09 2021, @12:48AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09 2021, @12:48AM (#1203166)

        It could be worse. Your three factors could be F O X.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:11PM (11 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:11PM (#1202949)

    " The researchers found that people choose to seek information based on these three factors: expected utility, emotional impact, and whether it was relevant to things they thought of often."

    What about learning about stuff that is just interesting, with no expected benefit other than enjoying the process of learning?

    Perhaps reading a book of fiction is a less nerdy example, but a proper nerd has so much real stuff to look at...

    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by khallow on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:28PM (4 children)

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:28PM (#1202952) Journal

      What about learning about stuff that is just interesting, with no expected benefit other than enjoying the process of learning?

      "Emotional impact", right?

      • (Score: 2) by driverless on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:48PM (2 children)

        by driverless (4770) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:48PM (#1202955)

        And/or expected utility. I'm not going to read a 500-page book on the History of Ethiopian Pottery in 4000BC just because I see it sitting on a shelf, I'd expect to either learn something (utility) or derive enjoyment (impact).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @05:37PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @05:37PM (#1203022)

          How about a book about sporting ladies on other planets?

          (Spoiler: it's all talk.)

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:02PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:02PM (#1203094)

            relevant to things they thought of often

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rich on Wednesday December 08 2021, @02:05PM

        by Rich (945) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @02:05PM (#1202960) Journal

        My hypothesis of how the mind works is that it consists of layers of neural networks with feedback, stacked for abstractions. Some people have less layers, some have more. Part of the feedback mechanism is the amount of perceived order (arrangement, symmetry, completeness...). Achieving such order is rewarded. As one notices the incompleteness of information, the urge to complete it is created. You'll note that if information is offered, but withheld, the subject will want to get it, while the subject would usually not go on a quest for it out of the blue.

    • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:55PM (4 children)

      by Thexalon (636) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:55PM (#1202957)

      The real expected utility of all information is to be able to enter any conversation with "Well, actually ..." followed by correct information.
      The emotional impact is a feeling of smug superiority that comes from knowing stuff that other people don't about a topic.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:41PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:41PM (#1202999)

        Well how do you explain the continued use of wrong information despite the evidence? That seems to be the main problem these days - absolute wilful ignorance despite humiliating public correction over and over. I'm looking at you Runaway Republicans.

        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:40PM (#1203113)

          Examples of proven truths that some people choose to ignore:

          1/ Biden family sold access to Joe's office for years thru Hunter.
          2/ Hillary Clinton paid for the made up propaganda dossier against Trump to sink his presidency and deflect attention from her illegal use of a private email server which was exposed to evade security classification regulations
          3/ Democrat politicians bailed out violent rioters from jail during the made up 2020 riots (only during election years!) and Democrat politicians dropped charges for just about all of them (Antifa, which a prominent Democratic politician said "Does not exist."). Some of the rioters were the politicians' own kids (NYC).
          4/ Guns owned by criminals not allowed to have them are a crime that must be prosecuted. Unless you are Hunter Biden, in which case the FBI will "fix" any such problems for you.

          And on and on.

      • (Score: 3, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:04PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:04PM (#1203057)

        Knowledge being power, I opt to never inform anyone when they are wrong. Their ignorance makes them weak.

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by edIII on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:32PM

          by edIII (791) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:32PM (#1203107)

          Love to play Scrabble with you....

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:57PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:57PM (#1202987)

      but a proper nerd has so much real stuff to look at...

      Furry porn?

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by crafoo on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:39PM (3 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:39PM (#1202954)

    The researchers found that people choose to seek information based on these three factors: expected utility, emotional impact, and whether it was relevant to things they thought of often."

    Why is the 3rd factor some weird phrase and the first two are nice, concise phrases? I think the third was called something different before publication. Let's call it, "seeking confirmation". As in, seeking instances of confirmation bias of bad ideas you already have. In my experience, that is often a motivator for seeking information. I've watched annoyed people at bars do it on their phone, desperately bing'ing the internet for "facts" that backup their side of a barstool argument.

    Come on, let's be honest too. "Emotional impact" is just women. Women are emotional thinkers and naturally this is the reason they decide to do anything, ever. So yeah. "Expected utility" is obviously just what healthy men do. "Oh? Can I use this information to help my life not suck so bad tomorrow? Sounds good let's learn it."

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @02:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @02:46PM (#1202966)

      The third factor could be confirmation bias (IE not upsetting your world view), but it does seem harder to learn new stuff in a new field where you have less existing scaffolding to build from.

      Maybe both are just conservation of energy.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:47PM (#1203004)

      ...because "salience" is a word most people would have to look up and even more people would misinterpret.

    • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Wednesday December 08 2021, @05:02PM

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @05:02PM (#1203013)

      > "Emotional impact" is just women.
      > "Expected utility" is obviously just what healthy men do.

      Laughs.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:57PM (9 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @01:57PM (#1202958)

    The sources one chooses to be educated by are even more influential than the choice of ignorance vs "education."

    No one is truly 100% ignorant on any topic they are questioned about. Heisenberg applies: the act of questioning provides some information, and therefore prejudice and bias, to the questioned person. Who is asking? When and how are they asking? Many people will formulate an answer based on this information alone.

    Also important to realize is that for any question worth asking, being any question the questioner does not believe they already have the certain answer to, no one is truly 100% informed on every possible aspect of the topic. There are leading experts, but we are all just evolved slime on one particular wet rock.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by ikanreed on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:24PM (8 children)

      by ikanreed (3164) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:24PM (#1202974) Journal

      In the US, I feel like it's an open question which is more destructive overall: passive ignorance from apathy, or active and hostile ignorance from seeking and being fed information in dishonest ways.

      It's a lot to ask to say everyone should have a philosophy 101 kind of understanding of epistemology, a rigorous and practical understanding of the scientific method, and reliable application of critical thinking, but it's also a lot to ask to try to build a democratic society with people who don't.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 08 2021, @07:24PM (7 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @07:24PM (#1203044)

        >it's also a lot to ask to try to build a democratic society with people who don't.

        The question is: who do we throw off the island? Or disenfranchise? Do we start poll tests, you don't get to vote on issues you don't get good grades on in school?

        Democrazy's primary value is pacifying the masses, letting them feel that they have a "fair" say in the direction society is taking.

        As society becomes ever more complex and dependent on proper application of sophisticated knowledge to function properly, we do effectively need to disenfranchise the uneducated masses in order to steer a viable course into the future. The deckhands of a nuclear powered aircraft carrier don't get to vote on the course to steer.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
        • (Score: 2) by captain normal on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:45PM (2 children)

          by captain normal (2205) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:45PM (#1203078)

          What do you consider "uneducated masses"? People who don't have a college degree? Or is citizenship to be based on some type of literacy? Curious minds might be interested in knowing.

          --
          “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Edison
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:02PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:02PM (#1203095)

            Effectively, we don't put a lot of very important stuff to vote in the US oligarchy. The federal discount lending rate for one... there are millions of other things that affect people as much or more than whether or not they get vaccinated which are far beyond the voting booth's reach. We have just established these few pesky little things, like our bodies, as stuff the government shouldn't have access to - and occasionally that becomes a real problem.

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
          • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:37PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:37PM (#1203111)

            Not answering the question at all, but blathering on about whatever was on my mind when you were speaking - I'm practicing my political skills....

            Of course the poll tests reference was facetious. If you think BLM was an impressive demonstration, just suggest federal poll tests and see what erupts.

            College degrees are about as relevant as eye color for determining suitability for juding.... anything. Literacy? I'm a bit of a "one language" pusher, I think translations are a huge waste of time - but that's probably due to never leaving my one-language culture before age 20. So - what does literacy mean? The other side of that "one language" debate is the diversity of thought and the power that it brings when thinking in various languages, and there is merit to that point - I'm not sure there's enough merit to outweigh the vast inefficiencies of language translation barriers, but... if we are to have literacy tests, are we also to test a person's ability to grasp concepts which aren't expressed clearly, if at all, in their native language? Whether the "language of global trade" ends up being French, English, or Simplified Chinese - are we proposing disenfranchising those who don't speak it? I don't think there are many possible timelines where that would bring any kind of long term stability.

            --
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        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:46PM (3 children)

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:46PM (#1203081) Journal

          Do we start poll tests

          States that require a drivers license to vote already have those!

          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:00PM (2 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:00PM (#1203090)

            Pretty sure a state issued ID is adequate substitute for a DL in the voting requirements. It is in Florida at least.

            --
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            • (Score: 2) by number11 on Thursday December 09 2021, @03:52AM (1 child)

              by number11 (1170) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 09 2021, @03:52AM (#1203205)

              Pretty sure a state issued ID is adequate substitute for a DL in the voting requirements.

              Depends. Do they charge a fee for state ID? (Can't charge a fee to vote.)

              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday December 09 2021, @02:24PM

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday December 09 2021, @02:24PM (#1203307)

                Yeah, if you want the gold star, they want their $20 or whatever it is.

                However, in Florida, I'm pretty sure that you can also register and vote without any "paid" ID - they certainly accept the paid ID more easily, but for $40 worth of hassle you can prove your identity without the $20 card using basically the same documents that you have to produce to get the official ID card.

                --
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:20PM (9 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:20PM (#1202970) Journal

    Why do we need real information when we now have infotainment?

    We can now uncritically accept any lie or conspiracy theory, no matter how outlandish or ridiculous.

    Eaxmples:

    The Earth is flat.

    After 7 billion doses, the vaccine is not tested enough.

    Having a fake license plate which says PRIVATE, allows one to commit four (maybe five or six) crimes with impunity. (1) having a fake license plate, (2) no drivers license, (3) no insurance, (4) no vehicle registration, and maybe for extra credit: (5) whatever traffic violation caught the attention of the police, (6) failure to ID.

    People choose what "information" they believe.

    --
    Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Mojibake Tengu on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:38PM (7 children)

      by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @03:38PM (#1202982) Journal

      Quran, Bible, Torah, ...

      Lies have absurdly huge impact on humanity since forever.

      The real problem is in believers, not in information as such.

      --
      The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:12PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:12PM (#1202991)

        Western societies are suffering right now because they reject religious morality. They substitute whatever someone in govt, media, or academia tells them today is morality. Sorry, but that is not what built Western society.

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:46PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:46PM (#1203002)

          Let me guess... it was white supremacists? That look suspiciously like aged jocks that failed high school and want to punch your head in because "your a weirdo"?

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by mhajicek on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:48PM (3 children)

          by mhajicek (51) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:48PM (#1203005)

          There's plenty of suffering due to religious immorality.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
          • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:14PM (2 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:14PM (#1203060) Journal

            Oh that's funny, I thought he was describing Evangelical Christianity!

            • (Score: 3, Funny) by DannyB on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:35PM (1 child)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:35PM (#1203072) Journal

              Beware of priests baring gifts.

              --
              Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @10:19PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @10:19PM (#1203124)

                "That's no moon!" Abstinence makes the Church grow fondlers. In other (old fake) news, Pope John Paul I died of autoerotic crucifixion, body found by a nun (female). https://www.rawstory.com/pope-john-paul-i/ [rawstory.com]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09 2021, @11:52AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 09 2021, @11:52AM (#1203268)

        Here we go again. Blaming religions for all societies problems, even though more and more people leave religious organizations than ever before.

        https://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2018/07/16/millennials-really-leaving-religion-not-just-politics-folks/34880/ [pbs.org]
        https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/ [pewforum.org]
        https://www.prri.org/research/prri-rns-poll-nones-atheist-leaving-religion/ [prri.org]

        Faith in secular science still doesn't fix the issues we have if everyone simply ignores the truth that they find inconvenient for their personal reality.

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:41PM

      by edIII (791) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:41PM (#1203115)

      Infotainment is why I would have tacked on "quality of the thumbnail" at the end of the three reasons.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
  • (Score: 2) by ledow on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:15PM

    by ledow (5567) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @04:15PM (#1202993) Homepage

    All of those come under "Do I Care?"

    Those who don't care in some fashion (practicality, emotionally, or those who give it some thought) are, unsurprisingly, ill-informed.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by tangomargarine on Wednesday December 08 2021, @05:08PM (1 child)

    by tangomargarine (667) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @05:08PM (#1203016)

    In one of the experiments, participants were asked how much they would like to know about health information, such as whether they had an Alzheimer's risk gene or a gene conferring a strong immune system.

    Is there anything I can do about this? Knowing I'm genetically predisposed to some condition that we don't have any treatment to head off? Oh gee thanks, that's going to make me happier, knowing I have a higher chance of cancer or whatever.

    Kind of similar to the philosophical question, whether you'd want to know what day you'll die.

    In another experiment, they were asked whether they wanted to see financial information, such as exchange rates or what income percentile they fall into

    So basically, whether I should be jealous of other people. Another thing that is sure to make me happy.

    and in another one, whether they would have liked to learn how their family and friends rated them on traits such as intelligence and laziness.

    So, do you enjoy rumors and family drama. Yep, hard pass on that.

    --

    Personally I see a strong argument to be made for ignorance, considering how much of a dumpster fire the world is lately.

    --
    "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by looorg on Wednesday December 08 2021, @06:14PM

      by looorg (578) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @06:14PM (#1203033)

      Indeed. I find the questions asked odd. They are asking trivial and nonsensical question that doesn't matter. I guess they fall into that idea of relevancy vs utility then. I don't need to know most of those things and have no interesting in knowing about them. So I don't go around trying to gather information about them.

      I guess one could argue that in our current day in age with easy access around the clock at the touch of a few buttons retaining or gathering information have become less relevant. It's Brain JIT. You get it when you need it and doesn't bother keeping it around for some eventual future.

      Why would I want to know if I was going to get Alzheimers (etc) if there is nothing that can be done about it. Sure you might delay it and push it a bit but if it's inevitable then I guess I just prefer not to know. Don't need an actual death-timer/clock. It will or would just stress me more by knowing. Even if I found out that I don't have some aggressive precondition or gene doesn't in that regard matter. Likelihood of cancer etc is still fairly high eventually. Ignorance is in that regard bliss.

      Why would I care what income percentile I'm part of? I'm sure most people know already if they are somewhat well off or not. It matters little to me if other people are richer or poorer then me since I am not them. I don't compare myself to Richy Rich. Knowing my place in the order doesn't in that regard matter either.

      Exchange rates are only interesting if you actually plan on buying or selling things from oversees. Look up as needed, I don't exactly walk around wondering what the current rate of the $ is vs some other currencies. I have some vague notion about it but not an exact or up to date figure, that is good enough.

      How my friends and family rate me on intelligence and laziness etc? I already know. If they are your friends you'll know or figure it out eventually. Also while I might have opinions about them in that regard I wouldn't share them. That is just a ticket for drama I don't want or need.

      ... reported better mental health.

      Use it or lose it. People that use their brain more I guess work it, or exercise it, more so it is better then just not doing it. Hardly groundbreaking conclusions.

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by richtopia on Wednesday December 08 2021, @06:11PM (2 children)

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @06:11PM (#1203031) Homepage Journal

    I suppose I could click on this article. Or I could ignore it and remain ignorant.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:08PM (#1203097)

      but we wont know which intil you click.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:28PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @09:28PM (#1203104)

      I favor Mark Twain's advice:

      "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed."

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:15PM (#1203061)

    "In one of the experiments, participants were asked how much they would like to know about health information, such as whether they had an Alzheimer's risk gene or a gene conferring a strong immune system."

    I'd decline this, not because the knowledge wouldn't be helpful, but because I'm not giving my DNA to experimenters, or anyone else either. What else are they going to do with my DNA? The risk/reward ratio is unconvincing.

    "In another experiment, they were asked whether they wanted to see financial information, such as exchange rates or what income percentile they fall into,"

    Which means I'd have to give them my income information, wouldn't it? No thank you.

    "in another one, whether they would have liked to learn how their family and friends rated them on traits such as intelligence and laziness."

    So you want to know who my family and friends are, hmmm? How about fuck off?

    They apparently never thought that "amount of trust in the experimenters" was a factor in decision making.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:29PM (#1203066)

    They totally missed the Runaway Factor! Right after the O'Really Factor.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:49PM

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 08 2021, @08:49PM (#1203083) Journal
    --
    Scissors come in consumer packaging that cannot be opened without scissors.
  • (Score: 3, Touché) by acid andy on Wednesday December 08 2021, @11:58PM

    by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday December 08 2021, @11:58PM (#1203154) Homepage Journal

    OK, if we agree that a well-informed populace is better for democracy and the future of humanity than an ignorant populace, and also agree based on TFA that, given the choice, people will often choose to remain ignorant, the logical solution seems to be to pipe the appropriate educational material to the people continuously. An audio visual format is probably best and obviously the citizen mustn't be able to switch it off. Add some cameras to make sure they pay attention to it. Some kind of device could enable this, let's just call it, for want of a better word, a telescreen.

    Now of course such a system would be worse than useless if the information supplied were inaccurate. The modern world is filled with fake news and conflicting sources of information. Therefore a dedicated group of experts is needed to ensure the veracity of all the information, a Ministry of Truth, if you will.

    In this wonderfully empowered and educated population we can't have anyone feeling left behind as they first embark on their voyage of discovery, so it might be worth coming up with a catchy slogan to make them feel better while they're getting up to speed--how about something like "IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH"?

    --
    Master of the science of the art of the science of art.
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