What is wrong with this world...

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by cosmictotem, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    I've seen this in the United States. I think it's a bait and switch tactic by the cable companies. From my vantage point it appears the cable companies are trying to load up the basic channels with home made amateur hour programming while slowly moving all the quality programming to the next higher tier to get you to pay for it again. "57 Channels and Nothin' On" was the whole point, to borrow a Bruce Springstein line.. And of course, they attempted to create the same tiered pay structure for the internet but were foiled by the latest net neutrality decision in the states, thank goodness. I wouldn't pay for cable anyway. I'm just fine watching internet lectures all day. They think people, and unfortunately most are, blind to what's happening to them. People are missing that whole concept of "Pay-Per-View" is a redundancy. We already are paying for entertainment, people, remember? And not only that, we are paying for entertainment that is ad supported. Hmmm, I seem to remember when paid television was first introduced it was going to eliminate commercials because we the viewers, were paying for it, not any corporate sponsors. And here we are paying for television with commercials and then paying yet again to watch the "really good special programs". The cable companies must think the general public is a bunch of idiots. The people who see through all the shenanigans have got to shake people to wake them up.
     
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  3. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    There is both free broadcast TV with commercials and pay TV with none. So that's still available if you want it.
     
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  5. jabbaska Registered Member

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    Well said. From what I understood from your post, what you mean is that it is all intended? I mean, like in the big super markets (in Portugal we call them Hypermarkets), who never lose money, no matter what you break or steal from them. I had an economics class back in the day and the teacher used to tell me the products on display followed a strict marketing protocol, that changed according to trends and even days of the week. Yes, you are right. They think the general public's brain is made of gray rock and not actual gray matter that can "think" and conclude on its own. I also despise most of what we see on tv, besides movies and series to be honest, but what I need I also take from the Internet and books. Learning is part of my day-to-day routine, for even at work I read and analyse everything and whenever I can. Maybe that is what everyone should be doing but like I said, public in general prefers the mainstream and the fact they deviate from the real culture they should be following, they are happy like this. Ignorance is a bliss, or should I say, was a bliss...but until shit hits the fan real hard most people won't change...
     
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  7. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    Paid basic Cable tv has commercials. If you're talking about "movie" channels with no commercials let's be accurate: That is Pay, Pay tv. You pay for cable and then you pay again for the commercial free movie channel, if you want that too. To me, that is a scam because it leaves open the slow and intentional degrading of basic programming in order to get the consumer to shell out more money for the better programming. If you think Duck Dynasty or Honey Boo Boo were innocently intended as quality programming for the public I have have a bridge to sell you. The cable company knows those shows are unwatchable garbage.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015
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  8. jabbaska Registered Member

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    Honey Boo Boo - wasn't that about a fat family on channel TLC (my wife used to watch this crap while she was sick)? I read something about the guy being a paedophile of sorts..is that true? Anyway, so when they are aware the show is unwatchable but keep promoting etc etc, what does that make of them? The cable company I mean..
     
  9. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    Yea. I think so...I never watched it either but I heard something about that mentioned somewhere.

    Well, if they keep their lower tier programming largely unsatisfying, I would suppose the strategy behind that is the consumer will shell out more money for the upper tier quality programming.
     
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  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Like I said, you can get free TV with commercials or pay TV with no commercials. If you don't think cable TV is worth it, don't get it. If you do think it is worth it, get it. It is entirely up to you. Deciding to purchase it, then crying over your decision, is a waste of energy IMO. (BTW I have no idea what Duck Dynasty or Honey Boo Boo are. Again, a good option for you if you don't like them is - don't watch them.)
     
  11. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    Do you think I'm just an angry cable customer looking for a solution? Do you think I don't know everything you just told me?. I'm talking about the state of society. I'm talking about how consumers are falling for monetary predation and intellectual poison, the dumbing down of society and how the cable companies are perfectly fine with cynical exploitation. I posted this thread to "Science & Society", not "Customer Support."

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  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I don't think it's cynical exploitation or predation, since people are 1) aware of what they are purchasing, 2) have other options to provide the same service and 3) are perfectly free to not purchase their services. Yes, most TV is crap, but if people are paying money because they want to see that crap then that's not an example of a company manipulating people - it's an example of people paying for what they want.
     
  13. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    Really? So you've really fallen for that free enterprise meme totally devoid of any moral responsibility to your society and your fellow humans?: "If people are dumb enough to buy crap what's wrong with making my money selling it to them? It's not my problem if the general population is dumb enough to be exploited and is falling into ignorance. I need to make money off these suckers. Caveat Emptor"

    No, it's not okay to sell people crap, even if they want it.
     
  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? No. I simply think that people's morality should be the deciding factor in what they purchase.
    So it's not OK to sell people hamburgers, or Budweiser, or french fries, or Chevrolets? Who should stop the evil immoral villains who sell such things?
     
  15. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    False equivalency. People have many other options for food suppliers. There are very few options for live digital entertainment suppliers.
     
  16. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    So it is OK to sell people crap if they want it, as long as no monopoly exists. I agree.
    We have seven where we live - Dish, DirectTV, Time-Warner, Cox, AT+T, broadcast and any number of set-top boxes. Most people in the US are going to have access to at least four of them. That seems like a good amount of choice, which they can exercise to determine what is best for them and their families. They are the best people to decide what they want.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  17. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    This is getting sidetrack into a debate over freedom. This is about morality in society. The point is the cable companies are engaged in obvious underhandedness. They are selling commercially supported television. When television was free it was because it had sponsors. When I eat a big mac that I paid for I don't have to watch a commercial along with it. And no matter which cable company you choose, they are all doing it. So there are no options. Clearly all of them are scamming their customers.

    You're starting to sound like Dan Dan Aykroyd's toy salesman from the old SNL: "We're just packaging what people want..." You're trying to defend freedom at any cost to the consumer and at the expense of morality. You would defend a company's right to sell a bag of broken glass to children based on the principle of "Caveat Emptor", wouldn't you?

    The question is not whether they have a right to do it. The question is why are they doing it, if it is obviously unfair to the consumer? You might also ask why cable companies require you to buy bundled services when all you want is one service? Or why they charge more for one service when you want to order it by itself. Somehow the service becomes less for them to provide when you bundle it with other services? BS.

    It's a rip-off and you know it.
     
  18. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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    TV is showing crap that they pay little for in producing it. Then they sell you crap which you pay for. Even if you pay the higher amounts you still get crap and this crap only gets worse every day. There's no way to change the companies that produce and distribute crap so all anyone can do is shut it off and just get the free crap on regular TV if you still receive it. There's nothing that even looks like good programing coming to us and I really don't think there ever will be again. They do this for money, the less they spend the more they make from crap programs.
     
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  19. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    747
    I personally do not pay for cable. It makes no sense to do so. I pay for one of those mifi mobile internet solutions, which limits my video watching at the moment, but it's a small price to pay. When I move shortly I will upgrade to better service (satellite internet, probably) but it won't be any bundled with tv or phone deals, that's for sure. Once you have internet, you can have close to free phone by using something like Ooma or FreedomPop.

    Another drawback to getting cable I recently discovered in the article linked to below is that those DVR cable boxes are energy vampires. Not the kind of appliance you want when you plan to live in a tiny, solar-powered house.

    http://grist.org/climate-energy/your-cable-box-is-a-vampire-but-its-about-to-get-more-efficient/

    I encourage you to cut the cord on cable tv if you haven't already. If you need any suggestions, I can possibly help you out.
     
  20. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    12,718
    Really? You can order it from someone without a McDonald's uniform, request they wrap it in a wrapper that does not have their logo on it, and eat it in a store with no advertising? Perhaps you have a special arrangement with them - but I doubt it.
    ?? You can choose broadcast TV, which you do not have to pay for.
    No, I am defending the customer's right to decide what they want - and objecting to your trying to shove your morality down their throats.
    Nope, and the analogy sucks; children are not free to do what they choose. But if you really think consumers are like children, it might explain your point of view. I think of them a bit more highly than that; I consider them adults who can choose what they like.

    So let me ask you a more valid question. If Home Depot wants to sell bags of broken glass as construction filler - should there be a law stopping them, because you think it's unfair?
    Because it's not. Many people are happy with their cable service - even if you demand that they be unhappy with it.
     
  21. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    Again, you are still trying to ignore the fact that the cable companies are getting away with a deception at the expense of the gullible. You can't directly address the morality of having people pay for commercial television, the bundling of services, etc... because it shows the cable companies exactly for whom they are: really clever but reprehensible sales people. You have to come back every time with the same refrain of "If people want it...blah, blah blah..."

    Many people are happy going to mediums and palm readers. It doesn't mean they're still not getting ripped-off.

    Firstly, I'm not sure what you mean by construction "filler"...I'm assuming it is a use glass would normally otherwise not be employed for...so, yes, there should be a law stopping them, if it is unsafe or amounts to snake oil when someone tries to use it as construction filler.

    Secondly, there are plenty of laws and regulations legislating what can and cannot be sold as what...so your point is moot.

    I can tell you've digested a lot of the right wing, Randian inspired defenses of Free Market Capitalism which has succeeded in clouding your judgement on these matters and left you confused about what is more important in a large-scale group economy. It's not about your right to run your business irregardless of its effects on anyone else. That comes second to a functioning social foundation. Without a social foundation, you don't get the kind of mutual cooperation to mutual benefit that produces a large-scale group economy. What you get is distrust and bad feelings. You can't scam people and then expect them to help you uphold your right to do it to them.

    And you know what you get from that thinking?: You get mediums and palm readers. You get gambling establishments where people are scammed out of their savings. You get junk food in elementary schools. You get prostitution. That all comes from the thinking "I can sell whatever I want.." That's what Cuba looked like under Batista. The island was full of vice and poverty, people without pride and women selling themselves to American tourists. It's telling that that kind of free market had to disappear before the people of Cuba, its women specifically, got their pride back. They don't sell themselves to tourists and they shouldn't.

    Again, it's not the point what else people can choose. It's what is going on with the cable industry, the shady tactics, that is the point.
     
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    If they are advertising one thing and delivering another, by all means - go after them for fraud. But if they are simply offering "some channels without commercials, most channels with" and they deliver that - then let people make up their own minds.
    Yes, because I believe that you are not the best judge of what other people want. Nor am I. They are.

    I think McDonald's sells crap. But other people like it. Who should decide whether they buy it or not? The people buying it. Same for cable TV.
    If a palm reader sells it as entertainment, then no problem. If they tell people they can actually predict the future, and guarantee accuracy, then they are being dishonest, and committing fraud.
    From Wikipedia:
    ==================
    Glass aggregate, a mix of colors crushed to a small size, is substituted for pea gravel or crushed rock in many construction and utility projects, saving municipalities like the City of Tumwater, Washington Public Works, thousands of dollars (depending on the size of the project). Glass aggregate is not sharp to handle. In many cases, the state Department of Transportation has specifications for use, size and percentage of quantity for use. Common applications are as pipe bedding—placed around sewer, storm water or drinking water pipes to transfer weight from the surface and protect the pipe. Another common use would be as fill to bring the level of a concrete floor even with a foundation.
    ==================

    So you would outlaw that use because you think it's snake oil, and shouldn't be used?

    That's the problem with the "outlaw it because I don't think it's right!" Your ignorance of how it is used might lead you to make some pretty poor decisions. Does this mean that your fault lies in not knowing what glass aggregate is? No - your fault lies in thinking that it's "your way or the highway" - that you, instead of a customer who wants to buy glass filler, should make the decision on what it is OK for him to buy.

    I don't really care what cable TV sells, because I don't subscribe. If you don't like it, then you don't have to either. Don't try to shove your opinions down other people's throats, though - let them make their own decisions, just as you demand to be allowed to make yours.

    I'm afraid you've been reading too many communist websites. Industry does not serve the collective good, nor is intended to do in a capitalist society. It serves YOUR good, as you see fit. In a capitalist society, laws are passed to prevent industry from harming others. That's why there are laws against pollution and fraud. Beyond that, people are free to sell what they wish and buy what they wish - which is how it should be in a free society.
     
  23. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

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    Not when it comes to cable companies scamming their subscribers over commercially sponsored entertainment.

    The channels without commercials require an additional payment on top of paying for basic cable, which is ALL commercial sponsored. THAT is where the scamming comes in.

    Again, there are other options for food. Even growing and scavenging for your own. You cannot pay for a basic cable subscription whose channels all have commercial. You can't do it. That is a deception being perpetrated on subscribers to basic cable television.

    If that is indeed true, than there should be a law passed against require people to pay a recurring fee for already sponsored television. Just because people are not complaining doesn't mean they aren't being defrauded or injured. There was a time when nobody complained about no seat belts in cars.

    Bottom line, private industry needs to be regulated and watched because, as you openly admit above "Industry does not serve the collective good ..." and that's the problem. Why? Because we are a collective. And here's where the science comes in: Humans (and our pre-humans ancestors) evolved into cooperative groups who cooperated over resources because there was a survival advantage to doing so.

    This fact of our own evolutionary nature stands in stark contrast against the basic principles of Capitalism which would like to see us as a solitary species whose members are competing against each other for resources. If you wish to manage your own resources without the interference of the rest of humanity, you have a perfectly easy way to solve your problem: Renounce your membership to the group. Don't participate in collective society. Renounce your citizenship to all nations and collective groups. That's how you get to keep, manage and defend your own resources without societal interference. Look at all the solitary species like bears and leopards and tigers. That's is exactly how they are able to control their own resources. They live life as solitary species.

    And although I know you can't admit it to yourself, at heart, at their core, that is what all free-market, hand-off capitalists like yourself ultimately are asking for and want. You want humans to revert back to living like a solitary species, where nobody has any social responsibility to anyone else and we're all disconnected nobodies to each other. Some step forward.

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