I have often remarked on this myself; now I learn it has an “official” name.

Why Speculate?
A talk
by Michael Crichton
International Leadership Forum
La Jolla
April 26, 2002



…the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.

 —Michael Crichton


My theory on why we still read ’em

  1. To learn what other people are reading; be part of the culture
  2. Being conceited enough to think we can separate the wheat from the chaff



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