12:01 AM
Remember Code-troll, anybody?
I bet no beginner understands that code - I only get the general idea of what some of them do, and I took a Java class.

12:48 AM
Well, there are several trolling answers, @Doorknob
1

You can do an algorithm like this: Map<Integer, Integer> frequencies = new HashMap<>(); for (int n : array) { frequencies.put(n, frequencies.getOrDefault(n, 0) + 1); // Java 8 } if (!frequencies.isEmpty()) { Integer bestMatch = null; Integer lastCount = null; for (Map.Entry<Integer,Integer

1

I guess the code below will do the trick in Java 8. int[] array = { 2, 4, 6, 8, -3, 8, 2, 7, 2, 4 }; Arrays.stream(array).collect(Collectors.groupingBy(s -> s)) .forEach((k, v) -> System.out.println(k.toString() + ": " + v.size().toString())); Prints: 2: 3 4: 2 8: 2 6: 1 7: 1 -3: 1

0

You need to create a frequency distribution and iterate through the array. As you're using integers this makes it easy as they can be used as the key directly. HashTable frequencyDistribution = new HashTable(); for(int i=0; i<array.length; i++) { int key = array[i]; if( !frequencyDistrib...

0

You could contruct a map mapping ints to their count. In Java, something like HashMap<Integer, Integer>. Go through the list and check if the int already is in the map. If so, add 1 to its count, else initialize it to 1. Afterwards, go back through the map and find the number with the highest cou...

@Doorknob What OS do you use?
Are you going to check out Windows 10?
Also, did you beat CR for a graduation date? I noticed they were graduated.

1:44 AM
@hosch250 Ubuntu.
@hosch250 Yeah, they beat us. :P I'll probably continue to annoy SE employees in a week or two if we still don't get even a hint at something related to graduation, especially since we were promised some sort of site evaluation quite a while ago!

2:02 AM
How does Ubuntu work?
I use Windows 8.1 and wish I could test Windows 10, but I am in the middle of school.
I've been busy reading about OS internals and working on my app.

Ubuntu is nice
It looks similar to windows up to 7
It isn't actually similar internally, though
have you never used Linux?

I only have 1 computer.

You can dual-boot

Never done it.
Anyway, it would be tricky, from my understanding.

It's not, as long as you have the free hard drive space. Ideally, you'd create a separate partition for Linux
then it's basically the same as having two different computers

2:11 AM
You see, in Windows 8+, MS introduced EULA boot.
Well, I did find how to turn that off in the BIOS, though.
Maybe next summer.

Well, I have no idea what that is, so maybe they complicated matters? Windows should have no way to affect anything during the boot process. No OS should

What it is, is it prevents anything from being loaded until the anti-virus is loaded.
It helps prevent rootkits.

why in the world did they call it "EULA boot"?

I may have it wrong, let me look.
UEFI, I am going insane.
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface

hm. I don't know how I feel about that. Maybe it's a good idea, but I'd have to read third-party assessments. anyway, I find windows 8 to be totally unusable, so it's moot for me

2:17 AM
How long did you use it???
It still has the desktop, and you can pin anything and its brother to the start screen.
Windows 8 was bad, compared to Windows 8.1.
Maybe you will like Windows 10 - it sounds really cool, and a solid, customizable blend of both worlds.

nah, it's going to be a long time until I upgrade. I only quit using windows 2000 in like 2009

@hosch250 It looks exactly like any other OS. And it's Linux, so it's better!

@Doorknob Fat chance.
Do you know, I was doing a research computer on open-source software.

it is a lot easier to install packages and manage dependencies on linux, among other things

@hosch250 Give me one valid argument about Windows being better in any way over Ubuntu / Linux OSs and I'll shoot it down immediately. :D

2:20 AM
Open-source.

getting someone else's code to work on windows is a gigantic pain in the ass, if it's even possible
(for a project with multiple dependencies)

Maybe, you can't have everything.

No, Windows over Linux. Wait, which one do you prefer? From the previous messages it looks like you use Windows

Yes.

But that's an argument against Windows.

2:21 AM
Anyway, I knew it was possible for a hacker to write hidden backdoors right into the code.
And I found that it really has been done once, in some software that is now antiquated.
@Doorknob How?

Again, isn't that an argument against Windows?

Windows isn't open-source.

Also, when I first install windows, I have to go install acrobat reader, and firefox, and 7-zip, and notepad++, and miktex, and cygwin, and 50 other things to get anything done. I'm running Ubuntu in a virtual box right now

@hosch250 Yes, exactly

2:23 AM
So, did you read the anecdote?

because IE and the built-in editors suck?

Wait, what? You mean being open source is a bad thing?

No, IE doesn't, and Notepad is good.
Yes.
You haven't even used the latest IE's have you?
Also, check out their page on what IE 12 will have.

obviously not. But regardless of what they've improved, there are massive things I have to install to get a workflow going

Of course, I understand that.
And I have nothing against you using them.

2:25 AM
Gah, too many discussions going on at once. :P
@hosch250 To IE/Notepad, or to open source?

@Doorknob To open source.

How in the world is being closed-source a good thing?

Because, as I wrote above, a hacker can deliberately write backdoors right into the software.
It has been done too.

Exactly, and again, isn't that an advantage of being open-source?

How?
You mean they can be caught easier too? I do grant that.

2:28 AM
If it's closed source, wouldn't it be much easier for someone to go ahead and do that?

Maybe, but wouldn't the security companies catch it sooner?

Maybe Microsoft installs keyloggers on all Windows 8.1 installations; who knows?

Use the command prompt and see what data is being sent back.
You can tell what connections you computer is making.

When there's a thousand eyes on the code (and a thousand people making it better), that would be much harder to do, and things improve faster anyway
@hosch250 Well sure, but you can do that on any OS.

2:30 AM
Yes.

If either of you haven't heard of the Ken Thompson hack, that's interesting to read

Do you know what would be the best combination?
Open source software written from scratch that nobody could edit - just read.
Also, can be displayed in one of those window things that don't allow copying.
What do you guys use instead of Office and VS?

Wait, but one of the whole points of making things open source is that hundreds of thousands of people can simultaneously make it better.
Why would you remove that huge advantage for no reason?

But they can suggest edits, and you can implement them.

so, like

2:34 AM
(Also, it's not like Wikipedia or something where anyone can change whatever they want without any review process and immediately applying the changes to everyone's machines.)

imagine wikipedia, run by one guy

Yes.
Well, no.

who just implements the edits everyone suggests
imagine how well that would have taken off
:-p

One company, with many employees.

@hosch250 Not sure if that's a joke or not :P (that would be grossly ineffective at achieving anything)

2:34 AM
And a team for specifically reviewing edits.

there's a reason we all use wikipedia now instead of the encyclopedia britannica

@hosch250 I usually use LaTeX for writing documents, and LibreOffice for viewing and editing other documents. What's VS?

(visual studio)

Visual Studio - everyone says it is the best IDE.

i use g++ and whatever editor I want

2:36 AM
Do you use Eclipse?
Netbeans is awful - I had to use it for my Java class.

rarely. I mostly use notepad++, because I don't usually code anything over 1000-2000 lines

Obviously Vim. Vim is the best editor for everything! :D

Eclipse looks good though - haven't used it.

I used vim until about 2 months ago

I have to go now; maybe we can continue this discussion later

2:37 AM
I am writing C#/XAML apps, so the editor is really good - especially for debugging purposes.

Notepad++ doesn't really offer anything better, though it does make it easier to collapse things. 'later

@Doorknob Bye.
It even helps me learn it because it shows what is available and the documentation.

yeah, I'm not interested in debating about VS. I've heard it's fine, but it's absolutely not necessary to use it to write code. If you're a CS student, you will probably be forced to learn Unix/Linux and shell scripting at some point, anyway
I'm going to go for a while too, bbl

Bye too,
Just for when you come back, I am an IT Management student, but actually prefer just coding.
I code on my own initiative.
BTW, isn't this funny: xkcd.com/1172
@EricTressler New article on IE: winbeta.org/news/…
By the way, I have no objection to Unix/Linux, I just prefer Windows for now.
At least I can blame someone when it has a major problem, and an update is usually pushed within a week, instead of having to patch/debug/deploy it myself.
I've gotta leave now too, so long, everybody, and nice discussion.
PS, @Doorknob, you should write some code to find out how much bounty points are available.
PS, @EricTressler, I do want to learn and use Unix/Linux sometime, and even code for it, I just prefer Windows, Office, and VS for now - especially as they are now reasonable reliable. (I know they didn't use to be.)

3:21 AM
Anybody here familiar with scheme?

3 hours later…
5:56 AM
@NathanMerrill I believe Chris Jester-Young is. I have no idea if he goes on chat though.

5 hours later…
10:50 AM
@Doorknob C# is a pretty rad language, and VS is a really decent IDE.
2
@ChrisJester-Young I summon thee

11:31 AM
@MartinBÃ¼ttner There's always Mono, and pshhh, who needs IDEs? :P
@hosch250 I actually think I did that for a challenge once! Let me try to find it...
10

Ruby, 260 require'open-uri' require'zlib' i=b=0 d='' until /"has_more":f/=~d i+=1 d=Zlib::GzipReader.new(open("http://api.stackexchange.com/2.2/questions/featured?site=stackoverflow&page=#{i}&pagesize=100")).read b+=d.scan(/"bounty_amount":(\d+)/).map{|x|x[0].to_i}.reduce :+ end p b Uses the S...

@Doorknob Mono isn't quite the real deal though. And you obviously haven't used VS for C#... it's an exceptionally nice combo of language and IDE ;)

And Mono does not support WPF, which I consider an important feature :P

whoa, Peter posted a new challenge proposal... I think I haven't seen that since Waving Hands ^^
@ProgramFOX I've never actually done GUI stuff with C#

Oh by the way, did anyone else see the lunar eclipse today? Pretty fancy :P

@MartinBÃ¼ttner I have, and I started with Windows Forms, but then I learned WPF and now I never want to go back to WinForms :D

11:35 AM
0

Count Langford pairings A Langford pairing is a permutation of the numbers 1, 1, 2, 2, ..., n, n such that there is one number between the 1s, two numbers between the 2s, etc. E.g. (with the pairs marked) +-----------+ +---------------+ | +-----+ | | +---------+ | | | | | | | ...

@Doorknob No, it could not be seen here :(

@PeterTaylor That's a really interesting sequence :)
Will be posting this in a minute, any last comments? meta.codegolf.stackexchange.com/a/2303/8478
in particular: is the definition of a cavity clear?

Sounds very clear to me

great
posted
0

This challenge is based on actual collision detection I had to write for a simple game recently. Write a program or function which, given two objects, returns a truthy or falsy value depending on whether the two objects are in collision (i.e. intersect) or not. You need to support three types o...

12:03 PM
@EricTressler It's got better PageRank? ;)

12:27 PM
@ProgramFOX ninja'd ;)

@MartinBÃ¼ttner :D

12:42 PM
@Doorknob Meh, we got up early to watch, but there was a nice fog blanketing everything. Ended up checking out a live stream instead. I have some nice pictures of both a lunar and solar eclipse, though.

1:15 PM
Honda really needs to get their shit together. To this day the only "standard" memory card interface they have for the navigation/audio system is PCMCIA.

I really wanna do the ray-tracing challenge, but I can't think of a golfy way to render something pixel-by-pixel.
Actually, I can probably do it in Mathematica.

The sphere one? Yea, I skipped over that (at least for today).

@Geobits you could do my challenge instead :)

In Mathematica, I can just turn an array of pixel values into an image with `Image@`, so that's actually not too bad.
I'll have a look at that later.

someone should a code golf challenge to translate from images of colors to their names en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colors:_A%E2%80%93F

1:21 PM
@user2179021 I don't think I could do better than Ell's answer.

@Geobits not even in CJam ? :)

Maybe if I knew CJam, but even then it'd just be a cheap port, and I try to avoid that.

0

The Retro Rocket code-golf kolmogorov-complexity (inspired by this SO question) You are given as input a single positive integer n. In as few characters as possible, output a rocket in ASCII art with a head, a tail, and a body composed of n segments. There should be no trailing spaces or new...

I have to admit I still don't fully understasnd his solution!
I need a maximally ungolfed version :)

59

Given three number values - being the Red, Green, and Blue elements of a colour (eight bits per channel, 0 to 255) - your program must output the name of the given colour. For example; Input: 255, 0, 0 Output: Red or; Input: 80, 0, 0 Output: Dark Red This is a popularity contest, so w...

Not exactly the same, but pretty close....

1:23 PM
it's the wrong way round :)
but close

I thought you wanted "given a color, say its name"? That's what it is. The only difference is you input RGB instead of an image.
Which would just be a simple `getPixel` type of call.

true
you are right

@NewSandboxedPosts does this count as kolmorogov-complexity if there are multiple outputs dependent on input?

Ha, so now there are questions about the retro rocket in the Sandbox, Stack Overflow, and Code Review.

@githubphagocyte It's been used a lot like that.

1:34 PM
@MartinBÃ¼ttner great. Good to know - thank you.

search for ASCII Train. Or ASCII DNA. Or the recent Saltine Chalelnge. Or "Stickman Wars".

I wonder how many SE sites we could fit a retro rocket question into?

Could fit into TEX.se under the [fun] tag I suppose

@Geobits post it on parenting just to see what happens

Skeptics: "Is this image of the retro rocket accurate?"
Christianity: "Is Revelations xx:xx referring to a retro rocket method of rapture transport?"

1:37 PM
Worldbuilding: "What circumstances could a retro rocket be used in space transportation?"

Gamedev: "How can I effectively move this retro rocket across a parallaxed background?"
SuperUser: "My computer shows nothing but a retro rocket after POST. Halp!"

Seasoned Advice: "What kinds of vegetable sticks should I use to arrange this retro rocket on a buffet?"

@MartinBÃ¼ttner That would be closed as a recipe request.

Stats: "After plotting my data, it forms the shape of a retro rocket. What does this indicate?"

@PeterTaylor damn.

1:40 PM
Photography: "I'm trying to capture a printed image of a retro rocket. Why does it come out blurry?"

Emacs: "Help with a macro to quickly insert retro rockets into my text"
I haven't actually used emacs SE, but I suspect macro requests are probably off-topic there

I've only visited once. Not much point if you don't emacs :P

1 hour later…
2:53 PM
has anyone here played Banished?

I was banished from a Walmart when I was 16. Does that count?

lol
it's a really nice indie city-building strategy game.
what's interesting is that, opposed to most of those (think AoE, Empire Earth etc.), you can't control individual citizens
that, citizens and professions and everything do exist, but in the end it's up to the citizen's AI to decide what they'll actually do
I also really like that there are no enemy factions, so you focus purely on building up your town and surviving

Hmm. I wouldn't have guess that from the name of the game. Might have to check it out.

apparently it was written by a single guy over 4 years or so, without any early access stuff... he just sat down, completed the game by himself, and released it ^^... that's pretty impressive

An inspiration to indies everywhere :)

3:22 PM
How many of you are really really good with Vim?

@SohamChowdhury apparently @Doorknob is

I don't know if he made that claim
there's a lot of crazy stuff you can do with vim. even people who use it every day mostly use like 5% of it

but he said he'd choose it over any IDE, so that must be counting for something ;)

i chose it over an IDE for ~10 years, and I'm not an expert. heh

Just curious.
@EricTressler I guess you are pretty good then!

3:25 PM
actually, I'm barely a novice. nope! if you read a "vim tips and tricks" type of article, it's filled with stuff I've never even tried
the most complicated things I used were regexes and the "earlier" command. :|

I would love to play through Vim Adventures, if it didn't have such a ridiculous(ly expensive) licence.

Why doesn't anyone rewrite Vim from scratch? I hear vim is full of scary C89 and support libs for weird architectures.
(NeoVim is just a series of non-breaking refactors AFAIK that seeks to put in some support for plugins. Not what I'm asking about.)
It could be a group of people.

vim is enormously complicated, that's part of the reason I switched to notepad++
I realized I was never going to use any of its fancy stuff

@EricTressler but why NP++ and not Sublime right away? :(

because I didn't know about Sublime, remember?

3:30 PM
Rewriting stuff from scratch is for people with a lot of spare time who don't mind that they're going to introduce new bugs.

@EricTressler oh, did we have that conversation before?

I didn't conduct a thorough survey of the technology before switching. Hah, yes
And the reason that I don't use Eclipse is that it seems better-suited for large projects, which I rarely work on, so I don't know how to use its features either. I think the reason I haven't tried Sublime yet is that it isn't free, and notepad++ seems fine for programs with just a couple of source files and headers, which is everything I do

Sublime only nags you every 200 filesaves though ^^
but sure, notepad++ would do the trick for that

@MartinBÃ¼ttner It seems shorter...

@BetaDecay Maybe, I don't know. It seemed fairly rare to me, but I haven't been nagged in a few months now, because I did buy it ;)

3:34 PM
I never really learned to use an IDE, because they set you up with this class hierarchy and file view and all of this stuff, along with all of their extra buttons for partial compilation and debugging etc., and I just never bothered to get used to it

Yeah... The only thing I like about IDEs is the syntax highlighting. Not for any particular reason, just because it looks nice

@MartinBüttner have you played Majesty?

@NathanMerrill nope, doesn't ring a bell

Its similar to Banished. It's an rts where you don't control your heroes, and each hero type has a different personality and skillset

looks interesting
I don't actually play that much RTS any more
I think Banished is the first one I've played since... I don't know... Battle Realms or Age of Mythology probably

3:46 PM
neither do I. I'm more of a turn-based strategy guy.

that being said I haven't played much turn-based strategy either since HoMM 4 or Dynasty Tactics 1
I never got the hang of Age of Wonders II
but I was quite young back then :D

Civ4 and wesnoth FTW :P

I've got to confess, I haven't played a single Civ yet

oh civ4 is fantastic. You just need to set aside 4-5 hours for a game

4:21 PM
> Your vehicleâ€™s audio system will disable itself if it is disconnected from electrical power for any reason. To make it work again, you must enter a specific five-digit code (except for model with navigation system)/four-digit code (model with navigation system) in the preset buttons. Because there are hundreds of number combinations possible from five or four-digits, making the system work without knowing the exact code is nearly impossible.
Well at least there are "hundreds" of possible combinations....

thwarted by numbers AGAIN

Now now, I guess a hundred hundreds is still technically "hundreds", right? ;)

4:38 PM
@BetaDecay looks like a beta decay now... although I don't actually remember your previous avatar except that it was white/greyish

@MartinBüttner A full size version:

@PeterTaylor meh, it doesn't work in either FF or Chrome (on Windows)

@MartinBÃ¼ttner Works for me, but I have an old Chrome. I've added a second link.

It works in Safari
this is embarrassing, it also works in IE
but thanks for the other version

5:00 PM
That seems to be a Chrome problem, because on my phone it works on the default browser but not Chrome.

@PeterTaylor Did you ever finish your paper about the problem with the two spies?

I haven't submitted it yet - I was waiting for October, because I think that's when the new editorial team come in - but now Florian F appears to have a different way of deriving the same table so I want to study that a bit.

5:17 PM
How interesting would a kolmogorov challenge be in which you just need to print the US keyboard layout in order, e.g. the US equivalent of: ``1234567890-=qwertyuiop[]asdfghjkl;'#\zxcvbnm,./¬!"£\$%^&*()_+QWERTYUIOP{}ASDFG‌​HJKL:@~|ZXCVBNM<>?` (possibly in a different but prescribed order)
@PeterTaylor I see
I think it might be too hard to actually generate that in less than the ~100 bytes you need to just print that string literally

It can probably be compressed slightly: represent the shifted version as differences from the unshifted version and then run-length-encode the differences.
But IMO it's not very interesting.

you'd have to decode that and print both parts in much less than 50 bytes though... I think only the golfing languages would be able to do that.
never mind, it was just a quick idea...

5:36 PM
I've taken an interest in chess recently. I noticed that there is already a chess KOTH, but it's not very good. I sorta want to create a new and improved chess KOTH.

Laser chess?

Improvements would include using the full chess moves (castling, en passant, underpromotion) and correct scoring of draws (like stalemates).

@PhiNotPi I think full rules might attract fewer contestants, even though the contestants you get would be more involved

Also, I would use a program like Bayeselo to calculate the ratings of the contestants.

6:01 PM
Three Dimensional Chess would be cool

Dragonchess? Star Trek Chess?
I don't think it's suited to PPCG KotH's... Chess itself is already too complicated for that... that's not improved with adding another dimension.
2

6:15 PM
1D chess?

:)
let's do dots and boxes first ;)

@githubphagocyte it might be interesting on a ring. you only need a king (moves one step at a time), knight (moves two steps at a time), rook (moves in a straight unobstructed line and can switch positions with the king), and pawn (moves one step in only one direction)

@MartinBÃ¼ttner I was definitely joking but now that you make it a ring I'm interested

starting configuration would be PNRKRNP

6:19 PM
Cylinder chess (or cylindrical chess) is a chess variant with an unusual board. The game is played as if the board were a cylinder, with the left side of the board joined to the right side. According to Bill Wall, in 947 in a history of chess in India and Persia, the Arabic historian Ali al-Masudi described six different variants of chess, including astrological chess, circular chess and cylinder chess. Cylindrical board is also used in chess problems. == Rules and gameplay == The game is played as if there is no edge on the side of the board. When a piece goes off the right edge of the board...

and maybe 4 empty cells between the two players

@MartinBÃ¼ttner Would those two pawns be moving in opposite directions?

yeah, away from the king
oh yeah, and obviously the first move of the pawn can be 2 steps

I suppose you could have a bishop that can only move an even number of squares, but perhaps less is more

@githubphagocyte that would make the knight pointless I think

6:22 PM
@MartinBüttner yeah the knight would need to be maybe 3 then
the bishop would still be blocked if any of the even squares between start and end were occupied
I was just thinking aloud though - I prefer without the bishop
The knight is going to be troublesome. It would be very easy for it to block a defending piece leaving outer pieces undefended unless 2 squares away

I can't quite picture what you're describing
What are those puzzles called where you've got a grid of cells, each of which is on or off, and you can only toggle a certain pattern of cells at a time, and you need to turn all cells on?
and more importantly: has that been done on PPCG?
the most popular instance that comes to my mind is the tree puzzle from Black & White: rdrop.com/~half/General/GameTips/bw/tree.puzzle.2.1.jpg

You mean like Lights Out? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lights_Out_(game)

yes, exactly

5

(This code golf task is related to Code-Golf: Lights Off!. The same puzzle is used, but the task is different.) Introduction "Lights Out" is a puzzle in which you should switch off all lights in a 5x5 grid. However, when you swap a light from on to off, or from off to on, the four adjacent li...

well, I would have been surprised...
wow, this happens when you plot a solution: kisonecat.com/blog/solutions-to-lights-out/…

6:40 PM
I'm glad I'm not prone to epileptic seizures :P

I always thought that each light in lights out triggered a random set of lights to toggle

That doesn't seem solvable at all if it's random.

well, the random set was set on initialization
so, each time I press a light, it's the same set triggered

Oh, I see what you're saying. Still, it would have to pick them carefully or you might still end up with something unsolvable.

yeah

6:44 PM
Off topic - US "journalism" is priceless:
Mind you, that's the cover for a prominent business/financial magazine.
The article itself is mainly talking about inefficiency and bureaucracy missteps, and that's the cover they chose.
A scary message written in blood. Seriously.

someone should freak out their design department with zalgo emails
(or whoever is responsible for that cover)

They'd probably use them as cover images for stories about the stock market or something, though.

lol yeah

7:09 PM
@Geobits Should have gone with !this

7:34 PM
Can anyone think of any challenges that I could do with Paintshop Pro scripts (python)?

you could do the convert 1 image into another image using the same pixels

Yay! I now have some rep on Space Exploration, and I didn't even have to explore space to get it :)
2

@Geobits You've got even more rep now! ;)
That's a cool picture though

It wasn't really hard to find (cough Google cough), which makes me wonder why the other answers only gave simulation/interpretation.

Yeah, on images it's the fourth result that comes up for `eclipse from moon`.

7:44 PM
I mean, it's not technically from the surface, but it's pretty damn close.

I'm surprised no one's posted a screenshot from Stellarium yet...

8:17 PM
@Geobits You can't talk. You named your challenge "mastermind horse battery staple".

That was perfectly reasoned. Play mastermind using xkcd passwords like correct horse battery staple. I'm not sure it compares to a message written in blood appearing in checkout aisles across the country :P
(I'm just assuming that's what you're talking about)

I think it captures how 100% of stepmoms across the United States feel. Scared shitless for no real reason.

Except they only feel that way because of media like this...
If the news wasn't covered in scare stories, people wouldn't give a damn about one guy in Texas with Ebola (and less about those in other countries, sadly). More people die in a year or two from the flu than have ever died from Ebola.

I guess it's a chicken and egg problem. Are people paranoid because they absorb media, or does the media churn out paranoia because people absorb it?

Scare sells as well as sex and they know it.
(it also distracts from other, more meaningful news stories or conversations we should be having, but that's another topic)

8:26 PM
Take this in a positive light. If the media didn't hype up Ebola in the U.S., then whatever is stopping it from spreading would be receiving less attention and probably less funding. It could become a "real" problem, and then the media would truly have something to talk about.
Just imagine if the flu wasn't mentioned in every commercial break prior to and during flu season.
I only get a flu shot because my family is paranoid and I see it everywhere.

That may be true, but I think there's an inherent problem when the main message that comes across if I look at the news is "We're all going to die".
Not "get a flu shot", but "Ebola will kill your family and you can't do anything about it".
Anyway, I'm out for now :)

Later

there was a great screen capture I saw of CNN
the tagline was "Is Ebola the new ISIS?"
didn't CNN used to be a reputable news agency? now there's like BBC and Al Jazeera
everything else is just varying degrees of tabloid
sorry for cursing, too late to edit

my badge tally looks neat at the moment :)

2 hours later…
10:42 PM
@Eric I soooo wanted to star the message after the one I actually starred instead....

Russia Today, I mean RT, is my favourite news source

sorry, what?

they gave really good coverage of the London Riots

I was just bemoaning the fact that the news sources in the US have all sold out to corporate interests, and so, pardon me, fuck them
the US is a small percentage of the world population, but it's disproportionately represented in media, and it's terrible that we don't have a dispassionate source anymore
there isn't a news organization from within the US that isn't beholden to anyone that I know of
(*well-known news organization)

11:00 PM
well, there's TMZ. :)