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Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in Business, Culture, Entertainment, Government, Skepticism, Society | 0 comments

Locked in Beliefs

The religious aren’t the only ones who are locked in their belief system.  There are a lot of groups and professions that also have a belief system and you go against that system at your own peril.

The most obvious one that occurs right now is economics. The Austerity Model is used by governments to reduce deficits, especially during difficult economic periods. This is done by cutting spending and increasing taxes.

Which, as we have seen in the real world, is exactly the wrong thing to do in troubled economic times.  It sounds good on paper, but despite that, it just doesn’t work.  Macroeconomics easily predicts the results of austerity policies: greater unemployment and debt/GDP ratios rising, even though debt is being reduced (meaning that GDP is falling).

In Europe, austerity measures have resulted in a 2% increase in unemployment over two years and GDPs have fallen for the same two years.  This isn’t theoretical.  It’s not because the Europeans are doing it wrong.  It’s just what happens.  Austerity hasn’t worked and there’s little reason to think it will at any point.

Another group that has this locked in belief problem (to take a slightly lighter point) is Hollywood.  Movies are continually made that are 90 minutes or less.  Either blatant copies of other movies, versions of books that are totally unrelated to the book, and dumbed down to the point where no brain activity is detectable in viewers.

Is that really what people want?  Maybe, because obviously these movies are still being made.

NOTE: I think I may be projecting here.  I know what movies I like and I would hope that people are more than what they seem to be.

Look at Firefly as compared to Stargate SG-1.  Firefly was new, it was stunning, it was risky and there are legions of fans who still worship the show… which lasted for 11 episodes and a movie.

Compare to SG-1, which followed the tired old ‘monster of the week’ format and didn’t have any consequences.  Admittedly, it got better in it’s last four or five seasons.  But it went for 11 seasons, spawned two spin-offs (one of which went for five seasons) and three TV movies.

I love Richard Dean Anderson and Amanda Tapping, but the acting, the story, the universe in Firefly was way better.

But that’s not what Hollywood seems to want.  Is it because the people don’t want it?  The Firefly-Stargate example shows that people do want complex shows with real characters.  It was the studio that killed Firefly.

Maybe the studios don’t want to take risks.  It seems like every well done, thinking show that takes a few risks dies a quick death.  Do you remember “Defying Gravity“?  It was epic, it was complex, it had a deep, intricate plot (and a fair bit of sex) and it was totally doomed.  It lasted for 13 episodes (including two parts for the pilot).

I keep up with science fiction and I never heard about it until after it was canceled.  This is an example of a self-fulling prophecy.

These types of shows don’t do well.  We’ll take a chance on it, but we won’t spend any money on advertising or anything because these shows don’t do well.  See?  It didn’t do well.  No one watched it.  Cancel it.  These types of shows don’t do well.

In this “locked in beliefs” I won’t even get into politics.  But there are a lot of examples of this, dogma, in industry and other areas.

When we fight for skepticism, we’re not just fighting against religion, but against dogma in all areas (including economics and Hollywood).

What other areas have these built in dogmas?