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Re: Taking control of the documentary situation, an immodest proposal



2009/12/17 Jaime Headden <qi_leong@hotmail.com>:
>   4. "Quote mining" is a special form of propoaganda in which the actual 
> printed/spoken words are chained in such a way that what is represented as 
> having been said differs so widely from what was originally said that it can 
> be construed to say the exact opposite or any other of a whole group of 
> things. One could write "I love my brother, I hate my sister," and have it 
> mined to say "I love my sister." This is often a misrepresentative form of 
> writing, and is used when the original material is not available or is 
> typically obscured: the reader is not expected to chase down the source.
>
>   5. When a scientist says "maybe," such cautionary language is ignored for 
> the sake of expedience, and the resultant commentary, while different from 
> the original, still contains the original thrust of the language. Cautionary 
> language being removed does not result in quote mining, and scientists have 
> been quoted in such a manner on programs like _NOVA_ for the last two decades.

Jaime, it seems like you're saying that Dangerous Ltd. did not
quote-mine Matt Wedel.  I assume I must be misunderstanding you here,
unless you didn't actually READ Matt's account at
        
http://svpow.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/lies-damned-lies-and-clash-of-the-dinosaurs/
or indeed Dangerous Ltd.'s own account as reproduced at
        
http://svpow.wordpress.com/2009/12/17/clash-of-the-dinosaurs-dangerous-ltd-document-their-own-dishonest-editing/

To recap briefly, Matt said (according Dangerous's transcription of
their recordings):

        "One of the curious things about saurapods is that they did
have a swelling in the spinal chord in the neighbourhood of their
pelvis. And for a while it was thought that may be this was sort of
like a second brain to help control the back half of the body.  There
are a couple of misconceptions there.  One is that most animals
control large part of their body with their spinal cord.  If you're
going through day-to-day operations like just walking down the street
and your mind's on something else your brain isn't even involved in
very much controlling your body.  A lot of that is a reflex arc that's
controlled by your spinal chord.  So its not just dinosaurs that are
controlling their body with their spinal cord, it's all animals.  Now
the other thing about this swelling at the base of the tail is we find
the same thing in birds and its called the glycogen body.  It's a big
swelling in the spinal chord that has glycogen which is this very
energy-rich compound that animals use to store energy.  Problem is we
don't even know what birds are doing with their glycogen bodies.  The
function is mysterious -- we don't know if the glycogen is supporting
their nervous system -- if it;s there to be mobilised help drive their
hind limbs or the back half of their body and until we find out what
birds are doing with theirs we have very little hope of knowing what
dinosaurs were doing with their glycogen bodies."

This was chopped up in the broadcast program to become:

        "One of the curious things about Sauropods is that they did
have a swelling in the spinal cord, in the neighborhood of their
pelvis."

Sounds to me like this is a textbook example of your definition of
quote-mining, in which "the actual printed/spoken words are chained in
such a way that what is represented as having been said differs so
widely from what was originally said that it can be construed to say
the exact opposite".