November 23rd, 2010 / 3:13 pm
Random & Technology

Psychic Master Style Manual

1. I am appalled by this A&E show called Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal. The show’s shtick is that the grown ups–a psychic and a therapist it looks like–help psychic children “use their powers for good,” i.e. shoving scared little girls into dark rooms and expecting them to keep their wits about them. God, scary kids make for good tv. You know that’s what the show’s creators said sitting around that well-lit Hollywood brainstorming table.

2. I’m interested in this book: The Master Switch by Tim Wu. Here’s what Very Short List has to say about it:

In his new book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, Columbia Law School professor Tim Wu argues that our increasing dependence on a single network (the internet) makes us more and more vulnerable to private interests bent on controlling the flow of information.
Much of the book is taken up with deep-focus histories of radio, telephone, film and television: Wu coins a Gladwellian phrase—”the Cycle”—to describe the trend toward media consolidation in each industry, and wonders how far away we really are from an internet that’s totally under corporate control. “Every other invention of its kind has had its period of openness, only to become the basis of yet another information empire,” he writes. “Is the internet really different?”

3. And finally, if you’re just dying to compare the 14th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style to the 16th edition, this is the article for you.

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  1. jereme_dean

      INTERVENTION has been pissing me off since its inception. Fuck A&E.

  2. John Minichillo

      Yes, they take kids afraid of what they see & hear and put them in a haunted house. However, they also pair them with adults who had similar experiences as kids and other kids going through the same thing. The parents are there and it’s always clear the parents don’t know what to do. I have to believe the open lines of communication established are genuine and that overall it’s a positive experience for everyone involved.

  3. Sean

      The internet doesn’t give you more information.

      It gives you–through bookmarks, favs, etc.–more information flow you already agree with.

      It filters.

  4. alexisorgera

      I’m not sure that’s what the book’s arguing. Rather, the blurb seems to say that we are becoming increasingly reliant on the internet as our only means of viable information gathering…and that it’s going to privatize just like every other information source as done.

  5. alexisorgera

      It smacks of exploitation and indoctrination to me.

  6. alexisorgera

      i don’t think i know that one. i won’t be going back to A&E any time soon

  7. John Minichillo

      Ummm…you’ve heard of public libraries and public schools. These institutions are real and pervasive. Whatever else they might be they are not private.

  8. John Minichillo

      Don’t you think it’s better than the treatment these kids get in their home communities, or from a traditional therapist? Whether you believe it or not these kids are sensitive and they are going through something. Having their experiences validated, having someone take them seriously, having people listen to them and believe them – these are all huge.

  9. John Minichillo

      But you still pay them.

  10. alexisorgera

      on tv?

  11. John Minichillo

      The kids keep in contact. The parents meet other parents going through the same thing. The channels of communication are open. I don’t think that is fake or limited to the taping.

      In fact, I would argue the presence of a camera makes it less likely that a psychic and a therapist – you know folks who often exploit others’ insecurities for financial gain – I would say the camera keeps them honest.

      What would a traditional therapist do with a kid who saw ghosts? What label would they apply? What prescription? And how much do you trust the psychic down at the store that sells crystals? These are people who work with children. If it’s on TV it may reach other families going through the same thing. They might realize there are positive ways to approach what their children are experiencing. Putting something on TV doesn’t automatically make it bad. Putting kids on TV doesn’t automatically make them exploited.

  12. Ruth_ls

      John’s comments regarding Psychic Kids are all right on target. The pervading issue with most of these kids is fear of the unkown, as one of them said “I’m afraid of being afraid”. The psychics and therapists support them as they learn to handle the information they receive. Yes, the dark scary scenes make for better TV but they are also more helpful to the kids. None of them are afraid of sunny days! This show has helped so many of these kids, the ones who participate and the ones who watch.

  13. Sarah MacManus

      I agree. Not long ago, kids like this would have been shuffled into mad houses. And before that, they’d just be firewood. Whether or not they are experiencing a real phenomena, or just one they imagine vividly, doesn’t matter. They all seem rather comforted and empowered by the experience. It seems like there’s tons of support for them and they meet others their own age who understand. I think it’s overall positive and I think others who’ve gone through the same thing without that kind of support are heartened by it.

  14. Hank

      Man, people are, like, really okay with using the innermost fears of real people as entertainment.

  15. jereme_dean

      What the fuck is wrong with you people?

      All children in broadcast television are being exploited. Familiarize yourself with the industry before you speak about the psychological benefits of some bullshit show.

      It’s a tv, not a god. Stop sacrificing the young in the name of petty ego.

  16. jereme_dean

      Alexis, it is a horrible show where they film people who are severely addicted to an “immoral” substance like speed, coke, heroin, etc., then the family and friends have an intervention with the addict. 9 out of 10 stories end with the addict going back to the substance.

      Hearing people talk about the show makes me want to puke.

      “Did you watch that crazy intervention episode last night?”

      “The one with the meth head who loses custody of his children?”

      “Yeah, that was a crazy episode!”

      “It was a good one!”

      Meanwhile the addict they are talking about is back on the streets of Hollywood, has only 2 teeth left and is sucking a scabbed dick for a hit of Heroin.

      But man, it was a great show!

  17. Chris

      Jereme get a grip these kids need help and are getting not only from there therapists but also people that for once understand and know what they are dealing with. Wether you believe in psychics or not is not for you to determine what is good for these kids. The show has done more good for these kids and families then anything before its time. Every family and kid that has appeared has had nothing but positive things to say about their experience on the show. You only see 45 minutes of the 4 day experience they went on. As humans we have only evolved so much, maybe now our consciousness is starting to evolve and these kids are part of it. So dont label something as bullshit when you know nothing about it and dont even show any signs of these abilities. You have a lot to learn and realize that things are now speaking out and these kids have a place to go, many of them have seen therapists and psychologist and these experts could not help them with there therapy and or science. There are so many things we dont understand and these kids are our future. Go back to the earth is flat and we evolve around the universe if you want, but there are many thing like a tip of the ice berg we are just beginning to realize and what these kids are picking up, proving puts your bullshit to shame. People like you need to grow up and its a shame it is taking teenagers to prove that.

  18. Chris

      You dont like it, then go watch Sarah Palin or Michael Vick

  19. jereme_dean


      Obviously you have a belief in the supernatural. I am not making ANY value judgments about psychics. This show is bullshit and exploitative because it is ON TELEVISION AND UTILIZING CHILDREN.

      I don’t care if the show is about cancer research. Heal the fucking children without putting them on television.

      I work in Hollywood. I know what I have seen and continue to see. This is about money and nothing else.

      Enjoy sucking on the tip of that iceberg.

  20. jereme_dean

      I choose: D.) none of the above