Don’t buy in to everything you read
Please explain “buy in” and this sentence: Don’t always buy in to all that you read in the paper.
Here, you’re advised not to believe everything you read in the newspaper – or on the Internet for that matter. Do not believe, that is, that what’s said in the newspaper is always true.
In other words, don’t subscribe to everything you read.
Subscribe to? Yeah, if you subscribe to something, you pay regularly for that service. For example, you subscribe to a newspaper by paying for it regularly – although increasingly fewer people do that, thanks to the Internet and no thanks to declining journalist qualities everywhere.
But first, buy in.
As a business term, “buy in” means “buy your way in”.
If you buy some shares of a company, for instance, they call that buying your way in. You pay your way into owning (shares of) that company. You’ve bought your way into ownership. If you’re member of the working class, i.e. you are an ordinary employee that gives you an opportunity to learn what it feels like to be an owner of a business.
That’s the good part. The rub is that you do have to pay to get your way in, and we all know how volatile the stock market can be. So do it at your own risk, or peril.
If you buy in to an idea, on the other hand, it means you believe that idea to be true and worthy. You often still have to pay in monetary terms. If you join a party or a church, for example, you usually have to pay for membership. But more importantly, you join because you believe in their tenets, ideals and principles. You think they’re right.
Well, being a non member of any party or religion, I have little else to say here. So let’s get back to newspapers, a subject I know a bit more about.
At any rate, when someone says something like “Don’t believe everything you see or hear in the news”, I know where they come from. Without going deep into analysis, I want to point out a simple fact, the fact that so much of what’s going on in this world today is determined by special interests.
Or particular interests, I shall say. All interests are special, you say, and quite rightfully so. But the term “special interests” refer to special interest groups that share the same political aim, groups that are actively pushing for changes in government policy in order to advance their own interests.
When America went to war with Iraq, for instance, it was pushed by oil firms and arms manufacturers. On the surface, they went there to rid Iraq of dictatorship and Weapons of Mass Destruction, but the hidden agenda of these special interests groups was to, among others, control its oil.
The Iraq war was a good case in point because eventually no WMDs were found. And so people who believed, or bought in to that idea felt cheated. They as a matter of fact allowed themselves to be fooled because they were gullible and unquestioning.
Other business interests are out there working their way into dominating public discourse all the time. That’s why it takes a questioning and discerning public to ensure healthy development for society at large – to ensure for instance that bad policies and agendas are defeated before they can do any real damage.
In short, do not always buy in to everything you read because, in the final analysis, it is you, a member of the general public, who will have to pay the price.
Alright, here are media examples of people buying in to something, an idea, a theory, philosophy, etc:
1. Richard Turner, director of marketing and fundraising at SolarAid, has worked in charity fundraising for more than 20 years and believes that admitting failure is the first stage to unlocking innovation. “We’ve started to realise that problems are a real opportunity to engage partners so rather than hide problems, our skill is defining them and sharing them – both internally and with the world.”
The charity recently had a problem where a cyclist fundraiser needed to auction a famous photographer’s prints but needed a storage area first, “so we put the problem out on Facebook and within 24 hours we had someone who not only could store them, but could sort out an exhibition and auction the prints,” Turner says.
Although SolarAid is a small charity with about 10 London staff and a turnover of about 2.5m, it has more than 15,000 followers on Facebook and this response is prompting the charity to develop a problem page on its website, covering issues from smaller specifics to large, logistical issues.
Trusting staff to express themselves freely can also spark innovation, says Turner: “We’re trying to encourage our staff to communicate freely so any member of staff can set up and run a blog or Twitter linking from our homepage – we don't dictate what they have to say. So instead of having a bottleneck of content [to be vetted by internal communications staff], staff are self-editing.”
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