Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Friday, October 9, 2009
It's News To Me
I try to avoid politics in this blog. There are a number of reasons for this but the primary one is that it quickly deteriorates into name-calling, accusations, lies, spin, and general mayhem. But I do want to bring up a subject that may tinge upon politics.
I stopped getting a daily newspaper many, many years ago. Stopped reading one at work (free there, usually) about 5 years before I retired. And, even when I did read it before that, I limited my reading to the comics and Op-Ed pages (concentrating on a couple of entertaining columnists and on the letters to the editor). At home, I stopped watching network news around 1991. At that point, I came across CNN. I still watched some local news but stopped watching that because it was full of unimportant fluff or national news which I had already seen on CNN. My wife became a Gulf War junkie. I was a little less avid.
I was hooked on KTLA in 1995 with the OJ Simpson trial. Yes, I admit it. I was a Simpson junkie. I watched the trial, I taped what went on while I slept (worked midnight shift) and watched it later. It was a real education, let me tell you. But I could answer almost any question anyone had about the case and the trial. Who the witnesses were, how they were involved, why they were important.
I have since forgotten most of it... so don't ask.
When the internet started growing, I found new sources for news. I also found alternative takes on the news. I found perspectives from foreign countries. I found perplexing differences along with almost sycophantic similarities.
Over the years, I have pared down my sources and now use Google News to filter through the overwhelming number of news sources. I see some bias in Google News. After all, they have to select the top headline and the next few that you see first. They have to decide what will be the primary 5 stories for a category. It is very difficult to prevent some personal perspective from affecting those choices.
Still, I can search through the news articles to find stories about specific subjects or people and this is very useful. I worry, though about the number of blogs that seem to be being used as news sources.
I find myself carefully reading the headers of the news stories. I mean the headers of the web pages. Too many times, I have found myself on an opinion page of a newspaper's online pages. Or reading a blog.
And, after reading, I now tend to do some research on who is reporting, the place the news is about, the people involved, and tangential information that might be referenced as a part of the news story.
In other words, I no longer trust what I read.
I do not see conspiracies, mind you, but I do see laziness. One site reports something, others jump on, and it spreads like wildfire. They say it has "gone viral" in the web. But it may turn out to be completely bogus or mostly untrue. It may be distorted or the result of poor investigation.