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RP - Balance in the Media

Repost - Sep 12,

Balance in the Media

The dangers of Misinformation through Bothsideism

Media-Bias-Chart-_Aug-2022jpg We all have biases, based on our experiences, on our goals. We like to think we are open-minded about everything, but we are more comfortable when we are surrounded by people, and media, that support our views.

The above chart, by Ad Fontes Media, is based on a detailed analysis they do of many media sources - you can check out their methodology on their site. I’ve always been somewhat left of centre, and two of my main media choices are the Guardian Weekly and the Washington Post. In fact, I pay for both of them. They both are rated as a slightly left bias, and with reliable, analysis/fact reporting. I have other sources, including a TweetDeck selection of favourite journalists, but they all tend to be from the same area of the chart. One popular site for many, Fox News, rates as right bias, and only generally reliable on some issues and/or extremism. Yes, I could try to be ‘balanced’ by spending equal time off over there in right field, but the farther I goes, it seems to me they are less about facts (except for #alternatefacts) and more about rhetoric and opinion, as short, easily remembered and repeated sound bites. What I call “Bumper Sticker Politics”. But for many people, especially on the right, politics, like religion, is a belief system. They believe certain ‘truths’ about it, as beliefs, without the necessity of facts, so don’t miss the absence of supporting data. I can see the comfort in that.

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RP -Northward Bound

Reposted from Sep 10 

Northward Bound
Migration is the Solution, Not the Problem.

Northland This is an expansion of a bit I did a few days ago on The Facebook.

Our CBC recently published an article, New off-grid, low-cost villages are growing in the northern Ontario wilderness. They found that people are moving north, buying cheap land and setting up in unincorporated areas. Hence lower taxes and fewer regulations. But fewer services. The nearby towns do have some concerns, not just as a protective, not in ‘our’ wilderness attitude, but environmental concerns. Waterways have to be protected from pollution, and forests from fires. And the locals are well aware of the risks in trying to survive in the beautiful but sometimes harsh environment.

I was born up north and spent many years up there. It was a great place to grow up, pre-Interwebs days, where skipping school meant heading for the bush(forest) around town with lunch and a fishing rod. However, most of us left after high school, as there were not a lot of good jobs, or nightlife. Well, other than the 20 or so bars, left over from the boom years of some 30,000 residents. The town is down to less than 8,000 now, though.

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RP - Facebook Alternative?

Reposted from Sept 9,

Facebook Alternative?
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Substack


GarbageI woke up this morning musing about The Facebook, and the love/hate relationship many have with it. And my own desire to share and comment on the many interesting things I see in my day, the random musings I have as I browse The Interwebs or relax on my balcony or people-watch in a pub. I try to share things on The Facebook, but like us all I am at the mercy of the algorithms as to who sees what. I know some friends would like to see my content more reliably, and join in the discussion, but I am frustrated in how I have little control over that connection.

It’s been compared to a river of information flowing past, with some gems in the midst of the garbage, but it’s not really a flow you watch, like Twitter. It’s more like a series of snapshots, taken now, of a selection of what’s been posted so far by friends, the public, by advertisers, a selection The Facebook has decided is appropriate for you. Meaning what will generate the most revenue for Them. It is like a river though, in the sense that a lot can flow by before you take another peek.

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