Monday, November 07, 2005

Disappearing differences & assertive enclosures

Thoughtful religious people, with great subtlety, resolve for themselves the idea of a god, or gods, with what they learn about life through experiment & analysis, scientific and historical. Many thoughtful people who do not believe in a god, or gods, have nonetheless explored ideas about the force of life, and have an unquelchable fascination with the depth of human experience and insight possible under spiritual influence. These two views, or gradients, overlap in so many ways ... with a glass of wine, goodwill, time, and mutual respect, people can agree on almost everything about the nature of the universe.

Then propaganda and power politics enter the picture. The expensive 'Intelligent Design' publicity campaign builds walls between people, so supporters can be identified, money collected, votes counted. It's the death of subtlety, in yet another realm of potential connection between people.

It's fixable, however. We'll just need to spend more time together.

The Guardian is long gone

Peaceworkers are angry about the recent, hip-defamatory fake-interview with Noam Chomsky in The Guardian. They react as though the Guardian is a socially-responsible newspaper. On the contrary, it has been fascistic for several years, and has backed Blair's backing of Bush's invasions and occupations. It also universally praises western-style export development in the third-world, and elsewhere, as a good thing, and bashes social spending in Europe. In two years, The Guardian went from being rather pleasant to becoming transparently aggressive towards enlightenment values. So the Chomsky smear is unsurprising.

What does surprise me, kind of, is how the metamorphosis happened so quickly, and in the Internet Age, when there's supposedly better access to information. Apparently the major media are increasingly protecting their buttered sides in the face of the new opinions. Global Voices are really getting drowned out.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Journalism is NOT the first draft of history

Which shallow hack wrote "journalism is the first draft of history"?

One might as well say that "journalism is the first draft of Physics and Chemistry". Or that a historian's other resources -- interviews, government records, photos, films, buildings, the arts -- are also "first drafts of history".

The worst part, of course, is that journalism is usually very far from the truth, because journalists rarely investigate. This is because they are required to base their stories upon the quotes, reports, press releases of "significant" players -- giving their stories a striking elite bias. Also, journalists are heavily indoctrinated by their peers, who serve commercial interests, rather than popular interests such as justice, or scientific ones such as truth.