Tuesday, December 27, 2005

STORY OF THE YEAR: The Fall of Mainstream Media, The Rise of the Blogs

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

For quite some time now, those in the mainstream media would have us believe that the First Amendment created a special office, rights and privileges granted to professional journalists above all others in society -- and not that these rights were granted to every citizen equally. In fact, they believed it even became their exclusive right to suppress and oppress all the others attempting to exercise their freedom of speech, religion. press, assembly and redress -- mainly because Americans tend to be a trusting people, which makes them a great nation. Much can easily be accomplished when there is this mutual trust as the underlying foundation for all conduct, transactions and relations -- until that trust is violated and abused. Then, retribution is swift and decisive.

What became apparent to many, was that the traditional media (newspapers, television, radio, schools, universities, etc.), had become extremely biased and partisan in their reporting and editorializing, as well as inherently deficient and incompetent, and thus destroyed whatever remaining credibility they had with the most discriminating and impartial observers in society -- and when caught time and again, merely redoubled their efforts to assert their superiority and primacy of the control of the public consciousness -- as though it were their exclusive right and jurisdiction.

That right was never granted to anyone exclusively -- and the bloggers were among the first to avail themselves of the current technologies that levels the playing field in the new world of publishing, which means quite simply, publicizing. It’s not the first time there’s been a revolution in this field. Mainstream (broadcast) media, was also a revolution in its time -- and its effectiveness reached its height in propaganda and advertising campaigns, by those who controlled or could afford the machinery.

With the popularity of personal computers, the machinery and requisite skills became boilerplate to those wishing to avail themselves of them. The challenge then became, one’s ability to produce original content and insights, since we had become so dependent on the mediated way of obtaining information -- and were taught to distrust our own judgment in doing so. This required the complicity of the schools and universities, to condition us to the thinking that one could and never should learn on one’s own, but must rely only on duly certified professionals, based on their ability to assimilate the right curricula (political correctness).

These hierarchies and jurisdictions (turf) break down when available to all inexpensively. That is a tremendous challenge and disruption to the status quo and entrenched powers that wish to remain so only when their advantage is permanently guaranteed. But anything that does not change in a changing world is doomed to failure. The weakness of the mainstream media is that it became one mold -- repeated and reaffirmed from the centers of leadership in New York and Washington. That was the epitome of the old model of highly centralized information (news) processing -- that everybody else out in the sticks were expected to mimic -- until ultimately, the line between plagiarizing, paraphrasing, and outright copying became so muddled that the old lines of demarcation could not be maintained and were simply overrun and trampled into dust.

In such chaos and anomie, orderly minds rule -- or at least emerge, take hold, become stronger. They become the new models of communications and information -- unrestricted by the rules of Associated Press language and protocols. "They" began to insist that even blogs must conform to their rules -- so they can remain competitive, when those rules exist to maintain their advantage and preeminence. But that is not the only way the game can be played. That is only the way generations had been taught the game is played -- with a few winners, and mostly also-rans and wannabes for a few coveted spots. Under those rules, one had to pay their dues, and keep paying them, in the hopes that one day, they could be doing what they really wanted to do.

Bloggers just went ahead and did what they wanted to do -- and could imagine doing. For some, it was the usual juvenile antics or self-conscious thrills of self-expression, but once that initial intoxication passed, most realized they had nothing to say of any uniqueness or interest. But a small percentage recognized that the only thing that had limited them previously, was the lack of access to a publishing medium. If that was the limitation, it no longer was one -- and so the world began to explode with blogs.

“Success” could now be determined simply by whatever measure one wanted it to be. To take the conventional approach and try to be as popular as the established players in the game was still prohibitive. However, the perceptive few realized that rather than taking the mass approach, they should instead find their niche audience. The objective then was not to reach merely the largest audience (ineffectively I might add) but to reach the best audience -- including and especially, the most intelligent and discriminating audience. In effect, that was discovering intelligent life here on earth. And that is what the mass media despairs of, “That there is no intelligent life in the universe,” judging from their regard for their readership.

In the year 2005, we saw two ships passing in the night -- going in different directions.


At December 28, 2005 11:24 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...


Lord of the blogs
Dec 28, 2005
by Kathleen Parker

Of all the stories leading America's annual greatest-hits list, the one that subsumes the rest is the continuing evolution of information in the Age of Blogging.

Not since the birth of the printing press have our lives been so dramatically affected by the way we create and consume information - both to our enormous benefit and, perhaps, to our growing peril.

What is wonderful and miraculous about the Internet needs little elaboration. We all marvel at the ease with which we can access information - whether reading government documents previously available only to a few, or tracking down old friends and new enemies.

It is this latter - our new enemies - that interests me most. I don't mean al-Qaida or Osama bin Laden, but the less visible, insidious enemies of decency, humanity and civility - the angry offspring of narcissism's quickie marriage to instant gratification.

There's something frankly creepy about the explosion we now call the Blogosphere - the big-bang "electroniverse" where recently wired squatters set up new camps each day. As I write, the number of "blogs" (Web logs) and "bloggers"(those who blog) is estimated in the tens of millions worldwide.

Although I've been a blog fan since the beginning, and have written favorably about the value added to journalism and public knowledge thanks to the new "citizen journalist," I'm also wary of power untempered by restraint and accountability.

Say what you will about the so-called mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its own members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right.

That a Jayson Blair of The New York Times or a Jack Kelley of USA Today surfaces now and then as a plagiarist or a fabricator ultimately is testament to the high standards tens of thousands of others strive to uphold each day without recognition. Blair and Kelley are infamous, but they're also gone.

Bloggers persist no matter their contributions or quality, though most would have little to occupy their time were the mainstream media to disappear tomorrow. Some bloggers do their own reporting, but most rely on mainstream reporters to do the heavy lifting. Some bloggers also offer superb commentary, but most babble, buzz and blurt like caffeinated adolescents competing for the Ritalin generation's inevitable senior superlative: Most Obsessive-Compulsive.

Even so, they hold the same megaphone as the adults and enjoy perceived credibility owing to membership in the larger world of blog grown-ups. These effete and often clever baby "bloggies" are rich in time and toys, but bereft of adult supervision. Spoiled and undisciplined, they have grabbed the mike and seized the stage, a privilege granted not by years in the trenches, but by virtue of a three-pronged plug and the miracle of WiFi.

They play tag team with hyperlinks ("I'll say you're important if you'll say I'm important) and shriek "Gotcha!" when they catch some weary wage earner in a mistake or oversight. Plenty smart but lacking in wisdom, they possess the power of a forum, but neither the maturity nor humility that years of experience impose.

Each time I wander into blogdom, I'm reminded of the savage children stranded on an island in William Golding's "Lord of the Flies." Without adult supervision, they organize themselves into rival tribes, learn to hunt and kill, and eventually become murderous barbarians in the absence of a civilizing structure.

What Golding demonstrated - and what we're witnessing as the Blogosphere's offspring multiply - is that people tend to abuse power when it is unearned and will bring down others to enhance themselves. Likewise, many bloggers seek the destruction of others for their own self-aggrandizement. When a mainstream journalist stumbles, they pile on like so many savages, hoisting his or her head on a bloody stick as Golding's children did the fly-covered head of a butchered sow.

Schadenfreude - pleasure in others' misfortunes - has become the new barbarity on an island called Blog. When someone trips, whether Dan Rather or Eason Jordan or Judith Miller, bloggers are the bloodthirsty masses slavering for a public flogging. Incivility is their weapon and humanity their victim.

I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there - professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and other journalists who also happen to blog. Again, they know who they are. But we should beware and resist the rest of the ego-gratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction.

We can't silence them, but for civilization's sake - and the integrity of information by which we all live or die - we can and should ignore them.

Kathleen Parker is a popular syndicated columnist and director of the School of Written Expression at the Buckley School of Public Speaking and Persuasion in Camden, South Carolina.



Spoken like a member of the Media. - by intermodal, Dec 28 2005 05:38 AM

Unfortunately, this column betrays a lot of obvious biases that appear to be a result of the author being a syndicated columnist. Even before the American Revolution, anonymous pamphleteers and others who wrote under pseudonyms distributed their work.

The idea of fearing the "unaccountability" of anonymous or pseaudonymous writings simply because you do not know where the article itself originates from is ludicrous, and often is the refuge of a scoundrel. If a person has to attack the author instead of the content, they are generally incorrect. For a long time, many media members have hidden their sources on articles with their names in the byline, which is far more dangerous than an anonymous blog that provides information which is proveable, or even hyperlinked to proof or some form of evidence. Regardless of whether the identity of an author is known, the message itself is the important element of any article.

Bloggers who fail to provide links backing their argument, or sufficient evidence in other forms such as information on books, articles, documents, or other fact-checkable sources are generally either crackpots, or speaking on a theoretical plane anyhow. Many people who read blogs generally are willing to write off anyone who fails to provide convincing sources or evidence as crackpots and conspiracy theorists. Unfortunately, no such parity exists in the mainstream media, where many people take anything published as canon, even if the sources are completely anonymous.

One paragraph that particularlly irked me was the paragraph where it was stated that "Say what you will about the so-called mainstream media, but no industry agonizes more about how to improve its product, police its own members and better serve its communities. Newspapers are filled with carpal-tunneled wretches, overworked and underpaid, who suffer near-pathological allegiance to getting it right." I have yet to see evidence that unless forced to do so, the mainstream media does anything of the sort to police it own, or to have a pathological allegiance to getting it right. The reality I have seen is that the real story is often in what is left out of their stories.

Obviously, many of the things stated in the article exist, but the entities known as "blogs" are the equivalent of taking all the major papers, all the variously well- or poorly-written school newspapers, newsetters, and countless other forms of printed media into one. One cannot judge the Wall Street Journal based on the high school journalism club's publications or the "zine" of a college dropout. Using such a broad brush as is done in this article is unfortunately a major disservice to the very people who have given the concept of a blog the position it holds today.

I take no pleasure in writing such a commentary upon a townhall column, but it is sad to see modern conservatives revert to the same fear, uncertainty, and doubt that prevailed in the aristocrats when Gutenberg made it easy to publish works through the invention of his moveable type printing presses. Personally, I am more frightened by the misleading content coming out of folks like the New York Times and CBS than I am of any blog.

Lord of the Blogs - by libbasher, Dec 28 2005 06:44 AM

intermodal has it exactly right. This column would be more appropriate as a puff piece on any MSM website. Ms. Parker has shown herself to be not just in the media, but of the media. From outright dishonesty (for example, Dan Rather's "memo-gate") to selective reporting (what isn't discussed) to just plain spin, the MSM has established a sorry record since the Viet Nam War era. My question to Ms. Parker is this; if the MSM is so good at what it does, why are viewership and subscribership numbers continuing to fall for both electronic and print MSM outlets at rates that are statistically significant? It's because they are no longer trusted and are disconnected from the majority of consumers of news material. This column shows a lack of understanding and knowledge of the current news media landscape. As Truman Capote once said, "That's not writing, that's typing."


It's the arrogance, stupid - by Patp, Dec 28 2005 08:47 AM
A Few Pathetic Elitists at Townhall... - by bzimmerly, Dec 28 2005 08:14 AM

There's nothing that jerks my chain more than people who think they're better than others, more deserving of attention, or have "earned" the right to be "heard" above the masses.

While "Townhall" is normally the best of the best in terms of logical, factually-based, informative websites, two articles posted today that fall way short of the mark are Ms. Parker's and Mr. Bartlett's. The arrogance is palpable.

"I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there - professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and other journalists who also happen to blog. Again, they know who they are. But we should beware and resist the rest of the ego-gratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction.

We can't silence them, but for civilization's sake - and the integrity of information by which we all live or die - we can and should ignore them." -- "Lord of the blogs" by Kathleen Parker

"Further degrading the usefulness of cable debates is the fact that participants are often mismatched in terms of stature. On one side, you might have a college professor or think tank scholar who is a recognized expert in his field. On the other, you might have some nobody with no real expertise from an organization that exists only as a cell phone number to a booker. The debate format tends to make people believe that the two are of equal stature, downgrading the views of the true expert, while elevating those of the hack." -- "Enough with the fake debates" by Bruce Bartlett

Oh brother! [Eyes rolling]

humility, indeed - by rightri, Dec 28 2005 09:28 AM

The analogy to "Lord of the Flies" is a weak one. The key
to this novel was the fact that the children were stranded.
None could choose not to participate. The blogosphere,
on the other hand, necessitates discriminatory behavior.

I bookmark blogs that offer interesting news or
meaningful commentary. I ignore those that don't. I read
blogs written by those with whom I agree, and also
disagree. Yes, there are blogs that scream and holler
from one side, and participate in aggressive personal
destruction. But one only need to wander through a
Borders or Barnes and Noble to find similar material.

I keep reading this line over and over. "Plenty smart but
lacking in wisdom, they possess the power of a forum, but
neither the maturity nor humility that years of experience
impose." The logical conclusion, then, is that bloggers
should not have a forum. It should be left to those with
"years of experience". I assume Ms. Parker means, like
herself. She apparently believes herself one of the "many
brilliant people out there - professors, lawyers, doctors,
philosophers, scientists and other journalists..."

I happen to believe that brilliant people do not always find
the way to these professions. Their voices may deserve to
be heard however. It would be a cleaner place if we didn't
have to listen to those bloggers who proved Dan Rather's
documents a fake or learn from Matt Drudge about that
now famous dress. The truth is not always easy. But
clearly the MSM seems to lack wisdom at times, and
humility often.

Ms. Parker's column is the classic example of "media
elitism", different only in that is comes from someone
sitting at the top leaning to the right. We all could benefit
from a bit more humilty.

Bloggers - by Turtle, Dec 28 2005 10:04 AM

Sounds a little like you've discovered that blogging doesn't pay as well as writing for newspapers.

Thanks for proving her point! - by Chip, Dec 28 2005 10:49 AM

Being from the South, I am more than familiar with the aphorism, "A hit dawg will holler". Thanks for demonstrating Ms. Parker's point so eloquently, all who have posted so far; look at the tenor of the comments, and their range of emotion (or lack thereof), and you see exactly what she meant by those who should be thanked, and those who should be ignored. Those who responded with the derisive MSM label for her would qualify, in my book, as "Hit Dawgs". Matt Drudge certainly passes the smell test for well-researched postings, as do several blogging Townhall.com contributors. However, there are plenty more that do *not*. There are blogs that deserve to be ignored; her point is that we sometimes DON'T, to our detriment; some who blog treat all blogs as equal, including those that specialize in personal invective at the expense of well-phrased analysis or well-researched reporting. So Be Nice. And Play Nice. And you won't find yourselves in the Ignore list, people.

The Journalism Schools are Behind the Times - by PAPASMURF132, Dec 28 2005 11:17 AM

In 1962 a Congressman read into the Congressional Record the list of aims that the Communist Party had/has in their agenda. The agenda items included control of University faculty and curriculum, control of all forms of media, control of the United States Senate (there are only 100 in the Senate so 51 communists is all that is needed. The control of Journalism Schools was also on the list. The objection of MSM to bloggers sounds like the Journalism Schools are angry that their influence is dilduted by the bloggers in this country. It just shows what we all knew all along: Reporting and analysis of events is not the sole property of journalists. There are millions of American voters who can do it better and much more honestly.

"power untempered by restraint and accountability." Huh? - by dcrussell, Dec 28 2005 11:57 AM

I live in a suburban community with a high and rapidly increasing murder rate.

No local MSM outlet, print or broadcast, has reported all of the murders in this jurisdation.

Every local elected official is a Democrat. I can't help wondering if that affects the MSM's reporting failures.

My blog attempts to both:

* report all local murders and

* hold the MSM accountable for their failures.

Without blogs like mine, it would be much easier for the local politicians to sweep their failures under the rug.

And my blog would not be necessary if the arrogasnt, sloppy, biased MSM did its job well.

If anyone has "power untempered by restraint and accountability," it is my local MSM, not bloggers.

Kathleen Parker I know you. - by taxfreekiller, Dec 28 2005 01:48 PM

Dear Kathleen,

Take a moment in time, go to The American Thinker of Dec. 20, 2005, read the words there by J. R. Dunn re: "The Legacy of Tet"

Once you have read that go to, The Virtual Wall find Jerry Michael Shriver's name read
that, for sure the location of his "Remains",
then go to the Vietnam Veterans Legacy Foundation and get up to date on the on going work on correcting the "Lies of the U.S. Press" and the History Correction on going re: The law suit's between Lt. Kerry and Red, White and Blue Productions , Bud Day re. Stolen Honor , that are ongoing in
Penn. Federal Courts. Once you have done that review in my mind just why you get these
notes from American about you and the press in general being liars and frauds with nothing in you but the need to see your self in print and in your mirror.

Other than that from " Jerry Shriver and I
Kiss off ."


Lord of the Blogs - by jany, Dec 28 2005 02:03 PM

"I mean no disrespect to the many brilliant people out there - professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and other journalists who also happen to blog. Again, they know who they are. But we should beware and resist the rest of the ego-gratifying rabble who contribute only snark, sass and destruction."

Oh my. Only "professors, lawyers, doctors, philosophers, scientists and other journalists" should be permitted to blog, as opposed to the ordinary non-initialed "rabble." No arrogance here.

Old Media Is Even Less Accountable Than A Blogger - by 84rules, Dec 28 2005 03:50 PM

Bloggers are not accountable? As if Old Media is accountable?

When a blogger posts an entry, anyone can come along and post a response to that entry. For example, I am posting a response right now. Thus, when a blogger mis-states a fact, or gets a detail wrong, or has been caught in an urban legend, it comes out into the open almost instantly.

But what about Old Media? How do they respond to mistakes they make? Well, someone has to write a letter to the editor (or news program producer), then that letter has to actually get read, and then, if the editor or producer decides that the mistake is worth correcting, a correction is printed or broadcast, usually about 48 to 72 hours later. Printed corrections are usually burined on page A27 below the tire ads. Broadcast corrections usually come at the end of a newscast when most people are heading to the kitchen for a snack or changing channels.

Remember, it was bloggers who caught Dan Rather in the biggest lie of his career. Old Media made no effort to correct him whatsoever.

The assertion that bloggers are not as accountable as Old Media is a mis-statement of fact, at best.

At December 28, 2005 11:28 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Here's even a comment to one of the comments:


It's the arrogance, stupid
by Patp, Dec 28 2005 08:47 AM

The thing about the MSM that annoys me the most is the arrogance. I applied for a job with a major newspaper once (not as a journalist) and was able to attend the conference where they discuss the stories that go into the paper. It was obvious from the comments that the people in that room felt that the only way "we the people" are governed correctly is through their stewardship. The editor said "It needed saying", while sagely nodding his head at the criticism of an elected official. As a former elected official, I find this kind of arrogance galling. Since when is the ability to put ink to paper the proof that one is superior to those who actually toil in the muck and mire? Libbasher has it right: from the stories they don't report to the spin with which they present the stories they do report, they appear no different than Goebbels or the Soviet press. Unfortunately for them, we the people can now see behind the curtain.

At December 29, 2005 11:32 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

Because we don’t know whether a blog is credible or not, that’s forced the evolution of a higher level of reading comprehension than has existed before -- to where one will notice that most of the blog comments are even more insightful than the original article -- which is the familiar defense of the status quo mainstream media hegemony.

That fact is that the blogosphere also includes the mainstream media -- and it is not the mainstream media against the blogoosphere. The blogosphere is what used to be called the collective consciousness -- which is the totality of all knowledge and consciousness. At times, one union, trade association or other clique decides they want to control all the activities in that sphere to their exclusive benefit. They will claim that they have “all the news fit to print,” as though it was their God-given monopoly, rather than their own conspiracy to usurp power, privilege and office.

They may, as has become legendary in the world, run self-serving public service announcements -- about their selfless and noble intentions, entailing lives of gret self-sacrifice entitling them henceforth for more than their fair share -- of which they will “give back a little to the community” -- after they have been granted the more than their fair share they are entitled to. Because you see, they alone sacrificed their entire lives so they could do something useful and reach the top, for which they alone are doing, unlike everybody else, who are just looking after themselves.

People who believe their own propaganda and advertising, are more likely than not to regard themselves as noble, “liberal” souls, whose fear-, hate-, bigotry-mongering is all right because they are in the service of “right” causes, of which their hierarchy determines and must be allowed to maintain exclusive control. They become these quasi-government institutions with impressive sounding names and titles for themselves -- thinking that’s all that’s required to fool, impress and intimidate most people.

However, blog readers have had to become the best readers the world has ever witnessed -- out of necessity of evolution in a perilous and challenging environment. Their ability to read far surpasses most writer’s ability to write. There is this inversion in the balance of power so that writers who were used to dictating the terms of engagement, may often find themselves writing to a vastly more informed audience -- if, as a mainstream media writer, what they know is what somebody else told them -- rather than information they pioneered themselves.

It is the experience of trying to bluff people who are the real authorities and experts in the field -- as the audience is now likely to self-select themselves in their fields of interest that they follow. Meanwhile, the mainstream media writer is likely to have a superficial understanding of what he is being told, and also have no insight into the process determining the credible from the plausible and familiar. In such cases, one should let the source speak for himself -- which is the function mainstream media used to serve -- as the intermediary between the specialist and a general audience.

But the world of computing has made everybody a generalist -- moving away from the trend of the last century into ever-increasing specialists and specialization, marked by the proliferation of specialist jargon. That is the old world paradigm of increasing specialization, fragmentation, compartmentalization of experience and knowledge -- that has been reversed towards greater universalization of experience and knowing.

Some people and professions are still promoting that old world view as the modern -- most notably in the institutions of greatest prosperity in that old model -- the universities, schools and the intermediary (mainstream) media. The last thing they want is a level playing field in which everybody can be a principal player. But that is the march and evolution of society as well as the actualization of the individual, which at root, is the “indivisible,” or whole.

Useful knowledge at any time in history, was that which integrated the fragments into a greater, simpler, more universal whole -- although there were times that produced increasing fragmentation, compartmentalization, specialization -- into the familiar experience that one part had no idea what the other part did, and does, with each claiming that their rules had nothing to do with the rules of any other common human experience accessible to all. Each profession and hierarchy had its own Tower of Babel (babble) -- marking the beginning of the fall.

At December 30, 2005 10:33 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The new world is very problematical for the old media to report on -- because their senses are calibrated to record only gross events -- as when a hurricane or tsunami wipes out thousands of lives, or when somebody brutally murders everyone within his vicinity.

Lacking those developments, they have to create and perpetuate the arguments between those whose only mode of communication is to argue with everybody, over everything -- it doesn’t matter what. Such squeaky wheels, whiners and complainers have a disproportionate visibility because of their monomaniacal persistence with the newspaper editors -- who are the only people they can get to listen to their abuse, harangues and attacks anymore. Of course, such dysfunctional people create drama in every encounter and communications they have with another -- and why eventually, they come to have no other than these rants to nobody in particular.

But because they are “featured” as the public dialogue, this manner of “communications” become a model of how many unfamiliar people think is how normal, healthy people talk with one another -- this constant bullying, posturing, and relentless competition to put everyone else down -- especially and including, the president and the governor -- as though that were enough to prove their superiority. Unfortunately, a lot of the mainstream media writers picked up that style -- thinking such rants reflected the mentality of the audience they were writing for, instead of this gross misrepresentation of the public psyche.

That’s what most normal, healthy people are offended by -- this misrepresentation of themselves by the disproportionate dysfunctional few, as any indication of the popular sentiment, or intelligence. These “news junkies” then drive away all the intelligent, normal people who are looking for intelligence in their information consumption -- and not plumbing the depths of mental illness, distortion, deception and manipulation.

The news of this time is the transformation taking place within people -- to a higher level of consciousness -- that the old media does not have the sensibilities and language to probe. Because in the probing and discovering, it also requires interaction -- with the people and events, rather than in the naïve thinking that one can remain objective and detached -- all the while distorting the event with the presence of the bright lights, the large bulky cameras, glamorously dressed reporter, asking absurdly self-conscious questions. And then they think they are merely objective reporters rather than that their mere presence has greatly distorted the event.

Early in the 20th century, Niels Bohr noted this effect in the observation of the atom -- that in their attempt to observe the natural movement of the most basic building block of reality, the atom, disturbed what they were observing so greatly, that what they were really observing, was the limits of their own understanding, and powers of observation. It often takes many years for such scientific paradigms to work their way through to the popular culture.

Perceptive people have been aware for some time, that their consciousness and their behavior affects the behavior of all those around them. The responses of one in escalating hostilities predictably lead to violence -- just as tense situations can become non-events by the manner in which they are regarded and handled. In the latter case, the news reporter is not interested and there is no event to report -- rather than the recognition that something of much greater significance and value has just occurred, which is the ability to transform a disastrous situation to normality.

Thus the old media can only report on the bad news -- and why alternatives have arisen to report and discuss the other 99% of what is going on in the world.

At December 31, 2005 9:51 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

A Comment About “Comments”

A few people have commented that my “comments” are largely my own comments on posts I’ve made previously -- as though that were a bad thing, rather than the evolution of a thought or idea, which most have never witnessed before because they’ve been taught that ideas are final, perfect, complete -- which is not the reality of ideas. That is a critical flaw in the education (thinking and the reason most people’s understanding is very limited, shallow, disabling and disempowering. They’ve been taught that the truth is something handed down from on high by the priests of knowledge and thought (which are their self-appointed selves), and one should never dare think other than what they’ve been told to think.

The major perpetrators of this way of “thinking” are the mass media, the schools, the universities and of course the unions, which require this kind of strict conformity or their absolute authority and control breaks down -- and when it does, begins to disintegrate with snowballing effect. Ideas are really always incomplete and being refined, as one is discovering the truth in their daily lives -- and not that everybody has to adjust their thinking to the generalizations the media pronounces is the truth that their polls, studies, experts and interviews say is The Truth, which on closer examination, are usually highly flawed and prejudicial -- while trying to give it the cloak of legitimacy.

Most of the people in mass communications just don’t know any better -- because their curriculum consists entirely of manipulating other people’s opinions -- rather than the exploration and discovery of truth on their own. Thus they are highly dependent on others for what they know -- with no way of determining for themselves the validity of an idea on their own. They will claim they’re not “scientists, doctors, university professors” -- as though those were the only people capable of doing such amazing feats, rather than that it is what everybody needs to be doing at some fundamental and essential level.

If one doesn’t, such people are at the mercy of those who are glad to do their thinking for them -- the demagogues of the world! So it is just as important not to blog as these petty tyrants in life want all others to obey -- as though their opinions on everything should matter. Next such “authorities” will be telling us what we can blog about and what we can’t, etc., etc., etc.

And people who don’t know what they are doing and have no confidence about what they are doing because it is dependent on “other people’s opinions,” are easily intimidated and coerced into conforming to the dictates of others. In realizing this, the spell is immediately broken -- and there is no such power but what one has given it all one’s life. That realization is freedom -- the freedom not just of childish rebellion and temper tantrums, but the awesome realization of responsibility and accountability that one is the world.

At January 01, 2006 9:53 AM, Blogger Mike Hu said...

The fatal error for the mainstream media was to politicize everything -- make the markets, religion, health, citizenship, movies, sports, human relations, language and culture -- into a political football. All of life is not politics; politics is actually a small part of greater life. Politics is a limiting factor in exploring and understanding the world we live in -- and that is the greater purpose of why the media exists.

Instead, the mainstream media tried to corral the forces of a tsunami through a straw that they owned and controlled. Their reason for reducing everything to politics is that it is the easiest story to tell -- requiring very little talent and ability to reduce the greatness of life to a simple one dimensional tale of the left against the right, the liberals against the conservative, the Republicans against the Democrats -- for which the political parties (or their rabid operatives) even provided them storylines so the mainstream media's own staff wouldn't even have to do anything further.

That's why they liked and are so enraptured by MoveOn.org. They do all the thinking for the mainstream media -- and so nobody in the mainstream media has to think or be capable of thinking anymore. The perfect union job!


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