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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » What do you think you know and how do you think you know it?

   
Author Topic: What do you think you know and how do you think you know it?
Stone_Wolf_
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Not a post about rationalism.

I have no idea what sources to listen to. From what little I have heard, NPR is supposed to be decent?

Mostly I choose not to watch the news, as I have little time and less trust that the information being presented is not biased or simply wrong.

I do tend to stay out of politics, A) I'm a big hearted, hot head and B) I only believe in three kinds of politicians, corrupt, incompetent or outnumbered.

However when I read what Elison is saying about police corruption being a growing national problem, it makes me want to say "No it's not!" with more to back me up than what the Lord saw fit to bestow at birth.

Obviously some issues you can't just Google. Police corruption being one of them. Lot's of controversial issues are like that. Either there is a whole garbage truck load of totally contradictory, polarized talking points, weird pdfs of raw data or a whole lot of bubkis.

So how the heck does one stay informed without the constant bombardment of negativity & doom or partisan jack assery & self righteousness?

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Samprimary
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avoid:
no television news, ever, of any sort. the 24/7 news cycle is vacuous in practice and is going increasingly rancid as television's spine disintegrates under cord-cutting demographic changes, and was already in pretty shoddy shape. no actual echo chambers or places of increasingly strict sensitivity or intersectionality based engagement protocol. no schlock. no tabloid. no daily mail or any equivalent gawkerdom. no opinions pages with special guest stars schlepped in from the think tanks that pay either party's bill for the afterparty at the primaries.

acquire:
Subscribed to Harper's, New Yorker, Economist, Atlantic Monthly, in actual physical form, and I actually sit down and take some time out of the day to actually, legitimately, seriously read them, and contrast the opposing but generally intellectually equanimous positions and composed interpretation of modern American or international affairs. Like sit down at some point and make sure i'm not just skimming these articles.

disadvantages:
feeds an already noticeably present significant partisanship of my own vis a vis the current American left-right political divide, with plenty of noteworthy indulgences of my potential or actual confirmation bias that generally strongly fights the ideology, socioeconomic theory, and actual practiced aims of american conservatism as the primary and overwhelming obstacle to progress in this country.

advantages:
when all is said and done, their commentary is vindicated and fails to fall under the general house of cards reasonings that implode the general intellectual credibility of other ideologies in this country

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Stone_Wolf_
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Ouch...that's more homework than I expected.

Time is not a commodity I am not flush in.

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GaalDornick
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Something about having your cake and eating it too.
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Stone_Wolf_
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Truly, however there must be a few meta sources who are trust worthy. A monthly wrap up perhaps?
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Samprimary
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A truncated analysis will only give you a truncated understanding of complex sociopolitical issues.

let us take as a specific example the question of police corruption, the issue of wanting to have enough information to be able to have a significant understanding of the issue and to comment on it in a significantly informed way. I can already just from immediate recollection reference a New Yorker article I read in 2013 on the subject which you should absolutely read in full, not as part of a monthly wrap up, and see how it already has started to inform you of a specific issue of endemic corruption in police districts across the country that exemplifies the incentives and attitudes that govern so many of our police districts and lead to obvious inequity in the distribution of their efforts and intents.

Taken.

Read that whole thing. Imagine what your perspective on the police would be if similarly grim (and substantiable) revelations on the status quo had informed your perspective for years running. But just start with this one article.

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Stone_Wolf_
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I am reading it as fast as my schedule allows. (I've been quite sick today) Very good article.

How does one vette a source tho? The New Yorker is well established, well known, etc., but for that matter so is Fox news. How can tell the shite from the shinola.

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Stone_Wolf_
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That article had a lot of meat in it...so I have no idea why the author had such an annoying habit of providing unnecessary detail and streach what could have been a hard hitting piece into a groan to get through.
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kmbboots
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NPR (TAL)is doing a great series on policing. Check it out. www.thisamericanlife.org
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Orincoro
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SW, You can vet sources in exactly this way: ask smart, well informed people who and what they trust, and why. Fox News is "established," but doesn't go a week without seriously undermining itself as a source of reliable information, viz, "no go zones." A network that will air blatant, obvious, laughably ridiculous lies like they is not to be trusted in any way. Fox also maintains a cozy relationship with "pundits," who periodically flirt with running for president. That is not, in any way, appropriate or acceptable behavior for a news organization.
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777
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I browse a lot. /r/news and /r/worldnews are both helpful, as is /r/nottheonion when I'm feeling a bit more humorous. I value both the actual articles linked to on those pages, as well as the commentary, in order to get the general vibe of the public reaction to the issues at hand. Then I can try to sort through the mess of what is true and what is merely rhetorical.

If I need a greater aggregation of sources, I'll work through Google News, but that usually takes more initiative and time, because--as noted by other posts--most sources are biased toward one side or another. So I have to browse more in order to form a cohesive opinion.

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Samprimary
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Vet an article primarily through the publication that will permit it, as a cheap but fairly reliable method.

What garbage gets passed through fox and outed later? What challenges to the veracity of Harpers happens at all? How different are they? So on.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Thank you all for your replies.

Boots...I'm reading the article you linked to...will comment when finished [Smile]

777...I'm not familiar with the "/r/" tag...what does it do?

Hey, let's compile a list by voting of most and least trustworthy news sources...

Anyone can vote as much as they like (one vote per person per news source) and we have two main categorizes, Trustworthy (+), Untrustworthy (-) and Contested for when a news agency receives both.

+ NPR
+ New Yorker

- Fox News
- Daily Show (they freely admit making stuff up...it is comedy)

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Samprimary
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If we're talking veracity of info, a poll of a forum isn't a great means to it tbh, it's more likely to just represent a very selective pool of biases
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Stone_Wolf_
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As an end all be all I agree...since it's just info I'm requesting...it's better than next to nothing.

But you don't have to play ifin ya don't wanna.

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777
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Sorry about that, Stone_Wolf_. The "/r/" tag refers to a subreddit, or a subcategory on Reddit.com.

For instance, the /r/news subreddit would be typed in as www.reddit.com/r/news, and so forth.

Like I said, I browse a lot. My apologies for assuming familiarity.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Ahh...no worries. I have never checked out reedit. I'm a busy guy. [Smile]
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kmbboots
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I would consider both the BBC and Al Jazeera to be credible news sources. Moreso than any of the US television news. They don't have to be commercial, so they don't need to grab viewers by over-sensationalizing the facts or worrying that unpopular facts will alienate their viewers. At least, not quite as much.
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Samprimary
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AJ has as I have mentioned before had some worrying undercurrents but I will withhold further judgment until there can be a more dramatic demonstration of corrupted output.

BBC is fairly ace, as is, so far, NPR.

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GaalDornick
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This is a great and educational article about a pretty hot topic in the news these days.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I am so gunna read that!
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Stone_Wolf_
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...you kno...after HPMOR
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Lyrhawn
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I read the Atlantic every other day. The New Yorker once a week. The Economist when their website will let me. I listen to NPR on my way to and from work and I've never really had a problem with them. Their funding is almost entirely private, and they have tons of great shows with great information.

If I,m ever in the mood for TV news, I'll watch Al Jazeera America. I find their style much more in tune with my preferences. It's 24 hour news, but they lean on documentaries and investigative news stories to fill in the gaps instead of manufacturing controversy.

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Stone_Wolf_
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Thank you to all for contributing to attempted reduction of my ignorance!
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Stone_Wolf_
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I have another question...I want to sponser a child (maybe two, one for each of my children)...anyone kno the cheapest & best one? UNICEF? I am also not willing to support folks that use horrific images, black mailing emotional bullschitte.
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Lyrhawn
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UNICEF seems to do more with less. They say that they provide vaccines for just pennies, food and other care for mere dollars. I have serious doubts as to their claims though. I have several friends working on aid projects in Africa, and getting anything done there for the pennies their talking about is incredibly difficult. Even well-funded projects have trouble really getting to kids in need. You'd be surprised - and probably angry - if you found out just how much aid money ends up in the pockets of some pretty bad, greedy, a-holes in governments looking to line their own pockets before they help their people.

But as far as cheapness goes, UNICEF might be your best bet.

If you want to sponsor the education of a high school student in Detroit, I know a perfect non-profit for you. [Smile]

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Stone_Wolf_
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Cheapest AND best...or to make it clearer, of the good ones, which is cheapest. I have to budget aggressively, but I feel moved to help in some way...that is feeding & getting meds to kids. Sorry bout Detroit...but people can just move to a different city or state, where as famine is....I admit to almost no actual knowledge...my heart is just more moved by starving kids.
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