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Cecil wrote in about the hole I'd left open in the last piece. I'll let the exchange speak for itself:


"Put the keyboard down. That's it. Now back away from the computer and keep your hands up where we can see them."

Seriously though. I can't (or won't) disagree with your points/conclusions, although I think the blog thing could turn out to be Internet fad or a huge change in how society communicates and views themselves. Not to mention the defacto release of privacy and intellectual property rights, but it's way too early to know which (fad/new). You raise some interesting social issues in my mind -- Is filtered news (TV) better than sucking on the firehose (Web); or if you only visit certain web sites, isn't that a filtering action? You may click on links in someone's blog and visit worlds you wouldn't ordinarily seek, you may even bookmark the site which you might get back to in a month or so.

IMNSHO, it is really a question of who edits/filters. Adults pretend they can do it for themselves whether its "bad" web sites or Jerry Springer on TV, but adults (as a group) seem to have a piss poor track record (in a moral or ethical sense) about what they say and what they do. When applied to children, its an unknowable problem. Should my parents have let me watch the 1968 riots in Chicago on TV? Was I permanently scarred (by their standards at the time)? Would my life be better if I never heard Jethro Tull? It's completely unknowable.

I suppose I have to find a point, otherwise this message can't be sent. WOAFC (With Out A F'ing Clue), perhaps the role of the parent re: information feeding/filtering is not to look at the past for guidance, but to teach the skills to handle the big end of the future fire hose. I know thats easier said than done. Maybe I should hold a seminar about that at the Holiday Inn. I could pull down a few bucks telling people what they don't want to hear. I used to be pretty good at that. Maybe $125/day to hear the President of CCDL speak about how to detect BS? Hell, I'd pay $125 for that but then I know who's speaking.



Ah, not pointless at all!

You've touched on the area I quite deliberately left open last night as I didn't want to try to deal with everything at once: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?", be it a custodial parental unit or one's own self.

I propose that the sheep will continue to be sheep, and drooling sheep at that. ...and those who do not expand their circle of acquaintances and information sources are doomed to at best a circular existence and at worst an inward spiral that leaves them biting themselves in the small of the back. ...or mentally inbreeding with their cohorts and discovering nothing new under the sun. ...or that rock they live under.

...and that's the point: being fed pre-digested sound bites and slanted pablum that's ostensibly un-biased. If we insulate ourselves in whatever fashion we choose by not adding on information and exposing ourselves to opinions, how can we grow intellectually and socially?

I submit that one facet of the net is the emergence of thousands of small newspaper columns disguised as Weblogs. These columns are available from my online newsstand upon demand 24x7. I can pick and chose everything from gardening information to health care matters, from conspiracies to immediate direct information about the effects of the weather. You name it and it's out there. ...with a grain of salt.

Why the salt? Because, as you say, we have to apply any of several filters to what we find. We may filter it against our own knowledge base, or someone elses, or perhaps we have a gold standard available (and who created that one?). ...or sometimes we just have to go for it. ...and that's where the parental nozzle (and eventually our own) on the hose comes in. ...because at some point that's what we all have to learn to do: filter content.

...and Tull? Those without know not what they seek...


6/15/2001 12:28:44 AM

Any thoughts on that?
Friday 6/15/2001 12:22:36 AM

So why the heck do you let them decide for you?

Something Ciara wrote Sunday:

I feel, I think, as though the media and the government are currently saying to me, "This is what life is about."

hit one of my hot buttons...

Fortunately, she followed with:

...I feel must explicitly, adamantly, and with all the energy at my command, reject that message.

...and I was able to go about my business.

Until I remembered Amber's post from Saturday

What is elegant and seductive on an adult, or frisky and fun on a teenager just looks garish and frightening on girls in the 8-11 age group.

and I had my chain yanked again.

Then Dave came in on Monday with this one:

Sticking a microphone in some distraught soul's face after a tragedy and asking how they feel, then putting it on TV where some game show host-types can comment on it and act sad. Cheap, mindless, crude, lowest-common-denominator art.

...and reminded me of the local Murdock-owned bottom feeders who kept their cameras on one of the officers at the scene of a near-drowning of a five-year old. ...the officer who just couldn't compose himself in the aftermath of the event. ...and then looped that bit for the balance of the story.

...and then I remembered how at last year's school carnival, Clark, the tech-services chief, and I both thought the makeup and outfits worn by the dance troup made up of K-6 girls was right on par with some professional ladies we'd met while we were working the streets.

...and I have to say I'm flat tired of it. I opted out of TV years ago; I finally realized my brain was slowly oozing from my ears. ...and the jokes were getting cruder and cruder, earlier and earlier in the evening, season after season. ...and the presentation of society was just that of a place I didn't care to be part of. Sure, some of it was from a values thing, but some of it was from watching what happened to people in real life when their lives departed from the TV script, or they tried a little too hard to keep up, or they realized they couldn't keep up.

So I opted out. ...and stayed the loner. ...and just dealt. Until I stumbled on to the Daynotes crowd before there was even a Daynotes Gang and found some people who were able to present ideas in something more than a sound bite.

I liked that; here were thinking, reasoning beings who were able to present an entire idea without shoving it down your throat. Well... Okay, there are one or two... But the risk:benefit ratio was way up compared to the mainstream media.

...and then I found the Weblogs circuit. Whoohoo! ...another bunch of people with things to say and things to link. ...and with agendas pretty much up front. ...right where they belong.

Now we're talking 5000 channels and you can't click the remote fast enough...

So here's my gripe about mainstream media: they're telling me what they or their masters want me to be told. I hear just that side of it. ...with an agenda and a spin that is certainly not unbiased.

...and it's all push. You want information on something that's not on the agenda, well that's just too bad. This and this are our topics du jour and you're just stuck watching this drivel until the drool runs down onto your lap.

...or until you throw up. I listened to the six o'clock news this evening as Shelley watched it from her chair. I was very glad the kids were at a neighbors likely playing some violent Nintendo game. ...so they couldn't hear the details of a triple murder and rape preliminary hearing going on in the hills just north of us. Phrases like ...seven hours of sexual assault and I didn't realize how hard it was to strangle someone were read over the airwaves on a network affiliate. Excuse me all to heck. Is that necessary?

Apparently it is: you can't drive ratings unless you can out-sensationalize the next station. That applies to morning news, daytime TV, and the 'prime time' sitcoms. So they push the envelope. ...and the viewing public gets desensitized to it. ...so they have to push it further. ...and further. ...to the point where I feel like I'm wading through dreck.

...and I opt out. ...and come back here. ...and I can still find out how Buffy is doing. ...and I can find more channel feeds than I can link to that will give me my baseline news feeds. ...and enough new sources of information and opinion to keep me very able to grow my knowledge base. ...and it's all pull (no RPC-XML stuff here for the moment <g>). ...and I'm making the decisions again and the spin is usually in billboard type.

So I limit my TV viewing to the fifties era 'family values' shows on TVLand when the boys have the TV on, and the occasional news story with Shelley as she's falling asleep. ...and I use the web as my news feed; the cross checks are very easy to do. ...and I don't have to listen to someone read testimony that's an abstraction to most people. ...or promote little girls looking like not-so little girls. ...or watch a cop I know cry over a kid.


6/14/2001 12:14:54 AM

Oh man, that's me to a "T"...

I hope you enjoy your professional athletes short, fat, near-sighted and old. I do too, 'cause I do like to play the 'defensive berserker' position. ...and as soon as my ankle heals, I'm ready!

Jim McCormick's post on the Supreme Court's decision to take over professional sports is spot on. Take a read.

(...and yeah, I'm behind; but I haven't felt up to writing lately. But now? Now, you're in deep kimchee!)

...and before you decide to skewer me with the ADA, be advised I was the plant manager during the implementation of the ADA. ...and my place was in full compliance. ...and not with just the letter of the law, the intent of the law.

...and yeah: Shelley.

So read first and think about how everyone had their balls taken away when one kid went crying to his mommy because he didn't want to play by the established rules of the block...

...and yeah, read that any way you'd like.

6/13/2001 8:17:17 PM

Ya' know it's a good time to hang up the phone...

When you're talking to an electrician who's on a job site...

...and you hear him saying to the guy in the background:

"See, I told you I smelled something...

6/13/2001 7:13:26 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Wednesday 6/13/2001 7:08:43 PM

Testing.... 1 . . 2 . . 3 . . .

Bah. There was a post going to happen.

But it appears it won't be tonight...

6/12/2001 11:59:28 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Tuesday 6/12/2001 11:14:01 PM


There's lots going on out there in the community...

...and I'm too tired to write about it just yet. I have a ton of notes I've taken this weekend and a few thoughts to put down here. ...but that will just have to wait for another time.

Oh, I did find another keyboard...

6/10/2001 11:58:42 PM

Any thoughts on that?
Sunday 6/10/2001 11:38:51 PM


I always find precession interesting. ...sometimes not very enjoyable as when the rising or setting sun is in perfect alignment with the Stonehenge of the local road system: at those times, blading or even driving during the early morning or late evening hours is somewhat hazardous to my health...

Other times, I can sometimes tease a thread or two from the fabric of the world we've created:

The peak of the house against the pool

That one is the shadow of the peak of the house against the retaining wall at the back of the pool.

...and this one is just a door with an interesting oval design:

An oval design on the depot door.

If you click on though, you'll see that the 'design' is the shadow cast by a light fixture over the door. The building is a portion of the Santa Fe Depot across from my work site.

...and now it appears it is time to return to the concrete realities of life.

That is if I want my NT box back up...

6/9/2001 6:07:14 PM

Well, let's just write Friday off over here...

...even though when I updated Thursday, I used "Friday" as the day and Thursday's date (since corrected).

...and I may have a tale or two to tell when I get up today. It depends how bad Wolf is hosed. The sorry thing about that little issue is that I'd just updated my blogging software on Athena and I hadn't gotten around to copying the templates and such for the page flips and posts over to that machine quite yet. So, while I could access the raw files, I couldn't get them to the net as easily as my lazy tail would like.

A quick login to the work machine let me email myself the templates. 'Course, I called in during my nightly backup process down there, so that connection flowed like cold molasses... Wait; this is starting to sound like one of Cecil's posts!

So today won't just be a cleaning day, I'll have to pull that machine from the stack and see what's going on. Well, it was overdue for a rebuild sooner rather than later...

...and I'll have to make some time to catch up on my reading <g>

6/9/2001 12:55:51 AM

Any thoughts on that?
Saturday 6/9/2001 12:31:55 AM


Copyright 2001 by
Daniel C. Bowman