Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Web helps explain quite a bit

One of the puzzles for me for years has been how I can find simple explanations in areas where previously I thought things were SO complicated, and web giving access to LOTS of information is the best explanation.

Comparison is powerful. And with the web for instance I first really consciously realized a sense that the American press actually was capable of carefully manipulating news  was when caught it by carefully reading news articles from here, and comparing with ones from other countries on the same subject. Maybe could have worked to do that in the past? But now it's easy.

That was actually depressing for me. And NOT saying American press always manipulates news but that one instance where worked hard to catch it changed how I viewed them. And that was years ago and should note am certain plenty of hardworking people in the American press dedicated to the truth, but yeah it really is not good for them as a group when any can get caught manipulating, even if is my opinion they were. For me? Of course that's enough and I reference quite a bit through the years and feel justified.

With employment, now plenty of people can just compare wages, or read up on wage information, while when I was early in the workforce was really just go to a job, and see what they offered. Obviously gave much advantage to employers.

And like even in science, before was just about the headlines, but a hobby of mine now is at times going back to check later, and being disappointed when follow-up research, rarely touted, refutes earlier bold declarations.

I blame the television age.

Television is a very limited medium with a short attention span. Big news on mainstream broadcast television can grab a few minutes, maybe with some broadcasts and then it goes back to the usual.

Within days on big network television in the US any particular news is gone, often to be never mentioned again.

But on the web things can just be getting going strongly, days, months or even years later.

With cable news can move in an opposite direction with relentless focus, which can deliver little of substantive value, and often was amazed at how better off five minutes of reading on a subject from several news sources could inform versus hours of relentless, from a cable news source.

But even cable news will move on. While on the web the information remains.

So the web facilitates study of issues from many angles, and also lets you put up ideas which can be widely read. And turns out simple explanations can be powerful and testable, with prediction letting you project what will likely happen, and people easily checking.

So much better, am sure. Especially since seeing how many frauds were pretending to be something they were not, creating huge levels of misery as well, which was often hidden. And we can even see the structure of how that hiding was done! From people who earned respect based on our inability to see enough information to know otherwise.

The web quite simply is an efficient distribution mechanism for information, which is so much greater than prior ones, especially television, there quite simply is no comparison in human history.

So the web is rapidly changing our world, and giving us the means to keep up with the changes.

And people like me? Well, I really want to understand. And talking out what I think I know helps me am sure, as yeah am rather meta on the subject.

James Harris
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