Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mainstream Media

Interesting how recent bipartisan attention about the lap-dog behavior of the mainstream media has recently erupted. In high school of all places, one of my instructors, quoting someone I can't remember, stated that in the near future more people will realize that true news isn't from newspapers, television, radio, books or schoolrooms. Instead, newsworthy truths will be shared but over podiums in the churches, benches in the locker rooms, cup dispensers near the water coolers and seats in the bars.

People have been boiling over the lies in the main stream media for decades, but have remained quiet. So why the sudden change, now? Perhaps it is because people were promised change, foolishly believed it, ignorantly voted for it, and received a series of events that included politicians gleefully raising tax burdens of the common man to pay for the millionaire bailouts instead ... and you can't tell this same public that our highly intelligent president knew nothing about how the money would be spent. Perhaps it's because, acting like a good American, we do what we're told day after day to wake up one day realizing we're a slave to a national debt that had been building up and hidden - swept away - while the media continued to feed out lies about how great the economy was because we were doing what Americans do (whatever that means).

So it turns out that people are waking up and realizing that main stream media is a lap-dog to the feds, a fat-cat to their advertisers and a circus monkey to the government that sits between the two. The real stories are often ignored from the press while a distracting story is burnished and reprinted with the same degree of accuracy, conjecture and falsehood as a high-school crack dealer trying to convince a jury of his innocence. It makes for a great show, but it makes you sick when you step back and realize how much time and money is wasted over the endeavor.

It's refreshing to see a generation that was called crazy conspiracy theorists finally get proper exposure - baptist preachers being beaten by executive officers for standing up for his constitutional rights, bloggers being imprisoned for videotaping a police state gone wild, celebrities being called crazy and mocked for telling people that their fears from the pharmaceutical megaliths don't make them crazy despite what the government and main stream media says publicly.

As taught in grade school political science, any institution given all three of the legislative, executive and judicial power becomes a disease to the world. Even the Bible forbade anyone other than God Himself of being all three, though it was often called by the seats that enacted these powers: priest, king and prophet. I mention this because one country after another has turned into this monsterous disease - it's a political pandemic. The very media that was supposed to expose these problems failed the public and went so far left that any of their "repentant" attitudes in moving to the right are laughible at best and effigy worthy at least (and how many of us haven't burned a paper at least once in our life - the only type of "book" burning that is not only common but humanitarian).

Rogue online papers, bloggers and videos are means of information, but every road of information quickly becomes saturated with misinformation so that only those who saw the events unfold personally can determine the truth. These people are fervently preaching, tirelessly running, actively working or jaded and drinking.

Excuse me while I look for the nearest bar...

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Web 2.0 Culture and the Curse of the Turing Machine

Back at the beginning of 1995 I created a website named "Romantic Gestures". The purpose was to draw people into a virtual community who wanted to share experiences and ideas with others about all things romantic. In that time I noticed that people are more open about giving personal details on the internet than they were in real life.

People who were only five years old around that time are now 18, and the internet isn't the primarily-academic-coddle-baby it was back then. It stemmed beyond being a tool into being a full-blown culture. The Web 2.0 craze that took off about four years ago and introduced a level of creativity, open structure and more importantly, virtualized community-style culture. It's this culture that changed the upcoming generation into something almost unnatural. People began to do everything online. It lacked physical, personal interaction.

Babies require a good deal of coddling. That touch builds a naturally emotional bond to others and forms as a sort of grafting into the world. Without touch, a baby's will to live wanes and (s)he becomes failure to thrive.

Although online communities and groups are amazing and wonderful, I think they've become the backwash of their physical counterparts. People need physical interaction as much as the emotional and intellectual stimulus provided by the internet's vast array of discussion groups and communities.

The future is in merging the two. Use Flickr to identify people in your area to meet with. Use Blogger to locate others nearby that you can karaoke with. There's already a somewhat successful meetup.com model that allows people to interact with one another - but their interface and navigation feels stale and cumbersome.

At least the frequent emails from meetup keep me abreast that there is a world out there where people meet - they have faces and feelings and can do amazing things without the internet. There is a sort of sick comfort in doing things alone, though. It's selfish in a way. But having a spouse and children provides a life-giving feedback that my life is bigger than me and even bigger than the internet.

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