Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.

Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy. Some basic concepts: What is Newsworthy? Recent events that are unusual, nearby, have widespread/significant impact, or involve celebrities are more newsworthy than events that are stale, distant, have limited/trivial impact, or happen to average people. (9 min audio.) Objectivity: Traditional journalism reports fairly from all sides of an issue — even the side the reporter thinks is wrong.…

Facebook exec erroneously cites The Lord of the Rings when comparing the social network to the One Ring

A Facebook executive, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, recently defended Facebook’s policies about political advertising, which critics say rewards politicians who spend a lot of money pushing lies to the slogan-chanting, meme-sharing masses (including the ones in red hats and the ones with the blue hats). Bosworth seems to suggest that for Facebook to tamper with its own money-making algorithm in the service of the truth would be like “Galadrial” [sic] claiming…

Opinion: A deceptively edited video of Joe Biden signals what’s coming (Washington Post)

Critical thinking skills and basic textual analysis are increasingly important in a cultural landscape where the powerful are counting on the average person not caring about such things as the truth. Biden opened by talking about how English common law in the 1300s allowed for husbands to beat their wives, and then said that we had inherited this “cultural problem.” Biden then talked at great length about his father’s teachings…

My semester with the snowflakes

Insightful essay from a US Military vet who went to college at age 52. Let me address this “snowflake” thing. According to the “Urban Dictionary” a “snowflake” is a “term for someone that thinks they are unique and special, but really are not. It gained popularity after the movie “Fight Club” from the quote “You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic…