Strigiforms

An owl's eye view of forests and trees

Month: January 2018

Dusting Off the Memory Box: Solving Imaginary Problems Often Creates Real Ones

Imaginary problems.  When you don’t look through a lens of reality, it’s hard to see what’s really going on. It’s easy to end up chasing after pink Pookas instead of tackling the real problems.  And that means the fixes you create don’t solve real problems either.  Trying to trap a Pooka won’t net you anything real, but you can create real problems for yourself in the process. That’s what this is all about.

 

I found something I wrote a little over a year ago, before I started this blog.  President Trump’s first “Muslim Ban” executive order sparked some thoughts that I think remain valid.  So, I decided to dust off this relic from the memory box, touch it up a bit, and present it to you all.

 

Here we go.

 

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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept the Media (Sort Of): Finding Value Despite the Flaws

The media has faults, but having flaws does not make something valueless. Imperfections do not require casting something aside. If they did, we’d all be in trouble. Because none of us are perfect.

 

Welcome to the second part of my two-part blog on the media. In part 1, I made the case for the media always having been faulty.  Its flaws of today do not differ much from those of the past.

 

Which naturally raises some important questions.  If it has always been so bad, then what good is the media? And how do we deal with the bad?

 

In what follows I am going to dig into the ways media helps us.  I will also point out various safeguards the public has against the media’s flaws. Here’s a hint.  The biggest safeguards are ourselves and how we choose to handle the information we take in.  I’ll even give out some tips in that regard.

 

Let’s dive in, shall we?

 

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A March from Republic to Dictatorship: An Alarming Micro-View on the Road to Government Shutdown

I saw a funny thing happening as two branches of the U.S. tromped their way toward either funding the government or triggering a shutdown. The alarming progression from republic to oligarchy to dictatorship in microcosm.

 

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not declaring American democracy dead.  What I saw was alarming, but not necessarily a full realization. Not yet.  But it was disturbing and fascinating to see the transition happen in micro-view while still have everything remain technically within the normal confines of American governance and legislative wheeling and dealing.

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How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Accept the Media (Sort Of): Flawed the Same as It Ever Was

Notice I did not say “Love the Media.”

 

In the face of distrust of and attacks on the “media” and the “press”, I wanted to make a few observations.  It took me a while, so I broke it into two parts. First, I set out to demonstrate that the media has always been flawed. People have always complained about it. Today’s faults don’t differ that much from those of the past.  Second, I set out to demonstrate that, flawed as the media is and has always been, it still has value in our society.  Question it? Sure.  Demand it do better? Sure. But don’t throw it away simply because you suddenly realized it’s an imperfect beast.

 

Also, something is not “fake” or “false” simply because you don’t agree with it.

 

I leave to you to decide whether I succeeded in my goals.

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Beyond Casual Racism: Confronting Trump’s Immigration Comments

Here I go adding my voice to the wave of commentary on the controversial words President Donald J. Trump allegedly uttered on immigration.

 

Let me surprise you and cut to the chase immediately.  Profanity or no profanity.  The words were racist.

 

I don’t say that lightly.  I don’t say that to accuse everyone who supports Trump of racism. If you’ve read anything I’ve written before, you know I also don’t say that without first giving this a thorough examination.

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