Sunday, January 12, 2020

The rain’s moved on and today was clear and sunny. A rather damp and sodden “clear and sunny,” but there you go. It’s turned off cool, as well, resetting the winter weather wheel of fate. We’re supposed to get more rain next weekend, maybe even some snow. Anyhow.

Stayed up too late last night playing Pillars of Eternity 2 on the first serious run-through. I’ve had the game for a while, once all the DLC were released anyway, but with RPGs I find I have a pattern. First play through is just screwing around, seeing what the world has to offer. Second is multiple games going at once to get a feel of how the character creation works out. Finally, if it survives those two, it’s time to buckle down and actually try to win the game. Until, of course, I come to a key point and don’t want to commit one way or another for fearing out cutting out content. I’ve been at the two-thirds mark for Dragon Age: Inquisition for like a year now.

And if this looks like I’m stalling and messing around, it’s because I am. A slow Sunday – thankfully, after last week’s madness – with either more clean-up news about this administration’s incompetence and corruption or more politciking by the Democrats screwing with Trump over impeachment, and why not. All very well and good, of course, just not all that interesting to write about yet again.

Of course, that’s not a good stroke for a Journalist to take, and such indolence in the industry is a much bigger issue that hurts the industry. It answers the questions, both in what actually gets done and how the public views the profession. Ideological biases aren’t as big a deal as one might think. Used to be a decent sized town had two-to-five newspapers. There’d be a paper for each party, a paper that was the tool of the Bureau of Commerce, sometimes a combination of either two, and usually one that would try to “fight the power” until it started making money or was bought out. In the Deep South, there’d usually be one for the local Christian leaders, and I’ve heard similar for big Catholic towns.

Of course as the world turn more towards big corporations as the norm in business, there wasn’t enough money to keep all those newspapers running, especially after Reagan’s elimination of the Fairness Doctrine led to five monetary concerns own the bulk of media in the country. In any event, people knew what they were getting and knew what take, say, a solid Republican paper would champion any given subject.

People rail about objectivity in the news or, more specifically, a paper or a reporter’s lack thereof. Thing is, there’s really no such thing as “total objectivity” in the news. One is supposed to try to achieve total objectivity, but it behooves the consumer to understand what a tough row to hoe that is. Even being said, it’s no big deal for a reporter/paper’s perception of reality to color how it reports the news. A pro-business paper, for example wouldn’t report favorably on a local anarchist group’s attempt to feed homeless residents.

If you want totally objectivity, maybe check out the box scores in the Sports section. That’s about it, and even then one reads the actual stories in the Sports section with a jaundiced eye. Every sports reporter, if they actually give a shit about sports and not doing what I did, is a “homer” for someone. You want to believe the guy covering baseball for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution isn’t a Braves fan (or loathes the Braves in favor of some other team), go right ahead, boy.

There’s some wisdom in that. If one reads about how the Saints season went south in a New Orleans paper, one accepts that the newspaper has, if nothing else, a financial stake in the Saints doing well. There’s a lesson in that for the rest of the paper. Fox News would be just fine if they’d initially owned their pro-GOP bent instead of holding onto the “We Report, You Decide” nonsense for so long.

But, for whatever reason, this isn’t how we operate. We rant and rave about a news source’s lack of objectivity and bias because it’s easier than doing to work ourselves. You don’t want to be buffaloed by the media? Then you have to work to separate the wheat from the chaff. We live in unprecedented times, all this information sources at our fingertips and we still expect to be lead by hand.

Of course, none of that applies much to me, since I’m not getting paid for this.

Okay, that’s enough for tonight. Here’s an interesting piece on Eastern philosophy and the Many-Worlds Theory. Taken with a grain of salt it’s still worth a read. That being said, it reminds me of when the Holographic Principle was the new hotness in physics and it somehow explained chakras and ghosts and deja vu and whatnot. And here’s an interesting piece on dark energy or, rather, the idea that it isn’t a thing, not really. Some scientists are convinced and I imagine we’ll find out in the long run that there’s more to it than that.

If human history has taught us anything – and it hasn’t – it’s that there’s always more to it. No matter how much we want a final, fulfilling answer, there’s always going to be more to it than just that.

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