Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Disclosure:  This post appears in slightly different form on a private social media page. Local news reports often place dirty laundry entertainment ahead of informing the public. It’s all about ratings, clicks or selling papers or magazines.  There’s a combination profit-power motive. That’s partly the fault of the public, and partly the fault of people who have sold out to a competitive rumor-mongering system (the latter do that to stay in business, which is our fault because we fail to boycott sensational reporting). It’s also partly the fault of people outside the “news community” who release or fabricate information to … Continue reading Knowing how to Read or Listen Involves Careful Thinking

Accounts get Hacked. Don’t be too Quick to React to Offensive Posts

My blogsite was hacked, once.  Fortunately, I was signing in often to look at tracking data, so I discovered the problem immediately (my password had stopped working) and recovered the account on the same day.  I don’t believe any harm was done. Always use an obscure password which you don’t use on other accounts.  Ideally, every online password should be like a single fingerprint.  The advice on how often to change a password varies. The mistake I made was using a foreign word (with a correct diacritical mark, which seemed so clever at the time), followed by a predictable series … Continue reading Accounts get Hacked. Don’t be too Quick to React to Offensive Posts

Jonathan Martin on Michael Wolff’s Book

Jonathan Martin, Political Correspondent for The New York Times, has offered fact-checking and observations for anyone reading Michael Wolff’s Trump book, Fire and Fury (see link below). On Friday, I tried to buy a hardcover copy from an indie bookseller in my neighborhood and learned every copy in the store was either sold or on reserve.  I fell back on Kindle’s electronic edition, and hoped to find time to read it during the weekend. No such luck.  I’ll still read the book, but will do so carefully.  Jonathan Martin’s review provides guidance on why critical thinking is more important than absorbing claims … Continue reading Jonathan Martin on Michael Wolff’s Book

Do Not Steal This Book. But do Consider Reading it.

There may be some flaws with Michael Wolff’s new account of the Trump presidency, Fire and Fury.  However, his book — to be released Friday, four days earlier than expected — has been the subject of threats made by Donald Trump’s attorneys. Not every book that is challenged by lawyers is worth reading, and I can’t guarantee that this book will enlighten everyone (I don’t receive review copies).  However, our president (sic) has declared war on the country, and we should offer loyalty to anyone who suffers retaliation when challenging Donald J. Trump.  For that reason alone, let’s make this book … Continue reading Do Not Steal This Book. But do Consider Reading it.

News Vs. Shock Media — Or, Don’t Get Me Started

Disclaimer:  I am not a mental health professional.  The views expressed in this post are based on personal observations and printed matter for the general reader. A separate post on this topic appears on Facebook. If you keep track of current events, I hope you’ve given some thought to the distinction between journalism and gossip that just panders to the public’s voyeurism. Last night I was in a supermarket checkout line, thinking maybe I should have chosen a different checkstand.  Clearly, the retail grocery counterpart to Inspector Clouseau was failing at his attempt to pull up totals on the cash … Continue reading News Vs. Shock Media — Or, Don’t Get Me Started