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Episode 20170126 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 2 Part 1

And now it starts to get good!  Chapter 2 Part 1, including some opening comments on freedom of the Press which kinda sting to listen to.  I could tell Mill was getting rolling, and so did I.  Enjoy!

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" and other music from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 Comments via the https://www.speakpipe.com/grizzlysgrowls

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Direct download: grizz20170126.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:00pm CDT
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Episode 20170124 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 1

Since I'm at a low ebb in confidence and energy, I'm bringing back a project I started back in 2012 and didn't finish till 2014, "On Liberty" by John Stuart Mill.  I think it's on point for current events.  And I think some things bear repeating right now.  And this time I'll just put it all up right away.

 

In the meantime, perhaps I'll manage to record something new for you?  Still haven't gotten the recording I needed to finish Swinging Doors.  And there's three or four other possible Next Projects.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" and other music from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 Comments via the https://www.speakpipe.com/grizzlysgrowls

 Comment Line: 218-234-CALL   218-234-2255

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Direct download: grizz20170124.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:19am CDT
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Episode 2017-01-21  On the Bias

A critique of "unbiased journalism," and why not everyone is a Journalist.

Wanted to talk about a pet peeve, not really an issue as such.  Unbiased Journalism.

 

You're out there saying, "But wait, unbiased journalism is a very important issue!"  I understand your feeling that way.  But actually it's only an issue because of misuse of terms.  Everyone who has a job in what we still call the Press for some reason, wants to be called a Journalist.  This is understandable.  Journalist sounds like a cool and hip job.  Assuming anyone not my age still says cool and/or hip.  Most jobs in the press, quite frankly, sound kinda geeky, and perhaps even sleezy.  Journalist means one particular vocation, or perhaps an avocation, and not all of them.

 

Let's go back in history for a bit.  The Press actually started with folks who actually used presses, to print newspapers.  On actual paper.  And at least hypothetically, newspapers conveyed news.  News was gathered by news reporters -- not journalists, reporters.  News is very simple.  It's what happened, who what when where and how.  That's all.  Not why.  Why is not news.  If someone said what they thought was why, I suppose that's news, the "somebody said" part is.  That's something that happened or didn't.  But that last bit is hopefully done with caution, because "why" itself, is not News.

 

As for Bias, well, a news report is not biased, if it simply states who what when where and how.  It can't be.  What happened happened, and it's news.  If it didn't happen, then it's not news, it's a lie.  If someone lies, the lie is news, and the truth is news to demonstrate, if you will, the truth about the lie.

 

And a news reporter, had better not be a Journalist.

 

A journalist is a whole 'nother sort of animal.  Back in the day, most people didn't travel much at all.  It's still pretty rare for folks to go very far from where they were born.  Travelling was something special, and usually very expensive.  Sometimes some fairly well-known person would get to travel out of their own home area, maybe even to another country on another continent.  They might keep a journal of their adventures on their travels, possibly so they could write a book later.  And they might agree to occasionally share a page or two of their travel journal with a newspaper, and they might well get paid a bit for doing that.  So they became a Journalist.

 

Is a Journalist biased?  Of course, absolutely.  A journalist is supposed to be biased.  We read the works of a journalist because an interesting person is visiting interesting places, doing interesting things for interesting reasons.  We don't just want an elementary school "What I Did This Summer."  We want their impressions.  We want their opinions.  We demand their biases.  If they are not biased, they are boring, and we'll go read the news instead.

 

Travel today is marginally cheaper, and it is marginally easier for regular folks to go some other places.  But still, most of us don't leave the country without wearing a uniform and possibly carrying a government issued firearm.  Journalists may go to places we could conceivably visit.  But we still expect their impressions.  We still demand bias.  An "Investigative Journalist" is exploring another sort of place, the dark and stinking underbelly of a beast with an innocent and mostly pristine face. They often can't be sure what happened, they can only draw conclusions from what limited facts they can gather.  Again, we demand bias, and hope they are biased in the same direction we are.  We hope they value the truth, and strive toward it.  But we want their attitudes to be part of their stories.

 

The news is just the news.  Does this mean a newspaper can't be biased?  No, quite the opposite.  In 1886, Adolph Simon Ochs applied the slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print" to the New York Times. Other papers were blatantly sensational.  He wanted his paper to be a NEWS paper.  From what I've read, he did his best to live up to that.  Realistically, newspapers print "all the news that fits."  They have to be selective about what they print.  They are selective about what gets on the front page, if for no other reason than no more fits.

 

They are also selling papers, which in turn sells ads.  So, like it or not, they have to pick and choose.  A news report that is News will state the simple truth, as I said earlier.  But given the editors have to select anyway, they select what suits them and sells papers. A newspaper, with the best of intentions, will be biased.  A headline, to capture reader attention, will be biased.  But news is news, or it is not.

 

An editor is not a journalist.  An editor is an editor.  And an editorial is opinion, not news. An editorial is intended to convey the opinion of the paper, usually of the owner, and sometimes of the editor which may not be the same.

 

A columnist is not exactly a journalist.  A columnist expresses opinions, on important or on frivolous subjects, but usually within the day-to-day experience of the reader.  A column is not news.  A column is intended to convey the personality of the columnist in an entertaining fashion.  In doing that, it is at least going to be affected by the opinions of the columnist.  If it lacked that columnist's personality, that columnist's biases, it would simply not be worth reading.  Even if it does,  sometimes it's still not worth reading.  But that's another story.  You're probably buying the wrong paper.

 

Editorials and columns are thus, not ever unbiased.  Of course they are not.  They are opinion.

 

So, there is no such thing as "unbiased journalism," and there shouldn't be.  News is news or it is not. But no news outlet will contain All The News, so it will be selective, and will one way or another be biased.  A news outlet, so-called, will also contain opinion.  Opinion is opinion.  If it isn't biased, then I suppose it isn't opinion, is it?

 

And let us not forget the news reporter.  The news reporter is not a Journalist, doesn't need to be, and can't be while remaining a news reporter.  Reporting the news is an honorable profession, when done well. It is usually an unglamorous and unsung profession.  Opinion needs a byline. The truth doesn't need a byline.  A rose, by any other reporter, will smell as sweet.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" and other music from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 Comments via the https://www.speakpipe.com/grizzlysgrowls

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Direct download: grizz20170121.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 7:35pm CDT
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Episode 20170101 - Citizens or Subjects? a column by Theodore Roosevelt

Originally a VIDEO: Theodore Roosevelt's column, "Citizens or Subjects" from the KC Star, April 6, 1918 -- My live reading for my Grizzly's Growls podcast, on YouTube earlier this evening.

Show Theme "Hot Swing" and other music from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

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Direct download: grizz20170101.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 10:11pm CDT
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Episode 173 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Conclusion - The Summary of This Book - Appendix I & Appendix II

Finally I'm done!  A slight change in style, partly due to losing much of my voice...

 

Conclusion - The Summary of This Book

Appendix I - On Prehistoric Man

Appendix II - On Authority and Accuracy

Book Theme "Deliberate Thought" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

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Direct download: grizz173.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00pm CDT
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Episode 172 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter VI The Five Deaths of the Faith

Maybe strained my voice a bit recording this second- or third-to-last episode for this book, but I definitely want it on Podiobooks, too, so...

 

Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter VI The Five Deaths of the Faith

Book Theme "Deliberate Thought" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 Comments via Audioboo and tag it #HeyGriz

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Direct download: grizz172.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00pm CDT
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Episode 171A -- The Symbol and the Saint by Eugene Field - Revisited


"The Symbol and the Saint," from "Christmas Tales and Christmas Verse," by Eugene Field, published in 1912.

A very pretty story I found, and recorded on this date back in 2008, as Hiber-Nation 45.  Still makes a good audio Christmas card, not perfect, but heartfelt.

Best wishes for a joyous holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate!  And here's to better times in the coming year.

Show Theme "Hot Swing" and other music from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

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Direct download: grizz171a.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 5:19pm CDT
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Episode 171 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter V The Escape from Paganism

Preparing for Chapter V, I found out there's also a Chapter VI that I hadn't known about, as well as a Conclusion chapter, then there's the two appendices.  So I better get to steppin'.

Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter V The Escape from Paganism

Book Theme "Deliberate Thought" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

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Direct download: grizz171.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 6:00pm CDT
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Episode 170 - The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton - Part II Chapter IV The Witness of the Heretics

I can maybe get this book up on Podiobooks in time... along with my other project.  But I'll have to be very quick!  And then...

Part II On The Man Called Christ

Chapter IV The Witness of the Heretics

Book Theme "Deliberate Thought" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

 Comments via Audioboo and tag it #HeyGriz

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 Comment Line: 218-234-CALL   218-234-2255

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Direct download: grizz170.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 3:00am CDT
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Episode 169 -- The Latest Thing

Only a couple subjects to cover tonight.  Maybe a brief "get off my lawn" rant on this new Virtual Reality thing.

First let me give you some rather bad news.  Podiobooks.com has been sold to a site called Scribl.  Podiobooks is still there.  Sort of.  The stuff I've already posted is still on that site.  So far.

Thing is, Scribl is all about _selling_ audio versions of books.  Podiobooks was about giving away audio versions of books, and accepting donations, if any.  There weren't many donations, or at least I didn't see many.  Lots of downloads and listeners, not so much with the money.

So, Scribl the sellers of audiobooks, don't accept anything using Creative Commons content.  Can't sell something licensed for only non-commercial use.  And even if I decided my recordings were not so licensed... I use Creative Commons licensed music and sound effects.  I'd have to pay for commercially usable music to support the Public Domain books I record.  And of course I can't afford to do that.

Higher bitrates, that I could manage.  A few minor technical changes, maybe.  Paying money I don't have for audio I don't want to use just doesn't make sense for me.

So while I've been preparing both the books I've been recording for posting to Podiobooks over the months I've been producing them... I can no longer put them on Podiobooks, because Scribl sets the rules there now, and I can't afford to fulfill their requirements.  The only place my recordings of these books will be available will be on my own website.  Which will be disappointing, because I don't have the audience Podiobooks has had.  And I won't be able to do that final stage of posting Mike Hampston's book on Podiobooks, either, because I don't have the right licensing on the music I used to back those recordings, and I don't have the right permissions from the author to put it there anyway.  Not on a commercial site like Scribl.

I suppose I might put the recordings on Librivox.  The old books like Everlasting Man would be fine there.  Don't think I can put Mike's book there.  So all in all, after years of work... that kinda sucks.  I can understand Evo selling the place.  He's not obligated to keep it up just for someone like me.  But that kinda breaks my plans.  And I don't know what to do next.

And that other thing...

I've seen a lot of coverage of all the swell new-ish tech they offer now for trying Virtual Reality.  Got yer basic wrap-around headsets, and special motion controllers and whatnot.  All very shiny, new and expensive.  Tend to require more powerful computers and more powerful graphic cards.  Also very shiny and new.

But once I thought that through, the tech is all that's new.  I've been playing around in a simulated three-dee environment for several years now, Second Life.  No wrap-around goggles, just a keyboard and mouse to control interactions.  But still, it's a three-D environment, albeit rendered in two-D.  To be fair, sure the three-D effect is clever and new.  The fancier controllers are new.  To make all that work you'll need pretty heavy-duty graphics capabilities.  So does Second Life, but I don't think the machine I use for SL could manage that.  I'm sure playing with the new hardware will be fun for a while.

And yet...

What'll happen in these new VR worlds, in a social sense, will not be new.  You'll start with the early adopters, and for a while the only people there will be those people.  Exclusivity has a profound impact on the feel of any social environment, on computers or otherwise.  If you were there, you know that about every previous social site, for as long as there have been computers.  But then, of course, the companies trying to make money off all that will expand, and try to expand their audience.  Crowds of new folks will come.  The builders will come.  And so will the griefers.  The nice folks who treat each other well will be there, for a while.  And the bad folks who treat others evilly will be there, too.

The new tech might allow new ways to interact and experience the environment.  That'll be swell.  But the people will still be people.

So I figure if you want to know how VR in virtual worlds, as compared to 3D video shows from real life, will turn out... you'll come to Second Life.  The anonymity will most likely be the same.  The interactions without apparent consequences will be the same.  The loves will be the same, the hates will be the same.  People will be the same.  Only the technology will be different.

VR will be, they say, immersive.  Second Life is immersive, too.  Takes some time to get used to.  So will VR.  It would be entirely possible to upgrade the existing SL to work somewhat with VR hardware.  It might not work well, but it's liable to be doable.  And for that matter, however hard, it'd likely be quicker and cheaper than building a whole new world from scratch.  Probably won't happen.  But it could.

Anyway, if folks want to know what a real Virtual World, a real Metaverse would be like in a social sense, well, we can show you.  Second Life started out as an experiment in exactly that Metaverse like experience.  Been there, done that, got the virtual teeshirt.

Some of it is wonderful.  Some of the people, in particular, are wonderful.  And some of it sucks.  The sucky parts suck disproportionally to the time and effort involved.  I suppose the same could be said for the wonderful parts.  

I don't think saying any of that will change anyone's opinion of SL.  People who haven't been in SL, or been long enough to actually settle in, have already set their expectations in stone between their ears, and me talking here will probably not make a damn bit of difference.  I don't think much of anyone more will come to SL to find out what VR will turn out to be.  

But it's the truth.  And if anyone is still interested in the truth anymore, this would be a good place to come find some of that particular truth.  We have more than a decade of experience in a laboratory for the beginnings of that same phenomenon.  Some of it will be new.  Most of it will not.

Enjoy the magical new technology and hardware.  But don't expect magical changes to human nature.  Given time, you'll be in a place very much like here.  And from my experience of previous technological advances and changes, it'll probably be much less than what we already have.  

Good night.  And good luck.

 

Show Theme "Hot Swing" from Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com.

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Direct download: grizz169.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 12:49am CDT
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