Tag Archives | Media

Listen- Why You Have Heroic Potential and Shouldn’t Fear Shape-Shifting Lizards, The Illuminati, ISIS or Ebola.

Via Midwest Real

Fellow Disinfonaut, Author and pal, Gabriel D. Roberts joins the podcast! 

“You as you know yourself are not the final term of your being. You must die to that, one way or another… Life is always on the edge of death, always. One should lack fear and have the courage of life. That’s the principle initiation of all heroic stories.” – Joseph Campbell. 

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IMG_6074As the great Joseph Campbell so beautifully points out, you my friend, are goddamned hero.

I know that’s weird to say, let alone admit to yourself. It seems ostentatious, self-aggrandizing and ridiculous. However, it’s totally true.

We lose sight of what it is that each and every one of us is charged with just by being alive– We’re born, we do our best on this planet, decade after decade, then die. It’s a positively gargantuan task in and of itself that shouldn’t be diminished.Read the rest

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Political Polarization & Media Habits

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Do you listen to NPR or watch the Colbert Report? You may be more liberal than the folks who watch MSNBC. Do you read “The Blaze”? You may be more conservative than those who watch Fox News.

via Pew Research:

When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

The project – part of a year-long effort to shed light on political polarization in America – looks at the ways people get information about government and politics in three different settings: the news media, social media and the way people talk about politics with friends and family. In all three areas, the study finds that those with the most consistent ideological views on the left and right have information streams that are distinct from those of individuals with more mixed political views – and very distinct from each other.

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Ebola Conspiracy Theories, Through a Mainstream Lens

It’s always revealing to see the spin that the establishment places on conspiracy theories and this week it’s the turn of the New York Times, reacting to theories about the Ebola scare:

The spread of Ebola from western Africa to suburban Texas has brought with it another strain of contagion: conspiracy theories.

The outbreak began in September, when The Daily Observer, a Liberian newspaper, published an article alleging that the virus was not what it seemed — a medical disaster — but rather a bioweapon designed by the United States military to depopulate the planet. Not long after, accusations appeared online contending that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had patented the virus and was poised to make a fortune from a new vaccine it had created with the pharmaceutical industry. There were even reports that the New World Order, that classic conspiracy bugbear involving global elites, had engineered Ebola in order to impose quarantines, travel bans and eventually martial law.

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How The Media Has Helped Normalize GOP Crazy

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Alison Lundergan Grimes. Photo: Patrick Delahanty (CC)

Can you remember a time when Republicans didn’t act foam-at-the-mouth radio host crazy? Paul Waldman makes a good point writing at the Washington Post: GOP crazy is now the norm:

The victim of this morning’s pile-on is Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, who was asked in an editorial board meeting whether she had voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Grimes hemmed and hawed a bit, obviously scared to say Yes. That isn’t too surprising — when you run as a Democrat in a red state (just as when you run as a Republican in a blue state), you spend a lot of your time explaining why you aren’t like the national party and its leaders. But some people are outraged, including Chuck Todd, who said on Morning Joe (with a look of profound disgust): “Is she ever going to answer a tough question on anything?…I think she disqualified herself.

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Pursuing Justice Through Filmmaking, Why we Create Beauty, Hot Dog Related Altercations

Via Midwest Real

Filmmakers Spencer Chumbley and Erik Ljung have shot for organizations like VICE and Al Jazeera. I caught up with the guys just before they debuted their film, The Death of Cory Stingley a the Milwaukee Film Festival. 

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Humans make things, we always have. But, we don’t just make, we create beauty. We pay attention to symmetry, form and detail. Why is that? Darwinian theory says it’s simply a form of “peacocking.” More specifically, our creative predispositions are merely “fitness signals.” For example, if you write a novel, create a moving peace of art, or compose a great song, it’s just a uniquely human way of showing off your intellect in hopes of attracting a mate, like a peacock with it’s innately douchey bouquet of feathers.

I fucking hate this idea.  

But, let’s be fair. It’s totally undeniable that ego and social elevation are often intertwined with creative accomplishments.Read the rest

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What the media failed to report about the so-called “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong

515nvXPAxCLWhat many media outlets have failed to report about the so-called “pro-democracy” protests in Hong Kong:

1. There were hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong people protesting against the plan to Occupy Central by these groups of so-called “pro-democracy” protesters several weeks ago. It is important to note that the vast majority of Hong Kong people care only for stability, job security, and the well-being of their families. The Washington Post has acknowledged this in an article with this statement:

Both sides are trying so hard to woo the middle because Hong Kong is home to a substantial silent majority — residents who do not wish to engage or pick sides in Hong Kong’s fight with Beijing and are largely focused on their jobs, businesses and other more immediate concerns.

“Most people in Hong Kong are not political animals, and most people also realize Beijing will not change its mind” in tightening its grip over Hong Kong’s politics and government, said Willy Lam, an analyst at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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ELLO: Could This Be The End of Facebook?

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.56.39 PMMany moons ago, I discovered a wonderful social network known as myspace.com. It was an exciting way to meet new people and find those who had likeminded interests. It was also a great way to cruise for members of the opposite sex and flirt. As time progressed, people seemed to become annoyed with the juvenile aspects of Myspace culture and the pervasive tendency to blast through and ‘friend collect’, while worshipping internet celebs like ‘Forbidden’ and ‘Tila Tequila’. When Facebook launched, it was an exclusive network for college students. But soon it became the unstoppable juggernaut that we know today. What seemed to be the nail in Myspace’s coffin was the involvement of big corporate interest which essentially stripped Myspace of all its coolness. Forbidden and Tila became old news and we breathed a collective sigh of relief.

Now Facebook has become a bit like Myspace. It is riddled with corporate grossness and metrics that monitor and track us NSA style.… Read the rest

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Actually, You ARE the Customer, Not the Product

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Ramez Naam writes at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies:

Don’t believe the hype. You’re the customer, whether you pay directly or by seeing ads. Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: “On the internet, if you’re not paying for something, then you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

This meme, and its various permutations, are meant to to convey that if you’re not shelling out direct cash for a service, that you should expect to be used by that service. Perhaps. But there are many many things wrong with it. In fact, it’s wrong in almost every way.

You are the customer. You can do things no “product” can do.

Think about the things you can do that a “product” can’t do:

  1. You can stop using the service.  You can deny the company that provides it the revenue you represent. What product ever abandoned its parent company?
  2. You can look around for competitive offerings, and choose one of those. Again, no ‘product’ can do this.
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Waiting for the Internet’s ‘Mad as Hell’ Moment

[Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Medium.com. It was republished with permission.]

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Dear reader: This article ended up being longer than I set out to make it, and you, the average Medium reader, are notorious for not finishing articles. So I’ll make a deal with you, based on a tactic I stole from John Oliver. Finish this article, and at the end I’ll give you that which you most crave in your online existence: a GIF of a cute little hamster eating a miniature burrito! Mmmkay? As Oliver says, the GIF is “as magical and as uncomplicated as you think.”

They’re telling us that we’re living in a “golden age” of television. Game of Thrones! House of Cards! Army of Darkness! OK, so that last one wasn’t a TV show, but you get the idea. TV is now a place for serious people to talk about serious things and be taken seriously.… Read the rest

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