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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Allies and the Axis

This afternoon, I was once again considering not only the babbling from 45, and the babbling of those who won't quite oppose him... and being marginally associated with the PR world, I thought about branding.

The Nazis don't want to be called Nazis.  (As I side note, keep reminding yourself that Neo-Nazi doesn't mean "not quite Nazi."  It means new Nazis.  Doesn't mean they're significantly different from the old Nazis, except they speak English now not German.)  The wave Nazi flags, chant Nazi slogans, take actions that the brownshirts would recognize immediately -- but they're not Nazis?  And the Fascists, too, don't wanna be Fascisti anymore.  They wanna be called the Alt Right. 

They want the self-titled Alt Right to be treated as a political movement.  Well, Nazism could be called a political movement -- a scummy, evil political movement -- and Fascism could be called a political movement.  Alt Right isn't a political movement.  Alt Right is a brand.



And to generate some sense of equivalency to those of us who oppose them, they want to call us the Alt Left.  Some, foolishly in my opinion, have chosen to accept that title, that branding.  I won't.  Nazis have been applying names to those they wish to destroy as long as they've existed.  Not gonna do it.  They don't get to define this battle.

Then I was reminded of George W Bush's phrase from early this century, "The Axis of Evil."  At the time he was referring to Iran, Iraq and Syria I believe.  But he used the particular term "Axis" because of it's previous use, referring to our enemies in World War II.  The Nazis in Germany.  The Fascists in Italy.  And the militarists in Japan.

And what do we face now?

The Axis.  Or, if you will, The Axis of Evil.

Let's do our own branding.  The Nazis, the Fascists, the modern American brownshirts -- they're the Axis.  We fought the Axis before.  We can and will fight the Axis again.

And who are we?  Well, of course, the Allies.

You'll recall that though the Allies were united, we weren't all united about what we were for.  But we were sure as hell united in what we were against.  I'd wager heavily that Roosevelt and Churchill were never in love with old Joe Stalin.  The various resistance groups from the smaller, conquered countries weren't overjoyed to have to depend on Americans and Brits to get their countries free again -- much less having to ally with Stalin, who had his own conquering agenda.  Then there's Asia; we ended up in extended wars fighting the folks with whom we'd allied against Japan.

But the Allies were (eventually) all against the Axis. 

And it was and is very clear, the Allies were the good guys, the Axis were the bad guys.  The new "very nice people" wave the flags of the bad guys my Dad went to fight back when.

So, my new Branding.  We're the Allies, and damn proud of it, even though we don't all agree about everything.  And the Axis?  I suppose they're proud, too.  They're certainly proud of the President of the Axis of Evil now, aren't they?

Let's let the Axis be proud of being losers once again.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Pie Island News

I have been upgrading the various gadgetry on Pie Island, installed a few new builds, and generally fiddled around.  To be fair.  That's what I do for fun in Second Life.
Was no longer satisfied with the little Jazz Club.  That's a nice, cozy little build, and it ought to be busier than it is.  But of course, I just don't have the Lindens to have singers and DJs in, so there's not all that much to see.  The house stream is good, but mostly that's what there is.
So, put up that big club build we had in Pavane when we were still there in the Tower, and called that Ours Cabaret.  Physically huge, takes up a lot of space, and it's 4 stories tall.  Two floors of stores, a vast and spacious club.  Very prim-heavy.  It was built back when you could only do 10 x 10 prims, and it used a whole lot of those prims to get that big.  Also had that "shiny floor" effect which was popular for a minute back in the day.
The shiny floor, though, uses alphas on the floor, which does ugly things to dresses since they also tend to use alpha textures.  Also, to create the "reflections" effect the builder basically duplicates the stuff on top of the floor under the floor and upside down.  Lots more prims.  So, set the floor to not be transparent, took out all those extra prims underneath, and took out most of the linked on furniture, too.  Modded a couple chairs near the door to retain the design element, but using a more modern animation technique.
Since I had 'em in Inventory anyway, I filled the four downstairs stores with my old affiliate vendors from SLC (gowns & such), Alicia Stella Designs (useful gadgetry), P3 (more clothes), and my Apolon Motors setup (vehicles).  That last cost a fair amount to get, and comes with "expo" models for most everything. 
 So my outside area is now covered with a lot of those vehicles, mostly the helicopters.  We went to Apolon the one day cause I wanted a helicopter, and Samantha wanted to get me a nice rezzday gift.  Still love flying their helicopters -- simple to fly, not a lot of realism, mostly for fun, plenty of add-on gimcrackery for those of us who like that stuff.  Also have one of their Flying Catfish sailing catamarans, which is a fun way to sail with a friend in SL.  So, liking most of their products, Sam and I both bought a set of vendors.
Anyway, still have six smaller stores open on the second floor, if anyone's interested.  Need the performers to attract more traffic.
One frustration in running any club in SL is that one person shows up, there's nobody to dance with, and they're off to somewhere else.  I've tried a couple of tricks to mitigate that.  Think I told you about the Incentivizers, I had one of those in the Jazz Club for a long while.  That worked too much like a camping device, so I pulled that.  Made a modded version I put in the Cabaret, to do payroll for a DJ and possibly a Host or Hostess in there.  Assuming I ever have a DJ, a Hostess, or the money to pay them.
And I'd accumulated a number of games tables for the Jazz Club.  So what was the upper dance floor is now the Grizzly's Games area.  You can play Euchre (Samantha is good at that), Backgammon, five-card Draw Poker, or any of the three Zilch tables.  Zilch is kinda like Greedy Greedy -- and if you don't know what Greedy Greedy is, well (a) you might find that fun, and (b) maybe you don't visit SL?
I modded one of my particle advertising signs into a gadget called ShowMine.  Suppose you're with a group of people, and you have a picture you want to show everybody.  In SL, the usual method is to hand a copy of the picture to everyone.  That's time-consuming, clutters up Inventory, and gives away a copy of a picture/texture you might want to keep limited and/or sell.  ShowMine listens on channel 123 as currently configured.  Grab the UUID of your picture, say /123 UUID, ShowMine hears that and adds that UUID to a list.  Then it rotates through the list, showing each picture for X seconds.  "That's nice, here Show Mine, too!"  Get it?  ;-)
ShowMine sort of works for a slideshow for meetings, too.  Assuming businesses were still trying SL, and I haven't noticed any lately.
 Another active area is my tour vehicles.  Built my own Gondola a while back, and put Jonyblade Codesmith's Guided Tour scripts in that.  Also wrote a number of add-on scripts which I put in there, the original Tour Balloons I've had, and a freebie party-boat catamaran I modded into a tour vehicle.

As with most vehicles in SL, they have trouble with crossing into new Sims/Regions.  When you first arrive, the new sim figures out all it needs to know about this new vehicle.  That takes a second or so.  While the new Sim is doing all that, it may decide your vehicle is moving at high speed in some random direction, which produces what I call "Lost in Space."  You're shooting off with no control over your vehicle or yourself, eventually you're out of range of what the sim can handle.  Basically you've crashed, and the Sim just hasn't figured that out yet.  You end up having to log out and back in again -- at which time your vehicle is gone and you're out in the middle of Nowhere.
I'd figured out a fix for the Gondolas which worked fine -- when you enter a new sim, stop the vehicle for a second or two, then start again, by which time usually the Sim has you sussed and will treat you normally.  Just today I finally figured out why that worked in the Gondola but not my other vehicles.  So now they all do that little stop-and-think thing, which helps a lot.  On the balloons, you may not even notice it's happening.
I had a store-bought board that automatically did 7Seas fishing contests every hour, but people complained that some people with a bunch of bots would tie up all the prize money.  So I wrote my own for that, too.  Last couple nights I worked out how to get that to do Notices in my Pie Island Fishing group, and today I finally got how one does Group Chat with that, too.  Modded the script to do the latter, but haven't fully tested it yet.  (And naturally while I was typing that I thought of yet another mod to do.)
Then I modded the Event Kicker for fishing to a more general Event Announcer, that'll work for any Events I can put on the calendar for that.  So now there are (at least) automatic events so announce in the Hiber-Nation Store group when the music style changes on the house feed.  And I gave that the fishing announcements, too.
So, that's what my Second Life looks like.  A subset of the stuff at Pie Island is out on Grizzly Mountain, which is in the northern part of the Sansara continent.  Fun to build out there, interesting terrain, and lots more places to go with the tours.
Considering marking my properties "Newbie Friendly," because they mostly are.
You coming out sometime?  I'll leave a virtual light on for ya.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

New "Event Kicker"

After Saturday May 27, 2017, the store bought, weekly-paying, 7Seas Prize board is gone from Pie Island Fishing. Too many complaints.

I scripted something I'm calling Event Kicker that'll automatically run periodic contests and optionally pay prize money, but in a way I'm more comfortable with.  I can add the features I think are important, rather than buy a package and wish they had the features I wanted.

You may even like it. 

It's in try-with-extreme-caution Alpha now, don't know if it'd ever reach Beta.  There are better ones,
but with this I can choose and write my own Cool New Features.
.
By default (so far) out of X payout, it pays 50 percent to 1st, 30 to 2nd and 20 to 3rd. 

The pot does it's own thing.

Thursday - 7 pm - L$250
Friday - 7 pm - L$250
Saturday - 7 pm - L$1000
Sunday - 7 pm - L$1000
Monday - 7 pm - L$250
Tuesday - 7 pm - L$250
Wednesday - 7 pm - L$250

By the way, the tourboats and the tour balloons have fishing servers in them, so you could fish and
tour if'n ya wanted.  But you'd end up out of range of the Contest.

I appreciate your patience.  Thanks for all your visits to Pie Island Fishing.  See you around.

Happy Fishing!

Grizzly Silversmith

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Episode 20170520 - Federalist #1 test video


Tried a Youtube livestream recording for Federalist #1 as I mentioned a while back.  Probably need to redo it.  Wanted to see how the video file would be handled by Libsyn, though.  (Bad video, since my room's a mess!)

 

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Clock is ticking

Still haven't recorded a new podcast.  Not sure why.  Number of possible reasons.

Day job leaves me exhausted. As in, I finish a day of work, maybe eat a sandwich, and go lie down and sleep.  Otherwise, I accomplish nothing whatsoever.

Did a bit of fiddling with some new Android recording software, called Parrot Voice Recorder.  Has all kinda lovely features.  Paid for the Pro version, assuming I'd be using it on my Fire to record from my Bluetooth headset.  Turns out, can't record from a Bluetooth mike on the Fire.  Records from the internal mike.  Works fine on the phone, but of course it sounds like I'm recording from a Bluetooth headset.

I think it doesn't work on the Fire because the app expects to capture the audio from the phone Bluetooth in.  The Fire isn't a phone, so it just doesn't have that Bluetooth in channel.  Decent sounding audio on the headset, I guess.  I use that headset for the Dayjob, so it's just as well.

Perhaps one reason I don't feel motivated about podcasting anymore is that I didn't start with Something To Say.  I started wanting to play with the tech, and struggled to find things to say so I had something to record on the podcasts.  It was fun trying new stuff.

But now that new stuff is old stuff, and what is new, mostly live streaming and video, has interesting hardware, but isn't something I much care to do.  I'm not a video guy.  I may or may not have a "face for radio."  I'm comfortable with the good quality of my voice, but I don't feel I have a particularly impressive on-camera presence.  So I have three webcams, sometimes all connected at once.  But I don't care to use them.

I have found some okay content I could record.  But nothing at the moment that is both freely available to record and sufficiently interesting to me.  I could produce a pretty good podcast for, say, the Duluth Art Institute, or the Library, but I've asked, they're not interested.  Even have a rather cool idea for a Duluth Playhouse podcast, but I wouldn't even know who to ask about that.

I podcast for 10 years.  That just might be enough..


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Monday, February 20, 2017

Episode 20170220 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 5


Chapter 5, The final (hour-long) Chapter.  Mill provides some sample applications for the principles from previous chapters.  And points out that though society could restrict liberty when others experience loss, that doesn't mean they always should.  Some losses aren't as important as preserving Liberty.

Hope you enjoyed the book. 

 

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Episode 20170216 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 4


Chapter 4 - Aren't there limits on liberty and individuality?  Certainly.  But there are also limits on society, and both are to preserve.  And sometimes, liberty has costs.  But liberty is worth the costs.

 

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Episode 20170213 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 3 Part 2


 Chapter 3 Part 2 - It's important to be an individual, and to allow others to be individuals in thought and act.  And it's important to preserve that liberty, even for individuals you don't like.  Because they come up with good new ways of doing things.  Bad new ways, too -- and then you learn what doesn't work...  Something like that.  Mill explains it better, just listen!

 

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Episode 20170209 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 3 Part 1


Chapter 3 Part 1 - Mill speaks about the importance of not just thinking and talking but acting as an individual (as long as you don't harm others) and preserving the right to act as an individual.  One of the strengths of his arguments is that though he might well not approve of some of our new sorts of individuality, his truths about liberty are still true.  And will drive some folks crazy.  Which is why I do this!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

As good as it gets

Got my tax refund. Could buy some fairly heavy duty hardware. One little problem, I'm not sure I want to podcast anymore. Right now I don't, anyway. After ten years of doing this stuff... ten years, think about that... maybe 500-some podcasts... I've concluded I have nothing interesting to say. At least nothing of my own. I've recorded other people's books and essays and books of essays for a while. Ten of those, at least ten that went to Podiobooks. A few short stories and such. Even with doing that for ten years, where am I? It's part about President Bully. I was bullied as a kid. We're talking kindergarten. And after all these years, I'm in a merely okay job. And a bully is President. A nice intelligent fella like me, here I am with this job. And an ignorant jackass is President. So I'm wondering what the hell happened the past almost 60 years. And I'm wondering what the hell happened the past 10 years. An awful lot of what has kept me going has been an apparently unrealistic dream. I always thought that if I was good someone would notice, and say "Hey, we gotta get this guy to do this for us," or something like it, anyway. On at least five occasions I thought "These guys, they'll be the ones who'll get it!" Nope. Over and over again. Maybe I just need to catch my breath. Maybe I'll start again. Anyway, can't convince myself to buy that swell new recording hardware, because I don't much care to record anymore. I get to the end of the day, making a living talking to people, and I really don't want to talk anymore. Kinda figures, guy on the Spectrum, only got so much talking I can do before I'm used up. With the dream, recording might lead someday to something better. Without it, it's just another night in front of a microphone. Which is nice. I guess. I've enjoyed it. On the good days, I'm utterly flabbergasted that there are so many people who listen. Thank you if you are one of them. On the bad days, I think there ought to be more. More what is a damn good question. "Maybe this is as good as it gets?"

Monday, February 6, 2017

Episode 20170206 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 2 Part 4


 The pursuit of truth, and the necessity for opposition, in politics and government.  On point, anyone?  Timely, even a century old.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

Episode 20170204 - Thanks for All the Fish


Ten years of podcasts, and I almost missed the anniversary. I'm a bit down tonight, and I'd completely forgotten till the last minute, so nothing planned. So, it is what it is.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Episode 20170126 - On Liberty by John Stuart Mill Chapter 2 Part 3


 Chapter 2 Part 3 - Why even regular people still have to hear all the views, even though the Best and Brightest know what's best for them.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

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


 Chapter 2 Part 2.  Mill talks about the idea that persecution is always good for new (religious) truths.  Love this because so many of the new persecutors claim to be bringing back Old Time Religion.  Here's an intelligent religious philosopher from a century ago petty much slapping them down in so many ways.

Post truth?  Yeah, right.  It's in there.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Don't Be a Sucker


Remember when the government was in the business of the truth? Well, mostly, anyway. Them was the days!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Episode 20170128 - Politically Correct


Was going to to a blogpost or podcast about Political Correctness.  I started by looking up the origins of the phrase, "Politically Correct."

 So I ranted a bit on YouTube.  But video takes a whole lot of space on my Libsyn account, so...

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Beware the Fury of a Patient Man

Was looking at Twitter again.

It's like watching the 9/11 coverage, those videos over and over again that day. That someone could do something so horrible to us -- and yes, it was done to all of us.

In some ways, this is worse. This is our hired help, taking actions from Our House, and saying it's from us.  It was done to all of us.

But another thing struck me. We're protesting a President governing by fiat, rather than via Congress. And Congress sits with hands folded and waits. Some, because they're getting what they want from the Executive Orders themselves.

But with every protest, more ammunition piles up against the power of the Executive.  So... Let us suppose with the next Presidential election, the Republicans still control Congress, but a Democrat takes the White House.

"Well, hey, all you folks marched in the streets to protest Executive Orders.  You all said very loudly that you wanted us to ride the President hard and keep them under our control.  We're only doing what you asked for.  Why complain now?"

How many of the actions against which we protest now, are what we have insisted on in the past, and will insist on in the future?  When Trump got elected, we complained about the Electoral College. I hear Trump wanted to start action to abolish it, and was discouraged from that by his staff. Why object now to what we thought was vital then?

The trouble with any radical view, is that it is radical. There are those who supported the radical Sanders against the radical Trump. I didn't and don't support Trump.  But does this mean that real moderation must cease to exist?

As for Sanders, well, he spent decades not wanting to be Democrat... till he wanted to run for President. Shouldn't have been a Democratic candidate. He's not a Democrat.

As for me, well, I'm not from any of the countries to which the bans have been applied. Not aware of anyone I know personally. But the bans are a Radical action. And like the surgery, radical actions tend to involve immediately hacking off large chunks. I look with suspicion on any radical.

Why? Pure, blatant self-interest. I'm not the guy who survives in a Radical world. If I stocked up on bottled water, canned food, guns and ammo... that'd just be more stuff in the basement for the Radicals to loot.

I'm a quiet man.  My dad was, too. I come from a quiet family.  My Dad was also one of those citizen soldiers who went off to Europe in the 1940s to shoot Nazis. To quote John Dryden, who was apparently quoting Publilius Syrus:

Must I at length the Sword of Justice draw?
Oh curst Effects of necessary Law!
How ill my Fear they by my Mercy scan,
Beware the Fury of a Patient Man.

 Unlike our ever-so-belligerent President, I wore a uniform with stripes on the collar for a few years. I wasn't particularly good at it. I held a firearm in uniform perhaps twice. Mostly I flipped burgers, or flipped omelets. But I showed up.  Peacetime military. Mostly because I couldn't find a job.

So like so many, I'm torn. I despise the belligerent bellowing of the coward in the White House. But I also don't trust marching in the streets. Eventually you run out of street, and the only place left to go is into the houses and such. Up to a point, I accept the marching as necessary, and perhaps at some point I may do a bit of marching myself -- rather better than the lifelong civilians, perhaps. But I don't trust it.

As for those who supported Trump, I can accept there are well-meaning and kind people who did that, perhaps for reasons they considered good and sufficient. Some of those supporters have been my friends for my entire life. But those who speak for his supporters are bullies and speak like bullies. And when they speak for him, they speak for those well-meaning and kind people, too. When Trump takes hateful actions and supports hateful people and ideas, he speaks for them, too.

And I wonder if any of them are having second thoughts.

And if not, why not?

"When I was a child, I spoke as a child, and believed as a child.  But I became a man, and put away childish things."


I'm sorry

I made, perhaps, a mistake in reading Twitter for several hours tonight.

I follow a lot of people who are on the same political Side as I am.  Don't think it's a party thing anymore, just people who think we shouldn't be a shining example of hate and intolerance to the rest of the world.

The other Side elected a President who feels he has a mandate to be a bully and say it's on behalf of all of us.  It may well be that many who voted for him are saying to themselves "What the hell is this?" now.  But it's too late.  He was elected.  And he's got a Congress who will say nothing, and soon a Supreme Court who'll collectively do the same.

Even if every single person who voted for him changed their minds tomorrow, the Status Quo will remain for at least two years.  The midterm elections might change the balance, though I doubt that. And given the destruction that's been wrought already in only a few days, two years will be too long.

If the President were gone tomorrow, we'd still have his Vice President, and we'd still have the same band of idiots in Congress. I'd compare it to the "Basic Training Stress Curve."  If you're not familiar, when you first get to Basic, you spend a week or three getting screamed at and stressed out.  A few weeks in, they stop screaming quite so often.  You're still stressed, but compared to the earlier weeks it seems like relaxation.  You may not actually poop for six weeks straight.  But you're "relaxed."

After however-long with the current President, even if he left, we'd still have Pence. Who might be less Evil, though you'll note he's nodding and smiling and going along. We'd think he was Good. Because we would have lost touch with a real sense of what Good is actually like.

People have been marching in the streets, and I respect their intent.  They marched by the millions. And the President is still doing what he does.  And Congress is going along, while doing their own evil and spewing their own lies. So I feel in my gut it's too late already. I wish it wasn't. I'd be joyful if it wasn't. But I think it is.

I'm sorry.

I did what I was supposed to do. I voted for the candidate of my own Party -- not terribly exciting to me as an individual, but I think she would have been a good President. Not a great one, but at least good. Might have been great, I suppose. We'll never know. She got the majority of the popular vote, by a long long way. And it still didn't matter. We lost.

The destruction of the America I believe in has already started. The majority of the elected leaders are nodding and smiling and doing their own destruction, while profiting handsomely. And our leaders in business nod and smile and talk about how much money they'll make.

Someday, future generations will hate us, and look back, baffled, on how we could possibly have been so stupid.

Years ago, I recall reading "The Lives of the Ceasars," as I think it was titled. I noticed something. Every single solitary Ceasar promised to restore the Republic.

None of them did.

Sorry, kids. We screwed up.


Thursday, January 26, 2017

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!

 

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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.

 

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Episode 2017-01-21 On the Bias


On the Bias

January 21, 2017

Hello again.  Just me.

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.

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Saturday, January 7, 2017

I was just thinking about this...


In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

To that new order we oppose the greater conception—the moral order. A good society is able to face schemes of world domination and foreign revolutions alike without fear.

Since the beginning of our American history, we have been engaged in change—in a perpetual peaceful revolution—a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly adjusting itself to changing conditions—without the concentration camp or the quick-lime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This nation has placed its destiny in the hands and heads and hearts of its millions of free men and women; and its faith in freedom under the guidance of God. Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere. Our support goes to those who struggle to gain those rights or keep them. Our strength is our unity of purpose. To that high concept there can be no end save victory.





Citation: Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union," January 6, 1941. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=16092.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

More tech please!

Tonight while fooling with OBS Studio again, which means not actually producing another vidcast...I figured out a couple of things.  With minimal configuration, I was able to send the studio-out from SAM Broadcaster, my usual tool for DJing on Second Life, to the "Desktop Audio" input on OBS Studio.

Sure, could keep using the Yeti microphone attached directly to OBS and it works great.  Actually sounds better by default (in my opinion) than recording via Audacity. Even added a noise gate to the mike setup, removing the computer-fan noise floor before it hits the stream.  Very nice.   Doing that, I was setting up separate "Scenes" for each little chunk of audio/video I wanted to add to my casts.  This is mostly a practical way to handle things like the intros and outros.

But combining OBS Studio to do the video, and SAM Broadcaster to do the audio, opens up all my audio and video options.  I could (for no discernable reason) load all 16 audio episodes of The Everlasting Man and stream them in sequence on YouTube.  No big deal, just 16 hours, I'm sure everyone would love to listen to that on YouTube, right?  Or Facebook?  People love 16-hour-long live-ish streams on Facebook, don't they?

Downside of the Intro and Outro scenes with the audio file included is that OBS Studio doesn't offer a mechanism (that I've been able to locate) to monitor what's going out on the audio stream.  I have to watch the visual level bargraph thingie till that goes down to know when to start.  No reason, though, I can't just load a scene that doesn't include the audio file, just the video slide(s). 

Play the audio on SAM and I'll be able to monitor and know when it finishes.  Can do voice over background music or sound effects, too.  Can pick on-the-fly whatever video I want up over whatever audio makes sense next.  Oh, and I can (probably) simulcast the video stream to YouTube while streaming the audio on a Shoutcast stream via SAM.  The computer can handle it, though bandwidth might be an issue.

Oddly, OBS is easier to set up with Skype, for panels or interviews, than SAM is. 

I tell Skype to capture from the Yeti and output to the Yeti headset.  OBS captures video from the Skye window,  and catches the audio from both the Yeti's headset output and microphone input (separately).  I set the Yeti so no app gets exclusive use, so the mike output goes to both without complex configuration.  This doesn't quite do mix-minus.  The folks on the far end of the Skype call can hear me, but not the local music.  But I've got a mixer, so that could be done.

Which means, of course, I'm back to my usual problem.  I have dozens of ways to produce and distribute content.  But I don't have much original to say.  That's why I started recording the old public domain books in the first place.  I get lots and lots of words I don't have to write myself, that were written by more skilled and knowledgeable writers than I.

So it could be worse.  But it could be better.  I could write stuff.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Citizens or Subjects?

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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Citizens or Subjects?

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.

 Comments via Audioboo and tag it #HeyGriz

Or the "Voicemail" widget on Grizzlysgrowls.com

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

 Contributions: https://www.paypal.me/grizzlysgrowls

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

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