Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's Elementary, Watson: Chuck Your Copy of The Week

I had to wait in a doctor's office this afternoon during my wife's visit.  I opened a magazine called The Week.  I hadn't read any legacy media publication in eight months.  The Week selects articles from other legacy media, claiming to offer "the best" of the week. I was surprised at how bad The Week's material is.  It is not just dumb and lacking in perspective. The ideological tenor is shrill.  The writers are so badly educated that they cannot develop coherent arguments.  Republicans, in The Week's opinion, are ignorant fools who do not believe the obvious scientific proof of global warming. Of course, that proof is not discussed. Nor do the editors seem to know what the scientific evidence is. They read that it exists in The New York Times and anyone who disagrees with The Times is, in their view, foolish.  In short, it is The Week's editors who are fools.

They certainly think they know what science is.  In their opinion there is a consensus of opinion, developed by The New York Times, and anyone who disagrees with the consensus opposes science. They are unfamiliar with elementary concepts such as falsifiability.  More so, The Week does not provide news.  Because the editors lack the education to grasp what drives current events, they are incapable of discussing current events coherently.  The information they offer is a tale told by an idiot.

The Week reminds me of Sherlock Holmes.  Recall Holmes's remarks in A Study in Scarlet and elsewhere that one should avoid mental clutter in order to do one's job efficiently.  My recollection is that he also says somewhere that he does not know that the earth revolves around the sun and that he intends to forget the fact as soon as possible.  The legacy media makes me feel like Holmes. The information it provides is meaningless; the incoherent chatter of owls and cuckoos, asses, apes and dogs.

I attended the Kingston-Rhinebeck Tea Party last night. About 30 people were present. The discussions were lively. I spoke to the group about organizing letter writing and publicity campaigns.  Many people are interested in taking part. The founder, Tom Santopietro, mentioned that the teachers' unions in New York have over 400,000 members (disclosure: I am a member of the New York State Union of Teachers, NYSUT).  The Tea Party has its work cut out.  But a gradual organization can begin to form a meaningful resistance to the government-Wall Street nexus.  I am being optimistic, of course.

I got a gift certificate to Applebee's and my wife and I had dinner there tonight. The waitress was from Albuquerque and she told us that houses in Taos, one of my favorite places, cost about $180,000 and condos cost somewhat less.  The question occurs to me, why bother with New York?  I don't have an answer other than that my job is here and I spent ten years rehabbing my beautiful home.  Other than that, New Mexico seems like a good option.

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