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01/23/2013

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Aboc Zed

Thanks for this Dave.

I especially like your comment about objectivity and how when $$$ involved there is always departure from it.

I knew you were the kind of person who understands this clearly but it is good to confirm it.

Thanks again.

Oliver

Dave - Thanks for explaining this so cogently. To me, the web seems an unholy mess of suspect "facts", porn, static, fluff, and occasional gems ;-) but now that you have revealed the pushy commercial raison d'etre for most sites (contrary to the original non-profit/academic rationale of the yet-to-mature internet), I get it.

That you share your insights daily without milking the system for dollars is a modern-day wonder. This is what makes what you say so credible, and for that, I raise my glass of water to you.

PS - When goddamned finances permit, I will also raise another donation and ping it your way.

J. Drew

Good stuff dave, I especially like the point about humans needing to stick to a consistent story even when it becomes obvious it is odds with the facts. The Irony is, that although a lot of the alternative bloggers have acknowledged that fact on their blogs, they are guilty of same sort of behavior when it comes to their own stories. Having read a few of these blogs relatively consistently for a couple of years now, it has been interesting to see how some them adjust their narratives to fit the facts.

Jim

Very good post. It is true that the profit motive is a potential warping agent for objective analysis. I have wondered if the 'doomer' trend will lead to sites catering to that crowd purely for the profit motive, and I suppose it's already happened in some places. Less insidiously, a blogger may filter certain bits of info because they might feel their readers may not want to hear it.

But all sites really have to be treated to high levels of scrutiny, because we're all in one way or another biased towards self interest. Everyone who posts blogs (and the resulting commenters like me) are acting to some degree in ways which are programmed into them - the urge to stand out socially. It can lead to unhealthy levels of confirmation bias. It doesn't really matter the subject. Even if it is saying we're doomed, the blogger still gets a rush of acceptance from those readers who agree with the message and want to hear it.

No one is immune to bias, but there ways of refusing to trust even oneself and to always scrutinize motives. Unceasing vigilence is the only paliative - there is no cure.

Ryan Brooks

Thanks for the insight. I've always been more skeptical of blogs/websites that are looking for "customers to sell to" so to speak. There's something about it that just kind of urks me. Especially because of the values and priciples some of these authors claim to stand for. I'm not saying they're wrong for doing what they do or their information is wrong, just saying that it makes their site genuinely less attractive.

elvinator

hmmm, incestuous comes to mind.

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