Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Applause For Our Newsy Blogs and a Vague Call For More

From an excellent piece by m-pyre's Marjorie in Duke City Fix:

"That Bernalillo County would hire a lobbyist to speak against this reform demonstrates well what we have all pointed out: allowing the creation of TIDDs for new Greenfield housing developments leads to a balkanization of our State, with local governments only looking out for their own bottom line. How else can we interpret the lobbying of Bernalillo County against a bill that protects the future state ability to meet its fiscal obligations to all the small towns of New Mexico?"

And DemocracyforNewMexico tells it like it is concerning fellow-blogger (and symptom of legislative rot and decay) Joe Monahan.

"Too cowardly to speak their piece in public, too many of the most status quo/reactionary legislators, hangers on and lobbyists for elite special interests are content to leak unsourced material by taking on the personnae of the much cited Alligators over at Joe Monahan's place. It's a convenient ploy that can be used to try and gain political advanatage -- whether or not such Alligators really exist in terms of a specific issue. Who's to say where the gossip and spin are really coming from and why? After all, I could put all kinds of statements onto DFNM and claim "birdies" told me so. Who's to argue? There's no proof one way or the other."

Then there's every post Coco writes...

Both in factual content and analysis, the quality level of local blogs just gets better and better (the pathetic blog you are currently reading notwithstanding), and, as media outlets shrink further and further both in sheer number and their ability to adequately cover the news, perhaps it's time for blogs in ABQ to go the next step. What could that next step be?

And why does Marjorie's great post at DCF have three comments, while a DCF ditty about "mustache parties" has fifteen? Not that anyone should make a mathematical formula like: number of comments = quality of post, but maybe it's time...maybe it's time.

Time for what exactly, I don't know....somebody think of something.


Maggie said...

"And why does Marjorie's great post at DCF have three comments, while a DCF ditty about "mustache parties" has fifteen?"

Reminds me of the comment Rey Garduno left us recently wondering why folks in ABQ get so up in arms about the red light cameras, but not about the outrageous TIDDs. Sigh...

Kelsey Atherton said...

I think the best case would be the fact that 4chan, the vile bit at the bottom of the internet from which nothing good ever comes, averages of 100,000 posts a day, while anything with more meaning and substance (which is everything) cannot hope to match that.
The best explanation I have is that people may not feel qualified enough for the thought-out stuff, but the babble (forgive the usage) anyone can have a say on

phat-chance said...

The lack of more thoughtful comments on blogs might be part of the failure of public education. Or it might be part of a change in the shape of public life today.

Harvard and Boston College sociologist, Juliet Schor’s research on work and the economy seems more pertinent. She notes that in 2000 American workers worked 200 hours more per year than workers a generation ago. Old-school translation - we’ve managed to add roughly 5 weeks of work while actual wages during that time period have lost ground through inflation & the devaluation of human labor.

Schor asks where that time comes from and offers her own interpretation. With all due respect to Einstein’s notion that time is elastic, we know that time is about as elastic as our front fenders. In reality people take time out of commitments to family, friends, community, education, religion, and their personal physical and mental health. Many of us have become good at finding shortcuts and developing our multi-tasking abilities. I see it in my students’ work. Increasingly they’re not looking to do their best but are satisfied with just getting by and moving on.

I asked students a couple of years ago what they would do if they had an extra hour each day. The most popular choice was to spend more time with family followed by more attention to personal physical and mental health. Education & religion didn’t do as well & unfortunately outside of volunteer work, civic engagement wasn’t mentioned at all.

All that extra work pretty much cuts out any time we might spend going into depth on topics of public concern, even those that will eventually cost us a lot (should I cook dinner for my family or investigate the impact of TIDDS?)

Yesterday Ted Cloak passed along a piece by Susan Jacoby on the anniversary of Darwin’s birth. Just how uninformed are we? What have all the shortcuts cost us?

“In 2006, a Gallup Poll found that only 30 percent of Americans continue to believe in the literal truth of the Bible, with its six days of creation - a 10 percent decline over the last three decades. It is difficult to reconcile that finding with the results of a 2005 poll by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, indicating that only 48 percent of American adults accept evolution (even if guided by God) and only 26 percent are convinced of the validity of Darwin’s theory of evolution by means of natural selection. If only 30 percent believe that the Bible is literally true, why do so many more Americans reject the evolutionary theory considered settled science in the rest of the developed world?

The answer is ignorance - and Americans may be no more ignorant about evolution than they are about other aspects of science. According to surveys conducted for the National Science Foundation over the past two decades, more than two-thirds of adults are unable to identify DNA as the key to heredity. Nine out of 10 Americans - nearly 63 years after the United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima - do not understand what radiation is or its effects on the body. One in 5 believes that the sun revolves around the Earth.”

ched macquigg said...


so let me get this straight;

the sun doesn't revolve around the earth?

You should watch Jay Leno's Jaywalking. I'm amazed that some people dress by themselves.

Seriously, I enjoyed very much, reading your comment.