Media Literacy

So as not to piss people off unduly or commit the same crime of which they are guilty, I will not post a link to an example of the misconduct.  All over the Internet you can find authors who claim various facts published by other authors are nonsense.  All this is a good and important part of both the scientific method (in the sciences) and our great Discourse of Ideas (in general).  Neither party has committed any offense beyond believing themselves right and the other wrong.  Enter a third party.  They are the media, an amused bystander, or the kid who yells “fight! fight! fight!” at the outbreak of some minor misunderstanding.  Their account consists of a he-said-she-said that cares not to reconcile any differences, only to aggravate them or watch the ensuing throwdown.  This is the media watching a presidential campaign like a horse race.  This is the legitimate criticism upon which Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken agree and which Rush Limbaugh calls “the drive-by media”.  But I digress too far afield.  If one has no capacity to verify, interpret, or legitimate an argument, it does not bear repeating in a public forum.  Educate oneself as to the merits of the arguments, and inject your own truth into the story. It is true, objective truth is hard to obtain.  Neither must we rely on specific subjective truths.  The only path that will save us is to draw out the intersubjective truths, those truths found invariant when many interested eyeballs have rendered them salient.

Today’s students of generation M, we are told, are born to create media (as in multi-), not merely consume it.  Why should their approach to media (as in news) be any different?  Go forth and be blind consumers no more!


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  1. By reading your comments on the misuse of the Internet and the Scientific Method, it gave me the idea to possibly find a way to integrate how the Scientific Method works with a lesson of how to research on the Web and find credible sources. These are both important ideas for Science students to learn. Thank you for giving me the idea to use them in a lesson together!

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