The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Pitfalls of Blogging

To be sure, my main incentive for blogging is for my own personal enjoyment. I have no delusion that my writings will make any significant impact on the world. From where I sit I see that the world is full of nasty things: injustice, crime, greed, liars, agenda driven movers and shakers. There are politicians and media that lean both ways that intentionally attempt to deceive. I take great pleasure blowing off steam by writing against these antics. Though I have my political leanings, I make clear that regardless of which way political power leans it does not make or break my life. If those I like are in power, it does not mean that my life will improve dramatically due to their actions. If those I dislike are in power, it does not mean that my life will fall off of the earth. If my worst nightmares come true: either America becoming a socialist rathole like Europe, or if nasty terrorists commit significant destruction to portions of this country that cost thousands to millions of lives; I will not despair. This is rugged individualism at its best.

Blogging like any hobby comes after many of my other responsibilities. I have a job, a wife, children, a home, a church. I have friends and family. There are many other niches in life that collectively take priority of my time. Nearly all I consider a joy rather than a duty. What time is left is divided among my entertainment sources. I have a set of favorite TV shows. I enjoy movies when they are high quality. I enjoy music, both listening and playing the guitar that my son and I are taking lessons for. I drive my four wheeler, build on my home's landscape, read, attend live theater. Finally, there is Internet surfing and blogging. Blogging carries a few inherent pitfalls that are difficult to avoid or resolve.

Time and Resources. The big media guys have researchers, proof-readers, editorial boards, and many other resources that the lonely blogger does not. For some of the big bloggers, their effort has become part of their careers. This can justify spending money for more resources and more time to devote.

The traditional media catch 22. There is a strange relationship between bloggers and the TM. Bloggers often blog out of frustration with the job that the TM does. Each member of the TM struggles with their inherent bias. I maintain that it is not possible to keep ones bias contained 100% of the time. Before HOW one writes, choosing what to write and what not to write is often based upon bias. Bias can cause one to make assumptions that thereafter are never challenged. The TM is also a slave to sensationalism. In their quest to make stories cutting edge, controversial and interesting they often stretch the facts so much out of shape they are no longer facts. The TM is subject to sources that can often be qustionable at best and purposeful liars at worst. The Tm can get lazy in their work and produce substandard stories that latter require a
retraction or apology. Yet for all of the flaws of the TM, bloggers need the TM. Bloggers cannot do as much research, field reporters to gather stories, gain access to people and situations, acquire a broad array of supporting pictures from all over the world. So bloggers tap into the TM in order to exist, yet often get bitten by the very problems they are frustrated with the TM about.

All of the above sets the stage for comments on recent posts in the Logic Lifeline. Being subject to the constraints of time and a faulty media, I cannot always provide the quality product on this blog that I would like. I can honestly say that I have never purposefully written anything false or misleading on this blog. I pursue truth even if it hurts or is at odds with any agenda I might have. The first question is whether under these circumstances to blog at all. So far in spite of not being able to meet an internal standard, I choose to continue blogging for the enjoyment. As I stated before, bloggers need the TM and even other bloggers to provide the seeds of posts. I will continue to use them. All writing seems to want to shine a light on controversy. Sometimes after a day or two, "exposed controversy" is explained or debunked. Retractions are made and on to the next one. I could be "safe" and only write after I am absolutely sure a topic will not be debunked. However, my blog would always be 5-6 days behind current. So I try my best to balance timeliness with prudence. So in summary I will continue to blog as best I can, continue to use the TM and other sources, try to balance a fresh blog with the best screening possible.

In the end there will be times where I have to make a retraction just like the big boys. I have a special reader who goes by the name Patriot that has taken on the task of being my fact checker. While sometimes it boils down to a difference of opinion or is a war between what his sources or my sources claim; often Patriot is successful at nailing an incorrection or inconsistency. It is like getting your teeth cleaned: much pain, but great afterward. I claim to seek the truth and I stick by that. So there is nothing left to do but make it right. The post I entered about the Gay Sheep is apparently based on a completely bogus story by the TimesOnline. The researcher was merely studying the behaviors of the gay sheep to try to find a biological basis. He was not trying to cure them, not had any success doing so as the story claims. Apparantly the radical animal rights group PETA started the whole controversy with outright lies about the research and the story gained steam from there. My post was based on the TimesOnline false story and I retract it. Feel free to read the comment trail for more details on the debunked story.

Patriot has made challenges elsewhere such as the "sic" story and a way back story about the Lieberman race. In the "sic" story, ABC has offered a plausible explanation. As you will see in the comments, I do not quite buy it but I will point out their explanation and the readers can decide. In the Lieberman story, the heading of the news story stated exactly what my post was about but the contents of the story showed contrary facts. Though the story is quite old and the news story was misleading, I will come clean and retract that as well. I have been challenged in other areas, but at this time I think future developments will show in my favor. Part of this post was to make retractions. Part of this post was to point out that blogging serves a purpose, and that there are great challenges for the little guy. Some may try to deceive or are irresponsibly sloppy. I try very hard with the time and resources I have to provide accuracy in my posts.

4 Comments:

  • At 12:28 AM, Blogger Incognito said…

    Thanks for supporting live theatre! Without people like you, I wouldn't be working.
    As for the pitfalls of blogging. Indeed, if the biggies can make major mistakes, so can we. I blog to vent. :-)
    Hope you had a good holiday!

     
  • At 9:13 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    incognito,

    Live theater is one of the greatest pleasures in my life. When I was 5 years old, my Kindergarten class was taken to see Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Black Pearl. I still remember portions vividly. It was not until I was 19 years old that I again went to a small live theater while vacationing in Virginia. I saw the Man of LaMancha and was smitten with the experience. I have since seen many great shows. Perhaps I have seen you. The last we saw was "Wicked" and that was fantastic. I went for a couple of years thinking it would be stupid. Of course I am an Oz afficionado and had my doubts it would do an injustice to the Oz stories. I thought the story line was very well thought through.

     
  • At 12:28 AM, Blogger Incognito said…

    Actually I don't do musicals, but am currently performing in "Deathtrap". Having a blast.
    Again, thanks for supporting the arts!

     
  • At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    http://tramadol-sqllt.blogspot.com/
    Dont forget!

     

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