Murdoch lays off entire staff of National Geographic forums forums Politics and other things Murdoch lays off entire staff of National Geographic

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    No, ouchies deserved, NG is perhaps the best magazine of the 20th century. I will always admire it as the best, and will always admire of it as being the top coffee table mag in our home.


    I was at a Longview City Council meeting one night not too long ago, and picked up a NatGeo out of the break room during a dull time in the proceedings. The magazine was pristine, and I started going through it. Started reading a story about the fighting in Afghanistan, and thought to myself, “this doesn’t seem to be current.” Fliped back to the cover, and found that the publication date was 1980. I had gone through about half of the magazine before coming to that realization, which also shows you the quality of the publication.


    I’ve had very similar experiences. Many of the pieces are timeless in the basic understanding they contain. Specifics change of course, but it’s pretty amazing to pick something up from a long time ago and see that same overall impact play out today.

    This is why people save them. In a way, they are good reference material. I used mine that way when I was a kid. Like a little world library. Let’s just say KSKD never, ever had any trouble with those school essays. I could knock something out on a whole pile of topics. Easy. My friends at Nat Geo set me up for that kind of thing good and proper.


    Fun times.

    As for the “no intelligent meter” on the Internet…

    Maybe we should talk about that.

    Back in the day, pre-Internet, pre-BS law changes by Reagan and Clinton, the concept of the public interest was meaningful and people took it seriously. So did the media by and large.

    So we were in a position of forced trust, or at the least, a position where being informed apart from the media was an investment few people made. (BTW, reading Nat Geo was a part of that check on the overall sanity and message in the media. I always counted them differently, due to the influence and mission of the foundation on their editorial content, but I digress…)

    Would you say that was all reasonable and equitable?

    I’m not entirely sure about that, though on a basic level, it clearly worked reasonably for us. Kept the fringes at the fringes, loons were loons, etc… but, it also kept out nascent movements too. Important things! Gays? Various forms of social progress? Access to science, research?

    Back in that time, politics seemed more sane, but damn! Young KSKD trying to learn about computers in a small town was a different experience. Bus trips to the University to get info, gleaning from the mags at the grocery store, just typing stuff in. Kind of a mess, but a beautiful one.

    Today, the public interest is something we remember, but we really don’t abide by in the media at all. Not really.

    But we no longer have to trust them either. The Internet means anyone can publish and be heard.

    Would you consider that reasonable and equitable today?

    Back then, I felt that commitment to the public interest counted enough to trust. But I didn’t know any different either. Not like it’s possible to know today.

    Now, I know I’m being fucking lied to. Happens every damn day, and it happens on big, shiny, well produced, media that is compelling, entertaining… Quite frankly, that’s a load of shit, polished up and delivered to the masses with just a hint of that authority and trust left in.

    People wanna believe, and it works that way too.

    I see people with shit in their hair, vomiting on TV all the time. Liars, loons, grifters, clowns and morons, all polished up and presented as if they have something meaningful to say.

    Frankly, I am largely unconcerned about the Internet, given how the media is regularly putting the tribe with shit in their hair on TV to vomit all over themselves in some sort of bizzaro world, indignant spectacle, loons, grifters, clowns, morons, and asses all on parade every week as if it’s all perfectly fine.

    Are you kidding me?

    Yes, the Internet has a lot of crap on it, but it’s got the good stuff too, and we can talk to one another. That’s way better than the clown posse presented to us as some kind of meaningful, rational discourse, or food for thought.

    Remember when the media was all over bloggers? People in their underwear?

    Some of those bloggers built empires and they did it by informing and educating people, fact checking, doing good advocacy, and so forth. Others did it by demonstrating a keen interest in something and they made it worth while.

    And those bloggers and “other people” on the Internet fact check the shit out of media too. But nothing changes. It’s still a mess. There still is no real public interest being served. They still bring people with shit in their hair on TV. The SAME PEOPLE, with THE SAME SHIT on DIFFERENT DAYS!


    Glad we do have the Internet. If one goes looking, it’s possible to get well informed and educated on anything you could possibly want to know. Does media do that? Hell no it doesn’t.

    I submit people are a lot dumber for their regular exposure to that garbage.


    Here’s another bit to think about.

    On the Internet, I can talk to people. If somebody posts up complete garbage, I can often comment, or send them an e-mail, or tweet out the fact check. That’s kind of awesome.

    People with a genuine interest, write back. And this is kind of a notable dynamic.

    You all know Andrew Sullivan, right? He had himself a blog. No comments. He didn’t want to hear about it. Sometimes he would curate incoming material and publish, but it was his show. That’s how old school media people want the Internet to work. It’s a show, and it gets ratings.

    This also insulates people.

    Free speech has two parts: One part, is the fun part, and that’s the say what you want to say part. The other part, which can be the not so fun part, is other people say what they want too, and they say what they think about your speech.

    This is the act like an ass, get called an ass thing we’ve discussed over the years.

    Notice all the changes the Republicans want for their “debate?” They want to say what they want, get that look of authority and dignity, and not actually have to be seen as being accountable to what they say!

    CNBC actually asked the GOP clowns some reasonable questions. In essence, “So, do you always walk around rubbing shit in your hair, or just sometimes?”


    The candidates flipped out, and have just had a cry fest over it, with Cruz STILL BITCHING ABOUT IT.

    And this is why I have no problem with the Internet. There are lots of people willing and able to say, “look kids! He’s got shit rubbed in his hair. Ain’t that a sight?” They can also say, “look at this awesome thing!”, or “the feels… awww”, or “here is how you do this” too.

    The difference is a two way conversation, often a multi-way one.

    I’ll take that any day. The crazies attract other crazies, and that sucks. But the rest of us get more good out than not, and a growing fraction of us see the media game for what it is these days.

    Blame the media and their oligarch owners for that one. They did it, now they have to live with it.

    The world and it’s politics are harder to understand now. They did that. We didn’t need it, though it appears one can make a lot of money fucking that all up. And we often get told we want it too. And some of us do. Sadly.

    There is no real need to clean up the Internet. People either do the work or they don’t. Good stuff bubbles up, and if we want and need better, we’ve got options.

    Do we want and need better?

    I think so, and maybe, just maybe, our media might think about the public interest again. They know what to do. It’s just expensive to do it.

    Their choice. Shit in the hair every Sunday? OK, I’ll get my laughs and move on. And I’ll tell my friends too.

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