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|Monday, December 19th, 2016|
|How Coverage of the FCC's Last Meeting Illustrates The Problem of Our News.
Allow me to illustrate everything wrong with our real press as opposed to our fake press. At yesterday's FCC Meeting, the Commission voted 5-0 to approve rules for an upgrade of the technology used by the deaf and hard of hearing communities from TTY to Realtime Text.
In the hundreds of articles covering the FCC meeting yesterday, only one news publication available online -- wireless week -- mentioned that fact. And even then it was subordinate to the Tom Wheeler and Jessica Rosenworcel leaving stories.
So the FCC does something really positive for people who need it on a 5-0 vote, with extra sign translators so that the representatives of the deaf community who attended could follow the meeting.
https://www.fcc.gov/…/12/december-2016-open-commission-meet… A story of the effectiveness of government and bipartisan cooperation and how it measurably improves people's lives. It also provides an example of why radical extremist calls to eliminate the FCC fail to appreciate everything the FCC actually does -- 90% of it being like this, highly technical, non-controversial, and exceedingly critical -- if highly boring.
But for the media, the only story worth covering is the political horserace and the partisan fights.
Multiply this by 10,000 to understand why we have government and what those faceless "bureaucrats in Washington" actually do for people. And why no one appreciates them.
|Monday, December 12th, 2016|
|How about we also focus on fixing "real news"
I want to highly recommend this report from the Shorenstien Center.
( Collapse )
What is important about it is that it links what many people have been saying about the press and its coverage with the historical trends in news coverage.
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Needless to say, the report has not received nearly the coverage in established news as the buzz over fake news. Where it has been covered, the coverage has missed the point.
This is why I say "fake news" is so not the problem. Yes, Vox is left leaning. That's fine. I am all down with partisan reporting that is real reporting. A lot of countries have that tradition, and we used to have that tradition in the U.S. until newspapers declined and many went out of business. But there is a difference between a partisan outlook and bad reporting that ignores relevant context.
|Wednesday, December 7th, 2016|
|Thursday, December 1st, 2016|
|Wednesday, November 30th, 2016|
|Tuesday, November 29th, 2016|
|It was a nice Chessiecon: Except for the Getting Sick Part
Last weekend was Chessiecon. It was a nice con. Enjoyed. For one thing, got to see gildedacorn
and husband Paul (and it has been so long since I tagged him on LJ I've forgotten LJ handle) for first time there in several years.
My compliments to mneme
for efforts to bring filking back to Chessiecon, which are paying off.
Will not try to list names of everyone who was there. Will note that I bugged out suddenly as I woke up on Sunday morning absolutely sick as a dog. Nasty bug that knocked me out for the better part of two days. Recovered now, happily. I gather from ladymondegreen
I was not the only one so afflicted.
Anyway, sorry I did not get a chance to say goodbye Sunday.
|Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016|
|Repost from a year ago: Reflection on the First Thanksgiving.
Reposting from 1 yr ago. A Reflection on the First Thanksgiving.
Summary: Contrary to modern re-imagination, the First Thanksgiving marked a genuine effort to create a multicultural society based on mutual respect. The project lasted 35 years, while the founders of Plymouth Colony and Chief Massasoit remained alive. The efforts of the founders of the Plymouth Colony and the local Massachusetts and Wampanoag tribes foundered on the massive tide of the Great Migration.
Rather than treat Thanksgiving as a holiday marking oppression and betrayal (we can do that on Columbus Day), or even simply as a day of personal reflection, I propose we treat Thanksgiving as it was originally intended -- as a coming together of different communities to live together in mutual respect and mutual support.
|Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016|
|The Updated Feld's Laws
So Tom Smith asked generically who had coined their own axioms. I was also asked earlier today by someone else for my various rules on advocacy. So I will take the opportunity to repost them, updated and modified. If I forget anything, let me know.
This supplants an older version I posted on LJ back in 2005.( Collapse )
|Monday, November 21st, 2016|
|Monday, November 14th, 2016|
|So that was not the week I hoped for
I can't pretend I predicted it, except for being prepared for it. About 2 weeks before the election, when 538.com said that we were now in Brexit territory (i.e., where polls showed the event had a reasonable probability and therefore it would take only a standard polling error to happen), I began to plan for it. At the time, it quite annoyed me that what I like to call "Mentat Brain" insisted on running through plans and probabilities. But the result was I was not in quite as much shock when the event occurred and haqve a set of contingency plans ready.
For myself, in addition to the dangers we all share, in addition to the dangers my co-religionists share, am looking at the very real possibility of seeing the last 15 years of my work destroyed. It is not pleasant. But I have now seen two changes in administration in my career and can say with confidence that nothing ever goes as planned for anyone.
And there is one gratifying thing. I have trained many students over the 15 years in the public interest. Over the last week I have heard from a number of them. Some required some reassurance. Others were volunteering to tell me that they were rolling up their sleeves and getting ready for the fight. One even wanted to check a particular strategic move, to which I replied: "Yes! That's how I want you to keep thinking. Look for the new angle. Try it. See what happens. Gather new information and plan."
For the most part, however, folks are panicing. Fear is all well and good, but as with every other emotion, it should serve you -- not you serve it. Fear that inspires well considered action and prudence serves you. Panic that paralyzes or inspires foolish action is ultimately self destructive.
That said, I am pleased to see these spontaneous protests -- which with the exception of a few opportunists using protests as a cover for violent behavior have been peaceful. Not only does this show an energized populace, but an energized opposition. There is not, and should be, no "honeymoon." But this is the moment to organize and own the #draintheswamp. That means pushing Trump and the Republicans in the legislature in directions they don't want to go. This can be done. Not always. Not on everything. Not even on everything important. Folks who remember the anti-War protests in '02 and '03 will remember that even huge and well organized protests can fail in the face of determined effort.
OTOH, they never did drill in ANWR. And in my own field, they never did manage to repeal the media ownership rules.
Republicans are deeply divided,. Already they are waffling on how to repeal Obamacare. Other evils, such as the deportation strike force, look more likely and will require more resistance. But we should never give up hope until we are defeated -- and even then we should be prepaed to resist.
I am seeing many people thinking like Denathor. Surround themselves in a high tower, but if we lose than all is lost and we should burn ourselves like the heathen kings before us. To which I will respond, as Gandalf did: "The return of the king? Well, it is your job as steward to preserve something for that eventuality -- however unlikely it may seem,"
Meanwhile, my thanks to OVFF for making me listener guest for next year. I'm looking forward to coming out there again.
|Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016|
|I Go On C-Span To Discuss AT&T/TW Deal
I did a half hour interview for C-Span's "The Communicators" about the AT&T/TW deal. Taking the generally pro-side was Scott Wallsten, President of free market leaning think tank Technology Policy Institute. Moderating was indiustry reporter Lydia Beyoud.
MATURE CONTENT WARNING. This is a half hour segment in which two experts who actually get along and respect each other will engage in a discussion moderated by a skilled industry reporter familiar with the details of the industry and asking intelligent questions to stimulate the discussion. There are no childish insults. No shouting. There is actual, substantive discussion of the relevant issues. Regular viewers of cable news programming may be unprepared for such mature discussion.
|Tuesday, November 1st, 2016|
|Thursday, October 27th, 2016|
|FCC To Vote on Broadband Privacy Order -- Achievement Unlocked.
Today, the FCC will vote on rules to apply Section 222 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 222, to broadband access service. From what I am able to determine, the rules represent a significant and material improvement in privacy standards for online services.
No, this does not apply to Google or FB or iOS or any edge provider or operating system. This is the FCC. It's jurisdiction is over communications services. But the rule adopted today are -- potentially at least -- the begining of the ratchet upward for online privacy overall. It takes the baseline from the FTC 2012 Policy Report and expands it. If the FTC or Congress builds on this, and that is the obvious next step, it becomes a blueprint for Do Not Track.
This, of course, is why Google and the tech indsutry have worked with the broadband industry to water it down. And they partially succeeded in watering it down from the initial much stronger Notice of Proposed Ruleamking issued in March. But that is to be expected. As I tell everyone about public policy exercises like this: I start with my ideal win clearly defined and my absolute red lines clearly understood. I fight for the difference between the two, trying to get as close to the ideal as possible. This is probably about halfway between the two, which is pretty good when you are taking on the entire industry.
Mind you, life does not end with the vote. We will need to see the actual language. There will be the inevitable fights over enforcement. Still, assuming all goes as expected, we will have accomplished the first significant upgrade to online privacy since the FTC first started enforcing online privacy as part of its overall consumer protection authority, and provided a basis for a further upward ratchet in privacy. It is enough for today.
Yes, your "Never-never country." Yes, your "edge of cultivation."
And "no sense in gong further" -- til I crossed the range to see.
God forgive me no I
didn't. It's His present to our nation.
Anybody could have found it -- but His whisper came to me!
And I listened, dammit.
|Wednesday, October 26th, 2016|
|Thursday, October 20th, 2016|
|Thursday, October 13th, 2016|
|How Likely is a "Democratic Wave Election in 2016."
It is generally agreed that for Dems to take back the House, as well as the Senate, they need a "wave election." Generally, a wave election is one where the electorate decides to sweep out a party and replace it with another party at a much higher than usual rate. Since elections are traditionally considered pretty stable, "waves" that eliminate large numbers of incumbents (and Dems would need to capture 30 seats to win a House majority, a very high number) are considered very rare. How likely is a "wave" election for Democrats? I muse on this below. But despite popular wisdom, waves have become much more the norm in recent years, and there is good reason to think 2016 could be another.( Collapse )