Friday, October 23, 2009

Color me extremist?...

Since I opine freely (and for free, I should point out) on a wide range of subjects, this may apply:
People with relatively extreme opinions may be more willing to publicly share their views than those with more moderate views, according to a new study.
The key is that the extremists have to believe that more people share their views than actually do, the research found. [More]

But that is where my self-defense kicks in.  I consider my opinions to be almost entirely a minority viewpoint. Let's face it, I oppose ALL ag subsidies, have doubts about ethanol, can understand the objections some have to veal production and gestation crates, and quote from the NYT.

Name one other farmer that far from the mainstream.

But this delusion can create a feedback loop.
“You have a cycle that feeds on itself: the more you hear these extremists expressing their opinions, the more you are going to believe that those extreme beliefs are normal for your community.”
A similar process may occur in groups such as political parties.  Moderately conservative people who belong to the Republican Party, for example, may believe that people with extremely conservative views represent their party, because those are the opinions they hear most often.  However, that may not be true.
Morrison said when she and her colleagues were thinking about doing this study, they had in mind the phrase about the “silent majority” in the United States, which was popularized by President Richard Nixon and his vice-president, Spiro Agnew.  They referred to the silent majority as the people who supported the war in Vietnam, but who were overshadowed by the “vocal minority” against the war.
While there may not be one monolithic silent majority in the United States, Morrison said this study suggests that the minority may indeed be more vocal in some cases.
I'm pretty sure I'm mistaken about a number of my opinions, so I reserve the right to amend them.  That position itself is extreme in an era of "but-you-said-before" journalism.

The interesting thing is how the Internet and blogs have allowed me to inflict these ideas on youse.

What are you thinking?

In fact, blogging may be becoming legit.
In other words, blogging is now a diverse, popular and successful enterprise that covers a multiplicity of online writers, from extensive Twitterers to self-described Mommybloggers to tightly written, up-to-the-minute, smartly edited online publications like this one--a "professional blog" by Technorati standards. And it's in that last sense that blogging is becoming a farm system for future journalists, who are apparently riding out the economic downturn pretty well (on average, at least). Think about that for a moment, and then remember how many traditional journalism jobs have been lost over the same period.
So here's the radical suggestion: Let's redefine what blogging means. If you're writing self-absorbed or inexpert opinions about the minutiae of daily life, without hyperlinks, fact checks or any pretense at engaging with the news, you're a blogger. You probably fall into the lower categories of pay in the Technorati survey if you in fact make any money at all. But if you're a writer for an online publication, one that takes real-time stories, updates them as events unfold, reference your quoted facts, break stories and produce original writing then shall we just say you're a journalist? An online one, but a journalist all the same.
And when you maneuver your thinking in this direction, you come to a strange new conclusion: Journalists who write for online versions of their (perhaps historic, perhaps not) newspapers are the same as journalists who write for totally different online news portals. Even the Pulitzer committee has said online entities can consider themselves eligible for its prestigious prize, with some limitations. [More]

Yeah - a Pulitzer.

There's a goal.

[Thanks, Linda]

1 comment:

Bob said...

You are not alone! I am also a farmer and I agree with your views on Ag Subsidies and ethanol. We raise hogs and are strongly considering converting to cage free production. We have visited a farm that has converted and the managers comment that their sows are more productive and are more mobile than prior to conversion. I also oppose almost all non-ag government or government sponsored subsidies such as wind and solar electric generation subsidies, tax free municipal bonds, TIF districts and enterprise zones, sales and real estate tax abatements, etc, etc. Subsidies distort our economy and have/cause many inintended consequences. I can't think of a subsidy that I favor, but perhaps one exists!