April 29, 2012

"Yet the walls still have to be guarded by independent bloggers who bear a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom..."

"... and while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, you want us on that wall, you need us on that wall," blogs Professor Jacobson dramatically, but I think he really means it.

He's talking about Don Surber's quitting blogging after 7 years: "I am exhausted. It was simply too much work."

Via Instapundit, who says: "I’m still around. But I suppose it’ll get me too, someday. But today is not that day!"

For me, the secret has always been the intrinsic reward. Read "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience."

Jacobson talks of "feeling that your blog is all that stands between the Great Mainstream Media-Nutroots Conspiracy and the abyss can create imagined pressure." That's extrinsic. I'm all about intrinsic. I'm not trying to write anything other than as part of a process of being interested in things. It's just the opposite of entropy.

But Surber writes a lot of columns. I suspect he's simply discovered that he'll write better if he concentrates his writing on columns, which require a different rhythm.

80 comments:

Wally Kalbacken said...

Don Surber's giving up?

I didn't even know he was sick!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I tried to start a blog once. I lasted about a week.

fleetusa said...

I hope he continues writing columns. He was always very factual and excellent.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Would the good man who gave his life have not indeed been better off, in terms not of anything we, Professor Althouse, I presume, can conceive of, murdering the Nazi? Killing with intent.

Professor, would you kill a Nazi to save a thousand lives that were not Nazi, to our knowledge presumably?

Since we don't know the answers to what you have brought up, nor to what have I, can we not all agree more free speech, per, from what my limited thoughtings don't understand, is the impetus for America, is good?

madAsHell said...

I tried to start a blog once

Yeah....I don't know how our hostess does it. I have to believe it's as intensive as raising children, but with fewer rewards.

I read the comments. I see sibling rivalries, and hurt feelings. Add to that blogger tools, and word verification issues.

Still I believe that she reads over 90% of the comments!

Jaske said...

I've always found this blog worth reading because it never has a focus, although certain themes may dominate for short bursts, or reappear like mens shorts in summer.

edutcher said...

Trolls notwithstanding, I think one way Ann keeps going is reflected in the way one blog categorizes her on their blogroll - Eclectic.

She really does write about a wide range of things and doesn't focus one one (no, it really isn't a Conservative blog - even though she may be moving to the Right side) and doesn't obsess about much (one reason I think Prof Jacobson will burn out) and she does try to make it fun (do we detect a theme today?).

And she seems to really enjoy interacting with the commentariat, albeit maintaining a discrete distance in the interests of her privacy.

She also doesn't let the trolls get to her. How many times has she dropped the f-bomb on someone like shiloh? Or ripped them a new one?

Metaphorically speaking.

AllieOop said...

Yeah, I'm surprised she didn't rip you a new one Edutcher, after you said she is becoming a conservative because she has a "man on the inside" a couple days ago.

That was amazingly sexist. She's probably willing to ignore your faux pas because you are such a good ass kisser.

Freeman Hunt said...

She's probably willing to ignore your faux pas because...

One of the reasons I like Althouse is the lack of easy outrage.

Carol said...

I felt that way about my dinky blog, qua local stuff, until the paper finally started allowing comments. Those people are awesome! Commenters in general give me more faith in the human race.

AllieOop said...

Freeman Hunt,
But it is awesome to behold when it does happen.


Unless it's directed at me.

yashu said...

Allie, I think you missed edutcher's joke/ pun: "man on the inside" = spy operating "inside" an enemy/ foreign organization.

I didn't find edutcher's remark offensive because I found the double meaning (which was the point of the joke!) funny.

edutcher said...

AllieOop said...

Yeah, I'm surprised she didn't rip you a new one Edutcher, after you said she is becoming a conservative because she has a "man on the inside" a couple days ago.

That was amazingly sexist.


Unlike Oop and the rest of the trolls, Ann has a sense of humor. She can take a joke and give one back.

But, yeah, I don't doubt Oop would have gone all Gloria Steinbrenner over something like that.

This is why Oop has to come here to be heard; people don't come to her.

She's probably willing to ignore your faux pas because you are such a good ass kisser.

No, she's just friendly.

edutcher said...

PS Thanks, yashu.

bagoh20 said...

I certainly appreciate the hard work of so many. I have my passions about political issues, and although I could probably find a way to make the time for it, I don't have the skills, talent, discipline or self-control to do it as well as those who I depend on now.

"Althouse" is an exceptional accomplishment and work in progress. It comes to mind every time I visit here just how much work it takes even for someone with formidable intelligence and skill like Ann.

I feel a great indebtedness and even affection for those who offer a different view than the MSM, and who do it so well. I can't imagine this nation surviving without that. We need it more than ever, and it may have come just in time.

I watched it all happen from the beginning, and fell in love with the whole thing right from the start.

It's very special, and I think people will look back at this period fondly. It is liberty in action - young and vibrant, with vast participation among just about every group we have invented to divide us. It's the closest we have come to having a world forum of ideas, a meeting place for all the tribes, mostly free of violence or intimidation, and leaps ahead of what proceeded it. It's truly miraculous in it's breadth and detail. No matter what you are seeking, it's there somewhere and with community. Nobody is completely alone any longer...as long as you have internet access.

It's a good time to be alive.

bagoh20 said...

Allie,
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, unless Bill Clinton is wielding it.

AllieOop said...

No Yashu, I understood he meant it as a joke and actually it was somewhat funny,I think you may have missed the double or even triple entendre in his joke, but doesn't change the fact that it was sexist, nor does it change the fact that edutcher is an ass kisser.

And edutcher, I am not a feminist, Ive said that before on this blog, Ann is probably much more of a feminist than I.

I don't know what Ann thought about that comment of edutcher's, maybe I'm overreacting to it, but I doubt it.

rhhardin said...

That's extrinsic. I'm all about intrinsic. I'm not trying to write anything other than as part of a process of being interested in things. It's just the opposite of entropy.


That would be temperature.

gadfly said...

Intrinsic, extrinsic ... I am not sure about how well the words fit. Breitbart had a cause, and to a lessor degree Jacobson is motivated by causes. Althouse will have to speak for herself, but she is motivated by the things she observes or reads, but she seemingly places herself above the fray and looks down analytically.

Jacobson wants to change the world by righting the wrongs while Althouse accepts what is and doesn't want to be responsible for consequences and any change which might follow ugly conflict. Do we remember the the Google Blogger fiasco? You betcha!

I like both blogs because they are well written and insightful. My thanks to both of you for making each day a little more enjoyable.

yashu said...

Allie, of course I got the triple entendre; I just thought it was clever (and bawdy) rather than sexist.

But I guess "sexist" (like "funny") is in the eyes of the beholder.

traditionalguy said...

IMO the Professor understands the value of hospitality. We can all raise one another's game. Some of us are at least good for being bad examples. We can all play.

New commenters do get called Moby sometimes but they are just being themselves and adding new points of view. New points of view are interesting. Old orthodoxy gets boring and defending it gets twice as boring.

Did you notice our Atlanta Falcons drafted two Wisconsin Badgers:your center and your fullback. Althouse Blog is spreading the word about Wisconsin-Madison around here.

Michael K said...

I have studied Csikszentmihalyi 's writing. Do you know the activity that produced the most "Flow" for his subjects ? Driving.

It is a sense of mastery over an activity requiring skill. Glad to see you quoting it. His work is important in figuring out how to make medical care better, not that Obama cares.

Mark O said...

I can't even log on to my Blogger account

Fen said...

she seemingly places herself above the fray and looks down analytically.

I would say *outside* the fray, not above it. I've never detected any arrogance from her.

Mr. D said...

I blog because I enjoy it. I don't get many hits but it doesn't matter, because the readers I have are people who appreciate my blog for what it is. The day it becomes a duty is the day I stop. Life has enough duties.

David said...

it hasn't taken bloggers long to get an exaggerated sense of their collective importance. The fact is, blogs are very narrowly read. Their impact is modest in comparison to television, radio, print and internet news, all of which are mutually reinforcing, since they largely say the same things about the same topics. That very fact makes them highly influential, simply because of the collect weight and reach of the information they broadcast.

Then there's "popular culture," particularly films and tv. They also have a huge impact on mass attitudes. And social media, which largely rebroadcast popular culture notions and msm news.

Good blogs are difficult to do and provide a alternative source of information and analysis that can be an interesting counterweight to all of the above convention sources. But only if you seek out blogs. Most people do not. I see very little evidence that blogs are having a wide, deep and important impact. Blogging is still mostly potential.

edutcher said...

AllieOop said...

No Yashu, I understood he meant it as a joke and actually it was somewhat funny,I think you may have missed the double or even triple entendre in his joke, but doesn't change the fact that it was sexist, nor does it change the fact that edutcher is an ass kisser.

No, I've just emailed Ann a couple of times, asking a couple of questions about things where she has some knowledge, and we're friendly, that's all. If you're nice to me, I'm nice back.

Although Oop sounds more jealous than anything else.

I don't know what Ann thought about that comment of edutcher's, maybe I'm overreacting to it, but I doubt it.

If Ann didn't like it, she would have let me know. We've had our disagreements online before.

AllieOop said...

Good grief Edutcher, you do have an overblown sense of your importance. You have nothing I need be jealous of, and Edutcher, you are merciless against newcomers here, especially if you think they are liberals.

Ann wonders why she doesn't have more liberal commenters, I would tell her it's because of commenters like you. Many liberal commenters don't stick around here like myself and a few others because they probably say screw it, it's not worth it after dealing with someone like you.

You owe me a huge apology and you know what for, take a look at my avatar, jackass.

Chip Ahoy said...

If Csikszentmihalyi thinks driving produces the most flow I am imagining he did not study skiing, or more specifically driving immediately following skiing. This would be a Sunday afternoon during the season to avoid I-70 back to Denver at all costs, beautiful as it is. The drivers that pack the highway during the season have mostly all just got off the slopes and they have that swoosh swoosh swoosh swoosh mentality. No signals, just one long continuous series of S curves down the highway just like skiing except without the lift lines. So the same thing as driving, but flow-ier than driving. They're quite good drivers, actually, but such seriously aggressive pains in the ass.

Rick Lee said...

Don writes for my local paper. I don't read the paper anymore but I read (past tense) Don's blog every day. I'm really bummed. I'll have to start reading the columns but it's not the same.

EDH said...

I'm just trying to envision Althouse delivering a speech like this.

Althouse: "You can't handle the truth!"

Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by law profs with blogs. Who's gonna do it? You, edutcher? You, Oop?

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Surber and you curse the blogosphere. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Suber's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

We use words like "edgy", "robotic spam", "Amazon search box"...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline.

I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a commenter who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the eclecticism I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you start a blog and write a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

bagoh20 said...

It does work... in a beta kinda way.

wyo sis said...

bagoh20
Once again you have said what I believe and said it much better than I could.
David, you could be right about blogs, but I think you may be underestimating the impact.

wyo sis said...

bogoh20
Your recent short comment went up while I was writing. I'm talking about your 6:49 comment. It's a good one.

AllieOop said...

EDH, that was masterful!

edutcher said...

Oop's just mad because I pulled no punches in my view of the Left. According to Uncle Saul, we Conservatives are supposed to be good little ladies and gentlemen and play by the rules.. after all.

And he/she/it is letting the mask slip.

Such invective!

EDH said...

I'm just trying to envision Althouse delivering a speech like this.

Althouse: "You can't handle the truth!"

Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by law profs with blogs. Who's gonna do it? You, edutcher?


Et tu, EDH?

Patrick said...

I happened to turn on the TV last Sunday during the day, and that scene of that movie was on. Nicholson really does a good job. I like Kevin Bacon too.

Patrick said...

I also like regular Bacon.

AllieOop said...

Edutcher said;

Et tu, EDH?

4/29/12 8:29 PM

Talk about overinflated self importance, now he thinks he's Caesar and EDH is Brutus. Hehe.

Paco Wové said...

MitochondriAllieOop, you are, like, the thinnest-skinned commenter I have ever seen. Even thinner-skinned than Ritmo, and he's really thin-skinned. I mean, he goes all DEFCON 5 with childish insults at the slightest taunting, but you get all pissy for no reason whatsoever.

Just thought you should know.

AllieOop said...

Paco Wove, you are edutcher's stand in for role of ass kisser when he can't be here 24/7.

I actually have a damn good reason for being pissy with Edutcher, he knows why, I don't give a damn if you know why.

edutcher said...

AllieOop said...

Et tu, EDH?

Talk about overinflated self importance, now he thinks he's Caesar and EDH is Brutus. Hehe.


It was humor, dear.

As Saavik said to Kirk, "A difficult concept".

Paco Wové said...

Yeah, sure, Allie, I've done so much ass-kissing around here.

Get back to us when you're less boring. Didn't Althouse tell you to work on that?

AllieOop said...

Edutcher, I'm waiting for my apology, if you were half the man you think you are, it would be forthcoming. Take a look at my avatar. My next avatar will be my graduation picture from nursing school. Actually you owe me two apologies.

Until I get them I won't cut you any more slack than you cut me when I was new here.

You can call me "dear" in your apology , I won't mind.

Phil 3:14 said...

This is why Oop has to come here to be heard; people don't come to her.

/rim shot

AllieOop said...

Yes Paco, your lips are in a permanent pucker.

Carry on with the thread, my apologies to the other commenters here .

David said...

I may be underestimating the impact of blogs. The early and dramatic example of blog impact was Rathergate. In that case a few inquisitive and diligent blogs made the difference on an important issue.

But take the John Edwards example. Mickey Kaus was on the sex scandal from early on. He turned out to be right. But despite his continual questioning, the issue surfaced in the broad public only after National Inquirer did a sensational gotcha. Without that, he might still be getting away with it. It shows how MSM can influence public discussion by saying nothing, even though a well regarded blogger is on the story.

I think the long term influence of blogs may be most in the areas of specialized, detailed analysis, which the MSM not only won't do but largely can't. There's lots of expertise out there.

But people still have to read them. Becker-Posner, for example, is a terrific blog about economic issues. But who reads them? MSM writers should, but they are mostly too incompetent and lazy to profit from it.

There is a vacuum though. Something else will fill it if blogs do not. I expect paid journalism to find a way to fill the void, perhaps using aspects of the blog format to do so.

traditionalguy said...

Allie...You are doing well when you are compared to Ritmo. He is the most witty and intelligent commenter I know at Althouse.

Ritmo laughs in their faces at their accusations, which is a rude thing to do, but many of his thoughts are over their heads, as many of yours are.

What we seem to have here is a failure to fit their profiles. The mistake they are making about Ritmo, and you and even me is profiling any in depth intelligent comments as the work of Liberals betraying them.

Really, Edutcher is a nice guy once you get to know him.

Alex said...

Allie sounds bitter.

Alex said...

tradguy... Allie...You are doing well when you are compared to Ritmo. He is the most witty and intelligent commenter I know at Althouse.

A true WTF moment.

AllieOop said...

Traditionalguy, yes I agree about Ritmo and it's flattering to be compared to him. I enjoy reading all his comments and have for quite sometime.

You aren't so bad yourself Tradguy.

bgates said...

That was amazingly sexist.

What a grotesquely heteronormative thing to say.

As if a man couldn't have a man on the inside.

I think you owe Althouse's kid an apology, Oop.

AJ Lynch said...

Blogs like Surber's have been regularly de-pantsing our betters in govt. He will be sorely missed. Without blogs like Surber's, we'd be in even deeper shit than we are.

Michael K said...

"If Csikszentmihalyi thinks driving produces the most flow I am imagining he did not study skiing, or more specifically driving immediately following skiing."

I'm sure it is a matter of numbers. There is nothing I can think of that is better than doing difficult surgery well. A guy I trained with did the most incredibly difficult pediatric heart surgery. He was a huge guy with enormous hands. To see him do a total anomalous pulmonary venous return on a 5 pound premie was like watching Monet paint. Another friend, a pediatric surgeon who did very tough cases (he did he first repairs of exstrophy of the bladder) once said, "Poor guy, he doesn't know what an easy case is !"

He loved every minute. Pure Flow.

EDH said...

Do not look for meaning beyond a cheap laugh in most of my comments.

chickenlittle said...

@Allie:

Tradguy was wrong on Zimmerman.
And Ritmo was unaccountably rude to Roger J.

How do you square that?

AllieOop said...

I don't think Tradguy is wrong on Zimmerman, he's completely right, sorry Chickie. As far as RogerJ goes, yes Ritmo went too far, I only suspect he may have felt bad abou that, but I can't speak for him.

I think we are pretty far afield of Ann's topic here, maybe best to let it rest.

chickenlittle said...

he's completely right, sorry Chickie.

LOL. Nobody is completely right. Ever.

This is why I still don't trust you. Sorry.

AllieOop said...

Whatever, Chickie I don't know why I should care if you trust me or not. If I feel Tradguy is completely right, I'm going to say so, if I felt he was only partially right I would say so.

crosspatch said...

I think blogging is the ultimate manifestation of a free and independent press. The only thing you need to own is a computer and an internet connection. No "credentials" required to express an opinion.

I am sure the king of England would have loved to have only "credentialed journalists" putting out the news in the late 18th century in the American colonies.

traditionalguy said...

But ChickenLittle.... at least I did not vote for Obama.

Not that Obama needed 1 more vote to win Wisconsin, anymore than McCain needed 1 more vote not to lose Georgia.

As for L'affaire Zimmerman, the jury is still out on that one. What I argued for was his arrest and a trial unless the autopsy report and an eye witness turned up to corroborate Zimmerman's tale and clear him as such cases usually are handled. Now his case is back to following that route.

Ritmo can defend himself.

But Trayvon's family was in need of an advocate until some one in authority in Florida woke up and thought again about applying its new No-Fault Murder statute.

Quayle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

I think Surber is reacting to the end of journalism as a paid profession.

I think he's trying to feed a family, so to speak, and needed to reexamine his time-card to find the right mix of work to maximize his income and minimize his time working.

And he is not wrong. Journalism as was, is dead, dead, dead.

Any former news organization that is having their people blog is merely trying to stave of the inevitable demise of their organization.

To understand why, you have to look at the state of affairs:

Time was when a news organization had three valuable classes of assets:

(1) fact gatherers on the ground at the event,

(2) writing and analysis capability (the analysis being educated thinkers, historians, interpreters, editorialists, etc.), and

(3) the dissemination and transmission network that ran from the event or information source to the consumer. Those networks were expensive to maintain and were thus fairly rare.

(In the case of TV news, the frequency licenses created scarcity and thus the monopolies.)

But where are we now:

Taking the last first, and going backwards

1. The news transmission networks (actually, network - there is only one now - the internet) is ubiquitous and therefore worthless. What is the AP without the AP wire from Egypt to New York?

Further, our current ubiquitous network includes the endpoints of the network: video and still cameras, keyboards, and screens. They're everywhere and therefore worthless.

2. No newsroom can now ever assemble and maintain a cadre of experts that can match the subject matter experts with real jobs out in the world that are already attached to the new network. Therefore, the newsroom expertise is inferior and worthless.

(They keep trying to bolster their analysis, but people with real jobs can't hang around, so they just pull on old reporters, and all they know how to talk about is process, so now analysis has become almost exclusively about process.)

3. There are two issues that cause the the fact gatherers to be worthless:

a. In a world where the valuable asset is the broadcast and dissemination network, the information owner must bargain with the network owner to get some information out.

That has now changed. Now the information is the valuable asset - the fact itself - and this has changed the balance of power.

The fact gatherer has no bargaining power, and is now totally dependent on, not independent of, the information source or owner.

The owner of some important source of information has all the power, and can now bargain using a grant or denial of access to future information.

(This is exactly what this White House does. It threatens a denial of access to anyone that crosses it.)

b. for catastrophic natural or emergency events, the citizens with their video phones are now the first and cheaper reporters.

So:

IMHO, Ann fits into this model, and draws a crowd, by providing better analysis and editorializing than the newsrooms, and certainly more intellectual honesty.

But note that she doesn't do this as a paying job - she already has another paying job.

So I think she does it because it sharpens her teaching, because she gets an ego boost knowing that Taranto and Rush read her stuff, and because she has a lively intellectual life.

And her crowd of commenters are like a take of piranhas, making sure sure that any topic that is cut open by Ann is picked clean to the bone, with a few bottom feeders mixed in.

I come for the intellectual honesty and for the laughs.

And I fully realize that my give-back is pretty much a mess most of the time.

But, what do we live for but to be laughed at by our neighbors and to laugh at them in our turn?

bagoh20 said...

"And I fully realize that my give-back is pretty much a mess most of the time."

Well, Quayle that certainly was not. I think it was insightful and right on the mark.

wyo sis said...

Quayle
Maybe I missed these points, but I would add that hiding information is much harder, and the endpoints are not worthless when they have information available nowhere else.

crosspatch said...

Re: Quayle

Great post. One thing I would pay for is a good paper that offered solid information without political spin either right or left AND have an editorial/analysis section with the "spin" from both the left and the right.

For example, a section with world news broken down into Europe/Middle East/Africa, Americas, Asia / Pacific sections. Tell me what happened in this section, not what it "means". Tell me that it has been reported that F-22 Raptors have been reported to be based in the Middle East 200 miles from Iran but don't give me a bunch of analysis in that article about what that might mean. Do tell me about the capabilities of those aircraft and why this deployment might be unusual.

Now in the analysis section, present me with a couple of different views of what that might mean.

Americans can not "see" over the horizon and rely on news agencies to reflect back to us what is happening outside of our sphere of vision. The problem is that too many news organizations get into telling us what it "means" and it comes of looking (often rightly so) as just simply the political angle in which they want the information seen. At that point one might begin to wonder how much of what they just read is fact and how much is conjecture/interpretation/whatever.

The news is the average voter's intelligence source. Act like it. Present the raw data and a few different ways of looking at it but keep a clear line between the data and the analysis. I want to see the data/information and I want to see a debate over the meaning of it.

There are five papers in my region. All five carry exactly the same A section content. Sometimes the stories are word for word identical as they came right off the same wire. I read all that wire copy on the Internet before the paper was published. Why should I pay for the paper?

A paper that did the above would be valuable to me and I would pay my hard-earned for it. That is kind of what WSJ does with financial stuff. You present the facts of what happened that day, then you produce articles by various people on what their take is on those happenings. Ultimately the reader makes up their own mind but they aren't being led by the nose to a conclusion as some papers try to do.

I can tell you exactly what I will read in the NYT tomorrow. For the most part, it is whatever the communications department in the White House wants me to read. If I Republican were in the White House, I would read whatever the communications department of the DNC wants me to read. Perhaps they will toss in a token opposition viewpoint and the more extreme that view the better because it paints the opposition as extreme.

A paper that treats its readers like grownups, respects them, and doesn't alienate half of its potential readership with patronizingly obvious political spin would get people signing up left and right.

A paper that both Democrats and Republicans find useful is rare but it can be done. Report the facts without spin, and analysis from both perspectives. The NYT and the Washington Post seem to go out of their way to alienate half of the people out there who might otherwise buy their product.

The product they are selling is the aggregation, presentation, and analysis of information. Act more like an intelligence operation for the average American and a little less condescending/patronizing and I think there's a winner in there somewhere.

crosspatch said...

Example, I don't think many Americans (as a percentage of the total) know there is a naval confrontation brewing between the Philippines and China right now.

Only a portion of those who know about that confrontation can put it in the context of a huge discovery of gas and oil that is right under the contested area.

Fewer still overlay the history of the relationship between the Philippines and the United States on that other information. And even fewer still realize how the US acts in this situation might have much broader implications in the entire Pacific region to include Taiwan and elsewhere.

One has to read several different news sources to dig out that picture. Why? Why isn't there one really good source of DAILY news that might take a story like that current confrontation, tell me what is currently happening, then in the analysis section flesh out the background and teach me why this is important and then give a couple of different viewpoints on the whole thing?

American news is crap BUT we do have at our fingertips a broad array of sources so we can stay informed IF WE WORK AT IT. I would pay someone to do that work for me.

mischy said...

Pink Limousines


HI Ann. Don Surber is an excellent blogger. It's so sad that he decided to quit. Good thing we have you here.

yashu said...

crosspatch, great comments. Agree 100%.

Bruce Hayden said...

What was humorous/interesting to me is that I had just watched the scene where Nicholson gave that speech in A Few Good Men, just minutes before. Seen it enough times, that I pretty much skip over most of the movie, and jump to the end, the famous confrontation between Nicholson and Cruise. And, right after this, Cruise asks him if he called the Code Red, and he admits to it, and is surprised when he is arrested.

Bruce Hayden said...

it hasn't taken bloggers long to get an exaggerated sense of their collective importance. The fact is, blogs are very narrowly read. Their impact is modest in comparison to television, radio, print and internet news, all of which are mutually reinforcing, since they largely say the same things about the same topics. That very fact makes them highly influential, simply because of the collect weight and reach of the information they broadcast.

I think that you make a critical mistake here, and that is that at least on the right, a lot of the news bubbles up through the blogs to the news people. Limbaugh, Hannity, etc. have people watching blogs and news aggregators like Drudge. Our favorite hostess, Ann, has seemed to benefit from that on occasion, getting national mention. So, one low level blog doesn't make much difference, but an Army of Davids does.

But, I think that this confusion may be understandable. As someone pointed out above, the NYT, and the top liberal blogs, all follow the White House line when a Dem sits there, and the DNC when they don't. A very top-down news operation. Those on the left are told what to believe, and then believe it, because, without reading, watching, or listening to outlets on the right, they have no real options. Or, not much.

So, on the left, news and information does not bubble up. It is mostly top-down. And, blogging seems to be more emotional - a way of venting. Instead of following what the lower level bloggers are saying and thinking, the top level news organizations there, what we call the MSM, are determining what the lower levels will think.

You can see this dynamic elsewhere - the left is incapable of understanding grass-roots, organic movements, like the Tea Party. And, invent a term to describe what they, themselves do, "astro-turf", and invent shadowy villains to run the movement, like the Koch brothers. Just because they can't envision bottom up movements - as evidenced by all the imported union muscle seen last year in Wisconsin. And, when it is somewhat organic (OWS), it is clear that there was no online organization, except of the flash mob type.

Ipso Fatso said...

I'll miss Don Surber, he was a regular stop for me. I hope at some point soon he changes his mind. We shall see.

Bruce Hayden said...

As for L'affaire Zimmerman, the jury is still out on that one. What I argued for was his arrest and a trial unless the autopsy report and an eye witness turned up to corroborate Zimmerman's tale and clear him as such cases usually are handled. Now his case is back to following that route.
...
But Trayvon's family was in need of an advocate until some one in authority in Florida woke up and thought again about applying its new No-Fault Murder statute.


See, this is the way it works on the left. A leftist/Dem power group makes their play (in this case, the "Black Leadership"), and everyone gets their scripts and marching orders.

No apparent understanding of the law in Florida, and little of the evidence. The self-defense immunity section of the law that was introduced along with SYG in 2005 is translated into "its new No-Fault Murder statute", when, if it truly were self-defense, it could not have been "murder". Criminal Law 101. And, the purpose of that portion of the law was just to counter what you are asking for - instead of automatically throwing someone in jail for several months when they kill in self-defense, the state is required to show probable cause why it wasn't self-defense. The people of Florida have spoken, and they did so because they were tired of prosecutors locking people up in cases of fairly obvious self-defense, and waiting for a not-guilty verdict before releasing them. And, while Zimmerman is out on bail right now, the clock is running on his "Dennis" (immunity) hearing, where the prosecutor is going to have to show a lot more than she has so far to keep him from being granted (self-defense) immunity for the killing of Martin. Of course, the Martins don't want this, because that immunity would also apply to their civil suits against him. Which is one of the big reasons that they have an attorney who keeps the pot boiling.

But, you wouldn't have many of the real subtleties if you get your information from the left leaning blogs or MSM outlets. As appears to be the case with Trad Guy.

edutcher said...

On the subject of Surber, I hit his blog at least once every day and, yes, he'll be missed.

crosspatch said...

Only a portion of those who know about that confrontation can put it in the context of a huge discovery of gas and oil that is right under the contested area.

I remember when the Vietnam War was heating up, one of the reasons given why we had to win was those energy reserves and keeping them out of the hands of the Commies.

Funny how things work out.

Paco Wové said...

Crosspatch:

Fyi, The Economist had a pretty good rundown of the South China Sea situation in the most recent issue, also pointing out how the U.S.'s mutual defense pact with the Philippines could get us pulled in as well (not that we wouldn't get pulled in anyway...)

Fen said...

AllieTheFakeNurse: Take a look at my avatar

Ah yes, still stealing someone else's valor to prop up your cred, eh Ritmo.. er I mean Allie.

AllieOop said...

Regarding FentheWifeAbuser's comment @7:41 AM.

Ah that takes the cake, LOL, eh Ritmo?

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