Friday, May 27, 2005

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Censorship returns to South Africa. The Mail & Guardian, which used to run afoul of the apartheid regime, has been hit with a pre-censorship order, preventing the publication of the second part of a story about the ANC’s relations with an oil management company which funneled funds to it from a parastatal oil company. The judge found this story to infringe on the company’s privacy and dignity.

I can’t believe no one thought of it before: paid product placements (from Pepsi, as if more alliteration were needed) in a political ad. Schwarzenegger is a genius, I tell ya, a genius. I think all of us bloggers need to convince Arnie to start his own blog, ‘cause if anyone can figure out how to make blogging profitable...

The Poor Man on media balance:
1) I don’t know how many sides there are to each story. I know that a cube has six sides, and a record has two, but I don’t really know how many sides a story has, and I suspect it depends rather strongly on the particular story. If you decide that there are two sides to every story, remember that the two sides you are looking at are just the two loudest sides, and volume is very poor measure of quality.

2) There is a natural tendency to think that all opinions have some validity, and, by carefully plotting a conservative course somewhere between two representative arguments, you can make a serviceable approximation to something you could call “truth”. This is an admirable impulse, and often a constructive one, except if one (or both) of the positions is horseshit. Then, you’re fucked.

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