february, 28, 2002 archives

prop. 45 (last one!) would allow petitions that made it possible for state senators and assembly members to run for an additional term. i'm a little torn on this one. i think term limits are exceedingly lame, and just a sideshow that distracts from the real problems of shady campaign financing and poor election reporting. on the other hand, i'm not really in favor of any law that will increase the number of bozos in front of the grocery store collecting petition signatures (who are virtually always just hired goons). i think what really pushes me over the edge to vote yes on this one is the nearly-apocalytic vote-no rhetoric.

for a change, there are both yes on 45 and a no on 45 sites. the la times says to vote yes. the san diego union-tribune says to vote no.

dr. frank, of the mr. t experience, has a weblog. crazy. i like his thoughts on ken layne's piece at foxnews about the music industry.

the (diminishing?) tension between the roman catholic and russian orthodox churches in russia is fascinating. two-thirds of the country (officially atheist just fifteen years ago) considers themselves orthodox, and the patriarch didn't take kindly to the catholic church establishing dioceses. i wish i knew more about how the orthodox churches fragmented from the roman catholic church (and each other).

here's some interesting thoughts about journalism on the internet:

The Internet is a highly effective instrument for bringing news and information rapidly to people. But the economic competitiveness and round-the-clock nature of Internet journalism also contribute to sensationalism and rumor-mongering, to a merging of news, advertising, and entertainment, and to an apparent decline in serious reporting and commentary. Honest journalism is essential to the common good of nations and the international community. Problems now visible in the practice of journalism on the Internet call for speedy correcting by journalists themselves.

The sheer overwhelming quantity of information on the Internet, much of it unevaluated as to accuracy and relevance, is a problem for many. But we also are concerned lest people make use of the medium's technological capacity for customizing information simply to raise electronic barriers against unfamiliar ideas. That would be an unhealthy development in a pluralistic world where people need to grow in mutual understanding. While Internet users have a duty to be selective and self-disciplined, that should not be carried to the extreme of walling themselves off from others. The medium's implications for psychological development and health likewise need continued study, including the possibility that prolonged immersion in the virtual world of cyberspace may be damaging to some. Although there are many advantages in the capacity technology gives people to “assemble packages of information and services uniquely designed for them,” this also “raises an inescapable question: Will the audience of the future be a multitude of audiences of one?...What would become of solidarity—what would become of love—in a world like that?”

from ethics in internet, published by the pontifical council for social communications.

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