Alt. Blog Post: Where I Have Read In Depth Every Word We Were Supposed To Read

I’d like to start by laughing about the para-textual information given to us with the book that has been selected. On top of the current events about “alternative facts” we also have what looks to be a park ranger on the cover.

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Either Manjoo knew what 2017 held in 2008, or it’s just a super hilarious coincidence, in either case, I am pleased to think about the different ways this book is probably really relevant. But if anyone else wants to think about how the National Parks are at the head of the resistance, here’s something to check out.

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The Intro:

Let’s talk about how books lie… but I won’t lie to you….

Well I guess we’ll have to take your word for it. But I also agree with Katie about how there is so much information in these three chapters and how it’s a lot. (ALSO SUPER LONG, DEAR GOD).

Journalism and lying….

I’ve had conversations about this and the different ways of conveying information with my coworker, who in turn wrote this blog post about it just last week. It kind of boils down to a conversation of ethics… a conversation I like playing devil’s advocate on.

What’s true and what’s not true?

I have a coworker who points it out consistently right now. He talks about how he can no longer tell the difference between reality and parody. This is unfortunately true right now.

And then there’s the example of fake news, just as Manjoo talks about in his first chapter about not believing one news website so just only getting your news from the other website. Which, of course, then got re-embedded into more fake news… but just as my coworker says, what is real and what is parody:

 

http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/weekend-update-on-russia-blackmailing-donald-trump/3454416

 

Which of course I cannot manage to embed. FIGURES. Because of the two clips, this one is probably more important for the point I’m trying to make. But SNL can’t have all of their skits posted on YouTube… that would be too easy.Regardless, there are A LOT of good examples of the “split of reality” Manjoo is bringing attention too.This theme continues into Manjoo’s second chapter where they discuss the way that people tune in and out of information they don’t want to hear. This is why the last year has been so testy. We’ve listened to what we want and have closed ourselves off to what we don’t want to hear. We’ve ended up in tears at the dinner table having different viewpoints than our parents. Whatever those viewpoints are.

Manjoo talks about cognitive dissonance in regards to a particular presidential election.He continues on talking about politics, because nothing we do can really be considered non-political… right? The farther I got in, the more it boiled down to our own based-in-denial-psychology. Constantly avoiding points of view that aren’t lined up well with ours. “Post-factual” makes sense… especially right now… it’s obviously been going on for longer, but it’s more obvious now.

So what???

Well… as writers we’ve gotta do something with this information. It’s why Michelle had us studying rhetorical listening theory in ENGL 450. It’s why I wrote my last blog post about style and the economics of attention book. Don’t know what to do, but we know we can try and try again and try harder as we keep going.

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3 thoughts on “Alt. Blog Post: Where I Have Read In Depth Every Word We Were Supposed To Read

  1. I think you’re getting at something that is kind of troubling and exhausting and that is that persistence wins out in the wrong cases sometimes. As writers, we do have to just keep trying and keep going in order to eventually get our word out and influence the audience in our direction. But sometimes our persistence is outdone by the persistence of the alternate point of view, the one we may see as not right. The one that is confirming the audience’s views when we’re trying to change them, which is pretty annoying and makes for a tiring task.

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  2. Because of how serious this topic is, I’m so glad you incorporated the comical side of things because it’s so insane how some of this comes to be. One of the examples that comes to mind in terms of “alternative facts” is the shooting in Quebec. The shooter was depicted as a Moroccan Muslim instead of a white nationalist on Fox for 24 hours until the PM asked them to remove the original tweet. Reporting something like that so early into a story is so dangerous because it reinforces stereotypes and expectations. I think you do a great job of getting to why this happens to audience in terms of accepting “alt-facts”

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  3. I do believe that now days, it is hard to differentiate between true and false. We are being feeding so many tastes that our tongue is no longer able to recognize the actual taste, we are saturated. One day you post your photo with bald head on the Facebook and next week you find a post has your same photo and saying this guy has cancer please pray for him. Before your post, you had faith for such posts on Facebook, but now you have loosed it. Next time when you see a bald photo of a guy who really have cancer, you will ignore it, because your faith has masked or diluted.

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