David Weinberger: Transparency is the new objectivity. Here’s why:
You can see this in newspapers’ early push-back against blogging. We were told that bloggers have agendas, whereas journalists give us objective information. Of course, if you don’t think objectivity is possible, then you think that the claim of objectivity is actually hiding the biases that inevitably are there. That’s what I meant when, during a bloggers press conference at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, I asked Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Walter Mears whom he was supporting for president. He replied (paraphrasing!), “If I tell you, how can you trust what I write?,” to which I replied that if he doesn’t tell us, how can we trust what he blogs?
So, that’s one sense in which transparency is the new objectivity. What we used to believe because we thought the author was objective we now believe because we can see through the author’s writings to the sources and values that brought her to that position. Transparency gives the reader information by which she can undo some of the unintended effects of the ever-present biases. Transparency brings us to reliability the way objectivity used to.
Weinberger has a good point.
MUST BE ON FAMILY SABBATICAL: This weekend, Kafi and I watched three good and great movies together. Vantage Point was good, very good, and gripping. Madea Goes To Jail was hilarious; I can’t get enough of the main character, who takes crazy and peculiar to a whole new level. Then we finally got around to seeing Slumdog Millionaire. Lord have mercy. Words can’t describe. It isn’t just that it’s a great movie and deserved the Best Picture Oscar. Slumdog portrays the grim circumstances of hundreds of millions of children around the globe, not just in India. I kept thinking about Mexico and its two great cities, Tijuana and Mexico City. I thought of the little gangster kids trying to man up in the hood. Plus they used the credits to go Bollywood – a nice touch.
• Go to Drudge for recovery.com federal spending tonterias.
• Minneapolis struggles with rise of Somali gangs.
• India rejects US carbon demands.
• LAX parking lot is home away from home for airline workers.