441: Chapter 55 – Count of Monte Cristo

Heather

Mother, knitter, spinner, writer, wife, weaver, host...not necessarily in that order...

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6 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    Hey Heather, I found your conversations with your friend interesting but also depressing. If she realized she’s being manipulated she’s ahead of 95% of everyone. After the election I asked a couple of friends if they could make me feel less apprehensive and afraid and tell me why I should feel better. In all cases their answer was that they did not believe what the candidate said during the campaign, that he would be a moderate president. I thought that was a bizarre reason for voting for someone, but did not say so… Where they have lost the benefit of the doubt with me is that they are absolutely mum about everything that is happening. They will not denounce anything currently being done in Washington. I have to ask – WHY? If so many people who are good people will not speak a single word in defense of those being harmed, of what value is their goodness? I also have to add that there are a lot of people I know who share and believe every bit of fake news ever put out by a right wing media outlet, and I will not attempt to discuss it with them although I am sure they want the same thing for their children that I do… there are some who are not amenable to it. I have to assume that anything someone does not speak against, is something they are for. What do you think?

    • Heather says:

      Ugh. I know.
      Your points are well taken… and I tend to agree… though I have to say, if I’d seen nothing but what she showed me over the last ten years (per Melanie’s explanation here) I’d be dubious to veer off of what seemed so obvious to me. (I tend to respond with nothing but Snopes.com links of late.)

      Of everyone out there, it’s the on-the-fencers who seem to be the most interested in (or amused by) seeing (I stress the “see”) how different the non-news/news looks. At some point, I have to believe the trustworthy news will outweigh the nutty.

      I’m going to start teaching “how to recognize trustworthy websites” classes here. When I’ve got a solid ppt, I’ll share.

      I can say of my friends who are de facto Trump supporters (as opposed to active supporters) there seems to be a real struggle to identify what’s different from McConnell’s out-of-the-gate instructions and the Left’s response to Trump.

      I suppose part of the answer is that what McConnell said is very simple to explain—”we just say no.”

      What the Left is doing is much harder to explain—”first understand the Constitution—the things that actually DO make America unique or even great—then whenever anything is promoted or pushed through that goes against that, we fight. Anything the Right proposes that isn’t going to break the country, fine. Don’t fight.” (Witness Chuck Schumer’s resistance to the “Fillibuster Everything” chant from Left protesters.) That takes an awareness of history, an understanding of nuance, and it takes a long time to explain. Plus, if the Constitution is “just” words to someone—it’s a useless explanation to give no matter what.

      It’s like when students used to “quote” the Bible at me in class. I’ve read it. I knew when they were full of beans, but I had a Bible in my classroom as a reference book (b/c The Scarlet Letter) and could hand the book over and say, “find that verse for me, would you?” Telling them they’d misunderstood the Bible wasn’t going to work. It was only when they found the real verse on their own that they’d leave in serious cognitive dissonance—but come back ready to grow.

      I have to keep believing that adults can do that, too. I think it’s just a bigger struggle and goes against so much (cognitive dissonance, confirmation bias, etc etc etc…).

      But then, I’m kinda weird. I like finding out that I was mistaken about something. I like learning and growing. And I know that more than anything else puts me in a really small minority with all of you.

      • Caroline says:

        Oh yes, Snopes is my friend. Of course, there are those who will even say Snopes is ‘biased’ – but then doesn’t the truth still have a liberal bias? Someone shared along a FB post where someone said to them, “We’ve suffered for eight years, it’s your turn.” He responded, “Please, tell me how you’ve suffered.” He did not get back a single example, just a diatribe about how liberals lie. Sometimes even if we just ask someone to tell us about their experience or to share the source of their assertion, they won’t, which I take to mean they have no experience or no source that backs up what they said. At least the more decent among my friends will accept a Snopes link to debunk something they’ve shared, they still have a relationship with facts.

        • Heather says:

          Same experience, exactly.
          The sense I’ve gotten is that the cranks with no support aren’t worth “conversating” with – and the second they expose themselves as someone without proof, anyone watching/listening who is more moderate – who still has a relationship with facts – will be more willing to listen to a stable voice of reason (ahem, you, for example). 😉
          It’s that second group of people I don’t want to alienate. The first group…well…either they’ll die feeling righteous or they’ll have an unpleasant day of reckoning.
          I don’t want to be there for either one.

  2. Melanie says:

    I just listened to the first part of the podcast. Thank you. Where you get your news from is important and it reminded me of something I learned about years ago. Google personalizes your search results and one factor is what you have searched for in the past, even if you are not signed in. So it is possible for two people to look up the same thing and get different results. There are good arguments for personalized search and it makes somethings easier but it is important to remember that not everyone gets the same thing when searching. Other search engines may do this as well but I haven’t researched that.

    Before posting this comment, I went looking for information on this topic to see if this was still the Google practice and if there was anything else I could add. While most of the information I found was from 2009 when Google first started personalizing all search results as far as I can tell this is still the practice at Google.

    Here is what I found:
    An article from December 2009 about the roll out of personalized search and the lack of attention it got then.
    http://searchengineland.com/googles-personalized-results-the-new-normal-31290

    The official Google announcement from December 2009.
    https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/personalized-search-for-everyone.html

    A Wikipedia page about Google Personalize Search
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Personalized_Search

    Links to Google Help pages about:
    Control what activity gets saved to your account: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/6139018?hl=en&ref_topic=3037039
    See and control your search activity: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/54068?hl=en&ref_topic=3037039
    These are more relevant to those who search when logged into their Google account.

    When not logged in I noticed you can turn off search customization under Settings -> History. Settings is near the top of the page, under the search box on the right after a search has been done. (I’m on a PC for those having trouble following these instructions. Settings might be somewhere else if you’re on a different device.)