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review 2017-07-05 00:21
Hurray For Bob Schieffer!
Overload: Finding the Truth in Today's Deluge of News - Bob Schieffer,H. Andrew Schwartz

First, let me state that I have the utmost respect for Bob Schieffer, his work and his life. I feel that the country would be greatly benefited if someone like he were to return to giving the news. With that confession out of the way, and admitting that my opinion of his work may be skewed, let me review his latest book.
Overload is about the state of the media today. Of how we, as consumers of the news, are overwhelmed by the amount of information out there, and coming at us, nonstop every hour of the day. Of how, being overwhelmed and not able to process all the information, we tend to find news sources that agree with how we see the world. "Some folks get one set of facts from one outlet and other folks get another set of facts from another outlet, no wonder they come to different conclusions". How "Americans choose their favorite channel (or website) not to get just the latest information but to get the ammo to back up their previously formed opinion. And it's getting harder to separate opinion from fact".
Schieffer explains his theory on the reason Trump ultimately won, and why Clinton lost. (It has to do with the ability to utilize the media more effectively).
He covers the phenomenom of "fake news", and the problems of combatting it (A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put it's pants on). And the pattern it follows; eye-catching headline, interesting first paragraph, relevant photos (often taken off the internet), a few quotes (often not real people), and a format that looks like a typical news site.
The fall of the traditional media and the rise of the new media. And he gives examples throughout the book.
He covers conspiracy theories, and why people fall for them.
I loved the book. I only wish Schieffer could be given a bigger platform to share his ideas. We need it!

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text 2017-06-24 21:00
Ummm ...

... well, yeah.

 

Something of the sort, I guess.

 

So anyway, I'd decided to set out on my own in business at the beginning of this year and things were moving along nicely and as planned (lots to do, but nothing truly unforeseen), when precisely in the matter that is allowing me to finally do my own thing in the first place, and which has already been eating up the major part of my work time even at ordinary times for the past few years, the tribunal hearing the matter in question decided to do a short-notice-180-degree switch flip on the ground rules for the evidentiary hearing (aka trial) in early June that we'd been preparing for, and then in short order, evidently not satisfied with already having us do double overtime to adapt to the new and completely reversed ground rules, decided to do a backwards 180-degree switch flip at even shorter notice, making everybody and everything run full circle and now making us all do triple overtime.  So, at some point in late January (when the first switch flip occurred) I found myself reduced to curtailing all non-work-related activities ... even reading, believe it or not.  The only thing that kept me sane during the almost six months from then 'till now was a regular diet of audio recordings of some of my favorite comfort reads, chiefly ingested on the way to and from meetings, with Tolkien and Golden Age mysteries making up the stock of said literary diet; as well as the decision to reward myself with a London and Stratford-upon-Avon shopping trip as soon as the June hearing was over. (Separate post on that trip to come.)  Oh, and a certain amount of frustration purchases from my book wishlist ... not that I've touched even one of these shiny newly-ordered books so far, but somehow even receiving, unpacking and adding them to my physical TBR pile made my life feel better, if only for a few brief moments.

 

In addition to all of which, I let myself get talked into adopting one of our local animal shelter's "experienced owners only" special needs cats -- goes to show what happens if, in dire need of cuddly creatures and kitty love, you innocently inquire about a pair of kittens that have, alas, been decided to go to other new parents in the interim.  He's extremely bright, but has evidently grown up as a stray, is totally unused to (and distrustful of) humans -- hair trigger default communication mode: monster hiss and razor-sharp claws ... so much for the "cuddly creatures and kitty love" thing -- and has been diagnosed as FIV positive to boot (though the virus is expected to remain dormant for years to come, and lke most HIV positive humans, he will probably die of a secondary illness eventually). It was quite a while until he was finally ready to come home with me, and for the moment he's taken up residence under my bed, so right now I only have photos of him taken while he was still at the shelter, but anyway, here's my beautiful and special new four-pawed boy:

 

 

 

 

They named him Horst at the shelter, which is empahtically not a name I would have chosen myself ... for him or any other cat, period.  I'm taking my time coming up with a new name, though -- for the time being, he's simply my Miezekater (literally: "pussy tomcat" or "male pussycat" ... I swear, it sounds decidedly less ridiculous in German than it does in English), a pet name that he has started to respond to and seems to like.

 

Incidentally, during my self-enforced absence I finally bit the bullet and created a rudimentary Twitter presence ... haven't tweeted a single time myself, yet, but in default of enough time to indulge in newspapers, the major news organizations' headline feed at least made sure I didn't completely fall off the planet as far as awareness of major goings-on was concerned.  And I figured that while I was there, I might as well follow those of you whose Twitter IDs the software recognized and actually suggested me to follow ... if I've missed anyone, or if you would like to follow back, my Twitter ID is (you'd never have guessed this) @ThemisAthena (https://twitter.com/ThemisAthena).

 

Well, in any event, I'm very happy that this site and this community is still around and here to come back to!  Not necessarily a given, after last year's woes ...

 

Glad to be back, and I hope you're all doing well!!!

 

Merken

Merken

Merken

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review 2017-02-22 00:00
Overload Flux
Overload Flux - Carol Van Natta Overload Flux - Carol Van Natta This is the kinda sci-fi romance I'm looking for! Space battles, fire fights, secret genetic manipulation, futuristic tech I can just barely comprehend, psychic abilities, alien planets, and all that shit with a slow burn romance on top? You fuckin' kidding me?

image
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text 2016-10-13 21:26
Bleepedybleepedybleepedybleep

... or for the non-American TV-challenged: Fuckedyfuckedy ... (you get the picture).

 

http://m.memegen.com/o05mj5.jpg

 

So it didn't just turn out one more week, but 2 1/2 f*ucking solid weeks of me and a select few equally fortunate people being chained to conference room chairs and computers, with straight 15-18 hour work days practically the whole time and no time off even on the weekends, not to mention three almost-alnighters (as in: 2 hours of sleep); never mind that the rest of the country was enjoying a three-day holiday weekend at the beginning of this month (while for yours truly, one of the three almost-alnighters fell squat in the middle of said [nonexistant] three-day holiday weekend).

 

The good news is that Elvis the magnum opus we've been working on like crazy has finally left the station.  The bad news is that there's another one looming in our immediate future, though hopefully not quite as involved as this just-completed one.

 

In the interim, I've doubtlessly missed a ton of BookLikes fun in general and Halloween Bingo fun in particular; not to mention the buddy read I'd particularly been looking forward to (The Hound of the Baskervilles).  Well, I'm going to try and come up with a sort of replacement buddy read post at least and see whether there are some aspects of the conversation that it still makes sense for me to join ... though I have no doubt that it's essentially done and dusted -- the novel just isn't long enough for that! :(

 

In other news, hurricane Matthew seems to have ravaged Haiti and a few other parts of the Caribbean while I was exiled on planet work, the mud-slinging contest that passes for this year's American presidential elections seems to have spun yet another bit more out of control ("post-fact politics" anyone ...? Lord, what a concept!), Germany evaded a Paris / Brussels style terrorist attack by the skin of our teeth, thanks to the courage of three Syrian refugees who recognized the terrorist, tied him up in their apartment and turned him over to the authorities (as a consequence of which brave act they and their families are now afraid for their own lives), and the world has lost yet another couple of major cultural and political icons (Dario Fo, Neville Mariner, and Simon Peres, to name just three).

 

But hey, what am I complaining about ... BookLikes is still here!  So yey for that!!!

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text 2016-05-13 15:34
Overload - Linda Howard

Couldn't finish.. Not my kind of book....

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