Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What does it mean to be informed and involved

A rude discussion on another blog has spurred me to thinking about "informed and involved". In Washington DC, access to excellent CSPAN radio is easy. I can only get snippets of it at home so I am soaking it in while I travel.
Yesterday CSPAN was the "close of the court" chats with several of the Justices. Those people are amazing. "We do not see ourselves as you do. We are simply the trustees . Ninety- five percent of our work is reading briefs. Five percent is the argument." Primary sources are extremely important to knowing the difference between what people think is going on and what is actually going on.
At home finding primary sources is more difficult. Listening to CNBC has been a surprising place to listen to lectures on the economy. They "step into" their program for Bernacky, Newt and Geitner. The best speaker is Bair of FDIC. She is a whip- and more Conservative than the rest. You can also catch the heads of most major companies at one time or another.
The News Hour(PBS) is pretty good about going through the news and choosing three important areas to delve into. Balancing that with BBC the World helps me see the more global view. In DC you can get news from almost any part of the world.
Reading the New York Times and Wall Street Journal is a way of getting "print news". Cruising them regularly I read some great articles written by Conservatives and liberals alike pleading their cases on the editorial pages. Both papers are some of the few who still have reporters on the ground, so their regular news is pretty decent.
Last are people whom I have known for years, and some immigrants I have just met. We talk about what is happening and our experiences in the past. When we were young these talks were theoretical. Most of them have moved on to being in positions where theory now meets the reality.
I do pick up an occasional book. Most of the ones I read are on Afghanistan and Iraq. Doctors without Borders put out a great one not too long ago.
It takes over a year to publish unless it is simply a long editorial (which politicians and talk show hosts are famous for). They are good for historical perspective, but not current. You have to admit, most of what is happening in the US and world economy is unprecedented. If you are one of the few still comparing it to the Great Depression...oh well, read away. This time will be titled the time of "great greed of many". If you are smart, you simply continue to live life carefully when it comes to finances.
Blogs, they are fun, but often they are talking heads from broadcast news who simply want to be talking heads on a computer screen. I don't like the screaming on either medium. Who are they sponsored by, where do they get their news, I check it all out and rarely bother to read more than my "friends' family news".
Involvement has been my weak link. I get back here and think," I would love to go into public health." There are so many ways of helping. Alas, I am lazy and willing to limit my involvement to reading my emails from my Congressmen, writing them back and working at school. I suppose that working to form the next generation of leaders is involvement.
Today will be spent finding more objects to take pictures of for classes that I will be teaching. Time for more involvement will happen when I am sixty!
How do you get your information to stay informed?

3 comments:

cath said...

thanks for sharing your thoughts

traveling has always helped me to put things in perspective -I think that is one reason I don't like to fill up my traveling time with "doing" and touring - rather - I just like to be in the midst of the "different culture"

primary source - it was worth it - that class...

Grist
NPR
NYT

even though The Daily SHow is so liberal I find that it helps to balance out the non-primary source other news thrown at me during the day

CSPN radio - had no idea - maybe it is just the broadcasting of CSPN tv?

for some reason PBS news does not work for me

cath said...

I am realizing that more and more I need to turn to the internet for primary sources:

http://www.c-span.org/Watch/C-SPAN_wm.aspx

live feeds of CSPN radio and TV are available through the web...

Janette said...

Hummm- internet radio. Love it! CSPAN radio in Kansas- who thought!
Waiting for a critic to bother to say what her primary sources are. I doubt she will bother. She is so busy slamming she no longer debates.