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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Read | No, you’re not entitled to your opinion

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This article discusses a phenomenon that I’ve noticed that also relates to TV news programmes. Namely, that in recent times all opinions are quite often given equal standing regardless of whether they are a matter of taste or scientific opinion. In other words it seems there is now mistakenly a widely held belief that all opinions are valid regardless of whether they can be disproven by factual evidence or not, which is frankly a bit dangerous in my opinion.

An opinion has a degree of subjectivity and uncertainty to it. The article identifies 3 types of opinion:
1. tastes or preferences
2. views about questions that concern most people such as politics
3. views grounded in technical expertise, such as legal or scientific opinions

It goes on to assert, the problem is that sometimes we implicitly seem to take opinions of the second and even the third sort to be unarguable in the way questions of taste are. Perhaps that’s one reason why enthusiastic amateurs think they’re entitled to disagree with climate scientists and immunologists and have their views “respected.”

There seems to be a commonly held believe now that everyone is entitled to their opinion and that everyone should have their views respected. This article is good because it outlines why this is not universally true.You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.

If “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion” just means no-one has the right to stop people thinking and saying whatever they want, then the statement is true, but fairly trivial. No one can stop you saying that vaccines cause autism, no matter how many times that claim has been disproven. But if ‘entitled to an opinion’ means ‘entitled to have your views treated as serious candidates for the truth’ then it’s pretty clearly false.

On a similar theme is this article by Glenn Greenwald about the faux objectivity of journalists. The article is in reference to the US presidential debates and how the presenter Martha Raddatz in attempting to be objective fails and betrays her own view point. This I think applies very much to television news generally and specifically BBC News. It’s the reason I think that the BBC’s stance as an objective ‘public service’ broadcaster is dangerous. A lot of people still believe everything they hear on the BBC news is totally true because the BBC don’t have angle on anything. Aside from BBC news generally being mediocre journalism (well mainly the TV news) its obviously not true. Any regular listener to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme will be able to tell you the political leanings of the presenters based on the interviews they conduct. Now that wouldn’t be a issue in most cases because everyone has an opinion, its human nature. What is dangerous about BBC news is the falsehood that its done with objectivity when it isn’t, if view points are declared then the subsequent information can be viewed in this knowledge. If not it gives a biased view without the audience necessarily realising.

Watch | The Miles Davis Story

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This is what the internet is for. The 2 hour BBC Four documentary about the truly legendary trumpeter, musical pioneer Miles Davis. He often looked back but always went forwards. Through rare footage and interviews with those that played with him you’ll learn about his upbringing and where all those iconic masterpieces came from. It’s by the BBC so naturally its well put together. I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I do. Which is a lot.

Watch | 37 Shakespeare plays in 37 languages

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As part of the World Shakespeare Festival held this year in London all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays were performed in 37 different languages. I shockingly didn’t see any of them, though I did get to watch a scene of the Tempest performed in Bangla which was fascinating since I am of Bengali heritage.

If you didn’t get to see any of them, handily (thanks to Arts Council England funding) the website is hosting videos showing all of them in their entirety – pretty damn wonderful! Enjoy!

Read | It’s Always Done This Way

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Here is an easy exercise that must be done in your head only. Do not use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try to add up the following numbers as quickly as you can. Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another
1000. Now add 20. Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?

96% of people that attempt this get it wrong, have you? Hit the link to find out why and if you are part of the 96%.

This is a thought provoking article encouraging us to always challenge the assumptions me make in life because progress isn’t made by sticking to what you know.

Watch | Mysteries of Vernacular

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“In its final form, Mysteries of Vernacular will contain 26 etymological installments, one for each letter of the alphabet. Each episode takes me more than 80 hours to create between the research, construction of the book and the animation.”

Etymology of individual words explored in a creative visual way, fun and informative! Here a few of my favourites:

Mysteries of Vernacular: Assassin from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.

Mysteries of Vernacular: Hearse from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.

Mysteries of Vernacular: Clue from Myriapod Productions on Vimeo.


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The reasons for my life are in a million faces
Like aching promises I feel them in my bones
Slipping through my fingers to dance upon the road
The reasons for my life are more than I can hold
But oh, the sweet delight to sing with all my might
To spark the inner light of wonder burning bright
You’re not alone
You’re not alone

The reasons for my life are buried in deep places
Words once could awaken them
these seeds that I have sown
Ringing through the madness to crash against the cold
The reasons for my life cannot be bought or sold

The reasons for my life are filling all my spaces
Like rushing waters flow, they carry me along
Twisting through my memory to pull free from the load
The reasons for my life are more than I was told

Minnie Ripperton – Reasons

The Original

Theo Parrish edit

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