Part of the System

There’s a Portuguese family living around the block from me. I know this because on many mornings I step outside and there’s a very Portuguese looking mother walking her toddler and saying things like “Anda filha… vamos ver o pai.” On one of these days I had my Portugal football jersey, she noticed this and smiled saying “bom dia!” I said “bom dia” back, and we chatted about the odd Dutch weather, as if we didn’t know how bizarre it could be. Recently, walking back from the Edah, I noticed a nametag on a door “Far?a da Silva” or something like that. I knew right away that was the house, that and the Portuguese embroidered curtains – gave it away. When I look out my kitchen window I can see their yard. I recognize it because it looks like all the yards I remember growing up in the Ironbound (newark). Its hard to put into words, but you just know when you’re looking at a Portuguese yard: The one fruit tree (peaches/apples/pears), the tiny vegetable garden with makeshift scarecrows made of empty bottles, the small grill for sardines… these are the key factors.

Moving past my random neighborhood reflection, a discussion was started in my last post-comments about blogging and as D-Rock put it

“From the outside looking in to the blog world it’s the realm of politico tech-geeks. I mean MS Word doesn’t even recognize blog as being a word. One of the great thing about the blog world is there are no controls on information and the really horrible thing about the blog world is that there are no controls on information. The creator of the blog is their own judge, jury and executioner with no checks on the accuracy of their information and with scores of new blogs being created everyday who the hell knows who to listen to.”

One of the first things I notice about D’s comments is the question of fact checking/information control. There’s this inherent idea that prior to blogs, media had an acceptable fact-checking system. I’d guess most media users agree or at least used to agree. Especially because the NYTimes has a little office called fact-checking, so they must be into it. By response from a blogger point of view is that fact-checking is in the eye of the beholder, as is accuracy and accountability. Over time, I believe you will see, and I’m already seeing, certain bloggers gain legitimacy just because they’ve been at it for a while and they are very transparent with their links/sources. I try, to some degree, to do this as well, I give you my insane opinion, and I’m sure to provide links to my sources so that you may all decide, for yourselves, what you think.

There’s a good example of how blogging is changing and being legitimized with the upcoming Democratic convention. I hate to be yet another blogger linking to Jay Rosen, but he definately breaks it down in his recent post about bloggers being accredited at the convention. I’m not going to talk about it too much cause its already being beaten to death in the blogosphere, but it is definately interesting that bloggers are being recognized as a legitimate force that cannot be ignored.

There was some other stuff I wanted to get into related to money and how much so-called “wars” cost. It is mind-bloggling how much is spent on the Iraq circus. FT had a good graphic on it yesterday, and of course on the net you can always find a simple yet effective site like this one.

Today’s Music:Terry Lee Hale – Tornado Alley