Friday, November 14, 2008

A new breed of editors - sign me up

In the early 90's, before the Internet came online with AOL, I worked at Prodigy, which was an attempt to create what would have been a centralized Internet using IBM computers. The "news" content of the service was to be provided by mainstream players, but there would be many bulletin boards for 'members' as well.

I took issue with how mainstream "news" was going to be center stage and theorized/prophesied the emergence of a new breed of editors who would bring us the "news" from an entirely different perspective, without the biased control of the media barons. I argued that over time, people would gravitate to editors of their choice, based on their own interests and concerns, that is a propaganda-free news service.

I also imaged that each article published should contain a tiny red dot which members could click to go behind the scenes of the article, reply to the author, discuss the article with others, find related articles, etc.

This line of thinking became a popular subject on the employee bulletin board, and eventually management and the President of the company took interest.

As it happened, AOL and the Internet emerged, and the Prodigy approach was essentially overrun by AOL and the Internet approach. IBM and Sears tried to catchup, but it was too late. So they sold Prodigy and we were given generous packages.

I've since passed the time doing contract work and building my own software product. I understand that what's left of Prodigy has merged with Yahoo.

Over these years, I had joined and participated with an email based programmer's support group. The group has an OT posting section where "off topic" subjects are discussed. After 9/11 the war became the big, most talked about subject. Perhaps I'll post an account of my experience and the more profound lessons learned in this regard, but for now I'll just say that it moved me from that world into blogging, albeit at a snail's pace because I have much to do with my business.

It's going to be hard to find the time to do this, but I am motivated because I strongly believe that we-the-people have no choice but to stand up the tyranny that has been feeding on our government for so long and is becoming more dangerous by the day. We must stop them, and that means you and I have to get our acts together. The Internet is what (all) we have - so let's use it.

Starting this blog, I initially thought to use it to write opinions. Having spent countless hours doing so already for the email list, I have a pile of prepared material.

But then I thought that maybe a better way to do this is to become one of the new breed of editors myself. I had never thought about it this way, but every day I do read websites that I've culled on the Internet over the years, and I do come across articles that I very strongly agree with, none of which find their way into the mainstream media. Since my blog can be used to post links to these articles, and maybe with some comments, I'm thinking to draw synergy from others and also help others by saving them the time to do the research themselves (the point of the new breed of editor).

As should be very evident, I am totally against the military invasion of the Middle East. I sincerely believe that invasion was the worst foreign policy disaster America has ever been suckered into, and I am determined to do my role to stop it.

I have ideas on how to do that, but I've discovered others are thinking along the same lines.

So, without further ado, let the synergy begin!

The Vietnam Exposé That Wasn't

The point of this article is that we killed civilians indiscriminately and en masse. I know this to be true, because for months I lived with the Vietnamese in an area deemed a 'free fire zone', with the obvious implication and result.

An added comment is to point to the ignoble role played by the media, as described in this article.


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