Wed May 13 14:11:31 PDT 2015

Balancing Perspectives

I don't pay all that much attention to politics. My thinking is that it is overly simplistic to try to divide all possible policy issues into two groups, and then simply select the preferred group as your purveyor of all desirable results. So, I tend to prefer the 'left' perspective on some issues and the 'right' perspective on others.

I also tend to prefer to keep matters to be based on facts. As do scientists and historians - the reasonable ones at least. Recently I have been tending to read two particular 'cultural historians' for their perspectives on recent political developments. My theory is that these historians should at least get the facts straight.

Representing the left is Alwyn W. Turner, who claims to have accurately predicted the recent UK electoral outcome. Alwyn writes a great deal about the recent history of the UK, using his encyclopedic knowledge of popular cultural at every turn. His recent writings on the UK general election have been very entertaining ('...or that bloke up in Scotland, whose constituency is so remote that not even SNP canvassers could find it.') and provide great insights into the defeat of the Labour party.

And representing the right is Mark Steyn, who claims to defend free speech, and the right to poke fun at climate scientists. Mark's knowledge of music and musicals is encyclopedic, and even if you don't much care for Broadway, after reading a witty 10,000 word essay on Mark's blog, you will have a passing acquaintence with the historical emergence some obscure numbers, and will be able amaze your friends by describing the song's lyricist, composer, and the various perfomers who have covered the song through the ages.

Turner and Steyn poke fun at their own political favorites. Turner called out the Labour party for fascillitating male/female segregated meetings, and Steyn does not suffer the right's slip-ups gladly (see for example the folding expertise of the republicans dealt with here.

Their similarities caused me to wonder if it might not be possible to find similar left/right writer pairings with additional interests and then set up a pages of links providing access to the left and righ opinion on issues. It is straightforward to find biased sites these days - everyone who attended journalism school seems to have forgotten about reporting the facts - but I wonder if there is an interest in a site which attempts to collect the balance of perspectives?

If there is, here is a first entry:

Cultural History

I wonder what the entries should be for chemistry, economics, banking, etc. I will give it some thought...!

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Posted by ZFS | Permanent link | File under: politics
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