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Semiformalishmaybe

Eradicating the Superclass

I wonder what the impact would be were we to shift how media and truthfulness are handled in society. Namely, if we had classes of media:

  • Strict Media - Where there is absolute liability for truthfulness
  • Best-effort Media - If the publisher can be shown not to have met some reasonable standard of effort for ensuring what is published is the truth, there is liability
  • Academic Media - As stated, for reputable peer-reviewed publications not aimed at the general public
  • Standard Media - Publisher is expected not to show a disregard for the truth. Most press would presumably publish under this classification
  • Personal publishing and opinion - Open to libel/slander claims but otherwise not expected to show much regard for truth.
  • Parody/Humour/Entertainment/Rag - Intended for tabloids, no claims to truth, and publications of this sort are immune to libel/slander claims for their contents
Presumably these would have other specifics - they could differ in more than just liability, and might have different legal privileges, access to printing, etc. The reason I think this might be useful is that I think it'd be nice to experiment with bringing some of these standards down into the voluntary realm, to have people become more aware of what kinds of claims/expectations are merited by some media, and to explicitly allow for a class of publications that are permitted to say basically anything but are socially different than things with some amount of trust. Ideally we wouldn't see companies minimising their liabilities by going with the loosest standards - means would have to be found to make sure that doesn't happen.

Té Café has some fantastic new (non-alcoholic) cider. Yum!

There was recently a Gallup poll of the most admired people. Thoughts:Males:

  • Obama, at 22% - I'm very irritated at Obama's mildness, but I knew I would be when I voted for him. I would've preferred to elect a liberal (more ideally, a socialist), but (surprise!) my preferences don't dominate the world.
  • BushJr, at 5% - Really? I respect BushSr, but BushJr? WTF?
  • Bill Clinton, at 4% - I do respect him (more than Obama), except for how he dealt with his family. It's impressive what he's done since the end of his presidency.
  • Nelson Mandela, at 2% - I have a lot of respect for him.
  • Bill Gates, at 2% - I don't respect him at all for Microsoft, but what he's done with his ill-gained fortune has been good. This leaves me with mixed feelings.
  • Pope Ratzinger, at 2% - I don't particularly respect him, but I don't really dislike him. He does lead an organisation that does a lot of good things alongside the bad things it does (I'm focusing on the intentionally good and intentionally bad things it does (the intent being part of the "things", not the "good/bad" which are of course part of my value system, not theirs)
  • Billy Graham, at 2% - Anti-semitic scum. Loathe. DIAF.
  • Jimmy Carter, at 2% - I respect him a lot. He's been willing to say things in foreign politics that needed to be exposed as a point of view, and has done good things since the end of his presidency. I don't always agree with him, but he merits a lot of respect.
  • Glenn Beck, at 2% - About as crazy as Alex Jones. Invokes, excites, and inspires the crazy fringe of American politics. Deserves no respect.
  • Dalai Lama, at 1% - Any would be theocrat, no matter how kind, won't get my respect. I have a feeling I might get along with him though - I've had a number of good "spiritual" conversations with Buddhists.
Women:
  • Hillary Clinton, at 17% - She's incredibly competent. I don't trust her political goals to align with mine, and dislike her weak stance on political corruption, but right now she has the perfect job that uses her considerable talents in ways far from areas I dislike her. I respect her a lot.
  • Sarah Palin, at 12% - She may be likable personally, but she's like Glenn Beck in terms of crazy and in terms of feeding the ugly side of American politics. I don't hate her, but I wish she'd leave politics (and political commentary) forever. I think she's more of an embarassment than anything else.
  • Oprah Winfrey, at 11% - Personally likable, inspires some interesting discussion, but supports some goofy ideas about science. Meh. I don't particularly respect her.
  • Michelle Obama, at 5% - I don't know enough about her to know if she merits any particular respect.
  • Condoleezza Rice, at 2% - She's a political freethinker and quite intelligent. One of the better people from the BushJr crowd, I have some respect for her.
  • Queen Elizabeth, at 2% - I see no reason to respect England's pet poodle.
  • Angelina Jolie, at 1% - I don't know anything about her that suggests respect, even if she's attractive.
  • Margaret Thatcher, at 1% - She merits grudging respect. I don't like her policies, but she was ferocious and brilliant and a deep thinker. I respect her in some of the nuanced way I respect Henry Kissinger.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi, at 1% - I don't know enough about her to know if she merits respect. It takes some determination to stand up to political forces like she has, but I'd need to know more to decide if she merits respect.
  • Laura Bush and Barbara Bush, both at 1% - I respect the independence of their political opinions from their husbands, as well as their outspokenness on the topics where they care. We can (and do) take this for granted from modern women, but in those generations I believe this was fairly rare, especially for conservatives. Still, I'm not aware of the broader accomplishments of either over their lives, so my respect so far is fairly narrow for both of them. I find it odd to focus on first ladies (without many independent accomplishments, to my knowledge), but if we are to do so I have a lot more respect for Nancy Reagan than either of the Bush ladies (despite her astrology dabbling).

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