Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Transitions

This week, my Mom bought a new bright red, lightweight suitcase for her trip next week to Portland. We went to the train station yesterday to buy her ticket. She can get on the train here in our little home town and off the train in Portland, Oregon. It’s her first trip all by herself in a long time. She will meet up with her brother and friend in Portland.

Little Diamond is presenting at a conference this week, and then will head back for Seattle en route to her apartment in Beirut. She is SO excited.

Mom and I will go see Precious Diamond and her little Diamond Chip this morning after dropping Mom’s car off to be serviced. Precious Diamond is experiencing that huge transition called Motherhood. Whew! I remember that one! No one can tell you ahead of time how your life will change, how utterly and completely a tiny infant can become the center of your world.

And I am packing up in anticipation of my own transition back to Kuwait. I am flying a new route, as I had to reserve my flight so late that my regular route is totally booked. More take offs and landings, fewer hours. Go figure. I am guessing that with all the holidays falling in the same time frame, I am competing for seats with Eid travellers as well as Christmas/New Years travellers.

See y’all soon.

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January 5, 2007 Posted by | Eid, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Generational, Random Musings, Relationships, Seattle, Travel | 4 Comments

Blogging: The Opinion Explosion

Today there was a lively discussion on National Public Radio about news, and the great enormity of it, and how news reporting is changing. It used to be, so they said, that news reporters reported the facts, as best they could find the information, and they kept their opinions to themselves. The goal was objectivity.

Hmmmmm. In the US, it seems to me we had an entire period when the press was seen as “muckracking” or seeking scandal. The tabloids have always been with us. Even in the HBO TV series Rome, there were cartoons on the wall, a sort of primitive newspaper, entertaining, whether true or not-true.

So my speculation would be that as objective and fair (or as Fox puts it “fair and balanced” reporting which totally makes me want to throw up because FOX is SO SO slanted) as we would like to think our news is, bias has always crept in, and it is always a case of caveat emptor when it comes to news.

Here were some priceless quotes and ideas from the today’s NPR discussion:

“Not everyone’s experience is that interesting.”

Two rules for basic research:

1) Not every authority is right. Don’t believe someone just because they claim “authority”. Authorities can be wrong.

2) Just because you agree with an authoritie’s opinion does not make it true.

When you blog, podcast, SMS, etc. information, be sure to give your source of information and some evaluation of how reliable that source is likely to be.

Wikipedia is not necessarily a reliable source to be quoting. You have to double check the sources of information there, too.

My favorite piece of verbiage: We are experiencing a cacaphony of unfiltered information.

My comment: It’s exciting to hear people discuss the new ways in which we are getting – and sharing – news/information. I was in traffic, trying desperately to write phrases and ideas down at every red light. (How often do you say “alhamdallah” for the red lights??) We have access to so much more information, but how much of it is “hard” and how much is opinion? I love hearing people discussing information and dissemination of information, and how it is changing our lives.

And how much harder it is for any nation to keep a big secret – the containment walls have become more porous, information seeps through. Cell phones transmit real time dramas, bloggers share information (and misinformation), news can be SMS’d before it hits the airwaves by official sources. Governments which like to control information are fighting a losing battle, and it will increasingly change the faces of government (oops, my opinion!).

As our actions become increasingly public (cameras tracking vehicles, bank withdrawals, parking lots, cell phones broadcasting private moments, etc) we will all become, privately and publicly, increasingly accountable. (I am extrapolating here!) What an interesting new world . . .

January 5, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Communication, Cross Cultural, Generational, Language, News, Political Issues, Words | 9 Comments