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March 04, 2005


Kent Bye

Rebecca -- Thank you for the opportunity.

Both Jon Stewart and blogs pick up the slack of the invisible, inner depths of personality, value systems, attitudes, beliefs, motivations. Journalists are strong at the observable, external world of facts and behavior.

BOTH are important, but NEITHER do justice to both worldspaces. This is not a problem isolated to just journalism -- The divide between the inner and outer worlds, and individual and collective is something that permeates throughout all of the compartmentalized academic disciplines.

Ken Wilber's Integral philosophy adds the debate between Micro vs. Macro or Individual vs. Collective to come up with four distinct ontological realities:
* Individual-Interior -- Internal World (i.e. Pyschology)
* Collective-Interior -- Cultural World (i.e. Sociology)
* Individual-Exterior -- External World (i.e. Behaviorism)
* Collective-Exterior -- Structural World (i.e. Systems Theory)

Bloggers are strong with the Interior and Journalists are better at the Exterior. I envision a New Media Ecosystem that includes both.

The missing link is a system to tie it together. Wikipedia's NPOV is a principle that is biased towards subjective and intersubjective perception. I think the answer lies in the principle of the scientific method and more advanced analytical techniques used by the Central Intelligence agency and published online in a book called, "The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis."

It uses a scientific principle of disproving of alternative competing hypotheses. Wire services and researchers still provide the objective facts. And bloggers and analysts could provide insights into the subjective motivations of politicians by providing theories that explain observed political behavior.

As an aside, I'm working with someone from Ken Wilber's Integral Institute to help create a comprehensive approach for representing reality by using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods and by combining the non-linear communications capabilities of the Internet with traditional narrative investigative documentary filmmaking.

What is needed is a theoretical integration of the seven different communications traditions: Rhetorical, Semiotic, Phenomenological, Systems, Sociopsychological, Sociocultural, and the Critical tradition. This is the missing link, and Ken Wilber and Adam Leonard have some solutions.

Jon Garfunkel

I guess I missed the nuance of this conversation re: Jon Stewart. Where is it demonstrated that more people trust him? I don't think people trust him to give credible, caring information, but they do trust him to be snarky and witty. I distinctly remember a fake news segment during the episode this summer which also featured the famous interview of candidate John Kerry-- the news was about a gas station owner who in Queens who was selling cheaper, off-brand gas despite being a Texaco franchise. The Daily Show had probably lifted this story from a New Yorker "Talk of the Town" piece, which had given it in the irony it deserved without sacrificing the basic facts to the story.


It's the court jester.

Also Stewart plays the common man with his guests - reminds them (and his audience) that he's just an average dumb guy who didn't go to Ivy League, and just wants to understand what's going on. Similar to Brian Lamb on C-Span.


Excuse me, Weinberger apparently doesn't remember much about history... of course people trusted the Jester more than the King. The King might kill you for fun, or to make a point, but more likely by accident. And if the King is wrong, it doesn't matter, but for the Jester it is all the matter in the world.

Blogger is *not* king, not by any stretch of the imagination. The blogger is merely a prankster, still, unheard and unknown by the vast majority of the decision makers in the world - the people buying groceries and toys. And the only real power the blogger has is that given by the MSM who, like the King of old, is both gullible and romantic, and sometimes a fool.

But the whole conversation brings into stark relief the inability of the blogosphere to simply "be", to give up on pointless and non-viable comparisons to traditional media. It's like the comparison of TV news to print news; they're different products which have only apparent correlation but, on closer examination, are more marked by their differences than their similarities.

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