How Will You Find Me if I Move?

If I change my site address (that link that starts out https://), how will you find me?

This is a practical question, because I am thinking about changing the site address of this blog. I started blogging almost ten years ago and my site address doesn’t feel like me anymore. Odd, isn’t it, how a very small detail like a blog address can eventually rank right up there with the irritation of running out of chocolate chips or losing your favourite pen.

On the bright side, it is extremely easy to change the site address. WordPress just ‘makes it so’. They change the address on all the posts and pages; and update all the media addresses. All my stats will remain. They also make sure all my followers (email and reader) come with me.

Unfortunately, all the comments I’ve ever made on WordPress blogs don’t get updated completely. The URL that people click would be the old site address, which would be broken. My gravatar profile (photo and the links I have entered) is always updated  with the information I entered in my profile.

Another downside is that every site that has created a link to the old blog address will become a broken link. Also, my google ranking for some things will tank for some period of time. (I have a handful of posts that have been popular for years thanks to how they rank with google!)

Before embarking on this ‘you can’t go back’ change, if you could tell me how you know when I’ve put up a new post, then I’ll know how to let everyone know what my new address is.

1. Are you an email subscriber?
2. Do you follow me on the WordPress Reader (you clicked the ‘Follow’ link)?
3. Do you use a feed reader such as Feedly?
4. Do you follow links I have posted on my Facebook page?
5. Do you follow links I have posted on Twitter?
6. Do you visit me after I have left a comment on your blog?
7. Do you stop by now and then just to see what is new?

Thanks in advance for your input!

Line Riders – Blue Danube

DoodleChaos has a new Line Riders upload on YouTube. Be sure to watch to the very end – best chuckle of the day!

The DoodleChaos artist, Mark Robbins, draws with Line Rider, an online application that allows you to make videos by drawing lines on which, Bosh, a little person on a sleigh, slides along the path you draw.

Mark matches the movement of the Line Rider with the music he has chosen. If you want to understand just how difficult and time consuming this is, go to the Line Rider site (click play to start) and try drawing a few lines! See if you can keep the little sledder from crashing!

This is the track I drew (after a lot of tries…)
And this is what happened to the Line Rider as he attempted that last climb…

Crash…

The Race to the Bottom of the News Barrel

What was the spark? A MAGA hat worn by mostly white male teens? Was this a clear case of stereotyping?

Stereotyping or Social Categorization is a cognitive process by which we put individuals into social groups and respond to them as members of a social group, instead of individuals. This can lead to negative interactions. For example, a young liberal might take issue with anyone they identify as a conservative Baby Boomer. Any number of people might be instantly offended by someone they perceive as a privileged white male. We live in angry times.

MAGA – Make America Great Again

Social Categorization is what happened in January 2019 when someone posted, on Twitter, a short video taken at the ‘March for Life’ event. The video was said to be proof that Kentucky’s Covington Catholic High School Boys (some of them wore MAGA hats) had harassed a Native American and a group of Black Men at the Lincoln Memorial. The Native American, Nathan Phillips said he believed  “These young men were beastly, and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

The video (sent out from a Twitter account that was later shut down by Twitter for fake and misleading registration) went viral. Prominent individuals and numerous news media picked up the story and ran it without verifying the accuracy. The teens were vilified. There were calls for the student’s expulsion from school; they were threatened with harm, and in a few cases, there were death threats.

Sober second thought came after a careful review of the many videos that were taken that day. These showed that the viral video did not accurately depict what had happened. It simply depicted the story that the video wanted people to believe – ‘privileged young white males’ are evil. The video clip didn’t show that the ‘Men Behaving Badly’, were the Black Hebrew Israelites who were yelling homophobic slurs and racist insults and the Native American who thrust himself at the students.

A significant number of personalities and members of the media, after looking at the full videos, retracted their stories, or apologized for what they had said about the boys.  Other people, however, would not correct their attack stories.

Enter Attorney Robert Barnes.

The threat of litigation has perhaps led to a few more apologies. ‘The Weekly’, (a news program on CBC  which is a Canadian Federal Government Crown Corporation) hosted by veteran reporter Wendy Mesley,  apologized and corrected their story, but not until March 10. They said they “regret characterizing those teens as ‘teenage bullies’” and corrected what they said was an erroneous statement.

Why would it take almost 2 months to issue an apology for running a story based on a viral video on Twitter? What does this say about investigative reporting? What does this say to the consumers and readers of just about all forms of media today?

What can you do to avoid jumping to biased conclusions?

  • Read a range of views from across the spectrum – right, left and middle.
  • Be skeptical about every story that tells you what your viewpoint should be.
  • Be willing to accept that people are not the same as the social categories you put them in.
  • Accept that opposing viewpoints might be just as valid as yours because they are likely based on bias too…

What is an example of a biased opinion you held until you read and understood the validity of a contradictory assessment?