Dan Gillmor's Guardian column, "Andrew Breitbart and the unwilling suspension of disbelief," explains his theory of online credibility and talks about how to be appropriately skeptical of different sources. Gillmor is dubious about anonymous comments, though he's careful to defend the value of anonymous speech.
Breitbart will never rate as low as some people on my BS scale, because he stands behind his own words. I respect him for that much, unlike the anonymous commenters who hide in the virtual bushes to snipe at others. Anonymous sources in journalists' stories are generally contemptible for the same reason, especially when their role is to attack. Our disdain should extend in those cases to the journalists who grant this favour; they are doing their own reputations no good at all.
This is not an attack on anonymity, incidentally. We need to preserve people's ability to speak without being personally identified in many cases. Without anonymity, for example, many whistleblowers will not expose the crimes of governments and large enterprises - just one reason to preserve it. I will discuss this more fully here soon. But my bias in discourse is that we should stand behind our own words, and that we should encourage others to do the same.
Credibility is a hard-won asset, and all too easy to forfeit. Breitbart's credibility has improved in the wake of the Weiner affair. Will it move into positive territory? I will not hold my breath, but I will hope so.
Andrew Breitbart and the unwilling suspension of disbelief
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]