Countering Bias about Media Bias

“Media trust hits new low,” Axios notes, based on the Edelman “trust barometer” (and I trust this source!). Fifty-eight percent of Americans thought “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public.”

I think the public vastly underrates the quality of the news media. Almost all (actual) news organizations are predominantly concerned with informing the public, even if they also sometimes promote a political agenda.

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Michael Huemer on Rationality and Objectivity

Philosopher Michael Huemer, author of Knowledge, Reality, and Value (paid link), discusses the meaning of rationality and objectivity, explains why the distinction between fact and opinion is more complex than many people presume, and promotes intellectual virtues. This is the Self in Society Podcast #24. Listen on iTunes.

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Steve Spangler on Engaging Science

Steve Spangler, host of DIY Sci, discusses how parents and teachers can foster kids’ love of science and help children discover their “spark” in life. He also shares his thoughts on the development and future of online education and recounts his experiences as a pioneer in the field. This is the Self in Society Podcast #23. Listen on iTunes.

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Jason Stotts on Erotic Love

Jason Stotts, psychotherapist and author of Eros & Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics (paid link), discusses sexuality as an expression of our ethical lives, analyzes the false choice of repression versus hedonism, and addresses gender identity and other aspects of our sexuality. This is the Self in Society Podcast #22. See also Stotts’s web page. The episode is also available via iTunes.

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Polar Express and the Limits of Belief

Years ago, when first I tried to watch the 2004 Robert Zemeckis film Polar Express, I found the visual effects so bizarre that couldn’t sit through the film. But last year my young son watched the film on an Imax screen and loved it, so this year the family watched the film together at home.

I enjoyed the film more than I thought I would. To me, what’s interesting about it is how it sketches, through a strange dream sequence, the psychology of loss and anxiety.

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In Defense of Rudolph

Caitlin Flanagan doesn’t like the 1964 television film Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Actually it’s not entirely clear to me that she’s serious; her article is so strange I wonder if it’s tongue-in-cheek or satire. But it seems like Flanagan probably is serious so I will respond as though she is.

In my view, Rudolph is one of the greatest films of all time.

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Christina Sandefur on the Defense of Property Rights

Christina Sandefur of the free-market Goldwater Institute in Arizona discusses her coauthored book, Cornerstone of Liberty: Property Rights in 21st Century America (paid link), and related issues. This is the Self in Society Podcast #21. This episode is also available via iTunes and YouTube (audio only).

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Robert Alan Goldberg on American Conspiracy Theories

Historian Robert Alan Goldberg discusses the history of conspiracy thinking in the U.S. and explains how “new” conspiracy theories such as that involving QAnon recycle and embellish old themes. This is the Self in Society Podcast #20. This episode also is available on iTunes.

Buy Goldberg’s book, Enemies Within: The Culture of Conspiracy in Modern America (paid link), via Amazon.

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Timothy Sandefur on Frederick Douglass

Timothy Sandefur, author of Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man, discusses Douglass’s life, political philosophy, and influence in his day and up to the present. This is the Self in Society Podcast #19. This episode also is available via iTunes.

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Buy Sandefur’s book, Frederick Douglass: Self-Made Man (paid link), at Amazon.

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Michael Donnelly on Homeschooling and the Law

Michael Donnelly, Senior Counsel and Director of Global Outreach with the Home School Legal Defense Association, discusses the motivations for homeschooling and the legal aspects of it, with a special focus on Colorado. This is the Self in Society Podcast #18. The episode also is available via iTunes.

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