Monday, September 20, 2004

Myths and Worldview, or why I'm right and you're wrong

I took a seminar at LSU that tried to explain what were the causes and history of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict. We spent approximately 1/3 of that reading about and discussing the mythology of the conflict, with the big Isreali myth being that all the Palestinians had abandoned their homes on the eve of the 1948 war to create free fire zones for the Arab armies so that the Isrealis could be exterminated. The Palestinian myth being that the Isrealis forcibly evicted all the Palestinians to steal the country of Palestine and rename it Isreal.

There is a tiny kernal of fact in both of these myths, but neither myth represents Truth. Truth observed by an impartial observer (Ed. God, or CBS news?) I didn't study hard enough so that I can remember what the exact sequence of events was 56 years ago, but that class did open my eyes to relative truth, or truth depending on the viewpoint of the observer.

That skewed reality due to viewpoint is apparently even worse when the reporter isn't the person being forced out of his house at bayonnet point, but the story is being filtered several more times, by what stories are covered by the media, by the viewpoint of the reporter covering the story, by that reporter's editor and by my understanding of what the newsreader says.

There's no easy answer, just watch Fox, listen to NPR, read the NYT, and of course read weblogs, start with:

Someday soon, weblogs will be ubiquitous. Every event will be blogged, live and with cameras. The never sleeping eye will see all and know all, as the Truth is streamed live and direct from Carl Rove's Brain. or ...never mind.


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