so @mtaibbi here is arguing exactly what Alex Jones did on his show Monday. He quotes me but the ellipsis omits the phrase “as we’re taught to do it” which is the crux of the piece as it’s about media literacy as it’s taught (or mostly not taught) in school.
it’s not about turning off your brain. it never mentions the nyt as arbiter of truth (as many have claimed). hell it says flatly it’s not aimed at changing students minds. it’s ultimately about lateral reading. a concept that’s basically: ‘hey, figure out who wrote this’ before
i get it is a provocative argument (especially so if you choose to read only the headline and omit words that add nuance to it). but it really isn’t madness. it’s not saying critical thinking is bad. but more...we are taught to fight every battle when really we can pick n choose
you can even see how his disingenuous framing misleads ppl who followed him expecting this piece to be something different than it was
anyhow, i get it. it was an easy dunk. ‘nyt says turn off brain!’ but there were interesting and legitimate arguments one could make (for ex: covid guidance was slow/bad from govt sources for a while and that complicates these methods!) but this one is lazy and misleading
last thing i’ll add is the hate mail i’ve gotten about this piece has come in large part from anti-vaxxers who ask me to do the method from the piece on various PDFs about vaccines. most are 500-1000 pages of cut and paste science jargon and unlabeled charts.
it’s exactly the kind of thing the methods in the story are designed to help people navigate. 1) idk who made the pdf 2) it probably requires a specific medical degree to interpret so 3) id likely fuck that up. so i didn’t engage with it! that’s my personal call. anyhow that’s it

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More from @cwarzel

23 Feb
it’s a terminator 2 kinda night
hilariously that’s the line that came up when i took this pic of the tv
this is truly the most important movie of my youth
Read 4 tweets
18 Feb
brain is deeply warped from internet use so i don’t know what average voters think about stuff but i know that going to cancun pissed off the liberal media and so therefore i wonder if some ppl are...gonna be fine w/ it? it seems like the main virtue of culture war maga politics
like i can just as easily imagine ppl saying ‘lol look how mad they got! what can he even do? stop a snowstorm?!’ and then just forget about it. but maybe that’s a bridge too far? i guess i’m just wary of ppl who think accountability is possible these days
lol i was directed to this message board and wellllllll ImageImage
Read 5 tweets
18 Feb
What if the way we are taught to think critically about information we encounter is making us more vulnerable to misinformation peddlers? For the second column in my attention series I profiled @holden who thinks our info crisis is an attention crisis…
What I appreciate about his methods is the logic behind them. Basically, we are taught that engaging with a source that seems dubious or is on a subject we don’t have precious knowledge of (going down the rabbit hole) is virtuous. But it often doesn’t help our understanding. Image
But this is the most powerful idea, I think. That we are constantly chasing and giving time and attention to those who want to abuse it. That we don’t have to do it this way. We can save our time and then spend it on things that matter to us. Image
Read 4 tweets
11 Feb
there is not a good way to talk about this that doesn't sound like bitter journalists wanting to be gatekeepers (and there's definitely issues with media accountability) but this paragraph describes a broader phenomenon online that is super tricky… Image
anyhow i think journalism is both pretty straightfwd to do in the practice (anyone can call up anyone else and learn things, you don't need an advanced degree to use the phone) but an EXTREME pain in the ass to do well in an investigatory capacity. in part bc stakes are so high
think giving more ppl the ability to do the work of journalism & share their voices is a great thing. it gets tricky fast though if some ppl want to do the extremely high degree of difficulty stuff w/o any of the friction and without feeling the stakes bc it's of a 'meta' variety
Read 4 tweets
8 Feb
it's kind of wild to me that the job listings for all of these positions says 'not eligible for remote work' when they return to regular operations. especially since some of the positions are going to ask ppl to write about work tech and even remote work!
i very much understand the advantages of a newsroom. I love newsrooms. and offices! but it is odd to me to set limits out the gate and restrict your applicant pool. especially when you say you want a diverse pool of ppl with varied life experiences/backgrounds!
"This writer should examine how the global pandemic has intensified our reliance on technology in the paid economy," says one of the descriptions. And def can't think about a hybrid work situation. Idk...weird!
Read 4 tweets
5 Feb
New: @stuartathompson and i received a trove of smartphone location data from 1/6. The set included about 100,000 location pings, revealing around 130 devices inside the Capitol at the time of the siege.…
The data tells a few stories. It offers granular details of how many people listened to Trump’ss speech and then went to the Capitol.…
The second story is about a broken, surreptitious industry in desperate need of regulation, and of a tacit agreement we’ve entered into that threatens everyone’s individual privacy. None of this data should ever have been collected.
Read 6 tweets

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