Thursday, September 5, 2013

Are the people of the US failing the world?

Given the timing and the title I'm sure that most of you expect this to be an endorsement of an attack on Syria.  While that is not the focus of this post, I'd like to go on the record as saying I'm against it.  The more we try to police the world, the more we seem to be resented for it, and frankly this looks like a no win situation.

Here in the States we tend to pride ourselves on running our Government.  The degree we actually do this is questionable, but I'm trying to keep myself from going off on too many tangents.  The problem with this is the average American really doesn't keep themselves all that informed about what is going on outside the States.

In past years this may have been understandable, but in this modern era we have access to so much information through the internet it seems downright irresponsible.  Almost every news outlet across the world is online these days, giving us unprecedented access to what is happening worldwide.

Sadly, most Americans get their news from one or two sources, most of which are supporting one political side or the other, and as such tend to not just be biased in how they report the news, but what they even choose to report.  By itself this isn't really a problem, but when you chose to only get your news from a source that agrees with your world view you can easily be led down a wrong path.

Perhaps the most painful part of this is how easy it is to fix.  If you can handle your perceptions being challenged, all you have to do is add a news source opposed to it to help balance things out.  Currently only get your news from CNN?  Go to Fox News once a day.  If nothing else it'll help you see how the other side thinks, and that's really a great way to understand how to debate them.

If you can't handle that, or even if you can, consider adding a foreign news site to your daily reading.  BBC News is an easy way to start, but there are plenty of sites out there where you can get a good window into the world outside our small section of it.  I personally don't like that we have chosen to try and police the world, especially given the cost both monetarily and in American lives, but if we are going to do it we the people should be more informed about what is going on to help guide things properly.

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