Thursday, August 20, 2009

Making a Better Argument Though Accuracy


Ever since the medium began, there has been the arument that bloggers are/are not journalists. I really don't think we are. I equate it to saying that I'm a mechanic because I replaced the battery or motor oil on my car. J-School grads go through a lot of training. Some of us might be naturally talented at it, but it is a skill...
However, no matter whether you're a blogger or not, part of being effective is to make good arguments. How do you get there? First, be honest and as non-partisan as possible. Secondly, think things through before making your case. I try to do that ahead of time, which is why you won't see 10 posts a day here. I read most blogs everyday, and most do a pretty good job of accuracy, but I found a couple that didn't seem to quite add up this week...
First, there is the Bad Math at Linda Ketner's blog. First off, my advice is that if you are ever planning to run for office, don't blog - you just set yourself up to get shot down later. Her last post is entitled "37.5 % of the Worst Schools Are in South Carolina" or something to that effect. Under it, she commented that the 37.5% was part of 25 schools. Okay, time to break out the calculator.... Exeactly what full number is 37.5% of 25? If you're having trouble figuringit out, I'll save you the time - there isn't any. Nine of them would be 36%, and ten would be 40%. My guess is she broke out a calculator, and maybe hit 24 by accident, because 9 or 24 is 37.5% ... I have no doubt that Ketner is smarter than that, because stupid kids of successful entrepreneurs usually run the family business (in this case, Food Lion) into the ground, which she hasn't. But, it does make you look either stupid or deceitful.....
Next, we have the Bad Metaphor by our buddy, Waldo Lydecker. He likes to pick on Conservatives, which I am often listed as, no matter how many times I protest that I'm a middle of the road Republican. Well, he reported about my blog post where I had a picture of Summer Glor. I'll admit freely that i'll put up an occasional picture of attractive women to get people to check out my blog, because politics doesn't always do it on a daily basis. His take was that Conservatism is so weak, that we need to lure people over by showing Hot Chicks. Fair enough, but it was his metaphor that was weak. He likened it to Paper, Rock, Scissors. But, he likened the Women to Rock, and Conservatism to Paper. The Error? As far as I understand the game, Paper covers Rock, and therefore it wins in the game.... OOPS !
I asked both of them about it on their blogs, and neither replied. Guess I haven't made it up to either of their levels yet. Like my ugly shirt, bloggers can admit they error on occasion - especially about the stupid stuff like bad math or bad metaphors. Acknowledge it, admit it, and correct it. I do it all the time....
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2 comments:

Earl Capps said...

Mike, Waldo is just angry and lashes out. The guy has a big chip on his shoulder and anyone who doesn't see and say things his way he rants about. He's talked about me more than once, including trying to drag me into social issues, which are NOT generally covered in the Blogland.

Mike Reino said...

You should see the comment I left for Jamie Sanderson today.