Friday, June 06, 2003

This is belated, but if you really want to support our troops, you need to do it by not trashing our country. Don't let Ashcroft expand the Patriot Act, don't let people talk big about programs and not fund them, and above all, don't let an election go by without your educated vote. Don't tell me you don't have time, you certainly have the time to be watching American Idol or whatever reality TV show is on- getting your news from someone besides Fox News or actually, just TV in general, doesn't take that long.

TV tends to flatten out the issues. Huge moral questions that are full of complexity are reduced to simple melodrama. While that gives them great ratings, it's not so good for people who actually need information to make decisions. There might be the occasional smart TV show, but you shouldn't rely on the TV for your information. Also, it's best to check more than one source. I'm not saying read ten newspapers a day, but if one day you listen to NPR, one day you watch Fox news, one day you read the local newspaper, one day you read the BBC's website, you get a more rounded picture of the world away from any liberal or conservative bias there may be.

And pick up a book people.You can still get more depth into the issue, because they have the whole length of the book to get into all the complexity and ambiguity. Pop in a book on tape during the commute to work. Education doesn't stop with what they make you read in school, you should be trying to learn something everyday.

Don't worry about your cool level or worry about stereotypes of book smart people without 'common sense'- if you had common sense in the first place, it's not going to disappear because you picked up a book, and if you didn't, at least book smarts will give you some advantage.

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