Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 20

Thread: Where do you get your background information on politics?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Come on and raise up.
    Posts
    3,871


    Default Where do you get your background information on politics?

    I'm pretty much excluding people who are currently taking Poli Sci, Public Policy, or Economics classes in school.

    But it seems like a lot of people just read "The News;" i.e., they look at everything as it's relevant in a frozen point in time based on which articles pop up onto their computer screens. Like, if there's talk of new immigration reform in congress right now, do you just read the articles you see that are talking about it, and accept that as sufficient? Or do you then read up about our current immigration policy, the history of our immigration policy, how it compares to that of other countries, etc.?

    What I'm most interested in is where do you read about the background info? Wiki-surfing? Piecing together facts from op-eds by all of your favorite columnists and bloggers (and perhaps one or two whom you hate, just for perspective)? Reading actual books?

    While I realize it's not hard to read up about anything if you really want to, it can be slightly challenging to find the most efficient and organized sources of information. I feel like I've been at a bit of a loss lately for this. And I'm just sick of successively googling and wiki-surfing every individual thing that I think I could understand better.
    "LIVE OR DIE, MAN??"

    "DIE!!!!!"

    "WRONG! HOOOONK!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    Piecing together facts from op-eds by all of your favorite columnists and bloggers (and perhaps one or two whom you hate, just for perspective)? Reading actual books?
    Pretty much that, plus the wiki-walking you mentioned earlier. Each article (online, anyway) has tons of embedded links/sources, so I inevitably end up clicking several of them, and by the time I finish my one article I planned to read, I have like 6 browser tabs open; a lot of times I end up closing several of them out without finishing them completely, just because it takes me days and days to get around to reading all of them, and I have to close my browser at some point, so I figure what the hell.

    The important thing for me is to remember that everybody has an angle, and that you should always be critical of everything you read/hear and demand evidence to support it, even if it supports your current view of things. I used to not watch a lot of news because I never could find a source that I agreed with 100% on all issues; as I got older, I realized it's actually a good thing that I disagree with bits here and pieces there --- if nothing else, it's an exercise in critical thinking, and it keeps you from getting too comfortable with one set of ideas. Also, if I agree with a source 100% on everything, I start to feel like I'm just going with what they say because it's easier than coming up with my own position. So I actually prefer to keep commentators at arm's length, in terms of our ideologies; I can trust someone that I disagree with slightly to tell me things that I might not hear so readily from someone I agree with 100% on an issue.
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Salem, MA
    Posts
    943


    Default

    I get my news from the Boston Globe. This is usually my source on news. For breaking news, I get my updates from my Bing News Alerts bar, on the computer. Usually, I read a story, and then attempt to find the bias in the article. From that point, I form an opinion, often against the source's opinion. If I want more info, I usually use Wikipedia or watch the news.
    Quand ils ont dis "Vous vous asseyez," je me suis levé.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    4,350


    Default

    I think there's a big difference between what 97% of people claim they do when it comes to fact checking and what they actually do.

    Cause ain't nobody got time for that.

    A good chunk of people know HOW to check the credibility of facts, but they don't often do it. I'm not saying it's 100% laziness that causes this, I just think that when you're confronted with the task of doing more work to find an answer, it's VERY easy to convince yourself "well, I trust this one source I came across, and I don't think it's likely that they would be dishonest/misleading about this particular subject".
    Last edited by bighead384; 01-29-2013 at 08:53 AM.
    When they said "sit down", I stood up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Winnipeg/The GTA
    Posts
    5,779


    Default

    I'm in a poli sci program - so obviously at the moment that's my main information source.

    When coming across stuff i don't encounter in my academics I tend to read as much as I can from several different sources - which is mostly a few specific newspapers (NY Times, The Guardian, Globe and Mail) which i then supplement with a few bi-weekly news magazines (Economist, Foreign Policy) and of course a few favorite political bloggers that I enjoy. Something I've recently been doing is setting up a twitter account like an RS feed of all my favorite news sources - that way when something goes on in the world, i can just check that and see articles posted in real time which I can then scan through.

    I actively read a lot of political/history/econ books when I come across something on the news I seem interested in - like for example i'm currently scanning amazon for a decent/inexpensive book on the history of Mali. This of course isn't always practical (in terms of money, and time) but i just love books.

    Essentially, I think the best way is just to check out different sources (that often have differing editorial povs) to stay informed.
    Last edited by jacknife737; 01-29-2013 at 11:24 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Gabel
    Adrenaline carried one last thought to fruition.
    Let this be the end.
    Let this be the last song.
    Let this be the end.
    Let all be forgiven.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    The Vodka Belt
    Posts
    3,270


    Default

    I am studying political science, so I've got my hands on several magazines of a political scientist character through the university. For more current political events, I like to read Le Monde Diplomatique and The Economist, although the latter has a right-wing bias.
    Quote Originally Posted by Paint_It_Black View Post
    I don't grab tits. I have tits thrust upon me.

  7. #7


    Default

    I wait until Static_Martyr has posted about it, and believe the opposite

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Salem, MA
    Posts
    943


    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bronc_28 View Post
    I wait until Static_Martyr has posted about it, and believe the opposite
    I found that highly amusing.
    Quand ils ont dis "Vous vous asseyez," je me suis levé.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fuckin' Bible belt....
    Posts
    1,361


    Default

    @bronc: that explains a lot, actually.
    "I'm sorry
    For all the things that I never did
    For all the places I never was
    For all the people I never stopped
    But there was nothing I could do...
    "

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Czech Republic
    Posts
    17,981


    Default

    Due to the fact that as time goes on, I'm more and more sure I won't ever choose to live in the US again, I'm also progressively more apathetic toward American politics. That's not to say I don't care, but I'm less likely to actively research stuff. I can only vote for president now (no amendments, no local govts), and my residency vote would have to be in Minnesota, which is the only state that hasn't voted Republican since Nixon (and thus, my vote is entirely useless). I'm also fed up with how extremely divided the US is, and the fighting. Most discussions about American politics are so polarized and venomous, and I've just grown tired of it.

    Nowadays, I care a bit about Slovene politics, but not that much because Slovenia is so small. My knowledge of Slovene politics also comes from my friends and students, because I don't speak Slovene.

    My biggest political interests these days are regarding the European Union. I've been noticing how little anyone seems to know about it... a lot of people don't seem to know where the central headquarters is... most don't know how the leaders get elected, nor who the leaders even are... and people don't really seem to know what the EU is doing. I think it's different in northern Europe, but most of the world (and much of Europe) has no idea. And that's terrible, because the EU is deepening and widening every year. People know farrrrr more about the US without even living there, but the US isn't the one that's expanding. So most of what I read these days is about the EU. I get my news from various sources - I like to read articles from various countries when possible (they're often in English), bloggers, etc. Information regarding the EU is still biased, but far less polar and aggressive.

    Plus, I think it's too late for America. A look at the history of other large empires and unions heavily indicates that the US is reaching the end of its run. The EU, on the other hand, is growing and becoming more and more important. As I'm a globally-minded person, this leads me to be more concerned with the EU.
    Quote Originally Posted by jsmak84 View Post
    I do not drink alcohol and coffee

    I do not smoke and do not do drugs

    I just do bumpin in my trunk

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •