Yet Another Cycling Forum

Off Topic => The Pub => Arts and Entertainment => Topic started by: Ruthie on January 14, 2019, 09:52:09 pm

Title: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Ruthie on January 14, 2019, 09:52:09 pm
Do you read a newspaper?  A Sunday newspaper?  A news digest?  Or a journal, such as The New Yorker or The Economist?  If so, which?  Do you have multiple information sources?  Online or paper?

I think Wowbagger, for instance, might just possibly read the Guardian maybe.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 14, 2019, 10:13:43 pm
These days it's mostly MLP propagation by my social media bubble.  For values of social media bubble that includes the sort of places where naive libertarian computer geeks with a worrying misogynist streak tend to hang out (I've learned to keep quiet for my own mental health when the conversation turns nasty).

But I do keep half an eye on the BBC news (mostly out of habit) and @bhamupdates, which means I'm unlikely to miss anything important like Theresa failing to deliver brexit, Celebrities strictly getting their baking out of the X-factor, drones not being sighted at Luton, leaves on the line at Mordor International, Aston sportsball club getting a new deputy trainee of accounts, or a new trendy burger joint opening in the Mailbox.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Ruthie on January 15, 2019, 06:41:09 am
That. Is. Excellent.

I googled MLP. How does My Little Pony help you consider issues re: tomorrow’s Brexit deal vote?

Or is it something else?
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Ham on January 15, 2019, 07:46:59 am
With difficulty. I am a Guardian subscriber not because I espouse all their perspectives but because it appears to be one of the very last bastions of journalism out there, and worth supporting as a result. The FT is another, which I don't subscribe to, I would struggle to name a third. I don't think much of the beeb's news these days, and absorb some of it by osmosis. I occasionally listen to the Toady programme but can't stomach it for too long. I constantly dip into CNN (US edition), MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, WaPo, NYT, Al-Jazeera, RT etc and get a flavour for what's happening. (interesting on writing that to see that I'm a lot more sanguine about the non-UK news sources, as I almost never would read Mail, Express, Telegraph). Google assistant finds stuff it thinks I would like about politics, entertainment and cycling principally, and I've taught her (yes it is a she) that I DON'T want anything from the Mail or Strictly or anything like that. I follow up on stories in Facebook and Twitter leading to other sources but very rarely would accept them at face value (and I LOATHE Twitter with a passion). I drop in on "fact check" sites like Snopes. And I wonder how much if any of this matters in our post-fact world.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 08:00:59 am
That. Is. Excellent.

I googled MLP. How does My Little Pony help you consider issues re: tomorrow’s Brexit deal vote?

Or is it something else?

Mindless Link Propagation, sorry.

Not entirely sure what the My Little Pony angle is on flogging a dead unicorn...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 08:02:51 am
I drop in on "fact check" sites like Snopes.

Snopes and google's inverse-image-search are essential tools.


Quote
And I wonder how much if any of this matters in our post-fact world.

Indeed  :-\
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: T42 on January 15, 2019, 08:13:55 am
Subs to online NYT & Graun, and France Info is free. Last is also most obliging because it loads quickly on a brain-damaged tablet. Going to drop NYT when sub expires, I'm not reading much of it these days & its main topics are in the Graun anyway.  Also pick up the odd paper copy of the Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace because the pages fit the bottom of the parrot's cage.

The Google doo-dah on the tablet also picks up news stories but they're all UK for some reason ICBA delving into. Now that I've flagged all the topics I'm not interested in it mostly regurgitates the Graun. Can't find a "Stuff your fecking football up your jacksie" parameter, though.

Oh, we also have a weekly sub to Nature, which is entertaining.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Legs on January 15, 2019, 08:25:03 am
I read the Beeb website and listen to R5L in the mornings, and occasionally dip into the POBI (Brexit) section of a different cycling forum to recalibrate my personal political echo chamber.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 09:46:13 am
Guardian, NYT, LA Times and a few others, newspapers may be biased (but you know their bias) but at least they pay their reporter and have some editorial standards, which is still better than the alternatives, and the endless tedium of those stories which consist entirely of Tweets from people who have egregiously offended by something, or press release puff pieces.. Google plenty. Assume every assertion and purported fact is just that until verified. Understand that I'm probably in a minority.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Ruthie on January 15, 2019, 10:11:06 am
Does anyone subscribe to The Independent? Or The Economist? The Spectator?
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 10:13:27 am
No, but I have a look at The Economist and sometimes The Spectator and/or New Statesman when I'm in Sainsburys.  :D
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: nicknack on January 15, 2019, 10:16:10 am
YACF of course.

Guardian.

All sorts of other online sites like Snopes for checking the garbage I see on Facebook. I don't watch TV or listen to the radio but Mrs n sometimes has R4 on so if I'm in the same room I might hear PM or some other news programme.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Wowbagger on January 15, 2019, 10:24:35 am
YACF. Graun. I'm thinking about a subscription to the Independent as they stopped me looking at something the other day. BBC occasionally, but usually only when someone else links to something.

Channel 4 news (usually via facebook links) and I have a very hot line into what is happening in parliament, especially the Lords, through a friend...  :P

I follow certain Twitter bods and of course I have my own circle of like-minded friends on facebook who obviously agree with pretty well everything I say.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 10:26:44 am
All sorts of other online sites like Snopes for checking the garbage I see on Facebook.

That's another point I hadn't considered.  I'm a luddite, and mostly avoid algorithmically-prioritised content (I do use Twitter, but primarily via a text-only client[1] that presents the timeline in chronological order without adverts - I don't know how anyone can bear to use it via the website.  While I think Youtube is utterly brilliant, I tend to avoid engaging with the radicalisation sidebar.)  Of course I still get adverts[2] and the second-hand effects of what everyone else is sharing.

[1] I give them maybe 18 months before they kill off the API entirely.
[2] Fuck off Grammarly.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 10:30:15 am
I've always been quite impressed by the New Yorker whenever I've looked at it, but that's rarely cos it's not really available here and it's articles tend to be lengthy stuff which I prefer to read in paper rather than on screen.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Jaded on January 15, 2019, 10:34:16 am
YACF, obv

The Times
Guardian
BBC

other sites as they pop up from comments etc, if they are not paywalled.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Plug1n on January 15, 2019, 11:13:16 am
I keep an eye on a few subreddits in "new" order and then follow the links if I am interested.

e.g. https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/new/ (https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/new/)

A bit like reading yacf through "while I was away" - too much info but haven't found a better way yet.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 12:36:24 pm
I've always been quite impressed by the New Yorker whenever I've looked at it, but that's rarely cos it's not really available here and it's articles tend to be lengthy stuff which I prefer to read in paper rather than on screen.

I think one of the negative effects of digital media is that everything has to be short – the Twitterification of information. Even significant lead stories rarely stretch to a couple of hundred words.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 12:40:17 pm
I've always been quite impressed by the New Yorker whenever I've looked at it, but that's rarely cos it's not really available here and it's articles tend to be lengthy stuff which I prefer to read in paper rather than on screen.

I think one of the negative effects of digital media is that everything has to be short

Unless it's another sodding video, or worse - a podcast.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Paul on January 15, 2019, 12:57:06 pm
I have the Guardian delivered on Saturdays, I check the local and national news at 8am most mornings (BBC tv), I get told stuff at work and home and then I randomly apply Gaye's law: Believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: PaulF on January 15, 2019, 01:06:33 pm
I get all the news I need from www.metoffice.gov.uk
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 01:19:18 pm
I've always been quite impressed by the New Yorker whenever I've looked at it, but that's rarely cos it's not really available here and it's articles tend to be lengthy stuff which I prefer to read in paper rather than on screen.

I think one of the negative effects of digital media is that everything has to be short

Unless it's another sodding video, or worse - a podcast.

I suspect this is a sign of age – unless there's specific visual information, I don't see the point of having someone stand in front of a screen and read a script. Of course, then people have to make pointless animations or make people stand in the middle of field to give it 'some value.' I could have read the information in 30 seconds, but no, now I have to sit there for 5 minutes. But marketing will insist 'it needs a video' and sadly, they're probably right.

Podcasts, I suppose, are useful for those that like the opportunity to listen to something while doing something else, but again, I'd rather read the transcript.

But the bane of my media experience are the Twitter stories. There's a good dozen in the Guardian today. Reporting on people being angry or offended on Twitter, illustrated with their Tweets. It's not news, not everyone uses Twitter, and frankly I don't care what people on Twitter think (if indeed they do, which I doubt). It's just lazy journalism to fill space cheaply.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Basil on January 15, 2019, 01:20:12 pm
Mostly through BBC radio.  Purchase the i newspaper a couple of times a week, Observer and Times every Sunday.
Very little news related stuff on line.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: fboab on January 15, 2019, 01:43:12 pm
Like PaulF, I can gather all the news I need from the weather report.

[even more ironic is that I don't watch the weather. I GAMI]
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 02:03:58 pm
Podcasts, I suppose, are useful for those that like the opportunity to listen to something while doing something else, but again, I'd rather read the transcript.
I think podcasts can be good when they're a discussion about something worth discussing between people who know and care about that subject and are able to convey their knowledge and care to an ignorant audience.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: mattc on January 15, 2019, 02:26:02 pm
Podcasts, I suppose, are useful for those that like the opportunity to listen to something while doing something else, but again, I'd rather read the transcript.
I think podcasts can be good when they're a discussion about something worth discussing between people who know and care about that subject and are able to convey their knowledge and care to an ignorant audience.
Yeah, there has to be some "value add"; some sort of performance.

A good play gives you a lot more than just reading the script; and reading the transcript of a good lecture/lesson is usually less beneficial/enjoyable.

Turning news stories into videos to put on a website - like the Beeb seem addicted to - pleeeeease no!
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 02:48:37 pm
Well, video (and podcasts) can be engaging if there's a good presenter, of course. Which is a big if.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Mrs Pingu on January 15, 2019, 03:48:40 pm
I'm glad it's not just me that gets irritated by videos. Unless it's tremendously complicated I can get the gist of something much quicker by scanning or reading, and it doesn't disturb anyone else either.

The Guardian website.
C4 news
Twitter (mostly #FBPE)
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 04:48:14 pm
I think one of the negative effects of digital media is that everything has to be short

Unless it's another sodding video, or worse - a podcast.

I suspect this is a sign of age – unless there's specific visual information, I don't see the point of having someone stand in front of a screen and read a script. Of course, then people have to make pointless animations or make people stand in the middle of field to give it 'some value.' I could have read the information in 30 seconds, but no, now I have to sit there for 5 minutes. But marketing will insist 'it needs a video' and sadly, they're probably right.

The mega-Global Data-Mining Corporation of Menlo Park, USAnia deserve some of the blame for this.  They've been inflating their engagement figures for videos (https://www.engadget.com/2018/10/17/facebook-accused-lying-video-stats-year-lawsuit-metrics/) for years, to the effect that all the marketroids believe that people pay more attention to video than text.  Hence everything's a video.


Quote
Podcasts, I suppose, are useful for those that like the opportunity to listen to something while doing something else, but again, I'd rather read the transcript.

My objection to podcasts - other than having become rather culturally Deaf in 16 odd years of living with barakta[1] - is that I can't listen to speech in a moving vehicle without being unreasonable travel-sick, and if I'm not in a moving vehicle, reading is much higher bandwidth.  And as a general rule I'd rather read an essay than a transcript.

In principle, podcasts are brilliant - anyone can make a radio programme about something interesting and find a relevant audience.  Just not something I really have room for in my life.  I accept that other people will have good reasons (eg. dyslexia or visual impairment, or spending a lot of time on the move) for thinking the exact opposite.

Videos I mind less, iff the subject matter justifies the use of video in the first place.  As someone who doesn't have speakers connected to my computer, I do wish people would subtitle them properly.  No, I'm not putting my headphones on just to find out what your 45 seconds of talking head is saying.


Quote
But the bane of my media experience are the Twitter stories. There's a good dozen in the Guardian today. Reporting on people being angry or offended on Twitter, illustrated with their Tweets. It's not news, not everyone uses Twitter, and frankly I don't care what people on Twitter think (if indeed they do, which I doubt). It's just lazy journalism to fill space cheaply.

It's the way they use screenshots of tweets, as if that were somehow authentically documenting an event, rather than linking to them like Berners-Lee intended.   :facepalm:

Images of text is a big enough problem on Twitter.  We don't need the media encouraging it.


[1] I've basically given up on radio; unless there's a specific programme that's worth putting my headphones on for, I won't deliberately generate confusing background noise for no good reason.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 04:51:40 pm
I look at various Polish news sites most days, because I can and because it's fun to see places and remember living there, but TBH the news varies little from the UK. A couple of English sites I like a bit are https://theconversation.com/uk and https://www.citymetric.com though the writing in the latter is extremely variable.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 15, 2019, 05:04:55 pm
The thing about the Tweet stories is that it's mostly the opinions of random people. Alistair Staircase doesn't like it. Nor does Jane Cabinet. However, Sophie Stopit thinks it's great. Uh? What great insight am I supposed to arrive at through the opinions of a small, random bunch of people?

Even when it's not the opinions of non-entities, is anyone actually surprised when Donald Trump used the paltry wealth of characters to express another half-witted, half-formed view? Or that Piers uses it yet again to prove he's a – no, the – colossal bellend. These are self-evident properties of the individuals in question.

That said, if Twitter disappeared tomorrow, the world would be a better place.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 15, 2019, 05:20:02 pm
Twitter's fine, as long as you read people you actually know (or sources of genuinely entertaining content or useful information) and avoid the bottomless pit of Brexit'n'Trump, Nazis, TERFs, Gamergaters, etc, just like you have to everywhere else on the internet.   It also helps if you don't try to use it as substitute for  a) a realtime chat system  or  b) a proper website.

Anyway, where would we be without @WorldBollard (https://twitter.com/worldbollard)  @Ratvaark (https://twitter.com/ratvaark)  @MachinePix (https://twitter.com/MachinePix)
 @TheRealSheepOfTheDay (https://twitter.com/billplumtree)  @Bollocksinfra (https://twitter.com/bollocksinfra)  @BollocksWeather (https://twitter.com/bollocksweather)  or all the government cat accounts?

I should add the latter to my list of news sources, really.  Always handy to know when there's a rat in Downing Street...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Jaded on January 15, 2019, 05:57:32 pm
The thing about the Tweet stories is that it's mostly the opinions of random people. Alistair Staircase doesn't like it. Nor does Jane Cabinet. However, Sophie Stopit thinks it's great. Uh? What great insight am I supposed to arrive at through the opinions of a small, random bunch of people?

Even when it's not the opinions of non-entities, is anyone actually surprised when Donald Trump used the paltry wealth of characters to express another half-witted, half-formed view? Or that Piers uses it yet again to prove he's a – no, the – colossal bellend. These are self-evident properties of the individuals in question.

That said, if Twitter disappeared tomorrow, the world would be a better place.

To be honest, that is the problem with all snippets on the internet. Random people getting their 15 nanoseconds of infamy, and some of the more unpleasant ones doing it as often as possible.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Jakob W on January 15, 2019, 07:17:19 pm
I let most of my magazine subscriptions lapse because small children and lack of reading-length commute meant the unread pile was reaching embarrassing levels. I keep meaning to re-subscribe to the New Yorker, because I think its long-term writing is pretty uniformly excellent, but haven't got round to it. The Economist was good commuter reading and helped provide a different perspective to my usual lefty fare.

For most of my news news it's the Beeb and Graun online, supplemented with overseas media as appropriate. I decided to kill the Today programme years ago, and switch to R3/6Music, which did wonders for my morning mood.

Twitter has its downsides, but it's also genuinely useful, especially for specialised fields; I follow colleagues and subject experts, and get a lot of interesting stuff through that way that I wouldn't otherwise.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: telstarbox on January 15, 2019, 07:32:12 pm
As a snowflake lefty millennial cyclist the Guardian online subscription is the obvious choice for me, although I will dip into the Mail to see how the other half think...

Blogs are good as long as their authors maintain them - although very hard to monetise which can lead to lack of motivation.

Twitter remains useful for interesting stuff*, often find it's "normal" people with 1,000 to 10,000 followers who do the most worthwhile tweets as opposed to celebs or high profile experts.

*and driving meme formats into the ground
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: De Sisti on January 15, 2019, 09:09:47 pm
Mainly BBC Radio 4 and World Service.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 15, 2019, 09:26:34 pm
The World Service! I remember listening to that as a teenager, and also to international broadcasts on short wave from weird and wonderful places like Radio Tirana and Vatican Radio. Tirana must have had the strongest signal to country size ratio of any radio station anywhere.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: andrewc on January 15, 2019, 11:29:32 pm
The World Service! I remember listening to that as a teenager, and also to international broadcasts on short wave from weird and wonderful places like Radio Tirana and Vatican Radio. Tirana must have had the strongest signal to country size ratio of any radio station anywhere.


Radio Tirana, I remember that on SW back in the late 70's.  I think they hated everybody.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Adam on January 16, 2019, 04:10:40 am
The Week is good, to get a fairly balanced overview.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 16, 2019, 09:39:37 am
Come to think of it, I get all my news from Number Stations.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Jakob W on January 16, 2019, 09:42:53 am
Come to think of it, I get all my news from Number Stations.

I'd expect nothing less from a thought leader...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 16, 2019, 09:44:16 am
The World Service! I remember listening to that as a teenager, and also to international broadcasts on short wave from weird and wonderful places like Radio Tirana and Vatican Radio. Tirana must have had the strongest signal to country size ratio of any radio station anywhere.


Radio Tirana, I remember that on SW back in the late 70's.  I think they hated everybody.
TBH I don't remember anything they said, I just remember the brass notes played over and over followed by "This is Radio Tirana" in various languages. The principles and policies of autarchic stalinism passed me by.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: bobb on January 16, 2019, 10:02:29 am
As mentioned above, R4 and R5 are pretty good, but the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers. Teenagers who will look at it and think "What is this patronising shit?" I only ever user the BBC for sport results/analyses - Football, Cricket etc...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: De Sisti on January 16, 2019, 10:05:43 am
the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers.
+1
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Jaded on January 16, 2019, 10:18:32 am
It is trying not to compete with traditional media, like The Daily Mail.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 16, 2019, 10:41:08 am
To be fair, the BBC is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't. People will always complain. Complaining about the BBC is a great British institution, like going to M&S to moan about the clothes.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Mr Larrington on January 16, 2019, 10:46:30 am
I'm glad it's not just me that gets irritated by videos. Unless it's tremendously complicated I can get the gist of something much quicker by scanning or reading, and it doesn't disturb anyone else either.

+1 :thumbsup:
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 16, 2019, 11:35:10 am
the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers.
+1
Does it succeed? I doubt it.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: De Sisti on January 16, 2019, 11:48:54 am
I'm glad it's not just me that gets irritated by videos. Unless it's tremendously complicated I can get the gist of something much quicker by scanning or reading, and it doesn't disturb anyone else either.

+1
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 11:53:47 am
the BBC website has gone to shite in recent years. It seems to be aimed at teenagers.
+1
Does it succeed? I doubt it.

Not so much teenagers, as fondleslab-based video-watchers (there may be some overlap).  I'll give them some slack for excessive use of video because it's the BBC, and video is what they do.  What bothers me more is the use of misleading headlines for clickbait.  They're funded by TV Licences, why do they need clickbait?  And that they've lost their edge in terms of being quick to have a story - it used to be that you could rely on the BBC website to be up and have *something* about a current event.  They're now no faster than any other news source, and sometimes conspicuously fail to report things in a way that's hard not to see as censorship.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 16, 2019, 12:21:35 pm
They also seem incapable of writing a paragraph.

That is more than one sentence long.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: bobb on January 16, 2019, 12:50:30 pm
To be fair, the BBC is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't. People will always complain. Complaining about the BBC is a great British institution, like going to M&S to moan about the clothes.

I'm not complaining about the BBC as a whole - just their website. I'm sure the people responsable for its content are not stupid and know exactly what audience to target, but I just think it's a load of ballbag....
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 16, 2019, 12:51:46 pm
I think the general assumption for online content is to aim it at fifteen-year-olds with ADHD who are on their fourth energy drink of the day.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 01:04:39 pm
I think the general assumption for online content is to aim it at fifteen-year-olds with ADHD who are on their fourth energy drink of the day.

Or worse, fifteen-year-olds with ADHD who haven't had any energy drinks...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: T42 on January 16, 2019, 01:07:34 pm
Too much coffee has much the same effect. Ditto four pints of Rington's before 11 am.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 16, 2019, 02:13:31 pm
Further to videos: when something does not have its own intrinsic soundtrack, but is inherently visual, like this explanation of spinning ice disks posted by T42:
https://youtu.be/ILG4sLfXYNQ
I'd really rather not have background music.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 02:33:16 pm
Further to videos: when something does not have its own intrinsic soundtrack, but is inherently visual, like this explanation of spinning ice disks posted by T42:
https://youtu.be/ILG4sLfXYNQ
I'd really rather not have background music.

That bothers me less, because I default to having the sound off.  It's when the sound *is* important (eg. somebody's speaking) and they add pointless, overly intrusive, background music.  Background music's hard to get right when it's appropriate (eg. in drama), the average YouTuber using it to <marketingspeak>create a brand identity</marketingspeak> doesn't have a hope.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 16, 2019, 03:13:02 pm
It annoys me though when it starts muted and I think "What are they saying? What's going on?" I turn on the sound and... aargh!
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 03:19:01 pm
It annoys me though when it starts muted and I think "What are they saying? What's going on?" I turn on the sound and... aargh!

+1
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: T42 on January 16, 2019, 03:25:25 pm
Can only agree. I watched that one with the headphones on the desk.

What annoys me more are GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT half-obscuring the images.  They need to parse the sub bit of subtitles.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 03:28:47 pm
Can only agree. I watched that one with the headphones on the desk.

What annoys me more are GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT half-obscuring the images.  They need to parse the sub bit of subtitles.

You can bet that if there is closed captioning, when enabled it will appear on top of the GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: T42 on January 16, 2019, 05:20:38 pm
Heh. MrsT had one ear done in by malaria, or maybe the atabrin they treated it with, as a child. When we watch films on Netflix we often have English audio with French subtitles.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 05:23:44 pm
Heh. MrsT had one ear done in by malaria, or maybe the atabrin they treated it with, as a child. When we watch films on Netflix we often have English audio with French subtitles.

A Deaf friend of mine has worked out how to persuade $media_player[1] to display two subtitle streams at the same time (one at the top of the screen, one at the bottom), so he and his wife can watch films together with both English and Polish subtitles.


[1] VLC?  mplayer?  Something like that...
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 16, 2019, 06:41:11 pm
Can only agree. I watched that one with the headphones on the desk.

What annoys me more are GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT half-obscuring the images.  They need to parse the sub bit of subtitles.

You can bet that if there is closed captioning, when enabled it will appear on top of the GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT...
It shouldn't do. It should be sent to the top of the screen (assuming the GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT are at the bottom). I used to know the technical word for sending captions to the top, but I've forgotten it.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 16, 2019, 06:50:49 pm
Can only agree. I watched that one with the headphones on the desk.

What annoys me more are GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT half-obscuring the images.  They need to parse the sub bit of subtitles.

You can bet that if there is closed captioning, when enabled it will appear on top of the GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT...
It shouldn't do. It should be sent to the top of the screen (assuming the GREAT BIG CHUNKS OF EXPLANATORY TEXT are at the bottom). I used to know the technical word for sending captions to the top, but I've forgotten it.

Well we are talking badly made internet videos here, but it's also a functional limitation of some systems (I don't think the .srt format allows any control of positioning[1], for example).

Actually, this should go on the list of reasons craptions aren't good enough...


[1] Which is a bit of a double-edged sword.  Since positioning the subs is up to the player, it does mean you can manipulate their alignment for fun and profit.  The two-languages-at-the-same time trick I mentioned above, for example.  I routinely persuade mplayer to display captions below the letterbox when watching widescreen video on my 5:4 display, which is even better than having them in a sensible place over the image.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Robh on January 17, 2019, 12:13:29 am
I can gather all the news I need from the weather report.

You are Paul Simon and I claim my £5!

(click to show/hide)

👍
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Robh on January 17, 2019, 12:36:26 am
For the record, I read the Guardian x6 days per week, the Observer on Sundays. Also Private Eye and the New Scientist (but not as much as I should). I listen to the news on BBC R4 much more than I ought to and, because tinnitus/insomnia, I listen to a lot of BBC World Service. Friends in the US/Mrs Robh (who subscribes to NYT) keep me posted on interesting stuff from over there. Also, I listen quite a bit to FIP, which is excellent musically, but I struggle to make sense of the news bulletins (or even the musical links). I am taking evening classes to remedy this. Facebook friends (hello bubblechums!) are another valuable source of information, as is yacf.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 17, 2019, 12:01:44 pm
Here's another online news thing I don't like: when the headline changes between front page and story. Here's an example:
Website says "Updates: Road closed after suspected arson attack". Click on it and you get:
https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/live-fire-bristol-hartcliffe-hareclive-2438188
Quote
Updates: Major Bristol road in Hartcliffe closed due to car fire - emergency services on scene
A major road in Hartcliffe has been closed after a car caught fire this morning (January 17).

Fire crews are currently attending the incident on Hareclive Road.

A picture of the incident shows plumes of smoke trailing across the road and a car well alight, with a fire engine positioned nearby and a firefighter tackling the flames.

It is not yet known how the blaze started, however Avon Fire and Rescue has been contacted for comment.
Note the last line. "It is not yet known how the blaze started." So how can you say it's "suspected arson"? Oh, you've removed that bit, but not from the "front page".
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 17, 2019, 12:23:06 pm
I suppose you can suspect arson (eg. by knowing of someone with a specific motive) without knowing how the fire started, but in general, yes.  Cutting down a long headline to save space on the index page (which didn't really happen in print newspapers) is fair enough, but often it's just re-written as clickbait.  Or even more annoying, made so ambiguous that you've no idea what the story is actually about - sometimes because of assumed context (eg. when stories escape from the sport section to the main news), but it also seems to get done deliberately to more obscure articles - I suppose that's a less sensationalist form of clickbait.

Someone upthread mentioned that the headlines are written by editors, rather than the journalists.  It seems likely that the headlines on index pages are written by a different person to the ones on the articles.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on January 17, 2019, 12:32:45 pm
It had not occurred to me to give it any thought before but I suspect your last sentence might be correct.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 17, 2019, 12:37:30 pm
And if your job is re-jigging the index page to reflect FACT × IMPORTANCE, you're probably not delving into every article to check for changes, even if the CMS provides tools to flag when there have been updates.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: ian on January 17, 2019, 01:13:23 pm
Headlines are generally written by subs, and they may not have edited or read the article other than a quick skim. The aim is something catchy and short enough to fit. Also modern CMSes and layout tools let the article content change post-headline and captioning.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Plug1n on January 17, 2019, 05:09:59 pm
I'm saddened to find no mention of RSS in the thread :(.  I still use it for a few things (Graudniad (sic), Scotsman, xkcd, .......) but it is gradually dying out.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on January 17, 2019, 05:31:48 pm
I miss RSS   :(
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: MikeFromLFE on January 17, 2019, 06:42:45 pm
I'm saddened to find no mention of RSS in the thread :(.  I still use it for a few things (Graudniad (sic), Scotsman, xkcd, .......) but it is gradually dying out.
One of my main news sources is through various RSS feeds through the Feedly App (which also picks up YACF)
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Baron Brymbo von Pickelhaube on January 20, 2019, 12:55:16 pm
In order of frequency:

Print: der Spiegel, Kindle edition at a rate of one copy every two weeks, not quite enough to justify a subscription
TV: mdr AKTUELL
TV: rbb regional news
TV: about 20 other german free-to-air satellite TV channels
TV: Al Jazeera English
TV: BBC News 24, whatever's showing in the 5 minute period before the 5-min-before-the-hour weather
Print: Tabloid headlines, viewed on working days when I pass by the newpaper stand to collect my lunch in Sainsbury's, Friar Street, Reading
Online: YACF, I lurk in POBI and then follow up some of the themes in the WWW
Print: New Scientist and the Economist, I always take a copy of each on holiday.  Nowadays that's when I can't take the Kindle, so about once per year
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Ruthie on November 21, 2019, 08:48:22 pm
I’m still finding The Big Issue is the nearest thing I can find to proper journalism. It’s just excellent.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: perpetual dan on November 22, 2019, 08:50:59 am
Late to this but...
Here, and work politics chat.

I read quite a lot of twitter. Mostly it's people I agree with. Mostly it's little more than a witty headline, but gives pointers to the presence of an interesting story. It also lets me know when someone awful has done something, without having to read it in the original. There's also voices in my feed that are underrepresented in big org British media: geeks, EU citizens, women, trans people etc. But it takes some work to make that my experience.

I look at BBC news online, but with a sceptical eye on the politics.
We get a Guardian / Observer / i about one weekend in two.
FT online is quite good, but I've yet to put my hand in my pocket.

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Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: T42 on November 22, 2019, 09:28:25 am
France Info, Graun, NYT, and POBI for the funny bits and the sideshow going on across the Channel.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 22, 2019, 04:28:58 pm
I’m still finding The Big Issue is the nearest thing I can find to proper journalism. It’s just excellent.
Interesting. I haven't read it for years, maybe I'll give it a try.
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Kim on November 22, 2019, 04:30:22 pm
Since this thread began, the more pertinent question would seem to be "How do you avoid current affairs/culture?"
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: Cudzoziemiec on November 22, 2019, 04:36:15 pm
Or "How do avoid politicised news and find journalism and culture?"
Title: Re: How do you keep up with current affairs/culture?
Post by: perpetual dan on November 22, 2019, 08:11:16 pm
Avoiding politics...

On Twitter I have three accounts: work, pleasure (between_beyond) and ranting (perpetualdan). It isn't perfect but it helps me not be permanently cross.

Here, leave POBI alone.

On paper, magazines that aren't current affairs.

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