Good Sources to Interpret Reality

Once in a while mariner is asked what his sources are – especially given he doesn’t watch CNN, FOX, MSNBC, HLN, NEWSY and Late Shows. There are a number of channels that try to be balanced and factual:

PBS – PBS intentionally has neutral news including BBC news broadcasts and no nonsense series like Christiane Amanpour. In addition, newsworthy topics often are explored more deeply. Additional series like Frontline provide in depth analysis of important issues.

CSPAN and CSPAN2 – A great advantage for CSPAN is its ability to cover live political events occurring in session and other political events that are headline worthy but not in governmental locations. Further, the on-line video library is enormous; one can search for significant subjects that may have fallen out of contemporary news cycles.

BITV – Bloomberg television – Clearly a business and investment channel. Compared to similar business channels, Bloomberg reports just the facts, Ma’am; pundits stay on the mark and explain issues clearly. Mariner appreciates the Saturday broadcast shift to arts, sciences and technology.

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Mariner depends heavily on websites of proven quality. He subscribes to several email newsletters from websites, magazines and newspapers that provide daily updates on both headline news and tangential activity that may not be ‘breaking news.’ Here are a few website email services: – This website was started by Nate Silver, an odds maker of the first degree in sports betting. He branched into politics in a big way covering all election campaigns from early polling for primaries to the final minutes of election night and correctly called 98% of his picks in 2012. He wrote a book on probability mathematics which mariner has in his library: (“The Signal and the Noise, 2012, Penguin). His newsletter uses a related number as a headline for each entry. has several email services focusing on news, photography, books, and commentary. Mariner considers the print Atlantic an excellent magazine. Emails often recommend cultural news related to headline news. – Similar to PBS, Propublica is supported by subscribers but reading access is unrestricted. This website pursues information more deeply than typical news journalists. – A broad coverage of politics from headlines to who hired whom to/from lobby firms, law firms, international firms and who is leaving the Government to fill these positions. – A website that sees the world through the eyes of cities. A different level of news is covered, e.g., subways, issues with rent control, bicycle lanes, funding for inexpensive housing, etc. – Generally in the print version, headline articles have more to do with politics and culture than with just New York. The same is true of the website and the email newsletter. A newcomer to the news game. It is independent and prides itself on accuracy and fact checking; it covers all major subjects, e.g., politics, climate change, international issues, et al. – TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. Often, speakers provide insight into the real causes and results in contemporary culture. – Surprisingly, this China sponsored website has balanced world news. It is, of course, slanted toward China’s view of the news but it is a refreshing view on world news that isn’t available on American television.

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On radio, follow NPR programming. In its email service, a lead story is examined in detail. On the radio, honest broadcasts include its podcasts. – For anything the reader may ever want to know in any context from Cybele to Prokopios Pavlopoulos, Wikipedia has documentation. In his early years, mariner grew up with a ‘Book of Knowledge’ encyclopedia. One of the few positive things about the Internet and its data storage is a dependable source for historical and intellectual information. It is user supported. Financially, Mariner supports this critical goldmine of information; he urges the reader to support Wikipedia as well.

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Mariner remembers reading a quip in some magazine that said, “It used to be that if a person knew things, they were educated and smart. Today, knowledge is so available as to suggest one no longer gets credit for knowing things; it’s a matter of how one applies the information.”

Ancient Mariner