They say that you are what you do, but lately I’ve heard the expression, “You do what you are”. I like it, and feel that it is a far better way of explaining the mysterious occupations many of us pursue. This also goes a lot farther in explaining how I got into Psychology and to what I’ve been doing for the last 20 years, namely developing a process and methodology whereby people can freely disclose their most frank and intimate beliefs about companies, organizations, vendors, you name it. We called this “product”, Psychmentation, and it has been enormously successful for our firm, used by some of the largest and most successful global organizations to better understand how their customers and employees perceive them.
You might say, I’m in the bullshit or delusion busting business, and times are good…never before has there been so much deception, lies, misinformation, disinformation, and just outright bullshit as in the current age of the internet. In fact, I think if the great historians, Will and Ariel Durant were still working on their Magnus Opus, ours might well be titled, The Age of Bullshit. I really do.
Rest assured however, that I am just as much as you frustrated by how tough it is to get at any semblance of truthful information about ANY topic. It seems that every proposition is immediately and aggressively blasted by competing interests, usually with selective information meant to support their opposing view. Before you know it, protesters are lying on the street blockading the embassy of some offending nation or the offices of some corporation. I’m not saying these actions are unjustified, I’m simply saying that they are usually premature and based on motivated reasoning rather than balanced information, analysis, and judgement.
So where do you go for sound, balanced, responsible, accountable analysis and facts? We used to rely on newspapers and magazines, but many of these have either starved to death or fallen victim to corruption in the unfettered rush to financial salvation in the age of “free” information, selling their souls to the Devil. I’ve got news for you…it’s never really free.
I’ve been looking for somewhere to start, reviewing the ownership profiles, Mission statements, and editorial policies of the various remaining “serious” journalistic outlets. I have decided to begin with the doggedly centrist, The Economist. I’ve been reading many of their articles and like the balanced view. I like the anonymity of each piece, crafted not for the celebrity and glorification of a single person, but reviewed and contributed to by many participants.
Many hands write The Economist, but it speaks with a collective voice. Leaders are discussed, often disputed, each week in meetings that are open to all members of the editorial staff. Journalists often co-operate on articles. And some articles are heavily edited. The main reason for anonymity, however, is a belief that what is written is more important than who writes it.
The About section is a fascinating glimpse into the history and evolution of one of the last remaining serious “newspapers”. I’m also looking for equivalent Left and Right of centre vehicles to complete my efforts to cut through the shit and get to the Shineola! I ordered a hard-copy weekly subscription which also provides access to all digital versions. I’ll keep you posted on thoughts over the next year.