One Man's Opinion -- for what
To: Jonathan Stray -
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Cc: Mathew Ingram - email@example.com
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Cc: Paul Krugman - (Address unknown, please forward)
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From: Doug Skoglund - firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Wednesday, Aug
Subject: My Way XCII - Bingo!!
Jonathan, in your 21 Aug 2012 post
entitled, "Metrics, metrics everywhere: How do we measure the impact of journalism?"
Evaluating the impact of journalism is a maddeningly difficult task. To begin with, there's no single definition of what journalism is.
And, back in your 13 Jun 2012 post
entitled, "Journalism is
more than one thing" you wrote:
There's a craving in the air for a definitive statement on what
journalism is, something to rally around as everything changes.
You, sir, have nailed journalism's A#1
problem -- PURPOSE??
Purpose must be established -- all else will
evolve from that statement.
In order to simplify the process of
developing that statement of purpose, please allow me to introduce you to the
Scientific Process (as modified) -- from my 29 Mar 2011 post:
David Brooks posted an interesting column
yesterday, the 28th, entitled, "Tools for Thinking," where he
A few months ago, Steven Pinker of
Harvard asked a smart question: What scientific concept would improve
everybody's cognitive toolkit?
And, the answer is really quite simple
and straight forward -- there is only one scientific concept -- AKA: The
Scientific Method/Process (the following from Wikipedia)
Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating
knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of
reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: "a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."
We, of course, need to generalize that
concept to make it usable by everybody
It is all about opinions
The human brain is a data collection
system that processes data and formulates opinions -- aside from
managing the human body, formulating an opinion is all that the human brain
can do. I want to emphasize that statement -- formulate/generate/create an opinion --
NOT facts and NOT information -- an opinion about all manner of things, but
still an opinion, a very biased opinion...
The Scientific process.
Step 1 - Collect data
Step 2 - Formulate an hypothesis
Step 6 - Test the hypothesis.
The Scientific Process is normally
restricted to natural phenomena that can be tested by rigid procedures;
however, many other areas have been incorporating the concepts to support
their developments -- the field of economics being a prominent example.
It is high time to acknowledge a
generalized process that can be used to explain other areas of human endeavor.
The Common Sense Process
Step 0 - Establish Purpose
Step 1 - Collect Data
Step 2 - Formulate an Opinion
Step 3 - Validate the Opinion
Step 4 - Sell the opinion
The human brain is a wonderful device
(organ): however, it is not perfect -- Just as an hypotheses needs testing
along with the assumed editing, an opinion needs validation and editing.
Now, you know that -- you don't write a book without an editor (AKA:
validation). Why post a blog without some kind of validation??
Well that is what comments should be all
about -- emphasizing the word, "should." Validating an
opinion is a cooperative process -- a comparing of opinions in an attempt
to develop the best opinion. It is NOT a competition, with winners and
To be continued (I would like to help)
Doug Skoglund email@example.com
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