You should. I do not claim any expertise, but in my effort to understand this I’ve come across a few fabulous sources.
I advise starting here. Vi Hart has a way of making complex topics accessible through her blend of art and narration. The analogy she uses in this video worked for me and made the concept understandable. Bonus points for using sound educational strategies – Vi contextualizes this concept through using a common experience – ordering online. In terms of comprehension strategies, to me this is a text-to-self connection, and also serves to ‘activate prior knowledge’. Generally, we find new information easier to comprehend and retain when it is connected to something we’ve personally experienced. Why I’ve chosen this as your first exposure to this topic.
Juice Rap News is one of my preferred media outlets. Perhaps the issue that concerns me the most is open access to information. I’ve some grave concerns that “The News”, as we’ve come to accept it, is usually generated by for-profit companies supported by paid advertisers. This does not sit well with me, not at all. I try to seek out other sources for information, and thanks to the interwebz, I can usually find them. As I do rely on such digital sources to educate myself, the notion that the internet itself could become a place that prioritizes the information from bigger, mainstream outlets and throttles the feeds of smaller sources causes me some fairly grave concerns. We are already inundated with information from these sources, and it does take active effort to seek out alternative channels for information. This is, of course, the beauty of the internet – it has liberated information from the clutches of a few major players and allowed other sources to share their perspectives.
Thankfully, this week marked the end of our Fortnight of Ignorance. Since the start of Last Week Tonight on April 27th, John Oliver’s take on the weekly world news has become indispensable to me. I urge you to check him out. The show makes their key clips available free on the YouTubez – how awesome is that? You don’t need HBO to catch up. Each week, he focuses on one main issue in a larger segment to both inform and entertain the audience. How he managed to make his clip on capital punishment both simultaneously emotional and hilarious is a credit to his writers and his presentation style. He gives the same treatment to Net Neutrality in this clip from last night. John and his staff have created a fabulous clip here – I mean, the line “If you want to do something evil, put it inside something boring” is brilliant enough, don’t you think?
I am closing this post with this clip for good reason. John has also provided us with an actionable take away – the FCC has openly solicited feedback on their plan. I simply can not phrase it any better than John, so here’s a transcript from this episode. Will our efforts make a difference? Cynic RAT says no, Pollyanna RAT says it can’t hurt (jeez, that’s my positive perspective? Yikes.)…
“The FCC are literally inviting internet comments at fcc.gov/comments. And at this point– and I can’t believe I’m about to do this – I would like to address the Internet commenters out there directly.
Good evening, monsters. This may be the moment you’ve spent your whole lives training for. You have been out there ferociously commenting on dance videos of adorable three-year-olds, saying things like, “every child could dance like this little loser after 1 week of practice.” Or you’ve been polluting Frozen’s “Let It Go” with comments like– “Ice castle would give her hypothermia and she dead in an hour.”
Or — and I know you’ve done this one — Commenting on a video of this show, “F*ck this *sshole anchor…. go s*ck ur president’s d*ck… ur just friends with the terrorists.” Now, I don’t know, I don’t know what any of that meant, but I don’t think its a compliment. But this is the moment you were made for, commenters. Like Ralph Macchio, you’ve been honing your skills, waxing cars and painting fences. Well, guess what? Now it’s time to do some f*cking karate. For once in your life, we need you to channel that anger, that badly-spelled bile, that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have put on weight, or politicians you disagree with.
Or photos of your ex-girlfriend getting on with her life, or non-white actors being cast as fictional characters! I’m talking to you, “RonPaulFan2016”! And you, “OneDirection4ever”! And you, “OneDirectionSuxBalls!” we need you to get out there and, for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction! Seize your moment, my lovely trolls!
Turn on caps lock and fly my pretties! Fly, fly, fly!!!!”
Comment here: fcc.gov/comments on Proceeding 14-28
Or email the FCC at: email@example.com