NYT Opens Up Online Environment, Starting Today

19 09 2007

Dear TimesSelect Subscriber,

We are ending TimesSelect, effective today.The Times’s Op-Ed and news columns are now available free of charge, along with Times File and News Tracker. In addition, The New York Times online Archive is now free back to 1987 for all of our readers.Why the change?

Since we launched TimesSelect, the Web has evolved into an increasingly open environment. Readers find more news in a greater number of places and interact with it in more meaningful ways. This decision enhances the free flow of New York Times reporting and analysis around the world. It will enable everyone, everywhere to read our news and opinion – as well as to share it, link to it and comment on it. . .

The tagline I saw there this morning: “Now everyone is entitled to our opinions!”

I included some education tags on this post because I think the public’s right to know is the understood foundation of both freedom of the press and compulsory schooling.
One is free from government; the other IS government.
I want to think about this some more. . .

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6 responses

19 09 2007
JJ

From a comment here:

To [anyone] worried about antiscience homeschoolers:

I think science ought to be all over home education like Favorite Daughter’s boyfriend is all over her. Crazy with affection and can’t get close enough. Wooing us! Journalists too, authors, politicians, economists, anybody with good product rather than dumbed-down consumer crap to sell.

You guys NEED a critical mass of better thinkers who love the thrill of the intellectual chase, future citizens more in love with your work than conscripted institutional schooling is giving you, and I’d say we’re your best hope of getting it.

19 09 2007
JJ

And there’s this — imagine the public schooling “right to know” applied to the “right to know” journalism claims, and so reading a certified newspaper of record every day and then passing a government-approved test on its content and attitudes, was compulsory for all citizens, and it was enforced in pubic reading centers every morning for a couple of hours, with truant officers to round up recalcitrants.
Would that be “freedom of the press” or more like “oppression through the press”?

Schooling as Sincere Ignorance and Conscientious Stupidity


“Can true education of any kind exist within the framework of legal compulsion to attend and perform, or does the choice of non-choice define everything after that, limit it to mere schooling and not education?

19 09 2007
kim

I wonder when they launched Time Select, because from my recollections, the Internet has always been a rather open environment!

19 09 2007
JJ

Here’s a further puzzle along that same line: if journalism is a private, for-profit enterprise while public education is tax-funded and government-run for universal access and the common good, then why on earth would the Times open its valuable archives and fresh daily product for free to all, while Education Week and PDK and Columbia Teachers College Record, for example, remain walled off behind high-priced, professional-only mechanisms?

19 09 2007
JJ

In honor of the Times’ quasi-conservative columnist David Brooks coming out from behind that Select pay-to-play gate, I’ll comment on something from yesterday’s, “Hillary Clinton, from Revolution to Evolution”, that I think connects neatly with Steven Pinker’s language windows.

Brooks used a label I had to Google, “loya jirga” — tribal grand council — and I don’t think he thinks much of it. Isn’t he evoking this term to throw a good scare into anyone not yet sufficiently turned off by Clinton’s “It Takes a Village” approach?

It began to sound like a health care loya jirga — indicative of the political vision that has marked so much of her thinking over the years. When some politicians are asked to describe systems that really work, they think of the competitive marketplace. Others think of political combat — good defeating evil.
But Clinton, at her most hopeful moments, is a communitarian. When she’s asked to describe a system that works, she describes diverse people coming together around a big table to reach a consensus.

Oh, the dreaded Delphi Technique??

America is being torn apart.

Parents, citizens, teachers, principals, superintendents who are opposed to the new purpose being given our American education system need tools to withstand the process being used to bring it in — against the Delphi Technique and consensus which, through their basis in the Hegelian Principle, have Marxist connections and purposes.

Now there’s an idea — the tribal grand council of Homeschooling’s Border Patrol could embrace “loya jirga” as the new bugaboo of progressive thought and education reform, to replace the dreaded Delphi Technique Conspiracy.

Loya jirga has that oh-so-newsworthy and fearsome Middle Eastern vibe to it, so ominous and foreign rather than the classically western Delphi Oracle allusion. Loya jirga triggers the spectre of the Taliban for me, and really, is there any culture we’d want less to emulate in any possible way, than Afghanistan’s harsh and partriarchal cave-dwelling? Seems to me it takes at least TWO villages to be war-torn . . .

19 09 2007
JJ

The BBC on “loya jirga”:

No group was excluded from the assembly, but anyone alleged to have committed acts of terrorism or suspected of involvement in drugs, human rights abuses, war crimes, plunder or theft of public property is barred from attending.

Well, it wouldn’t work here then — that would leave out too big a chunk of our political class! 😉
And notice, just having it “alleged” is enough to bar that individual from participation, which would cut way down on all these partisan investigations at least . . . and no doubt cut government costs too, because you could hold the governing council with who’s left unsullied, in any handy janitor’s closet! No office expenses, little travel, good for the environment!

Nomads, refugees, academics, cultural institutions, social organisations and religious scholars were also represented. The Taleban movement were not represented, but groups who share their political, social and cultural views sent representatives.

So — the homeless then. Destitute immigrants fleeing natural and manmade disaster? Moviemakers, million man marchers and abstinence ball throwers, young earth preachers and dominionists. Gang leaders and bar bouncers and bounty hunters? (Well — any of them left after all allegations of abusing the public trust have been leveled. I heard NPR’s story yesterday about MoveOn dot org’s big plans for “betrayer of our trust” as their all-purpose Goad to Victory; they’ve already alleged it about three public figures.)

A loya jirga is seen as an essential process – one that is wholly Afghan.

Perhaps the most famous loya jirga took place in 1747, when Pashtun tribal chiefs met in the southern city of Kandahar to elect a king. Deadlocked by nine days of debate, the loya jirga chose the king as the only man who had not spoken a word the whole time.

Even as an American I could vote for that! A king whose word is law, wouldn’t be so bad with very few words. 🙂

But I think this next historical referent reflects how any sort of government process can break down and “betray us” as we struggle to progress beyond pandering to tribal ignorance —

In 1928, King Amanullah asked Queen Soraya to remove her veil at the loya jirga to win support for modernising reforms. However, this proved too much for the delegates, who fomented an uprising instead.

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