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You are the Free Republic—Enhancement and Initiative Announcement

Posted on 05/08/2012 3:35:15 PM PDT by Admin Moderator

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To: Jim Robinson
Obviously you're the one who sets the parameters of what this will look like. All I know is what I'm reading in the comments. Bottom line is I think it's a great idea... and most things Free Republic people care about involve public officials or public figures so lots of legal land mines will rarely if ever come up.

Here's an example of what you probably won't need to worry about, but that newspapers need to worry about constantly. Successful libel lawsuits typically involve minor stories that weren't properly edited, not the big stories that get reviewed many times before they get published. Obvious examples include misidentifying the name of a drunk driver with the result that a local businessman suffers due to a screwup because an editor didn't catch that “John Q. Public, 54, of Anytown, Calif.” is not “John O. Public, 54, of Anytown, Calif.” That sounds minor until Mr. John O. Public goes to court alleging that he lost thousands of dollars in his taxi driving business and has five current and potential clients willing to testify that they stopped using his taxi service because they thought he had been arrested for DWI. We don't usually hear about such lawsuits because the newspapers know they'll lose so they settle out of court, but things like that get reporters and editors fired, give publishers ulcers, and keep lawyers busy.

Back on track...

Several people commenting have noted that Tea Party and other conservative events are being ignored. I've seen complaints elsewhere on Free Republic that conservative candidates for state office and even congressional districts are not being questioned, and requests have been made for better information on who's who from a Freeper perspective. Garbage claims are being made by leaders in government and elsewhere about things on which some people on Free Republic have professional expertise, and those FReepers could be refuting the garbage.

We can call that reporting, op-eds, or some other name, but things like that need to be done, and if Free Republic is able to do it, fantastic!

I'm not an uncritical fan of what some call “citizen journalism” — I am painfully aware of the problems — but if the traditional media can't or won't do things, Free Republic could provide a real service.

I'll look forward to seeing what happens!

151 posted on 05/08/2012 9:19:50 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: Admin Moderator

BOOKbump


152 posted on 05/08/2012 9:23:39 PM PDT by S.O.S121.500 (That Kenyan bastard is not my president. ENFORCE the Bill of Rights.)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
Maybe this is a dumb question, but what does “no hitting it” mean?

I see you didn't really get a straight answer. Maybe it means this:

In the 1950s we would have said "hubba hubba, wotta dame!"

The "citizen journalist" thing sounds good. If done well, the best writers could form a core group like Pajamas Media. If not done well it could turn into something like Newser or maybe HuffPo, where the most prolific posters display special badge icons to show how special they are. [shudder]

153 posted on 05/08/2012 9:33:51 PM PDT by Tarantulas ( Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
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To: All
Did you know that you can control the content, arrangement, quantity, and color of what you see on your main FR page?

Re: the new FReeper Editorial page referenced in this thread. . .Would you like to add a list of all the new Freeper Editorial articles to your Main FR page? O.K. How to do that...

Go to the new FReeper Editorial page...
http://www.freerepublic.com/tag/freepered-news/index
Just under the last FReeper Editorial shown, click on "Add to My Page".

That will take you to the page called "Manage Blocks" (My Page Layout). Look for the line “FReeper Editorial (News/Activism)” and choose the location where you would like a list of “FReeper Editorial” articles to be displayed on your main FR page.

When finished choosing, click the “Modify” button at the bottom of the page.

You can change it back or further modify it anytime on the “My Page Layout” page, just click “Account” at the top of your main FR page...then click “Manage Blocks”.

You can also click on the words "Configure Sidebar" found on the right side of the Main page under the Sidebar. This also takes you to "My Page Layout" where you can choose your personal preferences and add content to the Sidebars (Left, Right, Top, Bottom) on your Main FR page.

154 posted on 05/08/2012 10:08:21 PM PDT by deks ("...the battle of our time is the battle of liberty against the overreach of the federal government")
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To: Admin Moderator

WOW! Bump this. I was lucky that JR allowed one of my articles to be published in breaking news. Now I can write some more. This is fantastic! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Woo! Hoo!


155 posted on 05/08/2012 10:08:39 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Admin Moderator

Will you add this one to our new category?

Governor Romney’s Housing Crisis (FR Exclusive)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2838983/posts


156 posted on 05/08/2012 10:23:07 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: deks

Thank you for posting that information. It’s embarrassing not to know those things after having been here for a while.


157 posted on 05/08/2012 10:25:46 PM PDT by Tarantulas ( Illegal immigration - the trojan horse that's treated like a sacred cow)
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To: re_nortex
One out of three ain't bad.

OK to have mod's review, even bounce back for edit, but limiting to the good old boys and those who contribute sounds a lot like today's republican party nomination process...not like a good means of encouraging thought or gaining creds.

That said: We ('though I have no idea how I can contribute) need to do everything possible to turn this into a lever for the changes that should have followed 2008 but fell short.

158 posted on 05/08/2012 10:27:38 PM PDT by norton
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To: tomkat

Should that be translated as "resist" or "resistor"?

159 posted on 05/08/2012 10:29:00 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: Admin Moderator

Not sure if this would have qualified for the new category. (It was linked all over the Net at the time.) It wasn’t an editorial. It was more like investigative reporting. Thoughts?

JournoList: 157 Names Confirmed (With Organizations)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2573077/posts


160 posted on 05/08/2012 10:35:40 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Admin Moderator

Not sure if this would have qualified for the new category. (It was linked all over the Net at the time.) It wasn’t an editorial. It was more like investigative reporting. Thoughts?

JournoList: 157 Names Confirmed (With Organizations)
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/bloggers/2573077/posts


161 posted on 05/08/2012 10:36:08 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (Man is not free unless government is limited. ~Ronald Reagan)
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To: Yashcheritsiy
“Maybe this is a dumb question, but what does “no hitting it” mean?”

I suggest freepmailing Lazmataz he created.....caused...it.

It was entertaining to me, but it offended some who are less sexist.

What an honor it must be to have his very own restriction!

162 posted on 05/08/2012 10:55:49 PM PDT by right way right (What's it gonna take?)
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To: Tarantulas; TigersEye
Thank you for posting that information. It’s embarrassing not to know those things after having been here for a while.

You're welcome. It took me a few years to figure it out.

For any "Keyword" that is attached to an FR article, you can have a list of articles (to which that "Keyword" has been added) listed in a Sidebar on your main FR page (click on a Keyword, then click on the words "Add To My Page" found on the resulting page).

That would be a way to keep up with articles you're interested in, although not all articles have the Keywords added to them (anyone can add the appropriate Keywords to an article though).

Firearms articles consistently have the Keyword "banglist" added to them by people that appreciate the Keyword feature. I have a list of them included on my main FR page :)

163 posted on 05/09/2012 12:47:54 AM PDT by deks ("...the battle of our time is the battle of liberty against the overreach of the federal government")
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To: deks
For any "Keyword" that is attached to an FR article, you can have a list of articles (to which that "Keyword" has been added) listed in a Sidebar on your main FR page

Well, dadgum! I consider myself a keyword nut but I didn't know that. Thanks! I have a Free Republic bookmark folder and have a few keyword pages in there.

164 posted on 05/09/2012 12:58:30 AM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: TigersEye

Also, substitute any FR “Topics” instead of “Keyword” in the procedure I described, and you can get a list of articles for that Topic to be displayed on your main FR page :)


165 posted on 05/09/2012 1:10:14 AM PDT by deks ("...the battle of our time is the battle of liberty against the overreach of the federal government")
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To: zeugma
Both ? !   ;-)

(on technical drawings it's the latter)

166 posted on 05/09/2012 3:48:10 AM PDT by tomkat ( FU.baraq <font finger=middle>)
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To: kristinn; Jim Robinson
Kristinn, I read your link last night to the “Palin hairdresser” controversy (i.e., her daughter) and ended up spending several hours reading the articles, trackbacks, Twitter links, and related articles on this controversy.

I'm pretty sure I gave this a cursory read back in 2010 — if I remember right, one of our own local readers even posted a crosslink on the Pulaski County Web to your Free Republic coverage on the Palin hairdresser situation since he's been a Free Republic fan for many years — but I didn't realize at the time how critical Free Republic was in exposing this ridiculous situation.

Great work!

“Crowdsourcing” is not a panacea, but getting hundreds of angry activists to catch and call attention to stuff like this can quite effectively expose and embarrass people who need to be called on the carpet.

If Free Republic's new section can lead to this sort of thing being done more often, and localized to state-level and congressional races, it would be fantastic.

167 posted on 05/09/2012 5:31:29 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: BuckeyeTexan

That kind of reporting is exactly what we are looking for.


168 posted on 05/09/2012 5:47:25 AM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Lazamataz; Admin Moderator; Jim Robinson

Agreed - it needs to be by-default visible on the sidebars.


169 posted on 05/09/2012 7:29:17 AM PDT by EdReform (Oath Keepers - Guardians of the Republic - Honor your oath - Join us: www.oathkeepers.org)
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To: right way right
I am, indeed, honored by personalized restrictions in nearly every walk of my life.

For example, at work, I am not permitted to walk by the receptionist's desk any more for any reason whatsoever, nor board any elevator with any female employees unless escorted by a chaperone.

170 posted on 05/09/2012 7:34:21 AM PDT by Lazamataz (To the wall, street occupiers!!!!!)
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To: darrellmaurina; Jim Robinson; John Robinson; Admin Moderator
Darrell, I read with great interest your series of posts to Jim. I believe you have valid points. I also believe that there is a defense against some of those points, that Jim pointed out. To summarize, you stated that there was a possibility of legal liability on an individual basis if we began hard reporting. While this may have some truth, we actually have that situation now, with people writing comments on the articles.

I feel it would be an outrageous stretch for anyone to sue on a comment on a news item, and would end up with the Righthaven sort of smackdown that the litigant would deserve. Since the article is an extension of the comment ability, the very same would attain there as well. Yes, there is some theoretical liability, but I don't feel it to be a substantial risk.

However, even this remote risk does speak to one feature that I would love to see employed on this Freeper Editorial Sidebar (and this is where JohnRob comes in): It would be a great asset to the moderation of that sidebar if,

  1. Articles posted to that sidebar where vetted first for an assessment of appropriate levels of quality, an inspection for possible legal vulnerabilities (ex: calling Ted Kennedy a drunk would not expose anyone to a problem, but falsely claiming Ted Kennedy had seven DUI's would), and vetting for best-practice use of English spelling and grammar. Bottom line for JohnRob would be that nothing posts to that forum sidebar before an Admin approves it. They queue up instead.

    2) Once certain posters have earned their chops, perhaps they might be thought of as Regular Contributors (such as are featured in some of the news websites) and they might get an ability to post right away. If there was a problem, the article or opinion piece could be taken down in retrospect.

I understand this might take some new coding, but I don't see this as too formidable a programming task. Right John? I mean, if you had it all done in dotNet, it should be easy! Oh wait, you did it in Perl. ;)

171 posted on 05/09/2012 7:51:38 AM PDT by Lazamataz (To the wall, street occupiers!!!!!)
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To: Lazamataz

Sorry, we’re not going to vet any posts, other than our regular moderating which is usually in response to submitted abuse reports and or for inappropriate or misclassified posts. We do not have an editorial staff. This is a discussion site, not a news reporting agency. Our posters are exercising their first amendment rights to post items for discussion and critiquing purposes. It’s opinion oriented. Sometimes our opinions do make news, though. Like (paraphrasing), “Something’s wrong with Rather’s letter. The fonts don’t look right for a typewriter.”

The right to express opinion is protected by law.


172 posted on 05/09/2012 8:09:01 AM PDT by Jim Robinson (Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God!!)
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To: Admin Moderator

Powder..patch..ball FIRE!

EXCELLENT! Yeah I was yelling...


173 posted on 05/09/2012 8:10:06 AM PDT by BallandPowder
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To: Lazamataz; Jim Robinson
Laz and Jim:

Bottom line up front: this is a great idea. It can work, and given the resources Jim has at his disposal (i.e., some very powerful conservatives who are capable of giving him top-notch advice on both legal and practical matters) I think it will work.

Legal environments differ from state to state, not in basic principles of libel law but rather on fine points, state precedents, and practical issues. I am not qualified to discuss details of California law and I'd be a fool to try. Jim has access to private legal advice so there's no point.

Reading between lines, I think the point Jim is making may be that his role providing an online forum to post opinions is a different category, legally speaking, from editing a newspaper and becoming responsible for every single thing in its pages. Internet law is in a tremendous state of flux, and the level of moderation, prior review, etc., that is exercised by the owner of a website becomes key in how courts will view the level of liability of the website owner vis-a-vis the person posting an article or posting a comment on an article.

I don't think anyone can safely predict how the courts will handle developing internet law down the road, but that distinction between posting content and providing a forum for others to post content was asserted last year by my business partner's lawyer, and it saved him from a lawsuit threat caused by allegedly libelous comments on an article. I'm not going to say more publicly since the statute of limitations on the alleged offense hasn't yet expired, the guy is still mad, and he has a long history of suing people, but I was very glad our business operations were designed with defending against litigation in mind. In my world, most people aren't going to spend five-digit sums of money merely to jump on me in court, especially since any lawyer worth his salt will find out very fast that I know what I'm doing, I don't make the sort of screwball mistakes that typically get reporters sued, and I have the financial resources to fight back hard rather than buckling under at the first threat. However, I'm a conservative, and that means I'm cheap, so I hate spending money I don't need to spend and prefer to prepare in advance rather than suffer due to lack of advance planning.

Also, “balls” count. It's possible for management be so scared of their shadows that people can't do their jobs. Anyone who knows Free Republic's history knows its owner doesn't back down easily and that will help him tremendously.

Lawyers for big newspapers, networks, and TV and radio stations are used to threats and respond accordingly. There's a reason for that. Giving in to bullies makes the bullying worse.

Anyway, I said up front that this is a great idea. I hope it takes off. Free Republic could do a tremendous amount of good with original content, especially at the state and congressional district levels.

174 posted on 05/09/2012 9:43:10 AM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: Jim Robinson
Sorry, we’re not going to vet any posts, other than our regular moderating which is usually in response to submitted abuse reports and or for inappropriate or misclassified posts. We do not have an editorial staff. This is a discussion site, not a news reporting agency. Our posters are exercising their first amendment rights to post items for discussion and critiquing purposes. It’s opinion oriented. Sometimes our opinions do make news, though. Like (paraphrasing), “Something’s wrong with Rather’s letter. The fonts don’t look right for a typewriter.” The right to express opinion is protected by law.

Okay bro, just tossing ideas out there. Some you might like, some will suck. I'm not emotionally invested in any of them.... :)

175 posted on 05/09/2012 9:49:59 AM PDT by Lazamataz (To the wall, street occupiers!!!!!)
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To: Tijeras_Slim; Lazamataz
“History of FreeRepublic” post from nearly 10 years ago

Would you happen to have a link to that? I bet it was a hoot ... thanks!

176 posted on 05/09/2012 10:29:16 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (O's new cookbook: "101 Ways To Wok Your Dog")
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To: Fast Moving Angel; Lazamataz

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1011545/posts

Laz’s post is #40


177 posted on 05/09/2012 10:32:25 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim
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To: Tijeras_Slim; Lazamataz

EXCELLENT!!!! That should be required reading for all noob FReepers as well as a refresher for those who have been around a while. Thanks for sharing - you made my day (and bookmarked too ... hehe)!!


178 posted on 05/09/2012 10:45:21 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (O's new cookbook: "101 Ways To Wok Your Dog")
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To: Jim Robinson; Admin Moderator
All such non-sourced posts are actually individual opinions or as one poster labeled his own post, an individual editorial, ie, FReeper Editorial.

Or "FrEd" for short, maybe.

179 posted on 05/09/2012 10:49:06 AM PDT by Fast Moving Angel (O's new cookbook: "101 Ways To Wok Your Dog")
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To: Tijeras_Slim
This gets you exactly what you want...

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1011545/posts?name=#40

and a very nice piece it is too.

180 posted on 05/09/2012 10:58:44 AM PDT by Mycroft Holmes (<= Mash name for HTML Xampp PHP C JavaScript primer)
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To: Jim Robinson; Admin Moderator

Here’s a point you may want to consider: the old media is unlikely to publish FR-produced content, so its influence will be largely determined by the extent to it is picked up by other conservative blogs. Unfortunately, FR has earned a reputation for being extremely hostile to the bloggers who post here - especially those who excerpt their articles, something that virtually all other media sources require.

It won’t immediately eliminate the problem, but an official moratorium on greeting external bloggers with contempt and ridicule would be a useful start.

Interesting Times


181 posted on 05/09/2012 2:59:22 PM PDT by Interesting Times (WinterSoldier.com. SwiftVets.com. ToSetTheRecordStraight.com.)
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To: Interesting Times
Unfortunately, FR has earned a reputation for being extremely hostile to the bloggers who post here - especially those who excerpt their articles, something that virtually all other media sources require.

Just my 2 cents, but bloggers who post 3 word ticklers, steal graphics from others, paraphrase or plagiarize from other sources, use a you tube video as their blog content or post and run at FR (with no participation) deserve ridicule.

182 posted on 05/09/2012 3:18:37 PM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (Pictionary at the Rorschach's tonight!)
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To: Fundamentally Fair

What of those bloggers who research and write quality stories, excerpt them here, and are treated like rabid skunks?


183 posted on 05/09/2012 3:32:44 PM PDT by Interesting Times (WinterSoldier.com. SwiftVets.com. ToSetTheRecordStraight.com.)
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To: txhurl

NNNOOOOO!!!!!!! (sob)


184 posted on 05/09/2012 3:39:13 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Interesting Times
What of those bloggers who research and write quality stories, excerpt them here, and are treated like rabid skunks?

I'm sure there are some. My non-scientific sample says there few. Can you point out a few? I'd like to see example of those that were unfairly ridiculed.

185 posted on 05/09/2012 3:54:39 PM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (Pictionary at the Rorschach's tonight!)
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To: Fundamentally Fair
My non-scientific sample says there few...

...they're...

186 posted on 05/09/2012 3:57:59 PM PDT by Fundamentally Fair (Pictionary at the Rorschach's tonight!)
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BTT


187 posted on 05/09/2012 6:12:55 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: Admin Moderator; Jim Robinson

I love the idea.

Can we continue to use our Freeper labels or do we have to post investigative journalism with a real name attached?

I have always been very protective of cyber privacy concerns.

I also think the first person account part is critical. That doesn’t mean the person can’t have opinions about what he or she has heard/seen/done, but the facts come first. Thanks for that. It is right on the money.


188 posted on 05/09/2012 6:58:01 PM PDT by xzins (Vote Goode not Evil (the lesser of 2 evils is still evil))
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To: xzins

Right now, posting is no different than posting anything else, just the category and the type of content. It is your choice if you use your real name in the author field. I don’t see this ever being a requirement or even suggestion.


189 posted on 05/09/2012 7:33:40 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: eastforker

Perhaps you could offer to be the editor in chief?


190 posted on 05/09/2012 11:15:34 PM PDT by caww
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To: onyx; bray

Doesn’t Bray write on the Sunday Morning News threads....she’s also quite the writer.


191 posted on 05/09/2012 11:17:19 PM PDT by caww
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To: Lazamataz
Driveby ...

Hi there, Laz! Thanks so much for the vote of confidence and the invitation -- high praise, coming from you!

192 posted on 05/10/2012 12:20:31 AM PDT by JohnHuang2
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To: JohnHuang2

Good to see you.


193 posted on 05/10/2012 1:15:20 AM PDT by Vigilantcitizen (Dave Mustaine for president.)
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To: Admin Moderator
kewl.. this sounds fantastic!
"boldly going where no Liberal (or RINO) has trod before...to the truth.
"Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel."
- Socrates

194 posted on 05/10/2012 1:29:34 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA. DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...old Brazilian saying: "$@me $hit; different flie$". :^)
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To: Interesting Times
its influence will be largely determined by the extent to it is picked up by other conservative blogs.

What do you mean, "other" blogs? Do you think FR is a blog?

FR has earned a reputation for being extremely hostile to the bloggers who post here - especially those who excerpt their articles

That's because the little wankers are using FR as advertising to get hits.

an official moratorium on greeting external bloggers with contempt and ridicule would be a useful start

If they don't excerpt their material they never hear a word of criticism.

195 posted on 05/10/2012 5:24:14 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: humblegunner

I wasn’t talking to you.

You contribute nothing of value here, and do significant damage to FR’s reputation on the Web.


196 posted on 05/10/2012 5:39:01 AM PDT by Interesting Times (WinterSoldier.com. SwiftVets.com. ToSetTheRecordStraight.com.)
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To: Interesting Times
I wasn’t talking to you.

Too bad, I read it anyway.

197 posted on 05/10/2012 5:43:11 AM PDT by humblegunner
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To: mnehring
I have a totally different view of this---and, btw, I'm not pinging everyone, so feel free to re-ping---I think it is precisely the drift toward "critical thinking" that is killing education.

We have gotten entirely away from content. If you go to the McGuffy Readers, they didn't teach "critical thinking." They taught straight up morals, patriotism, Biblical truths, etc. The notion that you can teach "critical thinking" outside of a vast body FIRST of information and basics, is flawed.

The fact is, when we taught "only" facts, we had far smarter and more innovative people (on the whole) than we do today.

Further, "critical thinking" ALWAYS assumes two points of view, that any position has "some validity" that we must "critically analyze." Well, no. Once a truth is established as a truth, you don't continually revisit it. We don't test anew gravity every year (ie., seeking to prove it). It is now a building block upon which we rest other ideas.

So I'm extremely skeptical of teaching "critical thinking" as an end. If you teach content correctly people will learn to think critically.

198 posted on 05/10/2012 9:12:49 AM PDT by LS ("Castles Made of Sand, Fall in the Sea . . . Eventually (Hendrix))
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To: LS
We have gotten entirely away from content. If you go to the McGuffy Readers, they didn't teach "critical thinking." They taught straight up morals, patriotism, Biblical truths, etc. The notion that you can teach "critical thinking" outside of a vast body FIRST of information and basics, is flawed.

Having taught each of my four sons to read via McGuffey Readers, I must emphatically disagree. McGuffey did not teach straight up morals, etc., he offered well written literary pieces that illustrated proper behavior--behavior that actually worked for the benefit of the doer, his family & community; and foolish behavior that did not work--at least not for good--so that the child learned the critical thinking behind the ancient truths being illustrated.

The present debased educational structure does not work that way. Rather it assumes undemonstrated--and clearly false premises--that are treated as sacrosanct. The result, instead of the principled youth of McGuffey's day, we have the chanting Egalitarian automatons at a 2008 Obama rally, chanting in unison for changing America. The automatons may be on the attack, but they most certainly do not illustrate "critical thinking."

William Flax

199 posted on 05/10/2012 9:46:36 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: nutmeg

bookmark


200 posted on 05/10/2012 10:27:40 AM PDT by nutmeg (Rest in peace, and thank you, Andrew Breitbart)
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