#onefinalread

I’m trying a new experiment on Twitter this week. Usually, I end each day with a #closingthought. But my closing thoughts have gotten a bit weird. Last week, they were all Allen Iverson quotes. Since I started tweeting out songs more frequently in the morning for #AMinspiration, my closing thoughts have suffered.

So this week, a new experiment: #onefinalread. It’s an article or a link or a tweet I think is worthwhile. Ideally, it’ll be something that makes you stop and think.(1)

#onefinalread RT @Slate: The WikiLeak reveals how skilled the Obama administration is at wielding America’s power http://slate.me/fTw5TQMon Nov 29 23:07:31 via Tweetie for Mac

Thoughts/ideas/suggestions on #onefinalread? Tweet at @danoshinsky and let me know.

  1. Though, now that I stop and think about it: when was the last time you actually stopped and thought?

The Next Time Someone Asks You If Journalism Is Worth Paying For, Say This.

Funny how some things are cyclical. Again, I’m hearing reporters question whether or not there’s money to be made in journalism. And again, I’m wondering why reporters feel the need to undermine themselves. Why not just come up with an explanation for why your job is essential to our democracy? Why not say something like this?

Journalists are a lot like teachers. In any other society, they’d be highly paid and highly trained. They’d be the best we’ve got, because they’re the ones educating us and keep us informed.

But we don’t live in one of those societies right now. In America, teachers aren’t highly paid, and journalists wish they had the kind of financial security that teachers have. We live in a society that places less value on information, because it’s too easily accessible. The truth can be fudged. The facts can be altered. This is the first democratic society that doesn’t see legitimate, verified information as important to its existence.

Don’t believe me? Turn on cable news for a minute. That’s all you’ll need.

Right now, Wikileaks is releasing thousands of pages of information about what the United States government is doing. But even the news organizations reporting about it can’t get simple details right, and others news organizations are spending time openly attacking transparency. The stories will be easily available, but they won’t be read. (Except, maybe, for the one about the wild wedding in Russia. It’s very TMZ.)

Our society is supposed to be built on being highly informed. We’ve got apps that tell us where to save $.03 on gasoline, but we don’t have nearly the same instinct to seek out truth. How can we live in an interconnected world that sees facts as irrelevant?

So the question is: Do you want to live in a society that does value truth? Because good reporting is just like everything else in our society: if you value it, you’re going to have to pay for it.

How Far Can 100 Really Good Books Travel?

That’s the question I’m asking in a new project that will soon be launching over at BooksAround.org. It’s a spin-off on the old dollar bill experiment: if I send 100 interesting books out to people around the country, and ask those people to read and pass the books along to friends, where will those books eventually end up?

To get this off the ground, I’ve enlisted the help of Kickstarter. You’ve probably got a dollar or five lying around. So watch the video below, click the link and help get this experiment off the ground.