David and Goliath

In Malcom Gladwell’s “David and Goliath”, the author tries to explain how the supposed take of “the underdog” is wrongly analyzed. While it’s seen as a tale overcoming impossible odds, David in many ways had an advantage.

Goliath might have suffered from acromegaly, the overproduction of the human growth hormone, which might explain his six foot nine inches height but also his possible poor sight. When challenging the Israelites, Goliath is being accompanied by a servant holding up a shield. While such servants were common for projectile warriors, they were rare for combat warriors. This, the servant might have been there as Goliath wouldn’t have known how to shield himself due to his poor vision. As David is coming down the hill with no armor, Goliath seems not to see him clearly, as he seems to make no mention of the lack of armor as he tells David to come next to him, possibly to see him clearly. When David finally comes down the hill holding a stick, Goliath seems insulted and says that he’s s opponent is treating him like a dog with sticks. But instead of sticks, David only had one, so Goliath could have possibly thought there were several of them due to his poor eyesight.

As for David, while legend regards him as a mere Shepardboy, he was in fact also a warrior.He was a projectile warrior, a slinger to be more precise. His abilities with a slingshot were akin to that of a pistol holder. He could arguably sling a stone towards an opponent 35 feet away in a second,  giving Goliath no time to respond. In these times, different types of warriors cancelled each other out, like rock,paper, scissors. Cavalry solders beat out projectile soliders while projectile soliders usually defeated ground soliders. This David, a projectile fighter had be advantage over Goliath, a ground solider.

In many ancient tales, the true meaning of the story is often misinterpreted or missed to simplify it to a wider audience. The story of “David and Goliath” is simply stated as a tale of a person defeating someone who was physically superior to him, while failing to acknowledge that strength comes in many different ways. David used his speed to overcome Goliath’s brute strength.

We are in an era where physically strength is of low importance. People who go to the gym usually go just as a personal goal to get fit and or impress other people. That form of strength is no longer needed in life or death situations. Now intellectual skills like how good you are are in a computer are generally more important in terms of success. And it seems that in the realm of intelligence, David clearly beat Goliath in that department as well.

Principles of Trustworthy Media Creation

According to Gilmore. journalists need to have four essential principles to be trusted by their audience. They are thoroughness, accuracy, fairness, independence and transparency. Of these, transparency is the most the most missed in my opinion. Transparency is letting the audience know about your personal motivations for doing what you do, basically saying their biases. While new media such as blogs have been very focused on letting people know about their passions, Big Media had been timid to do as such, perhaps fearing their credibility will be dented.  Objectivity can never truely be achieved, though we can come close to it by referencing  as many different viewpoints as possible. Yet most traditional journalists often deny having any sort of conflict of interest, even when crystal clear. Many journalists come into the field to push their own views, even indiscreet ways. For example if you were pro-Iraq invasion,that reporter would have emphasized the facts or opinions that supported their view while downplaying the info that suppressed their view. Many journalists in MSNBC and Fox News have a oblivious tilt to one end of the political realm, yet many state that they’re unbiased and often say that their view is common sense. Sean Hannity is a clear example of this. Hannity is a conservative journalist who often breaks many of the rules of good journalism. With such antics as in placing quirky audio in an Obama clip and oftening referencing the now former president by his middle name, Hussein, Hannity clearly show his bias but refuses to state it.

As for me, I also know where I stand in my own biases. Though I haven’t acknowledged them in my previous writing pieces, I will assure I get it out there more often. In a recent video I did about the business of one of my father’ friend, I stated his relationship to me in the video. My interest in journalism certainly grew to the polarizing statements of our current president, Donald Trump. Until a few years ago I was actually a fan of Trump, thigh to his ventures in getting skyscrapers named after him. As a fan of skyscrapers, I slightly admired him. Yet as his brither movement began to lose my support for him. I even give him a chance to redeem himself after the ‘illegal rapists’ comments he made at the start of his campaign. Now I am very anti-Trump and tend to focus much more on negative articles I read about him than the postive ones. Especially as an immigrant,  I feel that Trump does not have this group as high up on his list of constituents he needs to win over. As a journalist I think I would emphasize Trump’s treatment of the immigrant community, such as mentioning Trump’s initiative V.O.I.C.E., which intends to single out immigrants as dangerous, more prominently than other commentators.

Principles of Media Consumption

We as consumers of media must have principles when consuming it. Dan Gillmor states that we must always use critical thinking when reviewing any media. Being skeptical is among the most notable of principles. Whether if its newspapers, blogs or social media, we can never take what we read as being true for granted. Businesses call skepticism due diligence and it well works here too. First off we must admit that even the most prestigious newspapers make mistakes. While many newspapers eventually point out their mistakes, readers see that section. Another issue is that journalists often don’t ask the hard but necessary questions. During the Iraq War, The New York Times and other prestigious newspaper passively followed the info of the Pentagon. As the Pentagon wanted to gear up for war, they only told the media info that would pump up Americans for an invasion. Reporters didn’t go to Iraq itself and interview Iraqis, asking them what their opinion of the situation was.   The same is true of the housing bubble burst which almost no major media talked about in the pre-Recession years. Often times, particular in financial matters, only the voice of the rich and powerful are heard. Google and other tech companies have been controlling what we see by often placing on top articles that will most likely fit our worldview. For example if you get your news from liberal leaning sites like The Huffington Post then your search engine will put conservative sites way down on the list. While this is a good business model, it deprives users of exploring other points of view and makes us more sucked into our own echo bubble. However, the best reporting is often done asking the employees over the bosses. Just like we must be skeptical to media, we must also question what were taught by prominent people in our lives. Our parents often tell us that we must have a hat when its cold outside or else we’ll catch a cold. However, a cold is caused by a virus, not the weather. In school, we’re often taught by our teachers to glamorize European explorers like Christopher Columbus, while minimizing the genocide that occurred in the Native American communities. We must be skeptical that even if something is taught by a person in power, it isn’t true.