Feeding Your Mind

Some of the News that’s Fit to Read

RSS Feed IconNews is what you make of it, and not all that’s written is worth reading. Much of the initial reasoning behind this blog was to capture something of the illogic in what passes for news, to question assumptions entrenched in the public domain. Of course that leaves me well open to criticism of my own position, but it’s a risk worth taking if I want to encourage others to re-think and see things again, in different ways. So I’m extending my efforts now to other voices, those saying things that aren’t often heard in precisely the same way.

I’ve always included links to other sites – some deliberately silly, others very serious, most somewhere in between – in the sidebar to offer alternatives and compliments to what I write about. They’ve now been joined by a small selection of news feeds.

If you look towards the bottom of the sidebar you’ll see three new text boxes, carrying what are usually called RSS feeds. There’s some debate about what RSS stands for – Internet development is often so rushed that no-one really pays attention to who names what, and less-than-helpful abbreviations abound. It could stand for Really Simple Syndication, or for Rich Site Summary. But it’s probably just as easy to think of yourself as reading some stuff that comes to you, rather than having to look for it every day.

That’s why people say they subscribe to feeds. It’s just like subscribing to a newspaper. Using a specifically designed reader or your usual web browser, you can grab the latest changes from many websites, including this blog, in full or just as headlines. I’m doing much the same in the sidebar here.

I’ve subscribed to five headlines per box to offer a glimpse of how human rights are being violated, the development and defence of democracy, and what happens to intellectual property rights when they’re shared. If you click on the links you can read the full articles. Alternatively, just click on the heading of a box to visit the respective news page.

To start things off, I’ve included feeds from Human Rights Watch, the independent American news production Democracy Now! and Creative Commons. All three organisations are very important because they defend freedoms, ranging from the more obvious to the less observed. If, to give a quick example, you’re interested in what Creative Commons is doing to overcome the sneaking restrictions of copyright, just read the box at the very bottom of the sidebar. Maybe you can do something about it too.

Diversity, by Chris Keegan, with Creative Commons licenceAs time and available feeds allow, I’ll add more boxes to cover the widest range of news possible. You may be not be interested in all of it, but sometimes you might be surprised. I’m currently looking for an intelligent news feed on comics, because even the funny books can carry messages worth reading, new things to learn, and provocations to unlearn. I also have my eye out for a general culture and society feed that doesn’t just focus on America, or on other parts of what we usually call, for no other reason than convenience, the ‘West’.

The world is a big place, and it’s ever worth remembering that we’re not all the same.


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