Paul Tough's second book, How Children Succeed, is coming out September 4. The third chapter is about chess, specifically the IS 318 chess team, James Black, Matan Prilleltensky, the Polgars, Gata Kamsky, and myself. You can read a fun excerpt here of me going over a game at nationals and being a bit psycho.
As you know, I love the Democracy in America blog, and I was especially struck by a recent article on balance in journalism:
The problem of balance is neatly explained by a British hack, Nick Davies, who wrote a seminal (and underrated) book on falsehood, distortion and propaganda in journalism called "Flat Earth News". Mr Davies does a bit of teaching, and he has his students imagine that they are asked to write a report on what the weather will be like tomorrow. They interview a woman in one room who says it will be sunny. Then they interview a man in another room who says it's going to rain. Your job, as a journalist, is not to simply write up what you have been told, he says. Your job is to look out the window.
Writing a "balanced" version of this story would produce an article that reads “he says it will rain” but “she says it won’t”. You have all these quotes fluttering around like “butterflies in a jar”, going nowhere. But there is a bigger danger lurking. What if the man who says it is going to rain is lying? What if he is an umbrella salesman? Your options are to either make a judgment about the truth, or print what you have been told. But if you balance an article when you know that all the evidence points to a sunny day tomorrow, then you are participating in a denial of truth.And finally, is anyone else disturbed by the wildly inconsistent comment policy at the New York Times? Some articles allow comments; others don't, purely at the whimsy of the department editor, for reasons completely opaque to me. May I comment on a Science article? DON'T EVEN TRY IT. Racial profiling at airports? SURE! Assisted suicide? ABSOLUTELY NOT! A 17 year old Ambassador's daughter who falls to her death at a party in a high rise after drinking? NO PROBLEM.
someone explain it to me