After my first few posts, I thought it reasonable to write up something like a mission statement that explains this newsletter.
We live in an increasingly complex world. Topics of public import are often beyond the time investments of most people to research and synthesis. It is hard enough for many people to stay on top of their daily work and raise a family, much less become experts on everything that matters. So, people look to experts, particularly through the media. But there is an increasing sense among many of us that the experts have failed us, and the media is corrupt.
The erosion of trust of public trust in institutions has varied over time, and more recently by the year. Top-down solutions to information propagation create unique honey pots that tempt those with the money and power to gatekeep in ways that suit their interests. What the world needs is for the people to rise up in an information revolution. While this is happening to some degree in media as journalists like Glenn Greenwald and writers such as Scott Alexander ditch the corporate umbrella and build an audience, that isn't enough. What people need are communities, both for personal health and networking, but also as a shield from the increasingly draconian pressures propagated through traditional and social media.
This brand, Rounding the Earth, plays on a metaphor of poorly synthesized information in a world in which we know games of deception are rampant. We see that the Earth is round after carefully building a scaffolding of major data, then filling in the details over time until the notion becomes intuitive---a process that took humanity centuries, but now takes our children a handful of lessons while growing up.
Rounding the Earth is my personal way of acting as part of a community, and to support the community building process, in an evolution away from centralized information dissemination and processing.
I plan to do my best to research, examine, and report topics of public and personal interest---particularly where I have expertise through professional and academic experience. More than that, I plan to use this platform to encourage community building. Don't just read on the internet and take for granted the words of experts---mine or anyone else's. Gather with friends and neighbors to share enough information to formulate the big picture. Reach out for many sources that do some of that work for you, but apply your own filter. No one person can be journalism, but groups of people can supplement research and leverage their talents with an element of verifiable and repeatable trust (at least to a more reasonable degree).