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With social media purging set to kick into overdrive, it’s increasingly important to have viable alternatives for the intellectually curious. Beyond the network effect, the tech giants also enjoy hard-won virtual vertical integration. Facebook provides news, advertising, group message boards, public social media feeds, electronic marketplaces, and DMing all in-house. It is a one-stop shop for people. Many Facebook users use nothing other than Facebook when they go online.

Those interested in keeping the flame of free thought alive must move in the same direction to avoid being snuffed out. The proprietor of this webzine is doing just that with the site’s new crowdsourced News Aggregator feature. Check out Ron’s introduction. Drudge has become a joke. Revolver and Infogalactic are good, and UR has the potential to be even better.

 
• Category: Arts/Letters, Culture/Society • Tags: News to use 
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  1. Jtgw says:

    Quite FB about two weeks ago and never felt better. Irony is I actually work for them.

    • Thanks: Curle
  2. Wyatt says:

    Revolver and Infogalactic are good, and UR has the potential to be even better.

    Suckin’ up to the boss, eh AE? 😛

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  3. @Wyatt

    Driven by admiration, nothing else!

  4. Automated or crowd-sourced news aggregators don’t seem to me like good ideas. They produce little bang for the buck in my opinion. Fundamentally, getting an overview of all stories doesn’t help us “be informed” unless we have time to investigate each one. The current voting fraud issues are a great example of why–all the fraud reports from all over the country are not worth reading when they are reported by people who aren’t savvy about analyzing them. A much better strategy for being informed in this situation is to find a few commentators and follow those people. Fundamentally, you want the topical daily news version of following Steve Sailer instead of sampling all the current race-IQ literature on a daily basis.

    For the past four years, I basically gave up reading any actual news sites. I checked Zero Hedge and sundance at The Conservative Treehouse and Andrew McCarthy at NRO every morning. This in addition to osmosis through various blogs and overhearing co-workers, etc kept me well-enough informed. Despite Zero Hedge’s occassional craziness, I think just reading that one website gave me a more accurate view of reality than what my co-workers (who all spent the last 4 years glued to cable news and MSM feeds) had.

    Also, I’m afraid the real frontier of censorship is not going to be on social media but from, for example, service providers. We shall see what happens in the next few years.

  5. @Jtgw

    LOL. “Don’t shit where you eat,” as they say. In your case, it’s good you stopped eating where you shit. I tried FB and Twitter a few years ago and gave them both up shortly thereafter. FB was suggested as good for my business but was a waste of time. I joined Twitter briefly only so I could follow and comment on Craig Ferguson and be part of his Robot Skeleton Army.

  6. Talha says:

    Peace.

    • Thanks: Dissident
  7. Corvinus says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    “I checked Zero Hedge and sundance at The Conservative Treehouse and Andrew McCarthy at NRO every morning”.

    I would say it is plausible that people who consume alternative media is also having baseless conspiracies shoved at them routinely when they do not further investigate on their own accord. Why should we unequivocally kow tow to the sites you listed, along with Weasel Zippers, Brietbart, PJ Media, and Alex Jones?

    “This in addition to osmosis through various blogs and overhearing co-workers, etc kept me well-enough informed.”

    Seemingly well-informed. But you do realize that you reside in your own information bubble and are subjected to confirmation bias, right?

    Read carefully the advice of Ron Unz…

    I apply the same historical methods I did in my academic journal articles back in the 1980s. You analyze the likely reliability of the raw information presented, look for confirming or refuting evidence, and then draw your own plausible conclusions…On a more serious note, many of my articles very heavily cite various MSM sources, so why would I do that if I believed they were always lying?”

    In a similar vein, the work of historians, then and now, involves collecting evidence and weaving a narrative that employs that evidence. If a person disagrees with the interpretation, then he/she has to offer counter evidence rather than automatically assume the overall work are “lies”.

    Does not this process keep “the flame of free thought alive”?

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  8. A123 says:

    Ancipient is an excellent aggregation tool.

    http://ancipient.com
    ____

    While AE’s corner is usually outstanding… Other portions of this site attract conspiracy theorists, deranged anti-semites, and Hate Trolls.

    With only one set of UR News Links, there is not yet a mechanism to give the low-IQ haters a place to self-segregate.

    We will have to see what develops. Mr. Unz is looking at extending the “Blocked Commenters” function to also cover posted links. That would be an immediate win for civility.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Mark G.
    , @Corvinus
  9. Talha says:

    Very interesting; using copyright laws to stifle criticism:
    “ Netflix has sent over a hundred takedown requests this week targeting tweets that are critical of the movie ‘Cuties’ and/or urged people to cancel their subscriptions. The takedown notices list the full tweets but only the linked media, which reportedly includes trailers, were removed. The takedowns are highly unusual as Netflix usually targets classic pirated content.”
    https://torrentfreak.com/netflix-targets-critical-cuties-tweets-with-copyright-takedown-requests-201105/amp/

    Peace.

  10. Mark G. says:
    @A123

    While AE’s corner is usually outstanding… Other portions of this site attract conspiracy theorists, deranged anti-semites, and Hate Trolls.

    AE’s corner, beside AE, has some of the best comments. It doesn’t just focus on current politics, especially of the horse race type of coverage but sometimes veers off into other areas. I just read a discussion of whether fifties sexual mores were too strict. A week or two back there was a discussion on whether the increasing prosperity during the waning of the middle ages was due to the rediscovery of classical learning or was influenced by aspects of Christianity. In instances where the discussion is on a topic I don’t know much about, rather than jump in and interrupt the flow of the conversation I often just sit back and follow what everyone else is saying.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @A123
  11. I just checked it out for the first time. It looks like something I’d like to use often. It may be a great replacement for Instapundit, which I just started going back to just recently, after nothing in particular since Drudge went down the toilet around 3 years back. Otherwise, I’ve been just like Chrisnonymous in my news-reading habits.

    One question, A.E.: How does one “endorse” an article? Is that simply what the [Thanks] button does?

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  12. @Chrisnonymous

    Wow, Chris, what you wrote has been me exactly, over the last 10 years, I’d say. I’ve had my favorite sites (besides my own, for writing), this unz one has been my favorite for 4 years running. However, I was a BIG Zerohedge reader, but long before you – around ’11 through ’14 or ’15.

    I was really hooked on ZH then. I mean, I used to read every post and every comment, though there were only ~ 10 posts daily back then. It was more financial-oriented too back then, not trying to cover every political thing. I’m no finance guy at all, but it gave me some really good background. The commenters were really great back then.

    Right now, just like you, I go to this site and only a few others, and sometimes find out daily happenings via Sailer or A.E. posts and Instapundit headlines. I don’t need up-to-the-minute news, as the big picture is what I like to read about.

    Thanks, Ron Unz for this feature or service.

  13. Corvinus says:
    @A123

    “While AE’s corner is usually outstanding… Other portions of this site attract conspiracy theorists, deranged anti-semites, and Hate Trolls.”

    In other words, people you personally disagree with, and label them as such.

    “Mr. Unz is looking at extending the “Blocked Commenters” function to also cover posted links. That would be an immediate win for civility.”

    More like an echo chamber filled with confirmation bias.

    Epstein didn’t kill himself, but Trump lost the election.

  14. A123 says:
    @Mark G.

    The most valueless Commenter that you should block immediately is “Evidence Free” Corvinus (a.k.a. He Who Is Without Facts). Whenever he blithers on, totally detached from reality, all I see is a soothing grey bar. It shows that the most irrelevant poster on UR has once again demonstrated his total lack of value to the human race.

    What proves the point even more, the creature known as Corvinus has been notified multiple times that it is blocked for refusal to provide evidence. Yet its below room temperature IQ prevents it from grasping that fact. It keeps trying to reply with its lobotomite, fact-free screed.

    PEACE 😇

  15. Mark G. says:
    @Corvinus

    But you do realize that you reside in your own information bubble and are subjected to confirmation bias, right?

    You act as if this is unique to the right. Liberals stay in their own information bubbles too. My sister, who is very liberal, is head of a high school library. Last time I talked to her she told me a lot of the older books in her library were biased and she was throwing them out and replacing them with books by unbiased writers like Howard Zinn. Normally I would laugh at someone who said Howard Zinn is unbiased but she’s my little sister so I kept quiet. Ideally, you want to have a variety of viewpoints in a school setting. Otherwise, it’s not education. It’s indoctrination. Yet, most educational institutions hire mostly liberals with conservatives rarely to be found.

    Unz. com is mostly alt-right but there are a variety of viewpoints in the comments and it doesn’t appear certain positions are banned. This is certainly not true of many mainstream sites. You have been allowed to post thousands of comments here that go against what most of the people who leave comments here believe. You seem to think you are an independent thinker. You’ve been on here a long time. Just out of curiosity, on what issues have you decided you were wrong on and the average Unz commenter is right on?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  16. @Chrisnonymous

    I’m afraid the real frontier of censorship is not going to be on social media but from, for example, service providers.

    That is an escalation we should be wary of.

  17. @Achmed E. Newman

    Yesterday it was “AGREE” but it looks like Ron has changed it to “THANKS” since then. That probably won’t be the last time it will be tweaked.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  18. MBlanc46 says:

    I’ll be checking it daily.

  19. @Audacious Epigone

    OK, thank you. One would think the button would be “Endorse” then. Whatever, it looks like a great feature.

    • Agree: Dissident
  20. iffen says:

    UR has the potential to be even better.

    Let’s hope that it improves. I have checked it each day and quite a few, if not most, “contributions” are from commenters on my CTI list, so I don’t have high hopes for it.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
  21. Corvinus says:
    @Mark G.

    “You act as if this is unique to the right.”

    I never directly nor indirectly made that claim.

    “Liberals stay in their own information bubbles too”.

    Absolutely.

    “Last time I talked to her she told me a lot of the older books in her library were biased and she was throwing them out and replacing them with books by unbiased writers like Howard Zinn.”

    Well, she’s dead wrong to do that, as she is succumbing to this Fake News narrative.

    “Ideally, you want to have a variety of viewpoints in a school setting. Otherwise, it’s not education.”

    Absolutely.

    “Just out of curiosity, on what issues have you decided you were wrong on and the average Unz commenter is right on?”

    Trump not deserving credit for Operation: Warp Speed. I was mistaken.
    The Catholic pope should not endorse civil unions for same-sex couples. I was mistaken.

    Just out of curiosity, on what issues have you decided you were wrong on and I am right on?

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  22. Mark G. says:
    @Corvinus

    Just out of curiosity, on what issues have you decided you were wrong on and I am right on?

    I don’t know if you remember but awhile back you said there was no proof of massive vote fraud. I then gave you several examples. You were able to come up with responses, though, and I felt you had successfully made your case so I didn’t continue the argument. You also looked like you had spent some time on your reply and I appreciated that you had spent time pointing out alternate possibilities to the examples I gave.

  23. Yahya K. says:
    @iffen

    I have checked it each day and quite a few, if not most, “contributions” are from commenters on my CTI list, so I don’t have high hopes for it.

    I think in terms of the quality of commenters, 80% are low-quality/borderline insane automatons with nothing useful to add, 20% provide decent/good comments, and only a handful are worth reading frequently.

    One of the best features of TUR is the permanent handle feature and the comment archive system. It allows you to get a good picture of someone’s personality in a way that other websites do not. And it makes it easier to develop some sort of connection with others and develop a reputation similar to that of real life.

    My favorite times at AE’s blog is when the discussion veers off the track towards the end, with only the regular commenters (like dfordoom, Talha, Twinkie, nebulafox, yourself) staying behind to have a wide-ranging conversation (or a fist fight, which is entertaining too!). At that point it becomes the closest thing you’ll get to a modern-day Junto/The Club meeting.

    I personally appreciate it since my friends in real life are uninterested in intellectual conversations. I also like that I can talk with people much older than I am on equal terms, which would have been impossible in face-to-face meetings.

    Anyway, if there is better site than this for free-flowing intelligent discussion, I am not aware of it.

    • Agree: iffen, Talha, dfordoom
    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Dissident
  24. Talha says:
    @Yahya K.

    I think part of it is really the genius behind the mechanics of the commenting section. Somehow, Mr. Unz has really done an outstanding job in keeping tings relatively simple, but very easy to use and delivers a lot of value (I mean, I love the MORE tag – it allows me to carry on off-topic conversations with a couple of people without feeling like I’m getting in everyone else’s face).

    There were other places where I tried to comment, but it was just too clunky or too ornery so I gave up after just a couple of rounds. Even though those other comments platforms have a slick look, they simply do not get the mileage that the UR comments system does.

    In fact, I suggested a while back that Mr. Unz could market this as a useful plugin for WordPress websites, but he said the customization was just too much to be able to make it modular enough to deploy to other generic WordPress sites. Oh well. I know a few Muslim sites that could use a better comments section.

    Wa salaam.

    [MORE]

    Also, you might enjoy this. It’s a quick qasidah done at the circles of Shaykh Nuh Keller (who is the murshid of some of my friends from back in the UCLA days):

    Also, also – kid you not – a seventh grader took shahadah today at our local masjid. Amazing that this kid is thinking about such deep things while most kids his age are distracted by video games.

    • Thanks: Yahya K.
  25. Dissident says:
    @Yahya K.

    One of the best features of TUR is the permanent handle feature and the comment archive system. It allows you to get a good picture of someone’s personality in a way that other websites do not. And it makes it easier to develop some sort of connection with others and develop a reputation similar to that of real life.

    You say this, yet your own handle is one of no more than a few I have seen at Unz Review for which the very comment archive you praise is hidden. Do you not see the irony?

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Yahya K.
    , @iffen
  26. Talha says:
    @Dissident

    Do you not see the irony?

    Not if you were a citizen of the same country he is.

    Some people have to be more careful than others:

    Peace.

    • Thanks: Yahya K.
  27. Yahya K. says:
    @Dissident

    Hmmmmmm. Where is that #IrritatingPest Tag when I need it?

    • Replies: @iffen
  28. iffen says:
    @Yahya K.

    He’s not a pest. He’s a very good commenter.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.
  29. iffen says:
    @Dissident

    YK posted some very personal information here when he started commenting. Some of us pointed out that he was very much in danger of doxing himself to a determined repressive state apparatus. That’s why he hid his archive.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Thanks: Yahya K., Dissident
    • Replies: @Talha
  30. Talha says:
    @iffen

    MBS (Mister Bone Saw) doesn’t mess around; ask his own relatives.

    Peace.

  31. Yahya K. says:
    @iffen

    He’s not a pest

    Then why the hell did he leave that gratuitous, patronizing, snide little comment of his?

    I never interacted with ‘Dissident’ before (which is why I am all the more angry at his taking a swipe at me – he had no reason to do that), so I don’t know what he is like in general. But generally I assume that someone going around leaving these sort of comments is a pest.

    He’s a very good commenter.

    Yes i’ve read through some of his comments now and they are good. Doesn’t make his behavior above less pest-like.

    • Replies: @Dissident
  32. Dissident says:
    @Yahya K.

    …gratuitous, patronizing, snide little comment…

    …I am all the more angry at his taking a swipe at me

    While I would challenge you to consider whether that characterization of my comment might have been a bit overwrought, I nonetheless am sorry that you took it as you did. I had neither intent nor reason to in any way attack you personally. As of this writing at least, I remain mostly unfamiliar with your comments. I was merely responding to what I found to be rather glaring, self-evident irony that I noticed in a comment that just happened to be yours. I believe I would have responded the same way to any comment I would have come across with the same seemingly paradoxical combination (i.e., explicit praise for a default feature by an individual who had disabled said feature for himself) that I pointed-out in yours.

    iffen explained:

    YK posted some very personal information here when he started commenting. Some of us pointed out that he was very much in danger of doxing himself to a determined repressive state apparatus. That’s why he hid his archive.

    I can certainly respect that. Moreover, I did not mean to imply any criticism, per se, merely for those who choose to hide their comment archive. I recognize that there can be perfectly legitimate reasons for doing so.

    Has YK has also requested of Ron Unz that the sensitive comments-in-question actually be deleted entirely from the site and it’s cache? In a situation such as iffen described, such a precaution would seem prudent.

    [iffen:]He’s a very good commenter.

    Yes i’ve read through some of his comments now and they are good.

    Thanks to both of you for the compliment.

    Incidentally, I agree with at least much of the initial comment of YK‘s that I had replied-to. The individuals named therein are certainly among the more reasonable, responsible, thoughtful, interesting, original, and unpredictable that I have come across here at Unz.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  33. @Jtgw

    How much are you willing to share? It’d be interesting to hear your perspective on the company wrt the wokeforce, American politics, non-American politics, cooperation/competition with the rest of Silicon Valley, etc.

  34. @Dissident

    If commenters request comments be removed, Ron will do it provided the requests are sparing.

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