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    1. What are some of your favorite melodramas?

      From Wikipedia A modern melodrama is a dramatic work in which the plot, typically sensationalized and for a strong emotional appeal, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Melodramas...

      From Wikipedia

      A modern melodrama is a dramatic work in which the plot, typically sensationalized and for a strong emotional appeal, takes precedence over detailed characterization. Melodramas typically concentrate on dialogue that is often bombastic or excessively sentimental, rather than action. Characters are often flat, and written to fulfill stereotypes.

      Contemporarily, we use the word melodrama for narrative works that go to great lengths to induce certain kinds of emotion at all costs, to detriment of the internal cohesion of both plot and characterization, often in a manner that some consider cheesy, corny, or excessive. All soap operas are melodramas, as are many movies and TV shows. Some melodramas are cheap and fail to achieve their effects, while others can be more rich and even sophisticated. In a way, many mainstream stories are, to some extent, melodramas, even when there are other, more salient genres. There's melodrama in action, crime, and science fiction.

      Here are some examples of what I consider more or less contemporary melodramas:

      And here are some stories that are not melodrama, but contain a whole lot of it:

      7 votes
    2. Looking for more home and building related content!

      I'm really not sure if I posted this in the right place, but I have been watching the Youtube channel "The B1M" and the guy's other channel "Tomorrow's Build" and I really like his type of...

      I'm really not sure if I posted this in the right place, but I have been watching the Youtube channel "The B1M" and the guy's other channel "Tomorrow's Build" and I really like his type of content. I've also been watching tv shows about homes and the types of people who live in what homes in which parts of the country (Denmark). I also watched a couple of episodes of "The World's Most Extraordinary Homes" on Netflix...

      So yeah, I obviously really have an itching for more content along the lines of buildings and especially homes. So, does anyone have suggestion on what to watch next?

      6 votes
    3. What are the main news sources in your country?

      Here in Brazil we have: Globo, the generic "centrist"/neoliberal TV news outlet. Used subtle methods of backing a right-wing candidate in the 90s who then ruined the Brazilian economy and...

      Here in Brazil we have:

      Globo, the generic "centrist"/neoliberal TV news outlet. Used subtle methods of backing a right-wing candidate in the 90s who then ruined the Brazilian economy and (apparently) massively exaggerated the Car Wash operation, even if Lula did something wrong.

      Record, which is owned by the largest evangelical Church here and I'd imagine is often a mouthpiece for them.

      Cultura, which is the only traditional news outlet here that can actually be called left-leaning, and I don't think they are as ostensibly "moderate" as the American news outlets, which is good.

      Band, which is the one all about showing all the crime all the time, presumably to justify the law and order policies as opposed to welfare to it's viewers.

      From here we have various (mostly but not entirely) right-wing and religious 'news' channels.

      Online there are news outlets like Nexo, El País (for Brazil) and the international news outlets which will occasionally cover the big Brazilian news stories, but I don't think most of them are very popular, at least among most people who, for how divided we are, aren't that political, especially if you aren't a Bolsonarist or Leftist.

      14 votes
    4. Do you read 'old news'/article archives?

      Asked because I like the idea of reading about the past and feel unsatisfied by r/history and r/askhistorians mainly because reddit's search isn't that great and those subs have a much wider scope...

      Asked because I like the idea of reading about the past and feel unsatisfied by r/history and r/askhistorians mainly because reddit's search isn't that great and those subs have a much wider scope than most news archives.

      I'm gonna do this on a Q&A format. Note that "old news" doesn't need to be news articles, it can be blogs for example.

      If you read old news/articles, where do you get them from/find them?

      What kind of "old news" do you read?

      What historical period do you tend to read about?

      If you're reading an article about a historical event you remember, how does your memory tend to compare to those articles?

      How often do you do it?

      What do you think about subreddits like r/twentyyearsago, since they're basically trawling through those news archives?

      7 votes
    5. If you read any news sources/publications for more specific/alternative subjects, what are they?

      Tl;dr typical news sources tend to prioritize political and governmental events and the things that surround them, like economics and social issues, even if they cover everything, and by covering...

      Tl;dr typical news sources tend to prioritize political and governmental events and the things that surround them, like economics and social issues, even if they cover everything, and by covering everything they probably stretch themselves thinly among what they don't prioritize. (At least that's how it feels.)

      A few examples of what I'm thinking of are:

      Foreign Affairs, who focus specifically on geopolitics

      The Scientific American, which focuses specifically on... science.

      Aeon, which seems to focus on "the humanities". (vaaague.)

      So... what are your examples of news sources/publications like this that you follow?

      8 votes
    6. Podcast discussions & recommendations! What are you listening to?

      Tildes has had a couple of threads about podcast recommendations in the past, but most of them are over 18 months old now, and podcasts are always evolving, and we have new members who may not...

      Tildes has had a couple of threads about podcast recommendations in the past, but most of them are over 18 months old now, and podcasts are always evolving, and we have new members who may not have participated in those threads before—I certainly only picked up podcasts in the last few months.

      So. Three questions!

      • What podcasts are you listening to?
      • What podcasts have you dropped, or picked up, in that time?
      • If you had to recommend a couple of podcasts to others, which shows would you pick? Why do you recommend them? Got a favourite episode?
      28 votes
    7. How could we regulate biased/lying media outlets and aggregators without encroaching on good ones?

      I find this to be a pretty important question when news organizations like Fox News are literally aiming to help the Republican Party to stay on power, CNN and MSNBC promote centrist candidates...

      I find this to be a pretty important question when news organizations like Fox News are literally aiming to help the Republican Party to stay on power, CNN and MSNBC promote centrist candidates and media aggregators ranging from r/the_donald to r/chapotraphouse banning anyone who opposes them. Thing is, these are the most well known examples. How could we tell faulty media sources and aggregators apart from good ones in mass? Do you think that's possible?

      15 votes
    8. What are some things other people dislike that you quite enjoy?

      Could be a game, book, movie, song, etc that is generally considered subpar. Personally, I quite like a lot of Eminem's new music, although I know it's an unpopular opinion. It certainly doesn't...

      Could be a game, book, movie, song, etc that is generally considered subpar. Personally, I quite like a lot of Eminem's new music, although I know it's an unpopular opinion. It certainly doesn't hit the same highs and there are a lot of stinkers but I still think some of it is quite good and worth a listen despite the circlejerk. I've also been playing Just Cause 4 lately, and although it certainly isn't a masterpiece and I will say the story is below the others, to me Just Cause was never about the story. It's about getting in there and just having fun causing chaos and generally messing around.

      37 votes
    9. What are reliable sites for thoughtful content from a non-American perspective?

      I came across a site about Chinese tech and video gaming and found it very Buzzfeed-y with its headlines and writing. It made me wonder what are the websites that curate a standard of thoughtful...

      I came across a site about Chinese tech and video gaming and found it very Buzzfeed-y with its headlines and writing. It made me wonder what are the websites that curate a standard of thoughtful articles, essays, discussion, etc. and aren't part of the American internet scene.

      I don't care what language it's in, what it's about, what country specifically it's centered on, if it's community-centric or not. If you have a suggestion, let's hear it.

      Edit: An example I have is The Blizzard. It's really a subscription-model digital magazine (about soccer) but you can read various articles online.

      21 votes
    10. Prompted by a recent post, I asked myself: is collecting digital media really considered hoarding?

      From this Tildes post https://tildes.net/~music/7vc/anyone_still_listening_to_music_with_files_instead_of_streaming I started thinking. To me, curating my own collections so that I can experience...

      From this Tildes post https://tildes.net/~music/7vc/anyone_still_listening_to_music_with_files_instead_of_streaming

      I started thinking. To me, curating my own collections so that I can experience them only makes common sense. And I also journal on what I read, watch, and listen to. I've known a few hoarders in my life, who enlarge their homes to house tons of material things that they'll never use and can't throw away.

      In my own case, I'm slowly winnowing down the hundred or so CD's, books, and movies I own just because they take up space and I don't want my kids having to have a massive garage sale when I die. And I really like that I can have a whole library basically on an old phone that holds an SDHC card.

      So is obsession/compulsion with digital media the same as physical hoarding? Is it just as harmful? And how do I class the tons of emails, mostly work, that I don't bother to throw away because it's just too time consuming? The same thing goes for family and self snapped photos. To me they're in a different category altogether.

      Am I the biggest, most hypocritical minimalist ever? Is there such a thing as non-material materialism? What are your justifications for or against streaming vs. accumulating?

      19 votes
    11. What does the online / social media world look like to you, what would you want?

      Some of you may have heard that Google+ will be shutting down in August, 2019. Though much criticised (including by me), the site offered some compelling dynamics, and I've reflected a lot on...

      Some of you may have heard that Google+ will be shutting down in August, 2019. Though much criticised (including by me), the site offered some compelling dynamics, and I've reflected a lot on those.

      I'm involved in the effort to find new homes for Plussers and Communities, which has become something of an excuse to explore and redefine what "online" and "social" media are ("PlexodusWiki").

      Part of this involves some frankly embarrassing attempts to try to define what social media is, and what its properties are (both topics reflected heavily in the recent-changes section of the wiki above).

      Tildes is ... among the potential target sites (there are a few Plussers, some of whom I really appreciated knowing and hearing from there), here, though the site dynamics make discovering and following them hard. This site is evolving its own culture and dynamics, parts of which I'm becoming aware of.

      I've been online for well over 30 years, and discovered my first online communities via Unix talk, email, FTP, and Usenet, as well as (no kidding) a computerised university library catalogue system. Unsurprisingly: if you provide a way, especially for bright and precocious minds to interact with one another, they will. I've watched several evolutions of Internet and Web, now increasing App-based platforms. There are differences, but also similarities and patterns emerging. Lessons from previous eras of television, radio, telephony, telegraphy, print, writing, oral traditions, and more, can be applied.

      I've got far more questions than answers and thought I'd put a few out here:

      • What does online or social media mean to you? Is it all user-generated content platforms? Web only? Apps? Email or chat? Wikis? GitHub, GitLab, and StackExchange?

      • Is social networking as exemplified by Facebook or Twitter net good or bad? Why? If bad, how might you fix it? Or is it time to simply retreat?

      • What properties or characteristics would you use to specify, define, or distinguish social or online media?

      • What emergent properties -- site dynamics, if you will -- are positive or negative? What are those based on?

      • What are the positive and negative aspects of scale?

      • What risks would you consider in self-hosting either your own or a group's online presence?

      • What is/was the best online community experience you've had? What characterised it? How did it form? How did it fail (if it did)?

      • What elements would comprise your ideal online experience?

      • What would you nuke from orbit, after takeoff, just to be sure?

      • Are you or your group seeking new options or platforms? What process / considerations do you have?

      I could keep going and will regret not adding other questions, but this is a good start. Feel free to suggest other dimensions, though some focus on what I've prompted with would be appreciated.

      19 votes
    12. US jobs report - The numbers we do NOT talk about

      I almost posted this in ~news but wasn't really sure so feel free to move the post if I got it wrong. The new jobs report is out: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm I consistently...

      I almost posted this in ~news but wasn't really sure so feel free to move the post if I got it wrong.

      The new jobs report is out:
      https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

      I consistently feel like the media just runs with the unemployment rate and ignores the other very important numbers. I think that the economy isn't really "booming" for ordinary Americans and I think that the numbers in the job report that aren't widely talked about are eye-opening.

      These numbers used to be talked about a LOT more immediately after the 2008 recessions and during the OWS protests.

      To be clear, I'm happy the stock market is up but I don't think it's "trickling" down all that much.

      Some examples:

      Long-term unemployed are not finding work:

      The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 1.4 million over the month; these individuals accounted for 22.9 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

      There are ~4.5 million people who are working part-time who want to work full time, and that number is rapidly growing with ~250,000 added since last quarter:

      The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) increased by 263,000 to 4.6 million in September. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

      More than 1.5 million American's gave up looking for work:

      In September, 1.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

      19 votes
    13. Moving from advertising-supported media to a sustainable, high-quality, alternative -- some light reading

      This is a complex issue and one that's hard to address succinctly. It gets into the larger matter of media and its role and interaction with society, which is profound. This includes political and...

      This is a complex issue and one that's hard to address succinctly. It gets into the larger matter of media and its role and interaction with society, which is profound. This includes political and social elements going far beyond consumerism and consumption, though those are part of the dynamic.

      For a short answer: advertising is not the only problem, but is a large component of a set of conflicts concerning information and media. It both directly and indirectly promotes disinformation and misinformation, opens avenues to propaganda and manipulation, and fails to promote and support high-quality content. It also has very real costs: globally advertising is a $600 billion/year industry, largely paid out of consumer spending among the world's 1 billion or so wealthy inhabitants of Europe, North America, and Japan. This works out to about $600/year per person in direct expense. On top of the indirect and negative-externality factors. Internet advertising is roughly $100 billion, or $100/yr. per person if you live in the US, Canada, EU, UK, Japan, Australia, or New Zealand. The "free" Internet is not free.

      And the system itself is directly implicated in a tremendous amount of the breakdown of media, politics, and society over the past several years. Jonathan Albright, ex-Googler, now a scholar of media at the Tow Center (and its research director), Columbia University in New York, "Who Hacked the Election? Ad Tech did. Through “Fake News,” Identity Resolution and Hyper-Personalization", and editor of d1g (estT) (on Medium).

      [S]cores of highly sophisticated technology providers — mostly US-based companies that specialize in building advanced solutions for audience “identity resolution,” content tailoring and personalization, cross-platform targeting, and A/B message testing and optimization — are running the data show behind the worst of these “fake news” sites.

      (Emphasis in original.)

      A Media Reader

      By way of a longer response, I'd suggest some reading, of which I've been doing a great deal. Among the starting points I'd suggest the following, in rough order. Further recommendations are very much welcomed.

      Tim Wu

      The Attention Merchants is a contemporary version of the media, attention, distraction, disinformation, manipulation, and power game that's discussed further in the following references. If you're looking for current state-of-the-art, start here. Ryan Holiday and Trust Me, I'm Lying is a 2012 expose of the online media system. For an older view, Vance Packard's 1950s classic (updated), The Hidden Persuaders gives perspective both on what methods are timeless, and what's changed. A 2007 New York Times essay on the book gives a good overview.

      Hamilton Holt

      Commercialism and Journalism (1909) is a brief, easy, and fact-filled account of the American publishing industry, especially of newspapers and magazines, at the dawn of the 20th century. Holt was himself a publisher, of The Independent, and delivered this book as a lecture at the University of California. It gives an account of the previous 50 years or so of development in publishing, including various technologies, but putting the greatest impact on advertising. I'm not aware that this is particularly well-noted, but I find it a wonderfully concise summary of many of the issues, and a view from near the start of the current system. Holt includes this quote from an unnamed New York journalist:

      There is no such thing in America as an independent press. I am paid for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation, like Othello's, would be gone. The business of a New Yourk journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the foot of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. We are the tools or vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

      (An HN commenter reveals that this was John Swinton.)

      Jerry Mander

      Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television. This is a 1970s classic that's held its value. Mander is an ad executive himself, though he took his talents to the Environmental movement, working closely with David Brower of the Sierra Club.

      Adam Curtis

      BBC documentarian, most especially The Century of the Self (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4), and Hypernormalisation. These documentaries, the first a four-part series, the second a self-contained 2h40m single session, focus on media and propaganda. The first especially on Edward Bernays, Sigmund Freud (Bernays' uncle), advertising, and propaganda. The second on Vladimir Putin.

      Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky

      Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media. The title itself comes from Walter Lippmann and his earlier work, Public Opinion, which is something of a guide to its manufacture, and the genesis of "modern" 20th century media. The notion of mass media as having a political economy is a critical element in answering your question. That is: media is inherently political and economic, and advertising and propaganda (or as it was rebranded, "public relations"), all the more so.

      Robert W. McChesney

      McChesney has been continuing the exploration of media from a political-economic perspective and has an extensive bibliography. His Communication Revolution in particular discusses his own path through the field, including extensive references.

      Marshall McLuhan

      Particularly The Gutenberg Galaxy and The Medium is the Message.

      Elisabeth Eisenstein

      Either her book The Printing Press as an Agent of Change or the earlier (and much shorter) article that pressaged it, "Some Conjectures about the Impact of Printing on Western Society and Thought: A Preliminary Report" (more interesting than its title, I promise). Eisenstein draws heavily on, and improves greatly on the rigour of, McLuhan.

      Generally: Other 19th and 20th century media scholars and writers

      H.L. Mencken, I.F. Stone, and perhaps Walter Lippmann and John Dewey. Mencken and Stone are particularly given to shorter essays (see especially The I.F. Stone Weekly Reader, The Best of I.F. Stone and his New York Review of Books articles) which can be readily digested. Mencken's "Bayard vs. Lionheart" whilst not specifically concerning advertising largely describes the crowd-psychology inherent in mediocre or pathological social-political outcomes, and is a short and brilliant read. Mencken has a long list of further writings.

      Edward Bernays

      Especially Propaganda and Public Relations. Bernays created the field of public relations, and largely drove the popular support of "democracy" (a WWI war bonds advertising slogan) in favour of the earlier "liberty". For Stone, I cannot recommend his Day at Night interview (~1974) highly enough. 30 minutes. Bernays' New York Times obituary makes interesting reading.

      Charles-Marie Gustave Le Bon

      The Crowd: A study of the popular mind. "[C]onsidered one of the seminal works of crowd psychology." Wikipedia article.

      Charles Mackay

      Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841). "[O]ften cited as the best book ever written about market psychology." Wikipedia article.

      I have yet to read all of these works, though they're on my list, and I've at least reviewed most of the works and authors and am familiar with major themes. Virtually all of these will lead to other sources -- books, articles, authors, fields of study -- by way of bibliographies (looking backward) and citations (looking forward). Among my favourite and most fruitful research techniques.

      This is also really just a starting point, though I hope it's a good one. Media isn't my field, or rather, I'd thought that, working in technology, it wasn't, but I've come to realise that (1) "information technology" is in very large part "media technology", and (2) the interactions of media systems and society, politics, economics, even culture as a whole, are beyond deep, and highly underappreciated.

      The role of mass media in the spread of early-20th century Fascism is a particularly sobering story. See "Radio and the Rise of The Nazis in Prewar Germany", and recognise that you could include cinema, magnetic audio tape recording, public address systems (it's hard to address three quarters of a million people without amplification). More recently, radio has been studied in conjunction with the 1994 Rwandan genocide. These remain extant issues.

      Bootnote

      Adapted from a StackExchange contribution.

      14 votes
    14. What new media delineations or paradigms should replace the old ones?

      Movies, TV shows, and newspapers are just a few examples of the traditional media designations that dominated the 20th century. However, the digital revolution (and the internet in particular) has...

      Movies, TV shows, and newspapers are just a few examples of the traditional media designations that dominated the 20th century. However, the digital revolution (and the internet in particular) has rendered them mostly meaningless now because the analog boundaries that separated them are no longer relevant.

      Given the present-day proliferation of platform-agnostic content, what new designations or delineations do you think the world will (or should) adopt in the next century once traditional media is dead?

      5 votes