I’ll Be Dumber

I’m sad. I have benefited a great deal from free digital access to the New York Times over the past several years. However, this was announced via email today:

Today marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.

Their decision to move to a paying model is, no doubt, what an ailing news industry has needed. But the end result is that those of limited resources are cut out of the loop. The $60 I would need to pay, annually, is far beyond what I can justify.

I knew this was coming, and was hoping for a pricing strategy similar to what one finds with iPhone apps – a low price offset by huge volume. Here’s hoping that market pressure brings the price down.

Until then, I’ll be dumber.

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Snopes and Worldview

Nothing frustrates me more than smart people buying and forwarding internet rumors. Snopes.com should be the place we all run to find out if indeed we’ve been left $10,000,000 in Nigeria or if really atheists are getting the FCC to ban all religious broadcasting. (Would that be a bad thing?)

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, but this interview with Snopes’ founder is a fascinating insight to human nature, the power of the internet, and why we believe what we believe.

Plus it’s just plain interesting. This is just a husband and wife in their house? Yep. And someone who is gracious when he could be caustic.

His observations are worth pondering:

“…for a good many people, it’s not important whether things are true or not. It reflects what people want to believe. It reflects a worldview….

“A lot of people are unwilling to acknowledge anything that contradicts their worldview. So telling them that it’s false doesn’t necessarily slow them down.”

I still believe that some woman tried to dry her poodle in the microwave.