The argument that “you don’t live here, so you don’t understand the situation and don’t get to opine” is quite outlandish in the 21st century. Everybody is exposed to the same information flows, and being immersed in a situation often makes it harder, not easier, to understand it. 


3 thoughts on “Outsiders”

  1. Someone’s though, there is no good information flow, and people who live in the area are more likely to be aware of things that are only talked about on facebook and through word of mouth. On the whole though, I agree. I’ve seen news stories where clearly the whole community is caught up in some kind of craziness. Brock Turner (a rapist, if you’ve forgotten) was a good example; his whole community came to defend him, talking about how he was such a good kid. There something screwy going on with everyone in that entire town. In my own town , progressives get worked up into a frothing rage about how our mayor is a tea party Republican. It’s laughable if you look at the facts, but they get caught up in the hype.

    I think the real problem that can come with outside commentary tends to be not that they can’t be informed, but that they choose not to be because they don’t care that much. But then they will pretend to know everything (because they assume it’s an uncomplicated subject. I frequently feel this way when people try to talk about Ohio politics.


  2. Everybody is exposed to the same information flows
    Nope. Not even close.
    You have greater access to more information but by no means does everyone have access to the same information flows or choose the same flows.
    Because there is so much information and a limited amount of time, even if everyone is exposed to the same flows it doesn’t mean they absorb or digest the same information.
    By virtue of knowing Russian, for example, Clarissa has access to information I do not. Even the same newspaper has different information in different versions of the paper. You see this with the Deccan Herald. You see this with Time magazine. And those are just two sources.
    People who have access to academic databases have different information flows than people who don’t and even that varies.

    being immersed in a situation often makes it harder, not easier, to understand it.


  3. Anything I comment on, even including things in my own personal life, is always best done AFTER THE FACT—when the situation/circumstance is finally passe.
    …although irrelevance could then be an issue …


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