rumor and speculation can look like alternative facts

EVERY TROLL IS RIGHTWINGED, or least seems to be. Every fake news site and every blog pass­ing on al­ter­na­tive facts also seems to be far right of cen­ter. Of course, this is based on my ex­pe­ri­ence on the free­wheel­ing world­wide web of fact and fic­tion, opin­ion and as­sess­ment, ru­mor and spec­u­la­tion, and every­thing else a hu­man can do with words, im­ages, and sym­bols. The free­dom of the In­ter­net has given us mil­lions of blogs for blog­gers to ex­press opin­ion or re­search facts. It has also given us web­sites with "re­porters" who have never taken a sin­gle class in Jour­nal­ism, and with… Con­tinue Read­ing ru­mor and spec­u­la­tion can look like al­ter­na­tive facts

trolls are leaving forests and bridges for the internet

TROLLS ARE EVERY­WHERE! It wasn't al­ways this way. Once upon a time, trolls dwelled in Scan­di­na­vian folk tales, crea­tures hos­tile to all things hu­man. But now trolls are every­where! They're leav­ing forests and bridges and the rocks and trees of the Old World to dwell in the cy­berci­ties that en­cir­cle the globe. And now we call these new city-dwellers 'in­ter­net trolls.' 1 The In­ter­net Troll is a very real crea­ture who sows dis­cord on in­ter­net fo­rums such as Face­book and Red­dit, along with chat rooms, the com­ments sec­tions of oth­er­wise sane news sites, and even on other people's blogs. The… Con­tinue Read­ing trolls are leav­ing forests and bridges for the in­ter­net

and here I thought I had a person of interest look

IT WAS NICE DAY, IF BRISK. Most folks were wear­ing sweaters or jack­ets. Not me: I was stand­ing in Half-Price Books in a black long-sleeve shirt. Look­ing idly ahead. I had stepped aside in the aisle to al­low a few cus­tomers who were en­ter­ing the store to move past me. The last cus­tomer in line was a pretty blonde. She saw me stand­ing there, un­mov­ing, unsmiling—and the lat­ter is so nor­mal for the store em­ploy­ees that I some­times think that smil­ing is rea­son for termination—that she made a nor­mal as­sump­tion. "Do you work here?" she smiled. "No," I nod­ded back. "Oh! Sorry. You look… Con­tinue Read­ing and here I thought I had a per­son of in­ter­est look

posting online ain't the same as being in print

REGARD­ING POST­ING ONLNE, in re­sponse to hav­ing the of­fi­cial Elvis Pres­ley web­site at Grace­land pick­ing up one of my articles—which I trum­peted loudly to fam­ily and friends via Face­book and email—my friend Stephanie Locke posted a nice com­ment on my A Touch Of Gold site: "Good to see Umphred back in print." In­stead of sim­ply ac­cept­ing the com­ment, I re­sponded with, "Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t con­sider be­ing pub­lished on­line as be­ing in print. In fact, I don’t even think the word pub­lish should be used for on­line ar­ti­cles. I think I’ll write a short piece on the topic and… Con­tinue Read­ing post­ing on­line ain't the same as be­ing in print

wild wild western washington

THE CAS­CADE MOUN­TAIN RANGE cuts a wild and wide slash through the state of Wash­ing­ton from top to bot­tom. That part of the state be­tween the Paci­fic Ocean and those moun­tains is West­ern Wash­ing­ton; that part be­tween the moun­tains and the rest of the United States is East­ern Wash­ing­ton. It is West­ern Wash­ing­ton that every­one thinks of when they think "Wash­ing­ton": clouds and rain, Seat­tle and lat­tes, bum­ber­shoots and grunge, and more rain. The moist air from the ocean hits the moun­tains and rises to form clouds, which re­turn most of that mois­ture as rain, caus­ing our side of the… Con­tinue Read­ing wild wild west­ern wash­ing­ton

welcoming jayce hunter messenger to this whole world (om-dot-diddit)

ON NO­VEM­BER 18, 2016, my won­drous daugh­ter Ananda gave birth to my first grand­child, Jayce Hunter Mes­sen­ger. Daugh­ter and grand­child are do­ing well, as is new daddy Jamison Mes­sen­ger. I waited a few weeks to post these phở­tos as I wanted to give J.H. some time to re­cu­per­ate from the tran­si­tion. Click on ei­ther photo to scale it to your screen's size. As­tro­log­i­cal irony or a mes­sen­ger from the Void? Jayce is a Scor­pio. That sign cov­ers those souls who tran­si­tioned be­tween Oc­to­ber 23 and No­vem­ber 21. And I have my own per­sonal nest of Scor­pi­ons in my life. Er, that should be "nest of Scor­pios." What… Con­tinue Read­ing wel­com­ing jayce hunter mes­sen­ger to this whole world (om-dot-diddit)

An Introduction to Neal Umphred Dot Com

THIS SITE could have a bet­ter name than mine with "dot com" tacked on to it. I had con­sid­ered In­tro­duc­tion to Ra­ti­o­ci­na­tions Out of Thin Air as a title—and that would have been a great ti­tle, if a con­fus­ing ti­tle. So we're stuck with Neal Umphred Dot Com. As some­one once fa­mous once said, "So it goes." 1 Ei­ther way, read­ers are con­fronted with two rather un­com­mon words (al­though alien has been used in ref­er­ence to one of them): Umphred and ra­ti­o­ci­na­tion. The fam­ily name ap­pears to be of Scot­tish origin, which ex­plains why Laphoaig tasted like the wa­ter of life with my first sip!… Con­tinue Read­ing An In­tro­duc­tion to Neal Umphred Dot Com