LAZY SLUGS?Stretches of the Pacific Coast in central California are breathtakingly rugged.
And there are stretches that break from jagged to sand. About 30 years ago a colony of elephant seals migrated to one of those sandy expanses north of San Simeon and this late in the "season" those who remain behind are a few adult males, a lot of juveniles and those recently born. They share a habit-napping. Soon they'll depart for their solo journeys north. Males to Alaska and females to Canada for the eating season. Once they've had their fill they will return for birthing, mating and more napping.
YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
Sunshine Week is observed by what is left of America's Newspapers. It has been a time to reflect on the public's right to know including openness and access to public records. This year essays and articles have explored the First Amendment in light of new communications technology.
Anders Gyllenhaal, vice president for news at McClatchy wrote an especially thoughtful piece which you can read here, courtesy of the American Society of News Editors.
The Apple - FBI issue is undergirded by our first freedom amendment. I wonder when we will confront whether artificial intelligence is also entitled to our full constitutional rights, especially as regards freedom of speech and freedom of the press. That day is coming, but in the meantime there are more mundane questions about whether advertising is covered by the First. Corporations are trying to find shelter there.
As political correctness and what some call our new social media activated "shame culture" continue to erode our skill of reason, what happens to freedom of speech? Should a professor not raise a controversial concept in fear of perpetuating a "micro aggression?" What does that say about academic freedom? Can Texas school boards get away with eliminating slavery from their texts teaching of the civil war? Is a computer generated search of information covered by the first freedoms? Thorny issues and as Gyllenhaal points out those who have stood up for the first amendment in the last 200 years have been news papers, news groups and journalists. In 2016 those groups are shrinking and loosing influence while tech companies and social media are gaining power and users. They do not have the same raisons d'etre or mission as a news organization. Their values may not be founded on the First Amendment. Ultimately it is the role and even responsibility of citizens to know, understand and act wisely about these matters. Sunshine week is a time to let a little light into your brain.
THE BACK HILL
The formation of pods is a good thing. A first harvest can not be too far off and that means prepping one of my favorite dishes; orecchiette pasta, browned sausage, sautéed favas in the appropriate seasoning, grated parma-reggiano and topped a dollop of creme fraiche.
Be of good cheer.
See you down the trail.