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       COMMENT PAGE FOR:
   URI   The New York Times is wrong about Haiti
       
       
        krisboyz781 wrote 3 days ago:
        this post is garbage. This author clearly has some bias in his
        articles. Haiti and DR were one country at one point, the French debt
        forced Haitians to tax Dominicans to help pay off the money. Dominicans
        ended up fighting a war to separate which resulted in even more money
        lost. Secondly, the West completely shunned Haiti which is why France
        was even able to get away with the debt. US didn't want to trade with a
        country that eliminated slavery and other western countries felt the
        same. Lastly in regards to America's involvement. Who tf do you think
        was bankrolling dictator, Duvalier? Oh, that's right, the US. Take a
        look at Haiti early to mid 1900s to now. There is a stark contrast. The
        country itself may have not been extremely wealthy, but the image of
        being the poorest country in the Americas, complete collapse
        infrastructure destroyed what should have been a thriving tourist
        industry like other parts of the Caribbean. Instead the primary tourist
        destination of Haiti is leased by an American corporation
       
        rgovostes wrote 3 days ago:
        While the referenced article does not have inline citations, the NYT
        did publish a bibliography: [1] The data for their calculations are
        also published on GitHub:
        
   URI  [1]: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/20/world/americas/haiti-biblio...
   URI  [2]: https://github.com/nytimes/haiti-debt
       
        YATA2 wrote 3 days ago:
        One often overlooked fact is Haiti committed a real genocide against
        whites, almost entirely wiping them off the island (thousands were
        murdered).
        
        Whites in the Americas and elsewhere were shocked and scared by the
        news. Many US and European sailors refused to port in Haiti due to
        this, which only hampered Haiti's economic growth.
       
          krisboyz781 wrote 3 days ago:
          Stop pushing fucking bullshit. US and European refused to port in
          Haiti because it was bad optics, as Haiti was a country that
          successfully freed itself from slavery while European and American
          countries still employed those tactics.  US had no problem dealing
          with countries slaughtering natives, black people, etc. but somehow
          you're trying to paint this bullshit genocide narrative. Spoken like
          a person who truly has no fucking clue what they're talking about.
       
        dang wrote 3 days ago:
        Recent and related:
        
        Invade Haiti, Wall Street Urged. The U.S. Obliged - [1] - May 2022 (183
        comments)
        
   URI  [1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31468196
       
        unity1001 wrote 3 days ago:
        NYT has always been an establishment trumpet.
        
   URI  [1]: https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-766d88313d7f89c78da3f3f1...
       
        WaitWaitWha wrote 3 days ago:
        >But the main controversy is centered on a strawman: should the New
        York Times cite sources in their articles?
        
        100% yes.  In the cyber security field, this has become such a problem.
         Several prominent cyber security news consolidating sites will put out
        very impacting articles, but remove any and all references where the
        information comes from.  It is a nightmare of news reverse engineering.
        
        I also have a vague suspicion that the articles are scraped from the
        original sites, and re-written by automagically with ML tools.    That
        is, vast majority of these articles are auto-generated.  Nothing wrong
        with it, but no way to prevent such scraping, and no way to compete SEO
        with them.
       
        stjohnswarts wrote 3 days ago:
        The NYT article was written by some very far left activist writers, and
         that's why it has be taken with a grain of salt as another data point
        but far from the whole story. The writing is reactionist and full of
        venom, and that automatically turns me off.
       
        gumby wrote 3 days ago:
        I guess I think the footnote and "paper of record trying to morph into
        an academic journal" argument is silly.
        
        The 1619 articles in the NYT magazine (used in this blog post as a
        prior example) were not footnoted.  The subsequent book version is
        heavily footnoted, plus includes info on contributors and an index. 
        This criticism feels like someone complaining about character
        development in the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings: that's not the
        nature of the medium.
        
        Relatedly: the NYT is hardly overreaching (and if they were, I don't
        consider it a justifiable criticism).  Newspapers do analysis and
        inherently do summarization and selection.  While most such articles
        are "small" (i.e. reporting on the recent shooting) they have had large
        analysis, most notably the Pentagon papers that weren't merely
        published but extensively analyzed.  They do "long form" multi-article
        analysis all the time, from the recent Tucker Carlson pieces to
        analysis of the complex timeline of the Jan 6 incident.
        
        The definition of newspaper changes all the time and frankly more long
        form is a good thing.
        
        (the comments here are orthogonal to any criticism I might have of the
        NYT in general)
       
          shkkmo wrote 3 days ago:
          I think that if newspapers are trying to take academic tone and
          content, it behooves them to also adopt some of the rigor that helps
          that pursuit.
          
          I too think that deeper analysis is value-able, but when newspapers
          do that, they should up their game. If they are trying to present
          themselves as more academic or scientific, they need more citations
          and possibly a process akin to peer review (or even submitting a
          paper with underlying materials themselves to a journal if they are
          doing original work, as the NYT is claiming to have done here.)
       
            gumby wrote 3 days ago:
            I think it's OK if that material is in the book and doesn't make it
            to the "paper" part.  The audiences are different.
       
        bigbacaloa wrote 3 days ago:
        An academic writes an article saying that a newspaper article is too
        academic.
       
        mikkergp wrote 3 days ago:
        I don't know if this is a new trend, but there's this idea of news that
        news is "just the facts". Now I think most reasonable journalists would
        disagree with this notion, and they would say that news is facts +
        context.  What is the significance of fact A and why does it matter. 
        But I think there is a trend towards defining not just what information
        the reader should take away, but what conclusions they should reach. 
        And I think there's a growing desire among readers for media to perform
        this function, but it's not because they need to know what conclusions
        to reach, but because they want to know that other people are reaching
        those conclusions.
       
        yunohn wrote 3 days ago:
        > The indemnity was immoral, and France should be ashamed of it.
        
        Ah of course, most colonisers wish that being ashamed is punishment
        enough. Sadly, the victims don’t even get that since France won’t
        even talk about it.
       
        avgcorrection wrote 3 days ago:
        Economists and downplaying the economic effects of imperialism and
        slavery. Could you name a more amicable duo?
        
        They don’t even say that the NYT is wrong (“This is correct,
        but”).
       
        DaveExeter wrote 3 days ago:
        To say that the New York Times is "wrong" is a bit misleading.    The NYT
        article was written in order to promote reparations. It was never meant
        to be accurate.
        
          Many journalists and even some historians claim that American
        economic prosperity would have been unattainable without slavery. If
        you truly believe that, and you look at the billions of lives that have
        been lifted out of poverty thanks to this prosperity, then a callous
        calculus could conclude that the abuses of slavery were a cost we had
        to pay. But economists do not believe this claim. In fact, economists
        believe at best slavery did not provide any growth benefits over free
        labor and at worst it impeded America's economic development.
        
        If slavery was not responsible for American economic prosperity, one of
        the left's main arguments for reparations falls.
       
          stjohnswarts wrote 3 days ago:
          I always find it simple minded to say something like "slavery is
          responsible for America's wealth"  when America has a half dozen
          other major things going for it. That's what turns would be
          sympathizers off is the hyperbola and that they are coming for your
          wallet "you goddamn POS colonizer". Yeah sorry that doesn't work
          except in the that 1-5% of extremists. I see the need for social
          programs for those areas which are poor and have been hidden from
          wealthier parts of America whether white, black, or brown. We don't
          need to be communist to fix what ails us, just be compassionate,
          there is far more than enough prosperity to spread it around starting
          domestically at first.
       
          mynameishere wrote 3 days ago:
          I've never heard any arguments for reparations that even approach the
          plausible.  The real reason is obviously the grift.  As for slavery:
          Its economic advantage is obvious when you compare the United States,
          especially the Southern United States, with Canada (proportionately
          of course).  There is no economic advantage.  In fact there is an
          economic detriment.
          
          (For arguments that suggest some disadvantage is thrust upon the
          descendants of the slaves one need only compare the economic status
          of American blacks with African blacks.)
       
            potatoz2 wrote 3 days ago:
            This is a particularly weak set of arguments: Canada and the
            Southern US have many _other_ core differences that could explain
            their different outcome, and so do African Americans and Africans
            (neither of which are homogeneous by the way, and especially not
            the latter).
            
            On top of that, it doesn't matter for reparations-purposes whether
            slavery was, overall, efficient. What matters is whether an
            institution harmed someone and therefore owes them compensation.
       
            pessimizer wrote 3 days ago:
            African blacks weren't slaves. Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but
            are you making the case that African blacks have been able to
            overcome the slavery of American blacks, therefore enslavement
            isn't harmful?
       
              dbrueck wrote 3 days ago:
              I'm guessing the post is differentiating modern black people in
              the U.S. vs Africa? I don't really know.
              
              But I'm not sure I understand your comment of "African blacks
              weren't slaves" - plenty of African blacks were slaves. African
              slavery was a thing long before Europeans and Americans became
              customers and continued long after (IIRC, slavery wasn't outlawed
              in Ethopia til the 1930s). Heck, even today there's something
              like 30 million slaves worldwide, with many of them in Africa
              (though I think the majority of current slaves are in Asia).
       
          pr0zac wrote 3 days ago:
          Not expressing an opinion on the topic in either direction but I
          don't really see a reason the argument for reparations would require
          slavery to be a more economically productive mode of labor vs it
          simply factually being the mode of labor used at the time.
          
          The argument for reparations is they are owed because the value of
          the slaves' economic productivity was stolen from them (and thus also
          their descendants), its not at all dependent on slavery producing a
          higher economic output compared to a hypothetical situation in which
          slaves received fair compensation.
          
          Sorta similar to how wage theft is illegal because its stealing
          earned economic value not because doing so increases productivity.
       
            wahern wrote 3 days ago:
            True, you don't need that argument to make the case for
            reparations. But the left still relies heavily on it nonetheless.
            It's used to justify monetary reparations (as opposed to other
            kinds) with higher dollar figures. But more importantly, it
            complements the premise of black Americans as merely an oppressed,
            victimized, outsider class; ironically, a premise that modern
            leftist identity politics happens to strongly promote.
            
            Identity politics is built around the notion of victimhood and
            standing outside the dominate (i.e. "white", male) social and
            economic system, and tuned to bolster the sympathy and guilt
            factor, which notions of agency and independent contribution tend
            to diminish. Given that narrative, it's unsurprising that when
            making the case for positive contributions to the shared, national
            identity, they're going to heavily emphasize contributions via the
            institution of slavery.
            
            But to be fair, slavery and peanut butter is basically how most
            Americans understand the black contribution to the American story.
            The dominate narrative on the left, after failing[1] with peanut
            butter in the 20th century, simply reverted back to slavery. Of
            course, the black contribution and place in the American story is
            infinitely more complex, substantial, and pervasive than that. We
            just haven't figured out to how to get out of that rut.
            
            (And one of the primary arguments against reparations is that not
            only would reparations not address that, it would further it. I
            think even many proponents, such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, would agree
            with the first part of that claim. Coates admits that reparations
            wouldn't actually fix anything; rather, he argues that achieving
            reparations would be the proof that we materially reconciled
            ourselves with and •changed* the narrative. IOW, from that
            perspective the solution is not in the reparations, per se, but the
            process of coming to an agreement on reparations. The reparations
            themselves are just the stakes, so people aren't just making idle,
            abstract commitments--talk [alone] is cheap.)
            
            [1] Or believing that they failed. The project of creating a shared
            sense of inclusive history is ongoing. I cringe at proclamations of
            first black this or first female that. But it's the proclamations
            that are cringe worthy and, I think, counter-productive, not the
            fact itself. (The proclamations are a double-edged sword--they draw
            attention to particular instances of representation of a group, but
            the proclamation also reinforces passivity and lower status of the
            group.) Taking affirmative action to improve inclusion across
            society is extremely important, though obviously it's in tension
            with notions of equal treatment and so I don't necessarily agree
            with all forms of formal institutionalization of affirmative
            action. If you look at countries where an oppressed class (minority
            or majority) has achieved formal, institutionalized
            preferences--Malaysia, South Africa, Rwanda, etc--it clearly
            doesn't achieve the goals and even tends to solidify hierarchy and
            economic disparity.
            
            Apropos Haiti, one theory for why Haiti has never properly
            developed is because the society strongly internalized a victimhood
            mentality from the very beginning. Long after slavery ended the
            national identity is still centered around enslavement and
            oppression, rather than on a positive sense of construction and
            cooperation. That makes the society easy prey for demagogues and
            avaricious elite--internal and external.
       
        tomcat27 wrote 3 days ago:
        It makes sense to write three versions on a topic.
        
        1. A PPT Deck. A 2 mins elevator pitch, A 10 mins potty reading
        
        2. A Blog post. Ok you got my attention, why should I care?
        
        3. A Careful Argument. I see your point, explain me everything
        
        People do this in ML research, and it's way better than other fields
        tbh.
       
          colinmhayes wrote 3 days ago:
          The new york times goal is to make money. If the careful argument
          costs more than it brings in they won't do it. I don't think many
          people would read the careful argument version of this piece which I
          suspect is why they went for the blog version instead.
       
            tomcat27 wrote 3 days ago:
            Low barrier of entry is actually a good way to increase readers. I
            bet they are now not as influential as they were in 80s and 90s
       
        robertlagrant wrote 3 days ago:
        > In fact, economists believe at best slavery did not provide any
        growth benefits over free labor and at worst it impeded America's
        economic development.
        
        I don't know if this is true or not, but like this article I imagine
        the NYT is going to publish pro-reparations articles, and so wouldn't
        want to indulge this sort of even-handed thinking.
       
          potatoz2 wrote 3 days ago:
          I don’t think it would preclude supporting reparations. If I burn
          down your home, I don’t benefit from it but I still owe you
          compensation. (There’s also the fact that, in the US, it’s
          possible the country as a whole suffered from slavery but individual
          people or states benefited.)
       
            tytso wrote 3 days ago:
            Indeed, the statement of slavery not providing any economic
            benefits as a whole is a country-level statement.  Whether or not
            there exists certain large slaveholders, or business people in the
            North who made their family fortune building ships for the slave
            trade, or worse, trading slaves, who did benefit from slavery is
            not really subject to debate.
            
            The hard question from a reparations perspective is suppose that
            business person left the bulk of their family fortune to a
            particular church diocese.   Let's further assume that donation was
            made in the form of the trust fund, so it's very easy to identify
            the source of a particular trust fund would not have existed but
            for the fact that this business person was part of the slave trade.
              What moral obligation, if any, does the church diocese have to
            repairing the harms that this donor may have inflicted on a group
            of people more than a century ago, given that in the meantime this
            church diocese has been enjoying a continuing income stream that
            originally had its roots in the slave trade?
            
            One could argue, "none at all", and one could also point out that
            there was an awful lot of good being done by the works enabled from
            the income stream of that trust fund.    Dismantling that trust fund
            (if it can be legally done; there might be donor restrictions that
            might make this difficult/impossible) would eliminate the good
            being done via that trust fund.   But one could argue that this is
            a similar argument made by the British Museum when it was refusing
            to return the Elgin Marbles, and that it is a bogus one.    Or
            someone could argue that no matter what the value of that trust
            fund should be, it pales in comparison that the harm that has been
            done, and so you shouldn't even try.   Others might argue that at
            least admitting the truth of how an organization has benefited by
            past injustices is the important thing, and that reparations is not
            so much about money, as it is about repair --- acknolwedging and
            making at least some effort to repair the damage to the community
            by past injusticies.
            
            After all, if someone burns down your home, what gets lost is far
            more than the monetary damages; it's also the emotion impact of
            having your home being lost, and objects of sentimental value, such
            as photographs, jewelry once owned by your mother, etc., which
            can't be compensated using mere money.     All of that is true.  And
            yet, having a true and sincere "I'm sorry" by someone who is
            genuinely sorrowful and repentant, can mean an awful lot.
            
            Bottom line is "reparations" is a deeply complex topic, and it is
            not just about writing checks.    In fact, that's arguably the least
            important part of the whole process.  It's unfortunate that this is
            the part that most people who are against reparations focus upon.
       
              potatoz2 wrote 3 days ago:
              I don’t disagree that reparations is more than monetary, but it
              certainly includes monetary compensation and therefore it’s
              worth discussing.
              
              The dilemma you described (using stolen goods to do otherwise
              good deeds) boils down to whether you want to take a utilitarian
              or deontological moral view. Having said that, no one (in our
              capitalist society, at least) would accept me stealing your car
              to drive patients to the hospital as OK, even if my car otherwise
              sits completely unused. And similarly, if I crashed your car
              while doing my good deed, there would be no question that I owe
              you a replacement.
              
              I think the more interesting question about reparation is whether
              there is truly a “continuity” (of the institution, state, or
              country on the one hand, and of a family unit on the other). If
              there is, then obviously the institution owes everything needed
              to make you whole. If there isn’t, then they owe you the same
              as any other citizen.
       
                robertlagrant wrote 1 day ago:
                > I think the more interesting question about reparation is
                whether there is truly a “continuity” (of the institution,
                state, or country on the one hand, and of a family unit on the
                other). If there is, then obviously the institution owes
                everything needed to make you whole. If there isn’t, then
                they owe you the same as any other citizen.
                
                Can you explain this? What is continuity in this sense, and why
                is it obvious that they owe everything needed to make everyone
                whole?
       
            chernevik wrote 3 days ago:
            Yes, but it removes one of the core arguments for reparations --
            "this is _our_ wealth, which we created, and which we simply want
            returned to us."
            
            I don't think you can find anyone who would disagree that
            individual people and states benefitted.  But all those people are
            dead.
       
              pr0zac wrote 3 days ago:
              I'm really confused why I keep seeing arguments suggesting that
              that excerpt in any way matters to the argument of reparations.
              
              I've never had a strong opinion on the topic in either direction
              but the argument of, as you put it, "this is _our_ wealth, which
              we created, and which we simply want returned to us." doesn't
              require excess wealth to have been created by slavery, it simply
              requires that some of the wealth didn't go to the people that did
              the work to produce it resulting in those people (and their
              descendants) not profiting from it.
              
              Like I said in the other place I saw this, wage theft is illegal
              because someone isn't getting paid for work they did, its not in
              any way based on that theft providing economic growth compared to
              paying folks.
       
                chernevik wrote 3 days ago:
                But the reparations argument generally makes exactly that
                argument -- the US is wealthier than it would have been b/c of
                slavery.  If so, this justifies taxing present citizens for
                reparations -- they are wealthier because of slavery, and
                should give back a share of that increase in their wealth.
                
                Of course slavery was a theft of wages.  But the people who
                benefitted are long gone.
       
                  headsupernova wrote 3 days ago:
                  Can you link to any example of that argument being used for
                  reparations?
                  
                  Also generational wealth is like _the_ predictive factor in
                  future economic outcomes. This is basic stuff.
       
                    robertlagrant wrote 2 days ago:
                    Point is the only case for taking money from people now and
                    giving it to other people is based on the wealth people
                    have now. Everyone involved in slavery (or the slavery
                    reparations attempts to address) is long dead. The argument
                    is "you are wealthier because of slavery". Which may not be
                    true according to the above.
                    
                    I don't know if that line of reasoning is correct; I'm just
                    laying it out for discussion.
       
            robertlagrant wrote 3 days ago:
            Fair point, yes. I suppose the idea I've heard that the US was
            built entirely by slaves is the one I'm thinking of more.
       
        DANK_YACHT wrote 3 days ago:
        The two main points of contention are:
        
        1) While "wall street" did want the U.S. to invade Haiti to increase
        profits, there were other reasons for the U.S. to invade as well.
        Specifically, there was a worry that Germany would invade (Germany was
        80% of Haiti's trade). This was during WWI where there were fears about
        Germany's Latin America business dealings. After the invasion, it
        appears Citibank (aka "wall street") lost out due to increased
        competition.
        
        2) Haiti had a number of structural differences that would have
        prevented it from developing even if France didn't force Haiti to pay
        for its freedom. One example is that Haiti tore down their plantations
        and distributed land among individual farmers. These farmers were not
        economically productive and prevented Haiti from adopting new
        technology as it became available. The other example is that Haiti had
        extreme instability even before France demanded payment. Leaders were
        frequently assassinated and the government even split in two for some
        time.
        
        The author of this post feels the NYT glossed over the facts in order
        to paint a narrative.
       
          joe_the_user wrote 3 days ago:
          Haiti had a number of structural differences that would have
          prevented it from developing even if France didn't force Haiti to pay
          for its freedom.
          
          So the robber who says: "If hadn't stolen your paycheck, you would
          have drunken it all away" is perfectly in their rights.
       
            908B64B197 wrote 3 days ago:
            France actually sent Haiti a lot of humanitarian help and cancelled
            some of the country's debts.
            
            Now, looking at the series of instable and corrupt regimes the
            country had since independence, the more apt analogy would be that
            it was smart from the bank's (France) point of view to foreclose
            the property before thieves broke in and stole the TV and copper
            wire. If you're looking for the TV by the way, there's a man called
            Duvalier who knows exactly where it is.
            
            Even recently, Wyclef Jean's humanitarian foundation (the same
            person who tried to ran for presidency in Haiti) was found to be
            diverting an impressive amount of funds to... Himself!
            
            The issue is cultural. But that's certainly not a position that
            will be popular with the NYT's readership.
       
            whack wrote 3 days ago:
            From the article:
            
            > Haiti has been the victim of injustice. The indemnity was
            immoral, and France should be ashamed of it. The US Occupation of
            Haiti abused many Haitians, and I, an American, am ashamed when I
            see photos of Charlemagne Peralte nailed to a door.
            
            > But these projects are trying assign greater moral weight by
            claiming exaggerated economic consequences. I can condemn the
            Haitian indemnity for the injustices they were. But I worry that
            unnuanced articles like what the NYT has been publishing will
            cheapen those past injustices by attracting critics who believe
            that disproving some of the articles' claims then disproves all of
            them
       
              joe_the_user wrote 2 days ago:
              I can condemn the Haitian indemnity for the injustices they were.
              But I worry that unnuanced articles like what the NYT has been
              publishing will cheapen those past injustices by attracting
              critics who believe that disproving some of the articles' claims
              then disproves all of them.
              
              The thing about this is he's not challenging the bare facts -
              that France was the force taking resources from the Haitian
              people. That agreed. He's challenge the conceptual framework; "if
              France hadn't done this, someone else would have". Whether one
              agrees or disagrees with this change, it's not a factual question
              and so his hand wringing about disproofs seem basically
              disingenuous.
       
            wutbrodo wrote 3 days ago:
            Or, the point is addressed to adults, who are interested in
            understanding history per se, and assessing the veracity of
            specific claims (like, "Haiti's underdevelopment is attributable to
            these reparation demands").
            
            It's not addressed to the simpletons who can't escape childish
            black-and-white thinking in which reality doesn't exist outside of
            the ammunition it provides for taking sides.
            
            Tldr: it's ludicrous to hear the claim "reparations weren't
            responsible for Haiti's underdevelopment" and conclude "OH so you
            think the reparations were good??"
       
              joe_the_user wrote 3 days ago:
              The GP I replied (summarizing the artice): "Haiti had a number of
              structural differences that would have prevented it from
              developing even if France didn't force Haiti to pay for its
              freedom."
              
              This is not saying, "reparations weren't responsible for Haiti's
              underdevelopment". Money paid is economic opportunities lost.
              France was benefiting from the payments and Haitians were
              suffering.
              
              The argument being made is that this is either insignificant or
              OK because if France had not done this, Haiti would have been
              underdeveloped some other way.
              
              It's pretty exactly analogous to thief that steals from you on
              Friday and when confronted on Monday says "I'm not responsible
              for you being broke, you would have lost the money some other
              way". That's sort reprehensible even if it's true. Let I repeat
              even if it's true.
       
                wutbrodo wrote 3 days ago:
                > The argument being made is that this is either insignificant
                or OK
                
                This is my point. Nobody is saying it's "okay". Facts are
                _upstream_ of the normative claims people use them to support,
                and don't always lead to conclusions that you can predict from
                kneejerk, nonsensical assumptions of the sort you're making.
                
                A historian can object to the NYT (allegedly) explicitly making
                an incorrect _factual_ claim; that's practically his damn job!
                The only person rushing to project an agenda onto it so that
                you can get high off of outrage is you. Before we can make
                detailed normative decisions about reality, we need to
                understand the facts that underlie them.
                
                > That's sort reprehensible even if it's true. Let I repeat
                even if it's true
                
                Even the assumption that this exonerates the French doesn't
                make any sense! It's trivial to frame this as "the French
                further damaged an economy that was already at a disadvantage
                relative to its peers"! You're throwing away the truth for a
                "benefit" that doesn't even make any sense!
                
                I apologize for the pointed language, but I can't think of
                anything in modern discourse that I loath more than this
                revolting focus on what factual claims _sound_ like instead of
                what they actually mean and how they contribute to our picture
                of the world. The world is _complicated_. Facts don't always
                lead you to the conclusions that this childish kneejerk style
                of analysis assumes they do. There are a lot of decent, serious
                people trying to understand the world and make it better, and
                it is _precisely_ this alternative-facts approach that is
                poisoning our modern discourse.
       
                cpleppert wrote 3 days ago:
                I don't think anyone has ever asserted that stealing can be
                justified if the casual outcome for the victim is insignificant
                and it is certainly isn't a justification here. It is a valid
                historical question of the impact of the indemnity. Pointing
                out that haiti's economy was unable to develop should be
                relevant and certainly not reprehensible. There are a lot of
                cases of historical injustice including other instances that
                involved Haiti in the first place. Justice will be harmed if we
                can't fairly judge the outcome of these injustices.
       
                defen wrote 3 days ago:
                It doesn't change the morality of the theft, but it is relevant
                when determining how the thief should make the victim whole. To
                use your paycheck analogy - consider these two situations:
                
                1. The thief steals from you on your way to the bank, where you
                have a history of making on-time loan payments. The theft
                causes you to default on your loan and lose your car which
                leads to you losing your job.
                
                2. The thief steals from you on your way to the tavern, where
                you have a history of drinking your paycheck.
                
                Wouldn't you agree that in scenario 1, the thief owes you more
                compensation than just the money he stole?
                
                Imagine if I said "If France hadn't forced Haiti to pay for its
                freedom, Haiti would have become a world leader in
                semiconductor manufacturing, like Taiwan". Do you have any
                evidence against that claim? Can you see why the extent of the
                damage is relevant for determining how France should make up
                for it?
       
                  drekk wrote 3 days ago:
                  To use your analogy here, France should determine how much
                  they should pay back to Haiti for taking their wealth after
                  long hardship as a colony? I'm just trying to make sure I
                  don't build a strawman here.
                  
                  France doesn't care. They're not going to pay. They still
                  have colonies for that matter. Their museums aren't going to
                  be losing plundered artifacts any time soon. But it's
                  interesting that the argument against Haiti being able to
                  ever rise out of its colonial mire was the fact they
                  nationalized the plantations where they had been enslaved and
                  doled them out to Haitians.
                  
                  Maybe the fact the US sent marines to seize assets from the
                  Haitian treasury (to ensure France got those payments)
                  impacted their ability to adopt new technologies as they
                  became available. Who's to say?
                  
                  "If you stick a knife in my back nine inches and pull it out
                  six inches, there's no progress. If you pull it all the way
                  out that's not progress. Progress is healing the wound that
                  the blow made. And they haven't even pulled the knife out
                  much less heal the wound. They won't even admit the knife is
                  there." — Malcolm X
       
          ewzimm wrote 3 days ago:
          I think the most important point is that addressing inequality in
          this way feeds into the lie that exploitation is zero sum and those
          who benefited from it must now sacrifice to balance the scales.
          
          In truth, inequality makes everyone poorer, because we share the same
          world, and we all suffer when opportunity is hoarded. The richest
          often live the worst lives trying to maintain their advantages.
          Consider Putin spending decades obsessing over television news.
          
          Addressing inequality isn’t about punishing those who benefitted
          unfairly, it’s about making the world better for everyone.
          
          “But these projects are trying assign greater moral weight by
          claiming exaggerated economic consequences. But these claims can
          weaken the morality of the original crime. Take slavery as an
          example. Many journalists and even some historians claim that
          American economic prosperity would have been unattainable without
          slavery. If you truly believe that, and you look at the billions of
          lives that have been lifted out of poverty thanks to this prosperity,
          then a callous calculus could conclude that the abuses of slavery
          were a cost we had to pay. But economists do not believe this claim.
          In fact, economists believe at best slavery did not provide any
          growth benefits over free labor and at worst it impeded America's
          economic development. To me, this is a much stronger moral claim
          because not only was slavery terrible, it was unnecessary.”
       
          NHQ wrote 3 days ago:
          > The author of this post feels the NYT glossed over the facts in
          order to paint a narrative.
          
          They must be new on planet earth.
          
          It is not even about right or wrong.  The question is, what does the
          NYT narrative serve?  Is it anti-french?  The last time the U.S. had
          an official anti-French attitude was before the invasion of Iraq. 
          Perhaps they are trying to give the French Globalists something to
          browbeat against the French Nationalists.
       
            nemothekid wrote 3 days ago:
            >The question is, what does the NYT narrative serve? Is it
            anti-french?
            
            It serves the same narrative as a long Reddit comment waxing on and
            off about the America's imperialism in South America. While it's
            technically true, I think it just makes the writer feel more
            intellectual while being morally superior to some powerful status
            quo. These ideas travel from serious intellectuals, to pop-sci
            nerds, to reddit comments then ultimately to mainstream.
            
            Not to say that they are wrong, I'm just saying I don't think
            there's some nefarious conspiracy (not to say they don't exist),
            but this could be just a case of a writer making a name from
            himself.
       
          908B64B197 wrote 3 days ago:
          > The author of this post feels the NYT glossed over the facts in
          order to paint a narrative.
          
          It also omits the incredible amount of wealth stolen by the Duvalier
          regime
       
            akhmatova wrote 3 days ago:
            Which happened 5-7 decades later.
            
            And which was not visited upon Haiti from some higher plane; but
            rather, was structurally enabled by the events of 1915.
       
          trhway wrote 3 days ago:
          wrt. land reform - century and a half later Zimbabwe did pretty much
          the same with about the same result. The USSR famine of 1932 had
          while not exactly the same yet similar reasons - destruction of the
          successful private farmers and transfer of those lands into
          collective farms.
       
            TMWNN wrote 2 days ago:
            >wrt. land reform - century and a half later Zimbabwe did pretty
            much the same with about the same result
            
            Recent history of Zimbabwe < [1] >
            
   URI      [1]: http://imgur.com/a/VdQdD
       
            shakow wrote 3 days ago:
            > The USSR famine of 1932 had while not exactly the same yet
            similar reasons
            
            Partly only. The 1932 famine was much more complicated, and a
            conjunction of what you said, a weak economy a few years after WWI
            and the civil war, Stalin pushing on exporting massive quantities
            of grain to pay for industrial imports, bad weather, lack of
            information due to the fear within the state apparatus of being the
            shot messenger, and failure in resources allocation.
       
              trhway wrote 3 days ago:
              >Partly only.
              
              of course. Though for precision sake:
              
              >a weak economy a few years after WWI and the civil war
              
              that wasn't really an issue as food production has been pretty
              much restored during 192x "New Economical Policies"
              
              >lack of information due to the fear within the state apparatus
              of being the shot messenger, and failure in resources allocation.
              
              in many senses that was exactly the consequences of the transfer
              of control from successful private farmers ("kulaks") to
              collective farms
              
              >bad weather
              
              one can argue that private farmers would have fared much better
              through it than collective farms exactly due to  management
              issues you mentioned. As far as i remember agriculture in USSR
              had always had a lot of production issues and officially blamed
              "bad weather", and USSR had to import grain. Interesting that
              after end of USSR, Russia and Ukraine has again (like before 1917
              Revolution) become large exporters of grain - as if "bad weather"
              magically disappeared :)
       
                shakow wrote 3 days ago:
                > that wasn't really an issue as food production has been
                pretty much restored during 192x "New Economical Policies"
                
                Fair point; I meant that many efforts were devoted to the
                industrialization of the country, depriving the agricultural
                sectors from those – especially regarding resources
                allocation in brainpower and machinery.
                
                > in many senses that was exactly the consequences of the
                transfer of control from successful private farmers ("kulaks")
                to collective farms
                
                I disagree; it seems to me it was the consequences of Stalin's
                purges profiling at the horizon, and noone – especially among
                the low-rankers of the party hierarchy – wanting to find
                themselves on the wrong side of a Nagant for announcing a
                failure to fill the quotas.
                
                > as if "bad weather" magically disappeared :)
                
                Bad weather is a problem if (i), as you mentioned, the whole
                incentives for production are screwed up, and (ii) the
                agricultural infrastructure of the country is miles behind the
                state of the art. Imperial Russia was still relying mostly on
                human work for agricultural tasks in the 1910's, and 1930's
                USSR was miles behind 1950's-1980's USSR w.r.t. agronomical
                methods & knowledge, equipment, irrigation, mechanization, etc.
                
                So if bad weather would only be an inconvenience more recent
                USSR, it would become a compounding factor for a generalized
                famine in 1932.
       
          RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
          I think the fallacy that the author misses in all this is that
          problems compound (something I notice that academics often ignore
          because their narrow focus.)
          
          Sure, Haiti was not at the cutting edge of technology but the
          staggering amount of debt they owed France certainly didn't help them
          catch up
          
          Sure, the US didn't want a German puppet in the Caribbean but it's
          mostly because the US liked the profit margins of being the sole
          puppet master
          
          To make matters worse, he makes a case for a more nuanced portrait,
          but then titles the thing The New York Times is Wrong About Haiti
          
          In general, I'm surprised this article is getting so much traction
          here when it combines two much maligned (by HN) rhetorical styles,
          but I think it's because of some emerging culture war against the
          NYT.
       
            DANK_YACHT wrote 3 days ago:
            You're falling into the same trap the author asserts the NYT has
            fallen into. You're right, debt to the French didn't help Haiti's
            situation, but that doesn't mean that the debt to France caused
            Haiti's situation, which is essentially what  the NYT article was
            implying. I think this resonates not because of an emerging culture
            war against the NYT, but because the NYT has chosen sides in an
            existing culture war, namely whether or not the imperialist past of
            Europe and the U.S. can be reconciled with the modern day world.
       
              deanCommie wrote 3 days ago:
              Is anything in history as simple as "Action A CAUSED Outcome B"?
              
              What caused Japan to bomb Pearl Harbor? Was it wanton imperial
              ambitions? Or was it the US oil blockade.
              
              What caused US to bomb Hiroshima/Nagasaki? Was it a desire to
              save the lives of hundreds of thousands of US soldiers? Or was it
              a desire not to have to split the islands with the Soviets who
              were lining up to invade, and intimidate them with the new weapon
              the US developed?
              
              There are always multiple angles to every historical narrative.
              Noone is purely good or purely evil.
              
              Understand that the NYT isn't writing this in a vacuum. None of
              the discussions of colonialism are. Discussions of colonialism
              are responding to DECADES of commonly accepted stereotypes that
              "Shucks darn, Haiti/Africa are just fundamentally worse at
              economics, peace and prosperity than the rest of the world. Must
              be because black people are inherently stupider/more
              violent/insert other racist justifications". It is only in the
              last couple of decades that we've openly started to acknowledge
              that maybe centuries of oppression had something to do with
              creating the violent/unstable environments we scoff at at the
              west, AND that the impact didn't end overnight when the colonial
              powers left - such as in the case of Haiti's ongoing debt
              repayments to France.
       
                shakow wrote 3 days ago:
                > Or was it a desire not to have to split the islands with the
                Soviets who were lining up to invade
                
                I don't think that anyone, the Soviets the first ones, ever
                seriously envisioned a Soviet invasion of the US mainland; I'm
                not even aware of serious Soviet plans and/or preparation for
                it. Which is understandable given (i) their absence of fleet,
                (ii) their inexistent experience in full-scale amphibious
                invasions, (iii) the semi-failures that their smaller-scale
                amphibious operations were along the war, from the Crimea to
                the Kurils.
       
                  zuminator wrote 3 days ago:
                  GP is talking about the bombs forestalling a 
                  possible Soviet invasion of Hokkaido.
                  
   URI            [1]: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proposed_Soviet_inva...
       
                    shakow wrote 3 days ago:
                    and I meant: “concerns were raised within the Soviet high
                    command that an invasion of Hokkaido would be impractical
                    and unlikely to succeed”
                    
                    Sure, there was a huge political part at play and I don't
                    deny it, but even abstracting the US, purely militarily
                    speaking, the Soviets would have been hard-pressed to
                    succesfully invade Japan mainland.
       
              RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
              I'm struggling to parse your definition of causality here.
              
              If I have a pre-existing condition that wouldn't have killed me
              this year, then I get COVID and die, what caused my death?
              
              EDIT: And let's be clear here, the author blithely ignores the
              problems that slavery causes and acts as though the debt and the
              slavery are unique concepts.
       
                DANK_YACHT wrote 3 days ago:
                If a society is poorly structured for economic growth AND has
                debts that hamper economic growth, how do you say that the
                later caused the lack of economic growth but not the former? In
                your COVID example, had you not got COVID, you'd still be
                alive. In terms of Haiti, had they not had French debt, they
                may still have been in a similar situation economically.
                
                You were alive prior to having covid, so we can assume had you
                not become infected, you'd still be alive. Haiti wasn't
                economically prospering before the debt, so we can't assume
                they would have prospered without the debt. That's not to say
                it's impossible for Haiti to prosper without the debt, but you
                can't just definitively state that Haiti would prosper as if it
                were a fact. There isn't enough evidence to say.
       
                  RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
                  >If a society is poorly structured for economic growth AND
                  has debts that hamper economic growth, how do you say that
                  the later caused the lack of economic growth but not the
                  former? In your COVID example, had you not got COVID, you'd
                  still be alive. In terms of Haiti, had they not had French
                  debt, they may still have been in a similar situation
                  economically.
                  
                  It's sort of wild that we live in a world where Singapore was
                  kicked out of Malaysia in 1965 for being too poor and
                  violent, yet you think that the organizational structure of
                  Haiti's farmland in the 19th Century is what doomed it.
                  
                  I'll concede that they were in bad shape in the 19th Century,
                  but I challenge you to tell me that Haiti in 1890 was
                  significantly worse in organization than Chile at the same
                  time.  One of those two countries was able to benefit from
                  its resources and is in the OECD and the other had to pay
                  debt to France and is one of the poorest countries in the
                  world.
       
                    hitekker wrote 3 days ago:
                    > world where Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia in 1965
                    for being too poor and violent
                    
                    Absolutely false. Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia for
                    wanting its Chinese citizens to have equality with Malayan
                    citizens. Which the Malaysian government responded to by
                    stirring up race riots. [1] The GP is making a good faith
                    attempt to educate you, but you're trying to "win" by
                    asserting facts without a second of googling.
                    
   URI              [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Singapore...
       
                      RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
                      Cool Wikipedia link
                      
                      [0] [1] Although the Malaysian economy and population
                      were much larger than Singapore's, as the international
                      financial and commercial centre for the Malaysian
                      peninsula and with per capita income more than twice that
                      of Malaysia, we might expect ex ante that Singapore would
                      be in a strong position to determine the arrangements.
                      But contemporary views were more optimistic about the
                      development of the Malaysian economy than that of
                      Singapore in the late 1960s. In addition, Malaysia had
                      already developed a central bank, which placed it in a
                      more powerful position to lead the discussions on
                      monetary reform. Ultimately, Singapore's distrust of the
                      Malaysian administration led to the abandonment of the
                      efforts at continuing the monetary integration of the two
                      territories.
                      
   URI                [1]: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/030...
       
                      yorwba wrote 3 days ago:
                      And Singaporean GDP per capita was almost twice that of
                      Malaysia during 1963-1965 when they were one country
                      
   URI                [1]: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP...
       
                        RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
                        [0] [1] ...
                        
                        Although the Malaysian economy and population were much
                        larger than Singapore's, as the international financial
                        and commercial centre for the Malaysian peninsula and
                        with per capita income more than twice that of
                        Malaysia, we might expect ex ante that Singapore would
                        be in a strong position to determine the arrangements.
                        But contemporary views were more optimistic about the
                        development of the Malaysian economy than that of
                        Singapore in the late 1960s. In addition, Malaysia had
                        already developed a central bank, which placed it in a
                        more powerful position to lead the discussions on
                        monetary reform. Ultimately, Singapore's distrust of
                        the Malaysian administration led to the abandonment of
                        the efforts at continuing the monetary integration of
                        the two territories.
                        
   URI                  [1]: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0...
       
                    DANK_YACHT wrote 3 days ago:
                    > yet you think that the organizational structure of
                    Haiti's farmland in the 19th Century is what doomed it.
                    
                    You're putting words into my mouth. I didn't say what
                    caused Haiti's lack of economic growth. I was pointing out
                    that there isn't enough evidence to say French debt caused
                    the lack of economic growth. It's totally possible to
                    French debt did in fact cause the lack of economic growth.
                    But it's also possible other issues caused the lack of
                    economic growth. Or perhaps it was a combination. Maybe
                    Haiti could have prospered economically had it been better
                    structured even with French debt, or it could have
                    prospered with poor structure without French debt.
                    
                    I don't mean this to be offensive, but I think you believe
                    that the French debt caused Haiti's issue. I'm not
                    convinced of this by the evidence, and I think you're
                    taking my lack of conviction personally because it
                    contradicts something you believe. Or perhaps we have
                    different thresholds on the amount of evidence needed
                    before we're convinced of something.
       
                      Spooky23 wrote 3 days ago:
                      You’re trying to speak as some sort of dealer of fact
                      about a topic, which with due respect, you don’t really
                      understand.
                      
                      “French debt” wasn’t just some unpaid loan. Haiti
                      went through a variety of trevails through a long an
                      vicious period of fighting for     independence. At the
                      end, they ended up where they were not diplomatically
                      recognized by the US or Europe - Haiti went from a land
                      of plenty to a pariah, unable to trade, and the only way
                      out was to pay a steep indemnity, helpfully financed by
                      the French on usurious terms.
                      
                      Debt was used as an implement of control. I’m not sure
                      what you’re looking for, but those are not conditions
                      that will allow a nation or a economy to flourish.
       
                      RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
                      Maybe what is different between you and I is that I see
                      the following situation:
                      
                      1) There were dozens of countries in Latin America that
                      had various levels of disfunction and poor organization
                      
                      2) One of those countries had to pay a debt to Europe as
                      protection money
                      
                      3) That one country is by far the poorest in Latin
                      America
                      
                      It is my baseline that the unique thing about Haiti is
                      the reason it had the worst outcome.  This article
                      supposes "No, there were plenty of other problems with
                      Haiti" while ignoring that fact that there were plenty of
                      other problems with nearly every Latin American country.
                      
                      The author does this by ignoring other historians' views
                      on the matter (see my other comment) and most importantly
                      doesn't propose alternate reasons why Haiti is different
                      vs. other Latin American countries.
                      
                      Was it the land distribution? Why did Mexico do better in
                      their 1910 campaign then? If not that, then what?
                      
                      At least the NYT makes a cogent argument.
       
                        DANK_YACHT wrote 3 days ago:
                        It's ok to point out that there isn't enough evidence
                        for a particular argument without presenting a counter
                        argument. We should strive to believe the truth. If the
                        truth can't be determined, we should accept that
                        consciously rather than grasp on to an idea that fits
                        our predefined belief system.
                        
                        There are many differences between Haiti and the rest
                        of Latin America. One big one is that Haiti was French,
                        whereas much of Latin America was ruled by Spain and
                        Portugal. We don't really have much evidence on how
                        France's colonies handle independence as they are
                        either still French territory or got absorbed by other
                        countries, e.g. French Louisiana. Perhaps something in
                        the Spanish model led to better outcomes for former
                        colonies. Another difference is that that Haitian
                        revolution was a successful slave revolt that resulted
                        in a purge of the ruling class. Compare this to America
                        where many of the founding fathers were members of the
                        colonial government, meaning they had governing
                        experience. Haiti's government was also unstable after
                        the revolution, further hindering its ability to form a
                        cohesive economic plan. Haiti's primary source of
                        domestic energy is charcoal, which has lead to near
                        total deforestation of the country. Perhaps that played
                        a role. These are just some differences off the top of
                        my head, and I'm not an expert in Haiti.
                        
                        Again, the debt to France certainly didn't help. But to
                        me, it feels a little too convenient of an excuse to
                        lay the blame solely at France's feet.
       
                          hitekker wrote 3 days ago:
                          This thread reminds me of high school. A kid tries
                          and fails to argue with a teacher, so they resort to
                          trolling in order to "win". Meanwhile the rest of the
                          students are just rolling their eyes and hoping the
                          kid gets over their fragile ego.
       
                            RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
                            Listen, fragile ego or not, it's probably worth
                            examining why you think your high school teachers
                            were universally correct, especially on the topic
                            of colonialism.
       
                          RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
                          >Again, the debt to France certainly didn't help. But
                          to me, it feels a little too convenient of an excuse
                          to lay the blame solely at France's feet.
                          
                          Just to restate 'It feels too convenient to blame the
                          country that forced these people into slavery, cut
                          them off from the world economic system and then
                          forced them to pay a tax to remain free?'
                          
                          Damn just say what you mean at a certain point (I
                          won't put the words in your mouth but...)
       
          selimthegrim wrote 3 days ago:
           [1] (I clarified here that a cartel of Haitians of German origin
          controlled the ports which added up to 80% of Haitian trade)
          
   URI    [1]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31471067
       
          next_xibalba wrote 3 days ago:
          The larger point, to my reading, is how NYT has published
          ahistorical, ideology first products and presented and pushed them as
          history. Even in the face of criticism from historians who are
          experts in the covered subject matter.
       
            refurb wrote 3 days ago:
            They are just copying the kinds of clickbait though see all over
            the internet and highly upvoted on HN.
            
            People love it when their biases are confirmed.
       
              RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
              Like how an article titled 'The NYT is wrong about Haiti' is
              upvoted by hundreds of people who (likely) have never been to
              Haiti? And maybe 1-2 people who had ever heard of the economist
              who wrote it before?
       
                refurb wrote 3 days ago:
                Pretty much!
                
                I pretty much assume everything I read online is a lie unless
                proven otherwise.
       
            cyanydeez wrote 3 days ago:
            Right! Being wrong is the larger point
       
            watwut wrote 3 days ago:
            The primary criticism was that historians did not get enough
            credit.
       
            coldtea wrote 3 days ago:
            >NYT has published ahistorical, ideology first products and
            presented and pushed them as history
            
            Well, isn't that the whole business of the NYT since forever, only
            with "history" usually replaced with "news", and "ideology first"
            sometimes being "the government says so"?
       
            overtonwhy wrote 3 days ago:
            Oh the larger point is an attempt to discredit the newspaper of
            record for the USA. Thanks for clarifying that you're trying to
            spin colonial slavery as a good thing because of "liberal media
            bias".
       
              lp0_on_fire wrote 3 days ago:
              That "newspaper of record" doesn't need a lot of outside help to
              discredit itself given the state of it in the last decade and a
              half.
       
                fortuna86 wrote 3 days ago:
                How was Tucker Carlson tonight, did he own the libs to your
                satisfaction ?
       
                  lp0_on_fire wrote 3 days ago:
                  I don't have cable and don't watch Tucker, but good attempt
                  at a burn nevertheless.
       
            sangnoir wrote 3 days ago:
            > The larger point, to my reading, is how NYT has published
            ahistorical, ideology first products and presented and pushed them
            as history[...]
            
            That reads like a misrepresentation of TFA: the author conceded
            that the historical facts reported by the NYT are accurate, but
            they disagree with the tone and conclusion.
            
            The author's angle is a weird one: author thinks that the
            article(s) should be read as an academic paper (no reason given),
            and then lobs criticism at it for not being a good academic paper.
       
              mensetmanusman wrote 3 days ago:
              You can use any series of truths to weave a lie, this has been
              known since antiquity.
       
                sangnoir wrote 3 days ago:
                "Ahistorical" has a specific meaning, which does not apply
                here.
       
            darth_avocado wrote 3 days ago:
            The NYT article was not “ahistorical”, something that the
            author points out was the facts were mostly correct.
            
            The problem here is the narrative that is built based on the facts
            is not accurate and conclusions weren’t scientifically drawn.
       
              tablespoon wrote 3 days ago:
              > The problem here is the narrative that is built based on the
              facts is not accurate and conclusions weren’t scientifically
              drawn.
              
              Yeah, I think you always have to read things like the NYT with an
              eye towards their demonstrated institutional biases.  I think
              they can be trusted to get the facts right (even if that fact is
              "ABC made claim XYZ," when XYZ turns out to have been wrong), and
              I don't really see a better alternative for getting facts about
              current events.
              
              That said, I don't think journalists at the NYT are the right
              people to be writing revisionist histories of events that are
              very much not current.    If they want to publish stuff like that,
              it would better if the hired some actual historians to do these
              projects (instead of just trying to use them as QC).
       
            MomoXenosaga wrote 3 days ago:
            Historians have ideology too. In fact the field of history is not
            an exact science...
       
              epgui wrote 3 days ago:
              If I accept the premise that "the field of history is not an
              exact science" (which, to be clear, I do), it does not logically
              follow that this makes historians particularly ideological.
              
              Both may certainly be true (which I believe), but it's not a very
              good argument.
       
                uoaei wrote 3 days ago:
                I get the feeling your definition of "ideology" is a very
                specific, politically-motivated one, and not the one that most
                philosophers and social scientists have concurred is an
                appropriate default definition over the last 50-70 years.
                
                Everyone carries ideology with them. It is the source of
                subjective interpretations and judgments. And unfortunately for
                your position, we have more or less come to the consensus that
                all language and communication is fundamentally subjective:
                this means that no statements or actions are without ideology.
       
            UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
            "Criticism from historians" is normal for everything. Historians
            criticize work that they even revere. The presence of academic
            criticism is not evidence that the NYT piece is an "ahistorical,
            ideology first product".
            
            In fact, the majority of criticism from the academic community (as
            mentioned in the article) is the fact that the historians that were
            consulted on this piece weren't named in the text.
       
              hitekker wrote 3 days ago:
              I think the GP means that the NYT has a recent history of
              peddling journalistic rags as academic papers, without the
              approval of the academic experts they've consulted. One of those
              fact checkers even wrote an article about how they were ignored
              by the NYT:
              
   URI        [1]: https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/06/1619-p...
       
                UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
                And I'm saying that your portrayal is foolish.
                
                From the very article you link
                
                >  Overall, the 1619 Project is a much-needed corrective to the
                blindly celebratory histories that once dominated our
                understanding of the past—histories that wrongly suggested
                racism and slavery were not a central part of U.S. history.
                
                The 1619 Project contained historical errors that the authors
                should have avoided. But historians working in this area do not
                consider it to be a "journalistic rag" even as they criticize
                it. As I mentioned in my post, academic criticism is not
                evidence that a piece is devoid of merit.
       
                  spoonjim wrote 3 days ago:
                  But a big part of why people aren’t using stronger language
                  to criticize it is they doing so is a guaranteed path to
                  being called a racist and getting calls for your firing.
       
                  somenameforme wrote 3 days ago:
                  You're misrepresenting that article.
                  
                  That article was not some random historian offering an
                  academic criticism. That person was hand-picked by the
                  NYTimes to "fact-check" their article. They undoubtedly chose
                  her because of her ideological background, thinking that she
                  would be okay with revisionary history. She wasn't. So they
                  ignored her.
       
                    UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
                    I do not believe that I am misrepresenting the article. The
                    reason I do not believe that is because I am personal
                    friends with an unusual number of historians who work in
                    early US history and the history of race in the US. The
                    quote I pulled from the article very neatly sums up their
                    opinion of the 1619 project.
                    
                    The NYT made fairly basic and preventable factual errors in
                    the 1619 project. They should not have done this. This is
                    not new or interesting or controversial information among
                    relevant historians. What is controversial among relevant
                    historians is the conclusion that therefore the 1619
                    project is ideological bullshit that shouldn't be seen as
                    anything other than garbage. The author of the article you
                    link was indeed correct - factual errors became a lightning
                    rod for reactionaries to dismiss the work as propaganda.
                    But that's not actually how criticism of historical writing
                    works in the academic community.
                    
                    I suspect that if I spoke with the author of this piece, as
                    I have spoken to many people who I suspect she would call
                    colleagues, she'd be more likely to agree with my
                    presentation than yours.
                    
                    All historical writing is "revisionist history." This term
                    is not actually a slur in the academic community because
                    each historian is almost necessarily writing on a topic
                    that many historians have written on before and their work
                    is in dialogue with the work that came before. Presenting a
                    historical narrative from another perspective or through a
                    different methodological lens is not bad nor does it attack
                    or destroy the work that came before.
                    
                    Braudel has claims that are outright wrong but The
                    Mediterranean is heralded as a triumph. Said has claims
                    that don't hold up today but Orientalism is a critical step
                    forward for the field. Heck, even fucking Foucault is seen
                    as essential writing for historians despite him having all
                    sorts of factual errors in his work. Historical writing
                    should seek to be based in fact. But fucking up (even very
                    badly) is not a reason to declare a work to be propaganda.
       
                      cpleppert wrote 3 days ago:
                      >>I do not believe that I am misrepresenting the article.
                      The reason I do not believe that is because I am personal
                      friends with an unusual number of historians who work in
                      early US history and the history of race in the US. The
                      quote I pulled from the article very neatly sums up their
                      opinion of the 1619 project.
                      
                      I have no idea what you are personally told or what views
                      your friends, whatever their qualifications, have. The
                      article's author is generally favorable to revisionist
                      interpretations and even she has serious doubts. As a
                      historical matter one of the central claims of the 1619
                      project is false and is mostly asserted without evidence.
                      Now, if you produce a work with a thesis and one of the
                      most important (as asserted by the work itself!) test
                      cases of that thesis is false the credibility of that
                      work is clearly undermind.
                      
                      >>Braudel has claims that are outright wrong but The
                      Mediterranean is heralded as a triumph. Said has claims
                      that don't hold up today but Orientalism is a critical
                      step forward for the field. [...] Historical writing
                      should seek to be based in fact. But fucking up (even
                      very badly) is not a reason to declare a work to be
                      propaganda.
                      
                      The difference is that those works advanced the field
                      even where they had shortcomings. They did so by
                      rigorously supporting claims and providing evidence. The
                      1619 project does neither.
       
                      worik wrote 3 days ago:
                      > The NYT made fairly basic and preventable factual
                      errors in the 1619 project
                      
                      Like that the revolution was to preserve slavery.
                      
                      That is a fundamental mistake that undermines the whole
                      project.
       
                        UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
                        Not according to many historians nor the author of the
                        linked piece.
       
                      john_yaya wrote 3 days ago:
                      Facts are the foundation that such writing is built upon.
                       If a piece of historical analysis contains a number of
                      basic factual errors, that foundation is shaky at best. 
                      How can you or anyone go on to claim that the conclusion
                      of the piece has any value at all, given that?
       
                        UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
                        Says you?
                        
                        Historians should seek to make their writing based on
                        as firm of factual footing as possible and make it
                        clear when they are making an inference due to
                        limitations of the archive. But historians constantly
                        work with material that has factual errors   and they
                        do not tend to consider this to be a death sentence for
                        a particular work.
                        
                        I find that a huge number of people have very strong
                        opinions about how historians work and have never
                        actually spoken to one.
                        
                        The large bulk of historians I speak to, whether
                        tenured or tenure track or at various different
                        institutions, do not arrive at the same conclusion that
                        you do.
                        
                        EDIT: We've hit the depth limit but I do not believe
                        that I am more qualified here. I believe that
                        professional historians are and that people should go
                        speak to a bunch of them before developing very strong
                        opinions about historical writing. I do not believe
                        that this is a clubby toxic attitude but instead is
                        valuing expertise and experience.
       
                          john_yaya wrote 3 days ago:
                          Excuse me, but there's an enormous difference between
                          working with erroneous source material, and making
                          factual errors when the correct data are already and
                          widely available.
                          
                          And, I reject your repeated assertions that because
                          you have historian friends, you are somehow more
                          qualified to speak on the topic than one who does
                          not.  That type of clubby gatekeeping is frankly
                          toxic to society and you should abandon that sort of
                          thinking immediately.
       
                            UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
                            I do not believe that it is toxic gatekeeping to
                            suggest that the people who are most qualified to
                            have opinions about historical writing are history
                            professors.
       
                        jakelazaroff wrote 3 days ago:
                        What is "a number"? What is the threshold at which it
                        becomes appropriate to distrust the entire work?
                        
                        Most of the critique from the right seems to start with
                        the point of view that the 1619 Project should be
                        distrusted and works backwards from there, rather than
                        determining its trustworthiness based on a good-faith
                        reading of the work itself.
       
                          refurb wrote 3 days ago:
                          When I did my thesis, the attitude was a factual
                          error of significant magnitude brought the whole
                          thesis into question.
       
                            UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
                            What field was your thesis in? Would your committee
                            have considered the entire contents to be
                            propaganda?
       
        duxup wrote 3 days ago:
        I enjoyed that read although I kinda wonder about the "The New York
        Times is Wrong About Hati" when the author notes that ... they're also
        right in general?
        
        >While I have some criticisms, most of the historical facts are
        correct. There are places where I could nitpick, but most of the facts
        are solid. I think the problems with the articles are in tone and in
        conclusions. In many places, we do not have enough evidence to infer
        what they conclude. The NYT claims to solve a jigsaw puzzle, then it
        only shows one-third of the pieces and they aren't even connected
        properly.
        
        I read the NYT article and even not being well versed in Hati I
        wondered about some of the lines the author(s) drew in the articles.
        
        I would argue "The NYT's conclusions are questionable / at best
        debatable" but I'm also not sure that makes for a good title.
        
        Maybe this gets drowned out in the "OMG NYT" kinda responses but I
        think there's a space where the information is correct, but the
        conclusions are up for debate in newspapers.  Granted they also should
        make that clear.
        
        I also think that the NYT article(s) could have been better, and this
        critique of them is valid too... and both existing is healthy / ok.
       
          gaws wrote 2 days ago:
          > I enjoyed that read although I kinda wonder about the "The New York
          Times is Wrong About Hati" when the author notes that ... they're
          also right in general?
          
          Clickbait headline for a piece by an anonymous researcher -- or an
          anonymous group of them -- who've complained about a "lack of credit"
          for the Times' source materials and have an axe (or axes) to grind
          with the paper.
       
          systemvoltage wrote 3 days ago:
          I don't understand your comment, I read it twice. Are you making a
          particular point? Just feels like you're saying a lot without
          actually saying anything. "I like X but I also don't like X".
       
            duxup wrote 3 days ago:
            I don't know how to say it differently in a way that might help
            you.
       
          next_xibalba wrote 3 days ago:
          I think you are confusing the politeness of the author with
          agreement.  For example:
          
          > Did Citibank see an opportunity for profit in Haiti? Yes. Was that
          sufficient to commit the US to a full-scale invasion? Not a chance.
          
          That is a flat out refutation of the NYT's article entitled "Invade
          Haiti, Wall Street Urged. The U.S. Obliged".
          
          > the title [of another NYT article] reveals the central thesis. The
          Root of Haiti's Misery. The argument is that the indemnity not only
          contributed to Haiti's poverty; it's the cause.
          
          > Since that all started before the 1825 indemnity, it was unaffected
          by the debt and is therefore one really big reason why Haiti would
          not have grown like the rest of Latin America.
          
          > Maybe without the indemnity, Haiti could have formed coalitions
          that ended the instability. But that's imagining a counterfactual
          that we have no evidence for.
          
          In other words, another refutation: the NYT is making strong,
          evidence free claims of a causal link between indemnity and Haiti's
          relative historical poverty.
          
          > both existing is healthy / ok.
          
          Were all readers of the NYT's Haiti series to read this article, I
          would agree. But that's not the case. The NYT will reach millions,
          this article will reach thousands. As such, the NYT should adhere to
          a higher standard or just get out of this business of history.
       
            colinmhayes wrote 3 days ago:
            > That is a flat out refutation of the NYT's article entitled
            "Invade Haiti, Wall Street Urged. The U.S. Obliged".
            
            Is it? Did citibank not push for an invasion? Did that invasion not
            happen? The title certainly omits nuance, but it wasn't flat out
            refuted.
       
              knorker wrote 3 days ago:
              "Vote out Trump in 2020,  said, and the US voters obliged".
              
              This is not a matter of nuance.
       
              hiram112 wrote 3 days ago:
              It was refuted by showing that there were several more compelling
              reasons that the United States invaded, including WWI i.e.
              Germany controlled the majority of Haiti's economy and would have
              been able to seize the island, thus the US preempted them,
              similar to e.g. the British and US invading Iceland in WW2.
       
            yunohn wrote 3 days ago:
            > In other words, another refutation: the NYT is making strong,
            evidence free claims of a causal link between indemnity and Haiti's
            relative historical poverty.
            
            Sure, you can believe what you want just because you want a smoking
            gun amidst a complicated reality.
            
            But it’s not much of a stretch to say that a colonised enslaved
            country was in poverty and driven to more poverty due to the
            coloniser’s forced “reparations” from their slaves.
       
            RC_ITR wrote 3 days ago:
            It's weird people are taking this substack at face value.
            
            Here's Millet's take from his well-regarded history of the Marines
            [0]:
            
            This instability was of great concern to U.S. President Woodrow
            Wilson. Unfortunately, no one in Wilson's State Department knew
            much about Haiti. Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan relied
            for information upon Roger L. Farnham, head of the National City
            Bank's interests in Haiti. This was bad because Farnham was
            unsympathetic toward the Haitians and was determined to bring about
            U.S. intervention in the republic. He was even able to convince
            Bryan that Germany and France, who were then at war, were working
            together to gain control of Mole St. Nicholas.1°
            
            It's good this economist wants to make a debate, but he seems more
            opinionated than fact-driven.
            
            [0]
            
   URI      [1]: https://www.marines.mil/Portals/1/Publications/U.S.%20Mari...
       
            duxup wrote 3 days ago:
            I feel like like we're into the weeds of "is this the only reason"
            or not and that's the dividing line.  As even the NYT article notes
            there are other reasons too.
            
            I find that the farther you go down the rabbit hole it is more
            about emphasis, and I'm certainly happy to agree the NTY's emphasis
            seems off / not entirely supported.
            
            Having said that I'm always skeptical about "real reasons for war"
            as even in modern times that's up for debate.
       
        debacle wrote 3 days ago:
        Haiti needs a stronger national identity, but it is so often victim of
        first world saviors that I think it will continue to struggle.
        
        Most of the immigrants (to the US) that I've met from Haiti do not
        speak favorably of the country and have no intention of ever returning.
       
        richwater wrote 3 days ago:
        This exactly mirrors how I felt reading that NYT piece.
       
        tonguez wrote 3 days ago:
        “The New York Times Is Right About X” would be a news headline.
       
        pilgrimfff wrote 3 days ago:
        Great piece. Fair and even-handed in its criticism of the NYT article.
       
        everybodyknows wrote 3 days ago:
        > The New York Times is trying to expand from the paper of record ...
        
        Do people still think of the NYT that way?  The Washington Post seems
        to me to have the better claim nowadays.  Not a great claim, but
        better.
       
          fleddr wrote 3 days ago:
          It's more like a Tumblr blog.
       
        causi wrote 3 days ago:
        If journalists littered their work with citations, they argue, it would
        disrupt the narrative and alienate the audience.
        
        That's a very 20th-century take. There's no reason why any article
        couldn't have a little "show version with citations" button tucked away
        somewhere.
       
          gaws wrote 2 days ago:
          > There's no reason why any article couldn't have a little "show
          version with citations" button tucked away somewhere.
          
          The Times' piece was a magazine-style narrative, not a historical
          white paper. A mile-long bibliography at the end of the story is
          unnecessary for a package made for a normal audience.
       
          uncomputation wrote 3 days ago:
          Why not just links? I feel like the full potential of hyperlinking is
          still not realized. To be able to integrate the source/referent of a
          statement in the same usage of that statement without any additional
          words is truly new in written history and still we write like “you
          can find the source here: big_link”. Someday I wanna write up a
          manual for writing with hyperlinks in mind.
       
            bragr wrote 3 days ago:
            News sites are reluctant to add outlinks because it drives
            pageviews and engagement away from their site. They'd much rather
            you click on a link to another one of their pages.
       
            stjohnswarts wrote 3 days ago:
            I think classical numbering is fine, no need to inject author's
            name or the article anywhere else. A link to the bottom of the
            article to approximately the location of the source is plenty
            sufficient.
       
          leononame wrote 3 days ago:
          It's a lot of work. That alone is reason enough for a lot of
          newspapers. But I also kind of agree. While truth and sources are
          important and I would like newspapers to list sources and citations
          more often, the narrative is an important element.
          
          The author of the original article mentions that a publication they
          read would not be intelligible without citation because you lose the
          context. I don't think just switching citations on and off is a
          viable form of marrying good narrative and academic standards.
       
            SllX wrote 3 days ago:
            The narrative is the thing most in need of scrutiny no matter what
            news you’re reading, if you are reading for the supposed
            informational value.
            
            Paper and ink are not the constraints they once were and news sites
            clearly have bandwidth to spare given all the crap they try to
            force the majority of their readers to download to read one
            article. Hyperlinks are a core function of the web and for the New
            York Times, the web is their primary medium now.
       
            kevin_thibedeau wrote 3 days ago:
            They have full time fact checkers on staff. The work is already
            being done.
       
            causi wrote 3 days ago:
            It's a lot of work.
            
            How so? When I was writing papers in college I'd read my sources,
            bang out the text, then for every citable claim I'd ctrl+F my
            sources and cite them. For a journalist who's presumably taking
            notes while writing an article it should be even faster. This only
            seems hard if you're writing articles based purely on vibes and not
            information.
       
              corrral wrote 3 days ago:
              Citation always felt like the most onerous part of writing papers
              in high school. I hated it. It seemed to take forever. Even with
              auto-formatters.
              
              The culprit was MLA. Chicago-style (which I was allowed to use in
              most college classes) or just a very-casual "here's the link" are
              easy.
              
              Fucking MLA. No idea why it's what they teach in secondary
              school. It blows, well-developed alternatives exist, and it's not
              even anywhere near being some kind of universal, preferred
              citation style in all of academia.
       
                causi wrote 3 days ago:
                I couldn't agree more. I'm sure kids today have browser
                extensions that can streamline the process.
       
          vehemenz wrote 3 days ago:
          Honestly, you don't even need that much.
          
          There are plenty of other citing styles that are non-obtrusive,
          including those that use footnotes and/or hyperlinks.
       
            stjohnswarts wrote 3 days ago:
            Yep the human brain is amazing at ignoring these, I never had a
            problem with it reading anything that I've read in the past and it
            helps if you wanna go into further depth later when you want more
            info/context.
       
            causi wrote 3 days ago:
            Sure, which is the version I'd probably read all the time. I'm just
            saying you can worship at the altar of the pageview and offer
            citations at the same time with no downside, aside from less
            ability to bullshit the reader.
       
        easterncalculus wrote 3 days ago:
        Ironically, like media outlets often says about people online, it does
        not matter how good the rebuttal is if 5,000 people see it and millions
        read what it disproves. The damage is already done.
       
          hiram112 wrote 3 days ago:
          This has increasingly been the M.O. of all the "activist" media
          outlets in the US for the past 5 years. Issue exaggerated if not
          outright fraudulent explosive headlines and articles - Russian Pee
          tapes, bounties on American troops, Capital police officers
          bludgeoned to death by rabid mobs, etc. - then months later, quietly
          issue a "correction" on page 10, long after the false narrative has
          been thoroughly disseminated into the public's version of reality.
          
          And if that wasn't shady enough, in the days of online content, these
          outlets often don't even bother with admitting they were wrong. They
          simply edit the original stories - silently and without public notice
          - and pretend it was never written in the first place.
          
          The NY Times was caught red-handed doing this with their 1619 content
          several times already.
       
          MomoXenosaga wrote 3 days ago:
          The history of Haiti can't be distilled in a single article. You'd
          need a 500 page book for the abridged version.
          
          But realistically very people would give enough of a shit to read it.
       
            easterncalculus wrote 3 days ago:
            Definitely, I completely agree. That goes for any nation really.
            The difference to me is that one article is making a pretty serious
            claim, and the other is casting some doubt on it - the burden of
            proof is still on NYT.
       
        Splendor wrote 3 days ago:
        > While I have some criticisms, most of the historical facts are
        correct. There are places where I could nitpick, but most of the facts
        are solid. I think the problems with the articles are in tone and in
        conclusions.
        
        The softest of takedowns.
       
          potatoz2 wrote 3 days ago:
          I agree, and it seems like most commenters (so far) seem not to have
          read the “takedown”. What the author mostly criticizes is that
          the NYT is not providing enough evidence, not that things are clearly
          wrong.
       
            UncleMeat wrote 3 days ago:
            Sadly, the author's title produces the same sort of response that
            NYT's title does. Nuanced analysis is blown over by people reacting
            to titles.
       
        baggy_trough wrote 3 days ago:
        The NYT is a very powerful propaganda organ and must be read with that
        in mind.
       
        Overtonwindow wrote 3 days ago:
        Tangentially related, but I can’t help but think what Haiti could be
        today had they elected Wyclef Jean. Regardless of his abilities as a
        politician, as an international celebrity, he could’ve brought unity
        and investment to Haiti.
        
        If you’ll forgive me, I don’t think he could’ve done much worse.
       
          krisboyz781 wrote 3 days ago:
          This is why some of you should just stick to tech and refrain from
          even speaking on such subjects. Your lack of knowledge is astounding
          and you're a fucking idiot. This is ridiculous
       
          kelvin0 wrote 3 days ago:
          The President is usually controlled by the 'Oligarchs' which are a
          few ultra wealthy families that have controlled the Economy. Anyone
          attempting to do otherwise then following their lead ends up Dead, or
          deposed by some coup d'Etat.
       
          charia wrote 3 days ago:
          I think one thing to keep in mind is that Wyclef famously used his
          celebrity to raise money for Haiti after the earthquake and it was
          shown that much, if not most, of the money raised was used by Wyclef
          and his family/friends for personal spending.
          
          That behavior suggests that Wyclef might have continued the same
          corruption that other Haitian politicians engaged in and maybe taken
          it a step further by leveraging his celebrity to also pocket money
          brought in as outside investment.
          
          Again, maybe he couldn't be worse since other Haitian politicians
          would have and did engage in similar corruption, but it'd be a
          stretch to say that it's anything we should consider as "what if"
          that would had the real potential for positive change in the country.
       
          Splendor wrote 3 days ago:
          You couldn't be more wrong.
          
   URI    [1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y%C3%A9le_Haiti
       
            Overtonwindow wrote 3 days ago:
            That’s unfortunate, but I don’t see that he was prosecuted for
            anything. I still think he would’ve been a better choice
       
              pessimizer wrote 3 days ago:
              Because you like his songs?
       
                Overtonwindow wrote 14 hours 34 min ago:
                No I don’t listen to his music at all, just the superstar
                power. I think Haiti needs someone with a global image. To draw
                attention to the country. Haiti is going to be corrupt for the
                foreseeable future, I anticipate everyone involved is going to
                be corrupt at some level, but his star power could have been
                used for good.
       
        sudden_dystopia wrote 3 days ago:
        The NYT is wrong about all kinds of stuff.  This shouldn’t come as a
        surprise to anyone that they engage in quite a bit of data/mis-info.
        Whether purposely or via sloppy reporting, the effect is the same.
       
          hdesh wrote 3 days ago:
          Unfortunately this is true. Someone has written a whole book[1] about
          this. There[2] is a podcast interview of the author of that book. NY
          Times' anti-India and anti-Hindu bias is also widely documented[3].
          [1] [2]
          
   URI    [1]: https://www.amazon.com/Gray-Lady-Winked-Misreporting-Fabrica...
   URI    [2]: https://kushalmehra.com/2021/07/18/the-gray-lady-winked/
   URI    [3]: https://rameshrao-89399.medium.com/understanding-the-new-yor...
       
            selimthegrim wrote 3 days ago:
            Anti-which Hindus? BJP is “sole spokesman” for Hindus now like
            Muslim League claimed to be for Muslims? Also with regard to India
            existing before 1947, you should remind yourself why Ambedkar had
            “India, that is Bharat…” put into Indian Constitution.
       
        hammock wrote 4 days ago:
        If a newspaper were to simply present the facts and let the reader come
        to their own conclusion, that might be viewed as dangerous.
       
          pid-1 wrote 3 days ago:
          Have you ever tried presenting any facts to anyone?
          
          The word "fact" is very very sloppy.
       
          leononame wrote 3 days ago:
          I don't think this could be remotely possible. Just by deciding which
          facts to publish you already present an opinion.
          
          I see this sentiment floating around a lot, but I think it's a bit of
          a naïve approach. Just by deciding which news to publish a newspaper
          already has a bias.
       
            hunterb123 wrote 3 days ago:
            It would be a step in the right direction. You can always compare
            outlets from many sides to find omission of facts / topics.
            
            You can also do that to highlight the spin, but wouldn't it be nice
            if there was no spin in the first place?
       
              pessimizer wrote 3 days ago:
              > It would be a step in the right direction.
              
              The argument is that it's not possible, not that it wouldn't be
              desirable if it were. The way to get all of the unbiased facts
              not intended to illustrate a narrative is to be omnipotent.
              Otherwise, you're getting filtered information from someone
              telling you what they saw. The reason they leave out what color
              socks they were wearing at the time they saw it is because
              they're filtering the information down to what they think is
              relevant to their narrative.
       
                hunterb123 wrote 3 days ago:
                Your interpretation is not possible. But the general idea of
                exposing facts more than speculation and slants is possible.
                
                I believe GP was more suggesting the latter than the former.
       
          havblue wrote 3 days ago:
          I'm not sure if simply presenting the facts is a viable business
          model for most news organizations. User attention and advertisements
          are what they sell, not information.
       
          sudden_dystopia wrote 3 days ago:
          Dangerous to people that feel threatened by a feee thinking populace,
          ie authoritarians.
       
          30944836 wrote 3 days ago:
          That's not really possible, given that the mere omission of facts, or
          the placement of facts next to each other influences the conclusion.
          
          Besides which, people think in stories, and presenting just a list of
          facts isn't going to be read by anyone.
       
            hunterb123 wrote 3 days ago:
            That's a separate issue which should be a concern but shouldn't
            prevent you from wanting to correct the other issues. You can
            compare different outlets to see ommission of news.
            
            The spin, speculation, and lack of sources are the other issues.
            
            I would read a list of facts over a story. I hate fluff. Most
            people don't even read the story, they read the title and possibly
            the first/last paragaph.
       
       
   DIR <- back to front page