Friday, October 29, 2004

"Those who can, do. Those who can't, edit."

While that's not always true, in light of my inability to write something in time for the newly-launched e-zine of "cutting-edge non-fiction," loupe, I've decided to do the next best thing...launch a web site of my own to highlight all of the great writing I come across in my online travels - not unlike like that appearing in loupe and other e-zines and blogs I read regularly.

[drumroll, please...]

ANECDOTAL EVIDENCE
Critiquing the American Dream

ABOUT US
Anecdotal Evidence is dedicated to the idea that while everyone has an opinion, the majority of them are unimaginative and ill-informed – both the opinions and those offering them – especially those published in most other magazines and blogs. That’s why we scour the internet for the really good stuff, clean it up when necessary, and republish it in fresh new packaging for the discerning masses. And twice a month, we publish first-time exclusives from the best writers we can get on the cheap! Whether it’s the War in Iraq™, inappropriate places to wear a Kobe Bryant jersey, or why Xbox is better than PlayStation, we present hands-on coverage of the various angles, aspects and annoyances of the fabled American Dream.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness put under the microscope and dissected for your amusement and, we hope, a little enlightenment.

DEPARTMENTS
LIFE: It’s hard work. Hard work!
First-person essays on life in America.

LIBERTY: Big Brother’s watching you. Moon him!
First-person essays on politics, current events and other usually boring stuff.

HAPPINESS: If you don’t buy stuff, the terrorists will win!
First-person essays and reviews on anything with a price tag.

MELTING POT: Because homogeneity is boring!
External links to interesting people, places and things.

TOWN HALL: The masses strike back!
Forums, chat rooms, resources, and more.

LITERALLY SPEAKING
Anecdotal evidence is evidence stemming from a single, often unreliable source which is used in an argument as if it had been scientifically or statistically proven. The person using anecdotal evidence may or may not be aware of the fact that, by doing so, they are generalizing.

For example, someone who is not a physician or other kind of expert might argue that eating crushed garlic and drinking one glass of red wine per day will prolong your life, just because their own neighbour indulged in that habit and died aged 90. It becomes clear that in this case any form of inductive reasoning lacks a broad empirical basis.

Similarly, a politician might publicly demand better teacher training facilities just because their own son or daughter happens to have a spectacularly incompetent teacher.

This is not to say that anecdotal evidence is fallacious per se; it just depends on how it is used. In many cases, it can be the starting point rather than the result of scientific investigation.

(courtesy of WordIQ.com: http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Anecdotal_evidence)
Think of it as the UTNE Reader of the blogosphere with an angry pumpkin-filtered edge. (The GONZALEZ Reader seemed a bit pretentious to me, and zuzu's petals is too well-established to reclaim.)

The URL, www.anecdotal-evidence.com, has already been registered and I'm looking to launch it in January 2005 as the first official publication of loudpoet productions. Right now, I'm looking for section editors, people passionate about specific topics who want to put a spotlight on their favorite writings/ers in those areas. Politics, celebrities, reality TV, the Smurfs, hip hop, poetry...if it falls under LIFE, LIBERTY or the pursuit of HAPPINESS, I'm interested.

E-mail me with ideas, questions, feedback, criticism or offers to design the web site!

2 comments:

Tony said...

Hmmmm...interesting idea. With the ending of Zero Point Zero, this might be worth investigating....

Omar said...

"While that's not always true..."

Yes, yes it is. This is not to say that editors can't write; however, second rate writers (including poets) make good editors. Somehow, they are able to see what is wrong and good in writing. They just lack the ability to fix it in their own.