Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Information Polarization

I'm on the hunt for a magazine for my 10-year-old daughter.

For the last year we've subscribed to National Geographic's World Magazine for kids, but I've found it overly heavy on indoctrination and global warming scare tactics and abysmally short on reliable, useful information.

And as I've searched for a replacement, I've found very little by way of middle-of-the road, objective kinds of magazines out there. They're either uber liberal or they're uber conservative, with nothing in between. As if the publishing industry has become very polarized. While my political leanings tend toward the conservative, I don't want to educate my kids that way. I want to give them a balanced persepective and let them grow up to decide for themselves. But I'm having trouble finding that all in one place.

I looked at one science magazine called "Creation." It's a religion based magazine that tries very hard to refute evolution and train you to talk convincingly with your evolutionist friends on the subject. Well, I happen to be religious and I can't discount the idea of evolution out of hand, mainly because I wasn't there when it all happened. No one was. So I'll study and teach creation AND evolution AND intelligent design and when we get to the 'other side' we can ask and not be completely surprised by the answer. We won't be among the die-hard evolutionists or creationists (one or both of whom may be sorely disappointed to learn they were wrong) who are thumping themselves on the forehead saying, "How could I have been so blind!" We'll be watching the playback video saying, "Wow! So THAT'S how it happened! COOL!!"

You see THAT'S how I define open-minded. In reality, these days, open-minded seems to be defined as "If you think the way I do..."

But back to information: I've had the same problem in finding resources for teaching my children the history of Islam as we approach the Early Middle Ages in our history study. Sources either stumble over themselves to show how peaceful Islam is, how good they were to their subdued subjects, and how critical they were to the development of the Western world, or stumble over themselves to show exactly the opposite.

Sigh. I'm fearful of what I'll find when we reach American History.

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