Raw info

My name is Patrick Cox and I live in Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

This blog is an attempt to do something about an idea I had more than 10 years ago. Although I consider myself to be well-informed about the world, politics, society and so on, the way I got my information was through a narrow channel of outlets.

There were newspapers, with their attendant bias, and television and radio which labour under constraints of time and the limits of their respective mediums. I wanted to know where the journalists got their information from, which pool of resources they were fishing in. Rather than consuming the finished article I was curious to see the workings, the cogs, the gears and all. In addition I wanted to see unmediated information, the raw data, which might tell something closer to the truth, or at least not have deliberate distortion lumped on top of it. Then, I supposed I might have a better idea about what was really going on. I thought I could produce a pamphlet called Don’t Don’t Don’t [believe the hype, right?] and distribute it in pubs, libraries and so on.

In the intervening decade data journalism has come about and the internet is the ultimate means of information distribution. And there are people doing data mining and extraction far better than I ever could. In the end, I’m just not someone who has the patience to wade through all the numbers, and I don’t have the skills to utilise and re-imagine itin the astonishing way some people are with open-source data projects. Actually, my medium is prose, and my skill is explanation and analysis.

So, DontDontDont is supposed to be about getting ‘behind’ the news and the reporting, but I have stopped trying to run away from my own opinions. Everyone else has them. These are mine.


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