What is it?
The LowGenius Post Rating Box is a system devised by John Henry for use with his posts at LowGenius.Net. JH has long been concerned about the confusion between fact and opinion, disclosure of partisanship, and other factors in blogging and other forms of media, and after some consideration came up with this solution. The box will be implemented on all LowGenius.Net posts going forward from 25 August 2011.
How do I read it?
OpinionMedium EmotionLow AdultLow PartisanVery Liberal What's this?
JH has devised the box to be as easy to understand as possible. Post are rated on four factors: opinion, emotion, adult content, and partisanship.
The ratings are given in plain language and may not always follow a “template” of values, but this is a general overview of what you can learn from them.
- Opinion – This value rates the level of opinion versus fact in a given post. Values like “low” or “factual” indicate entries that are strongly fact-based and often include a bibliography or footnotes so that reader can see those facts for themselves and be free to draw their own conclusions.
Values like “medium” or “moderate” indicate entries which express opinions or subjective analysis that are supported by factual references which may or may not be diligently noted.
Values like “strong,” “high,” or “opinionated” indicate entries which express a very subjective point of view that relies on the moral, ethical, and ideological values of the writer. These may be purely observational pieces, or articles based on deductive reasoning which relies heavily on the writer’s subjective viewpoint. This is not to say that these articles should be taken as fiction or as being unsupported by fact, only that the purpose of the article is to express a point of view rather than simply impart objective information.
- Emotion – This value rates the emotive intensity of the article. Some articles may rely heavily on passion or other emotive energy from the writer, other articles will be more dispassionate, academic, or professorial. Chances are that a “low emotion” article will feature information or opinion delivered in measured, even tones. Conversely a “high emotion” article will feature a greater degree of passion, anger, sadness, or whatever other emotion may apply. Additional indicators may be used to describe the particular type of emotion; if you see “High – Anger,” then know the article features passionate and angry expression.
- Adult – This value rates the “adult content” intensity of the article. An article that has an occasional “hell” or “damn” or non-explicit/lightly explicit sexual reference or topicality will be rated moderate. An article that deals with explicitly sexual subjects or features any of George Carlin’s “seven dirty words” or their analogues will be rated “high” or “NSFW” or something similar. An article you could read to your priest will be rated “Low” or “None.” Additional verbiage may be employed to indicate the particular nature of the adult content (violence, sexuality, language). Nearly all of the content at LowGenius.Net will fall in the “none” to “moderate” range, due to both JH’s preference and the need to stay compliant with the terms of the various advertising and affiliate marketing links included on the site.
- Partisan – To indicate the political partisanship of the article. JH is considered by most US readers to be quite liberal, although in reality his values cover the spectrum from somewhat conservative (e.g. support for second-amendment rights) to radically liberal (e.g. support for broad socialization of education and health care, denial of rights or any form of personhood to corporations). This will likely be the least “standardized” of the values, as JH’s opinions can not always be easily pigeonholed into “left” and “right” categories. He may (for instance) sometimes speak from a “liberal” standpoint that expresses negative critical analysis of the behavior of some opinions or positions that are popularly considered liberal, but he considers more reflective of conservative mentality. Look for labels here like “Very Liberal,” or “Liberal – Critical” or “Conservative” or “Trans-Partisan” or “Non-Partisan.”
Naturally, all of these ratings are a) somewhat to completely subjective and b) self-assigned, so you may not always agree with them. That’s life, but your humble webmaster will strive to make the ratings meaningful and reflective of an objective and centered viewpoint, even if the content of the article itself is strongly opinionated, partisan, or emotional.