livingissues: untangling some tough issues of the 20th century

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Our project

We help people navigate controversies.
We want to be useful.
We want to hear from our users. Now read on (and thanks).

This site is one of The Right Sites family.

Our mission
We take argument (in journalism, speeches, websites, whatever) and point out where the bias is. Sometimes it’s bias as to evidence – the handling of facts. Sometimes it’s bias as to opinion – spin. Bias isn’t bad. But you need to be able to interrogate it.

Our sponsor
livingissues is sponsored by the Social Affairs Unit as part of its mission to debate and develop ideas about “morals and manners in the 21st Century”, especially from a conservative viewpoint.

Our controversies
The sections (our themes) each tackle a different issue. We pick issues which are attracting lots of debate. We aim to get past the heat, and to see where there’s some light.

Honest, serious and biased
You’ll have to take our word on our honesty (it’s always easy to doubt and impossible to prove). You’ll be able to judge our seriousness: not many jokes and plenty to chew on. And we have lots of links to back-up information. As to our own bias. Well, we tend to interrogate the soft-left liberal green consensus of most media people and teachers, and many politicians. That’s partly because if we don’t, it tends not to get done.

Facts vs opinion
We have a whole theme section devoted to this sort of difference. See Truth & Trust.

Miserable? Nasty?
There’s a lot of lazy thinking amongst the people many of us trust – “liberal” teachers, the “dissident” media, committed campaigners, and mouthy entertainers. It’s worth opening our minds to other ways of seeing the world. But remember, we’re only helping people navigate arguments so they can make up their own minds about stuff. We are not miserabilist, angry, defensive.

We are not campaigners
We support no party. We don’t care whether you want to make lots of money or heavily tax those that do. We’re not especially for firms or unions (or against them, either). We accept that capitalism is a firm feature of free societies (and some unfree ones). We like freedom (who doesn’t?); but we understand the need for order. We’d love the world to be at peace but accept that war may be justified. We’d like the world to be green, but know everyone pollutes at least a bit, and it may not matter all that much.

Sceptical or cynical?
We’d rather say we are sceptical. We aim to use evidence and logic here, not passion or persuasion. We want to help you understand how arguments work, is all. We often assume people are self-interested. Maybe that’s cynical of us.

We are keen on free-thinking people making up their minds on good evidence and sound argument. We are a bit sceptical of the grandstanding of many campaigners and politicians. But we know the value of activism: how else to change things? And we have sympathy with political leaders: they have to herd cats. Besides: we chose them.

Who do we obey?
We have never allowed outside interests to affect our work. Frankly, no-one’s tried.

Why trust us?
1) You can check out Richard D North easily enough. Yes, he’s a bit right-wing. So what?
2) You can challenge us and get a reply.
3) We refer to material you can readily check out.
4) In time, you should be able to check out other people’s comment on us.

Using the site
It’s best just to dive in. The left-hand menu gives you a feel for the subjects we cover. The search engine may help you with answering specific questions. The front page (home) is a latest-first list of our stories.

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Mouthing-off isn't much use if one's opinions are ignorant or stupid