In Monday’s class, we discussed some strategies for summarizing and then did some practice with the “NSA Hasn’t ‘Cracked’ Basic Internet Encryption” article. This particular article wasn’t too long and easy to comprehend – even more so after pulling out the main points. However, a lot of times when I read news articles regarding government, politics, and business, I find myself lost in the “fluff,” a term one of my high school teachers used to mean BS. It’s that feeling we sometimes get when we finish reading something and then go, “What did I just read?”
There’s this thing on Reddit called “Explain Like I’m 5” (ELI5). People ask questions, and others provide simple, straightforward answers. Part of what I think makes a good summary is that it highlights the key themes without getting too elaborate. There’s a quote, said to be by Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” Sometimes you just need the five year old explanation of things. I then decided to look up related NSA posts on ELI5 and saw the question “Why does it matter that the NSA has access to private information?” I’ve always wondered this myself. It’s not like I have anything to hide, right? In the responses, it’s argued that this access to private information undermines values of our society and assumes that the government has the right to know everything about it’s citizens. It definitely gave me something to think about.