Monday, September 13, 2010

Oops, Never Mind! A Brief Meditation on the News Cycle.

Except the war was over. . .sorry about that.  Nobody knew, of course, and nobody would know for weeks and weeks.  The news cycle was slow back in those days.  The consequences (aside from a catchy song by Johnny Horton) included a few hundred extra corpses and a President called Old Hickory.

I think about this whenever I complain about today's news cycle--instant news, instant sensation, (yawn--yesterday's news) and instant forgetting.  BP?  What's that?  Oh yes, Best Practices Oh?  You meant British Petroleum?  I forgot about that.    (Look at the best practices website it's cool and a serendipitous discovery.)  So on the one hand I have sensation fatigue and a sense of being overwhelmed, and on the other an understanding that not knowing can be hazardous to my health.

All in all, I guess I prefer fast to slow, as long as I remind myself that fast doesn't necessarily mean important, and that fast tends to aggregate the effect--not to mention that fast may mean that I'm hearing the same story over and over again.  I did Google BP to prepare this little thing, and found one story with 137 iterations around the web.  I have to remember that 137 reports of one thing remain one thing.  It doesn't mean that the one thing isn't grotesque, or repulsive, or morally evil.  It means that it is one  grotesque, repulsive, morally evil thing.  One is too many, but one is one too many.

End of meditation... be glad I didn't meditate on Lady GaGa's Costume reported at last count 2,140 timesRepulsive?  Grotesque?  The dress or the reporting of the dress?  What do you think?



This BP thingy is awesome indeed.

Kind of like taking a Wiki approach to problem solving.

How do other cultures, other nations approach certain issues and problems facing most of the worlds population.

Amike said...

In this age, just keeping track of the tools we have to keep track is a full time job. I subscribe to a couple of mailing lists provided (of course) by the most generous people in the world...Librarians. I'll have to put a link to them up sometime. I think it merits a post of its own.