posted on May, 14 2006 @ 05:20 AM
I often marvel at the incredible amount of knowledge that I can access from my home. Can you even begin to imagine what Socrates would have said about
Because I have Ebscohost passwords I can access the professional journals of practically any discipline as easily as I get up for a midnight snack.
I don't even have to peruse them to find what I need- I can use google to find citations on the subject I want, then go to the cited article.
I can correspond with dozens if not hundreds of people in mere minutes, and I can quickly separate the wheat from the chaf because its in writing
rather than one-to-one conversation.
Just about every newspaper on the planet is at my disposal. Unless you were at the stadium, I'll know the sports scores before you do. Unless you
work in the intelligence community, I know who is going to war before you do.
Freaking amazing stuff. I love my computer. If civilization began to crumble, I'd collect books on the design of simple computers and phone systems
so that when the rebuilding came we'd have this benefit. I'd do that before I stockpiled ammuniton infact.
What's beautiful about it? I have to ask my computer for the information. Asking questions is the indispensable key to learning. Ask a question, get
an answer, question the answer, grow wise.
You can't ask the TV anything. The TV just tells you. It tells you A LOT. 15-30 minutes of TV gives you a broader base of information than an hour on
the internet would give me. This disgusts me.
I don't think it's any mistake that TV news runs the way it does. Afterall, they could easily omit the fact that OJ Simpson hit some guy in a
parkinglot, or that "Bennifer" broke up, or that nothing new has developed in the Natalie Holloway case. They could give us 5-10 minutes on each of
the days top 5 events, and give us upside down and inside out understanding of the stuff we really want to know about, and what's more that opens up
the industry for specialization- the political news channel, the entertainment news channel, etc etc inf.
Nope, every channel, every story, repeated every hour, every vital nuance ignored, every glittering generality distilled to its most vile, useless
form. Why? People will say it sells. Yes, it sells. Do we have anything to suggest that it sells better than GOOD COVERAGE would sell? Afterall,
people are still buying news paper subscriptions when in the age of instant communication there is really no reason that the print media should be
able to survive as a news source. Imagine how much more successful that approach would be in the easy form of TV. They aren't overloading us because
the overload sells.
They are overloading us because that makes it too big to react to. When they want us to act, they talk about the same thing again and again and again
and eschew other stories. Chaos in Iraq: runs constantly, and if by chance another story should break, they wont cut to it, they'll scroll it on the
bottom of the screen and keep looping the same Iraq story, because that's actionable- they want you to make noise and vote against somebody etc.
But if the WTO is reaching some decision that we should be peeved about- quick blurb, then on to 10 other minor annoyances and by the end of it if you
even remember what WTO stands for, let alone that they did something, they've convinced you that there's so much crap going wrong that you can't
Happens every day. I've had the talk many times.
"Yeah, yada yada etc... and look on top of that the they killed Terri Schaivo and didn't arrest Kennedy and that Cindy Shehan is at it again. This
country is going to hell."
"Oh well, if the president ever asks us we can tell him that."
Do yourself a favor: trade your TV for more internet time. It makes you ask questions, even if only simple ones. You will grow smarter.