Thursday, October 16, 2008

Endless News

Having lived without a television in the house for over four years now, my tolerance for it is close to non-existent. There are all the usually cited reasons I don't like TV at home but reading this article on the convergence between Chinese and American economies gave me one that is very important that I had not really thought about. 24/7 news is a big part of television and I positively hate it. Now, I know why. Ted Koppel of Discovery Channel, says :

My analogy [of 24/7 news] is it's rather like standing 2 feet away from a railroad track and watching the trains go by. And, boy, you're close and it's exciting and there's a lot of energy and you really feel as though you're on top of it, but you can't for the life of you see what's going on. And if you really want to know what's going on, you've got to step back 10 feet, 20 feet, 50 feet, sometimes half a mile, so that you can see the locomotive and the caboose and everything that is in between.

I would add that I feel clobbered by the noise and the pressure of non-stop information, analysis and spin. Not to mention that fact that the volume of bad news overwhelms the good - there is something horribly negative about that. There is never the pause or peace needed to gain perspective let alone independent understanding - the experts always weigh in before you have had a chance to process information you have seen and heard. You live in fear that the opinions you come to hold might well actually those of others who enjoy the abundance of airtime to force their world view on you - often unawares.

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