The neutral media
Today is the first day I've abstained from any news in almost six weeks; as a conscious decision, I knew it was bound to bring some mixed feelings. At 5.30 this morning, I sat down with my usual cup of coffee and wondered what to do, surely there was 'knowledge' to be gained from CNN, but I resisted the urge. I followed up on some mail, wrote part of a spec and headed off to work. The day passed, happy hour came and went and the night wound to a close.The world could have ended today and I don't know it yet. Of all the things I feel like right now, from the special fry up, Dicks burger or sweet dreamy sleep, nothing is quite going to hit the mark until I know.My intense interest in current affairs is somewhat of a recent habit. For several years I've kept a fairly close eye on world affairs, but it's become far more than that. I watch several cable news channels concurrently, flipping between them almost desperately trying to figure out the 'real' story. In truth, I'm realizing it simply doesn't exist - for every opinion you see in one direction, how do you know there aren't ten times as many in another. Sensationalist stories see, no doubt about it; what's worse is that I'm still running on the belief that if I see enough of them I'll get a balanced picture. And I even know about the Emperor's Nose.Live videophone footage may be compelling viewing, but it is to the detriment of the larger picture. Realistic extrapolation is not a strong point of most human beings, one tends to belief what they see, rather than what they're told or know. The ability to take all that information and see the forming trend is a highly valuable skill. Maybe top politicians and commanders have it, maybe they don't. Good judgment only counts when luck is on your side.All said and done, I still know that everything I see on CNN is true. I guess I've not learnt anything today.
April 18, 2003