Once upon a time the news of the world came to us at the sedate speed of the the newspapers linotype. On its way editors might decide that the typhoon in China or the earthquake in Persia wouldn’t be of interest to local subscribers. Sometimes the images of distant disasters and war took weeks or months to end up before the public.
Given the advances in telecommunications like microwave relays and satellites, the news cycle and, vast amounts of information can reach us as it happens. Now we can see the great events in real time.
Our generation has seen more, known more, been more connected than ever before. We have had a high definition box seat to every earthquake, every volcano, every hurricane, every typhoon, every forest fire, every terrorist bomb, every war, every plague and, every human misery across the globe.
It’s only human for people to say- I just don’t remember this much chaos in the old days.
That chaos has always been there. We just weren’t as connected.
Now we have to consider exactly what we are shown and what gets left on the cutting room floor. In the eighties, we wouldn’t have seen that typhoon roll over Taiwan. In the nineties we wouldn’t have seen the glaciers calving in the Antarctic. There’s a reason why we are seeing this and not something else. There’s a reason why we see human interest stories and silly cat pictures instead of something else.
I won’t suggest whose agenda is being served. I won’t suggest that it is all a huge political cat fight. No one is stupid. We know this.
It’s just important as you sit in front of your digitally multiplexed information pipeline to your brain that the people turning the spigots have a purpose and an agenda. It’s up to you to think for yourself and decide whether that purpose and agenda is in your best interests, your country’s best interests or the worlds best interests.
These images are not flat. They are three dimensional and interactive. We are not simply observers. We are also players in this huge game and must take responsibility for our tiny part of it. How that works is a personal choice but the great game is in progress and will continue with or without your input.