Posts Tagged ‘news’

New News, Old News

I look forward to reading Steven Pinker’s heralded new book on violence.


Its message, that violence has sharply declined in human history, has been received with gasps of amazement – at least by The New York Times Book Review and by NPR. Pinker appears to have done a thorough job of summarizing the findings – old, familiar findings. My comment focuses on how this media attention illustrates how  the same historical findings come around and around again as startling “news.” (more…)

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18th-Century Twitterfeed

One topic of our times is whether and to what effect we are being drowned by information – radio, television, email, web sites, blogs (like this one), twitter feeds, alerts on our cell phones, and more. Every event – an airplane disaster, a politician’s slip of the tongue, the breaking of a sports record – seems to be announced, debated, reinterpreted, overanalyzed, and old news between breakfast and morning coffee break. Too much, some people say; overload.

There was a time in our history when the information problem was the reverse: too little of it going around too slowly. It was a time when the nearest thing to a twitter feed or CNN Headline News was the local tavern – for those men who had access to one.

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