Monday, September 20, 2010

yesterday's news

Sic transit gloria mundi.

The internet news site I used to frequent most regularly -- My Way News -- has apparently fallen prey to the poverty of other news outlets. In this case, the poverty expresses itself as running stories at 4:57 a.m. today that were first reported Friday, 2-3 days ago. There is no news on the weekend if there are no reporters in the news room.

A couple of examples:

Sep 17, 12:05 PM (ET)

Shareholders of United and Continental airlines voted Friday to approve a combination of their companies that would create the world's biggest airline and could have far-reaching effects on where they fly and how much they charge passengers.

Sep 17, 2:51 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama named Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren a special adviser Friday and tasked her with setting up a new agency to look out for consumers in their dealings with banks, mortgage companies and other financial institutions.

Calling Warren "one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class," Obama said she would ensure the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ends abusive practices.

I realize that fewer and fewer people read and fewer and fewer think critically, but the idea of not covering (not blogging or opining about)the news strikes me as dangerous stuff.

Last night, my son had to write a short homework assignment on who was more responsible for the American Revolution -- England or the colonies. A history program on TV once said that the tea 'tax' that acted as part of the reason for the colonies' declaration of war was rescinded by the Crown and its documentation was en route to the colonies ... but before the news could arrive, the war had begun.

I guess we all have to go through a stupid period before it occurs to us (when we're lucky) that being smart is more sensible and less painful. Smart people are not exempt from stupid periods -- they're just smart. The question remains, what do they actually know?


  1. "Great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people."

    I have heard this quote is/was attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt. Maybe it wasn't original with her but i like the generalization. :)


  2. I also don't think critically etc and have a short attention span but what I have found useful (and interesting) is comments-letters-opinions pages. For example the one on offers a wide range of debate and opinion which - especially as they are oft multi-sided can offer diff perspectives and quick learning/education on topics. Might even spark some intelligence