Monday, September 26, 2011

word-of-mouth existence

It may be obvious, but there is something gloomy about the confirmation asserted in a poll that finds that more and more people are relying on word-of-mouth for their news. I suppose it's as good an explanation as any for the cantankerousness that is bogging down the political system: I'm me, I'm important, I know the truth ... and if you don't agree with me, I'll call you a bigot and burn down your house.

There's the Internet, awash in personal opinion that is promulgated at geometric rates with less and less sourcing or fact-checking. The Internet, that pseudo-connector and social adhesive and quick-hit appreciation of any topic on earth.

When times are hard, people pull back and rely on themselves more than before. OK. And they rely on their neighbors and friends. OK. But if fewer and fewer look beyond their own confines, beyond their own nations, beyond their own opinions ... isn't life likely to come around and bite them on the ass? I think it will.

It is self-serving to acquaint this small world with the world around it. Such acquaintanceship is never perfect, but it does open out into more possibilities. Just because anyone loves something or despises it doesn't mean it's true or untrue.

Bit by bit, the world becomes flat ... loud, selfish, mediocre and flat.

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