The Information Age

The microwave is a lovely thing to reheat food but it’s useless when it comes to cooking in the first place. It’s too fast and uses the wrong kind of heat to properly get the best flavor out of a product. The internet and satellite communication does the same with news. Great for repeating accurate information, not so great for getting out accurate information in the first place. Rumors start quickly and easily, humans love them and love to repeat them. Now when everyone is a phone call/email away from everyone else it is just too easy for the wrong information to get loose. Trouble always comes from rumors, among the worst is that correcting the wrong information is nearly impossible to do, people have moved on, are thinking of other things, have cemented the first erroneous reports in their heads and nothing else will stick. Two things reminded me of this today.

The Sago Mining Disaster:
Early this morning family members waiting anxiously to hear if their father/brother/husband/son was alive were told joyously, but falsely, that they were, only to hear the true and tragic news several hours later. I have no idea who is to blame, but fact checking could never be more important that when delivering such personal and life changing news. Read more here.

Katrina Victims:
There have been so many epithets thrown, so many accusations made and all before the information was complete. See the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Study Here.

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