Thursday, January 10, 2013

Improbability of the Improbable as the New Normal

+Kevin Kelly writes The Improbable is the New Normal (via Farnam Street Blog). 

I wonder about this, especially as it relates to news. What news do people read? How do they chose? Why do they go deeper into some stories and not others? 

In my experience: extraordinary is not the new ordinary. The Internet is not a lens that delivers the extraordinary as a focused beam. The Internet does not make us more expecting of the improbable.  We will not have an insatiable appetite for the extraordinary. 

Individually, we somehow choose our illumination of the day. It could be an "ordinary" photo from a relative that we find cute, or it could be an "extraordinary" photo from The Big Picture that inspires feeling. It could be a local news story about crime that makes us think twice about whipping our smartphone out while waiting for the train, or it could be an international story about a mass shooting that makes us ponder the safety of our family and our ourselves, and what it has to do with gun control. 

What I find extraordinary is how the news cycled has evolved. From 24-hours in print, to a few hours in radio, to a few minutes on TV, to a few seconds on the Internet. And perhaps the speed at which information is made available rather than the information itself is truly the improbable that is the new normal. 

We will be more selective about the news and media we consume, and the ways we consume it. We will be more selective about the way we share, and whom we share it with. And, hopefully we will be more skeptical of the news and media we consume, and we will form our own opinions rather than eat the opinions we are fed. 

1 comment:

  1. Funny you post this today, as just now I have been thinking about morse code and telegrams.