A few timely observations from New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow once again remind us that the changes afoot in the world have more to do with the WAY that we communicate, than they do with WHAT we communicate:
...today’s information environment is broad and shallow, and we now communicate in headline phrases, acerbic humor and ad hominem attacks. Sad but true.
We subsist on Twitter twaddle — a never-ending stream of ideas and idiocy, where emotions are rendered in anagrams and thoughts are amputated at 140 characters.
via www.nytimes.com"Twitter Twaddle"? Mr. Blow should call his attorney in the morning and grab the trademark on that one.
But he's essentially correct: the problems we're facing - fillibuster, health care, recession, deficits, debts, etc. etc. ad infinitum ad nauseam - they seem intractable not only because the issues themselves are complex and fractious, but because we're just learning whole news ways of thinking and talking about them. There are a lot more voices now, and it's harder than ever to get any signal above the noise.
It's not just that we're at cross purposes, we're at cross-media. Like when you dial a phone number, expecting a person to answer the call, and get the screech of a fax machine instead.
Because, yes, there are still people who send and receive faxes...
And speaking of new media: I read the op-ed piece cited below on my Kindle. In order to make this post to my blog, I had to switch to my MacBook. If I had an iPad, I could have done it all with a single device. THAT's why I want an iPad, even if it is an obviously flawed first iteration of an indispensable idea.