New Civilization News: Where's the News?    
 Where's the News?19 comments
picture 27 Mar 2005 @ 02:49, by Flemming Funch

I'm somewhat addicted to news. The trouble is just that there never is any.

Oh, I don't watch the TV news or read newspapers all that much, although I sometimes enjoy both. I mostly read online news. I check various major news sites, even though there usually isn't much new. More interesting are various major blogs and bookmark aggregation sites. I'm currently feeling a little too busy to check through all the blogs in my blog aggregator, so most days I just check a few key places. Which often have a few things of interest. Even if the same stories often appear in several places. You know, Boing Boing is great, but they obviously read Metafilter too. Or vice versa. Loads of blogs and bookmark sites end up mentioning the same stuff. Which is part of how the blogosphere works, so it is not a bad thing.

But there's not much news. Or a lot of it is old. I get various newsletters in e-mail, people who gather together the most unique or interesting stories in the news. And by the time they get around to sending it out, I've heard all of them before. And it is not that I really spend a lot of time looking everywhere. It is just that the available stories move around so fast, and get automatically filtered through the selections of many bloggers, that they're yesterday's news when somebody does their weekly newsletter.

It is also that I usually don't consider news news. Oh, I do try to pay some attention to what various governments are doing, and where there's a war, and what the latest disasters are. But it is not all that interesting. The better news is usually when somebody finds a new twist on something, or writes something inspiring, or discovers something new and creative one can do. I almost find it more fruitful to search for completely random things in Google than I do trying to read news.

Likewise, I find it more interesting when somebody else does the same, and discovers something interesting. Doesn't have to be google, any source is fine. I'd rather hear what you surprisingly found in your attic or some off the wall idea you had in the bus than to read the same recooked news of the same old things happening a little more.

We too easily end up going in circles. Probably some kind of design problem in the brain or something. The real interesting stuff is the unexpected angles. Lateral thinking. Creative lightning strikes.

New input. Where does it come from? So much is recooked that it can be hard to see where the new stuff is. Most news infrastructure is broken. Blogging is a ray of hope at least, even if a lot of it just is about quoting each other. It is at least a medium for interesting stuff to propagate, even when it doesn't just support the status quo world view of people in power. Bloggers typically prefer reporting something different. Real news does have a substrate to grow in.

But it is sort of odd. The world is moving faster and faster, and there's more and more information, and new things are being developed every day. How can there be a scarcity of things to report on? There probably isn't. But there might be some disconnects there, so it is difficult to see what is really going on, because there's too much, and lots of information travels in old ways that haven't caught up with our accelerating evolution.

What's new today? Where do I look to find out? Who do I ask? Where's the pulse?

I'm looking for signs of life.


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19 comments

27 Mar 2005 @ 12:42 by Klaus Gormsen @81.19.226.145 : the real news
Right, I am news freak too, watching tv news and reading newspapers on the net. But "the real new input" - I click into your blog Flemming, theres so much interesting new stuff collected. For instance I immediately followed the link to Sam Harris "The end of faith", ordered it at amazon, and I am reading it already - recommended, first class.  


27 Mar 2005 @ 13:05 by jmarc : float time
which you mentioned in another article, is more evident in the news cycle to me with internet, than in was 6 years ago when i had no internet. When Peter Jennings says"this just in",or some equivalent, what he really means is, we ran into this story 3 days ago on Drudge, and after vetting it(unless you're Rather) and spinning it, we will now promote it as fresh. Sort of turns me off to the TV news, that float. So it was an eyeopener to find that most news agencies are doing what bloggers do, and have for years. They just report on each others stuff.
On talk radio i've noticed the same thing, the story, has floated for a few days before it becomes a topic for conversation. The only saving grace that makes it different from TV news is at least i can get some man on the street opinion from the callers, and some of it is original thought.
There are exeptions to this of course. "princess Di in car crash" is such rattling news it comes in a flash on the TV at midnight, because of the ground shaking properties, they dare not delay it, for fear of being scooped.

Happy Easter.  



27 Mar 2005 @ 13:22 by ming : Spinning the float
That's a very good point. A lot of what the regular news media are doing is the same as what bloggers do. Browse around for interesting stuff, and copy what others are doing. And nowadays we've usually gotten to it first. Except for, yes, the events that really just happened, which require being plugged in with the police, having helicopters in the air, and that kind of thing. The kind of stuff which can't be swept under the carpet, and that's usually the disasters.

But in terms of new input, yeah, it is more likely to appear in somebody's blog. Somebody who's actually looking for it, who actually wants it to be *new*, and who doesn't have as their prime directive to make it look exactly like the old.  



27 Mar 2005 @ 14:54 by jstarrs : I dunno...
...maybe this is also news for a lot of people?
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27 Mar 2005 @ 16:55 by ming : Boiling an egg
Ha, I'm sure it is. And they aren't even very good instructions. So here are my additions: 3A. Put salt in the water. That stops the eggwhite from running out if the eggs crack. 6. Run cold water over the eggs immediately, as that makes the shell much easier to get loose from the white when you peel them.  


27 Mar 2005 @ 17:40 by vaxen : Try...
Ham. Or maybe a new 'BBS' type system is in order. Interlinked, cool, like in days of yore when info-glut was not so predominent. Of course that is one of the main problems with so called 'data.' What to do with it. Telec-News Inc., from Galac Centra, is pretty good but not everyone has a 'telec' link to Galac Patra so...I hear that the 'containment grid' has been 'cracked.' Yup, the 'screen' is down so...that's real news and usable, too, but, then, only those who know what I am talking about know how to use that news. Ambassador Chu just got promoted so look forward to some little bit of come uppance on the part of our old friend Yatrus and his compadres. Back to Ham? Ham's good...but alas,

There's no news like no news. ;)

For a more in depth discussion on the bioelectronagneticgravitic bioholograms infinite capacity for 'mind control' I suggest you read this old news. Much of this, of course, is the basis for 'the tech' R was harping about and it got him kidnapped and murdered. RIP, R.

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27 Mar 2005 @ 22:18 by ankh : The news
is waiting to hear from you, Ming. They are desperate for new input.  


27 Mar 2005 @ 23:21 by ming : News
Yeah, we might well realize that we're creating the news as much as anybody else. And the news media don't have any more magical way of finding out what's important than we do.  


29 Mar 2005 @ 16:51 by Quirkeboy @209.92.185.199 : No gnus is good gnus
I actually work for a newspaper as a graphic artist..(In NOT a journalist.. so no criticism on my spelling!!)
What I find really annoying about the news today is how we are over saturated by the same stories .. over of the pope? "he waved from his hospital room" .. "he couldnt speak today" .. Or the Michael Jackson case?? Or Terri Schaivo?? I admit that the Schaivo case is a landmark case.. and that the pope is very important.. but often times I think they push other newsworthy stories out of the media. We dont need constant updates every day..
Most newspapers get there national news from the wire.. Associated Press.. Knight Ridder etc.. who get their cues from other sources etc. So the wire picks up the same stories we've seen on the TV news and we are left with a few companies deciding what is news worthy. It seems like lazy reporting to me.
I often read your website, Ming, and wonder how the big media companies have missed it. I feel like this website gives me a more well rounded world view.
Another odd occurence that is kind of interesting is that I would much rather read the editorial columns than the straight news.. for some reason editorials are allowed to fill in the blanks where in a news story youre forced to try to read between the lines. If a bill comes up for a vote in Congress.. it will be reported as just that.. a bill.. but in an editorial you may discover that its theorized that it may be politically motivated. Know what I mean??
Peoples opinions and theories always make the news more interesting.. thats why the Daily Show is so popular... or Michael Moore.. etc.. News without the human angle is often boring.  



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