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The Longest Now

Political news; the growth of devoted brilliance
Friday February 22nd 2008, 4:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Street campaigns. A house divided against itself stands tall. Amazing social interest stories from your favorite storytellers and photographers… the participants themselves. Have I seen anything comparable in professional news channels all year? Certainly not.

Amazing and detailed legislation analysis from your favorite pundits… amateurs who stumble across and do their homework. It is embarrassing that this level of simple, earnest competence gives me such pleasure — should not every minute spent on discussion of issues, positions, efforts, be supported by this sort of basic information which is freely available to us all? If a commercial paper publishes editorials as factually dense as either of these posts, please post links, and I will subscribe immediately.

Barack Obama, mid-2006 || Hype and legislation, 2008.

[These happen to be focused on democratic politics, but if you can find similarly dense pieces that are pro-Bush or pro-Scientology or about military or fiscal or artistic matters, I’ll be equally entranced.]

These finds, unexpected gold in a quickly browsed slurry, remind me how quickly the news I grew up with is being replaced with something fabulous. Traditional news isn’t dying “because of the internet” or because of “free news reporting” any more than the French Quid skipped publishing this year “because of Wikipedia“… …traditional news offers poor solutions (vague, shallow information provided by people ‘too busy doing their jobs’ to maintain a useful or increasingly detailed and nuanced story over time; notoriously fad-prone, imprecise, and simplified). Solutions looking for problems they can solve. This lack of purpose leads to news divisions that focus circularly on satisfying readers rather than providing a reliable service, a distinction that grows over time.

These shallow efforts will soon enough be replaced by truly valuable information from collaborations of amateurs who care deeply and develop and sustain expertise.

Don’t misunderstand — shallowness here is not due to lack of talent or love, it is a design decision made by these solutions’ architects. But it is outmoded, like using leather strips or individual fibers to tie things together. It seems like the only possible solution until one discovers how to weave cord and twine and rope of arbitrary length and strength from any reasonably good armful of strands.

What a refreshing collection of links. Thanks SJ.

Comment by Jacob Rus 02.22.08 @ 5:01 am

Also, thanks (maybe no thanks?) for putting me onto that Obsidian Wings blog. It’s high on insight, low on fluff, a deadly combination which is sucking up hours of my time. 🙂

Comment by Jacob Rus 02.22.08 @ 7:05 am

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