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The last time I felt like God was back around 1984, ‘85, or so.


I was working for the news department in the campus radio station. On my first day, they showed me the Zombie Wire, the AP ticker where periodically, a bell would ring and the teletype would begin spitting out copy. My job was to rewrite the copy into short lucid bursts suitable for the news reader to read live on the air. One bell meant a standard news feed. Two bells, something important; a Presidential speech, a bank robbery, something. If TWELVE bells were heard, at an odd time, it was something of TRANSCENDENTAL importance, World War III, or something.


Whole time I worked there? Never more than two bells.


But that semester, they’d installed a new toy: the AP Newsfeed. It ran off this “Internet” thing, a continuous signal, through the phone lines via a dedicated modem at a lightning fast 56k, into a green CRT monitor at the news desk. Since I was usually the only person in the office, I got to monkeying with it one afternoon in an idle moment.


And it utterly shocked me to my core.


I quickly learned how to sweep various AP outlets in various locations, various countries, EVERY major city on the planet, and I realized I could access NEWS, in REAL TIME... everywhere.


This was a jolt. CNN existed by then, but it was a rather new thing, and simply rebroadcast the news every half hour, with any fresh happenings plugged in. Most people still got daily newspapers, or just watched the Six O’Clock News on their local stations. But I could access the soccer scores in Nice, France, examine police blotters in Barcelona, Glasgow, and Zurich, and get neighborhood reports from Nairobi, with nothing less than fifteen minutes old, if I wished it. Anything on THIS side of the iron curtain? I could know it in seconds. All as fast as it took me to read that little eye murdering green CRT screen.

No one... ANYWHERE... was as well informed as I was. Except the other newsmen, sifting the AP feed for copy for their next broadcast. The entire PLANET was under MY SCRUTINY, for as long as I cared to WATCH it!


No graphics, no video, just text. But I still felt like God.


Today, I have color, high resolution, video, audio, and the iron curtain ain’t there any more.


And nowadays, I feel more ill informed than ever...


Edited by Dr.Bedlam
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It's the real world application of Sturgeon's Law [90% of everything is broccoli].

The "newspeople" used to act as a filter and remove the majority of the broccoli before it could impinge on your consciousness.

Without the filter you are gradually overwhelmed in a rising tide of broccoli.   The solution is to impose your own filters and limit the amount of time and the sources of information generally classified as "news".  Which leaves much more time for the important stuff, like:Randomness XIII: Cognitive Dissonance while You Wait


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