How time flies! It is already May – the 5th month of the 7th year of the 21st century. Who’d have thought?
We remember back in the 1950s…we wondered what it would be like in the year 2,000. Flying cars…regular commutes to the moon…we imagined all sorts of things that turned out to be farther in the future than we had thought.
What really changed in the last half century? Cars, airplanes, skyscrapers, golf, hamburgers, TV, air-conditioning, antibiotics, nuclear bombs – all the big things that shaped our lives had already been invented. What has been invented since then? Hmmm…the Internet?
We can’t think of anything else.
Of course, the Internet is changing the world. It is part of the reason real estate prices are going up faster in desirable resort locations than elsewhere – so many more people can live in these places and still continue working.
It is also changing the way we get information and ideas; never before have so many people had such ready access to so many bad ideas.
In today’s headline news is a report from New York, where Rupert Murdoch has just offered to buy Dow Jones. He’s offered a 65% premium over yesterday’s share price. Major shareholders are said to be considering it.
Elsewhere is news that the New York TIMES has sold it’s flagship building in Manhattan to a diamond merchant.
And everywhere traditional news media, in which the lies are printed on the pulp of trees, is giving way to the new news media, in which the drivel comes to you electronically.
Through no fault of our own, we have occasionally been the victim of news stories, in which the ‘news’ differed dramatically from what we knew to be true – often to such a degree that the reader would come away with the exact opposite of the truth. But what would you expect? The fourth estate is no less self-interested than the other three – and it is dominated by a class of people who are particularly dull-witted and lazy. Generally, they have ‘the storyline’ already in mind – because it has been written hundreds of times already – before they have ever taken a single note or looked at a single fact.
“But it’s really gotten a lot worse in the last few years,” explained a journalist friend. “The newspapers used to spend a lot of money on investigative journalism…to come up with facts that would keep readers interested. But now, they don’t want to spend any money on research or investigating. They don’t even want the facts, because they might interfere with the storyline. They spend all their money hiring pundits…”
Markets and Money