20 thoughts on “The First To Know

  1. PM says:

    tftk urge is as old as humans–it is the desire for a journalistic scoop, to have the juiciest gossip first, to know who is sleeping with who before the parties doing the sleeping together are aware of it.

    Plenty of people get rich off of doing this well. Remember The Sting? telegraphs and radio, etc.?

    Can’t remember what i was watching/reading, but it was suggesting that because we humans evolved without the ability of ants and birds and fish to instantly communicate with each other (how flocks of birds or schools of fish instantly turn as one, etc.) that we are making up for it now with electronic communications–this is driven by the fact that prior to this point in our evolution, we did not live in crowds, and this kind of instant communication is necessary in crowds, to keep people from panicking, trampling each other, etc.

    Just another way to coordinate what we are doing/have always done (we are social animals, after all)

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      I agree, but it’s all more pronounced now. With so much more information available so much more quickly, nonstop TTFK competitions get overwhelming. I know the phenomena won’t and shouldn’t go away, but I’m hoping it might mellow out a bit over time.

      1. Mike Kennedy says:

        What’s amazing is that not only do you get information instantly, but you get running commentary and dialogue about it real time with others via Twitter, Facebook and all the other social networking.

        For example, within seconds of Esperanza Spalding winning Best New Artist last night my 19 year old interacted with friends and strangers electronically, all of whom were wondering who the hell she was.

        It was like a virtual Grammy party. It is scary for a guy half a century old trying to transition.

        I suppose it’s a similar transition to modern music, much of which I have tried to ignore. However, after watching last night, there appears to be a ton of talent out there, and I should get more plugged in.

    2. PM says:

      something i just thought of–I think that tftk phenomena is related to how we hate surprises–the unexpected. We know that we can’t stop that, so we compensate by trying to be tftk. Sort of a personal way to attempt risk management?

      One of the things i love about being someplace isolated for a long period of time (say, a 2 week canoe trip in the canadian arctic–contact me if anyone else wants to go) is how you realize that everything that you missed while gone really doesn’t matter all that much.

      1. Dennis Lang says:

        “…everything you missed really doesn’t matter that much.” Incredibly true isn’t it? In the grand scheme of things. You or I are unlikely to influence any outcomes. I imagine alone with your thoughts, drfiting, the breeze, only the sound of water against the hull and the wildlife, you’re totally immersed in the moment. Nice image PM. (Although, hard to convince the fellow two weeks away from his cell phone, ipod and office cubicle that the piles of files and forms waiting for him don’t matter that much, or at least he’d have a hard time selling his boss.)

      2. PM says:

        yeah, I suppose that the flip side is that everyone else will decide that they didn’t miss you all that much, and that maybe you don’t matter all that much, either…..

      3. Joe Loveland says:

        I get so anxious if my newspaper delivery is late. Yet, if I’m gone several days I have no interest in looking at the old newspapers…despite the fact that there is lots of good information in there. The fact that information is new is obviously alluring to me. News is only news when it’s new.

  2. Dennis Lang says:

    Right, the feeling of being expendable has struck millions over the last couple years and it–in all seriousness–is often personally shattering. So, there is much to be said for being an integral part of something even if that something is ultimately meaningless. But, I’m way off JL’s point here. Sorry.

    1. Newt says:

      I didn’t say I was anti-democracy. In fact, I was a little disappointed 2 years ago when Obama sat passively when the Iranian mullahs slaughtered the university democracy protesters.

      Let’s just say Obama isn’t exactly a profile in courage.

      1. Joe Loveland says:

        What did you want Obama to do in Iran? Military intervention? Words of encouragement?

        Remember getting America’s endorsement in the Muslim world is sometimes like getting the Loveland endorsement in the Newt world. Kiss of death.

      2. Newt says:

        You don’t find irony in the fact that Obama praised pro-Democracy protests in Egypt, but not Iran?

        Let me spell it out for you: The weasel was triangulating to give the appearance of pro-Democracy support this week (after the writing was on the wall) when days earlier he was pro-Mubarak.

  3. john sherman says:

    One of the problems is the assumption that news involves a camera and a media star even as things play out in real time over days or weeks. Consider a hurricane, most of us grasp the concept of wind and rain, and after a certain point neither continued pictures nor the presence of Anderson Cooper add much to our understanding, but there they are for endless hours.

    Fortunately, there are still high quality periodicals that provide people who know what they’re talking about the opportunity assimilate and analyze information for the benefit of the rest of us, assuming we haven’t moved on to the next news fad.

    PM, I think the story you referred to was on NPR. Even more remarkable than the flash mob ability of ants and fish is the capacity of termites to produce unique complex architecture.

    1. Joe Loveland says:

      You make a great point about video driving news. A week or two from now when the video of the streets of Cairo gets uninteresting, the West will lose interest about what becomes of Egypt…until the next time something video-worthy happens there.

Comments are closed.