Tuning Noisemakers Out

If recorded history affords us anything certain about the human condition, it is that economic panic and religious hysteria can happen any time and any where. Sudden change — man made or natural — often accelerates panic and hysteria, but the underlying susceptibility seems ingrained. The Black Plague in Europe, as well as the conquest of the Americas, serve as historic examples of catastrophic catalysts, but even the American empire of today is vulnerable to the psychological shock that awed the Incan empire into sudden collapse. The difference between then and now, of course, is that information overload regularly overwhelms our psyches with distressing and distorted news, echoed ad infinitum by thoughtless amplification at FOX, NPR, and the New York Times. Giving ourselves time to think by tuning these noisemakers out, as such, becomes an essential element of survival.

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~ by Jay Taber on November 19, 2009.

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