By Linton Weeks, NPR website, February 19, 2011
As overwhelming as the rush of news — the comings and goings of despots, the rise and demise of movements — can be, there is some "comfort" to be found in the laws of the universe, says J. Richard Gott III, an astrophysicist at Princeton University and author of Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective. For the news to outrun the event is an impossibility in this universe, he says. That's because of the "Planck time" — the smallest measurement of time possible, in quantum physics terms — that would occur between events.
"You can't change governments faster than the Planck time," he says. "Otherwise, you create a black hole and the events collapse into each other."
Phew. In that, one supposes, there's a quantum of solace.
Still, with news — and reaction to news — moving more quickly than ever, says Louis Gray, a Silicon Valley blogger who chronicles the ever-increasing speed of computers and companies, "it is safe to assume the public does not know about many top stories or issues, and cannot be assumed to have enough data to ascertain truth versus spin, and right versus wrong."
As a result, Gray says, "people are intentionally filtering the information they consume through sources they agree with, or are turning instead to entertainment and idle-time activities, becoming less informed."
News Finders, Not Makers
Steven Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation: How to Win in a World Where Consumers Are Creators, believes we will learn to navigate the new world with the help of other navigators. He wrote in The Huffington Post that we are living in "a world where abundance is assumed in the world of content — there's no shortage of content makers of all shapes and sizes. But the avalanche of content makes finding the content you're looking for significantly harder."
By choosing to read a certain story or subscribe to a certain blog — and letting others know that we "like" the stories and blogs — we are saving time for those who trust us, according to Rosenbaum.
"The world of curation will have lots of brand-name, well-known curators you know and trust," Rosenbaum wrote. "The new media moguls won't be makers, they'll be finders, endorsers and presenters."
In an interview, Rosenbaum adds: "Curious people will have more of an opportunity to engage in curated and complex editorial mixes, and people who define themselves as a political party, or an issue, or any other narrow set of filters will embrace sources that don't expose them to alternative points of view."
Everyday, at the acorncentreblog.com, I scan various news sources looking for what I think might be important "FOR ME" to know, given the completely overwhelming smorgasbord of information that
cataracts across our screens every minute of every hour of every day of the year. While doing this, I did not know that I was serving as a "news curator" one who selects and gathers certain news stories because of their unique and perhaps significant impact on the world in which we live.
However, if this is an incubator of the "news curator" enterprise, along with hundreds or perhaps thousands of others around the globe, there is an important component to the process that is needed.
And that, dear reader, is not only your statistical feedback, as in the number of page reads this blog receives each day, but also your personal observations, reflections, disagreements, counter-information and perspective, from the many various languages and cultures in which you work and live and think.
For this blog to succeed in serving the needs of its adherents, including the "curator," it will increasingly depend on analogical feedback...because through such personal interraction, we can build a more resonant, and more complex and more reflective and potentially more global and communal perspective for additional selection and display.
Even if you feel somewhat limited in your command of the English language, please try a single word response to a piece you read here...even a single word can express a considerable freight of insight....and we would like to become more interractive with each of you.
Looking forward to hearing your comments, feedback, disagreements etc....