Here we go again, with huge time and resources spent to bring train wreck style news coverage to the masses. As I'm writing this, every news channel's covering a couple of likely-related (supposed) mail bombing incidents in Maryland. Injuries, but no deaths.

Meanwhile, how many people have died or are dying miserably of disease or by accident today? How about misery caused by just the lack of preventative health care, for example? These are just statistics, of course, without exciting pictures of firetrucks and ambulances and bomb squads on the TV screen.

It's easy to get angry and point fingers at mainstream media, mainstream media consumers who buy into the train wreck and terrorist style mania, terrorists and politicians who capitalize on these incidents, and so on. Watch this happen on talk radio, too.

My point here is that there are psychological reasons why we humans gravitate en masse towards sensational events, and seek scapegoats to point fingers at. If most humans had these insights about themselves, perhaps we could focus better on solving the more mundane, but costly, daily ills and challenges to civilization. Would terrorism even exist if it didn't get so much coverage?

Also in the news today is a story about a couple of people dying for lack of organ transplants, due to reduced Medicare coverage in Arizona. Or something like that. I'm still waiting for more details. Should liberals play back Palin's "death panels" comment alongside this story? I'm not sure there are simple answers to these kinds of issues. But I am sure there are everyday kinds of problems that we should be caring more about. Too bad they're just boring stories.


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Comment by Pope Beanie on January 7, 2011 at 4:21pm
I have to add, btw, that I still think the incendiary mail story is an important story. (Perhaps I'll eventually clarify my blog post.) But what I won't tolerate is the up-to-the-minute speculation in the ongoing story. I'd rather just read about it again in a few days or weeks, when the facts and analyses have aged.


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