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Seeing In Darkness


Traffic has been light here on NRR. As part of my personal experiments for the New Year, I decided to abstain from Big Media news. I still see most of the headlines, but I do not know the stories being told.

(Also, I have been blessed with a rush of real, billable work in the meat world, leaving little time for pithy observations and therapeutic snark.)

There have been big events which I would have been following closely. The political poker game in Wisconsin appears to confirm my view of an upcoming period of violent upheaval as those accustomed to political favors throw tantrums when confronted by economic reality.

The upheavals across the Arab world are exciting. The current President is showing incompetence in a new arena. Or, more generously, real politics are so much more complex than campaign politics.

And there is Japan. A place I have never been, but where I think a bit of my soul resides. The disaster-and-death aspect is tragic. But tragedy also makes heroes.

I understand there are parts of New Zealand that may not be rebuilt, too, from an earthquake a couple of weeks ago. Did anyone care about that?

I am confident that the disaster aspect of the Japanese earthquake will be handled well enough. It is a rich country, so the dollar value of destruction will be huge, but the human toll relatively light. Light compared to Haiti, at least.

The Japanese case also highlights the intersection of economics, technology and politics. Because we’re seeing what happens when natural disaster meets nuclear power. Technology is amazing, but life is risk. And human nature can be crassly self-serving.

I suppose that point, about the grubbiness of human nature, is what I see most in all the secondary reports. There is evil in the world, and men are often eager to become the devil’s tools.

With the absence of primary news in my world, my impressions are formed by the blogs I follow and the blowhard radio I enjoy. It has been awesome to hear the same headlines spin in opposite directions, depending on where my radio is tuned.

Particularly on the nuclear news, I think my situation has spared me a tremendous amount of worthless speculation. Remember, the news is not what is happening. It is just what they are telling you.

I think I am well-informed even as I am blind to Big Media. I am learning to see in the dark. The world is both calmer and filled with rich detail. The squawks and flashes that drive modern societies are not the whole of life.


When it comes to the internet, especially, it's hard to find out well reported, unbiased media. What's also gone unlooked in light of these recent events is the millions of damage that the US's West Coastline has also encountered. The local's have estimated over 10 million in damage between 5 of the northern cities that were hit. But where is the story to help the small and relatively poor towns like that?