Posts Tagged ‘the political’

Lost: the political

November 7, 2007

When: not sure. Probably some time around the late 80ies/early 90ies.

What: the political, i.e. the idea that there is a special realm for debate, not identical to any of the following: the legal, the economic, the military; in fact a realm in which any of these can negotiated and binding decisions concerning all aspects of living together can be made.

How: again, the exact circumstances remain obscure; as causes have been cited: the end of the Soviet Union, the economic crisis of the late 80ies, the internet and many more. In fact the reason is more likely that people simply grew tired of the political and stopped looking after it.

Signs: A tendency to present issues in public debate as a) having ONE solution and b) best left to the experts (economists, judges, think-tanks of various kinds). The thought that at least some of these issues could be resolved through negotiation has disappeared from public perception. A tendency to present opponents in debates not just as mistaken about particular points but borderline insane. A tendency to expect politicians to be smooth administrators, implementing measures we already all agree about.

Problems: Why should we care? Wasn’t ‘the political’ the leading cause of death in the 20th century? Why should we be concerned about the loss?

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What matters: YOU!

October 6, 2007

It is more than a suspicion, although the number of studies is fairly low: reading news online is not the same as reading news in print. In particular, people who read news online are less likely to read top news stories. What counts online is presenting the latest news, no matter how unimportant it may be in the long run. The front page of the New York Times online changes more often than the front page of the New York Times print edition.

But it is more than that. In the print edition, topics and areas are pre-ordered, by the editors. Politics is first. With the online edition, you can navigate away from politics to sports with a single mouse click. No more leafing through pages and pages of news. News related to lifestyle (health, arts and style) are now presented on the same level as international news. What concerns you personally is as important as what concerns the world as a whole.