...don't even ignore 'em.
-- Samuel Goldwyn

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Babel. This is it.

In The Bible, the Tower of Babel was the place in Mesopotamia (Iraq) where The Lord headed off man's attempt to speak one universal language and kicked the human condition's complexity up a notch. Here's a link to a pretty good summary of the story, complete with Flash banner ads and popups, which makes my point out of the box. A life-long media guy, I'm struggling this morning with the din. Now that anybody with access to a computer, or a cellphone-camera, or a cheap microphone, can publish, broadcast, cinematize, podcast, the barriers to entry and access to a potential planet-wide audience (even if it's only a random hit on your blog by one person in Slovakia and one in Mesopotamia) have fallen, including the cost--last night on Chris Lydon's new Open Source public radio show, one babeler opined that with, for instance, one-use video cameras (new), we needn't worry about the poor being excluded from the great privilege of participating in the cacophony. The question: with so many possibilities, what shall I do? And, once I choose, so what? My wife asked me yesterday, Why are you doing that? Never mind what I was doing, which had to do with research for a possible piece of journalism. Indeed, why? Shall I query some editor, or just toss it out there into the net. I suspect we're out here talking to ourselves. But publicly. Like talking loudly to your lover, on your cellphone, on the bus. And the babel is so loud we can't hear the important stuff, or understand what we hear. Who does information triage? What's your lead story? Makes me want to turn on a giant fan and just blow it all away. But now I'm just babbling. Later.

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