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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Nation shall speak old news to nation

Now that we finally have every means short of teleporting to bridge the oceans we discover that we no longer have anything to say that the people on the other end don't already know. We've just been in video-enhanced communication with the son and heir in Brazil via the miracle that is Skype. I remember the days when we communicated with relatives in Australia via a Christmas Day phone call that had to be booked weeks in advance. Once connection was established, each party would unload a news bulletin, often from a prepared list. Each item was like water to the thirsty man at the other end.

He was Skyping us while simultaneously instant messaging four separate groups of friends all over the world and watching the (British) football, more widely available overseas than it is at home. Most things we said were met with the words "I know". There wasn't an awful lot you could describe as news anymore. Maybe I should start inventing some.


  1. I was dozing in front of the History channel a couple of days ago. The programme was about the herculean human effort that went into identifying the source of the river Nile.

    If you wanted to do that now you would study the satellite photos on goggle earth. Dr Livingstone could mark his position on the map, making him more easy to locate.

  2. If you want someone to feel behind, send them to Hawaii. The unique mindset is informed by (a) the fact that it's about as far west before arriving at the date line as you can get, meaning that Hawaiians are pretty much the last to hear about anything; and (b) the fact that they're so laid back, and it's so far from anywhere, no one really cares anyway. Just the place for a real break.

  3. I think the same effect can be experienced in rural Berkshire...