Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Easier Than Truth

I live in California, so I was startled to awake this morning hearing that 12 of the 13 miners were found dead last night. I went to sleep thinking the exact opposite, that miraculously, only one miner had been found dead. I have found the best blog for this story has been Tim Blair, but in particular, this link to Greg Mitchell.

First, my heart goes out to every single family member. I cannot even fathom what they are currently going through. Their collective hearts and souls have been ripped from them. I can only offer my individual thoughts and prayers. If the media wants to do anything to save face, it should stay away from the family members and do no more damage by exploiting this tragedy further.

But that is where I would like to focus this entry. Not on the tragedy per se, but on the media and its coverage. An untruth was spread by the media without any concrete source. Tim Blair's site is by far the best to focus on the media's gross incompetence, but why is the media so completely wrong when it has such a vast amount of human and technological resources?

I would argue for the same reason television, computers, and cell phones have made humans less active and less communicative. The reliance on modern technologies erases our fears of uncertainty. How many of us rush through a green light almost believing with complete faith the opposite red light will protect us from all other traffic? I am guilty of this, just like most of us. We are shocked to the core when we find out an e-mail did not go through, just as we are when we find out our media giants got a story as heart wrenching as this wrong.

But is this not the very problem? We are today more shocked at technological imperfections than human failures. People do in fact say things that are not true. Men and women hear things that are wrong inaccurate. Someone who's unofficial is incorrectly given authority over sensitive information. All of this should be seen as a possibility, but since sending reports or directly reporting live on television is easier than cooking a Pop-Tart, incidents such as these are becoming normal.

(I personally believe journalists should instinctively be skeptical of any and all information [especially of those concerning life and death] that comes their way. Because the modern journalist seems himself as part of the story, rather than observing the story, we have our media participating in inaccuracies instead of correcting them.)

I have always viewed technology as something that will save man from his greatest failures, such as killing and polluting. But we should start to view technology as regressing man's greatest feats, such as mastering all of the world. Man sought to conquer all of the world, and did so because of a drive toward excellence. It was man's greatest qualities that has made all of this world, with its joys and pleasures, possible. Now that we can do almost anything, we need to rediscover the things that brought us to this current destination. Laziness was not one of them.

O Lord, after I have worked my last day
and come out of the earth and have placed my feet on Thy footstool,
let me use the tools of Prudence, Faith, Hope and Charity.
From now on till I will be called to sign my last payroll,
make all the cables in the machinery strong with Thy Love.
Supply all the gangways, slopes and chambers
with The Pure Air Of Thy Grace and
let The Light Of Hope be my guidance and
when my last picking and shoveling is done,
may my last car be Full Of Thy Grace and
give me The Holy Bible for my last shift,
so that Thou, The General Superintendent of all colieries can say:


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