Debate and Discussion

World Perspective
Macattack at 8:11PM, March 15, 2011
posts: 291
joined: 12-29-2009
Hey all… I'm assuming drunk duck is pretty international and therefore a semi good place to ask this question that's been bugging me lately. Lately (like the last 2 years) there has been a large increase in world issues on the news, like Mexico, South America, Egypt, Iraq, Korea, Georgia, Libya, now with Japan and others I can't really think of at the moment. The only problem is that I also know the news (at least in Canada… and a number of US channels we get up here) has had a tendency in the past to simply start reporting more incidents when they want to raise hype on their story. AKA, shootings, car accidents, plane accidents, shark attacks, pit bull attacks, killer bee attacks, the list goes on. So do any of you guys have any idea if we've really been having such an increase of world issues lately or is it just the news raising hype?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
El Cid at 8:38PM, March 15, 2011
posts: 1,046
joined: 5-4-2009
Well, the revolutions in the Middle East actually are a big deal, and unprecedented. The tsunami in Japan… well, tsunamis happen in Japan. Japanese people invented tsunamis, I think.

I'll hazard to second-guess you on your question and, I think what you're getting at is, do we believe there is an actual trend, or is the world in general becoming a less stable place? Yes and no. The first decade of the 21st century definitely ended on a sour note, with a recession and all, and you could say that overall things are worse off now in many aspects than they were in 2001. But that's unlikely to be a perpetual trend. These things go up and down; it's nothing to get too worked up about.

I'm not sure that the media hypes things up any more than they used to, but we're much more immersed in information these days, so it's more difficult to ignore when there's a major flood in Bangladesh or civil war in Sri Lanka. But these things have always been going on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:20PM
ozoneocean at 10:26PM, March 15, 2011
posts: 26,043
joined: 1-2-2004
El Cid
Well, the revolutions in the Middle East actually are a big deal, and unprecedented.
Not as much as you'd think… it's more like the peace they had for so long was fairly unprecedented. Through most of the 20th Century the middle East was in way more turmoil than it was in the late 20th Century and first decade of the 21st.


To answer the question of the OP though- no. (As El Cid says)
There is definitely NOT more turmoil and news in the world, it's the same as always. -Probably even a lot less if truth be told. I mean, there's not even any major wars going on. Plenty of minor ones, no major country VS country ones though.

The only factors here are the speed and spread of modern communication and the 24 hour news cycle that demands content constantly no matter where it comes from. Nothing else.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
blindsk at 2:39AM, March 16, 2011
posts: 560
joined: 5-5-2010
You know what (and this is sort of a shot in the dark here), but I wonder if part of it has to do with you making yourself more susceptible to news! What do I mean by that? Well, to give you an example…

I popped into this history course a few years ago that covered around 1920 to the present. Towards the end of the course I was thinking the workload would be rather easy because, hey, that's when I was around! However, there actually ended up being quite a lot of material and history I had been unaware of, since it happened when I was younger during a time where I simply didn't follow what happened in the world. And suddenly all these catastrophes and uprisings and invasions started happening. Well, not started, it turns out similar incidents have been occurring this whole time.

Maybe a similar circumstance is happening with you as well.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:25AM
Abt_Nihil at 4:28AM, March 16, 2011
posts: 1,360
joined: 8-7-2007
The only factors here are the speed and spread of modern communication and the 24 hour news cycle that demands content constantly no matter where it comes from. Nothing else.
Plus the assumption that most things that happen locally are of global importance. Partly due to global trade and dependencies (like ressources), but also, I get the feeling that people feel more “empathic” towards people who suffer from catastrophes far away (compare the international help for tsunami victims in 2004, especially the amount of private donations). Certainly because they can now get the pictures much quicker and more unfiltered - but I also think that people are less likely to take a “this has nothing to do with me” stance than some decades ago.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:44AM
Macattack at 5:28AM, March 16, 2011
posts: 291
joined: 12-29-2009
I was kind of thinking that was the case. Sadly the news is one of the few constant sources I get these days so I have to use it no matter how sensation crazy and unreliable it is
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:49PM
imshard at 4:49PM, March 17, 2011
posts: 2,961
joined: 7-26-2007
I think the world is just continuing as it always has and our ability to peer trough the lens of time is very poor.

Remember that the media thrives on ratings and hyperbole, and bad news is more exciting. All situations are made to appear more dramatic than they really are.

If you want the truth of a matter, pull two sources each from a neutral and two highly opposed viewpoints. Extract the items that appear to match the majority of them and discard the rest. Never accept any single report from any source as completely true or accurate. Factor in any facts you trust on the matter and draw your own conclusions from the information.

It might seem like a lot of work but really you only need a few minutes to read the different sources (internet, TV, radio, throwing in some format variety helps shake out some bugs) and figure out what carries over between the stories.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:59PM
lothar at 4:44AM, April 7, 2011
posts: 1,299
joined: 1-3-2006
im pretty sure this is the end of the world as we know it .
its all happening slowly , but it is coming to an end .
Peak oil
Peak water !
Climate change
Population rising
Chemicals in the food
Imperial America in decline

a lot of whats going on now is a direct result of these things . not the tsunami , but what about the BP oil spill last year? anybody remember that . or the 10 year war in Afganistan ?

humanity is terminally ill
the disease is capitalism
also known as greed
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
bravo1102 at 11:20AM, April 11, 2011
posts: 4,095
joined: 1-21-2008
Imagine that fifty years from now this will be looked upon as a wonderful uneventful heyday of good music and good times.

Go over all the events in Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire and that was the peaceful buccolic 1950s.

Except it wasn't peaceful and uneventful.

Things are as they always have been and we live in interesting times. Stuff you'd only have read about in the back pages of the NY Times is now trumpetted on every network 24/7. With many of the old issues online in facimile it's amazing to go back and read a newspaper from when my parents were my age. My wife is huge into geneology so I have local newspapers thrust under my nose from long, long time ago and there's no international news except a handful of stories once a week or so!

Maybe we'll be better off after the Solar flare EMP destroys all media sources except for town criers and the few people with hardened electronics.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:34AM
Faliat at 7:27PM, April 11, 2011
posts: 584
joined: 10-17-2006
I'd say there's less turmoil. It's just being reported more since back in ye olde days of yore the average person didn't know these places existed let alone where they were in the world and what was going on in them.
Now we're just a few clicks away from contacting their citizens.

Only a few decades ago news reports had to travel back with the crews that made them. Now we get rolling news coverage. A bit too much if you ask me. I remember sitting with the news on in the background and the live footage was focussed on a plane with the hope that the pope would come out any time soon.
Instead of waiting for something they were going to repeat five minutes later anyway. Why not stick in that story about the duck that rescued a baby from a burning building instead?

Nah. They just want to film the plane.

Call that jumped up metal rod a knife?
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:25PM
OnlyFoolsAndVikings at 4:19AM, April 24, 2011
posts: 549
joined: 5-25-2010
It might seem to the general masses that there are more “incidents” but personally, I think its just that there are more media outlets, more ways to deliver vast amounts of information in a fraction of a second to all corners of the globe. There's probably the same amount of incidents, natural disasters and wars as there was at the beginning of the twentieth century, its just that information regarding the events is more accessable. I mean, with the invention of the internet, the whole WORLD is connectted and able to share news and information like never before.

Of course, Hype, is a big issue. Recently here in Oz, there's been heaps of stupid reports saying “ohhh there's more violent crimes then today then there was fifty years ago”, actually, no there isn't. Studies show that the crime rate has stayed the same, and if anything, dropped! But nothing grabs veiwers attention like shocking statistics about how dangerous the world has become. Thoooooouuuuugh, media hype and exaggeratting stories has been around… since the invention of mass media.

However, with the ability to get reports from both sides of the fence, IE during the Unrest in the middle, you're able to make a more educated decision regarding what you want to believe about what is being reported, and who is telling the truth.
of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:21PM

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