And raise you
Two men standing in the street discussing 69 may or may not interest me. It doesn't affect me.
They may affect me if they block my path, or impede traffic to my office. If violence breaks out. Those things may cause me to rethink and have to get involved. If I do get involved, and have to take sides then I will look at whether I can live with 6 or 9. If both are equally likely then I will probably end up choosing on what best suits my needs. The truth may be something other than what I think it is but I can live with my reality. If my reality conflicts with that of others then that merely continues an existing discussion.
I know that there are many instances where I have acted on faulty intelligence. Sometimes I have got lucky. Sometimes I have had to decide if the goal justified pushing on despite a less than optimum outcome. Sometimes I have just thrown in the towel. These things happen. But often you don't have the luxury of time to discern the truth. You are forced by circumstances to jump and trust that you will survive the jump and at least have an opportunity for another jump.
Information is useful and should be considered, but not all of it is equal. The certainty of a bayonet up the butt if I stay vice the possibility of a nuclear disaster if I go is probably going to impact the decision I make and the action I take.
But I want to come back to something that milnews said earlier about having started his career as a small town reporter.
You can correct me if I'm wrong but back in those ancient days of your wasn't the Canadian Press (and Associated Press and Reuters) pretty much a two way street? An interweb for local publishers if you like?
My sense is that it used to be that anyone with an opinion, or just a desire to write, or to make money, or to promote a cause could buy a press, some paper and ink and start publishing. Presses were in every community, mill town or mine town. Large communities, amalgams of villages, supported many presses. The wire system connected all those presses. It not only allowed folks in Thunder Bay to hear what was happening in their town but also what was happening in Ottawa, London and Washington. But, in my opinion, as importantly, it allowed Thunder Bay to hear what Robertson Davies was reporting on in the Peterborough Examiner, or what was being said in the Lethbridge Herald. I don't get that sense of connectivity any more. I get the sense that my news is not managed by a local editor who I may meet in the street, at a store, in a bar or in church - or even his office - but in an office in Toronto, or Montreal or New York. That old editor, he interacted with the community, and depending on how many bloody noses he was willing to risk, then he stayed in tune with, if not in line with, the community in which he lived. The news was relevant and the opinions temperate. I don't get that sense anymore.
The news and opinions are created by faceless, heck, even bodyless, entities far, far from my reality.
Kind of like our politicians.
I find it difficult to trust anyone I can't look in the eye while shaking hands. It is also easier to dismiss them as irrelevant.