Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

The Newness of

Last night I had a great conversation at The Grill with a friend I hadn't seen in a few years. Thanks to our participation in social media -- we became Live Journal friends about five years ago and are now connected via Facebook as well -- we were able to start several levels above simple "catching up." Although we both had significant news of the sort that a careful user of social media is unlikely to share directly, there was enough common ground to make it quickly to topics we'd never discussed before.

Today, I was able to keep tabs on the Arizona-Green Bay playoff game while hiking in Ventana Canyon. When we stopped at Frost on the way home for gelato, I had no trouble joining in the conversation with other patrons who were staring intently at the flat-panel from a position of real-time statistical awareness. I didn't have to ask what had happened up until that point in the final quarter. Instead, I could immediately engage in the sort of sophisticated debate that sports radio shows provide.

I mention these two examples because it has struck me recently that the most striking distance between life today and what things were like in my youth is that it has become far, far easier to "get up to speed" in a speedy fashion than was the case in the 1970s and 1980s. Mind you, you still have to want to achieve such synchronization. Desire and will remain crucial factors. But if the investment of time and energy is sufficient, ignorance, at least in a factual sense, is now very difficult to sustain. I realize this probably sounds obvious. Still, I am excited to commence pondering the deeper implications of this insight, among them the realization that potential knowledge can be a pretty difficult burden.
Tags: blogging, new media

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