Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

There are many interesting questions around this.

Is the purpose of news to manipulate your mood?

If that is the case it competes with video games, sports, fiction, etc.

Is the purpose of news to inform?

In that case "current events" competes with an understanding of past events.

I was listening to an evangelical preacher the other day about the book "Romans" written by my namesake and how the apostles are getting their asses kicked in roman jails and preaching with anger against immorality (beyond the pale today in the west) such as polygamy and slavery.

Then I was reading about how the Polish and Japanese both learned how to write at the same time in the same way. I felt the dread hanging over Arlington National Memorial and was shocked to discover who had owned the land it was on.

This 1971 book


predicted that we would have "news on the web" in the 1980s and has a much deeper analysis of that entails than most books written since.

He sees a fundamental problem in "news" that the gatekeeper function has to be done efficiently and quickly. Of all the things that happened today, the "news" is one in a billion or so.

That selection is necessary to create a feeling of shared reality. (I saw CNN at 5:14 and my Uncle Nic saw it at 7:31 and we saw "the same thing")

That selection is also violence against reality itself.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact