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Transience

Transience, and more specifically, meditation on it, can fit with several philosophies.

It can be a part of developing Stoic imperturbability. Or, it can be part of seeing the moment-by-moment chance for satori of Zen.

More modernly, it can fit existentialism in many ways. That includes challenges to be authentic, asserting one's radical freedom, and more. Or, in Camus' absurdism, it can provoke one to reflect on his "ultimate question." Or to say "mu" to his idea of meaninglessness.

Or per my Neo-Cynicism, it can lead one to ask, "Why don't I challenge the convention behind this particular transient moment?"

In any case, the world of newspapers has led me to reflect on transience more and more in recent times.

Dallas Cowboys running back Duane Thomas famously said of the Super Bowl, "If it's the ultimate game, why are they playing it again next year?"

Indeed, "news" strikes me the same way.

Most national and international news stories in print (print online counted) are simply small rollings of the ball forward from the previous versions of the story. It's similar in broadcast media.

But, to fill inches of paper, minutes of airtime, or clamorings of website electrons, we see these balls moved slowly uphill and call them "news."

The reality is that the first journalism, newspapers, WAS the "social media" of 200 years ago. It was in part something for people to gossip and mong rumors about, and it was in part actual gossip and rumor mongering.

Life is transient. And, though I despise the term "content" when it comes from a pulp writing mill, it's true that a lot what is called "news" is little more than filler.

Now, plenty a sociologist might argue otherwise. They might say that local news is lubrication for the grist-grinding of local sociological mills. But, is that much more than a fancier way of calling a newspaper "social media," with both connotative and denotative meanings?



This post first appeared on The Philosophy Of The Socratic Gadfly, please read the originial post: here

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