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You Cannot Turn it Off: News Addiction 487

Posted by michael
from the modern-crack dept.
BizangoBob writes: "In this time of madness, I find myself staying up later than usual, watching more tv than ever before, tracking more channels, with more open browser windows than even I did before. As though KNOWING more will somehow help. There's a great piece about news addiction in the Washington Post. It made me feel I'm not the only one."
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You Cannot Turn it Off: News Addiction

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  • by tester13 (186772) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @02:52AM (#2302059) Homepage
    I know exactly what you mean! Think about what we do here day in and day out. We talk about the incremental release of software as if it's the most important thing in the world.

    We endlessly follow every possible civil liberties encroachment though /., mailing lists, Usenet, etc.

    I read Slashdot compulsively. I also read Slate, Salon, and the NYT daily. Have I really learned anything important, or am I just wasting time? I tend to think more towards the later.

    This is a timely topic in wake of the recent tragic events. I have been refreshing CNN and MSNBC's website obsessively searching for the latest (often wrongly reported) news.

    OTOH what is the alternative? It seems today, it is important to process a lot of information quickly. I'm just not sure that I know what is important.
  • News Saturation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Paganz (35727)
    Frankly, I feel the exact opposite. Although I want to know the latest as to what is happening in the rescue efforts and investigation, it seems to me that much of the news is simply the same facts being repeated. Particularly with the addition of one, or even two, news tickers, I am getting too much of the same news over and over again, at least on the major networks. It seems that Fox Cable News, CNN, and (C|MS)NBC break up the hard facts enough with experts to pique my interest.
    • Re:News Saturation (Score:2, Interesting)

      by terri rolle (413434)
      Yeah, I keep watching and watching despite the fact that at the end of the day you realize you've really only learned a handful of solid facts.

      What's truly disappointing is how much of what they've reported has turned out to be wholly false. Like that story of five fire-fighters being rescued from the rubble. Or the talk of many buried victims using cell phones to call for help. Or the report that several men who had been arrested at New York airports last night had knives and airplane technical manuals in arabic; and one man was falsely claiming to be a pilot. (Last I heard most had been released, none had any link to terrorism, and the guy claiming to be a pilot really was.) Or a tale that Atlanta was another intended target for the terrorists. ("Baloney" said one government offical.) Or the immediate assumption that explosions in Kabul were due to an American attack. (It was just rebels hitting an ammunition dump in Afghanistan's never ending civil war.)

      Does anybody check their facts anymore? Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but isn't that something journalists are supposed to do?

  • more please (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2001 @02:54AM (#2302066)
    Somebody please post more links to stories about news addiction!
  • Oh, I keep hitting websites every half-hour or hour, looking for more news; but I stopped watching the TV quite a while ago. It was getting too repetitive and depressing, and detailing positions I'd already got from the web. It's a terrible, thrilling event that has happened, but I'm already burnt out, at least TV-wise.
  • Suggestion (Score:2, Funny)

    by vaxtor (520122)
    Kill Your Television...
  • I was glued to the TV/computer the first day, and most of the second day too. I realized something the second day, however. Everything I was hearing was speculation. I figure that if I wait a week to really dig into the articles, things will be more coherent and more of the facts will be layed out for me. Once a real breakthrough is made, I'm sure people will be buzzing about it. I havn't stopped watching the news completely, but I'll save the rest of my attention span for something other than pictures of people jumping off of buildings.

  • if u want to see someone who's addicted to news .. then look at the fp posts on \. these ppl just sit there and wait for a story to come up so that they can get a fp ;-)

    But seriously the graphic images of the attack that are being shown repeatedly can have a deep psychological effect on the ppl. watching it again and again (u can't help but watch!) can make a deep impression on your psyche and can even lead to extreme emotions and even depression.

    The only solution is to talk about it ! even if no one knows the answers .. just talking about the problem can be of great help.

  • A suggestion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @02:58AM (#2302079) Homepage Journal
    A comment i just sent to Rob Malda (after a short bit of praise for him and his team):

    - Please consider making a "permanent" story -- or call it a forum. When i
    want to post something about the tragedy, i'm forced to choose between three
    options, none of which is great: I can submit a story, and odds are great
    that you will have to reject it. I can post a comment to an old story, where
    it will likely be missed since the story is off the front page and will
    certainly be missed when the next update is posted. Or, i can wait for the
    next update and hope i hit it early.

    If you had one huge permanent story instead of lots of smaller ones, people
    would sort by "Newest First" to get news, which is what they should do
    instead of just waiting for the next story to be posted. It lets new +1 and
    +2 comments have a chance regardless of how early they're posted.

    Also, raising the maximum comment rating above 5, if technically feasable,
    would really help in these stories, where dozens and dozens of comments are
    rated at 5...
    • I like the basic idea, but that should make for an awful lot of comments to wade through, especially for those of us who try to read the unmodded comments.

      There's got to be a better way than one *huge* forum -- maybe some sort of sidebar collection of stories and forums or something. Of course, that's moving towards violating the very straightforward paradigm that Slashdot's been following since way back in the day...
    • I've got something like this setup on crisisforums.com [crisisforums.com] .. strange how many people get the same idea in different parts of the world at the same time. Basically wanted it to be a repository of information about people from various sites. Then figured that it could serve as a larger site.
  • I find that news addiction happens to me around large events;

    The the space shuttle Challenger accident

    The Oklahoma city bombing

    The death of princess Diana

    The impeachment of Bill Clinton

    And now the WTC destruction. This easily tops them all. It has truly been a mindwarping experience of how so much destruction has been brought about by so few. The news addiction happens because we want every shred of a detail so we can put the story together and understand what happenned. The story is large and in the front of our minds. Knowing the horrific beginning we want to rush and know the ending of the what, where, when and how.

    It's curious - do we live in an era that such large spectacles can be counted on happening every few years??

    • Here's my question -- will this story be bigger than the O.J. Simpson trial?

      I am not being a smartass. Please read on.

      The OJ trial was the #1 story of EVERY news broadcast, EVERY DAY for about 2 years. Half of every broadcast was dedicated to OJ, it seemed. I used to think that was an LA thing, but people tell me it was the same way all over the country. You guys must remember this... it was insane how much coverage there was. If you used a TV or radio you could not escape it. Criminal trial, civil trial, custody hearings...

      My friends used to joke about what might be a bigger news story. We had to come up with some pretty bizarre stuff before it sounded like it would beat OJ. And it all involved celebrities. Couldn't think of anything IMPORTANT that would get as much coverage.

      I guess my real question is what the hell is wrong with us, where some washed up football guy makes the #1 story every day for so long? Are we truly only interested in shallow things like celebrities, or does real news like the current disaster have a chance with the people?

      I will be very interested to see what the coverage looks like a year from now. Who will have the staying power, The Juice or Osama bin Laden? I want to believe that as a people we are not as shallow as we appear to be most of the time.

      Unfortunately, now I will get to find out for sure. And I'm afraid I will find out that the world is right, that Americans are a shallow, forgetful people. Here's hoping I'm wrong.

      For the morbidly curious, here's an OJ chronology [umkc.edu]. Insane how long it went on, and how important it seemed to people.

      • The OJ trial was the #1 story of EVERY news broadcast, EVERY DAY for about 2 years. Half of every broadcast was dedicated to OJ, it seemed. I used to think that was an LA thing, but people tell me it was the same way all over the country. You guys must remember this... it was insane how much coverage there was. If you used a TV or radio you could not escape


        But the coverage wasn't like this; full-time news coverage with no commercials. I live in NYC, and every local network is the same way, with full-time news, and no commercials. The OJ trial wasn't anything like this.
  • by Mike Schiraldi (18296) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @03:01AM (#2302084) Homepage Journal
    The most powerful and moving coverage of Jeremy Glick's story, from Dateline NBC: http://www.msnbc.com/news/629077.asp [msnbc.com]

    Please read. Please mod up so people will see.
  • The method of my madness.

    1. goto drudgereport.com [drudgereport.com] scan for new news
    2. goto cnn.com [cnn.com], then msbnc.com [msbnc.com] for new news
    3. goto Slashdot.org [slashdot.org] and shacknews.com for new news
    4. Get frustrated that there is no new news and turn on the (freakin) tv.
    5. Sit in front of the tube, clicker in hand looking for the news I want.
    6. Get annoyed that I'm not hearing about shit blowing up in the middle east.
    7. goto 1.

    yes, i'm going nuts.

    -Jon
  • Morale (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gutier (129597) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @03:05AM (#2302093)
    The piece is suggestive of something: instead of proudly being an American by being fully aware of all that is taking place, proudly be an American by doing something to help instead of sitting around watching TV.
    • Myself -US Navy Reserve, Prior Active Duty
      My Wife -US Navy Reserve, Prior Active Duty
      My Cousin -US Marines, Active and working adjacent to the Pentagon.

      All Awaiting Orders.
    • I can't for the life of me think of what I could possible do to help this situation.

      The media suggests that we all donate blood to help the victims. However, at last count, USA Today reports that there are 2,326 wounded, split between the Trade Center and the Pentagon. Most people involved in this attack were, by Wednesday, either unscathed or dead. It occurs to me that we're going to have something like a quarter-million blood donors; I don't think everyone wounded in the bombing is going to need one hundred donors.

      Beyond that, what can we do? Sign up for the military en masse, so we can kill people who had nothing to do with the attack? Go to school to get our contractors' licenses so we can help reconstruct the World Trade Center? Take a flig^H^H^H^Htrain to New York and try to dig victims out of the rubble?

      There are people who are "doing something" about this tragedy because it is their job. Personally, my job is to monitor slot machines to make sure they don't break down. Sure, it doesn't sound very important, but if I and my 19 co-workers suddenly up and left for New York or Afghanistan, the State of Nevada could stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue.

      Maybe what we all *should* be doing is going to work every day and doing whatever the hell we want at night, whether that's watching the news, drinking heavily, or both.
  • Thank God: It's 3:15 am and every channel i get is replaying the Cathedral ceremony in full, which i've already seen. So i can sleep.
  • Since when is the intersection between piss poor journalism and bad taste in television an addiction?
  • I have CNN on the TV, WNBC on streaming video, and a Realplayer feed of the NYPD scanner off of www.penguinradio.com going as I type this. Plus I already called all my old Marine buddies who are still active duty to see if they know something I don't. I don't think it is addiction as much as a feeling of wanting to help but can't. Now I am just waiting for the phone call to put the uniform back on, then I will feel like I am doing something.
    One more thing, all you who went to give blood for this tragedy please remember to give again in 4 months, the need for blood is a 365 day of the year thing, And I take pride in telling my co-workers and friends I can't go with them to give blood because I gave a week before the attack.
  • by Wakko Warner (324) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @03:25AM (#2302145) Homepage Journal
    Folks, this war is going to take a long time. This isn't gonna be over in days or weeks or months, and the resolution is not gonna be on tomorrow's news. Once we find out who these people are and who their superiors are and how everything works (CNN reports that one of the guys we picked up in St. Louis tonight on a train is telling the FBI a lot about that shit), we have to go in and take out the Taliban "government" but do it in a way that doesn't kill many Afghani people, since they're not the ones who did this either. The Taliban is a fundamentalist regime, and those are bad and need to be dealt with. (Look at Iraq for an example of what happens when we don't and/or can't.) Going in and carpet-bombing the country isn't gonna be the way to do it though. I think that's why you haven't heard much about how or when or why we're going to attack parts of Afghanistan (and I firmly believe we will.)

    Those who think we can't afford to kill innocent civilians there too, though, please take your rose-tinted glasses off. This isn't grade schoool and everything has a price in the real world. Freedom from the creeping tyranny of terrorism, though -- teaching those people that this is NOT the way to make friends and influence people -- requires some struggle and loss.

    I am confident that, in the end, the good will far outweigh the bad in this thing. But it's going to take time.

    - A.P.
    • CNN reports that one of the guys we picked up in St. Louis tonight on a train is telling the FBI a lot about that shit

      Yeah, and we'll see if this item of "Breaking News" is true for a change.

      we have to go in and take out the Taliban "government" but do it in a way that doesn't kill many Afghani people, since they're not the ones who did this either.

      The reason the Taleban is in power is because there are significant numbers of Afghanis who support it. And even the factions that are opposed to it detest the US just as much. If we go to war against Afghanistan, we have to accept the fact that lots of people who were not involved in terrorist activities are going to be killed. If the government is destroyed, what replaces it might be just as bad. I'm not saying we shouldn't attack if that's what needs to be done, just that we have to be prepared for the consequences.

      The Taliban is a fundamentalist regime, and those are bad and need to be dealt with.

      I hope we don't have to deal with all fundamentalist regimes. They're not the only one.

      Look at Iraq for an example of what happens when we don't and/or can't.

      Iraq does not have a Islamic fundamentalist regime, if that's what you meant to imply.

      Going in and carpet-bombing the country isn't gonna be the way to do it though.

      Afghanistan is a particular problem. If you count the invasion by the Soviet Union, and the civil war that ensued after they sent the Soviets home with their tails between their legs, Afghanistan has been at war for 22 consecutive years. There's little there to bomb. The cities are full of rubble, and roads are muddy ruts. There are thousands of experienced and fanatical guerilla warriors. If we attack Afghanistan, we have to be prepared to get our hands much dirtier than we did in the Persian Gulf.

      I think that's why you haven't heard much about how or when or why we're going to attack parts of Afghanistan

      I think the reason we haven't heard about how or when or why we're going to attack parts of Afghanistan is that it's just not good military strategy inform the enemy of your battle plans.

      • If we attack Afghanistan, we have to be prepared to get our hands much dirtier than we did in the Persian Gulf.

        With all due respect, that's what they said about Iraq, too. "Hundreds of thousands of battle-hardened warriors willing to die for their country". Didn't turn out that way, did it?

        Now, I understand there are differences here, but let's not assume every country is a Vietnam backed by a cold-war soviet union.

        If we started carpet bombing like in Iraq, it is very likely we would see the same kind of retreat and surrender. Even "experienced and fanatical guerilla warriors" can only take so much fear and sleep deprivation without any sort of military support.


    • Those who think we can't afford to kill innocent civilians there too, though, please take your rose-tinted glasses off. This isn't grade schoool and everything has a price in the real world. Freedom from the creeping tyranny of terrorism, though -- teaching those people that this is NOT the way to make friends and influence people -- requires some struggle and loss.

      The problem is that every side in the middle east; us, the Palestinians, the Taliban, the Israelis, ALL of them-- are convinced that if they just hit the other side hard enough they'll fold. It just keeps the violence going, though. Look at Israel. They retaliate, their enemies retaliate, they retaliate back, it keeps going. The only way I think we can get some measure of security is to

      a) hit bin Laden and his organizations, and similiar groups, because they fund and train these terrorist networks. With them out of the picture the will to terrorism may still be there, but actually carrying it out will be harder.

      b) actually engage the Arab world in something other than warfare. As long as Afghanistan is in a state of near anarchy, and the threat of perpetual starvation hangs over it, terrorist groups are going to have a ready pool of applicants. If you want to overthrow the Taliban, fine. But don't leave another void so another Taliban will come to power. Build up infrastructure, create some sort of economy. Hell, turn over governance of the region to Pakistan if you can't think of anything else, with promises of financial support if they'll prevent terrorist groups from reforming. Don't think bombs will dissuade anything; these people have been living in a state of anarchy for 150 years, nothing we can do to them will be anything new.

      • b) actually engage the Arab world in something other than warfare.

        Although US foreign policy has certainly played a key role is being targetted by terror groups, consider two things:

        1) Unless we are at active warfare with the state of Isreal, there will be right-wing Islamic groups ready to die to kill us.

        2) We are currently being targetted by the most extensive terrorist campaign against our country in history because of arguably one of our most positive foreign policy action in the Middle East in the recent past. Because the United States-led coalition kept the citizens of two strongly Islamic countries from slaughter by a military dictatorship that has practiced religious persecution and execution of Islamic minorities, a citizen of one of the protected countries is using the fortune that we saved to kill our people.

        I defy you to apply logic to any of it.

    • Those who think we can't afford to kill innocent civilians there too, though, please take your rose-tinted glasses off.

      People who want to understand how terrorists could target civilians need read no further than this comment and similar ones on slashdot.

      If the profile of the WTC terrorists could be based on the people who make these sort of comments here, it would a person of above average intelligence, technically inclined, a bit of an idealist, hardworking, thoughtful and disciplined.

      Also, the person will have no direct experience of the evil he seeks to avenge.

      This New York Times story [slashdot.org] is headlined: A Terrorist Profile Emerges That Confounds the Experts.

      That profile is: They were adults with education and skill, not hopeless young zealots. At least one left behind a wife and young children. They mingled in secular society, even drinking forbidden alcohol, hardly typical of Islamic militants.

      And this story [nytimes.com], also from the New York Times, is headlined: An Unobtrusive Man's Odyssey: Polite Student to Suicide Hijacker.

      The story described suspected terrorist Mohammed Atta as: He was diligent. He was polite. He had, until quite recently, a taste for black jeans and a liking for a hangout here called Sharky's Billiard Bar, which calls itself "The Bar With Mega-Possibilities." But Mohammed Atta, 33, was not what he long appeared to his teachers at the Technical University...: an unobtrusive man leading an unobtrusive life.

      How close are these descriptions to everyone you know? If you want to understand these monsters we have only to look into our own hearts.

      This slashdot post says: Folks, this war is going to take a long time. This isn't gonna be over in days or weeks or months, and the resolution is not gonna be on tomorrow's news. He is speaking for the terrorists as well as America.

      • And hitler was a frustrated artist. So whats your point?

        Yes, this is how their thinking led them to do what they did. Again, what's your point? We understand why they did what they did -- they hated us enough to die to hurt us. Well, guess what we now hate them enough to die to hurt them. You're right, its not very complex. thats how this happens.

        And if we decide to pelt them with flower petals instead of bullets? Will they decide then that we're really swell people after all?

        No, the choice is clear now -- we kill them or let them kill us. There is not a middle ground. They're not going to stop now that they know they can successfully attack us. There are a hundred groups planning attacks on US citizens after a success like this.

        After the first person ran the mile in under 3 minutes, a dozen people did it within a year. Once they knew it could be done it was easy to reach the goal. They know they can attack us on US soil. How many more will die in attacks before its acceptable for us to say, "shit, we'd better hit back"?
    • The Taliban is a fundamentalist regime, and those are bad and need to be dealt with. (Look at Iraq for an example of what happens when we don't and/or can't.)

      Well, this certainly doesn't seem well thought-out. Three points:

      1. Iraq is not a fundamentalist regime.

      2. America *did* attempt to deal with it, by sending some sixty thousand air strikes against civilian targets.

      3. The attacks on New York and Washington were a direct result of the way America "dealt" with Iraq's "regime"; not only Bin Laden, but millions of arabs, felt that Americans had imposed imperialism, responded disproportionately to a regional struggle, and despoiled the holy land.

      Iraq invaded a country that it felt it may have some historical claim to. America disagreed, and so they bombed thousands of civilian buildings, slaughtered tens of thousands, crippled Iraq's economy, and made sure they stayed as weak as possible. What we saw on Tuesday was not an invasion; it was perceived as retribution for what the muslims perceived as American war crimes. Now, Americans are up in arms about seeking retribution for what they perceive as Muslim terrorism.

      When will someone finally decide to turn the other cheek? Will the two ideologies take sides "retaliating" against one another until there's no one left to retaliate?
      • Bin Laden doesn't care about Iraq. He wants to take over Saudi Arabia and subject it to his version of Islam. He's got a wild hair up his rear about some mosque in Mecca. He saw what we did to protect our supply of oil from Kuwait and knows what we'd do to protect our supply from Saudi Arabia.

        And of course he views the mere presence in Saudi Arabia of any of us unclean infidels with the occasional impure thought as the vilest blasphemy (and co-incidentally an aid, because we are there to do business with them, trading our wealth for their petroleum, to the current rulers of Saudi Arabia who he wishes to overthrow).

        So between his religious mania and desire for political power, he finds it desireable to get us out of the way and cripple us so badly that we can't interfere with him, and we make a handy point of focus for his irrational rage as well.

        Just because he doesn't care about Irag and Saddam doesn't mean he isn't willing to make use of them, though, if he thinks it'll further his aims.

  • by surfimp (446809) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @03:27AM (#2302152)
    I've turned off my television and stopped visiting CNN.com and all the rest of the mainstream media outlets. I'm becoming extremely disturbed by the direction which they've been heading since rougly 20 minutes after the second plane hit, and (as I recall) even before the first WTC tower fell.

    The talk is of reprisal, and how the United States is going to respond to the attacks. Granted, nothing can justify what has happened, and there is no rationalization for what was done. However, could we perhaps get a bit wider perspective or perhaps even some critical thought/discussion regarding what has happened from CNN?

    Today there was a poll on CNN.com that makes my point perfectly: "If Afghanistan refuses to hand over Osama bin Laden, should the U.S. bomb Kabul?" 79% of respondents said yes, we should bomb Kabul.

    Hello, my fellow citizens! The people of Afghanistan are currently living under the tyrannical rule of the Taliban, having just come out of a long and very punishing war with the former Soviet Union. Not only has all the major infrastructure *already* been bombed, but the people are suffering tremendously as it currently stands.

    Even more to the point, what could "we" possibly gain by bombing Kabul, which is a CITY full of CIVILIANS, after all? Does it make any difference whether it's a cruise missle or jetliner causing the explosion? Do you think the Taliban government, the only ones with access to food and equipment, will still be in Kabul when the bombs start to drop? Hardly--they'll be off in the hills with bin Laden, and the only people left to suffer the brunt of such an assault would be the civilian population.

    The point I'm trying to make is that the mainstream media is so caught up in the idea that we could bomb Afghanistan that they've forgotten whether or not we should. After all, the only real way that we'll get bin Laden (or whomever is responsible for these crimes) out is by _going_in_after_them_. That will cost American and NATO lives. And, it can be aruged that it runs the high risk of polarizing other Muslim nations against what they could only perceive as an invasion by the West.
    And if you've actually read anything about what bin Laden is trying to accomplish with his terrorist agenda, it's EXACTLY that--a world war between Islam and the West. And remember, Pakistan has nuclear bombs at their disposal.

    Where is there any discussion of these facts in the mainstream media? That is what I truly fear, more than anything else. The manufacturing of our consent to what amounts to acts of genocide against civilian populations--and that ultimately leads to only greater and greater violence.

    Try: http://www.zmag.org [zmag.org]
    • by N8F8 (4562) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @09:00AM (#2302544)
      Could it be possile that the military doesn't pick it's targets baed on CNN polls?
      • Could it be possile that the military doesn't pick it's targets ba[s]ed on CNN polls?

        Yeah, but it's quite possible that Commander in Chief George W. Bush might. Don't forget, ultimately, the military gets their orders from Congress and the President.

        Basically, Congress has to give permission for the President to use military force (which I believe has already happened), and once that has happened, the President is in basically complete control over the direction the military compaign goes. Which means that it's quite possible that the politicians will decide that bombing Kabul is the best choice of action to please the people.

        Which would be a very bad thing indeed; although if we're all lucky, Bush's advisors will direct him in a less severe course of action.

        • That no preident in over 100 years has been foolish enough to micromanage the military. Congress's only influence is over military budgets and oversight.

          What happens is the President and the Congress define broad goals and the military leadership decides the strategy and tactics to reach those goals. There will be briefings to the President about what they will do to achieve the goal, but in general the military is the experienced govermnent party entrusted to doing the best thing.
        • Yeah, but it's quite possible that Commander in Chief George W. Bush might. Don't forget, ultimately, the military gets their orders from Congress and the President.

          Actually, it is highly unlikely that George W. would micromanage this type of operation. The entire direction of his administration is to hire competent, experienced people for critical jobs and let them use their own initiative and judgement.

          Although ultimately the decision to attack belongs to W. It is completely within his character (as well as the example set by his father during the Gulf War) to let Secretary Rumsfeld and the senior military leaders direct the operation.

        • Which means that it's quite possible that the politicians will decide that bombing Kabul is the best choice of action to please the people.

          The same suggestion was made when Clinton ordered attacks in retaliation for the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in August, 1998.

          Clinton responded that neither the Secretary of Defense, who was a Republican, or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would put American servicemen's lives at risk for a political reasons. The same reasoning would apply today.

          The real question is: what alternatives does the U.S. have to air strikes? Clinton's air strikes, which were aimed at bin Laden, obviously failed to deter the WTC terrorists just as repeated bombings in Iraq have failed to stifle Saddam Husein. Bush may still order air strikes anyway because they put the fewest U.S. servicemen's lives at risk, not because they are the most effective strategy.

    • by Zoop (59907)
      And if you've actually read anything about what bin Laden is trying to accomplish with his terrorist agenda, it's EXACTLY that--a world war between Islam and the West.

      Yes, but if you'd been watching the news carefully, instead of getting hysterical buried in counter-culture spinlications preaching their own brand of hate, you'd know that he's failed.

      This is not a war between Islam and the West, but it is war.

      This is a war in which you have to choose sides: do you support state-sponsored terrorism, or don't you? It is a war between those who do and those who don't. It is a war in which there is little conflict of interest between the U.S. and Jordan, Isreal, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, France, Britain, or any other government that has suffered at the hands of terrorism sponsored by outlaw states.

      You've gotten too far from the news--using phrases like "genocide" and "nuclear bombs" marginalizes you. In case you didn't watch, even when a more convential air war was used against Serbia, most bombs did not fall on civilians.

      Before you think yourself cluefull and everyone else in the world Pollyanna, let me state that most other people know that there will be civillian casualties in the coming war. But the main difference you fail to grasp is that it will be something we seek to minimize rather than the central goal, and that is the central difference this war is about. We will also ally with governments who do not have the respect for human rights that we have. It will be necessary to win the war.

      Also, if you had been following the news, you would have learned that Pakistan is cooperating--contributing intelligence, allowing overflight, cutting off aid and supplies to the Taliban. If you knew more about the tensions in the region, you would know their nuclear bombs a) can't reach here, b) aren't enough to take us out and prevent retaliation even if they were smuggled in, and c) will be held on to because India has them, too, which is why they are there in the first place.

      This is not a war in which sanctions will be allowed to work. They are, ironically, the non-war alternative proposed by the same left wing that complains about their effects on civilian populations. And they are historically ineffective.

      This will be a war with few examples of Baghdad-like bombing runs. When we punish, or hopefully eliminate, the governments that sponsor terrorism, there will be such things. Occasionally a terrorist camp will be eliminated, at least in part, by such methods. They will be directed against government or terrorist facilities and with every attempt made to avoid places where civilians congregate--but only insofar as that attempt still allows us to remove assets that government uses in its campaign of supporting terror and repressing its citizens.

      Most Muslims, even those in the Middle East, are not fond of terrorism because in the main, it has made life worse for them rather than better. What Western and left-wing press alike fail to realize is that they are frequently the victims of such things, as the terrorists decide that a certain government isn't "Islamic enough" for them. As long as we are careful to go in and get, as you suggest (and I agree) terrorists and punish or destroy the governments that give the succor, and as long as we then, AFTER we remove the threat, resume the long, painful path to peaceful co-existence, there will be no Islam-West conflict beyond the multifaceted but usually peaceful conflict of values we have now.
    • countries either harbor and condone terrorists, or they don't - they expel them, or better, arrest and extradite or imprison them (as in... forever). This was likely the point made clear to Pakistan in the last few days - all the civilized countries throughout the world will classify other countries as either pro-terrorist or anti-terrorist. As of Tuesday, there's no middle ground, no room for dissembling or prevarication: they're either with us or against us, either for or against terrorism. Governments will make their choices... and they and their citizens will bear the consequences, terrible consequences.

      Saudi Arabia is going to have to rethink it's internal denial. Egypt is going to need to temper it's internal repression of fundamentalist idiots and move toward better intelligence gathering and sharing with the West. Even Israel will need to do a better job of discriminating between its local political opponents and the dangerous terrorists with over-reaching international agendas. I wish them all wisdom and good fortune, as they will need both.

      The Taliban has seemingly made their choice. With Omar's mealy-mouthed sidewinding and impotent defiance of human rights for innocent civilians either inside or outside their borders, they've as much as sealed their fate to burn in the fires of implacable war and then burn again in the eternal fires of Hell for their complicity with such inhuman evil. No Paradise awaits those dupes of a twisted Islamic vision, just everlasting anguish of damnation.

      By the way, Islam is a religion much like Christianity, Judaism, and others: it counsels peace and goodwill. Only hotheaded fanatics pervert it to their paranoiac schemes toward power. Unfortunately, there are more Islamic hotheads with dreams of Paradise than can be allowed to live in this world.

      Pakistan was likely presented with "an offer it couldn't refuse" and chose, however reluctantly, to stand with the forces of justice. They will close their border with Afghanistan, cut off its fuel supplies, provide bases for a multinational force to remove the Taliban and terrorists, and allow multinational military overflights during this war. Pakistan's choices were exactly two: either you are with us, or you're against us. I'm sure it was just this... clear.

      And there will be a war over this. No one kills 5,000 innocent civilians without being hunted to the very ends of the earth and brought to a very stern account. Osama Bin Ladin (I spit on your very name and wish you an excruciating death worse than a shit-eating pig's, you mutant whelp of diseased fornicating dogs), say your prayers - you'll be meeting Allah sooner rather than later, and I think you'll be dismayed with His plans for your eternity.

      • all the civilized countries throughout the world will classify other countries as either pro-terrorist or anti-terrorist. As of Tuesday, there's no middle ground, no room for dissembling or prevarication: they're either with us or against us, either for or against terrorism. Governments will make their choices... and they and their citizens will bear the consequences, terrible consequences.

        My country stayed neutral during the cold war. My country has participated in peace keeping for ages and hosted conferences where nations have brought closer to each other.

        I can't find the words to describe how sad and disappointed I am to hear how USA demands my country to give up on our neutrality and choose side. It's absolutely revolting how the strongest country in the world forces countries to look at the world in black or white.

        Based on a poll 29% of US citizens do not support bombing. Is USA going to make these people "bear the concequences?" Or is US going to respect their right to free speech and own opinions? If so, why does US prohibit this right from peaceloving countries?
    • With all due respect, and I do respect your regard for life, you are naive.

      We are at the crossroads of a great opportunity. The opportunity to end terrorism as we know it. People think that we can't win, but we can.

      The roots of terrorism are in the countries that support and harbor terrorism. If the terrorists have no bases, then we have solved 90% of the problem. Can we get every suicide bomber? Probably not, but we can certainly eliminate a lot of what's there now.

      Think of the opportunity! Almost every country in the world is standing with us, saying "enough is enough". How many times in history can you say that? Yes, some innocent civilians are going to pay the price, but the price is imposed by their own government, not by ours. Innocent Germans paid the price of being ruled by Hitler, but Hitler had to be stopped. It is exactly the same situation today.

      When you have multiple jumbo jets flying into skyscrapers, that is a pretty clear indication that terrorism is out of control, and worst, they have accumulated too much power and organization.

      I hope that we have the guts to see this through. I can't stress this enough: We have the opportunity to end terrorism as we know it. How many more jumbo jets have to fly into skyscrapers before people realize that sometimes war is the only answer to solve this problem?

      • And another thing I forgot to add: Anyone who thinks that we are "just creating more of them" is a racist, point-blank. All muslims are NOT psychopathic mass murderers, like some people seem to think. There simply aren't that many people like this.

        We can win this war, and further, I think the middle east (the silent, fearful majority) will thank us for winning it.

  • As though KNOWING more will somehow help.

    It does for me. I feel insecure in events like these as long as I don't know everything. After absorbing as much news as possible, it settles in and I accept it. THEN I feel better.

    Call me a news junkie, but that's the way it works for me.

    -Martin
  • This whole incident has started to cement something for me (hang with me, I'm working this out as I go):

    News is not knowledge. News is a thin layer that rests atop the mountain of our experience and knowledge.

    This is why some people can't understand why we didn't just shoot down the second WTC plane while it's pretty obvious to me. This is why people blame religion or, conversely, discount completely the role of religion in this sort of event.

    People who are news addicted tend to know what happened but lack a very basic understanding of why. I have seen a lot of these people lately, and I've experienced a lot of frustration trying to point out seemingly obvious mistakes in their logic.

    Maybe, then, we need news reporting closer to that of the BBC or newspapers, where at least some depth is included (of course, at the cost of speed). Maybe we just need a better educational system -- hell, I took college-level philosophy classes without reading a page of Locke or Descartes, psych with no Freud of Jung, history without Gibbon.

    Maybe I'm ranting -- it's late and I'm tired.
    • This is why some people can't understand why we didn't just shoot down the second WTC plane while it's pretty obvious to me

      CBS reported that fighters were scrambled, but were 70 miles away when the second plane hit.

  • I'm doing it too. Its 4 in the morning, and what the heck am I doing up? I'm reloading CNN, reloading slashdot, reading more comments, reading foreign papers, watching TV in the background, I have NPR on the radio.

    I keep expecting to find something new, and every now ad then am rewarded. A new insight, a new discussion, a new way to start a ground war, a new way to keep the peace.

    What started it all was when it was happening. Just when you thought you new, another thing happened. A plane hit the tower. When you absorbed that, another plane hit the other tower. When you absorbed that, a plane hit the pentagon. When you absorbed that, F-16s were rushing off to intercept ANOTHER plane heading towards DC. It just kept coming, every 15 minutes there was something new, something big. Another plane crash, another plane missing, the president is in florida -- no, he's in Louisiana, wait he's at the bunker.

    Always something new, then we heard about the phone calls, the personal stories. i imagine the people on that last flight making the decision to fight back. I keep waiting for another piece of news -- it was too painful to realize I had missed something if I went to the bathroom that morning. If you stopped listening for a minute, you'd tune in again to hear that another plane was down.

    Now I keep expecting to hear about an attack somewhere, like the gulf war, started at night where our superior technology gives us sight while the others are blind.

    I don't want to wake up and know that I missed the first 6 hours of what happens next.
  • I was about 4 blocks away when the World Trade Center collapsed. I saw people falling from the (North or South, can't remember) building, and saw it collapse. The day started out as any normal school day. It ended with my entire school being evacuated to use as a hospital. I have only been able to watch about 5 minutes of the news a day since it happened. I think I am still in shock, and can't stand to see what is going on. It makes me feel so insignificant and fragile to be reminded of the tragedy. I dread the days when Ill be able to return to school and will have to face the new reality every time I look out the window or go to or from school.
    I guess this is me still in shock and denial
    Sorry if this is offtopic or whatever
    I still don't know what I'm doing since I saw this
  • Going by the fact that Bush has ordered flags to be flown at half-mast until the 21st, I suspect the first attacks will start early on the 21st. What could be better than the day America stops officially mourning than to start dealing some major damage to the instigator(s) of the terrorists attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon!
  • Glad to hear I'm not the only one glued to the news lately. I can't stay away from the TV. I just keep watching and waiting for the next development, no matter how minor it may be, that brings us closer to justice or resolve in any way. Since I am 2000 miles away from my family, following this situation closely makes it easier to cope.
  • IRC has proven to be a fairly good source for news coverage the past few days. Volunteers on the #wtc-confirmed and #worldtradecenter channels on irc.openprojects.net have been watching various news channels and sites, posting the latest news regarding Tuesday's attacks and the aftermath.

    There's even an article [linuxworld.com] on LinuxWorld.com about these channels.

    I'm one of the volunteers in that channel. News has been fairly slow lately, but we do welcome people to sit in and listen or participate.


  • I'm feeling really uncomfortable with the lack of logic in valuing the lives of people, who happen by chance to have been born in the U.S., so much more highly than people who were born elsewhere.

    The U.S. government killed an estimated 2,100,000 people in Vietnam and an estimated 150,000 people in Iraq. The U.S. has bombed 14 countries in 30 years, killing a roughly estimated 3,000,000 people. None of the people who were killed in any way directly threatened the U.S. These people had mothers and fathers, wives and families and friends.

    The average killing by the U.S. government in the last 30 years has been about 100,000 people per year.

    The recent terrorism is, like all violence, reprehensible. I grieve for my country, and I grieve for the people lost. However, if 5,000 people have been killed in New York and Washington D.C., that is only 5% of the U.S. government's yearly average.

    I grieve for those killed by the U.S. government, also.

    The Bush Administration was requesting $343.2 billion for the Defense Department in Fiscal Year 2002. Now the budget will be much more.

    Would it be too much to ask to spend 1% of that amount on an initiative to try to discover how the U.S. could live in the world without killing? I've tried to pull together some ideas about relating to other people in a non-violent but powerful way in an article called, "What should be the response to violence? [hevanet.com]"

    This Slashdot story begins: "In this time of madness, I find myself staying up later than usual, watching more tv than ever before, tracking more channels, with more open browser windows than even I did before. As though KNOWING more will somehow help."

    Perhaps if this person had been aware of what his government was doing, he would have lost much more sleep. Knowing more will help.
    • I must admit I still scratch my head Vietnam a little, but even in Vietnam their own government killed more of their citizens then we did trying to stop them. Same for Cambodia. Also in either instance, not stopping a government from wholesale killing and oppressing its own people isn't my definition of peaceful. And not trying to stop them is showing weakness. Showing weakness only encourages them to continue. Study history. Tyrants are never appeased by weakness and
      sympathy. Power corrupts. Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely..

      The US as you well know is a very insular country. By and large the only examples of the US en masse interfering with foreign affairs are cases where either national security was at risk, reciprocal security agreements were enforced or the US was attacked. And this third reason ensures the swiftest action.

      Like any good propagandist, you skew statistics to try and prove your view. The critical FACT you seem to omit if that even more would have died had the US not stepped in to stop the slaughter. WW2, Kuwait, Bosnia, Panama, Cambodia, Haiti, etc. You need to take off your Rose Colored Glasses.

    • First, your numbers are so rough as to be meaningless. They also aren't accurate. And you conflate military and civilian casualties--or you are simply wildly misinformed.

      Knowing more would help, yes:

      The CIA trained Osama bin Laden.

      False. Widely-spread untruth by terrorist sympathizers, but false.

      Once again, intelligence agencies were useless.

      By not training him? No.
      By enabling the Afghani people to kick out Soviet invaders? Last time I looked, the Soviets withdrew.

      George Bush had increased U.S. support for Israel.

      He reduced support for both sides as tensions increased.

      Violence is assumed. An NBC poll says 83% of Americans want military action.

      Violence has been committed. However, you notice there was no reflexive bombing campaign.

      Weapons indicate weakness, not power. The best protection is being truly powerful.

      To you, yes. To most people around the world, sadly, no. Would it were so but it's not, and that determines the nature of the conflict. Study the history of terrorism in the 70's and early 80's.

      The U.S. government (not necessarily the U.S. people) has a history of thinking that violence is the answer.

      No, sometimes a part of the answer. Most of that time was spent in the Cold War, which by the way, did not finally become World War Three.

      The problems between the Jews and the Arabs have existed for 3,300 years.

      Finally, you got one right.

      Violence is caused by mentally de-centered people.

      No. There are reams of psychological research on this subject. Any arguments based on this premise are therefore wrong.

      Does the U.S. really have a place in a dispute that began 3,100 years before the founding of the country?

      They seem to think so. And much as I'd like to move the Jewish state to Florida, it won't happen. As long as you deal with reality, the U.S. is always asked to go into places we have no direct involvement. The alternative, isolationism, has not been successful and is also the coward's way out of not trying to influence the world to something better. The fact that we haven't been perfectly successful means we're still human.

      The U.S. has a history of secret interference with the governments of other countries.

      Most of which happened 30 years ago. We have a history of wearing powdered wigs, too.

      There is in the U.S. very little attempt at understanding other cultures.

      Yes. Like all things, that varies by individual, but then I've been called a fascist for suggesting we overturn the government educational system that creates it.

      Under the stress of conflict, people show how they truly think.

      No. They react more extremely than they normally would. Both to the good (Red Cross donations) and bad (bomb now). On sober reflection, they go back to donating less and not wanting indiscriminate conflict. You'll notice the government you condemn did not take the easy bomb them the first night and make ourselves feel better route.

      Answers?

      True power is not adversarial.


      Check. But if you don't include some ability to threaten those who threaten you or others, things turn out badly. Try living in a place without police if you don't believe me.

      Don't let personal anger be a problem.

      Our government is doing better than our people here.

      The average American cannot be held responsible for the violence of the U.S. government.

      And you propose letting people who do so get away with it. Bringing them to justice in any form will require force.

      The bottom line

      ...is that we live in a world, not a college classroom. It can be a harsh and brutal world sometimes. What's coming will not be good, but it will be less bad than the alternative. Study world history 1976-1980 for an abject lesson.
    • To add to your 100,000/year quote - don't forget all the people we killed with our Polio vaccine. OH, I shreak in horror of all the people we kill with our food aid.


  • It's not just the news, it's the newspeople. We're spending hours, even days with them. We become attached. They put themselves before us, we can't help but hurl our bitchy judgments back at them. Please, Katie Couric, brush that distracting lock of hair out of your eyes! Please, Peter Jennings, get some sleep! Hey, Ed Bradley, does the gold earring really work right now?


    Jennings is really good at talking live; Rather struggles but is interesting nonetheless; Brokaw is slightly better than Dan but knows when to quit. Dan will just keep talking until somebody pushes him out of the chair; you've got to admire his tenacity.

  • We already know that MS Flight Simulator is so authentic that a new Navy Pilot who'd never flow a plane before performed so well his instructor wanted to know how much previous flying he'd done. (See: http://www.microsoft.com/Games/FSIM/usnavy_navytim es.htm [microsoft.com])

    Now, here's a write-up on an add-on that lets you learn to fly commercial jets. This one is for a 777, but there are others for just about any model you want.

    Do-it-yourself terrorism, without even going to flight school. The possibilities are really scary!

    One dealer: http://shop.store.yahoo.com/fsc/77prof.html [yahoo.com]

    Excerpts from the product description:

    Authentic instrument panel with fully operational pedestal and overhead panels that include 4 multifunction LCD's (Liquid Crystal Displays), MFD (Multi Functional Displays) dimmer controls and multi-page EICAS (Engine Indication and Crew Alerting System) and Honeywell FMS (Flight Management System).

    Includes 2 comprehensive printed manuals! A fully illustrated aircraft manual explaining among many other areas, instrument panel controls and FMC (Flight Management Computer) operation, and a second manual with aircraft performance tables

    Includes the following airline variants: British Airways, Air France, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Aeroflot.

    What the experts are saying about 777-200 Professional:

    "I had the pleasure of testing this package and found it to be as real as it can get for a computer simulation. If you were wondering what it would be like to command the 777, this package will give you all that and more. From its greatly functional cockpit to the aircraft flight dynamics, sound and graphics, I found it to be a rewarding experience to fly and highly recommend this package to all." John L Carbone SR (Retd.), Former - 777 Captain

    Minimum requirements: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000, Pentium II 266 PC, Windows 95/98, 32 Mb RAM, 250 MB Hard drive space CD-ROM Drive, Sound Card.

  • Here are a few things to think about when you watch the T-R-A-S-H that is television news:

    Peter Jenning's network had to pay Richard Jule millions of dollars for their irresponsible reporting of the 92 Olympics. Remember him?

    After the Oklahoma bombing, tv news focused on Middle-Eastern terrorists. Later it was found that Timothy McVeigh was the real culprit.

    To me, TV news is there to keep its audience and make money via ads. To make you loyal they must make you happy. So they are often saying and reporting things in such a way as to mislead the American people into believing what the viewers want to believe in, NOT what reality truly might be.

    But, they can't lie. So that's why they always use crafty and clever language, such as "alleged" or "might". After using words like to to qualify what they're about to say, they then spend the next hour on these "alleged" theories, until your mind reaches satisfactory orgasm.

  • 'Net better than TV (Score:4, Informative)

    by fleener (140714) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @06:24AM (#2302393)
    This event has made me realize that web-based news is more extensive and informative than anything coming from corporate media. There is a ton of information that escapes mention or gets scarce coverage on TV news, including tidbits such as:
    • the CIA's training of Osama Bin Laden,
    • the USA's funding of Afghanistan ($43 million this year),
    • how oppressed Afghanistan's citizens are,
    • the nature of Isreal's 30+ year military occupation of Palestine,
    • the many incidents of hate being directed toward Arab-Americans by their hate-filled neighbors,
    • the false alarms and racial profiling since the security crack-down,
    • the inaccurate jumping-the-gun reporting of the TV networks,
    • and that not all of America is blood-thirsty and calling for war.

  • Actually, the subject's kind of a lie, but it's also kind of true. I was just talking about this very issue with my friend earlier, who's been getting very depressed about news addiction. We both live in New York City.

    I've made sure that each day I go out into the city, talking with people, learning their stories, taking pictures.

    Then I put them up [kband.com].

    <p class="Katzian">
    What prevents the downward spiral of information-void-despair is becoming a white hole, sending out information as well. What we nerds/information Morlocks are good at is processing information--if all we're doing is storing, compiling it, it'll drive us crazy. It's crucial to find a way to create something with that knowledge.
    &lt/p>

    What I've been doing with a bunch of other people is to build an open, free site [wikipedia.com] in memoriam of the event and the victims [wikipedia.com]--ostensibly as part of Wikipedia. That way the emphasis is on super-efficient information delivery, and it works just great as a balance on the news gathering addiction.

    Of course, I'm currently having the apposite problem of overcreation, having spent the last 10 hours straight on it, but I'll deal. I'm making sure to get together with my friends, away from computers and hopefully televisions.

    Speaking of which, radios seem to be the equivalent of the nicotine patch. They give me the info-dosage I need without trapping and obsessing me; a soothing buffer of bits instead of a mesmerizing stream.

    So if you want help yourself, and you want to help--because telling the stories of the victims, or creating a definitive repository of knowledge, is so very helpful to everyone else--go to wikipedia [wikipedia.com] and flood their servers with all the knowledge and analysis you've gleaned. Or figure out how to take over the information already used to make an even better site.

    I'm hoping that I'll be able to get my fix from just this one site, so I won't have to ever be searching.
  • by beanerspace (443710) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @07:07AM (#2302435) Homepage
    Well, what did it for me is the press rolling out everyone who's suffering, and exploiting it for ratings. Husbands who've lost wives, mom's who've lost children. Certainly we have compassion for these people, but to spend a half hour filming their unthinkable grief ... the only thing worse is watching it. It's exploitation of the worst kind.
  • by Masem (1171) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @07:28AM (#2302448)
    Just like several other things like loss of civil liberties and increased security at places, extended news coverage is yet another victory for terrorism. It's very understandable that for few days from the incident for the major networks to be filled with news as the events break, but we're at the point were 1) we're very unlikely to find any new survivors, and 2) any investigation and future planning should be done without much public information as to maintain state secrecy. Thus, news coverage since Friday has been simply repeating the same events over and over and filling the screen with talking heads. In addition, the net equivalent seems to be happening at the major news sites; too many analysis, very little pro-active stories. And yet as the base article indicates, we're too much drawn to it. At least up to Friday, my productivity at work for the week and at home is way down since I feel like I'm continually checkign these sites, but as news is no longer flowing as fast as it did Weds, I think I'm over that bilge.

    The longer that these news outlets contrinue to push this 24/7 news schedule, the longer it will take the rest of the american (and other countries as well) people to return to a sense of normalicy, which is what we ought to be striving for to show the terrorists that this attack did little to stiffle the American spirit. Sure, I'd expect to have soem expanded news coverage as events break, but we should be watching regular programming at this point. Particularly this weekend, as families have a chance for family time, it's important that the networks offer fare that the entire family can enjoy as opposed to more news coverage.

    And yet another sign that terrorism has won a bit is the fact that several movies, TV shows, and video games are being pulled for the time being or revamped in the short term to accommodate the loss. In some cases, such as Anrold's new movie or FOX's "24" or the video game Majesty, this makes sense; events are too close to reality that pulling them for the short term just makes sense. I also being not holding the bulk of sports events this weekend is also a reasonable step (both emotionally and technically; how do you get all those people from one side of the country to other with air travel only just starting to get back to normal?) But then you also have cases where, for example, a new Tim Allen comedy in NYC is pulled since it simply involves the WTC, a new Jackie Chan movie being pulled and revamped completely despite the amount of footage already shot since Chan's character in it was a window washer for the WTC, C&C Red Alert 2 being pulled since it shows NYC on fire on the cover of the box, Microsoft immediately altering the next version of it's Flight Sim to remove the WTC from the NYC area (and in the UK, the flight sim being removed from shelves as it was claimed that the terrorists could have learned to fly from that), and numerous other examples which are more knee-jerk than thought out. Again, each of these knee-jerk actions are wins for terrorism, because that's the type of lifestyle that we've come to enjoy and expect, and now, at best for the short term, that's gone.

    Yes, at least according to the President, we're in a National Emergancy, so I expect some parts of our lives to be distrupted. But it is much more important to show that the American resolve and spirit cannot be broken as easily as it was, and thus, we must strive to get back to normalacy in our lives, and unfortunately, the constant barrage of news is not helping.

  • Why News addiction? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Veteran (203989) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @08:07AM (#2302480)
    Because knowledge is power.

    People do understand that fact on some level; learning about something does give them information to act upon.

    Here is some information which has not been reported in the general news: guess who the commander-in-chief of the Afghan military is.

    I'll type the article in in part since it is on an extremely slow server even without the slashdot effect.

    "MOSCOW, Aug 30 (UPI) - Russia's Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned the appointment of Saudi terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime, the official RIA Novosti news agency reported."

    I am not setting this up as a link because for some reason the Slashdot editor (in Netscape) insists on putting a space in the number 216037, and I can't get the link to work. If you wish to see the original - copy and paste the address into your browser and delete the space.

    http://www.vny.com/cf/news/upidetail.cfm?QID=216 03 7

    Several comments:

    • Note the date on the story: almost 2 weeks before the trade center attack.
    • I first saw the link on www.drudgereport.com
    • Appointing someone as your commander-in-chief qualifies as somewhat more than harboring - don't you think?
    • The original source of the report was Pakistan's 'Nation daily'.
    • The story - like everything you read - might be false. But since it predates the current furor - I tend to believe it. Chances are -before the crisis - the UPI wouldn't have published it without checking sources
  • As someone who believes it to be every person's (age 18+) responsibility as a participant in a democratic government to keep up with the events surrounding the country and its government, I have been addicted to the news - really information in general - since I was about sixteen.

    Maybe that's the advantage of being a computer nerd... The information is easier to get to, making it easier to become addicted... Er, maybe that's not an advantage. :)
  • turn off the tube and call the red cross.
    get back to reality and DO SOMETHING.
  • Anytime I want to. Really. Ooh! The Oracle's posted a new digest!
  • Our local news here is an ... interesting ... market, to say the least. Folks gape in disbelief when I say the local stations were 24/7 live for 5 or 6 days after the bombing here. It got to the point where they were just doing a call in show on live TV. My wife (a mental health worker) worked some support lines and the number one thing she told people was "turn the TV OFF!"
  • First, think about how long you mind being "behind the news". If you're ok with learning about things up to a week late (which is plenty for most people not directly affected by an event), subscribe to a reliable newsmagazine (I happen to like Newsweek) and read only that. And rely on your friends and neighbors to tell you of anything else that's important going on. This way you'll avoid worrying about a lot of rumors or temporary issues that really don't merit your attention. If you need to be a bit more up-to-date, pick a daily paper, or a daily time to read a news web site, watch TV or listen to the radio, and stick to it.

    Hardly anybody needs to be constantly updated on the news more often than that. Sure there are times when it's nice to track an event as it happens. We were all listening to radios or watching TV Tuesday morning. But beyond the first few hours, unless you're directly involved somehow, break it off and go back to your normal news habits. You'll find yourself a lot better off.
  • My experience. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Telek (410366) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @12:17PM (#2303038) Homepage
    I know exactly what you mean.

    When I saw the first news I headed over to all the news sites that I could find (I found out shortly after the first crash) and I was engrossed. My first reaction was one of "woah!" and I just wanted to follow everything that was happening, almost on the edge of my seat waiting for the next thing to happen. Figuring that a building could not possibly stand up after being hit by a plane, I headed over to here [howstuffworks.com] (love that site) to find out everything that I could about how those buildings were built. I was glued to the screen for a good 2 hours, until a thought stuck me. I was looking at one of the images, and said "man, that looks so fake" and caught myself thinking (one of those 1/2 second back-of-your-mind thoughts) "they should have done a better job on the CG of that one"...

    BAM!

    Then it hit me. Almost all of the images looked like something out of a movie. I had been so desensitized that, upon seeing these images, my mind just assumed that they were fake. It did not want to accept the idea that they were real, so it was neat to want to see all about it that I could find.

    Man was I disgusted with myself when I figured that one out.

    Flame me down if you want, but I know that I wasn't the only one who thought that way. Once it sunk in that this was real, and those falling bodies out of the windows were real people, and after the first tower collapsed knowing that for the same reason the second one would collapse, and looking at it and knowing that there wasn't shit that I could do, and knowing that the people outside and the firefighters knew the same thing, man. That was a shock. I tried to donate but the stupid amazon form wouldn't accept my postal code, so I went and gave blood instead. I was half of the mind to go down there to see if there was anything that I could do to help (I was about a 5 hour drive away, I'm 1.5hr from the US border in Toronto) but when the borders were closed, and I came to my senses, I realized how entirely useless I was.

    I just hope that some good does come out of this. I stopped watching the news after about 4 hours because I was disgusted at the media trying to grandstand with every little bit of information that they had, and watching the rumours go from the first emergance, and hearing them spread from newsteam to newsteam like a bad game of broken telephone, I knew that I had to stop.

    Ack. May the passing of the deceased pave the way for a new era of peace and harmony amongst all beings on the earth. I would hate to know that all of this happened and the result was nothing more than a little revenge. Lets hope that this anti-terrorism coilition will stand tall over time and help to eliminate this uglyness.
  • Ars Technica (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FFFish (7567) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @12:55PM (#2303152) Homepage
    Best Thread Ever is posted at Ars Technica. [infopop.net]

    For those of you wishing some sense of closure, perhaps the Ars Technica thread will assist. It contains dozens upon dozens of photographs of people around the world memorializing the tragedy.

    It is touching. And in between the pictures, the words of support and gratefulness will move you.

    If there is a single positive outcome to this terrible event, it is that over a billion people have realized the important truth: we are all one people, united in humanity because we are all human.

    Together, we could create a utopia. Divided, we create terror, pain, and tragedy.

    Let our next thoughts, next decisions, next actions lead us toward a better world.
  • forget CNN (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hugg (22953) on Saturday September 15, 2001 @03:35PM (#2303585)
    Knowing more *will* help, insofar as making you more informed then the rest of the spoon-fed populace, and maybe able to enlighten a few other people with your knowledge. But don't watch CNN or any of the mainstream networks that are geared toward angry, emotional soccer moms. This is not yet a time for mourning, it's a time to educate ourselves, make the right decisions, and preserve the stability of our nation.

    Research the history of the conflict, get to know all sides of the story, get to know the people we will eventually be fighting. Something as simple as going to the "world trade center attack" category on Yahoo! and surfing around is a good start.

    Ponder the incredible ripple effect an attack would have on the rest of the world, and how difficult are the decisions we face. There are a million variables in the diplomatic equation in this crisis -- I hope Joshua is working on the problem full-time.

The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

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