Progress

I was in southern Mexico when the tsunami struck, with virtually no Internet access. On the other hand, my hotel had cable. It was the first time in a long while that I was largely dependent on CNN for information about a major breaking story.

It's one thing to know intellectually the limitations of TV news. It's another to see those limits so starkly after being used to the depth of the Net. Few things are as frustrating as watching something go by on that news scroll, wanting to click through for more information, and suddenly remembering that you can't -- that you're stuck listening to what the newscasters want to tell you, even if it's the exact same thing they told you 10 minutes before.

What was really astonishing was to remember that 14 years earlier, when the first Gulf War was underway, CNN was the amazing new innovation, not the dinosaur in the rear-view mirror.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • fyodor||

    Ah, southern Mexico.....

    If you were in anything resembling a metropolitan area, you proabably could have found a net cafe for real cheap, based on my experience from February (but maybe you know that already). Meantime, I wonder how long this scroll while the heads blab trend will continue for televised news. If it's for good, I wonder if kids growing up with it will learn to master it in ways us oldsters can't the same way younger folks take quicker to all things wired. By mastering it I would mean either being able to pay attention to both the scroll and the heads at the same time or else knowing when to switch from one to the other. I keep starting in on the scrolls in the middle of one in which case I don't really know what they're talking about (only what happened to some mysterious subject), and then when I return to the heads I don't know what they're blabbing about either! (I was visiting quasi in-laws with limited net capability, so I was actually in a very similar circumstance...)

  • Jesse Walker||

    There were cybercafes, but I was deliberately avoiding them: I was on vacation, and I didn't want to go out of my way to get online. I did sign on once to clear the spam out of my inbox -- last time I left the country, it overflowed and I lost a lot of legitimate messages.

  • ||

    Jesse, if you didn't spend so much time on those porn sites you wouldn't have to spend your vacation cleaning up spam.

  • Warren||

    Sooooo Jesse,
    Did you pick up anything in Meh-heeko that you didn't declare at the boarder?

  • FastWanker||

    Did you pick up anything in Meh-heeko that you didn't declare at the boarder?

    I don't think you have to declare the clap.

  • ||

    I don't think you have to declare the clap.

    "If you drive a car, we'll tax the streets"

    "If you get the clap, we'll tax the sheets"

  • ||

    Ok,since there doesn't appear to be a "Happy New Year" thread. I just wanna say, Happy New Year to my fellow posters and to the editors of the stellar Reason magazine and the best blog in the whole damn sphere. Here's anticipating another year of interesting, fun, discussion and debate. And, if we will make the effort, hopefully less government in our country!

  • ||

    "What was really astonishing was to remember that 14 years earlier, when the first Gulf War was underway, CNN was the amazing new innovation, not the dinosaur in the rear-view mirror.""

    Glen Reynolds and I agree..........that there is a lesson there for everyone.

  • ||

    Most of the time I've spent in southern Mexico was spent in places that didn't have electricity much less CNN. :)

  • ||

    Gary,

    Well, do they at least have WiFi then? I mean, how does one blog? :)

  • ||

    Rick Barton,

    I've noticed that when on Palau one can get web access by using a cell phone as a modem. :) They've only had analog service until recent GSM upgrades though.

  • ||

    Jesse Walker: You have no idea what it's like to see a dinosaur in your rear view mirror.

  • ||

    It's one thing to know intellectually the limitations of TV news. It's another to see those limits so starkly after being used to the depth of the Net. Few things are as frustrating as watching something go by on that news scroll, wanting to click through for more information, and suddenly remembering that you can't -- that you're stuck listening to what the newscasters want to tell you, even if it's the exact same thing they told you 10 minutes before.

    One of the more bizarre things about the coverage on the Quakenami was that all of the news channels were already looking for 'angles' and 'inside stories' about an hour after it happened. I mean, it's still news for crissakes! It was still all unfolding, and the crawl started in with 'angle' stories. Then the anchors started shortly thereafter.

  • ||

    In the early hours there was nothing the internet had that the tv news channels didn't --

    I was up late on Christmas night listening to the BBC radio over the internet when the story broke -- they beat everyone to the story by about 45 minutes -- I followed the story the whole night online and on TV -- the internet really didn't gain any advantages in information that I saw until about 24 hours later at least.

  • fyodor||

    Most of the time I've spent in southern Mexico was spent in places that didn't have electricity much less CNN

    Braggart.

  • purple flower7||

    This is one super duper site7

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement