immediacy

October 1, 2009 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

You say its urgent
Make it fast, make it urgent
Do it quick, do it urgent
Gotta rush, make it urgent
Want it quick
Urgent, urgent, emergency…

How important is now?

Now for Nathan Rothchild was hours – enough for the legendary manipulation of the bond market. This was a huge time advantage over the official envoy responsible for reporting the outcome of the Battle of Waterloo.

Now is only as important as the activity to which it is bound.

I remember an assignment at University on metastable states – the finite possibility of having a state that was ‘stuck’ between a ‘1’ and a ‘0’ in a digital gate. As clock frequencies increased and switching times decreased, this possibility increased.

The faster you push a system, the higher the probability of error. If you can risk that error probability, then no problems, but if you cannot, then why go faster? Just because you can? What is the advantage? Sometimes you just need to… but, as one computer manufacturer has proven, by taking out certain functions from a chip and optimizing that processor for certain types of transactions, you can clock the chip slower, save power and yet still get better performance than ‘faster chips’. There is much to be said for appropriateness.

So it is with information. If we humans cannot absorb it correctly, then what use is it to provide us with even more, even faster? What is the value of now?Kind of like trying to push more bits down a full network – it grinds to a halt, and the bits get lost. Does it not make more sense to prepare and validate the information before sending it, even if it does take some time? Is quality of information more important than quantity?

And the relevance to media and business models?

Perhaps there is a market for really smart analysis and in-depth reporting of news, that is not so candy wrapped. Something which is once again trusted like Cronkite was. Not factually skewed opinions, but well balanced and artfully presented fact. Something that the public can once again trust. Is this not the charter of the fourth estate and the value of media to the preservation of a balanced society? It seems that trust has been breached for the sake of entertainment, and we have been conditioned to only stomach 30sec clips or tweets about hollywood personalities.

Perhaps I’m getting old, but irrelevant tweets really don’t interest me. I would however, like to ensure that there is bandwidth available for a real emergency and balance the rest of my processing power for relevant data.

Yes, I know – just switch off, and only pay attention to the ‘good stuff’, vote with your attention and the market will decide the rest. Unfortunately, everyone is convincing me that they have the ‘good stuff’ and most of my time wasted in the selection process itself! So at the very least, just like a spammer or a web click, these time sinks are guaranteed of at least one vote! The system doesn’t work that well. Yet…

Tell me it isn’t so… I’m listening.

Entry filed under: Media. Tags: , , , .

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