Sunday, January 06, 2008

What's going down next year?

I'm a bit disappointed in contemporary journalism. Too little attention is devoted to the glorious art of following-up. It seems to me that news media is way too focused on tomorrow, tonight (and possibly on the "right now" although not much), which consequently leaves the history and yesterday all gray and forgotten in the dumpster in the back yard. I'd appreciate a remembrance every now and then, a check up if you will, of the goals, beliefs and visions at earlier days and how it all turned out. For example a comparison between the actual weather and climate data of 2007 and how it was predicted by a) the local foretellers using coffee grounds or the mating behavior of frogs or swallows b) the meteorological institute and c) climate researchers. Who came closer to the truth? Or a comparison between the election promises given by local politicians and now, after four years of power, the results. Or a comparison between the fears and hopes regarding the web back in mid 1990's versus how we actually use the net today. Are there great differences? Did someone foresee the social networking craze of today?

My memory is extremely bad and I'm sure I'm not the only one to suffer from this. This being the case, there's money to be made :) But since the news I consume seem to be occupied with the next year's flowering season rather than with the roots and last season's blooming, I started documenting the weather and happenings myself in order to be able to make comparisons and remembering later on (a dream I have is to take an identical photo of say the views from my balcony, every day at the exact same time. That would make an impressive index of weather, the changes in how the local community evolves as new houses, trees and road would emerge and old ones perhaps disappear. The idea falls short however due to my constant moving around.) I've also been thinking of collecting the trend reports and predictions that flourish at every turn to a new year, and compare them with how it all turned out say after four, five years have passed. I've been happily reading every trend report I've come across, in all sorts of contexts, and this year, they're a bit contradictory. According to Kairo's institute, we'll see more of the blending of private and public on arenas such as MySpace or FaceBook. But as a consequence, conflicts in law, organization culture and conventions (what's suitable to reveal regarding your work online for instance) will emerge. This trend watch report was a great read, I do recommend it! The women's magazine Amelia on the other hand predicts that IRL is back, a social networking fatigue will hit us and we'll favor integrity and keeping thorough, deep discussions face to face with our friends. I will try to keep up and see which prediction is more accurate.

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