Friday, February 1, 2019

Food for Thought: 2 interesting provocations for Tet

Food for thought this week contains two provocations. The first is a young Swedish student who organized a sit in outside her parliament buildings instead of going to school. Her demonstration was a call to action regarding Global Warming and how the world is doing nothing to address this issue. Her passionate and articulate TED talk is very moving and could be used as a stimulant for all students who care about issues both local and global. I believe it should be shared with all ISHCMC students Grade 3-12. She asks important questions that cannot be denied. She is asking them of all of us. 

The second provocation is more controversial but I hope makes you think. It is an article, Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News, which questions the logic of our obsession with the news. I remember my father built his time at home around watching the BBC news at 18:00, every evening, and encouraged me to do the same when I was growing up. Even today people ask me have you seen the news? I feel guilty when I say, no. Not sure why I feel guilty, because since my first politics lecture at university where my professor announced that news was only news for as long as news channels thought it is of interest to them.  Although it sounds narrow minded, for years I have focused more on events directly around me that I can contribute to, and impact, rather that what news channels deem important that I should know. Hence, this article resonated with me. 

Five Things You Notice When You Quit the News
"I grew up believing that following the news makes you a better citizen. Eight years after having quit, that idea now seems ridiculous—that consuming a particularly unimaginative information product on a daily basis somehow makes you thoughtful and informed in a way that benefits society.
But I still encounter people who balk at the possibility of a smart, engaged adult quitting the daily news.
To be clear, I’m mostly talking about following TV and internet newscasts here. This post isn’t an indictment of journalism as a whole. There’s a big difference between watching a half hour of CNN’s refugee crisis coverage (not that they cover it anymore) versus spending that time reading a 5,000-word article on the same topic.
If you quit, even for just a month or so, the news-watching habit might start to look quite ugly and unnecessary to you, not unlike how a smoker only notices how bad tobacco makes things smell once he stops lighting up."
I think that the majority of us think that Global Warming or some environmental change is taking place, and it is probably being caused by us humans. But, for the news-makers this is old news and consequently not what they want us to hear or to focus on unless there is a natural catastrophe. Hence the way we are fed news contributes to us knowing and accepting but without feeling the need to take action. I feel this brings us back to the point of Greta Thunberg's TED talk. 

No comments:

Post a Comment