Rod Dreher

The Washington Post has an interesting feature up in which various writers suggest one thing the world would be better off without. I thought Kara Swisher’s bit on computer keyboards was interesting. Excerpt:

In other words, it’s long past time for a change in the way we interact with the digital devices that have proliferated in our lives. While the keyboard and the mouse have introduced billions of people to the digital experience, they have become antiquated obstacles to the kind of computing that is now emerging.
This new computing is immersive, augmented and completely social. As sci-fi movies predicted, our digital devices are poised to become even more ubiquitous. They will surround us, responding to our expressions, emotions and gestures.

Name one thing the world could do without. Don’t be silly (e.g., Republicans, President Obama, etc.); really, give it some thought and explain your answer. The first thing that comes to my mind is not too far from Jay Rosen’s suggestion in the WaPo: “Washington Week in Review.” Rosen says the show exemplifies what’s wrong with the way political journalism is done. Along those lines, I would say that we could do without cable news. Well, not really, but we could certainly do without the tiresome format it now follows. It’s so politics-focused. We live in such a diverse country, where there are all kinds of interesting things happening, stories to be told, people to be interviewed, issues and thoughts and trends to be explored. Cable news gives us such a narrow slice of all that.
You know how you get a pretty interesting take on the world by reading a decent variety of smart, thoughtful bloggers, who come from different perspectives? Why don’t you ever see those people on TV? Why don’t you ever see or hear anybody on a cable news program saying anything surprising or particularly insightful? It’s not the medium that makes the news so dumb. Charlie Rose’s interviewing style can be off-putting, but at least he has interesting guests, and gives them time to speak in non-soundbites. I used to enjoy watching Bill Moyers’ program on PBS (the one that just went off the air owing to his retirement), not because I agreed with his politics necessarily (I generally didn’t), but because he would have thoughtful guests on that often were ignored by the usual TV shows. I often felt like I learned something that I hadn’t heard anywhere else, or at least was given something to think about. Surely there are producers in cable news who are sick of the formula, and would like to try something different. Yes? Bueller? Bueller?
Anyway: what would the world be better off without, and why? Think of something we could actually get rid of. This week, I’d give my right arm to eliminate pollen from the planet…

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