Sometime earlier this year I was joking with someone about curating a Museum of Fail: All the things that were supposed to save journalism. I shared this idea with Dave Cohn, who was all about it, and this post began as an email to him.
I was reading yet another post about Jobs, but this one caught my eye because it was talking about disabilities. They excerpted from a Wired interview:
Jobs: I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time. Technology is not changing it much — if at all.
These technologies can make life easier, can let us touch people we might not otherwise. You may have a child with a birth defect and be able to get in touch with other parents and support groups, get medical information, the latest experimental drugs. These things can profoundly influence life. I’m not downplaying that. But it’s a disservice to constantly put things in this radical new light — that it’s going to change everything. Things don’t have to change the world to be important. (Emphasis mine)
His comment reminded me of when we hail yet another technology as the savior of journalism. Meanwhile, part one of Jobs’ comment brought to mind James W. Carey, who had a similar observation about journalists (and life) in the changing environment:
Life is a conversation. When you enter it, it’s already going on. You try to catch the drift of it. You exit before it’s over. That is the best single definition of human living I have ever encountered. We are born and all these bloody adults are talking. We stand around saying, what the hell are they talking about? And how can I get into the conversation? For years they say, shut up and eat your peas! Then, finally, you catch the drift of it and at some point you say, “Oh my God! When I die the conversation’s going to be all over! It’s going to end!” Then you realize people will pause for one moment and say, “Goodbye!” But the argument won’t stop.
— James W. Carey, Speaking on Public Journalism