In one of Heinlein’s stories (I forget which one, and the search engines haven’t helped on this odd query) a character awakes after having been in suspended animation for many years and catches up on what he’s missed by spending a few hours reading a history book, then remarks on how much time he would have wasted had he read a newspaper every day for all that time, reading about matters too ephemeral to make the history books.
If you do follow the news (I try to spend as little time as possible doing so), keep in mind that the most important thing may be what’s not in the daily news. Many of the things that end up in the history books were complete surprises to those embedded in the “news cycle” and to the “experts” who feed it. For example, check the newspapers for early October 1929, November 1941, October 1989, the latter half of 1990, or August 2001: you’ll find little or nothing about the imminent stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of the Soviet Union, or terrorist attacks in the U.S. And yet, in retrospect, the circumstances which led to these “surprises” were in plain sight. Thus, I’m always interested in the big story that none of the chattering classes are chattering about. Which brings me to…... [Read More]