INFORMATION OVERLOAD: HELP! Take, for example, political satire...

WWW's "historical" logo, created by ...
I was just contacted by one of my readers who asked me to bring to your attention an article just posted on the Political Science Degree blog, “The New Town Square: 15 Best Places for Political Satire on the Web”. 
Check it out, it's full of interesting information, although I didn't have time to read everything. BUT I do want to underline something important: in this day of information overload - too much info shooting at us from every direction! - it's nice to have somebody who goes to the trouble to overview websites and takes the time to figure out what's worth visiting!

I'm very grateful to this reader for having drawn my attention to current political satire sites in the US, and it is a wonderful starting point if you're interested in this theme (and I certainly am).

How times have changed!

I've always loved good, hard-punching political satire, but before the Internet, it was something you'd find mostly in printed form. For example, if you lived in France, you simply couldn't do without your copy of  the Canard EnchainĂ© (the Chained Duck in English), a wonderful satirical paper that combines pungent satire, political caricature and investigative journalism. Over time, the Canard EnchainĂ© has been responsible for unveiling a number of political scandals in France, particularly under Chirac's presidency (and involving Chirac himself). As a result it is a widely read paper, one of the few that is not remotely threatened by the digital tsunami. 
Of course, a lot of satire in also on TV and has been so for quite some time. This is the case in the US (see below Jon Steward's wonderful good-bye to Glen Beck in 4 installments) as it is also here in Italy with Striscia la Notizia, a daily spoof on current events, combined with clever bits of investigative journalism and candid camera style video clips.

So, up to ten years ago, I was happy with maybe two or three different sources for political satire. But now, for the US alone, there are no less than 15 political satire online sites worth a visit. FIFTEEN! You could spend a whole day going through each and everyone of them!  Lucky that our friend here gives us a short introductory paragraph telling us the thrust and political color of each site, so, depending on your interests, you may be able to limit yourself to just a couple.

Indeed, in our age of information overload, I'm betting that sites that act as GUIDES to help us zero in on the information we are looking for are going to become more and more important. They are probably the gatekeepers of the future! Just as traditional publishers have acted as literary taste gatekeepers for the last 150 years, we are going to need on-line gatekeepers to cut through the internet-age information overload.

A useful function and (potentially) a dangerous one as well. Because the gatekeeper can easily impose his own view on things and unless you spend the time to go over every aspect yourself, you are at his mercy...

The solution? I don't see any - do you? 

It all seems to revolve around the question of trust: you have to trust that your gatekeeper is correct and giving out the right advice. Sure there are some technological solutions around (see "my6sense" app, article below) but none of them really work - at least so far. Because what's needed is someone's judgment and that is something you have to trust before accepting it!

Any other ideas? 

Punch magazine cover from 1867 shows Richard D...Image via Wikipedia

Enhanced by Zemanta