"And that's the way it is..."
Walter Cronkite
Back No news is good news!
Assuming this old saying has some modicum of truth to it, while acknowledging that we are indeed awash in news today, we can conclude contrarily that it must be not-so-good news.

Observation certainly confirms that, and also reveals that the public seems to have an insatiable appetite for news. Consequently, we now have media giants hawking newspapers, online news, TV news, radio news, morning news, midday news, afternoon news, evening news, minute-by-minute news, daily news, weekly news, newsweeklies, seven-day-a-week 24-hour-a-day news, news bulletins, news specials, etc.

We take all this for granted today. But should we? Imagine if there was no more news!

It's hard to fathom now, but there was a time long ago when there was no "news" at all. People lived day to day just to survive within small domains — cut off by physical distance or terrain (or worse) without a means to obtain or distribute news about each other. (Some would argue that that is a better condition than what we have today!)

With Phrenicea, we come full circle — back to square one. Most people again live within small domains (cubicles!), and are cut off from each other through dependence upon Phrenicea for most of their
Imagine if there was no more news!
functioning, simply because it is — easy. Why speak when you can communicate with your mind? Why travel if you can experience vicariously trips taken by others in the past via access to stored memories? Why strive for better when you are already supremely comfortable and satisfied? Why expand the envelope of knowledge when you have more than enough information available on demand by engaging Phrenicea? Why learn about your neighbors if they are functioning just the same as you? Why pursue anything more than day-to-day existence?

Nonsense, right?
Isn't it human nature to pursue the easy path? Do not the developed nations of today have real problems with physical lethargy, consumption of excessive (and unhealthy) food, preoccupation with non-productive leisure, substance abuse, and cultural breakdown? Why?

The Phrenicea scenario also portends that bad news will have to disappear for humankind to continue to exist. Violent and antisocial thoughts will be prevented from materializing into behavior that was for a time empowered with the technological might to destroy the Earth's inhabitants. A central controlling entity will have to be implemented — the Phrenicea braincomb.

And without bad news, there will be no news.
As an exercise, cut out the "good" news articles from your daily newspaper and discard the rest. How much of the paper is left? Would you buy it? And why aren't there any good news channels on TV? Would you watch them? Would you pay for them?

Good news is no news!

© 2010 Patrick McDonnell. All rights reserved. MUTTS is distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc. Used with permission.

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