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Beware the Media-centric Theory of the Universe

Overbearing and arrogant newspeople have annoyed nearly everyone at one time or another. Weekend Npr's latest example of the media-centric theory of the universe comes to us in Robert Gifford's 3/19/00 report (audio file, requires RealPlayer) on the recent Taiwan election, comparing the "maturity" of the two societies of Taiwan and Mainland China. The comparison is made between common peoples' responses to the presence of a journalist on the streets of Taiwan and the Mainland with a microphone. The Taiwanese accessibility to being interviewed is seen as reflecting a "mature" society. The aloofness and suspicion of the people of mainland China, in contrast, is said to indicate the backwardness and immaturity of that society.

This interpretation itself could be taken as an indication of a kind of immaturity and self-centeredness on the part of media. Dependence on the ubiquitous "mediation" of all experience is mentally unhealthy.