Friday, April 17, 2009

Instant gratification

I didn't get around to posting this earlier but I found a transcript again of Obama's speech on the economy. It's a longish speech and not amenable to soundbytes so it didn't get much attention. Obama lays out what's he doing and why. I certainly don't agree with everything he says or does, but I love the way he speaks to us like adults.

Leaving the wonky stuff aside, this quote from the end speaks to something I've been thinking about lately.
For too long, too many in Washington put off hard decisions for some other time on some other day. There’s been a tendency to score political points instead of rolling up sleeves to solve real problems. There is also an impatience that characterizes this town – an attention span that has only grown shorter with the twenty-four hour news cycle, and insists on instant gratification in the form of immediate results or higher poll numbers. When a crisis hits, there’s all too often a lurch from shock to trance, with everyone responding to the tempest of the moment until the furor has died away and the media coverage has moved on, instead of confronting the major challenges that will shape our future in a sustained and focused way.
It's not just the Village. I think our whole society has drifted towards an expectation of instant gratification and it seems attention spans have shortened the more fixed that expectation becomes. I think these social media like Twitter reinforce that dynamic. I suppose it's an inevitable side effect of technological progress, but I sometimes wonder if it's unhealthy for a civil society.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger (O)CT(O)PUS said...

Libby, Please feel free to help yourself.

3:13:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Instant gratification is definitely what the teabaggage was all about. I'm still waiting to hear anyone ask Goodhair Perry how a state with no income tax is going to pay for schools, roads, police and that border patrol. On the OK border, right?

3:20:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Very nice 8pus. I'll be sure to pass it on.

Ruth, good point.

3:39:00 PM  

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