Instantaneous information

Have any of noticed how much instantaneous information thrives in our culture? I don’t get it.  It seems like we are inundated every hour on stuff that is important, but not important enough to talk about every hour.

Allow me to illustrate.

The other day our government announced the unemployment figures for the month.  It was reported this was a six-month high for 2008.  Later that day one of our political candidates announced these were the worst numbers that had been reported in years.  No, he’s wrong.  These were the worst numbers we have had in six months, and what is six months compared to six decades?

Stay with me so I can illustrate my point with more detail.

The national news channels report each evening what are called “poll tracking numbers.”  Usually the polling data compares one week to another.  Last week Obama was up 2% points, next week McCain will be tied with him or ahead.  Who cares?  Daily tracking polls don’t matter.  Elections are what matters.

Do you get my drift?  Are you starting to see my point?

Here is one a crazy case in point—the daily price of crude oil.  I understand how the oil companies want us to see the correlation, but I really don’t think the daily price fluctuation of crude oil matters.

Here is another example—the rise and fall of the Dow Industrial Average.  If you are making investments for the long haul, with the big picture in mind, you don’t worry about the daily drops.  If you are taking the long view you keep your eyes on the 10, 20 and 30 year trends.

Here is my favorite.  I know we are experiencing tough economic times.  Yes, money is tight and the economy is weak.  Yet again, one of the political candidates said this is “one of the worst economic times in the history of our nation.”

He can’t be serious, can he?  Did he forget what the economy was like when Carter was President?  Hasn’t he read about the Great Depression?

So, what is my point?

My point is simply this—a daily change in price, a daily move in the polling numbers, or a daily (and sometimes hourly) drop in the DOW really does not matter.  I am sure it matters to some, but for the majority these numbers just do not matter.  What matters is what happens in the long run.  What matters is the price of gas over a period of years.  What matters is who is elected president on November 4th.  I think the creation of 24 hours news channels makes what is not news, mostly news.  And that is my point.


3 Responses to “Instantaneous information”

  1. 1 Lee
    September 30, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Good point. Prioritizing starts with what is most important and works down from there. That’s why the day should start with our greatest priority – meeting with God, gaining eyes to discern eternal value, bringing everything into its proper order underneath. Without adjusting our perspective, we are consumed by temporal matters: order is lost, major becomes minor and minor becomes major; the result is chaos. Is there any question as to why so many who claim to be Christ followers complain they don’t have enough time and money when they have failed to apply the basics, seeking and submitting to God’s eternal view by coming to him on his terms? Ravi Zacharias says, “. . .if you do not know how to worship in spirit and in truth, even God will disappoint you, because you will end up using him, you will end up not coming to on his terms.” True worship is the only way to gain the perfect pitch necessary to sort through the noise, to be able to harmoniously resolve the dissonance in our life and world, eliminating the waste of time and resources due to being tone deaf.

  2. 2 Searching
    September 30, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Amen! Great blog and great comment Lee! Thanks!

  3. September 30, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    Well said Lee. Your response is stronger than my blog. Well written.

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