On Newsvine, there are articles available right now on cave paintings, pre-Viking age burial grounds, native American bones, a submarine that can't surface, nuclear energy, artificial sweeteners, Russia and sanctions, origins of the Romani people, civil rights crimes in Alabama prisons, a stellar explosion, supernovas, dark matter, earth's magnetic field, a comet, Hurricane Ana, 1934 drought, distant galaxies, mysteries of the Milky Way's core, why astronauts get space stupid, matter and anti-matter, beautiful photography. There are articles on natural history, human history, scientific discoveries, business, nature. The easy-to-access articles that tell us about our universe, local and distant, old and new, are staggering in their depth and diversity.
They get maybe five comments + or -.
Yet an article about a crazy politician, complaints, computer glitches, a murder, funny news get dozens - even hundreds. Don't get me wrong - I have fun with those articles, too. Many of them are interesting because of the absurdity, and we definitely learn about human nature. We need a break from the news, I get that. But why aren't people exploring the other fascinating articles? Why don't people explore topics with which we are unfamiliar? I just read an amazing article on nuclear reactors. It was informative and well=written.
It also got me thinking.
The articles I read and the comments show that there are some really smart and clever people on NV, but that doesn't seem to carry over into intellectual inquiry. Why not? With only fifteen nations, my favorites bar is getting full with links to other nation's articles. But I admit, I don't visit them as much as I would like. Then when I get there, I'm blown away by what I learn. Okay, a lot of it isn't useful, but neither is an article about a murderer. Yes, I do go to those articles, so I'm not being a snob here. I'm just wondering why more of us don't expand. Why many of us aren't interested in learning.
So my premise is: we get what we get in Congress, business, education, even religion because we don't go beyond ourselves, our pre-conceived notions. It seems we just don't want to think. Are we so old and tired that we have lost that child-like curiosity to go where we've never gone before? These questions are important, because how can we expect substantive, intellectual, and well-informed public figures, if we don't expect it of ourselves?