Another Tack: A Goldstone in the forest

Rare is the high-school sophomore whose endurance isn’t severely tested by a smart-alecky teacher harping mercilessly on that standard philosophical tease about the tree in the forest falling without anyone around. Does it produce noise? Don’t sounds require receptors to be more than pulses of energy?

Or is it anthropocentric arrogance to ascribe value only to what reaches human consciousness?

No. It’s plain news-sense. What you don’t know doesn’t bother you or shape your opinions. It’s a non-event even if it happened, even if it’s appalling, even if it merits notoriety.

Given issues can be magnified – often artificially – into full-blown controversies, while genuinely scandalous developments might never arouse minimal unease. Objective importance is hardly what matters most. It’s all a function of how many folks have heard about what. Continue reading