War of the Worlds

I remember as a kid being fascinated by the story around the radio broadcast of “The War of the Worlds”.

It shows how strong media can be in affecting people’s beliefs. Since then, media has only gotten better, more pervasive, more persuasive, more trusted, more ubiquitous. The War of the Worlds incident showed that media has to be careful to not abuse the power of the medium.

And people like stories. We get so fascinated by them . We believe them – we want to believe them. They pull us out of this “real” world to a place that is in any number of ways better.

I guess in small ways people do this all the time on a smaller personal level. We are each like little media outlets - “broadcasting” out a message that we kinda know or hope will get interpreted in a certain way. Sometimes we do this to help the communication, and sometimes to mislead or create a false impression.

This reminds me of the Seinfeld where George realizes that if he acts angry at work then his coworkers will think he’s working really hard and too busy to be bothered with new stuff.