NO ECONOMIC SIGNIFICANCE?
I've been a fan of Wendell Berry since reading Jayber Crow. He writes with a special appreciation for the land and nature and the power it exerts on human life. A passage from his The News from the Land article in the current THE PROGRESSIVE is stunning. Berry is writing from his "obligation as an elder" and making note of things that have disappeared in his Kentucky; grasses, birds, willow trees, black rattle snakes, elms, even some worms and the list grows.
He's made it a point to examine why things have disappeared and the affect it has, subtle and profound. He writes of another important disappearance, the dung beetle or "tumblebug."
"Why did they disappear? Though I had a sort of theory, I wanted scientific authority, and so I presented my question to an entomologist in the College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky. I have been pondering his answer for the last thirty or so years:
"I don't know anything about them. But I can tell you this-they have no economic significance."
Berry warns how "submissive science can be to economic significance."
Being aware is a first process of responding. In journalism we used to talk of "arming the public with knowledge." In knowing we can begin to take care, if we choose to.
IS BIG MEDIA FADING AND ARE WE GETTING OUR INFORMATION FROM LESSER LIGHTS?
WELL, IT DEPENDS...
Smaller news organizations, personal journalism, like that of Wendell Berry can and does have an impact. But big or small, all media is transforming. Some great insight came via the Internet, from a dear friend, a Wesleyan graduate, who shared this information.
HAVE YOU HAD YOUR NAP YET?
The late Dick Yoakum, an NBC newsman and later an IU professor told his retirement party that he had read taking naps was good for you. He said being a skeptical journalist he thought that idea should be tested. So he told his friends and colleagues not to call him between 1:00 and 3:00 PM, because he would be "in the laboratory, doing research."
AND IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE MAY BE READY FOR THEIR NAP
Naps have their own piece of this riddle of economic significance. In fact a recent piece published by AARP reports that naps increase efficiency and productivity.
So take a nap, you don't want to end up like the Kentucky dung beetle.