Saturday, August 18, 2007

Global Worrying

Reasons to be Cheerful
Originally uploaded by Son of Groucho.
I have previously confessed to being a terrible worrier. It should be fairly obvious from my various geeky activities that I am also a great enthusiast about the internet, and other forms of mass communication. Acres of text have been produced in the last year or two about the perils of Global Warming, but I think Global Worrying is an equally disturbing modern trend.

War is awful, and every death in combat is a tragedy for the person involved and their family, but deaths in war are inevitable. Modern mass communications mean that if even one or two British soldiers are killed in Iraq it is splashed across our newspapers and computer screens almost immediately. You could argue that this is a good thing, and makes us constantly aware of the reality of the conflict, but there is no doubt in my mind that it also raises anxiety levels in the countries affected.

Recently, concerns about the American mortgage market led to huge effects on stock markets throughout the Globe within days. Central banks have felt obliged to pump huge amounts of money into the system to stabilise the situation. Opinion is divided on whether this is a temporary blip or represents a fundamental weakness in the US economy. Only time will tell, but the speed and the magnitude of the short-term effects only serve to remind us what a connected World we live in.

Sometimes it's true that "ignorance is bliss".