I think that on average I’m more comfortable with uncertainty than others. People were glued to the TV screens for weeks during the O. J. Simpson trial, and just recently there has been continuous coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. I want to know what’s happening, but beyond that I’d rather wait a few months and see how it turns out rather than watch every detail unfold, grab onto every detail, and make up my mind prematurely. I’m content to watch the PBS News Hour every few days to keep up. Was Obama a good or a bad President? Historians should have that worked out in 30-40 years.
One way to stay on the bleeding edge of what’s being said is Twitter, and it is a fake Twitter post last week that sparked my thinking about this topic. Here’s the tweet from a hacked Associated Press account (courtesy of the Huffington Post):
Going back to the Boston Marathon bombings, I recall that there were false news reports about the number of bombs (3 vs 2) and that a Saudi subject had been detained. Rushing to know and rushing to judge can lead to mistakes.
The Obama conspiracy manipulators use anxiety about uncertainty as a tool, emphasizing what is not known (true or not) about President Obama. Personally, I’d be content to wait 10-15 years when the Obama Presidential Library opens, to see his birth certificate and maybe his college transcripts. And if I don’t make it that long, no big loss. Life is full of unknowns and I’m comfortable with that.
There’s a great book by Bruce Schneier, Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World, that I heartily recommend.