13 August 2008

Facts vs. Analysis

News happens daily. Trends develop in weeks to months to years. Understanding current events requires knowledge in both arenas. To develop such knowledge one must follow both dailies/weeklies and read books which will look at greater trends. NPR is a perfect example of a daily which focuses on the facts and falls short on the analysis. This morning was no exception in which the events of the past 24 hours were laid out. Much of the information went in one ear and out the other. Without understanding what it all means, it is impossible to internalize. I will use the wine I am drinking now as an example of this. The wine is a 2004 Nebbiolo. It's hot, quite acidic, very tannic, and greatly lacks in complexity and is difficult to drink. For the layperson this information is difficult to memorize and if it was memorized, the regurgitation of the facts would be a mere recitation. On the other hand, for a person familiar with Barolo (Nebiollo) from the Piedmont region in Italy, this description fits perfectly a young (only four years old) Nebiollo. The memorization would be as simple as remembering that Britney Spears miscarried her boyfriends baby as a result of being in a car accident while driving a Porsche SUV without her seatbelt on. Although there are numerous facts there, they all fit her personality and what we might expect. So we are simply adding to our breadth of knowledge about her.

The actionable analysis then is that for every bit of daily news one expends brain power on, one also needs to spend an equal amount of time developing analytical capabilities through in depth study. Each will help the other. So your reading of this entry has fulfilled part of the latter requirement for the day.

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