In December 2002 I got irate but restrained myself. I wrote a few notes in my private wiki but never got around to cleaning them up for ZhurnalWiki exposure --- or perhaps I came to my senses in time and self-preempted the rant?
This year I just can't take it any more! The New York Times, otherwise a great newspaper, shot itself in the (unmentionable) again with its Sunday magazine "Year in Ideas" theme issue (14 December 2003). How many trees died to perpetrate this flapdoodle? As a wanna-be thinking person, I am embarrassed to admit that I read it.
The problems with both 2002's and 2003's "Year in Ideas" are manifold --- and, alas, the disease is shared (often in more virulent forms) by most major media coverage of new concepts. Among the worst sins that literate, well-meaning, but naive journalists have committed, time and again:
What's the right way to write about ideas in an annual popular forum? The real need is to identify news developments involving the best old notions, and not get swept away by transient novelty. To do that is tough work. It demands critical thought plus expert advice, and probably takes months of study. It also can't easily be turned into a big glossy magazine full of ads for expensive new products. Too bad ...