Monday, May 24, 2010

Outrage Fatigue

Helmut has said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm better on analysis than I am on outrage. There's plenty that I might display outrage about: the BP/Halliburton oil spill, the latest revelation that Israel negotiated with South Africa in 1975 on nuclear weapons, the fact that there are too many nuclear weapons in the world. You can take your pick of outrage targets for last week's developments on Iran: Turkey and Brazil for having the temerity to negotiate, the United States for not immediately accepting the deal, or Iran for gaming the system.

I suppose a certain amount of outrage is useful to encourage action, but when every development is met with outrage, it is as devalued as any oversupplied currency and, very likely, a call to apathy rather than action.

Outrage does get clicks on the internet, though, so it's a favorite of columnists and bloggers.

I am concerned that I may sometimes appear to be defending the indefensible (the object of outrage, naturally). But I think that someone needs to be expanding on contexts. My intention is not to defend, but to understand the problem. I'll post on those three subjects, I hope today, and will try to be explicit about analysis and outrage.

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